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revulsion, which the Jew would feel for the sentence passed by a foreign judge, the just contempt for the despicable character of the Governor who could in words acknowledge innocence, but dared not carry out his conviction in deed. The whole of our Lord's ministerial life must indeed have been a long wrestling (if one may so say) with the feeling of being misjudged, doubted,and the climax must have been when He stood before the Roman judge, having at last found one who did recognise in Him something more than human (for this Pilate evidently did), and yet had the miserable meanness to give Him up to His enemies.

Crucified. That is the sharper, more terrible agony, sent but to the few. One almost trembles to think of what it must have been, when one has had no experience of any fierce trial of pain oneself. But if it should come, there will be the thought of Him to give strength;-His few words, His overwhelming sense of desolation, the crushing power of that horrible torture, all aggravated beyond aught that we can imagine by His mental agony, by the weight of sin! So, when we can scarcely pray, or think, or speak, He will understand our helplessness better than any human friend; far, far better. It will surely recall to Him His own hour of exceeding suffering; and the ministering angelHe, Himself-will come to aid us.

Dead. The word marks the end of all human suffering, trial, pain, anxiety. As far as this world is concerned, it brings one to a blank wall, beyond which it is impossible to pass. We are so accustomed now to carry our thoughts beyond death, to look upon it as the portal of a new life, which in fact it is, that we are in danger of forgetting the other side of the future, and the lessons taught by it. The human side of death, if one may so call it, is the test of the value of all things human; it shows their nothingness. And it would not only warn, but soothe us to think of it. We should take our little cares and troubles more patiently if we could remember how soon death must put an end to them. To our Blessed Lord that human side of death must, one would think, have been very comforting, yet very sorrowful; comforting for Himself, sorrowful for those whom He had come to save. It was the end of His work amongst His own nation especially. He would have no more toil, anguish, agony; but those whom He so loved would have no more warning, example, exhortation. The Jews had had their day, and they had rejected Him. Dead! gone for ever, finished for

ever! If that were the motto of life, how differently for the most part would life be spent.

Buried. There is not only an end of the earthly past so that there shall be no continuance, but it is also buried and forgotten, it will never rise again. It is very difficult to realise this, and yet we experience it continually. By far the larger portion of all that we have enjoyed, or possessed, or thought of, or cared for, is buried, absolutely gone. True there is a seed either of good or evil in all, which must appear again at the resurrection and in the judgment; but apart from this seed, all which surrounded, enclosed it, as it were, has been buried, and will no more come forth again than the diseased, decayed flesh, buried in the grave, will come forth. That which has not the stamp of Heaven upon it, has no germ of immortality within it. Life, true life on earth, resolves itself into a very small compass, when we think of this. The old man who has lived eighty years without God, who has done nothing for God, who has had affections, interests, possessions, unhallowed by the thought of God, will have had no life in the strict sense of the word; no life, that is, to rise with him from his grave; whilst the young man who may have spent but fifteen or twenty years in the service of his Maker, will have a long life to show when summoned before the judgment-seat. This question of the length of our lives, and the value of our possessions, is a very important one. It is strange that the constant death and burial of the things we most prize does not force it upon us more strongly.

There was that even in the burial of Christ which had no resurrection; human weakness, infirmity, the natural flesh and blood which could not inherit the kingdom of Heaven, the corruption which could not inherit incorruption, the circumstances of His earthly position, His human needs, all things which surrounded Him but which were not of Him; but whatever belonged essentially to Himself could not but have in it the seed of Immortality.




It is frequently said that there is no prettier sight than a fleet of herring-boats putting out to sea. A pretty sight truly this is, yet surely all interested parties would declare with one voice that there is one which surpasses it-that, namely, of the boats coming in again well laden with fish-a sight, unfortunately, too seldom seen this season at the chief centres of the 'late fishing' on the east coast of Scotland, hardly one of which has done an average business, while not one has had a really good 'feshin'.'

But after three clear weeks at Peterhead, chiefly memorable for mutual condolences upon the lateness of the season, the winds, the tides, etc., etc., one bright breezy morning saw the boats returning one after another, most of them well filled with shining silvery herring. The whole town was astir as if by magic. Instead of the few silent quiet groups of lookers-on-fishermen who had not been out, wives watching for their 'men's' boats, girls and women from various parts of the country in their short serge skirts, bright-coloured bodices, and little shawls, knitting busily as they sadly answered, 'No much' to any enquiry concerning that which was 'daily bread' to them all-the groups were multiplied manifold. Every harbour, every quay saw them looking eagerly into the holds of the boats as they lay alongside, while their crews quietly but busily folded nets gleaming with silvery scales, picked out here and there the few fish still clinging to them, throwing them as they did so to swell the glittering heap below, which, meanwhile, was with all speed conveyed into baskets by means of wooden shovels, and thence emptied into carts, to be carried straight to the yard of the curer who had just bought the boat's cargo by sample in one of the sale-rooms whose bells had been tinkling at short intervals ever since the boats began to come in.

But where are our trim, tidy, picturesque fisher-lassies, with their half-knit stockings or jerseys in their hands? Promptly

transformed into women of business, in their working suits, i.e. their oldest clothes, wearing overskirts of black or occasionally yellow oilskin with square bibs, each with a clasp-knife or flat tin dish in her hand, hurrying off to the yards in groups or 'crews' of three, bright, eager, and happy in the prospect of a good day's work.

Let us follow some of them for a few moments to the yard where their work awaits them. Soon we come to a long, rough, wooden building presenting to the road a row of openings closed at pleasure by wooden shutters, which, however, are all raised now. There is one of the fish-carts with its precious freight slipping and sliding backwards and forwards with each jolt of the vehicle. See, it backs against one of these openings, and, in less time than it takes to describe it, the contents are tilted through the aperture into the long, deep wooden trough which runs down nearly the whole side of the building. Men with wooden shovels distribute the fish in layers of equal thickness in the trough, each layer being instantly well scattered with a thick sprinkling of coarse salt. Another and another cart-load of fish speedily make a good show in the trough, on the other side of which a row of women and girls are already at work. With incredible speed and with one dexterous slash of the knife, the throat of a fish is cut, and the gills, etc., twisted out, while, with the same movement as it were, the fish itself is thrown behind the worker into one of the three baskets or tubs which stand ready, thus 'gipping' and sorting in one process. Before long these baskets, albeit good-sized ones, are filled; then the women snatch them up, two between three, and run with them to the part of the yard where the packing is done. Back fly the two 'gippers' to their work, leaving the packer to fill the barrels, which stand open and on end before her, with the three qualities of fish-viz. 'fulls' (pronounced 'fools'), 'small fulls' (technically matties'), and 'spents.' More and more salt is sprinkled on the fish during the process of packing, for which some women have a wonderful aptitude. Very hard work it is; for while the barrel is almost empty, not only both arms, but the whole head and shoulders of the packer completely disappear inside, and the labours of the two 'gippers' keep her constantly employed. After a day or two the fish settle' in the barrels, which are then filled up, and the process is completed by the pouring in of as much strong brine as can find its way between the interstices of the layers of herring.

Much of the fish prepared in this way is sent to our various colonies, but the chief markets are Germany and Russia.

Many yards are arranged to contain several long troughs or 'farlins,' on all four sides of which the gippers stand; and here and there we find some with no shelter at all-not even a rough roof over them. To be sure the feshin'' is summer work, but summer is not invariably warm or dry in Scotland; and many an hour-nay, many a day-must these hardy lassies stand at their work, a Scotch mist, i.e. fine rain, overhead and their feet in a puddle of salt and water.

One would think that a steady day's work of this kind must exhaust the energies of the strongest, and that the weary lassies, on the instant of release from toil, would creep away to a meal and a rest, with scarcely a word to say for themselves. However, the writer saw one evening a whole party of girls at one end of the gipping-shed, work being just over, but the farlins not yet cleaned, intently watching the intricacies of a Scotch reel danced by three of their number with the utmost spirit and precision, the music being chanted by themselves.

The whole picture was unique and quaint in the extreme-the figures of the foreground in the half-light caused by the roof of the shed, with the yard and a hundred or two of barrels behind them; the dancers still wearing (and occasionally extending) their soiled and shabby oilskin petticoats; the Gaelic tune sung with a slightly nasal intonation irresistibly suggestive of bagpipes; the crossing, the setting, etc., performed with almost mechanical regularity; the proceedings diversified now and again by the fall into the midst of the group of a worthless herring or a stray small mackerel, launched by one of the lads who were hovering about the party. Dancing must indeed be an instinct of nature, to be so performed, or indeed performed at all under such circumstances.

One peculiarity of the fish-curing work is the uncertainty of the hours. Boats may come in loaded with herring at any moment of the day or night. Thus, after an utterly idle day, work may begin late in the evening, and continue without intermission until the 'small hours'; and it is no uncommon thing to hear of girls leaving the yards about three, and being recalled to them at five or six A.M., it being absolutely necessary that the fish should be preserved as soon as possible after being taken out of the water.

A walk among the yards at ten or eleven o'clock at night after

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