« ElőzőTovább »
“And there is something more that I want you to think of, Nellie. God has given you hands that you inay serve Him with them. And I do not know anything that will make you more skil. ful than remembering Him in all that you do. Thou God seest me' is a thought that will make us earnest in all things. Nellie, have you asked Him to help you with regard to your hands ?”
Nellie looked confused as her mother asked her this question. “I thought it was too small to ask Him about, mamma.”
'Oh, my child, nothing is too small. Jesus told us that when ve pray to God we are to say, 'Our Father who art in heaven.' You know that your papa does not think anything that_troubles you too small for him to care about. And our heavenly Father is even more tender and loving than earthly parents can be. So take courage, Nellie. Tell Him all about it and ask His help, and see if before long Nellie's hands are not all we wish them to be.”
Nellie kissed her mother.
Then Mrs. Seymour advised her child to learn one verse and never forget it.
“ Teach me, my God and King,
In all things Thee to see,
To do it as for Thee." Nellie felt quite cheered after this conversation with her mother. She made a resolution that she would be very patient, and painstaking, and persevering, and conscientious in all that she did. And with these qualities she would certainly be successful.
When she had said “ Good night” to her mother, and was in her own room, she did as that kind friend had advised her, and told her Father in heaven all about it.
“O Lord,” she said, “I am only a little girl, and am of no use in the world, but Thou art strong, and able to do everything for me.
Please teach me how to use the hands that Thou hast given me. I want to do what is right and good with them, but I am so careless, and hasty, and forgetful. Oh! help me. I want to give my hands to Thee and to my dear parents and brothers whom I love so well. But they are not worth having at present, for they are not able to do anything. O Lord, teach me, and help me, for Jesus Christ's sake.”
After that there is some hope for Nellie's hands. Don't you think so ?
(To be continued.)
NOTICE TO CORRESPONDENTS. The Editor of the CHRISTIAN WORLD MAGAZINE begs respectfully to intimate to voluntary contributors that she will not hold herself responsible for MSS. sent on approval. Unaccepted MSS. of any great length will be returned, provided the name and address of the owner written on the first or last page, and provided also that the necessary stamps are enclosed for transmission through the post. Authors are recommended to keep copies of verses, skort essays, and minor articles generally, since they cannot, under any circunsstances, be returned. Miscellaneous contributions are not requested.
CHRISTIAN WORLD MAGAZINE.
THE WAR, AND THE SEAT OF WAR.
At this season of the year the study of Continental geography is one of the chief occupations of leisurely, well-to-do Englishmen. Everybody is wanting rest and change, or rather rest in change. The fatigues and inconveniences of an autumn excursion are probably much greater than any of us would tolerate in our own homes, and in the routine of our common life. But once away for our holiday, we are free from care and worry, among strange faces and new scenes, forgetting, or trying hard to forget, the dreary mill of monotonous duties in which, month after month, we are grinding out our lives. And we try, not unnaturally, to make our change as complete as possible. Throughout England there are scenes of beauty, if not of grandeur, that can be surpassed in few lands; but there are also incessant deliveries of letters, telegraph offices at the corner of every large street, and even at almost every rural post-office, and the innumerable daily papers which so few have the fortitude to leave unread. They must glance, at least, over the City article, and so are plunged at once into all the anxieties of rising or falling discounts, changing markets, failures and bankruptcies, and the perpetual perils by which commerce is beset. It is surely better to be out of the way of all this—near enough to “business” to be fetched home in any case of grim necessity, and far enough away to be left in peace unless a real necessity should arise. So those who can afford the time and money get away out of their native land altogether. They find a charm in what is wholly un-English, even though it never occurs to them that what is so agreeable abroad might possibly with advantage be imitated at home. They admire, while they half despise, the easy gaiety of Continental life, and almost wish that out of their own far harder work and far more substantial fortunes they could extract half as much enjoyment. Even the strangeness of the foreign languages enhances their delight, and helps them to realise that they are for a while completely cut off from home and England. So about this season of the year there is a great demand for Murray's Hand-books, Continental Railway Guides, Tourists' Companions, and the like. People whose knowledge of geography had been almost confined to the names of the principal countries, with their capitals, and possibly the names and the number of the inhabitants of a few principal towns, begin to inquire about the great physical features of Europe, the ranges of mountains, the courses of rivers and valleys, the greatest wonders of architecture, the finest collections of art-treasures, the best roads and lines of railway. Other lands become as real as their own, and begin to excite the same kind of curiosity and interest.
But a very cursory glance at shop windows and street advertisements would inform us that Continental geography is this year invested with a new and dreadful interest. Maps of Europe, of all sizes and qualities, and especially maps of the frontier of France and Germany, are everywhere to be seen; but no Continental Hand-books,” no advertisements of cheap trips to Paris or the Rhine. On the contrary, we have “Hand-books” of our English cathedral cities, our English, Scotch, and Irish lakes, and cheap trips to our own over-crowded watering-places. The maps of Europe indicate no longer the highways of pleasure, but the districts which tourists must avoid. That which has so long been dreaded by statesmen and philanthropists—a great Continental war -has come at last. We have to study the river courses and valleys, the mountain passes or wide plains, the great high roads and railways, as furnishing access and battle-fields for huge armies--such armies as have never clashed together before in the whole history of the world.
So rapid and startling have been the incidents of this war that we can scarcely realise that it was only on the 15th of July that war was declared. So unexpected by many have been the successes of the Prussians and the reverses of France that it is worth while to attempt some kind of estimate of the true strength, material and especially moral, of these great Powers. This may help us to understand why the seat of war is not the lovely Rhine land, and why fortress after fortress is yielding to the invader of France. It may help to reassure us also in the danger of our own possible share in the sufferings and sacrifices of our allies. The determination of our Government that, if the neutrality of Belgium be violated, England will fight is probably the surest guarantee of peace—but we know not what may come; and if the worst should come, it is not to a huge standing army or a whole population of well-trained reserves that we can look for safety, but to the moral effect of English institutions and the force of English character.
The French forces are so numerous and so brave, and were supposed at first to be so admirably provided with all the necessaries of war, that the army was regarded as the impregnable bulwark of the Emperor's power. It was hoped, and half believed, that nothing but the extremest personal peril could induce Napoleon III. to defend himself and his dynasty by the wickedness and immeasurable misery of a European war; but scarcely anybody doubted that he could, if he chose, recover the confidence and loyalty of Frenchmen by the glory of great victories and the annexation to France of long-coveted territory. The readiness of the French troops, the fact that they have been for many years preparing for the great crisis of Europe, the unscrupulousness with which, when the hour came, everything would be sacrificed for victory, the (supposed) comparative slowness and unpreparedness of Germany, together with the moral restraints by which her war might be controlled and almost impeded,--all this seemed to indicate that the Emperor was in possession of a power which it would be unspeakably wicked to use, but which would certainly render him invincible. That this was the Emperor's own belief was indicated by the precipitancy with which he declared war, and the rashness with which he commenced the invasion of the Fatherland; while all France went mad with the excitement of certain victory, and were already in imagination keeping Napoleon's fete in Berlin itself. The army of France is indeed a mighty instrument of destruction. On a peace footing it numbered more than 400,000, and on the war footing it reached the enormous total of 757,727. Her navy consists, in all, of 401 vessels, carrying 3,045 guns, and (the steamers) impelled by engines of an aggregate of 92,627 horse power.
But there was many an element of weakness where all seemed strength. The soldiers are for the most part Frenchmen, and their political sympathies were already giving some uneasiness. And, above all, the whole system of Imperial government is based upon ignorance and deceit. Not being infallible, it could seem so only by shrouding itself in impenetrable secrecy. Everybody knows the restrictions to which the French press is subject, and the limitations of the right of public meeting. Even foreign newspapers were examined, and excluded from France whenever they contained dangerous criticisms or damaging facts. It was an absolutely
necessary qualification for high office-almost for any office-in the State or the army to be a devoted adherent, not to say a mere servile tool, of Napoleon. Hence the best men were excluded from office, driven into discontented privacy, or opposition, or exile. Even the army is without military genius, as the war has already abundantly proved. The commissariat is jobbed. The Ministry of the Emperor is more afraid of Paris than of Prussia. The prin. ciple of government by lies is always in danger of a sudden and total collapse, and in France is actually collapsing. The utter distrust which is produced by habitual deceit and treachery is showing itself on every side. The Bank of France suspends cash payments. That vast currency which in all commercial countries consists of bills of exchange, has been set free from those legal restraints which alone render it available in the transactions of business. The coin and bullion in the bank is clearly destined for foreign use. And this hurried and suicidal legislation can be interpreted in a single sentence, “Keep the people in the dark." The direct methods of financial prudence would indicate, as they would be founded upon, the real causes of commercial depression and the only means of safety and recovery. Meanwhile the people are amused, irritated, maddened by sheer lies. They have to learn the disasters of their own army from English newspapers. They are assured, in spite of the gloomy isolation of the Empire, that all the European Powers are rallying round her for sympathy and defence, England binding herself by new treaties to defend France on the side of Belgium. Every detected lie weakens France. Imperial deceit is worth whole legions of Prussians to France's foes, and her noblest sons are distracted by the uncertainties at once of revolution and invasionhow to save the country and yet to put an end to the dynasty of Napoleon. Moreover, Prussia has hastened to affirm that she wars not with France, but with Napoleon, that she wants no new territory for herself, no bitter humiliation for the French people. Already the French prisoners are treated with the utmost kindness and respect. Private property, as far as possible, is spared. The Empire has no moral power.
On the other side the armies of Prussia are not inferior in numbers to the armies of France. By the charter of 1867 the Prussian obligation to serve in the army is extended to the whole Northern Federation : “Every North German is liable to service, and no substitution is allowed.” The total strength of the North German Confederation amounts to 319,358 men on the peace footing, and to 977,262 men on the war footing, of which Prussia alone can raise 700,000. Nor are these raw recruits untrained, unintelligent, possibly unenthusiastic, or even disaffected. They are the flower of the population, the fruits of a deliberate and far