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A TYROLESE CATASTROPHE.

having vainly endeavoured to awaken them to a sense of their danger, quitted the spot himself, and sought shelter elsewhere.

Hours passed, and no further disturbance of any kind taking place, the villagers concluded the whole thing to be a false alarm, and at night all retired to rest as usual, without apparently a shadow of misgiving.

Suddenly, in the midst of the silence and darkness, a fearful crash of falling rocks sounded far and wide through the valley ; and when the first rays of the sun lighted up the mountain peaks, a terrible scene of ruin and death was revealed. The four little hamlets had entirely disappeared ; two of them, those that lay nearest the slopes of Monte Pezza, were completely buried under an immense mass of fallen earth and rocks; the other two were submerged beneath the waters of the river Cordevole, which had been driven from its course by the berg-fall, and had spread out into what is now known as the Lake of Alleghe.

None of the unhappy victims had a moment's time for escape, even had escape been possible. The rushing down of the mountain was instantaneous, and buried them as they lay sleeping; the water flowed with impetuous rapidity into the unprotected villages, not one inmate of which survived to relate the experiences of that awful night.

Some months passed; and the first horror of the catastrophe had a little faded, when another berg-fall took place, again followed by lamentable consequences. It occurred in the month of May, and in daylight; but a much smaller loss of life was the result, though the destruction of property was even greater than on the previous occasion.

Owing to the tremendous force exerted by the falling debris, the waters of the lake, which had never subsided since its formation, instantaneously rose into an enormous wave, and rushed violently up the valley, wrecking houses and farm-buildings, destroying the flourishing orchards and corn fields, and carrying away a portion of the parish church of a village which had been recalled Alleghe, after the submersion of the first of that name. The organ of this church was forcibly swept to a considerable distance; and a tree borne along on the mighty wave was dashed into an open window of the curé's house, while he was sitting at dinner, the servant who was attending him being killed on the spot.

Many lives were lost during this second great berg-fall, and terrible consternation was created in the minds of the inhabitants of the district, which seemed to have been so specially singled out for misfortune.

DEATH OF JOHN KNOX.

Since that time, however, no other serious disaster has befallen them; the huge mountains of the neighbourhood have not again hurled death and ruin on the smiling valley at their feet; and the little Lake of Alleghe, the principal memorial of the catastrophe, is only an added beauty to the lovely scenery which surrounds it, and lies there in serene tranquility, all unconscious of the beating hearts for ever stilled beneath its waters, of the happy homes rendered dark and desolate by its cold, cruel wave.

More than a hundred years have passed since then; many generations of villagers have lived and died, and the recollection of the great berg-falls of 1771 has faded into a mere tradition of the place ; but yet, looking down into the clear depths of the lake, on a day when there is no wind to raise ripples on its surface, the outlines of the submerged villages can be distinctly traced. Roofs and walls of houses can yet be distinguished ; it is even said that the belfry of the church is visible, flights of stairs, and many other relics of the past life of the drowned inhabitants.

On the 21st of May, in each year, the date of the second of those great disasters, a solemn commemoration service is celebrated in the little church of Alleghe, and masses are performed for the souls of those who perished in the two fatal berg-falls of 1771.

DEATH OF JOHN KNOX.

As Knox had lived so he died, full of courage. From his dying bed he exhorted, warned, and admonished all who approached him as he had done from the pulpit. His brethren in the ministry he adjured to abide by the eternal truth of the gospel.” Noblemen and statesmen be counselled to uphold the “Evangel,” and not forsake the church of their native land, if they would have God not to strip them of their riches and honours. He made Calvin's sermons on the Ephesians be read to him, as if his spirit sought to commune once more on earth with that mightier spirit. But the Scriptures were the manna on which he mostly lived : “ Turn,” said he to his wife, “ to that passage where I first cast anchor, the seventeenth of the gospel of John. In the midst of these solemn scenes a gleam of his wonted geniality breaks in.

Two intimate friends come to see him, and he makes a cask of French wine which was in his cellar be pierced for their entertainment, and hospitably urges them to partake, saying that “ be will not tarry until it be all drunk.” He was overheard breathing out short utterances in prayer: “Give peace to this afflicted common

RESPONSIBILITY FOR SECRET THOUGHTS.

wealth ; raise up faithful pastors.” On the day before his death, being Sunday, after lying some time quiet, he suddenly broke out, “I have fought against spiritual wickedness in heavenly things," referring to the troubled state of the church, "and have prevailed; I have been in heaven and taken possession. I have tasted of the heavenly joys." At eleven o'clock in the evening of the 24th of November, he heaved a deep sigh, and ejaculated, “Now it is come.” His friends desired of him a sign that he died in peace, whereupon, says the chronicler of his last hours, “ As if he had received new strength in death, he lifted one of his hands towards heaven, and sighing twice, departed with the calmness of one falling into sleep." - Dr. Wylie's History of Protestantism.

RESPONSIBILITY FOR SECRET THOUGHTS.

A GOOD man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil; for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh."

The text teacheth that man is swayed to do what is good, or what is evil, by the quality of his preponderating thoughts. Because, “ as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Christianity extends its dominion over the secrets of the heart, and aims to purify its concealed currents of thought. The quality of right or wrong pertains to the invisible thoughts, as well as to the manifested actions. To God all hearts are open, and He searcheth the heart. From Him no secrets are hid, and not one can escape His all-seeing eye. The preacher therefore shows: First, that cherished thoughts exert a controlling influence in the formation of moral character, and in shaping the outward actions. No passion of our nature can be brought into activity till after the mind has thought of the object of that passion, formed conceptions concerning it, and dwelt on exaggerated views of the pleasures of indulgence. In the curtained theatre of the heart, passions enact their secret sins of lawless violence on our moral nature. Those that do not blaze forth and blacken the outer man, often burn and scar the hidden man of the heart. Vile literature incites the evil thoughts that supply the fuel to the passion-fires that rage within the heart, and which are more consuming because they are concealed and burn virtue in the dark.

Mental revelling in sin is known to God. He understandeth thy thoughts afar off.

THE HIGHEST GIFT.

Hatred is the spirit of murder. Covetousness is mental idolatry. Lustful thoughts are the essence of adultery. Meditated sin is actual in God's sight. He knoweth the thoughts of the heart. To Him we must answer for their character. We must all appear, or be manifested, before the judgment-seat of Christ. All secret sins will burst forth into vivid form by the revealing brightness of the great white throne. We cannot escape the guilt of cherished evil passions because concealed from mortal eye. Hark! the trumpet's awful sound !

“Oh, what fear it shall engender
When the Judge shall come in splendour,
Strict to mark and just to render!
Book where every thought's recorded,
All events all time afforded,

Shall be brought, and dooms awarded!” In solemn words, with tremulous tones the preacher looks at us and closes, saying, “ The formation of your religious character .-your course of action and kind of influence in the world—your success and triumph in the great battle with foes within-your peace and joy in the Holy Ghost your steady progress in the divine life-your preparation for all that heaven is and will be to a redeemed soul, and the condition of your final entrance into that glorious, eternal state—all the mighty interests of your being for immortality are to be won or lost in your victory or defeat in that tremendous conflict by which every thought is to be brought into captivity unto the obedience of Christ. Let each soul pray“ Cleanse Thou me from secret faults. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”

THE HIGHEST GIFT.

In most lives the highest gift is the gift of toil. Indeed, men of genius have often been the most terrible of toilers, and in the regions of highest art how have the great masters of music first wielded the keys of the organ and harpischord to their fingers’ ends and their soul's nerves before they poured forth the Creation or the Messiah, the symphonies and sonatas ! Think of Meyerbeer and his fifteen hours of daily work; of Mozart's incessant study of the masters and his own eight hundred compositions in his short life; of Mendelssohn's nine years' elaboration of Elijah! Or in the sister art, how we track laborious, continuous study in the Peruginesque, the Florentine, and the Roman styles successively of Raphael, and in the incredible activity that crowned a life of

POETRY.

thirty-seven years with such a vast number of portraits and Madonnas, of altar pieces and frescoes, mythological, historical, and biblical! And that still grander contemporary genius, how he wrought by night with the candle in his pasteboard cap; how he had dissected and studied the human frame like an anatomist or surgeon before he wrought the David or Moses, or painted the Sistine chapel; and how the plannings of his busy brain were always in advance of the powers of a hand that, till the age eighty-eight, was incessantly at work.

of

Poetry.

DAVID GREY'S ESTATE.

OVER his forge bent David Grey,
And thought of the rich man 'cross the way.
“Hammer and anvil for me,” he said,
“ And weary toil for the children's bread.
For him, soft carpets and pictured walls,
A life of ease in his spacious halls.”
The clang of bells on his dreaming broke;
A flicker of flame, a whirl of smoke.
Ox in travis, forge grown white-hot,
Coat and hat were alike forgot,
As up the highway the blacksmith ran,
In face and mien like a crazy man.
“School-house afire!” Men's hearts stood still,
And the women prayed as women will,
While 'bove the tumult the wailing cry
Of frightened children rose shrill and high.
Night in its shadows hid sun and earth;
The rich man sat by his costly hearth,
Lord of wide acres and untold gold,
But wifeless, childless, forlorn and old.
He thought of the family across the way;
“I would,” he sighed, “I were David Grey."
The blacksmith knelt at his children's bed
To look once more at each shining head.
“My darlings all safe! O God,” he cried,
“My sin in Thy boundless mercy hide!
Only to-day have I learned how great
Hath been Thy bounty, and my ostate.”

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