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motion, directly or indirectly, by elements drawn from Bible Christianity. These elements have of late been driven, as by a mighty hydraulic power, in among the prejudices, errors, and perverse usages of society and its rulers. The Gospel, it must be allowed, is the working man's Magna Charta. Its calm, constitutional influence—when it becomes living lawrestrains the oppression, and rebukes the indifference of superiors; while it elevates the condition, and refines the nature, of those who “in the sweat of their face eat bread."
Now, it is to be borne in mind, that if the principles of Gospel truth have originated this beneficent movement, it is only the continued and increased application of the same principles that can maintain it, and ensure issues of higher excellency than any that have hitherto been realised. External action or legislation on the part of superiors and politicians will stagnate, or take an opposite direction ; the good work begun, or half done, will cease, unless the Word and Spirit of the same Gospel keep the public heart. But if the labouring masses of our land are the recipients of these, then their political power will be sanctified ; that is, directed by Divine wisdom, and used with becoming deference to the highest of all authority. In proportion as it is sanctified, it will be increased. Good legislation will be ensured; yea, and ends which legislation can never reach, will redound; for the Gospel stops not at the merely sanitary, expelling filth and fevers; its grand effect is salvation, expelling the unclean spirits of our nature, imparting the tone of moral soundness, turning our follies into virtues, our fears into radiances of hope; and, by a process never dreamt of in mere political philosophy, converting our very griefs into steps of the mystic ladder which conducts upwards to glory. This view is in his own vigorous way thus expressed by Mr. Marshall :
“I have," says he, p. 51, “I have no faith in the politician as the renovator of man. His is outside work-no more. He does not come near the man; he is a mere plasterer of mud walls; he works with dead, not with living, materials. He makes laws for bodies, not for souls. His executive power touches flesh, not spirit. The Word and Spirit of God alone can enter the door of man's heart, with enlightening, purifying, and renovating power. God says to worldly politicians, Stand ye at the door till I go in and expel this fearful darkness. Stand ye without till I go in and waken these sleepers. Keep ye watch as sentinels, till I go in and put life into these dry bones, and bring them forth to you living, loving, and fitted for all the duties of earthly and heavenly citizenship, and then your labour will be small and your satisfaction great.""
Now, it must be evident to everyone perusing them, that these “ Home Words and Songs” are admirably fitted to aid in promoting both the present sanitary movements on industrial life, and the saving work of the Gospel on men's souls. The author, with a rare exercise of the sympathetic power, identifies himself, in heart and thought, with the members of working families. He enters their dwellings; he sits down at their firesides; he feels their pains, their joys, their fears, their hopes, as ! if all these were his own. He makes his heart and page a canvass to! represent truly the mutual interests and reciprocal duties of husband and ! wife. He gives you the form and pressure of parental feelings and solicitudes, with the most delicate colourings of the kindred affections. And while, at times, he dashes his brush in the face of the violators of decency and duty, blotting and branding them with no doubtful marks, he deline
THE INDUSTRIAL CLASSES : WIVES AND MOTHERS.
ates, with abounding pathos and power, the finer forms of domestic sensibility. These, in all their groupings and aspects, are so exhibited as to incline the heart to virtue, and attract the soul to God. Here, for instance, is a picture of singular sweetness and beauty. In reading the piece entitled “The Pet Lamb," we feel that it breathes of Burns's tenderness, but with another element in it, which, alas ! too seldom found entrance into Burns's verse :
“My bonnie wee birdie has closed his e'e,
His pillow a mother's breast;
Can sleep in a warmer nest ?
The bride on her bridal day-
Is costlier far than they.
And wrap thee with folds of fleece ;
Thy canopy love and peace.
Who filled her bosom with joy,
Her jewel-her darling boy!
This living treasure has given,
The citizenship of heaven.
The joy of my heart express.
Sweet, rosy slumberer bless!" The sixth piece, “Spring Flowers," we would fain transcribe; it glows with the same spirit of delight in contemplating young children, and of kindly solicitude for their well-being, beginning with the words
“I like to see wee totums spin
Around a clean fire en',
Or flichtering bat and ben." “The Right Goodman” embodies, in appropriately sober expressions, the respect, mingled with affection, of a thoughtful and virtuous matron to her husband-respect and affection richly enhanced by his devout qualities and his manly worth. We refer our readers to the volume for the perusal of this piece, with that called “ The Gloamin' Hour;" contenting ourselves with quoting a passage from the prose words annexed to the latter. They are words both genial and impressive :
“ There is something inexpressibly sweet in these words, 'the gloamin' hour.' This is the eventide, the pensive closing of the day, when the veil of night begins to fall silently over nature's face. It is a time for thought, for reflection, for musing, for meditation—that is, to the sober-minded. The sun has gone down. What multitudes will never see him rise again! When the day dawns, where are they? Rather a serious question that. Time cannot answer it, but eternity will. Ay, eternity will answer all questions, solve all problems, and explain all mysteries. What a clearing up of matters at that day, the last daywhen heaven and earth shall pass away-when sun, moon, and stars shall set, never to rise-never to shine again! Eternity shall set the broad black seal of extinction on them all-and then—what then? Let eternity answer the question.
“But 'the gloamin' hour' comes with a Sabbath-like voice to the labouring man, saying to him— Friend, let thy plough rest in the furrow, lay aside thy spade, thy pickaxe and thy mattock, put past tby tools and implements, shut thy workshop, let thy bodily machinery which has been panting, and blowing, and struggling all the day for a bit of bread, rest a while-it is high time.' "The gloamin' hour' is, indeed, a precious hour to the labourer and workman, when not overwrought and exhausted. To some it is no better than a season of mere animal repose, but to the religious man it is more. It is something more to him than a time of bodily relaxation and rest. Then he has leisure to listen to the voice of his own spirit, to commune with his own heart, and to lift up his soul in love, in praise, and in thanksgiving to the Father of all the families of the earth.”
How often is it the case that a family is ruined for time, and perilled for eternity by a drunken husband; but it is too often forgotten that, in a multitude of instances, the evil is originated or aggravated by the conduct of an idle slovenly wife, who contracts petty debts, indulges in expensive stimulants, and, neglecting God's house, keeps her own house in disorder; as our author expresses it:
“Small wonder though poor men grow sick
Of weirdless wasteful wives,
And plague them all their lives.
Its waesome when a sair-wrought man
Comes hame at eventide,
A dreary cold fireside.”
But what a happy contrast to this description are the verses whose heading is, “A Wife Worth the Having."
“The thrifty wife's up in the dawing,
With head and heart clear as a bell;
She redds up her house and hersel'.
Ne'er puts off a good turn in hand;
Some o'erplus has aye at command.
The thrifty wife counts her man's wages,
And scorns to take on a bawbee,
Walks warily--ne'er tries to flee.
The thrifty wife works not by snatches,
But steadily winds up her clew;
Till ance she has brass to buy new.
THE INDUSTRIAL CLASSES : WIVES AND MOTHERS.
This thrifty goodwife with a measure
Of sanctified wit for her guide,
She, she is the weel-tocher'd bride.
And crowns it with flowers fresh and fair,
And scatters rich heart-treasures there." We have space only for another of the many exquisite lyrics which the book contains, “ The Holiday.” Its strains are lively, jocund and devout. We feel the balm of the morning breeze on our temples ; we see its millions of dew-drops kindled by fair sun-beams, into a jewelry of glory, to decorate the fair form of nature; and our heart bounds into re-juvenescence, as we hear the kindly mother speak thus to her juvenile offspring :
“Rise up, my bonnie bairns, the dawn
Is breaking clear and fair,
Sweet fragrance fills the air.
Commands the light to play
To gild our holiday.
Your brawest, best attire,
His car of living fire.
The orient, pearly dew,
A canopy for you.
By fountain, glen, and shaw,
On Him who made them a'.
Along the flow'ry way,
This glorious holiday.” Go forth, we would say, go forth, little book !—find thy way into many homes, and leave the traces of thy racy rhymes and vigorous sentences in many a bosom. And may the genial heart that indited these, find, ere long, a rich recompence in knowing that every houshold which receives thee and thy words, has its ills diminished and its virtuous joys increased !
M. * * We understand that a manufacturing firm, in the west of Scotland (Messrs. J. & P. Coats, of Paisley), after carefully perusing the “Homely Words and Songs," have ordered eleven hundred and fifty copies of the book, with the view of placing a copy in the hands of every person in their employment.
NOTES ON THE OPIUM TRADE. THE question of the Opium Trade with China is one which must soon force itself on the attention of the country, and we are glad to have it in our power to offer our contribution to the right understanding of the subject, the following paper having been placed at our disposal by an esteemed correspondent. In mere pity for the wretchedness and distress which the use of this seductive drug, as it is employed in China, unquestionably produces, motives of humanity should lead us to call attention to this matter. But as those who own the obligation to make known the blessed Gospel of peace to the heathen, and who have been honoured to send missionaries to China to labour in this glorious cause, we feel solemnly impelled to investigate the sources of an evil which we deeply deplore, and to inquire where lies the responsibility of it, and whether there is not an available remedy. The temperate tone of the subjoined communication will we doubt not commend it to our readers, and we are not without hopes that our publication of it may do much good.
1.-BRIEF NARRATIVE. Before the year 1800, only a small legal trade in opium was carried on with China. In 1800 the drug was made contraband by the Chinese government on moral grounds; since then the annual drain of silver in payment for opium has embarrassed their very defective monetary system -consisting of ingots of silver and imported dollars—and this has strengthened their opposition to the trade. In spite of this the annual importations rose gradually from
2,000 chests in 1800 to about
1838 previous to the Crisis
74,000 , 1853 The trade was carried on outside the port of Canton, the opium being kept in storeships at the mouth of the river. The merchants sold the drug in Canton, and gave orders for delivery on the ship. These orders were taken to the ship by the Chinese dealers who smuggled the opium into the country, and this is still the general practice at all the ports.
It was not till 1834 that efforts were made to extend the trade along the coast by means of fast-sailing vessels, well armed, chiefly as a precaution against pirates. The authorities made little more than a show of resistance.
Soon after this attempts were made by British merchants to smuggle the drug into the port of Canton, which led to serious disturbances, and had to be discontinued.
The Chinese government had been constantly issuing edicts against the trade, but they had never proceeded to extremities, partly from fear, and partly because the temptations from such a lucrative trade were too strong for the corrupt local authorities. At length, however, the supreme government was driven to take decisive measures, which produced the crisis of 1839.