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“We know too well what to do with our money to spend it in such a way as that,” said Bessie.
They quite enjoyed the morning; for although it was cold, they were warmly dressed, and did not feel it. And presently the sun came out and brightened everything, and began to melt the icicles that hung from the houses. The air was clear, and the skies gradually became blue, and the bells had not ceased ringing. Everybody looked cheerful and gay, and the streets seemed full of people with kind wishes. Our girls were often stopped to reply to the good, old-fashioned words, “A happy new year to you."
“It must be happy,” said Bessie, “since everybody wishes it
"I think it will be," said Caroline. “Of course one can never tell what is going to happen, but I really feel as if I know; and if what I hope come to pass, I shall be the very happiest girl in all the world.”
“And then will you tell me, Carrie ?”
“Here are the shops, and oh, what beautiful things there are ! We shall have no difficulty in spending our money."
And, indeed, they had not, though it occupied the whole morning.
When the parcels arrived they showed Mrs. Lacey what they had bought. She was rather amused at Bessie's parcel. It contained a dusting brush, a small broom, a house-flannel, twenty-four dusters, and a quantity of brown-holland, which Bessie said she intended to make up into large aprons, with bibs.
“And now I think I shall never be untidy again," said she.
Caroline had bought a new diary, and a golden pen, and a Bible.
“You did not need another Bible,” said her mamma; “ for you have already two very beautiful ones.”
“I wanted this for a present for somebody else, mamma,” said she.
The next hour was spent by Carry in underlining some particular verses of the Bible, so that they should catch the attention of the person for whom it was intended; while Bessie began to make her dusters. In the evening they both went to a party.
(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 is 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, short essays, and minor articles generally, since they cannot, under any circumstances, be returned. Miscellaneous contributions are not requested.
CHRISTIAN WORLD MAGAZINE.
WALKS AND WANDERINGS IN THE CITY OF PROVERB
AND THE GARDEN OF PARABLE.
BY THE REV. E. PAXTON HOOD.
Wisdom of comove them both, bwi city and garden
WALK THE FIRST. I have said the City of Proverb and the Garden of Parable, and I think the reason of this distinction is obvious; city and garden are both ways of wisdom. I love them both, but in proverbs you have more the wisdom of common sense, and in parable you have the wisdom of fancy and imagination; they are both the wisdom of life. But in proverbs we have human life in homely vesture walking the earth; in parables we have human life in the heavens and the air, or changing the figure, in proverbs wisdom is on its legs; in parables on its wings; so I say I meet with proverbs as the builders of cities, with parables as the planters of gardens. In the Gospels and in the discourses of our Lord we seem to be admitted into a very kingdom of parable. It is as if every part of the house should begin to repeat the truths committed to it in type, and representation, and symbol. There is a fine passage in which that great master of simile, Henry Ward Beecher, follows out this truth_“ When the lowest stone of the building says, in the silence of the night, 'Other foundation can no man lay,' and the corner-stone catches the word, Christ is the chief cornerstone,' and the door adds, 'I am the door;' and the taper burning by the bedside streams up to say, 'Christ is the light of the world;' then as you gaze upon the faces of your sleeping children, they reflect from their sweetly slumbering faces the words of Christ, • Except ye become like little children.'” Parents of the household are reminded by the honours they claim, of Him who calls Him. self their father and their mother. The tears of children and your anxiety to soothe them are only a feeble analogy of Him who has promised to "wipe off all tears from all faces.” By night, from your window, every star hails you, but chiefest“ the bright and morning star.” By-and-bye, flaming from the East, the flood of morning bathes your dwelling and calls you forth to the cares of the day, then you are reminded that God is the sun, and that heaven is bright with His presence. As you sit down to the table the loaf whispers as you break it, “ Broken for you,” and the wheat of the loaf sighs, “ Bruised for you ;” the water that quenches your thirst says, “ I am the water of life;" and if you wash your hands you call to mind the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness, or your feet, “ He washed His disciples' feet.” The roof of your dwelling has its utterance, and bids you look for the day when God's house shall receive its top-stone. Every action and operation of the household, and of ordinary life—the grinding at the mill, the leavening of the dough, the cultivation of the vineyard, the tillage of the field and the garden, and every operation of pastoral life-go forth, what can you see that does not teach? The ground is full of sympathy, the flowers are living preachers. “ Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; yet Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these.” The trees are framing divine sentences; the birds tell of heaven in their songs and love warblings in the grey twilight. “Behold the fowls of the air.” The sparrow is a preacher of truth“ Ye are of more value than many sparrows, yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's knowledge.” The hen clucks and broods her chickens, unconscious that to the end of the world she also is a revelation from God to man. And the sheep that bleat from the pastures, and the hungry wolves that blink in the forest, and the serpent that glides across the grass, and the raven that flies heavily across the field, and the lily over which his shadow passes, the plough, the sickle, the flail, the threshing-floor, all are consecrated priests, unrobed teachers, revelators; they see no vision themselves, but they bring thoughts of truth, contentment, hope, and love. All are ministers of God; the whole earth doth praise Him, and show forth His glory. You see it was thus, after our Lord had symbolised the Church as a field, a treasure, a pearl, a net. Having explained all to His disciples, He said, “ Have you understood all these things?” They said to Him, “ Yes ;” and He said, “ Therefore" -on this account, for this reason—"every scribe, or every one learned in the doctrine of the kingdom of heaven is as a house
holder bringing out of his treasure things new and old.” Therefore, he had made use of many parables—the sowing of the field, the draught of fishes, the finding of treasure. Do you understand all these illustrations ? Yes. Then because you find these images so clear, you will be a skilful, religious teacher ; you will have a store of perpetual illustration and truth, all things will teach you, and you by them will be able to teach all things; and you will call out things new and old ; you will adapt ancient maxims, proverbs, wise sayings, historical events, the occurrences of the moment, the objects that are present, and turn them all to account for your hearers.
The parable and the proverb may often stand side by side—the proverb the text, the parable the exposition or sermon on the text. We may see presently in the course of our paper how often even the proverb itself is so far a parable that it contains a very suggestive picture, a fancy which concentrates itself into a few words, while the parable diffuses itself out into a pleasant branching imagery. Thus, “ The tail is broad, but the wings are narrow ;” and again, “ Make not thy tail broader than thy wings.” This is evidently spoken of the peacock, a very fine bird, and trailing after its person a great pomp of feathers, but unequal to any high flight, and very well spoken of many persons, whose whole life is passed in an endeavour to keep up vain appearances. “ Appearances,” says Arthur Helps, “ are the fates of modern society.” We see men carefully preserving the setting and grinding the diamond into powder, praising the gilded frame, and sneering at, or altogether forgetting, the high art of the picture; preserving their hats, and knocking their heads to pieces ; mistaking chaff for fine wheat, and large houses for large happiness. Hence, says poor Richard, it is that “Silks and satins, scarlet and velvet, put out the kitchen fire." And again, “ A ploughman on his legs is higher than a gentleman on his knees.” “Pride is as loud a beggar as Want, and a great deal more saucy.” But “Pride that dines on vanity sups on contempt;" and another proverb says, “ Pride breakfasted with Plenty, dined with Poverty, and supped with Infamy.” “A woman strong in the flounces is weak in the head.” But the other sex does not escape: “He's as fine as an old ox with new bells” is spoken of an old beau, wigged, padded, and decorated in his old age. Sometimes, however, such proverbs point to a more serious application still. The Spaniards say, “ God help you, Peter; no need, for the ass is strong.” A man seeing an ass run away with a country fellow, cried, “ God help you," fearing he might fall; “ There's no need,” says the clown, “ for the ass is strong." And it is applied to those who have grown so contemptibly rich and great that when men say “God help you" they are so proud they think they do not even stand in need of God. So “ When the ass is too happy he begins to dance on the ice,"
and “ The higher the ape goes up in the tree the more he shows of his tail.” And Scripture says, “ Honour is unseemly for a fool.” Dress, and the perpetual and multifarious transformations of fashion, have thus not only furnished in all ages food for the wit of the proverb, but for the wisdom of the parable; and modern society might very well lay to heart, not only the sentences we have quoted above, but some instances we are about to quote, one of them historical, but not the less belonging to the garden of parable, an instance in the life of the great monarch of Europe, Charlemagne. Ozanam quotes it in his “History of Civilisation in the Fifth Century” from the monk of St. Gall.
“On a certain feast day after mass Charles took his chief courtiers out hunting. The day was cold and rainy, and the Emperor wore a sheepskin coat; but the courtiers, who had just come from Pavia, whither the Venetians had recently brought all the riches of the Orient from countries beyond the sea, were clad, after their fashion on holy days, in robes covered with the feathers of Phænician birds, trimmed with silk and the downy feathers of the neck and tail of the peacock, and adorned with Tyrian purple, and fringes of cedar bark; upon some shone embroidered stuffs, upon others the fur of dormice. In this array they rode through the woods, and so they returned torn by the branches of trees, thorns, and brambles, drenched with rain, and stained with the blood of wild beasts, and the exhalations from their hides. 'Let none of us,' said the mischievous Charles, change our clothes until the time of going to rest, for they will dry quicker upon us.' Immediately every one became more occupied with the body than its covering, and looked about for a fire at which to get warm. But in the evening, when they began to doff the fine furs and delicate stuff's which had shrivelled and shrunk at the fire, these fell to pieces with a sound like the breaking of dry sticks. The poor wretches groaned and lamented at having lost so much money in a single day. But they had been ordered by the Emperor to present themselves before him on the following day in the same apparel. They did so; but all, instead of making a brilliant show in their fine new clothes, caused disgust at their dirty colourless rags. Thereupon Charles said to his Groom of the Chamber, with some irony, 'Just rub my coat a little with your hands, and bring it back to me.' Then taking in his hands the garment which had been brought back to him clean and whole, and showing it to the bystanders, he exclaimed, 'Oh, most foolish of men, which of us now has the most precious and useful attire? Is it mine, which I bought for a single penny, or yours, which has cost you not only pounds, but even talents of silver ?!"
And in the same spirit with this story of Charlemagne is a remark