« PreviousContinue »
And I have laboured since, in love, some small return to make
To Him Who did so much for me and suffered for my sake:
To do some little work for God, and make my people know
Him Whom I knew not, had not learned, some fourteen years ago.
I taught, and those I taught by day brought to their homes at night,
To chiefs', to braves', and hunters' lodge, the Gospel words of light;
Till I and they and all our tribe were striving, and have striven,
To teach and learn those happy words, Forgiveness! Jesus! Heaven!
Thus, Father of my tribe and Chief, upon their heavenly road,
Father, Chief, Missionary, now, I lead my sons to God;
And when I die, 'here,' tribe beloved, inscribe it on my tomb,
'REMEMBER THAT THOU WAST A BONDMAN.'
HE hand which pens these lines was, some years since, very nearly stiffened into death by starvation, whilst lost amidst the wilds of Australia. After partial recovery, whilst travelling through the same desolate
country on our way to a lonely settlement, whilst leading our horses along a tract of precipices, we saw a poor magpie, sadly thin and wasted, hopping round a small bush. On examination, we found a cord fastened to one of the legs of the bird, the other end of which securely held the poor little creature by its entwinement around the plant. Some settler, we presume, had caught this wild magpie, perhaps among his newly-sown grain, and had fastened the bird to affright other winged thieves. The bird somehow becoming loose, had been probably driven away from its own race on account of its appendage, and had made its way to the mountains, and there had become thus entangled, and was now ready to die. Our own nearness to starvation on these mountains came back afresh into our mind, and very eloquent words would be needed-we possess none such-to express the exquisite pleasure with which we freed this poor captive of its chain. We do not indeed remember that we were a bondman in the land of Egypt, but we remembered that we were once imprisoned by flooded rivers, and starving to death on these lone mountains; and that recollection made our hands swift to relieve the sufferings of
'Our Chief and Missionary lies and sleeps another, although that other was only a
HE Bittern is a solitary bird belonging to the crane tribe. Standing erect, it measures nearly
four feet in height! It on has a smooth, black head, and a white throat streaked with red and black. It is found in many parts of Europe, Asia, and America. Now it is seldom seen in England.
The bittern lies hidden during the day, and at night feeds upon frogs and fish, small birds, and even quadrupeds. It frequently rises spirally to a great height in the air, and makes a loud, screaming noise. It is terribly fierce, and when attacked by birds. of prey it erects its sharp bill and receives the shock on the point; thus compelling the enemy to retreat.
Almighty God, in foretelling, by the mouth of Isaiah, the destruction of Babylon as a punishment for sin, spake these words, 'I will make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water.' The meaning of the threat was this, that as the Babylonians held the Jews, God's peculiar people, in cruel bondage to serve their own ends, so they should, in their turn, become the prey of heathen armies; and their beautiful city should be so utterly laid waste that its ruins should become the haunt of ferocious birds. This prophecy was fulfilled when Babylon was taken and desolated by the Medes and Persians.
The bittern was also mentioned in the prophecies of vengeance on the Idumæans, or Edomites, and the Assyrians; which prophecies came true in a very striking E. L.
A STORY ABOUT THE IBEX.
GRETA, Greta, come here!
is coming over the mountain, and he is carrying something in his arms,-not slung over his back, but right before him; and I do believe he has caught the kid which he promised me, oh! so long ago.'
Franz and his sister strained their eyes, but the figure of the hunter was soon lost in the dips of the mountain; and while Greta went in to tell their mother to get the supper, for father was at hand, Franz ran to meet him.
He was quite right. Jean Marfil was bearing in his arms a small frightened creature, and over his back was hanging the dead mother. But she had not fallen by Jean's hand, for the body was mangled, and the little one had not escaped the traces of blood. His aim was too true for such work as this; and as Franz began to wipe the ruffled fur of the kid he eagerly asked how it had happened.
"Why did you hurt the little one, father? he asked.
'I hurt neither of them, my son. I would have saved the mother if I could, but that was not possible. I was on the heights watching for the chamois, when an eagle swooped past me. I knew by his cry that he was after some prey, and I watched him. Presently I saw him go suddenly down on the other side of the rock on which I stood. I could not shoot him, for he was protected by it. But then I saw what a mother's love can do. This poor thing,' and here Jean tenderly stroked the wild goat's head, so timid generally, did not think of herself when her child was in danger. She defended it while the eagle was mangling her and tearing her to pieces. I had to go round to the other side before I could get at them, and when
'I will never get tired,' said Franz. 'I will keep it with me always. It will not remember the mountains and its own home. It will be my very very own.' Ah, Franz!' said his mother, 'you will soon tire of it. See how many things you bave put aside the carpenter's tools, the gardening—everything, when it gave you a little trouble.'
'Not this, mother. You will see.'
And this time the boy was true to his promise. After many family discussions the kid was named Romah. It followed Franz about the house; and though he led it out of doors by a leather thong, it was only because he was so afraid of its being worried by the big dog Hilda, who was already veryjealous of the new favourite. Franz watched with increasing delight the growth of his darling, and when the little. horns began to show themselves, they were examined and measured every day.
'There, now!' said Franz, triumphantly. But, alas at that moment Jean Marfil, coming over the mountains, discharged his gun, and Romah fled at the sound. far, but still too swiftly for Franz; and just as the boy reached him he gave another bound, and now he realised his freedom. From hillock to hillock he sprang, and then from rock to rock, Franz following, calling, entreating Romah to return. Now and then a little face peered over a jutting rock, as if to mock him; but no persuasions were of any use. Far away up the slopes and crags, and then into the mountains. The boy was in despair.
It is all your fault, Greta,' he said, as he rushed up to his room, and throwing himself on the bed burst into tears. Byand-bye when he came down his mother tried to comfort him, by showing him that what had happened was perfectly natural. The Bible itself speaks of the high hills being a refuge for the wild goats; and the other name for them, the Ibex, means, to ascend, to mount up.' But Franz never became a hunter,-for might he not happen to shoot Romah, mistaking him for a chamois ?.
F. E. H.