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dear, dear mamma.” And with a kiss to both of her place of her two sons. What made this room home? parents, Flora left the room.
What was it which, on this cold morning (when all in “What strange fancy is this !" said Mr. Westmore the outer world was dark and drear), made both boys to his wife. “Smitten by a chimney-sweep, is it ?". brighten, and summoned so suddenly to their face a
“Well, dear," was the laughing reply, " I remember cheerful smile? It was their mother. There she sat, well when, as a child, it was the custom (a cruel custom, clean in all her poverty, before a table spread to the best by the way) for children to climb the chimneys, that a of her ability, with bread, herrings, and tea made from little boy of seven years was sent to sweep those in our the leaves given her by some servant, at a house where house. My little heart was full of pity for the poor she charred. Yes, there she sat, the picture of cleanliness, child. I followed him into one room, and when I her eyes filled with patient thankfulness for the mealthought no one was looking, I went up to him, seized eyes that kindled afresh with love, as they gazed on her his little sooty hand, kissed him on the cheek, and then beloved boys. Having first washed their hands from gave him a penny. How delighted the little fellow the soot, Ned and Charlie sat down to their frugal farelooked ! But it appeared afterwards that there had been fare carrying, however, more blessing to them than the an amused observer of the whole scene, and for a long luxurious food spread in the homes of many of the great time I had to bear being laughed at, I can assure you. and rich, because blessed by the grace repeated from Not that this troubled me ; for had I not comforted the thankful, humble, and believing hearts. ill-used, hard-worked orphan boy, with
sym- “Mother dear,” said Charlie, after having told her pathy in the gift of that penny and kiss ?”
how they were kept waiting at the big house, with the “No wonder, then, that Flora has inherited your scolding they both got from the servant-“mother dear, predilections, my dear," was Mr. Westmore's reply. why is all so unjust, dark, and cruel-why must ve “But,” added he, on leaving the room, “I do hope, if suffer day after day, while others have more than they you grant her request, that Miss Prescott will have want?” judgment enough not to take Flora into harm's way- “O Charlie dear, don't talk so! Hasn't God given beware of infection, mind !”
us enough as yet ?” Leaving the home of Flora for a while, let us follow “Yes, mother; but if you had seen the big house we the steps of the two sweeps, as they wend their way went to this morning. They have all that they can back to their sorry breakfast.
want there ; and yet it was there the servant was so “O Ned, how hard things seem in the cold weather, sharp and cruel in manner to us. No wonder I grumble. don't they ?”
She was sharp because we woke her too soon; and yet “Yes, Charlie ; hard enough, most times; but I we went at the right time, as she said. Ned took all shouldn't care half as much if you would only get rid of so quiet; he did. I'm right proud of him, that I am; your cough, it does remind me so of poor father- for I should have said some angry words, only his way that's harder than all to me!" And, as he spoke, Ned stopped me." wrapped round his brother his own larger though well- “I'm glad it did, Charlie; we only lose by being male worn overcoat.
angry, and displease God.” Another fit of coughing prevented Charlie from speak- “But, mother dear, you call him a prayer-bearing ing; then, as it ceased, he threw his arm round his God, and tell me often that he says, 'Call upon Me in brother, and said : “'Tis the soot, I believe, does it; it is the time of trouble, and I will deliver you. Well, we always worse when I come out of a morning to sweep a have gone on asking and calling for help every day since chimney."
poor father died, yet we are no better off—if anything, “Yes,” replied Ned, “I daresay; but the cold has we are worse. Now, if he hears prayer, why is it so ?" most to do with it, I think. Things do seem hard." Because he thinks best, Charlie. Oh, do not talk And the young man drew a long sigh, and walked on in of the great God in such a tone as that, my child. You silence.
are more tired than usual, and that nasty cough pains In a few moments they reached the alley in which you surely, or you would think differently. God is a they lived with their widowed mother. Close as this hearer and an answerer of prayer ; even now be is alley was, her room was beautifully clean and airy, in listening to us, and will answer, though the answer way spite of poverty. The room was small, upon the ground- not come in our way. Remember, we must not look floor, with a window scarcely large enough to admit any upon prayer as a power by which we may bend Gol te light, while it admitted 'wind and rain ; and together our will, or as an instrument by which we may drive with the door, half off its hinges, created a constant him, as it were, to do our bidding, or to give us our draught. Still, in spite of all, this room was "home" desire and want. No; prayer is not these, but the blessed to Ned and Charlie, and they entered it with pleasure way to God, opened by the blood of Jesus ; by which on this morning. A few embers only smouldered in the way man may go, draw nigh to, and speak with his little grate. In a corner of the room was the bed of Maker, tell him his need—leaving him who is all wisWidow Astlake, hidden by a curtain, which divided the dom, love, power, to give or refuse the request, just as room into two parts—the second half being the sleeping- | he thinks best. Depend upon it, Charlie, you and I
have some lesson to learn yet, which God will teach us things. She heard you cough so badly this morning, that by delay, perhaps by denial. Let us, however, still she could not rest until she had brought some things to . call,' still trust. But now it is time for Ned to go to ease it, and cure it, if possible.” work ; we must stop talking, therefore. I wish you, Opening his eyes in wonder, Charlie said : “I never Charlie, to remain at home to-day to help me. With saw her, ma'am ; how could she know anything about that cough you must not go out again into the cold. it?" Indeed, I don't think you must help with the chimneys “When you came to our house this morning, I heard again till it be gone."
you,” said Flora, blushing. “I am afraid Mary did not Then Widow Astlake said grace, and began to move let you in quickly,” she continued. the remnants of the meal. Ned took his cap and went “No, miss ; and she was right cross 'cause we came so out, while Charlie only too willingly obeyed his mother, soon; but it was the time she bid us come,” was Charlie's and sat down to think by the fireside.
“I am sorry for that,” said Miss Prescott;“ but we
are all apt to lose our temper sometimes, and I dare CHAPTER II.
say Mary would feel sorry now for having spoken so
sharply. Come, Flora, open the basket.” The ready CHARLIE's thoughts were soon scattered, however, by fingers soon obeyed, and drew forth some cold chicken, the sight of his mother at work. He could not rest thus. rolls, jelly, with a pot of black-currant jam. “ These So he rose and began to help her in tidying the room; are all for you, Charlie. I hope you will enjoy them. then he filled the empty wood-basket, and assisted in And this is a packet of lozenges for use when your cough preparing their scanty dinner. This done, his mother troubles you." told him to rest well while she went to do a “ hand's- Astonishment made the poor boy silent for a few turn," as she termed it, for a neighbour. Charlie could moments, then he tried to find words with which to not read, though nearly twelve years of age : this was a thank his young friend, but could not get beyond, “Oh, sore trial to himself. Indeed, it was bis one burden, thank you kindly, miss; won't mother be right glad—” all the more heavy because he bore it in silence, well “ Can you read ?" asked Miss Prescott. knowing that his mother could not afford to send him to “No, ma'am,” was the sorrowful reply, while poor school. Neither could she nor Ned teach him, as their Charlie coloured with shame. day's labour was such that at the close they were too “How is that?" tired for any mental effort of the kind. Before his “ Mother can't afford to send me to school, and my cough had become so bad, he had been in the habit of cough's been so bad this winter I couldn't go even to attending a Sunday school. There, however, the boys Sunday school.” were not taught to read, so that all he had learned was in “Would you like to learn at home ?” committing to memory texts of Scripture, hymns, and “'Deed and I should, ma'am.” the remarks of his teacher. Valuable as this knowledge “Well, then, perhaps some way will open before you, was, it was but head-knowledge after all. As yet the by which your desire to read may yet be gratified. Now Spirit of God had not brought Charlie to the knowledge we must go. Good-bye, and tell your mother that Mrs. of Jesus as his own Saviour-his own Friend. As yet Westmore sent these gifts, and will try to come herself his young heart was not given to Him—but to Self. shortly." Thus the trial of not being able to read for himself, with After his visitors had departed, Charlie looked at his all his other burdens, seemed to him greater than he gifts, covered them with a cloth, and longed for his could bear. Life-short as his had been--was bitter to mother's return. Very soon the widow made her aphim, and he had early learned to doubt his mother's pearance at the door. God. Pondering now as he sat by the fire over the “O mother, guess what's happened while you have words spoken by his mother at the breakfast-table, try- / been away ?” ing to understand them- to make them square with his “I'm sure I can't guess, my boy ; something good, I own ideas of things—the morning passed rapidly away. should say, from your look." A little before noon, he was startled by a knock at the “Well, look here, mother; guess what's under that door, and still more startled when, in answer to his cloth ?” * Come in," a lady with a little girl about his own age “I can't, dear; has any one been here ?” entered. Quickly rising, Charlie tried to make a bow, “Seems like it, mother ; don't it? Look !” and unand then shyly offered them a chair.
covering the goods, Charlie displayed them to his mother's “ This is Mrs. Astlake's room, is it not ?" said the wondering gaze. lady.
"O Charlie, whoever gave you these ?" “Yes, ma'am.”
“A little lady who heard me cough this morning while “ Then you are her son, I suppose ?”
standing at the big house." As he said these words, a “ Yes, ma'am.”
sudden thought struck the boy. “Mother, and I “Well, then, this little girl has brought you some thought it hard to be kept waiting, yet if I hadn't been,
the little lady wouldn't have heard me cough, and I disappointment—"suppose you ask him to visit Charlie, shouldn't have had these nice things, so it was good after inviting him to the Sunday school by way of beginning; all. O mother-"
and then, if his mother can spare him during the week, Ah, my boy, it was best. You see it now. May you I will pay the school fee for one year's attendance at the learn to believe in future that all is best, because God National School, till we see what the boy is made of." orders all, without waiting to see it so; but now our “Oh, thank you, dear papa. I thought my plan first duty is to thank God for these good things, for they capital, but yours is ever so much better. Now, I nust are his.” And kneeling down, the poor widow poured out say "good-night.'” her heart in simple words of thanks before the Lord, and “Good-night, darling; do not dream of your sweep." prayed that she and her children might learn to trust “Perhaps I shall,” said Flora, kissing her father as him more firmly in future.
he bent over her with a look of fond affection. Then, Rising from their knees, Charlie turned to his mother bounding from the room, she hastened to the nursery in and said, “I think God bears your prayers now.” search of her mother.
What a happy meal was that! Nor was Ned forgot- “Hush, pet, baby is asleep!” whispered Mrs. Westten, though absent. A good piece of chicken and bread was put by for him in the cupboard, by the loving hands Flora stepped quietly up to her mamma, threw her of his mother, for his evening meal.
arms around her neck, and whispered, “Good news, “Did my pet find her sweep ?” was the question of mamma. Papa has promised to send Charlie to school Mr. Westmore that evening when sitting by the fire for a whole year!” after tea, with Flora on a stool at his feet.
Mrs. Westmore gazed on her little girl, whose eyes “Oh yes, papa; and he is such a nice clean boy-his were beaming with joy at that moment,—with unselfish face is not at all black at home.”
joy, too,-for she was rejoicing in the good that was “I
suppose he washed the soot off then in expecta- coming to another. Drawing her closely to her, she said tion of
with all the sympathy that Flora could desire, “I am “Now, papa, you are joking. You know he did not truly glad, my darling, for I very much regret having know that I was going.”
lost sight of Widow Astlake for so long a time.” “Very well, dear; and how did he receive you ?" “May I go to Uncle Sanar to-morrow?"
“He was shy, but nice, and thanked me, looking so “Yes, after lessons.” pleased at the good things sent by mamma. His cough “ Thank you, mamma. I know he will help, because is dreadfully bad, though."
he is so kind; and I hope he will teach him too, because “Poor boy! What is his age
he is so clever, and can make children understand so “I think he is as old as I; but we did not ask. We easily. How simple all he says on Sunday is! Why, I found him all alone, sitting by the fire in a very small can make out all his meaning when he preaches, so perroom, with very little in it. I am sure they must be haps he will teach Charlie to love the Lord Jesus. O very, very poor."
think of that!” “Does he go to school ?”
“Let us hope so, dear. But what makes you think “No, papa; and that is what I want to talk to you that uncle can do this, and why do you wish it so about. Do you know that I have a capital plan in my much ?” head ?”
“Because uncle has taught me to love Him," said “Do I know, Flora ? How can I till you tell me?” Flora, bending low, and speaking softly. said Mr. Westmore, smiling at his little daughter's eager- “Good-night, darling ; now go,” said Mrs. Westmore,
kissing her, while her own eyes filled with tears. She “Now, papa, be serious, please, and listen to me, for had no answer to make to this remark of her child, so it is quite serious, I can tell you."
took refuge in dismissing her to bed; but as the door “Well, then, little woman, go on, and let me hear all closed upon Flora, the heart's cry of her mother tas that you have to say, for I am all attention."
this : “Oh, that I too knew, and loved, that name! “That is a good papa! Well, I am going to ask Oh, would that I loved my child's Saviour!” But she did Uncle Sanar to help him, and to let him
go to school not ask the Giver of all good gifts to teach her to know without paying, because he is too poor to pay.”
and love Jesus, so, for the present, she went on her way “But, Flora, kind as Uncle Sanar is, I do not think wishing, but only wishing, to be better: sick at heart that it would be right to ask all that of him. Suppose, whenever she thought of the difference between herself instead,” added Mr. Westmore, seeing Flora's look of and her child.
(To be concluded next month.)
BY THE REV. J. A. WYLLIE, LL.D.
IRST, we shall state the value of Pil- of sin, let the reader always bear in mind, but of
grimages. They are not mere la- punishment—will a pilgrimage of a hundred miles bours of love, or purely works of purchase remission of ? Now this is a question
spiritual æsthetics. They are the which it is exceedingly difficult to answer. A offspring of a religion which teaches the devotee pilgrimage of ten miles will, in some cases, earn in every act to have an eye to the main chance. as much as a pilgrimage of a hundred, or even Pilgrimages bear a certain price in the market of a thousand, miles in others. The power of the the Church, or, to make use of language more indulgence - in other words, the amount of punstrictly canonical, in the market of heaven. ishment remitted—is regulated, not by the numThey are paid for in indulgences—a coin struck ber of miles gone, nor by the hardships, perils, nowhere save in the Vatican mint, and which and other annoyances that may infest the road, bears on the one side the tiara and keys, and on but entirely by the holiness of the shrine visited. the obverse a finely executed and very vivid A saint of great merit and fame will entitle his representation of purgatory. An indulgence is devotee to an indulgence of a hundredfold greater an indulgence for what? The shorthand ex- power than can a saint of small consideration, planation which Protestants usually give of this irrespective altogether of the time, toil, or extechnical phrase is that it is an indulgence to sin. penso one may have put oneself to to pay one's Romanists strongly object to this way of putting respects to him. Now this--we say it with it. They maintain that this definition is not much submission--does not appear to us to be accurate; that, in short, it is a malicious falsi- equitable or fair in a mercantile point of view. fication of what the Pope does when he grants And in a religion whose fundamental doctrine is an indulgence. He does not, say they, give a that salvation is of works, all arrangements ought remission of sin ; he gives a remission of punish- surely to be based on the mercantile principle. ment. There are not many people who will see The rewarii rendered ought to bear a strict ratio any difference here. A remission of sin and a to the work done. The ratio ought to be fixed, remission of punishment they will very probably not variable, so that all such anomalies shall be persist in viewing as practically the same thing. avoided as that a man who goes a pilgrimage of a But as this is the way that Romanists put it, hundred miles shall have only a hundred years and, for some reason or other, insist that it shall struck off his term of sojourn in purgatory, while be put, as being the more accurate and the more another
may be, a pilgrimpleasant, we shall, hy all means, put it in this age of only ten miles, shall have a thousand way, and humour them by saying that the coin years subtracted from his allotted period of punin which pilgrimages are paid is not the remission ishment. Perhaps we are not the proper persons of so much sin, but the remission of so much to throw out the suggestion, still we venture to punishment.
propose that the next time the tariff of indulgences The next point to be settled is the rate of is revised, this glaring inequality shall be rewages for the work done. What amount-not dressed, and the whole affair put upon strict mercantile principles, so that in all cases the same they rested, or that they imparted to supplicaamount of work may be recompensed with the tions offered at his grave the power of winging same amount of wages.
their way with speedier flight into the skies, and
of receiving more gracious audience in the court PILGRIMAGES A PAGAN GROWTH.
of the great King. Pilgrimages grew up on the soil of paganism. Nay more : a greater grave than any of these This is their paternity, beyond all doubt. Not the greatest earth ever contained -- was well a trace of such a thing do we meet with in the known in apostolic times. The exact spot Bible. The graves of the two great leaders of “where the Lord lay” was indubitably known; the Israelites—the men who brought them from yet never do we find apostle or evangelist enjointhe slavery of Egypt to the land of liberty—were ing on convert, whether Jew or Gentile, a pilunknown, and therefore, it may be said, pilgrim- grimage thither. When the jailer at Philippi ages to their tombs were out of the question. cried out, in almost despair, “What shall I do to But that difficulty might have been got over. be saved ? ” Paul did not say, as a father-conA tithe of the marvellous faculty for discovery fessor nowadays would certainly have said, “ You which the Romanists have since displayed might must make a pilgrimage to the grave of Christ, have found the veritable tomb of Aaron on and there recite so many prayers, and make the Mount Hor, and the exact resting-place of Moses customary offerings to the priests, and you will in the valley of Moab, “ over against Beth-peor." obtain forgiveness." We read of but one pilBut never was an effort made, so far as we learn, grimage ever made in apostolic times to the grave to discover either grave. But if these two sep- of Christ,-even that of the two Marys on the ulchres were unknown, not so the burial-place morning of the first day; but not finding in it of the great fathers of the Hebrew people. The Him whom they sought, they departed, and camne dust of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, it was well thither again no more. known, rested in the cave of Machpelah, in the From the soil of paganism--and especially of environs of Hebron. That spot could not be Greek paganism-comes, then, this importation. other than one of intensest and tenderest interest The pantheistic principle is the breath in its to the Israelites; and yet, throughout the whole nostrils. Take that away, and it returns to its of their history as a people, we read not of so dust—the dust out of which it was taken. Let much as one solitary Jew ever going thither on us look a moment into this matter. What spepilgrimage. There stood a pillar above the grave cial good does the devotee promise to himself by of Rachel; and yet never was lamp kindled or visiting such and such a shrine-Paray-la-Monial
, votive offering hung up at the tomb of the let us say? Why, he expects that there will be mother of Israel. The burial-place of Joseph, in infused into his person and into his devotional the valley of Shechem, was also a well-known acts a certain quality, which will make him a hut a quite unvisited locality, at least for any re- holier man, and his prayers more acceptable, and ligious purpose. Peter, in his sernion on the whereby he will become worthy of the indulgence day of Pentecost, reminded the Jews that they with which the Church rewards his devotion. had David's sepulchre among them to that very But whence arises the virtue that is thus infused day. There it had been, in their very city, all into him, and that renders him so full of merit throughout the ages since the day the warrior- and holiness that it would be unjust to retain so king slept with his fathers; yet no one appears to good a man so long in the midst of purgatorial have dreamed of going thither to pray or to fast fires as otherwise might have been equitable and before it: no one thought of wooing victory by even necessary?
even necessary? Whence, we ask, arises this hanging up his sword at the tomb of the slumber- marvellous quality ? It comes from the rotting ing hero before going forth to battle. David was a bones he approaches, from the priests and the saint not less eminent than any in the popish rites he comes in contact with; nay, he imbibes calendar; yet it was not thought that his bones it from the air he breathes and from the ground communicated any holiness to the soil in which he treads upon. But, further, whence did this