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affect, not the earth only, but all the other planets which form part of the same system of laws and influences.

The passage in Eccles. i. 4, "The earth remaineth for ever," is to be understood relatively, and not as ascribing to the earth an absolute eternity of duration.

The passage in 2 Peter iii. 10, refers to that crisis when the system, of which the earth is a component part, shall be dissolved; but, until that crisis arrive, the earth shall continue.

The two lessons taught by these passages are at all times seasonable, and peculiarly so at the present time. The first lesson is the brevity of human life: out of the number that are born, only one in seven reaches the age of sixty. What a powerful reason for the young promptly to prepare for death!

The second lesson is the unexpected approach of Christ to judgment. As an event that is to take place, it is certain beyond all doubt; as to the time of its occurrence, it is uncertain, even 66 as a thief in the night." Oh, to be found ready for his coming, that we may, when his approach is announced, heartily say, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"


(Concluded from page 262.)

"I AM a native of Corrivoulin, in 66 Things were in this state at the parish of Ardnamurchan; and, like the other inhabitants, was very ignorant of God, and of his holy child Jesus. My father was a fisherman, and was a good deal from home; but, as he could not read himself, and the parish school was at a distance, he never once thought of having his children instructed. We had no Bible in the house, nor indeed any other book; and, when my father was at sea, we had nothing to do, but spent our whole time in idleness and folly. On the sabbath, my father and the other men about the place sat on the beach, and told wild and romantic tales about apparitions and the second-sight; or strolled about the hills and glens in the neighbourhood, in search of the bits of pointed flint called elf-arrow-heads, which they very seldom found.

Corrivoulin, when the Society for the Support of Gaelic Schools offered us a teacher, on condition that we provided the necessary accommodation. The idea of having their children taught without trouble or expense operated powerfully on many, though they would have been better pleased had the instruction been in English, as it would have been more likely to forward the temporal interests of their offspring. Poor people! they did not then know the value of their souls, and how could they feel for the souls of their children? However, the accommodation was provided, and the teacher came. He was a middle-aged man, of simple and unassuming manners, but "fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.' Immediately on his arrival, he assembled all the people in the school-house,

and told them that he should only remain two years amongst them; so that if they ever wished to acquire the ability to read the Bible in their own language, now was the time. Some of the parents, and many of the children, were that very day enrolled as scholars. My father, who had taken no share in providing the school-house, was with difficulty prevailed upon to enter me. I was his eldest child, but he had two others quite capable of instruction. These he was urged to enrol at the same time, but his answer was, 'He would see how Norman came on.'

"I have already said that the teacher was a man of God; as a necessary consequence, he was a man of prayer. He prayed with his scholars at meeting, and at parting; and on the sabbath he read the scriptures, and prayed with as many of the neighbours as chose to come together, for the parish church was too distant for the people to attend it regularly, even if they had had the inclination.

"As soon as any of the scholars were able to read the Bible, that blessed book was furnished to them by the society at a very low price, and the teacher began to explain its all-important contents. I had not been many months at school, when I became very uneasy in my mind. The Bible told me that I was a sinner, under the wrath and curse of God, and that I could not of myself recover his favour. I endeavoured to please him, indeed, by reading the Bible, and praying, and doing my duty to my parents; but my conscience soon told me that all this

would not do; I was unhappy still. I opened my mind to the teacher; he was deeply interested in the disclosure, and pointed me to the Lamb of God. He read with me, reasoned with me, prayed with me; and by the blessing of God's Holy Spirit on these means, I was led to embrace Jesus Christ freely offered to me in the gospel. I need scarcely say that I soon found peace, as well as joy, in believing.

"You will readily conclude, sir, that having thus found him of whom Moses and the prophets wrote, I was most anxious to make him known to my dear parents too. Respecting this, however, I had serious difficulties to contend with. My father was an upright and high-spirited man, who was addicted to no vice, and paid every man his own, and therefore imagined that he had no need of a Saviour. My mother was entirely devoted to him and to her family, and supposed herself as sure of heaven as her neighbours. I had great perplexity of mind, therefore, as to how I should introduce the subject of religion to them. I was not yet sixteen, and but a child in christian experience myself, though feelingly awake to their spiritual danger. I mentioned the matter to the teacher, who advised me to pray much for my parents in private. This I did for several months, often retiring to the hills, and behind the rocks on the sea-shore for the purpose; but still things remained in the same state. The teacher then advised me to try to set up family worship, assuring me that God would not fail to bless his own word to my parents' souls. I

spoke to my father on the subject, who coldly answered that I might do as I pleased, and with this negative permission, I was constrained to be satisfied. Accordingly, one evening when the family were all assembled, I placed the table in the middle of the floor, and laid my Bible and Psalmbook upon it. I then sat down, and said, 'Let us worship God.' I read a psalm, and sung it, no one offering to join me, though none attempted any interruption. I then read a chapter of scripture, and afterwards knelt down and prayed, while the rest continued sitting and looking on. I prayed, however, for them all, one by one; but when I rose up from my knees, no remark was made, though I inwardly thanked God that I had been thus enabled to erect an altar to his praise in my father's house.

"The next evening things went on precisely in the same way; but on the following one, a happy change took place. I sang, indeed, and knelt down alone; but as I was praying for my parents, my father rose from his seat and knelt down beside me; my mother slid down upon her knees beside the cradle, which she was rocking at the time; the children, one after another, did the like; and, before I concluded, we were all (the little baby excepted) on our knees together, for the first time in our lives, around a throne of grace. That night, sir, I could not sleep-do not wonder if I add, I even wept for joy.

"On the ensuing evening, after I had read the psalm, my father said, 'Norman, if you will give out the line, as the precentor does, in the

church, we will sing along with you.' This was a pleasant proposal, sir, to me, as you may well suppose; but when our united voices rose in praise to God, my delight was so great that it almost choked my utterance. My parents, however, did not observe my emotion; or if they did, they took no notice of it.

"Matters went on in this manner for five or six weeks, when one evening, after family worship was over, my father sat down by the fire, and gazed intently on the burning peats for some time; after which he suddenly turned round to me and said, 'Norman, you must teach me to read.' 'Will you not go to school?' said I. 'No,' said he, 'I have not time for that. I must earn my family's bread; but you shall teach me in the evenings, and we will begin to-night. So bring the spelling-book." Words, sir, cannot express the pleasure with which I obeyed that command. My mother and the children went to bed; but my father and I sat up till midnight, and before we parted he knew all the letters. Next night, and for several nights afterwards, I tried him with syllables; but in learning these he made so little progress, that I became discouraged, and he himself also began to despond. I again applied to the teacher for advice. He smiled, and said, 'It is because there is no meaning in the syllables. Give him the Bible at once.' Accordingly, I laid aside the spelling-book, and put the Gaelic Testament into my father's hand. There, as the teacher foresaw, he found meaning in every word, and soon made rapid progress.

M 2

In four months he could read as well as myself. Happy was I, sir, the first time I saw my dear father go to sea with his Bible in the boat; and happier still when, a few evenings afterwards, as we were going to family worship, he said, 'Norman, I will now be the priest of my family myself.' He, accordingly, gave out the psalm, read a chapter, and prayed. I could not doubt, sir, after his prayer that evening, that my father was a converted man.

"While my father was thus learning to read the Gaelic scriptures for himself, he had sent all the rest of his children to school, who were capable of instruction; so that the whole family might in some measure be said to be 'asking the way to Zion, with their faces thitherward,' excepting my poor mother. Her heart continued wholly engrossed by her domestic concerns. Indeed (why should I conceal it?) the fine manly form of my father, and the beauty of my infant brother Murdoch, who was my father's very image, were the objects of her idolatry, and seemed to have left no room in her heart for God. God, however, did not say of her, as he said of Israel of old, 'Ephraim is joined to idols, let him alone.' No, he had purposes of mercy towards her, though it was 'through much tribulation that she was to enter into the kingdom of God.' He smote her idols, in order that he might bring her to himself."

reading, I became very fond of books; but I soon found the works printed in Gaelic to be so few in number, that, if I wished to pursue my favourite pastime, I must of necessity learn English. This, with the assistance of the teacher, I very easily accomplished; and then indeed, sir, I found a new world opened up to me. There was no subject I could mention, on which there did not seem to be a book. The teacher lent me several, and amongst others the Pilgrim's Progress. I had sat up very late one night reading that singular book; and had just lain down in bed, when I perceived the smell of burning straw. Thinking that one or two straws had been accidentally put into the fire with the peats, I paid no attention to it at first; until a blaze of light and a crackling noise made me start out of bed, when I discovered, with horror and amazement, that the cottage was in flames. I awoke my father and mother, and rushed naked out of doors. My parents, and the children who were able, immediately followed. We stood gazing in silence on the destruction of our little property, when all at once my mother, with a fearful shriek, exclaimed, 'Oh! where is my little Murdoch?' 'Have you not got him?' said my father; and, with the air of a distracted man, he rushed into the burning dwelling. Through the window, the glass of which had been first broken and then melted by the heat, we saw him approach the blazing bed, and snatch the infant, still asleep, in his arms. Awakened by the sudden shock, the

At this part of his narrative, the young man became much affected; but, after drawing two or three deep sighs, he was able to proceed. "When I had acquired the art of poor child began to cry, and my

father pressed him for one moment to his lips, and then made for the door. Again we saw him in the door-way, his own shirt and the baby's nightgown both in flames; but, just as he was in the act of springing over the threshold, the roof fell in, and my poor father and little Murdoch perished together before our eyes."

Here the poor youth again became greatly agitated. He covered his face with his hands, and the tears gushed out between his fingers. After pausing for a few minutes, however, he regained his composure, and continued his narrative.

"It was an awful sight, sir, and yet I could not but feel assured that their souls were safe. My father was a converted man; and little Murdoch, who had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, would receive the full benefit of the Redeemer's purchase. My poor mother, however, was not prepared to see things in that light; she beheld her idols perish, and fell senseless to the ground. In that state she was carried to the house of a neighbour, and, as soon as she awoke to a full consciousness of her loss, fever and delirium ensued. For three weeks we despaired of her life, and when the fever happily subsided, the deepest melancholy took possession of her mind. In vain the teacher and I endeavoured to show her, from the Bible, that all things work together for good to them that love God; and that, if she would only come to Christ as her Saviour, she would find support and consolation at the foot of his cross.


| Rachel weeping for her children, she refused to be comforted. At length, however, God spoke peace to her soul, through the instrumentality of his own word. She never learned to read, but she took much delight in hearing the scriptures read to her; and in them, after a time, she found a Saviour suited to her need. She believed, and was consoled, though she never smiled after that awful night. Her bodily health, too, continued to decline, and she died in about a year from the time of her heavy affliction. But she died in the Lord; and, I have no doubt, now walks in white, along with my father and little Murdoch, before the throne of the Redeemer.

"In consequence of my father's death, the support of the family became my duty, of course. I was too young to turn fisherman, and so I sold my father's share of the boat to his partner in the business. With the money I bought this box in Glasgow, and filled it with such articles as I thought would be easily disposed of in the West Highlands. A kind Providence has blessed the attempt, and I have been enabled to maintain my brothers and sisters in tolerable comfort. My eldest sister goes to service at next term, and one by one I hope to see the rest settled in the world. I have now been to Glasgow, getting my box filled for the fourth time; and I am taking home a few pounds in my pocket besides. But it is a wandering life, sir, and I do not like it much; for it often shuts me out from the means of grace, and exposes me to company in which my principles are laughed at, and my

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