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The wages of American seamstresses have
ONWARD! not yet been beaten down to the British level. Our shirt makers and tailoresses have not yet
How low and mean and abject our lives been recluced to the pauper loaf and the Sunday seem, when we allow ourselves to lose sight of dinner or sheep's brains. Their pay is not,
our duty to God and our neighbor! How we however, in decent proportion to the profits of shrink away into absolute nothingness, when no their employers. Nevertheless, they have rea- good motive compels us to act. At such times, son to be thankful that their lot is not cast in a
we stand above a precipice, down which we are land where the price of fourteen hours' work liable to fall at any moment, into an abyss of will only purchase two ounces of meat, a slice evil doing. Nothing, save the Almighty arm, of bread, two cups of tea, a farthing's worth of can save us then, from the guilt and shame of milk, leaving almost nothing over for clothing, falling. Let us, then, stand fast in faith and shelter and fuel, and absolutely nothing for love --- faith toward God, and love toward our slack times and sickness. No wonder that two
fellow beings. With God for our Father, Christ thirds of the English needlewomen die of con
for our Savior, we ought never to fall away sumption -- in their case a polite name for
from the nobleness and beauty of a Christian starvation.
life. Our ransom was too great, too precious
to be lightly dislonored; and it is strange that MODERN OVERTASKING.
we do not oftener, and more fervently, bear
witness to the Divine Love and protection. Human life is, in many respects, worth more True, the way is rough, the night is dark — but now than it was a hundred years ago. We no the eye of Faith can pierce the darkness
the longer, as a rule, eat and drink to excess, as
weary feet can find the path at last. our ancestors did; we do not invite apoplexy
Upward - onward – God-ward by covering our heads with a cap of deadl hair, and swathing our throats in folds of unnecessary linen ; our sanitary arrangements are a hundred
RESPECT THE BURDEN. fold better, and our town-dwellers see much more of the country, and taste much more of
Napoleon, at St. Helena, was once walking the country air. Yet it is certain that nervous
with a lady, when a man came up with a load disorders are greatly on the increase, and it is
on his back. The lady kept her side of the to be feared that the excitement of modern life path, and was ready to assert her precedence is introducing new maladies while removing of sex; but Napoleon gently waved her on one old. A physician of the early or middle Geor- side, saying, “ Respect the burden, madam.” gian era said that a large proportion of the You constantly see men and women behave deaths of Englishmen was due to repletion. toward each other in a way which shows that The proportion under that head is now very they do not " respect the burden,"— whatever much less; but what we have gained in one
the burden is. Sometimes the burden is an direction we have lost in another. Among the actual, visible load, sometimes it is cold, raggedintellectual and mercantile classes of the pres ness, sometimes it is hunger, sometimes it is ent day, the greatest danger to life is from ner
grief or illness. If I get into a conflict (supvous exhaustion. We make too serious and too
pose I jostle or am jostled) with a half-clad, incessant demands on the most delicate part of hungry looking fellow in the street on a winter
Christ leads the way.
Then there came a day (Your master and my father rode away To join the surging army of the South) In which I owned my people and my cause, And pled with him who own'd me and my love. And lo! he spurned me, - cursed me and my race And mutter'd of his favors; and I rose And said, “My father, I am yet a slave " “ And shall be, while I live," he said, and Fent.
And never came again. He fought and fell In the long battle of the Wilderness, Where for ten days amid the wooded plain There raged a storm of mingled blood and fire. In the woods lay the wounded, and the woods Refused to shelter, stretching boughs of flame Above them till the earth in ashes lay, Mourning her dead and desecrated Spring, I shared your lot, my people. Up for sale I stood, half-naked, in the market-place, Before you, - men and wives and little ones. Holding the long dark leashes of my hair, One offered me to whomsoe'er would buy; I covered then my face, but not for shame God's judgments burn up shame-and in that place I called on Him to hasten to our help. And no man bought us.
The Lord had bought us, O my people!
With blood and not with gold.
We shall no more be sold.
Let this their birthday be;
This day, for they are free.
The end was near: The crowning victory, and the city's fall, And freedom, - all the gifts of God in one Life, love, free labor, and its happy fruits ; Knowledge, and peace, and plenty, all in one, All purchased with the awful price of blood The blood of him who saved and set us free Flowing at last. He, like unto his Lord, And on the day on which the Lord was slain, Was found with peace and pardon on his lips : And him God crowned with death, and gave to wear The purple of His kings.
From the gathering of our ransom
Let us pray the sword may cease, And every debt be cancelled
In this year of our release. The Lord hath bought us, 0 my people!
With blood, and not with gold, The Lord hath owned us, o my people!
We shall no more be sold.
THE SONG OF THE FREED WOMAN.
[The following noble poem is by Isa Craig, one of the finest English poets of the day. It is somewhat long for our pages, but it is a pity to mutilate any thing so admirable ; so we copy it entire :-)
Thr Lord hath bought us, 0 my people !
With blood and not with gold;
We shall no more be sold.
We are owned of God this day;
He hath cast their cords away.
A slave! - A slave, and yet a favored child,
When I saw
Ye are too patient." If a son was sold
The Lord hath bought us, 0 my people!
With blood and not with gold ;
We shall no more be sold.
Women howe'er long wives ;
Ye give this day free lives !
And still the fire Burned in me, stirred by rumors of the war. Listening, I heard my father and his friends Heap hated names on him who rose to rule
THREE GOLDEN THREADS. " To
repress a harsh answer, to confess a fault, or to stop, right or wrong, in the midst of self-defanes in
BY A NEW CONTRIBUTOR.
how willingly we walk in utter darkness rather
than take that trouble. Sitting idle and being Part I.
drifted along is, of all aspects of existence, the
most hopeless. To confront events in a defiant "A thread of law runs through thy prayer."
spirit seems to me, sometimes, the worthier attitude, as it implies life and action. Neither of these dispositions is the true and desirable
There is an interior virtue, a real meanCHAPTER VII.
ing to all which befalls us, whether good or ill; “He alone who lives nobly, oversees his own being, be
beyond the outward and obvious character of lieves all things, and partakes of the eternity of God.” "Spirit is all in all."'--ALCOTT.
each event and every phase of life, there are
inward and spiritual significances, and these it “ I agree most heartily in your condemnation
is my business, my duty to know and improve." of the attempt to wrest from nature a secret, which is not hers to tell. But the knowledge
“ In your sermon, last Sunday, you denounced of, or rather the belief in, such secret, accounts
an intense self-consciousness; and I don't see for the fascination of certain aspects of nature ;
how this questioning of particular circumstances for the entrancing influence which these and
and situations can be made without coming into certain situations exert upon us.
All our relations must be changed before the charm of in
“ There are dangers and disadvantages here, definiteness, or the delicious torment which
as in every other line of duty. There is the belonys to a mystery, just on the verge of solu- risk of fastening self-conceit, and also of formtion, ceases to hold us, as by a spell.
ing a habit of morbid dissection of motives; Still, that we go beyond what is lawful in this
either of which is fatal to a soul's integrity and matter, cannot be denied ; that we pry and growth. But neither of these perils is an excuse listen, where we should wonder and adore.
for neglecting an obligation; or failing to imWe are in unlawful positions when the awful
prove our opportunity. I believe that real presence chamber of the Universe becomes a
humility will prevent a too conscious analysis of whispering gallery; when we sit at the portals
what makes up our life ; and the giving ourselves of glory, only to place our ears at the keyholes.
to a welfare larger than belongs to one circle of And the bafiled disappointment with which we
persons and events, will hinder a dangerous turn from these quests, never had a place with
introspection. If we have any true notions of
our own weakness; any reliable memory of our humility and reverence.” “ You have not yet met your own question
failures and shortcomings, self-consciousness may
be turned to its legitimate business of repentance of the other evening, concerning the illusiveness of present scenes and experiences. I don't
and amendment. When we regard, in their quite apprehend the point of your inquiry.”
proper light, the merits and claims of others;
the service which the humblest of us owes to “ But, remember, I offered to go back there, and you declined being taken ; now I intend to
his family, friends, and the world, we must discourse from your text.
realize the demand to action; and find no time I suspect that, after all, our inquisitiveness in
to spend in microscopic moral dissecting.” this direction has a sound root; but we have
“Then why not let alone the questioning and trained what has branched from it in a wrong
introspection altogether? why not allow the way. We are to accept the mysteries which
larger claims to fill our minds and hands, and
in the performance of duty conquer our idleare before and around us; veiling our faces and lying in rapt silence when these wonderful inti
ness and overcome our weakness? why not mations are felt; striving only to catch what leave circumstances and situations to be interthey bring to our ears. Our time for hearing
preted when other mysteries are solved, and
the soul's secret is revealed ? Perhaps the great the strange secret of the soul has not yet come.
revelation may make the lesser unnecessary, But the interrogatories which may be lawfully
and we shall be saved all trouble, and at the put, in another quarter, we are shy of pro
same time avoid the dangers and risks which pounding. To ourselves, and to our circumstances, it is fit that we should sometimes put you admit belong to the former method ?”
“ Just because we have no right to postpone questions, and persist in obtaining answers ; yet the matter in ono nace
it in the other. There is no performing of duty “Certainly; but the preacher has an advanat hap-hazard. We must have some apprehen- tage. He can enforce his application on the sions of the relation which we hold to others spot, and his hearers could scarcely be ill bred and which they bear to us, to understand their enough to run away.” claims. Otherwise we may throw away our “ He would be more flattered by knowing lives in vain efforts, and overlook the most im- that his moral was applied by each hearer, for perative of our duties. And there is one con- himself.” sideration which forces this course upon us,
“ But he won't know that the hearer has made more strongly, as it seems to me, than any just the intended application. He cannot be other. We can never resolve, at any given sure that each has applied the doctrine of the point in our lives, to commence and fulfil all our discourse faithfully to his own case.” obligations, unfettered by the past; we are “ Not unless he sees in the hearer's life evifree to act without reference to it. All that dence of such application. Or being too far has been — all that we have done, or left un- removed for that evidence to reach him, be done, affects our relations to the present, and hears from the individual's own lips the welcome complicates our obligations. What, at the be- truth. ginning of life, might have been unnecessary
But I omitted one point in my sermon, the and may be a hindrance, is now, because of our lack of which might vitiate the application. former course of conduct, an obligation that we When convinced of failure in the direction of ignore at our peril, moral and spiritual. So, special obligations, or of the necessity of enteralso, what might constitute the most valid claims ing upon new and disagreeable duties, there is upon us, are null because of superior demands, always danger of overdoing, and of taking on arising from what we, ourselves, have done to ourselves more than in the end we are able to make them such. In view of this aspect of the fulfil. The impulse that sends men and women, case alone, how can we live worthy lives, how after finding the shallowness of the most shalfulfil in any measure our obligations, unless we low of earthly pleasures, into convents and take care to know something of ourselves and monasteries, comes in this direction. So also our circumstances; of the relation which exists the making merit of self-denials, falsely so called, between us and the world around us? How for there is no more intense form of selfishness. can we fulfil the claims of duty, unless we know It is closely allied to that spirit which says, what that duty is, and where it lies? We, " Come and see my zeal for the Lord;" only it every one of us, realize that these days and makes a parade of its own weakness, sometimes years which we are spending, may bear a true even of its own shame, in its glorying. We and noble record of us, with them, as they fly; have each seen persons who had given up some this life may be worthy, faithful, lofty with special sin, who were yet more intolerable in truth, integrity, aspiration. And we realize their reform, than in their former condition. that we are failing to make each day and year And refusing to accept and enjoy privileges, is what we feel it should be: that life instead of another form of the same tendency. Because being alive with energy and effort, glowing with one blessing is denied us and one hard burden faith and aspiration, is cold, purposeless, or laid upon us, to refuse all remaining joys, and irresolute, through our own fault. To amend to take on ourselves all possible responsibilities, this, and awake ourselves from the sloth of dis- is as foolish, and more reprehensible, than for position and custom, to grow, and work, and the soldier who has lost one arm, to cut off the live, we should ask of ourselves and our sur other, and put out his eyes, or for the sailor to roundings the questions and demand the answers. starve himself entirely, because necessity causes There, you have my sermon, and a poor one it him to be put on short allowance.” is, considering the text."
“ We must be denied then the poor satisfac“ But you have omitted the application. I tion of making a virtue of necessity, and of supposed that was an important part of every mingling a little heroic asceticism with the poor discourse."
common demands of circumstance. We must “ My discourse is poorer than I had deemed have deprivation and sacrifice at their dead it, if the moral is not obvious. Didn't you level ; none of the inspiration or exhilaration always skip the moral in reading Æsop's Fables which extra self-denial gives." et. D:1m'. Punonce "
« It is just there that I condemn the unnecer
sary asceticism. I would not have privations, | let us take heed that we do not place hindrances bereavements and hardships lie at the dead in the path ourselves. level of ordinary circumstance; so I would pro
There, I beg your pardon for the length of test against degrading them by any stage the sixthly’of my discourse.” trickery. We may accept every form of suffering and loss, as we may each event and phase
CHAPTER VIII. of life, at its highest. We may allow every The next day I made a practical and personal pain and sorrow to sink us lower to the earth, application of the sermon to which I had listened, and make us of it, earthy; we can, by discern- by going into town with Ellen to find a goving the divine spirit of affliction, set each new erness for the children. We were unsuccessful grief beyond the stars. The Christian doctrine for the time; but the temptation to apply, imof sorrow and loss is so lofty, that when we have mediately, my understanding of the pointedness once partaken, ever so feebly, of its spirit, we of that discourse, especially of what I could not shall be amazed at ourselves, whenever our
but own to myself was a forced application, was weakness leads us to forget for one hour the too great. And I left my assumed duties wholly lesson, or more properly the inspiration of that in Sarah's hands. I would not overdo in the experience. There is a weak affectation of matter of duties ; I determined to give this extra resignation, which is often mistaken by those time to books, for I found that Ellen's fashion who express it for something genuine, but which of spending the long, hot July afternoons, was is in reality only cant. “I know all is for the
out of the question. I knew what books held best,' uttered by such persons, means only it is the things which I most wished to know. The right and proper to say that I am resigned ; necessary impulse had been given in our late everybody expects it of me I don't see any conversations, and I began in earnest. Time, best in connection with this event — but it material and opportunity I possessed ; but there would be impious to rebel against it. Now it
were requisites which these did not afford. To seldom happens that we can at first see any best the scholar, even the most meagre of shreds and in the calamity; and where is there any obliga- | patches of time are precious. Uninterrupted tion for us to perjure ourselves by saying that hours, even, are next to nothing, where one has we do? To bear the shock calmly and bravely, reached maturity of years, without feeling the if possible, to trust and wait for light, by which need of habits of study and careful thought. to see it good and right, is all that is required Slowly, out of the various writings, philosophof us. Then, to take up the new duties which ical and theological, into which I plunged, some the change has brought, to perform them with scraps of theories and some confused ideas were single-heartedness, just as they present them- gathered; there remained of my reading just selves, is the next advance. Between these first enough to awaken a thirst for knowledge, and steps and the sublime Christian stand-point, to show me more plainly than I had yet dreamed where the soul sees a truer possession in this how broad was the field into which I had dared apparent deprivation, where it has learned to to set my foot, and how great was my ignorance distinguish prorimity from possession, to view of even how to begin to tread it. I knew that what is nearest to the senses, as . Afar off lying,' | to proceed, I must have advice; and that, to and what is passed from their apprehension, as make use of the little already gained, some • real and underlying;' there is a long distance master's hand must cut the elements, and round to tread. But the living soul will go through into spheres what were now mere fragments of all the stages of such an experience, till it comes chaos in my thought. to know the great mystery of spiritual loss and But I had taken a step which placed me, as I gain. And these steps, or stages, will vary in fancied, beyond any such help. And I realized length according to the temperament, habits more fully some truths in the discourse to which and circumstances of the person who is realizing I had recently listened, and made broader apsuch experience. It will matter little about plication of them, than I had hitherto done. delays and difficulties, when once we have con- There seemed extra perplexities and complicaquered and passed the dangers of the way; tions attending every step that I took, just beperhaps the deeper the former darkness, the
cause I had refused, at the outset, to accept at weightier the obstacles to our progress, the their true value my altered circumstances. greater the glory which shall be revealed. Only But while I was lamenting my na