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THE HAPPY LACEMAKER. This picture represent a scene which, a century ago, was often seen in England, but now seldom; for the new method of making that beautiful ornament called lace by machinery, has | caused nearly all the old pillows and bobbins to be laid aside.

About one hundred years ago, when that amiable and excellent poet, William Cowper, wished to compare a wicked infidel with a happy christian, he chose the great French philosopher, Voltaire, and a Buckinghamshire lacemaker.

If you ask what an infidel is, I will tell you. He is one who does not believe in God, or fear his great and dreadful Name. Perhaps you wonder how any man can be an infidel. It is a wonder—a wonder in heaven, for mighty angels bow before the most High with holy reverence—a wonder on earth, for the saints, who are the excellent of the earth, serve Him with humility and fear-and a wonder in hell, for even devils believe and tremble. Let this be your prayer, “Oh my soul come not thou into their secret, and with them mine honour be not thou united."

But what did Cowper say of the philosopher and the lacemaker ? Read on

“ The path to bliss abounds with many a snare;
Learning is one, and wit, however rare.
The Frenchman, first in literary fame,
(Mention him if you please. Voltaire ?—The same.)
With spirit, genius, eloquence supplied,
Lived long, wrote much, laughed heartily, and died;
The Scripture was his jest book, whence he drew
Bon mots to gall the Christian and the Jew;
An infidel in health, but what when sick ?
Oh-then a text would touch him at the quick:
View him at Paris in his last career,
Surrounding throngs the demi-god revere;
Exalted on his pedestal of pride,
And fumed with frankincense on every side,
He begs their flattery with his latest breath,
And smothered in't at last, is praised to death.

Yon Cottager, who weaves at her own door,
Pillow and bobbins all her little store;

Content though mean, and cheerful if not gay,
Shuffling her threads about the live-long day,
Just earns a scanty pittance, and at night
Lies down secure, her heart and pocket light;
She, for her humble sphere by nature fit,
Has little understanding and no wit;
Just knows, and knows no more, her Bible true
A truth the brilliant Frenchman never knew;
And in that charter reads with sparkling eyes
Her title to a treasure in the skies.

Oh happy peasant! Oh unhappy bard !
His the mere tinsel, her's the rich reward;
He praised perhaps for ages yet to come,
She never heard of half a mile from home;
He lost in errors his vain heart prefers,

She safe in the simplicity of her's." Yes: and so it is, that “Not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence.” Mind, it does not say, “not any wise,” but “not many wise." The wise and noble are invited as well as others, but they are often so proud and lifted up with conceit that they will not come to Christ for pardon and salvation. For, as our favourite poet says:

"The silver trumpet's heavenly call
Sounds for the poor, but sounds alike for all;
Kings are invited, and would kings obey,
No slaves on earth more welcome were than they.”



It was nearly midnight one Saturday, that a messenger came to the house where I was sleeping, requesting my friend to go to the cabin of a settler, some three miles down the river, and see his daughter, a girl of fourteen, who was supposed to be dying. My friend awoke me and asked me to accompany him, and I consented, taking with me the small package of medicines which I always carried in the forest; but I learned soon there was no need of these, for her disease was past cure.

“She is a strange child,” said my friend—"and her Father is as strange a man. They live together alone on the bank of the river. They came here three years ago, and no one knows whence or why. He has money, and is a keen shot. The child has been visiting away for a year past. I have seen her often, and she seems gifted with a marvellous intellect. She speaks sometimes as if inspired, and she seems to be the only hope of her Father.

We reached the hut of the settler in less than half an hour, and entered it quietly and reverently.

The scene was one that cannot easily be forgotten. There were books, and evidences of luxury and taste, on the rude table in the centre. A guitar lay on the table near the small window, and the bed on which the dying girl lay, was as soft as the resting place of a dying queen.

She was a fair child, with masses of long black hair lying over the pillow. Her eye was dark and piercing, and as it met mine, she started slightly, but smiled and looked upward. I spoke a few words to her Father, and turning to her, asked her if she knew her condition.

“I know that my Redeemer liveth," said she in a voice whose melody was like the sweetest tones of an Æolian harp. You may imagine that the answer startled me, and after a few words of like import, I turned and sat down; half an hour passed, and she spoke in the same rich melodious voice.

“Father, I am cold; lie down beside me.” — and the old man lay down by his dying child, and she twined her arms around his neck, and murmured in a dreamy voice, “Dear father, dear father."

“My child," said the old man, " doth the flood seem deep to thee?"

“Nay, father, for my soul is strong." " Seest thou the other shore ?"

“I see it, father; and its banks are green with immortal verdure."

“ Hearest thou the voice of its inhabitants ?"

“I hear them, father, as the voices of angels falling from afar in the still and solemn night of time; and they call me. Her voice too, father,--oh, I heard it then !

“Doth she speak to thee?” “In tones most heavenly!” “Doth sbe smile?”

“ As an angel smiles. But I am cold-cold-cold! Father, there's a mist in the room. You'll be lonely, lonely. Is this death, father ? "

And so she passed away!


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