« ElőzőTovább »
A Word of Consolation to the Poor. 205
. . . . III.
Tbat here upon earth I should stay,
And help me to serve thee by day-
Hymns for Infant Minds.
A WORD OF CONSOLATION TO THE POOR.
(Sent by a Correspondent, signed W.M.W.) THOUGH I am one who never felt the pressure of poverty, yet I see what privations you undergo, and I heartily wish that I could give you a word of comfort.
And it will be comfort to you to remember, that God's all-seeing eye beholds all your sufferings, and your patient submission under all the evils of life. If you have fewer enjoyments than others, you' escape some of their cares, and the charge of some of the talents which they must answer for. Trials you have many; but who is without them?
Be ye therefore content with the wise dispensations of Providence. Envy not the rich their wealth, or their possessions ; for you know not the cares thereof; but strive, by the help of divine grace, to live according to the commandments of your God. Be always willing to submit to His will, for He alone knows what is best for you, and will never
suffer you to be tempted above what ye are able ; but, with the temptation, He will also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Let therefore the consideration that ye are under the peculiar care and protection of Providence, lessen every evil in this life, and strengthen your hopes in a better. Remember that the God of Heaven not only placed you upon earth, but also fixed your station. Pray therefore for divine help, that you may perform well the task he has set before you ; and look to Christ as your hope of Sal. vation, and a crown of glory awaits you, which the Lord will give to all his faithful believers and followers.
Solan Geese, or Gannets. These are birds of passage. They are seen in great numbers, in some of the small Islands near Scotland. In one of these Islands, about a mile round, you may see, about the month of May or June, the whole surface of the ground so completely covered with nests, eggs, and young birds, that it is scarcely possible to walk without treading on them. The Hocks of birds on the wing are so large that they darken the air like clouds, and their noise is so great that a man can hardly hear his neighbour's voice. If you look down from the top of the precipice, you will see it on every side covered with an immense number of birds, swimming about, and hunting for prey. When sailing round the island, if you look at the hanging cliffs, you will perceive every crag and fissure of the rock to be completely covered with these birds. The rocks of St. Kilda*, ahound with Gannets.
They form the chief food of the inhabitants, who are said to consume not less than twenty two. thousand six hundred young birds of this species every year, besides a great many of their eggs. When these geese come to the islands, the people
*One of the Hebrides (Héb-ri-des) or Islands of the West of Scotland.
207 then know ihat the herrings are coming. They live chiefly upon fish. They build their nests on the highest and steepest rocks they can find near the sea. They hover over a shoal of herrings or pilchards, as a kite does over its prey; then they drop head foremost like a stone, into the water, and never fail to bring up a fish.
So great is the number of these birds, that you may watch many hours in vain for some end to their long lines, which stream from all quarters along the surface of the water, as they steer their course home to their beds in the evening. This is a daily occurrence; and, whatever the weatber may be, nay even in the thickest fogs, their course is still straight to the mark. So certain is their flight, that boatmen, unprovided with a compass, place perfect reliance on them, as it is said the Norwegians of old did on their ravens. In addition to this property, we cannot but admire the beautiful provision made by nature, to prevent them from being killed by the stroke of the water when they fall down from aloft, with such force on their prey. The skin is so nearly independent of the breast as to be held to it only by a few slight filaments or strings; and, the space between being blown out with air, they fall without being hurt, sinking to a depth of many feet. It is imagined by the fishermen that they fly out to feed in the morning, even to the southern parts of Britain, and return in the evening. This is scarcely possible, unless their flight is more rapid than that of the albatross, which is supposed to be 150 miles in an hour; but, when their strength and rapidity are considered, it is probable that they go to very great distances ; as they are found every day on all our coasts, very far from their breeding places. The inhabitants often run very great risks to catch these birds. Sometimes they climb very dangerous rocks, resting on small pieces of the cliffs Vhere
there is hardly room to stand, and hanging, too, an amazing height over the sea. Sometimes the fowler is lowered by a rope from the top, and exposes himself to great danger for the sake of getting the nests. The young birds, and the eggs, are good food; the old ones disagreeable and tough..
COUNTY OF DURHAM. The county of Durham is of a triangular* shape, and is bounded on the north by Northumberland, on the east by the German ocean, on the south by Yorkshire, and on the west by the counties of Cumberland and Westmoreland. The western part of this county is mountainous, but does not rise to a great height; and the eastern and middle parts are, for the most part, agreeably varied with hill and dale. About one-fourth of the surface of this county consists of moors, covered with heath, and of other uncultivated land ; the remaining part is in cultivation, but a considerable portion is by no means fertile. Although this county is not important on account of its agricultural products, it abounds in mineral riches. Lead is procured in great abundance in the western district; and large quantities of coal, of an excellent quality, are raised in the northeastern part: this coal is shipped at Sunderland for the London market. There are several extensive iron founderies, and glass and other manufactories, on the banks of the Tyne, which river, in part, separates this county from Northumberland. The principal rivers are the Wear and the Tees. The Wear rises in the western or mountainous district; and, after receiving numerous small streams, takes its course along a fine valley by the city of Dur
On the Word Resurgam. : 209 ham, and enters the sea at Sunderland. The Tees, which separates Yorkshire from Durham, rises very near the source of the Wear, and pursues a winding course, of great picturesque beauty, to the sea, which it enters, with a broad mouth, below Stockton. * The ancient city of Durham, the capital of the county, is a considerable place, irregularly built on the winding banks of the Wear, whose sides, in this part, are covered with woods, and edged with lofty crags. Sunderland, at the mouth of the Wear, is an increasing trading town. At the mouth of the Tyne, on the Durham side, lies the town of South Shields, which participates in the trade of Newcastle, many of the colliers * belonging to, and taking in their lading at this place.
Darlington, in the southern part of the county, is a neat clean town, and has long been noted for the manufacture of table and napkin linen, called Huckabacks.
Over the south portico of St. Paul's church, there is a figure of a phoenix rising out of the flames, with the word Resurgam underneath it. The word Resurgam is Latin, and means I shall rise again. We often see the figure of the bird called the phenix, but there is, in reality, no such bird. There was, for a long time, a curious notion that there was one such a bird in the world, that it lived some hundred years, and that it was at length consumed by fire, and that then another bird with new youth and beauty, rose out of the ashes of the old one.