« ZurückWeiter »
THE DUTY OF BEING HAPPY.
me in the path of duty, and that path, in my case, is plainly to abstain." The noble Lord at once commended Donald för his frankness and honesty, and in taking leave assured him that it would afford her Majesty the highest satisfaction to know that she had amongst loyal and devoted subjects one who, in the midst of strong temptations, could maintain his principles with integrity and honour. Donald left rejoicing to think that he had been enabled to drink to the “ glory of God.”
THE DUTY OF BEING HAPPY.
THERE is no duty so much underrated as the duty of being happy. By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world, which remain unknown even to ourselves, or, when they are disclosed, surprise nobody so much as the benefactor. The other day, a ragged, barefoot boy ran down the street after a marble, with so jolly an air that he set every one he passed into a good humour; one of these persons, who had been delivered from more than usually black thoughts, stopped the little fellow and gave him some money, with this remark, “You see what sometimes comes of looking pleased.” If he had looked pleased before, he had now to look both pleased and mystified. For my part, I justify this encouragement of smiling rather than tearful children ; I do not wish to pay for tears anywhere but upon the stage; but I am prepared to deal largely in the opposite commodity. A happy man or woman is a better thing to find than a five-pound note. He or she is a radiating focus of good-will; and their entrance into a room is as though another candle had been lighted. We need not care whether they could prove the forty-seventh proposition; they do a better thing than that, they practically demonstrate the great theorem of liveableness of life. Consequently, if a person cannot be happy without remaining idle, idle he should remain. It is a revolutionary precept; but, thanks to hunger and the workhouse, one not easily to be abused, and within practical limits it is one of the most incontestable truths in the whole body of morality. Look at one of your industrious fellows for a moment, I beseech you. He sows hurry, and reaps indigestion; he puts a vast deal of activity out to interest, and receives a large measure of nervous derangement in retum. Either he absents himself entirely from all fellowship, and lives a recluse in a garret, with carpet slippers and a leaden inkpot; or he comes among people swiftly and bitterly, in a contraction of his whole nervous system, to discharge
POWER OF PRAYER.
some temper before he returns to his work. I do not care how much or how well he works, this fellow is an evil feature in other people's lives. They would be happier if he were dead. They could easier do without his services in the circumlocution office, than they can tolerate his fractious spirits. He poisons life at the well-head. It is better to be beggared out of hand by a scapegrace nephew, than daily hag-ridden by a peevish uncle.-Cornhill.
Power of speech is often marvellously quickened in prayer. Emotions which the soul has struggled with long and painfully, find sudden outlet in language of which the praying one never conceived before. Some men can habitually speak in prayer as nowhere else. An unlettered Christian was once summoned to court in a trial in which he had much at stake. He was called upon to tell his own story. He was flustered, he stammered, he repeated and contradicted himself, and was in danger of losing his case for want of the power of utterance. He knew himself, and knew that there was one act in which he could talk. He begged of the judge liberty to pray. It was granted. He knelt down and with flowing tears poured out his case before the Lord in language clear, coherent, fluent, and convincing to the jury. Be this story literally true or not, it illustrates a fact well-known to believers in the reality of prayer. A man is known to me who in common life is an incorrigible stammerer. He cannot say a word without making it three. He is the butt of mimics. But in prayer his utterance is Ciceronian. Few men can mimic him in that. One prayer offered by the late Professor Stuart more than forty years ago is still remembered, and fragments of it rehearsed, as a most thrilling approach to apostolic inspiration. "The Spirit helpeth our infirmities.' How often does the promise come home to the struggling suppliant as a fact revealed ! Apostles have no monopoly of it. Leaders in public worship, to whom the service is a cross and a terror, do you know nothing of this unsealing of the dumb lips, this inspiration of the silent tongue ? Has it not sometimes been to you like the burst of sunshine on a wintry sea ? Has not the outbreak of triumphant song in the hymn that followed been your own irrepressible offering of thanksgiving? Youthful preachers know, or will know, what I mean.-Professor A, Phelps.
THE MODEL CHURCH.
WELL, wife, I've found the model church! I've worshipped there to-day;
PASSING THE GLACIER DES BOSSONS. This Glacier, or field of ice, has to be crossed in ascending the highest mountain in Europe, and forms, as you will see, a very formidable barrier to the progress of travellers.
Mr. Albert Smith, who was one of the first travellers to ascend Mont Blanc, gives a very vivid account of his journey :
“The first portion of the journey across the Glacier des Bossons is easy enough, provided always that the outer crust of the snow lying upon it is tolerably hard. We marched on in single file, the guides taking it by turns to lead (as the first man had, of course, the heaviest work), amidst cliffs and hillocks, and across sloping fields and uplands, all of dazzling whiteness. I here observed, for the first time, the intense darkblue colour which the sky apparently assumes. This may be only by comparison with the unsubdued glare from the snow on all sides—since, on making a kind of tube with my two hands, and looking up, as I might have done at a picture, there was nothing unusual in the tint. Our veils and glasses now proved great comforts, for the sun was scorching, and the blinding light from the glaciers actually distressing. By degrees our road became less practically easy. We had to make zigzag paths up very steep pitches, and go out of our line to circumvent threatening ice-blocks or suspected crevices. The porters, too, began to grumble, and there was a perpetual wrangling going on between them and the guides to the extent of their auxiliary march; and another bottle of wine had constantly to be added to the promised reward when they returned to Chamouni. All this time we had been steadily ascending; and at last
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
the glacier was so broken, and the crevices so frequent and hugely gaping, that the guides tied us and themselves together with cords, leaving a space of about eight feet between each two men, and prepared for serious work.
“The traveller who has only seen the Mer de Glace (or sea of ice) can form no idea of the terrific beauty of the upper part of the Glacier des Bossons. He remembers the lower portions of the latter, which appears to rise from the very corn-fields and orchards of Chamouni, with its towers and ruins of the purest ice, like a long fragment of quartz inconceivably magnified; and a few steps from the edge of the Montanvert will show him the icy chasms of the Mer. But they have little in common with the wild and awful tract we were now preparing to traverse. The Glacier des Bossons, splitting away from that of Tacoonay, is rent and tors and tossed about by convulsions scarcely to be comprehended; and the alternate action of the nightly frost and the afternoon sun on this scene of splendid desolation and horror, produces the most extraordinary effects. Huge bergs rise up of a lovely pale sea-green colour, perforated by arches decorated every day with fresh icicles many feet in length; and through these arches one sees other fantastic masses, some thrown like bridges across yawning gulphs, and others planted like old castles on jutting rocks commanding valleys and gorges, all of ice. There is here no plain surface to walk upon; your only standing-room is the top of the barrier that divides two crevices; and as this is broad or narrow, terminating in another frightful gulph, or continuous with another treacherous ice-wall, so can you be slow or rapid. The breadth of the crevice varies with each one you arrive at, and these individually vary constantly, so that the most experienced guide can have no fixed plan of route. The fissure you can leap across to-day, becomes by to-morrow a yawning gulf.”
Inecdotes and Selections.
WHAT RELIGION DOES FOR A MAN.-A man without religion is like a mau living in a planet unillumined by the sun. He has trees, fruit, grass and flowers, streams and bills, around them, but they are only undulations of darkness; he has mountains, but they are gaunt and gloomy crags; he has streams, but they are chill with the touch of darkness and death; he has fruits, but they have no sweetness for a ripening sun; be bas flowers, cold, colourless, and dying; he has trials, but they are only painful ascents to be climbed with uneasy and unboping patience; he has work, but it is cheerless, empty, and really aimless, for the chill stream of death cuts off all; he has prosperity, but it is hollow and unpalatable; he has friendships, but they are only for three score years and ten. But religion lets a light upon all these. The sun has risen upon the mountains, and a crown of glory is on their crests; the light falls on their rivers, and they sparkle back radiance, and murmur along their banks with joy; the fruits turn blushing cheeks towards the sun, and every flower is robed in beauty; the sun