Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[graphic]
[ocr errors]

GEORGE STEPHENSON

AND HIS SON ROBERT.

which grew

The home in which George was born is situated about eight miles from Newcastle-on Tyne, in the colliery village called Wylam. It was, like the other cottages in the village, unplastered, had a clay floor, and was open to the rafters. “Old Bob," the father of George, had a deserved reputation for industry and carefulness; he was much respectcd amongst his humble neighbours. He was fond of birds, he loved children, and could tell a good story. Mabel Stephenson is described as a "rale canny body”-held in high repute by the wives of the village. “Old Bob” worked at the Wylam colliery; for his services as fireman at the pumping engine he received twelve shillings per week, upon which he had to keep the eight members of his family. Paying for the schooling of any of the children out of that pittance was of course out of the question. But the father could teach George something

- he could take him birdsnesting, and give him a love for natural history, as well as make him industrious. This he did, and his lessons were never forgotten.

George's first employment was to carry his father's dinner to the engine-house, and to

amuse the children - keeping them out of the way of the waggons, which ran

on the tram-way before his father's cottage. When he had at. tained his eighth year, he was employed by a farmer to take care of the cows, and to close the gates at night after the waggons had passed through. For these various duties he received twopenco per day. The spare time which these occupations left him was devoted to modelling engines in clay, and making imaginary steam-pipes from the reeds

around him. When George grew older, and more able to work, he was set to lead the horses in ploughing, and to lioe turnips, at the aulvanced wages of fourpence a day. Then he was taken

at the colliery as picker," at sixpence a day, whence he was advanced to be driver of the gin-horse at eightpence. He had determined to be an engineman; and great therefore was his exultation, when, at about fourteen years of age, he was appointed fireman, at the wages of one shilling a day; when he was raised to twelve shil. lings per week, he exclaimed, ia the pride of his elevation “ Now I'm a made man for life !”

When he was eighteen years of age, he learned that all the details of the engines

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

a

His Melville

74

made by Watt and Bolton were described in books. This was All these to be completed within eighteen months from the 1st

January, 1853. incentive enough to learn to read. He went, grown man as he

It is gratifying to find that the boon which the Bible Society was, to a night-school, at threepence a week, to learn the

purpose conferring upon China is so highly appreciated by our alphabet. By practising “pot-hooks” in his spare moments, by

Missionary Brethren; and that, forgetting all denominational the time he was nineteen he could write his own name. When

differences, these devoted evangelists are, in a spirit of such union George had attained his twentieth year, his wages were from and ardour, planning the mode of carrying the Society's intention

into effect. thirty-five to forty shillings per week. In order to increase

Dr. Medhurst further writes But if the Bible Society have these earnings, he learned to make and mend the shoes of his

resolved to publish a million New Testaments, what is the Lonfellow workmen. After working about three years as breaks

don Missionary Society going to do? Something corresponding, man at Willington, George removed to Killingworth, about

it is to be hoped—something worthy of the occasion, and suitseven miles north of Newcastle. Here, he lost his excellent

able for the reputation of the Protestant institution which first wife-his dearly-loved Fanny, who left him with one child-the embarked in the cause of China's evangelization. The Insurgents, world-famed Robert. While mourning his loss, George had a on the 28th of October, were at Jin-Khew, within 100 miles of situation offered him to superintend an engine near Montrose. Pekin, with a broad paved carriage-road before them. Thus their This invitation he accepted, and, leaving Robert in charge of a

affairs now look more prosperous

than ever. In the mean time,

should they prove successful, and open the country to Missionneighbour, set out with his kit upon his back, and accomplished

aries, what means and agents have we at hand to avail ourhis long journey on foot. During his absence, his father, old

selves of this Providential opening? At Shanghae, at present, Robert Stephenson, met with an accident while making some

you have only five Missionaries ; one incessantly engaged in repairs to an engine ; he had been severely scorched, by which attending to the wounded, among whom he has performed uphis eyesight was destroyed. George's first act, on his return, wards of a dozen operations, by amputating legs and arms, in

about a inonth. Another is already, and will now more than ever was to pay out of the £28—his year's savings—£15, the amount of his father's debts. He soon after removed his parents

be, uninterruptedly engaged in the printing department; leaving

only three who can be employed in preaching the Gospel.' to a comfortable cottage near his own.

The directors of the London Missionary Society have anticiHe was anxious at this time to send his son to school. He

pated the appeal. They have brought the claims of China promihad, in his own instance, found out the value of education, and

nently before their constituents, who have so responded that upresolved that Robert should have the advantages of which he had wards of £10,000 have been subscribed to a fund instituted spebeen denied.

cially for the transmission of Missionaries to China; and the In 1822, George obtained his first railway engineering

directors are now diligently employed in seeking ten apostolic

men, suited for the momentous work of preaching the everlasting appointment. When the Stockton and Darlington Railway was

Gospel to the myriads who inhabit the celestial empire.' projected, George offered his services to the director; he was appointed to the responsible position of engineer to the company, at a salary of £300 per annum. In September, 1825, the line was opened, and was found to work excellently, the traffic in

LIBERALITY. goods and passengers being beyond expectation. The next im

'Fear not, rich saints, to turn your gold to seed, portant work which George undertook was the surveying of the

And sow it in the fields of poverty ; Manchester and Liverpool Railway. When the bill for the

A glorious crop-beyond your hopes-will rise, railway was introduced into the House of Commons, a committee

And well reward your kindness. Ye shall reap examined George, subjecting him to a severe cross-examination

of present benefit an hundred-fold, upon his plans. After examining George for three days, it was

And future sheaves of everlasting good. deemed advisable to withdraw the bill, but the directors, with

The kindness of his creatures to Himself,

The Saviour condescended to accept ; great spirit, ordered a fresh survey. This time the bill passed

And still their kindness to his saints he deems the Commons. George received the appointment of chief

Of the same worth, and owns it done to Him. engineer to the works, at a salary of £1000 per annum.

This is the bank where wealth accumulates He died on the 12th of August, 1848, in the 67th year of

Beyond all reckoning. Trust the Lord with all, liis age, leaving his son Robert to carry out many noble monu.

And cent per cent, by hundreds multiplied, ments to perpetuate for all time the genius and perseverance of

Will pour with interest on your growing stock. the Stephensons. Robert died in bis 57th year, and was buried

There lay your bags-no iron bars nor bolts

Are needful to secure them. There no rust · in Westminster Abbey.

Can their pure worth reduce. No thief can steal
The wealth entrusted in the Saviour's hand ;

Nor can his credit fail whose word is truth,
CHINA.

And his vast property the universe.

O then, remember what the Lord hath said,
NEW TESTAMENTS AND MISSIONARIES.

That “where your treasure is, your heart will be;" An interesting letter has been received from the Rev. Dr.

And trust your heart and riches both with Him.' Medhurst, of Shanghae, in which he says, 'We have just received communications from the Bible Society relative to a million copies of the New Testament, to be printed with all possible speed. The cost will be about 17,0001. Yesterday, the Shanghae Corresponding Committee of the Bible Society met to deliberate on the way

ACTION. in which the said million copies could be produced. There was a delightful harmony prevailing between ourselves and our Epis

"I hope,' says the Rev. Richard Knill, formerly Missionary copalian friends : the latter proposing that the basis of the mil

to India, that, the subject of devoting ourselves and our chil. lion copies should be the last revised edition of the Delegates'

dren to God and to his service, will be more thought of, and Version. The work was divided in the following manner :

more acted upon, than it has been hitherto. I am more

and more convinced, that if St. Paul had ever preached from London Mission Press at Shanghae to print. · Copies 115,000 Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature,

he would have laid great stress on the word go. At your The Bishop of Victoria to print by blocks, at various places 85,000 peril, do not substitute another word for go. Preach is a good

word. Direct is a good word. Collect is a good word. Give is 250,000 a good word. They are all important in their place and can not be dispensed with ; the Lord bless and prosper those who John BUNYAN was born at Elstow, near Bedford, in 1628. are so engaged: but still lay the stress on the word go; for how His father was a travelling tinker, and John was brought up to can they hear without a preacher, and how can they preach except the same occupation. It seems likely that his parents were they be sent ?'

worthy people, for their son was taught to read and write-no Six hundred millions of the human race are in er of mean education at that time for one in such humble life. preishing for lack of knowledge. Who at this moment is John soon fell into bad company, and enlisted into the army preparing to go?

of the Parliamert. He was present at the siege of Leicester, in 1645, being then seventeen years of age. In his book, entitled

'Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners,' he tells us, that, in TRAVELLING.

every respect, he was worse than even the wicked among his

comrades. Whilst pursuing this downward course, he received CULTIVATE knowledge as you travel.

a merciful and sudden check. Passing a group of pious women, History, antiquities,-in cities, towns, churches, castles, ruins,

who were sitting in the sunshine at a cottage-door, he overheard &c.

them speaking in such a way of sin and its danger, and of God's Natural history,- in plants, earths, stones, minerals, ani

mercy in Christ, that he was instantly brought to reflection. mals, &c.

His lively fancy induced him to consider the circumstance as a Cultivate good-humoured contentment in all the little incon

warning from heaven_which, indeed, the result proved it to veniences incident to inns, roads, weather, &c.

have been—for from this time he became a changed man; and Cultivate a deep and grateful sense of the power, wisdom,

his godless companions, finding they could not bring him back and goodness of God, in creation and providence, as successively

to his former evil ways, shunned his society. presented to your notice from place to place.

He gradually became more and more enlightened and estabKeep diaries and memoranda of daily events, places, per- lished in the faith ; and, in 1653, received the rite of baptism sons, objects, conversations, sermons, public meetings, beauties, from Mr. Gifford, of Bedford, a Baptist minister, whose chapel wonders, and mercies, as you travel. Be minute and faithful. he had for some time attended. He himself now walking in the

Ask many questions of such as can afford useful information, right way, could not rest satisfied without trying to draw others as to what you see.

also from the broad road that leads to ruin. In 1656, when Write your diary daily ;-delays are very prejudicial. You twenty-eight years old, he began to preach, and, his former owe a diary to yourself, to your friends left at home, and to history being generallly known, crowds flocked to hear him. your father, who gives you the pleasure and profit of the

jour- Some, þowever, stirred up by a spirit of enmity to the truth, ney.-L. RICHMOND.

determined to stop John's faithful labours. They accomplished their object thus-In Queen Elizabeth's reign an Act had been passed making it a crime, punishable with imprisonment, trans

portation, or death, not to conform to the religious rites and IMPORTANT MEMENTO.

ceremonies which the British statutes prescribed. Bunyan was

indicted by his enemies for violating the law, and on Charles A traveller passing through Savoy came to an inn, and saw the following admonition printed on a folio sheet, and hanging cast as a malefactor into jail. They could not, however, put

the Second's Restoration, they so far succeeded as to have him in its public room : "Understand well the force of the words-A GOD! A MOMENT !

fetters on his heaven-born soul, for when offered his liberty if

he would only promise to abstain from preaching he fearlessly AN ETERNITY! A God which sees thee,-a moment which flies from thee,-an eternity which awaits thee !

replied, 'If you let me out of prison to-day, I will preach A God whom ye serve so ill,-a moment of which ye profit again to-morrow.

In Bedford jail John remained more than twelve years, so little,-an eternity which ye hazard so rashly.'

during which time he supported himself and his family by Moments swiftly fly away,

making tags to laces. It was during this period that he wrote Nothing can compel their stay;

his 'Pilgrim's Progress,' and other works. Dr. Barlow, bishop Whither are they leading me?

of Lincoln, at last obtained his release ; and when James the To a vast eternity!

Second proclaimed liberty of conscience, Bunyan at once resumed his pulpit toils. He was very popular wherever he went. It is said that, during his annual visits to London, three thou

sand persons have assembled on a winter's morning, before THE SLAVE-FOUND DIAMOND.

breakfast, to hear him preach. He died in London of fever,

in the sixtieth year of his age. In our Number for December we gave an account of a How little did those who took away John Bunyan's liberty slave who had found a very valuable diamond, and received

imagine that their wrath would issue in such a widened spread her liberty for honestly delivering it up to her master. The of those glorious truths they wished to suppress ! But it hapjewel has lately reached England from Rio Janeiro, to which pened as in the days of the persecuting emperor Diocletian, place it had been sent, and is now lodged in the Bank for who declared, "The more I sought to blot out the name of safety. At present, the costly gem weighs 254 carats (not | Christ, the more legible it became ; and whatever of Christ I much less than two ounces Troy weight), almost equalling in bulk thought to eradicate, it took the deeper root, and rose the higher, the far-famed Koh-i-noor ; but when cut, it will, doubtless, be in the hearts and lives of men.' much reduced. It is said to be without a flaw, and is estimated, Of the ‘Pilgrim's PROGRESS’ it is said that more copies according to a scale used in jewellery, at no less a sum than

have been printed than of any other book whatever, the Bible £280,000. It seems almost incredible that about two ounces of

alone excepted. Old and young, rich and poor, learned aud uncharcoal, or carbon (of which, in fact, the diamond is composed), learned, alike read it with delight. Dr. Johnson, Dean Swift, should be reckoned worth more than a quarter of a million Cowper, Cecil, Coleridge, and a host of others, have written sterling! It probably will not sell for that amount, there being warmly in its praise. This wonderful work,' says the last so few possessed of wealth enough to give it. Whatever it may writer, is one of the few books which may be read over rerealise, we hope the poor honest slave will again be remembered peatedly at different times

, and each time with a new and by her master.

different pleasure.' One of the most striking proofs of its popularity is the number of translations of the work that have

been made. It exists in, at least, ten of the languages of India. JOHN BUNYAN,

The translator into one of them says, "The book is highly

prized. There seems a peculiar propriety in sending forth this The name of this good man (whose portrait is given in heavenly guide in a land where pilgrims to shrines of idolatry page 76) is a household word amongst us. We have heard it abound, from our childhood as the name of the author of that world

The Editor was one day conversing with a converted Benknown book, "The Pilgrim's Progress.'

gali, who spoke in raptures of the allegory which had been

translated into his native tongue. He was especially delighted answer the purpose. On the Indus, skins, gourds, and large with the description it gave of Vanity Fair, and the indig- earthernjars are all employed. The Madras catamaran is just two nity and ill-usage which the Pilgrim there endured; he himself or three logs or planks of wood tied to each other, the name cata. having met with corresponding

maran signifying bound together. insult and ill-treatment from his

The New Hollanders use a raft own worldly-minded and idol

of mangrove stems, the Arabs loving countrymen.

on the Tigris one of skins coverDR. DUFF, speaking of a

ed with bamboos and planks. young Hindu inquirer, says,

These latter rafts are very He came, with his wife, to my

ancient; representations of them house. She had never seen an

being found on the sculptures European before, and was stand

dug up at Nineveh. Then there ing, wrapped in a cloth, appear

are canoes of many kinds, some ing very timid. She had made

small and slight, others large and up her mind to become a Chris

strong; some made of bark, tian. This being a Hindu ho

some of wood, and others of skins. liday, the house was left with

Among the rudest is that formed only herself and her husband,

of the trunk of a tree merely and the servants. An idolatrous

hollowed out, a work effected in procession was passing along

some instances by means of fire. the streets, the servants went

Then there is the coracle, made to look at it, and the young

of wicker, with a hide stretched man and his wife seized the

over it. This was used by the opportunity to escape. They

ancient Britons, and may still were at that moment reading

be seen in Wales. Some of these the Pilgrim's Progress, and the

canoes carry sails, and very large passage they had come to was

ones too, while others are prowhere Christian resolved to flec

pelled solely by the use of from the City of Destruction.

paddles. Of boats, both open The wife said, 'Is not this our

and decked, there is now an own case ? Are not we in the

endless variety, from the clumsy City of Destruction ? Cannot we flee, too?' They rose up, punt to the elegant gondola. found the doors open, and went out into the street, where they The Greeks in early times turned their attention to the art of got into the first vehicle they found, and drove as fast as pos- ship-building, and possessed the first vessels of war of which we sible to my house. They were soon after baptized, and are have any account. These, however, even the twelve hundred of now burning and shining lights as Christians.'

them which, according to Thucydides, conveyed the warriors to the Part of the work has been printed at Amoy, in China, also ; siege of Troy, were but open undecked boats. The Romans also and as the Chinese are very fond of treatises that appeal to the had their fleets, and our engraving represents two of their galleys imagination, it may be hoped that it will arrest the attention in the act of transporting troops. In battle, the success of every of not a few.

maneuvre, and the event of the fight itself, in great measure deTwo hundred years ago, who would have supposed that a pended upon the discipline and strength of the rowers, whose oars statue of this tinker, soldier, preacher, and prisoner, would one are so conspicuous. When the wind was fair, sails were used, with day grace the New Palace at Westminster ? Yet such, we are or without the oars. Pleasure galleys, especially those of the eminformed, is actually to be the case. But infinitely higher peror, were most superb ; the sails being of silk, the oars gilt, and honours than this pertain to Bunyan, for 'they that be wise the

very ropes dyed with varied hues. (or teachers) shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and The bedchamber-ship’ of PTOLEMY PHILOPATER, king of they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and Egypt, used as a pleasure yacht on the Nile, was perhaps the most ever.'

gorgeous vessel ever built. Her length was 321 feet, breadth 45, and height, including the pavilion on deck, 90 feet. Ivory, gold,

cedar, cypress, and even marble, were all used in constructing this ANCIENT SHIPS.

wondrous vessel, while the sails were made of the finest linen, and

were worked with purple ropes. The most ancient ship it may be supposed was Noah's ark, but As far as can be traced, at the time of JULIUS CÆSAR's invasion this was built for shelter rather than for transport. After the flood, the only vessel possessed by Britons was the coracle. The Anglowhen mankind found it needful to disperse and emigrate to other Saxons much improved this little canoe, but to the great ALFRED ands, they must have contrived some means, doubtless very simple, we are indebted for the first British nary. Our early Norman of crossing the rivers by which their progress was obstructed. kings paid little attention to ships, but in RICHARD THE FIRST'S Wc find that at the present time strcams are crossed in Africa by time, the crusading spirit again made them a matter of public one aid of gourds, one being sufficient to support a man. In the thought and care. Our navy then began to include galleys, large Punjab, inflated buffalo-skins and sheep-skins, or a bundle of reeds, and small, and ships of burden called busses. During the reign

[graphic]

JOHN BUNYAN,

page 75,

[graphic]
[graphic]
[ocr errors]

(See page 78.)

THE HOUSE OF GOD.

« ZurückWeiter »