Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

conveyance at length to all people of the highest boon and the best! Ah! while gazing, as we have just imagined, upon the sleeping millions of the Eastern world,—guarded by the ever-present Power, how should we desire that the loud voice of some bright herald from on high, might now, at last, rend the silence of midnight, and waken as in a moment, the infatuated nations from the mortal slumber of their errors !'

As a poetical specimen, we cannot do better than give the following beautiful stanzas.

"THE FIELD OF THE WORLD,'

' BY JAMES MONTGOMERY,
Sow in the morn thy seed,

At eve hold not thine hand;
To doubt and fear give thou no heed ;

Broad-cast it round the land.
· Beside all waters sow,

The high-way furrows stock,
Drop it where thorns and thistles grow,

Scatter it on the rock.
• The good, the faithful ground,

Expect not here nor there;
O'er hill and dale, by plots, 'tis found,

Go forth then every where.
· Thou know’st not which may thrive,

The late or early sown;
Grace keeps the precious germ alive,

When and wherever strown.
* And duly shall appear,

In verdure, beauty, strength,
The tender blade, the stalk, the ear,

And the full corn at length.
- Thou canst not toil in vain,

Cold, heat, and moist, and dry,
Shall foster and mature the grain

For garners in the sky.
· Thence, when the glorious end,

The day of God is come,
The angel reapers shall descend,

And Heaven sing “ Harvest Home !" ! We shall make room for a sonnet by F. R. C., in which, we think, the citation from the lxxxth Psalm is very felicitously introduced.

· Ariel ! Arie!! City of our God !

How art thou fallen! No more the voice of prayer

Ascends from thy proud temple ; nor repair
The tribes of Judah o'er the sacred sod,
To worship where their fathers' feet have trod.

How long, O God, how long wilt thou forbear?

How long the oppressor of thy people spare ?
How long must Israel bow beneath thy rod ?
Thou hast, O Lord, from Egypt brought a vine,

Prepared room, and planted it. The land

Was covered with its shadow. Oh, return,
Revisit it, and cause thy face to shine;

And place upon thy servant thy right hand

So we to call upon thy name shall learn.' In point of solid and various information and permanent interest, the Missionary Annual must be admitted to stand at the head of this class of publications ;'and we can have no doubt that among religious readers it will obtain the preference to which, without disparaging the merits of its competitors, we cannot but deem it entitled.

We are happy to be able to report in terms of high commendation of The Amethyst, published at Edinburgh, under the editorial auspices of Dr. Huie, and Dr. Greville. A vignette titlepage is the only embellishment, but the Contents exhibit names of contributors that will command attention. Among them are, the Rev. C. Bridges, J. J. Gurney, the late William Mc Gavin, James Montgomery, Mrs. Opie, Lady Charlotte Erskine, the Rev. Dr. Raffles, the Rev. Dr. Belfrage, Bernard Barton, and James Edmeston, besides the Editors and other Scottish literati. The character of the publication is throughout serious, adapted for “ instruction and edification, and such as to render the Volume ' a suitable present from one Christian to another at a season • when such tokens of friendship and affection are ordinarily in. 'terchanged.' Shall we be accused of partiality to the Author, if we select the following as no unfavourable specimen of the contents ?

* AN EVENING SONG FOR THE SABBATH DAY.

" BY JAMES MONTGOMERY, ESQ.
· Millions within thy courts have met,
Millions this day before thee bow'd ;
Their faces Zion-ward were set,
Vows with their lips to thee they vow'd :-
• But thou, soul-searching God! hast known
The hearts of all that bent the knee,
And hast accepted those alone,
In spirit and truth that worshipp'd thee.

People of many a tribe and tongue, E. ,
* Men of strange colours, climates, lands, , .

Have heard thy truth, thy glory sung...,
And offer'd pray'r, with holy hands.
Still, as the light of morning broke

i
O'er island, continent, and deep,
Thy far-spread family awoke,
Sabbath all round the world to keep.
• From east to west, the sun survey'd,
• From north to south, adoring throngs ; *

And still where evening stretched her shade, .
· The stars came forth to hear their songs.

Harmonious as the winds and seas,
In halcyon-hours, when storms are flown,
Rose all earth's Babel-languages,

"Jeg goste,
In pure accordance, to thy throne.
· Not angel-trumpets sound more clear;
Not elders' harps, nor seraphs' lays, telefon
Yield music sweeter to thine eart so en
Than humble pray’r and thankful praise.
And not a pray’r, a tear, a sigh,' tay sa B
Hath fail'd to-day some suit to gain ; 1814s
To those in trouble thou wert nigh, mit
Not one hath sought thy face in vain. rel.
Thy poor were bountifully feed, 1.-2; 11
Thy chasten'd sons have kiss'd the rod,
Thy mourners have been comforted,
The pure in heart have seen their God."
Yet one pray'r more ;-and be it one
In which both heaven and earth accord !
Fulfil thy promise to thy Son,
· Let all that breathe call Jesus, Lord.
• His throne and sovereignty advance; 33
For his soul's travail let him see
The heathen his inheritance,

And earth's last bound his portion be. . Another new competitor has just appeared, under the title of “ the Aurora Borealis, a Literary Annual, edited by Members of . the Society of Friends." The portrait of a Bride in Quaker costume forms the frontispiece to the volume; besides which it contains an exquisite landscape, --Rokeby, from a painting by George Balmer, excellently engraved by W. Miller. The Howitts, Wiffen, H. F. Chorley, Bernard Barton, Joseph John Gurney, Mrs. Opie, P. M. James, John Holland, Thomas Doubleday, . .and Sarah Stickney, are among the Contributors. The volume, its Editors say, will be found of a different hue from that of the * other Annuals '; but that hue is certainly not drab. Its outro

- TV v

[ocr errors]

Balmer, esquisite landscape, to the volume; berid

ward garb is green and gold;" and as to its inward grace, it ne• cessarily breathes something of the spirit of that Society of which, ' with a few valued exceptions, the writers in its pages are mem

bers,' but we perceive nothing of the formality or severity that has usually been regarded as an attribute of broad-brimmed Quakerism. For instance, the following is taken from a lively and well-written paper, entitled, “Fancies on Clocks. By V. F. Chorley.

• The claims of the country to poetry, are, and have been, universally allowed. Few have ever thought, and fewer would ever admit that the town could have any : and yet it has its share. Putting out of the question the dear and romantic associations which belong to those time-hallowed places, where every street has its history, and every house is decorated with armorial bearings, where the ancient fountain, the mutilated statue, and the grey tower, and the church full of monuments of merchant princes, and their wives and children, take back the mind at once to the rare times of old ;-putting all these out of the question, there are sights and sounds to be seen and heard daily, in every town, which have a meaning and a voice to the hearts of all those who are open to receive deeper impressions than are entertained by the common-place and worldly. A sea-port, for in. stance, where great ships come and go; and many families send out their hopes to foreign lands, whether in the gallant, daring boy, or the experienced frugal man ;-are not the thoughts, which the mere consciousness of dwelling in such a place, must, at times, awaken,--full of poetry? And then the streets; the strange intent faces which you encounter,- the stranger figures—the bronzed Lascar,-the heavy limbed Negro,—the bright-eyed rosy-cheeked country child, to whom a city is a perfect bewilderment of delight and glory. The itinerant musician,-grinding out from his organ-or pinching out of his tuneless vielle, strains that breathe of far mountain lands,- the Savoyard, with his tray of images and his ready smile, -- the joyous sailor with his parrot-there is something more than prose in all these. Townclocks, too: (to return from my digression :) who has lain awake at night, and heard the hours announced in succession, by their many selemn tongues, without a deeper thought than the mere animal thankfulness that morning was so much nearer? How many watchers are listening for the same sound! Some by sick beds ; some too full of joy to sleep. How often in times of trouble have secret assemblies been called together by the same signal ! and conspirators have crept from remote quarters to do that by night which they durst not speak of by day. And at the hour of midnight-the last hour of the year-can there be any thing more sublime than to sit alone and listen to their toll from tower and belfrey, giving token that another year is at hand,—another year, fraught with change and importance to each of the thousands of human beings who are clustered around us,sounding at once the knell and the birth-peal,--surely this is poetical.

· Then, too, we remember the times of pestilence, “ when the clocks stopped, because there were none to wind them up.” I have VOL. VIII.-N.S.

3 p

met with this simple sentence in many histories of the visitation of plagues into which I have looked ; and to me it says more than many an ambitious and laboured description. It seems as though Tinie stood still, while the destroying Angel did his work. Myriads died and were buried; and the public herald of day and night was left untended; so great was the dismay of the survivors, so far-spreading the calamity!

But enough of town clocks--though I must not pass without brief mention that precious relic of antiquity, St., Dunstan's, with its guardian giants--alas ! deposed from their ancient sovereignty in Fleet Street. Let us look at their country brethren. There arises at once before the mind's eve a quiet and pleasant vision': a large grey church standing in the midst of a village. The building is all gables and corners, and is surrounded by an ample church-yard, thickly sown with grave-stones, and funeral mounds of turf, garnished with the sweet natural epitaph of flowers. The church-yard is bordered with trees; and the most ancient man does not remember the planting of the youngest of them. Here, looking out upon a green, with the school-house, and its children playing in the sun, and the cottages in their trim gardens - here stands the Patriarch of the Tower, the same as he has ever been ; or perhaps a little more brassy in his voice than of yore, by reason of his age, the oracle, consulted a hundred times in the day by peasants who shade the sun from their eyes with their brown hands, and look up, not like the foolish children of a town, to see how goes the enemy; but to inquire of their friend, the friend of labour, what space is left them wherein to perform their healthy and needful toil.

• True it is, that these same patriarchs, from their having lived so long in uncontradicted supremacy, fall at times into lamentable irregularities. But the farmers do not love them the less for this want of truth. If they are half an hour before the real time (and who ever heard of a country clock erring upon the losing side?) it is rather a cause of rejoicing to the proprietors of lazy serving-men and maids, who are cheated into rising betimes. I remember once assisting at a harvest dinner in the neighbourhood of Lancaster. The village clock was half an hour faster than those of the town, which went before those of my native place in like measure. We sat down to dinner hearty, happy, and hungry, precisely at twelve : and I could not help smiling as I thought, how many of the inhabitants of L--, were at that moment yawning over unenjoyed breakfast tables, wondering how the day was to be got over.

. But the subject is inexhaustible. Whether we think of old clocks or new clocks, those cased in oak wood, or those enshrined in or-molu, a thousand reminiscences and reflections crowd upon the mind.

ou What did you say, John ?”

«« Sir," said my servant, “the clock has stopped, and the cook does not know when to put the meat to the fire."

• It was even too true. I was half an hour too late for my appointment.'

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »