« AnteriorContinuar »
graphically entitled to the appellation of the · Land's-End.' He may, however, easily discover when he has reached the district of the 'Land's-End,” by two rather remarkable indications that he will meet on his road. He will observe, at some distance from the coast, an old milestone, marked 'I,' and will be informed that this is the real original first mile in England; as if all measurement of distances began strictly from the West! A little further on he will come to a house, on one wall of which he will see written in large letters, “This is the first Inn in England ;' and on the other, “This is the last Inn in England ;' as if the genuine recognised beginning, and end too, of the Island of Britain were here, and here only! Having pondered a little on the slightly exclusive view of the attributes of their locality, taken by the inhabitants, he will then be led forward, about half a mile, by his guide, will descend some cliffs, will walk out on a ridge of rocks till he can go no further; and will then be told that he is standing on the Land's End! Here, as elsewhere, there are certain ‘sights' which a stranger is required to examine assiduously, as a duty if not as a pleasure, by guide-book law, rigidly administered by guides. There is, first of all, the mark of a horse's hoof, which is with great care kept sharply modelled (to borrow the painter's phrase), in the thin grass at the edge of the precipice. This mark commemorates the narrow escape from death of a drunken man, who, for a wager, rode a horse down the cliff, to the extreme verge of the Land's-End; where the poor
animal seeing its danger, turned in affright, reared, and fell back into the sea raging over the rocks beneath. Fool as he was, the man had just sense enough left to throw himself off in time-he tumbled on the ground, within a few inches of the precipice, and so barely saved the life which he had richly deserved to lose.
One of the curiosities of the Land's-End is a protuberance in a pile of granite at a little distance off, which bears a remote resemblance to a gigantic human face, adorned with a short beard, and which is considered quite a portrait (of all the people in the world to liken it to !) of
Dr. Jolinson! It is, therefore, publicly known as “Johnson's Head !' If it can fairly be compared with any of the countenances of any remarkable characters that ever existed, it may justly be said to exhibit a violent exaggeration of the worst physiognomical peculiarities of Nero and Henry the Eighth, combined in one face.”
SUNSHINE, It is winter-the snow lies deep upon the earth, and every now and then the flakes of snow fall, fast and lightly upon the ground and the little birds are pecking at the windows, as if to ask for food and shelter ; but between the storms everything looks bright and beautiful, for the sun peeps out from behind heavy clouds and sheds his cheering rays over earth's white mantle. Our attention has just been directed to some Ash-trees, upon one side of which, the side exposed to the storin, the snow rests thick; and we have been thinking of the graveyard we once read abɔat, where one side of the gravestones was covered with winter clothing, while the other side, upon which the sun had been exerting his kindly influences, was adorned in the habiliments of spring. How good is the Almighty in giving us the sunshine, and the storm,-how well it is that there is a sunny side to everything but sin—a silver lining to every cloud!
Everything is beautiful in its season! the gentle showers of Spring, the genial heat of summer, autumn, with its ripened fruit and falling leaves, and winter's snowy rest, and ice-bound streams ; sowing time, when the seed is buried in the earth, or the bread cast upon the waters; and the harvest, when the reapers gather the wheat into garners; the break of day, when darkness yields her sceptre; the glorious noon-tide hour, the time when
“ Meekened eve,
And shuts the gates of day.”
are opened as if to watch the slumbers of her sister earth ; the bud just peeping from its leaves, and the full-blown flower with drooping head ; the blossom of promise, and the matured fruit bending as though seeking again its mother earth; all is beautiful; but the one object which surpasses all others in splendour, usefulness, and cheering influence, is the centre of our planetary system, that object which gives light and heat to this lower world, and beautifies the scene with every variety of colour.
It is not matter for wonder that the Laplanders, after their long winter-night hail with so much joy the sun's approach, and climb their highest hills to await his appearance above the horizon; we should probably partake the same feelings if we had not seen his face for nearly two months. Those know best how to value a blessing who have felt the want of it. But surely there is none who does not love sunshine ; many of our intelligent youths are going a step further, and seeking after the light of knowledge; some have taken still higher ground, they enjoy and reflect the beams of the Sun of Righteousness.
0! there is many a deep chasm in this variegated world of ours which needs but sunshine to make it perfectly sublime; there is many a dark mind which wants but the light of education to bring it into view, and exercise its noble powers ; there is many a benighted soul which, if it were but kindled from on high, would be a shining light, “shining more and more unto the perfect day.'
We want our youthful readers to use well the sunshine which they now enjoy. Childhood's years, childhood's feelings, childhood's energies, will not last for ever. A father's arm will not always be strong to provide and protect, neither will a mother's heart always throb responsire to every want and word. Your opportunities for improvement, and the inducements for the consecration of your all to God and his service, will never probably be greater than they are now. “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.”
Try also to diffuse sunshine. This you may do in many ways. Attention to the little things of life often goes a great way in promoting the happiness of others. A kind word, at least, is always at your command, and it will often shed a ray of hope, of sympathy, of comfort, of heaven's own light, to win back the wanderer, or to direct the homebound traveller on his perilous and weary voyage. Was there not a ray of hope when the little Israelitish maiden said to her mistress ? “Would God, my Lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria ! for he would recover him of his leprosy." Was there no sympathy in the hearts of the Jews, who went to comfort the sisters of Bethany; and in Jesu's bosom when he wept at the grave of their brother Lazarus? Yes! and there was a ray of comfort which cheered the widowed heart, when a little boy said to his weeping mother, “Mamma, is God dead?” And a ray of heaven's own light beamed in the countenance of a little girl who, grasping her teacher's hand, said “O! teacher, I do love Jesus."
Would our young friends know the secret of all this? it is love, love to God and man. A father once asked his little girl, How it was that everybody loved her ? She answered, “ I do not know, papa, unless it be because I love everybody."
The Gospel standard of love is a high one, not simply ! love thy neighbour as thyself,” but “ that ye love one another, as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." |
Let us each endeavour to reflect heaven's sunshine while here upon many a sorrowing and benighted soul, and at length, through our Father's lore we shall enjoy its effulgence in a blissful eternity. To spend eternity in heaven's unclouded light;
From sorrow, sin, and frailty free,
Beholding and resembling Thee. 0! too transporting sight!
Prospect too fair
For flesh to bear ;
HOW LONG HALT YE?
How long shall it be ?-yes, how long? It surely cannot go on always. You never intend that it should. The thought of never seeking the Lord would be perfectly intolerable. You always bring yourself to the conclusion that one day you shall decide as firmly as any one-but how long shall it be till then? So many years of life are gone already,--so many Sabbaths and their special mercies, and you are halting yet! Much, very much has been done for you already to gain you back to God and his kingdom,think of all that. Perhaps an early religious education, and all the advantages of a Christian household,--prayers offered for you,--serious conversation with you,-and still you are halting! Perhaps, moreover, you have had your share of life's sorrows and' troubles,-disease may have brought you low,-death perhaps entered your dwelling,—the disappointments of life may have come heavily upon you, and saddened or even solemnised your heart,and still you are halting! Then think of the countless mercies which a beneficent God has richly showered upon you-all with one aim of drawing your heart to Him,and still, up to this day, all this goodness so far is yet frustrated ! So “ long,” and you are halting between two opinions yet! If time had stopped, it had not been so serious; but all this while the sand of life has been running out. While you have been hesitating and resolving, feeling serious one day, then casting all seriousness to the winds the next,-weeping over your neglect, and then neglecting the same things again,--all this while the march of time has been steadily going on; and now, on looking back, it grieves you to think how long-how very long, you have halted between two opinions.
And, in the meantime, how many decisive steps you have taken in other things ! Your sentiments on many great questions have been fixed long ago, and your part taken, perhaps, in many matters of business,-in your family arrangements,-in many worldly concerns,—there,