Page images
PDF
EPUB

ing of the Halifax Union was held in the Square School-room, consisting of what was formerly the Square Chapel. On the erection of the beautiful Gothic building adjoining, the old chapel was converted into a school, not as in many cases, by merely removing the pews and leaving the galleries standing, but the whole interior has been taken away, and an upper floor constructed. This constituted the general school-room, while the lower floor was converted into class-rooms. In addition to this there were the former vestries, so that every convenience was supplied for a large educational establishment. The meeting of the Union was held in the general school-room, which was densely crowded; it was calculated that there were about 700 persons present, and they remained very patiently until a quarter to ten o'clock. The report of the Committee showed how diligently and successfully they had been prosecuting their work.

The Rev. Arthur Hall, of Luddenden Foot, gave an interesting account of himself, and of the school under his care. He said, that fifteen years ago it would have appeared most improbable that he should be addressing such an assembly, for he had then fallen into infidel society, and was engaged in infidel discussions. The only thing that seemed to preserve him from going to the length which some did, was the holy example of his father and mother. When God, by his grace, opened his eyes to see his danger, he returned to Maidstone, his native town, resolved on the very first Sunday to enter a Sunday school, lest, if he delayed, his resolution should give way. He accordingly applied to the superintendent, who listened to him with surprise, but gave him a class, and ever since he had felt a deep interest in the religious instruction of the young. The particulars Mr. Hall gave of his school were highly instructive, as showing how great an improvement might be made in the attendance at many of our schools. The number of scholars, January 1, was 267, which had increased to 275 by the end of March; and the average attendance in January was 81 per cent. in the morning and 83 per cent. in the afternoon; in February, 80 per cent. in the morning, and 82 per cent. in the afternoon; in March, 80 per cent. in the morning, and 84 per cent. in the afternoon; thus shewing an attendance of 4-5ths of the scholars on the books in the morning, and a somewhat larger attendance in the afternoon. The returns as to late attendance were equally gratifying; thus, through the whole month of January, there had only been one teacher and nine scholars late in the morning, and one scholar in the afternoon; while in the whole month of February, there were three teachers and eight scholars late in the morning, and two scholars late in the

afternoon. Mr. Hall said he did not claim any credit for this state of things, because it was only a continuation of that which he found existing when he became pastor of the church with which the school is connected.

On Tuesday morning we left Halifax, and crossed the country to the western shores of our island, and in the society of dear relatives at Southport sought a few days' relaxation from the cares and labours of active life. Here, however, an opportunity was afforded of prosecuting our mission; for, being asked to take part in the proceedings of a meeting of the Evangelical Alliance, we had an opportunity of giving some account of Sunday schools in France, and of referring to the proceedings which took place at the great meeting at Geneva in September, 1861. The close of the week brought us back to our duties in the metropolis, very thankful for the mercy which had accompanied us in our journey, and much strengthened, and, we trust, better fitted for their right discharge. W. H. W.

THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF TALENT.

Sixty-five years ago, a person passing near the military station at the Barriére Poissonnière, in the outskirts of Paris, might have seen a young soldier assisting a market gardener in the cultivation of his plants-now digging, now watering, now weeding, and again gathering the crops from the ground, and packing the fruits in baskets for the markets of Paris. This young fellow was the son of an ostler, and having lately joined the army was lying with his comrades in the neighbouring barracks. He had made a resolution, however, to rise in his profession, and had set himself to work to accomplish his object. His first want was books for the purpose of study, and to supply this he hired himself out during his leisure time to a market gardener, for whom he laboured half a day for fivepence, until he had realized a sufficient sum to purchase the volumes upon which he had set his mind. This done, he set to work with equal diligence to study them, and uniting a practical attention to the details of his profession with personal bravery in the field, he rose by degrees to the command of an army; and though he died at the early age of twenty-nine, he left a name behind him which will demand and obtain honourable mention so long as the wars of Napoleon are matters of history. The voluntary labourer of the gardener died as General Hoche.-Old Jonathan.

TWILIGHT ON SABBATH EVE.

I LOVE the Sabbath twilight, when a hush,
Holy and calm, succeeds the toil of days,
When Heaven seems opened, and we hear the gush
Of angel voices pouring hymns of praise.

All Sabbath hours are hallowed, but when shades
Of evening gather silently around-
When from our eyes the sunlight softly fades,
And shining dew-drops kiss the thirsty ground,

Then God comes down, and in His garden walks,
Makes each pure heart His favourite retreat;
With the faint spirit in mild accents talks,

As friend and friend hold mutual converse sweet.

Now one by one the stars begin to shed

A lustre fairer than earth's richest gems,
The dust of Heaven, shaken out, and overspread
Above our heads, like myriad diadems-

All tell of Him whose presence makes them bright,
Who far beyond our mortal ken abides;

Of a pure realm unvisited by night,

Where neither toil, nor care, nor sin betides.

Thus sweetly closes in the day of rest,
And as we near the busy world again,
"Tis in this parting hour, so calm and blest,
That we a clearer glimpse of Heaven obtain.

In silence hearts grow rich. The gentle showers
Upon the fainting earth fall noiselessly;

And so our God His sacred Spirit pours,
Our waiting souls to cheer and sanctify.

Thus outer shadows deepen; but within,

There beams and brightens into " perfect day," A radiance of celestial origin,

Cloudless, serene, that shall not fade away!

ION.

MAKE YOUR HOME PLEASANT.

A CHILD may as easily be led to associate pleasure with home ideas as to think of it in connection with the home of his playmates. Certainly, if allowed to do so, he can as readily connect happiness with parents, brothers, and sisters, as with those of other kin. And a child will do so unless happiness and pleasure when he calls for them under the parental roof, respond "Not at home!" All home pictures should be bright ones. The domestic hearth should be clean and joyous.

If home life is well-ordered, the children having, according to age, work-time, play-time, books, games, and household sympathies, they will love and find pleasure there.

Give the little ones slates and pencils, and encourage their attempts to make pictures. Drawing will amuse them when noisy plays have lost their zest or are unseasonable, and the art will be useful to them in all the business of after life. Have them read to each other stories and paragraphs of your selection, and save the funny things and the pleasant ones you see in papers and books, to read them at your leisure. You cannot imagine how much it will please them, and how it will bind them to you. But choose well for them, for the impression made on their minds now will last when the hills crumble. Have them sing together, and sing with them, teaching them songs and hymns. Let them sing all day, like the birds, at all proper times. Have them mutually interested in the same things, amusements, and occupations, having specified times for each, so that their habits will be orderly. Let them work together-knitting and sewing-both boys and girls. They enjoy it equally unless the boys are taught that it is unmanly to understand girls' work. They should know how to do it, and practically, too, as thereby they may avoid much discomfort in future life. Let them work together in the garden-boys and girls-both need outof-door work. Together let them enjoy their games, riddles, all their plays, books, and work, while the parents' eyes direct and sympathize, and blend in loving accord. Have the children do some little things, daily, for your personal comfort; let them see that it gives you pleasure, and that you depend on them for the service. This will attach them to you more strongly; and if they feel responsibility, even in matters of themselves trivial, and are sure of your sympathy, their affections and joys will cluster around the home hearth.

Children like to be useful; it makes them happy. So give them work-time as well as play-time. But, in any case, and in all cases give them sympathy. Express love for them.

More than building showy mansions,
More than dress and fine array,
More than domes and lofty steeples,

More than station, power, and sway,
Make your home both neat and tasteful,

Bright and pleasant, always fair,
Where each heart shall rest contented,
Grateful for each beauty there.

More than lofty, swelling titles,

More than fashion's luring glare,
More than mammon's gilded honours,

More than thought can well compare,
See that home is made attractive

By surroundings pure and bright-
Trees arranged with taste and order-

Flowers, with all their sweet delight.

Seek to make your home most lovely;
Let it be a smiling spot,

Where, in sweet contentment resting,
Care and sorrow are forgot.

Where the flowers and trees are waving

Birds will sing their sweetest songs;
Where the purest thoughts will linger,
Confidence and love belongs.

Make your home a little Eden;

Imitate her smiling bowers;
Let a neat and simple cottage

Stand among bright trees and flowers;
There what fragrance and what brightness
Will each blooming rose display;
Here a simple vine-clad arbour

Brightens through each summer day.

There each heart will rest contented,
Seldom wishing far to roam;
Or, if roaming, still will cherish

Memories of that pleasant home.
Such a home makes man the better,
Pure and lasting its control;
Home, with pure and bright surroundings,
Leaves its impress on the soul.

-Fireside Monthly.

« PreviousContinue »