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tice what Jesus says in both of these parables about human instrumentality. "As if a man should cast seed into the ground." V. 26. Again, He says the same of a mustard seed, as being sown by a man. Matt. 13: 31. The Church has spread and grown, because men and women have put forth consecrated human efforts. The Almighty blesses your work.
RISE OF GREAT MEN.
INFLUENCE OF ACCIDENT ON GREAT MEN. It is a curious coincidence that the two greatest Chancery lawyers of their day should both have been forced into the profession by incidental circumstances. Romilly says that what principally influenced his decision was the being thus enabled to leave his small fortune in his father's hands, instead of buying a sworn clerk's seat with it. At a later period of my life, after a success at the bar which my wildest and most sanguine dreams had never painted to me-when I was gaining an income of £8,000 or £9,000 a year, I have often reflected how all that prosperity had arisen out of the pecuniary difficulties of my father.
Wedderburn, Lord Loughborough, began as an advocate of the Scotch bar. In the course of an altercation with the lord president, he was provoked to tell his lordship that he had said as a judge, what he could not prove as a gentleman. Being ordered to make an apology, he refused, and left the Scotch for the English bar. What every one thought would be his ruin, turned out the best thing that could happen to him.
"There's a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough hew them how we may."
Lord Tenterden's early destination was changed by a disappointment. When he and Mr. Justice Richards were going the Home Circuit, they visited the Cathedral at Canterbury together. Richards commended the voice of a singing man in the choir. "Ah," said Lord Tenterden, "that is the only man I ever envied. When at school in this town we were candidates for a chorister's place, and he obtained it."
It is now well known that the Duke of Wellington, when a subaltern, was
anxious to retire from the army, and actually applied to Lord Camden, the lord lieutenant of Ireland, for a commissionership of customs. It is not always true, then, that men destined to play conspicuous parts in the world have a consciousness of their coming greatness, or patience, to bide their time. Their hopes grow as their capacity expands with circumstances; honors on honors arise, like Alps on Alps; in ascending one they catch a glimpse of another, till the last and highest, which was vailed in mist when they started, stands out in bold relief against the sky. Edinburgh Review.
YOUNG MEN AND THE CHURCH.
Among the many questions which may rise concerning the spread of Christ's kingdom in the world and the influence of His church upon the hearts and lives of men, there is this: What are young men doing in the Church? And more especially would we make this inquiry as to young men brought up in Christian families, regular in attendance at Divine service, and yet seemingly indifferent as to the experience of a deep and powerful religious feeling, both in their own hearts and in the hearts of others. St. John says: "I write unto you, young men, because you are strong" and what the Church of Christ needs to-day is more of this manly, youthful vigor exerted in its behalf. It needs the labor of young men. It needs their example, more powerful perhaps than that of any other class.
Did you ever realize, young man, the influence of your example? Did it ever occur to you that you may be standing in the way of others? Did you never think that a true, active Christian life led by you might put to shame many an older man as it recalled the wasted years of his own life-that the little boy who longs to be a man and do as young men do, wonld look up to you and choose the path that you have chosen for his own walk through life?
On, let it be your resolve henceforth that nothing which by God's grace you can do shall be left undone to make the Church with which you are united, a pillar of His holy truth.-The Record.
GEORGE STEPHENSON'S TRIALS AND was recently still standing. It was an
BY THE EDITOR.
ordinary laborer's dwelling; its walls unplastered, its floor of clay, and the bare rafters exposed overhead. The furniture was of the rudest description. When the family was most prosperous, their dwelling had but a single room, which served as kitchen, parlor, and
Less than a year ago, England celebrated the centennial anniversary of the birth of George Stephenson, the founder of her railroad system. It was a bril- sleeping-room for father, mother, and liant occasion, and the English people were proud to do honor to the memory of one of their greatest inventors and noblest men.
It was recently suggested by an eminent business man, that the life of George Stephenson would furnish materials for a far better Sunday-school book than the light literature which generally fills our libraries. Such a book would have the great merit of containing truth which is stranger than fiction. It would show the young how faith and perseverance may overcome the greatest difficulties. It would incite them to make the most of the talents which God has given them, in the assurance that such efforts, when undertaken in His name, are sure to receive an abundant blessing.
six children. Their only treasure was the Bible. In this humble home George Stephenson spent his earliest years, leading the ordinary life of working people's children. He played, went bird-nesting, and ran errands. None of the laborers' children went to school; the parents were too poor for that. The older children had to watch the younger, to keep them from being run over by the charcoal wagons, which were drawn by horses over a wooden tramroad, just in front of the houses.
Though George was not sent to school, his father's influence was in some respects educational. "Old Bob" had the gift of telling stories for the entertainment of children; and in the evening, while he was tending his engine, the young folks gathered around him, George Stephenson was born, on the to hear his marvellous tales about Sin9th of June, 1781, at Wylam, a little bad the Sailor, and Robinson Crusoe. village eight miles from New Castle, on He was also a great lover of nature. In Tyne, where there was a colliery and a winter he had a flock of robins hopping furnace. His father, Robert Stephen- around him for the crumbs saved from son, or "Old Bob," as he was familiarly his scanty dinner. George, in his old called, was foreman of an old pumping age, used to tell of the delight which he engine at the colliery, whose wages when felt when his father first showed him a in full work never amounted to more robin's nest. He too loved birds and than twelve shillings a week. His wife animals. In his boyhood he had a tame Mabel, was the daughter of Robert Carr, black-bird, which at night slept on his a dyer of Ovingham. She was rather head-board. He also had fine rabbits, delicate and nervous, but was an excel- and earned many a sixpence by selling lent Christian woman. An aged neigh- the fattest of them. bor said, many years afterwards, "They were honest folk, but sore holden down in the world."
George was the second of a family of six. The house in which he was born
At eight years of age George was put to work. A widow wanted a boy to herd her cows. George applied for the place, and to his great joy was appointed at two pence a day. While watching
the cows he had plenty of leisure, and amused himself by making whistles, building miniature water-wheels, and especially by modeling clay engines. Clay was found in the bog, with plenty of hemlock for imaginary steam-pipes. Soon afterwards he was employed to hoe turnips at four pence a day; then to pick slate out of the coal at six-pence; and then to drive the gin-horse at eight pence. This was a good position, though he had to walk two miles every morning and evening, and the whole family was proud of his remarkable advance
It was soon observed that George was growing up steady and sober, and at seventeen he was made a fireman at twelve shillings a week. "Now," he exclaimed, "I am a made man for life."
Though he watched the eggs carefully, and turned them every day, his experiment did not succeed. The eggs chipped, and some of them exhibited well-grown birds, but none of the birds came out alive. The incident shows that Stephenson's inquiring mind was now fairly at work.
He also continued to model clay engines; but was told that the one which Watt had invented was much superior to the one he had copied, and that it was fully described in books. Now he determined that nothing should prevent him from learning to read. A poor man, named Cowens, established a nightschool, and George, though now a fullgrown man, attended it three times a week, paying a penny a night for the privilege. At nineteen he could read pretty well, and could actually write his name in a stiff, sprawling fashion. Then a poor Scotch dominie set up a nightschool in a village several miles away, and this he attended for the purpose of learning to cipher. Others tried it too, but they could not understand how George "took to figures so wonderful.” The secret was his perseverance. “He worked out the sums in his by-hours, improving every minute of his spare time by the engine fire, there solving the arithmetical problems set for him on his slate by his master. In the evening he took to Andrew Robertson the sums which he had thus' worked,' and new ones were set for him to study out on the following day. Thus his progress was rapid, and with a willing heart and It mind he soon became well advanced in arithmetic."
When he was, soon afterwards, promoted to be an engine man, he seemed to fall in love with the engine, taking it to pieces in his leisure hours, for the purpose of cleaning and mastering its various parts. In those days the only steam-engines were stationary, made at common blacksmith-shops, and employed only for pumping and lifting. To George, however, the hideous old "pumper" appeared very beautiful; and his comrades were amused to see him watching it with never ceasing admiration. It was also observed that he never neglected little things, thus earning the respect of his companions, and the confidence of his employers.
At eighteen years of age George Stephenson did not know his letters. was hard to learn to read at that age, and he worked hard twelve hours a day; but the busiest man can find moments for study if he knows how to watch for them. He worked hard unaided, but for a long time made little progress. Few of the laborers could read, but those who could do so were much respected, and were called to read to the rest such stray papers as they could find, concerning Bonaparte who was then overrunning Italy.
One day some one happened to read that in Egypt there was an art of hatching birds by artificial heat, and George determined to try it. He gathered birds' eggs, put them in flour, covered them with wool, and set them near the engine.
Next Stephenson learned how to brake an engine. It was regarded as a higher department of work, and those who understood it objected to his learning it. No one would give him any information, but he persevered and succeeded.
At twenty he was a "brakesman," who superintended the engine and machinery which drew the coals out of the pit. During the night turn he had a good deal of leisure, which he utilized in study, and in mending the shoes of his fellow-workmen. There was nothing precocious about him; but he was doing very well, earning some eight or ten dollars a week.
One day Fanny Henderson sent him
her shoes to mend. Fanny was a hired girl, living with a neighboring farmer. She was a pretty girl, but better than she was pretty. It was observed that George took special care in mending her shoes; and one of his friends afterwards related, that after they were done he carried them about in his pocket, and looked at them now and then the tiny shoes that they were to see what a capital job he had made. Was'n't it natural?
It was from the money earned by shoe-making that George saved his first guinea. With this as a "nest-egg," he soon had money enough to hire a room aud begin house-keeping. Then he married Fanny Henderson. After the ceremony they went to see George's parents, who lived in a village several miles away. There were no railroads in those days; so George rode on a farmhorse, borrowed from the farmer with whom Fanny lived, and the bride was seated behind him on the pillion. The home of the young couple was humble, but it was happy. While other fellows spent their evenings at the tavern, George stayed at home and made shoes. From making shoes he got to making lasts, and of these he sold a great many. He next began to try making machines, and even attempted to invent Perpetual Motion. Of course, the latter attempt was a failure, but he gained extraordinary skill in the use of tools. One day the chimney caught fire, and though the fire was soon put out, the house was deluged with water, and the eight day clock-his finest piece of furniture was greatly damaged by the steam. Its wheels were so clogged with dust and soot that they were brought to a complete stand-still. What was to be done? It might have been sent to a clockmaker, but that would have cost money, so George undertook to repair it. He succeeded so well that the neighbors sent him their clocks to be cleaned, and he soon became the best clock-doctor in the neighborhood. There was, as yet, nothing very promising in his career, but he was getting ready for a more extended sphere of usefulness.
sorrow by the death of his wife.
Reaching home, Stephenson found that his father had met with a serious accident, which had entirely destroyed his sight. The other sons were as poor as he; but George paid his debtsamounting to about seventy-five dollars, and provided a comfortable cottage in which his aged parents lived for many years, comfortable and respected.
About the same time George was drawn for the army, and had to pay a considerable sum for a substitute. Thus, almost at a stroke, his hard-earned savings were swept away. He thought or emigrating to America, but could not raise the necessary money. Then he again became a brakesman, as usual eking out his earnings by mending clocks. He even cut out the pitmen's clothes for their wives to make up; and for many years afterwards these were clothes worn at Killingsworth which were said to have been made after "Geordy Stevenson's cut." But besides all this he studied and perfected himself in the art of making draughts of machinery.
During all this time he never wavered in his intention of giving his boy a good education. Every penny he could save he set apart for this purpose. The boy showed himself exceedingly clever, and seemed to take naturally to science and mechanics. Though it is not our intention to follow the career of Robert Stephenson, we may say that his father em-lived to see him the foremost engineer in England.
It was while Stephenson was ployed as brakesman at Willington that his only son, Robert, was born. It was a great joy, but it was soon turned into
At last an opportunity arrived when George was enabled to distinguish him
self. His employers had bought a poorly the way of his further advancement. He constructed engine, for the purpose of was acknowledged as the head of the clearing a pit of water; but though railway system of Great Britain, and at pumping was kept up for twelve months, the invitation of the king of Belgium he it failed to accomplish its purpose. One inaugurated the first railroad in that day one of his fellow-workmen asked country. He also made a journey to George whether he could do anything? Spain for a similar purpose. Wealth He replied that he could pump out all and honors came pouring thick upon the water in a week. This was reported him, but he remained to the last the to the firm, and they determined to give same simple, unpretentious, Christian him a trial. In a week he had made man. Once, in his old age, he was the necessary alterations in the engine, asked to give a list of his titles, in order and had cleared the pit. that they might be affixed to his name This event may be regarded as the in a work that was to be dedicated to turning-point in his career. He had him. His reply was characteristic: "I gained the confidence of his employers, have to state," said Mr. Stephenson, and after a while he was made their en- 'that I have no flourishes to my name, gine-maker at a salary of £100 a year. either before or after, and I think it will His inventive genius had now found its be as well if you merely say, 'George proper field, and he made so many in- Stephenson.' It is true that I am a Belventions that it would be tedious to gian knight, but I do not wish to have enumerate them. The most important any use made of it. I have had the offer of these was a locomotive engine, which of knighthod of my own country made was found, on trial, to be greatly supe- to me several times, but would not have rior to the clumsy contrivances which it. I have been invited to become a had been hitherto devised. It was, in Fellow of the Royal Society, and also of fact, the first engine to run on smooth the Civil Engineers' Society, but obrails. He also discovered the steam- jected to the empty additions to my blast, which, by turning the waste steam name. I am a member of the Geological up the chimney, increased the draught Society; and I have consented to become of the fire, and thus greatly extended the President of a highly respectable the capacity of the boiler to generate Mechanics' Institution at Birmingham."
About the same time he contrived a safety lamp, for the benefit of miners; and, though the priority of invention was awarded to Sir Humphrey Davy, his friends thought he had been unjustly treated, and made him a present of £1,000.
Stephenson was now appointed Chief Engineer of a proposed railway, and accomplished the work in the face of the most determined opposition. The people along the line were so hostile that many of the surveys had to be performed by stealth. His greatest achievement in this direction was the construction of the Liverpool and Manchester railway, during which he performed feats of engineering, which in those days were considered wonderful. As he could not get properly constructed engines, he took the £1,000, received for the safety lamp, and founded a locomotive manufactory, which soon grew to large proportions, and secured him a handsome fortune. There was now no obstacle in
During the latter years of his life Mr. Stephenson resided on a fine estate at Tapton, devoting much attention to horticulture. Even here his inventive. genius could not rest. He made his melons grow in gauze baskets, thereby greatly increasing their size and flavor, and trained cucumbers to grow in glass tubes, so as to prevent them from getting crooked. Travelers from distant countries sought him out to present their respects. Hating foppery and frippery above all things he frequently reproved young men for their weakness in this direction. One day a youth desirous of becoming an engineer called upon him, flourishing a gold-headed cane. Mr. Stephenson said: "Put by that stick, my man, and then I will speak to you." To another extensively decorated young man he said: "I hope you will excuse me; I am a plain-spoken person, and am sorry to see a nice-looking and rather clever young man like you disfigured with that fine-patterned waistcoat, and all these chains and fang