Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

N Thursday, 16th January last, a terrible calamity occured at New Hartley Colliery, near Newcastle-on-Tyne. The pit, which had only one shaft or entrance, is 600 feet deep. At the mouth, there was a large steam-engine, with an enormous iron beam

8 feet broad, about half a foot thick, and above forty tons weight, for drawing up the coal, and pumping out the water.

Above two hundred men and boys were in the pit, when suddenly the iron beam broke through the middle, one half of the enormous beam falling down the shaft. It was jammed across about half way down, killing five poor fellows who were coming up the pit at the time. A mass of timber and rubbish fell upon it, stopping up the whole passage downwards, and the mouth of the pit was thus shut, closing in the poor miners, and leaving no other way of escape.

From the Thursday till Wednesday, 22d January, engineers and workmen were working with all their might to open an entrance, and get down to the buried men. Up to the Saturday, they heard the prisoners knocking and shouting from below. On the Wednesday afternoon three men got down ; but, alas ! it was too late. They found their poor companions lying dead in heaps, partly killed by hunger, and partly suffocated by the stifing foul gas of the pit.

Many of those who have perished, left clear evidence behind them that they were children of God, and that they fell asleep in Jesus. In the pocket of Amour, ån overseer, who was among the dead, the following was found written in his memorandum book :

“ Friday afternoon, half-past two. Edward . Armstrong, Thomas Gledson, John Hardie, Thomas Bell, and others, took extremely ill. We had also a prayerineeting at a quarter to two, when Tibbs, H. Sharp, J. Campbell, H. Gibson, and William Paterson, (the sentence is unfinished). Tibbs exhorted to us again, and Sharp also.”

Two hundred and nineteen lives have been lost. These have left behind them one hundred and three widow's, and two hundred and fifty-seven fatherless children. While the men were buried, our beloved Queen, who has been learning so sadly to weep with those that weep, was deeply interested. She sent telegraph messages, hoping they still might be saved. When the worst was known, a letter from her was sent, in which this message was given :

“Her Majesty commands me to say that her tenderest sympathy is with the poor widows and mothers, and that her own misery only inakes her feel the more for them.

“Her Majesty hopes that everything will be done as far as possible, to alleviate their distress, and her Majesty will have a sad satisfaction in assisting in such a

measure.

The men almost all lived in a colliery village close to the pit, where this sad calamity has turned every home into a house of mourning.

Dear young readers, what a lesson to us all. Many of the men who died in that pit are now in heaven. But there is a more terrible pit-the pit of sin. It was that pit of which David said (Psalm lxix. 15), “Let not thc pit shut her mouth upon me,” and of which he sang,–

"He took me from a fearful pit,

And from the miry clay,
And on a rock he set my feet,

Establishing my way.”—(Ps. xl. 2.)

By nature, we are all at the bottom of that pit; and none have been got out of it, but those who have come to Jesus. If we have not Jesus, we are sunk in guilt, sunk in corruption. Jesus is able, Jesus is willing, Jesus is waiting to deliver. He holds out his hand, calling, “I will belp you.” He lets his cords of love, as it were,

his sweet promises, down into the pit, for the poor prisoners to lay hold of, and be drawn up and have their feet set upon a rock.

Are you in your sins,- still in the pit? Or are you in Christ,-delivered, your feet set apon the rock ?

Are you happy? What! happy in the pit! It is only now that you can be delivered. And, reniem ber, you do not need to be changed, or to take any trouble in order to perish. You need only remain where you are, in the pit of sin, till death come, and then, the pit will shut its mouth upon you. Oh, dreadful thought ! to be shut up for ever in the pit that hath no bottom !” weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth!

What sleepless days and nights the poor wives and children spent, while the men were buried! Father, mother, have you a boy, or girl, whom you know is yet in the pit of sin ? Have you no anxiety about thenı ? Will you not warn them? If death make the pit shut her mouth on them, they are lost for ever!

THE QUEEN AND “THE SILENT COMFORTER." In the town of Kildare, in Ireland, lives one of the best of men as curate – the Rev. T. D. Harper. He has established a private printing-press, and carries on all the work of printing, partly by his own hands. From his press are issued a great many valuable little works, and amongst these, one which he has prepared and published, and called by him The Silent Comforter. It is printed in three parts, in large clear type, for the aged to read it. Last summer this little work was brought under the notice of her Majesty, and she procured three copies of it. One of these was sent to Prussia to the Crown Princess, another copy to another exalted individual, and the Princess Alice carried the third copy with her own hands to a sick girl dying near the Palace from consumption. Since the death of the Prince Consort, the Rev. Mr. Harper has received an order direct from the palace for a number of his little work, The Silent Comforter, and an order for a larger number for the use of all the household of the palace. - Rev. Mr. Henderson, Chaplain at the Curragh Camp, Ireland.

THE BAKERS AND SABBATH WORK.

The bakers of Wick and Pulteneytown have come under a voluntary obligation that they will not perform, or cause to be performed, any bakehouse work on Sabbath after the 1st February. A plan has been devised by an Edinburgh baker, whereby bread can be produced at an early hour on Monday morning without requiring that any work be done on the Sabbath.

INDIA.

CALCUTTA.

We deeply regret to learn that the state of Dr. Duff's health has forced him to seek, for a time, retirement and change of air. After struggling with bodily illness for many weeks, he went, for change of air, to Ranchi, Chota, Nagpore. It is cause of much thankfulness to know that he was already beginning to feel the benefit of the change; so that now he is hopeful, by God's blessing, of renewed health.

MADRAS.

Examination of Girls' Schools. The annual examination of all the schools was held on the 19th November. Lady Denison presided, taking the deepest interest in the proceedings. She suggested many questions to me to be put to the girls. A very large number of our friends were present, the largest number ever present at any examination. Everything went on quietly and well.-—

Rev. Mr. Campbell.

BOMBAY.

Hindoo Girls' Boarding-School. DURING the past year one of the pupils of the “mission house school” has embraced Christianity, and since been married to a convert. Her case is one of peculiar interest, as, at her birth, she was devoted to the goddess Bhavani. She received special instruction before her baptism. She appears to feel what she owes to the grace of God for her deliverance from ruin, and her being brought into the told of the Good Shepherd.—Rev. Dr. Wilson.

A Lamb taken Home. In the Mission House there died lately Isabella W. Mazda, the daughter of one of the catechists of the mission, aged ten years, who displayed, during her long illness, remarkable Christian 'intelligence and relish for

« ZurückWeiter »