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you, however, is their spiritual destitution-and I only mention these facts of their deep poverty, to show you how utterly unable they are to provide for their own spiritual wants, and how much they need help from us. In the Western Highlands, there is one large district of country, said to be about 300 miles in extent, near Fort William, and containing 20,000 inhabitants, without one Free Church minister. In one of the larger islands, where there are twelve congregations, there is but one ordained minister, with two young assistants, to minister to them; and in some of the other islands, where there are hundreds and thousands of souls, there are no ministers at all! It is for the benefit of such destitute places as these that a nice little vessel called "the Breadalbane" has been provided, to carry about any Gaelic minister who can be spared for a few weeks to go and preach to these people occasionally. It is a joyful sight to the poor Highlanders when the white sails of the Breadalbane are espied off their coasts. Whatever day it may be, or whatever time of the day, they leave their employments and hurry down to the beach, men, women, and children, in hopes that the minister may land and give them a sermon; for their souls are hungry -very hungry for the bread of life. Last autumn, some friends of mine were living for a short time on one of these islands where there is no Free Church minister. One day the joyful tidings were brought, that on the following Sabbath a minister would come and preach one sermon to them; but as he had to preach on the mainland in the morning, he could not be with them before twelve A.M., when Gaelic service would commence. It was also intimated that at two P.M., a short address would be given in English. On the Sabbath morning, as early as five or six o'clock, hundreds of the people began to assemble on the cliffs overhanging the sea, and commenced their look-out for the little vessel. By twelve, when the Gaelic service was to have commenced, hundreds more were to be seen on the beach, besides those on the cliffs, straining their eyes in the direction that the Breadalbane was expected to come; whilst many others, chiefly the old people, were assembled in a large boat shed-their only place of worship-some sitting in the boats which were in it, and others sitting on the ground. At two o'clock my friends, accompanied by

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some English-speaking servants, repaired to the place of meeting to avail themselves of the benefit of the address in English, when they found the Highlanders still waiting and longing for the minister, who had never arrived. They took their places in the boat-house amongst the people, when, after waiting about half an hour, an old woman, who had been sitting up at the end of the shed from whence she had a view of the sea, gave an alarming scream, and, jumping up with the aid of her stick, she hurriedly made her way towards the entrance, over the people and dogs who were crowded together on the ground; for you must know, that in the Highlands the dogs accompany their masters to worship, and behave very well too. "What is the matter with the old woman? "said one of my friends. "Oh! Flora sees the Breadalbane coming," answered a Highlander, "and she is away down to the shore to welcome the minister," Now I must tell you that the minister was quite a stranger to old Flora and to the rest of the people; but he was a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ's, coming with a message of salvation to them, and that was enough to make him right welcome to these simple-hearted people, Stormy weather on these dangerous coasts had caused the delay in the arrival of the vessel. Indeed, it was with difficulty that the Breadalbane had made out the voyage at all; and now that the minister was come, he was so faint and ill, that he had to be assisted from the shore up to the shed, and some doubts were entertained as to whether he should be able to preach. However, after a time, he revived sufficiently to commence worship; this he did by reading out a psalm, first in English, and then in Gaelic, after which he made a few remarks on it in English, when all joined in singing it; and if the Gaelic manner of singing sounded wild and uncouth to English ears, we doubt not but that it was joined with much melody of heart, and that it was a song of joy and praise which entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.* The English part of the service being con

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* Some of our readers may not be aware how very different the Gaelic singing is from what we are accustomed to. There are only six tunes used among them; and these are of a very singular character. The effect produced on a Lowlander, when first hearing this singing from the lips of thousands of worshippers, is overpowering. At the Inverness Assembly in 1845, many

cluded by prayer, in which "the English strangers " were particularly remembered, my friends, with a few others who did not understand Gaelic, left the congregation to enjoy their share of the bread of life, and went home, considering themselves well repaid for a walk of ten miles by the half hour's service they had enjoyed. I will now just mention two other cases, to prove the longing desire of both old and young in the Highlands after the more solemn ordinances of God. How much of David's spirit they seem to feel, as expressed in the 84th Psalm, 1st and 2d verses! The first is that of an old woman of above eighty years of age, a member of the island congregation of which you have just been reading; her name is Eppy, and she is a great friend of Flora's who went so quickly down to the shore to welcome the minister. She did not learn to read till she was old, and she cannot understand very well what she reads; but she has a Gaelic Bible which she generally carries in the folds of her plaid, that she may never lose an opportunity of having a bit of it read to her when she comes across any one who is kind and learned enough to do so. One Wednesday morning, it was discovered that Eppy's house was shut up and its inhabitant gone. At first the neighbours wondered where she could be, as she was very infirm, and it seemed with some difficulty that she could hobble from one door to another. They were afraid she might have fallen over the rocks into the sea, and have been drowned; but after a time they remembered that the communion was to be celebrated at Fort William, about forty miles off, and their anxiety was somewhat relieved by thinking that perhaps she might have gone there. A week passed away and still no tidings of Eppy; it was not till the following Friday evening that she returned to her island hut, much exhausted in body, but strengthened and refreshed in spirit. She had been to the communion at Fort William. If she had possessed eightpence, she might have got up had the opportunity of hearing it for the first time. It was so remarkable for wildness as well as sweetness, that Mr Hately was requested to preserve the music. It was accordingly taken down from the lips of the best singers, subject to the examination of many Highland ministers and others able to judge in such a case; and was published precisely as obtained-nothing added-nothing taken away. A few copies of this musical curiosity are still in the hands of Mr Johnstone, 15 Princes Street.

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in a steamer in the course of an afternoon, but she had only three-halfpence in the world; so with this in her pocket she made out her journey by land and water in the following manner: In the first place, she got a friend to take her in his boat to the mainland, a voyage of ten or twelve miles over a wild edging arm of the sea. She then walked the remaining thirty miles at the rate of about eight miles a-day, finding a friendly welcome with a dry heather bed, and a piece for her supper from the various cottages where she had begged a night's lodging.

The other story is about a very young person hungering and thirsting after the presence of God. In one of the mountainous districts of Ross-shire, a large multitude was assembled one Sabbath morning to attend on the celebration of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. The action sermon was concluded the tables were fenced-that is, the address was given by the clergyman to the people, describing the character of such as should come forward to the ordinance, also of such as should stay away. The communicants had taken their places at the Lord's table, when it was observed that a little bareheaded, barefooted child, of a mean and ragged appearance, had taken her place amongst the others there also. The officiating minister made a sign to one of the elders to have the child removed. Accordingly he went up to her and said, "My child, you have mistaken your place." "Is this the Lord's table, sir?" interrupted the child. "Yes," replied the elder. "Then, sir, I am not mistaken," said the little girl; "I heard that Jesus would be at his own table here to-day, and I have walked thirty miles across the mountains this morning to meet with Jesus. I pray you let me sit still." She was allowed to remain; but after the conclusion of the service, she was taken before the minister and elders, to be examined as to her fitness to have been a communicant, when they found reason to believe that she was indeed a friend of the Lord Jesus Christ-a child of God-and as such had a warrant from God to take her place amongst his children, and eat of "the children's bread."

Now, dear children, these stories are not written merely to amuse you for a little, and to be forgotten almost as soon as you have finished reading them, but with a prayerful hope that some good may result from

them, both to yourselves and the subjects of them, viz., the poor destitute Highlanders-destitute, as I have explained to you, both of food for their bodies and souls. Compare your own case with this think upon the long toilsome walk of the old woman, whose age and infirmity would render it doubly painful; also of the little girl treading alone a rugged, stony mountain path for thirty miles-if any path there was with her naked, tender feet; and see whether your love to God and his ordinances would have carried you through half of their difficulties. May not such cases as these reprove some of my dear young friends, who think a few miles on a good smooth road a long way to go to church? also such as stay away from church because they want shoes and stockings, or because they think that their clothes are not good enough? That you should go to church as clean and tidily dressed as your circumstances admit of, is quite right, but do not stay away a single Sabbath because you cannot get better things. Remember how the little girl you have been reading about went to meet with Jesus, although she had but a ragged dress, and no bonnet, and no stockings and shoes; and am sure I may add, that Jesus met with her, and blessed her notwithstanding. Above all, these stories may reprove all who find the service of God a weariness. Ah! consider that if you do not love the service of God here, you have the greatest reason to fear that you are not fit for joining in the service of God above.

EDINBURGH ORIGINAL RAGGED
SCHOOLS.

MY DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS,-I lately addressed you on a subject which is very interesting to every good personnamely, the poor little ragged boys and girls, of whom it is not too much to say, that they are the most miserable creatures in Great Britain. I hope you have been thinking about them, and asking questions about them, If you have, you must have learned that, of all human beings, they most need your sympathy and help. They are in a worse condition than the heathen; for, although they are living in a land on which the light of the blessed gospel has been for abundantly shed, they nevertheless are altogether igno

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