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PRICE ONE HALFPENNY.
MINISTERS are respectfully requested to mention the “ Christian Pioneer" from the pulpit, and Sabbath School Teachers, Village Preachers, and Tract Distributors, are earnestly invited to promote its circulation.
The Sabbath in Scotland .......... 1931 The Outside Passenger ............ 195 Christ the Purifier..
196 POETRY.—Psalm C. .............. ANECDOTES, SELECTIONS, GEMS—
A Noble-spirited Shoemaker .... 199
1 Inattention .....
200 Mercies .........
Taking up the Cross ............
202 Humble Talents............. THE PENNY POST
May I Do Good to Others ? ...... 202 THE FIRESIDE, OR POOR MAN'S FRIEND Advice to Prevent Infectious Dis
ease among the Poor ........ 203 THE CHILDREN'S CORNER
The Slovenly Girl .............. 204
LONDON: PUBLISHED BY SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, AND CO., STATIONER'S COURT.
And may be ḥad of all Booksellers.
THE CHRISTIAN PIONEER.
Waes DR. CAMPBELL proposed his scheme for a cheap magazine for the Independents, he referred to our efforts in issuing cheap publications. Dr. C. entered on his labours under great advantages, and worked out his projects with ability and success. He afterwards issued a Penny Magazine, and we, in imitation, issued this halípenny one. Another thing he has just done, or rather one of his correspondents has suggested that it be done. It is proposed, by subscriptions, to put it in the power of Dr. Campbell to send monthly to home missionaries, and poor pastors, and other active agents, in various parts of the country, a number of copies of bis Penny Magazine for gratuitous distribution. An excellent suggestion—just in the spirit of the times. What do our readers think of it ?
We again urge attention to the following considerations. When it was found that the greater part of the people would read, men, whose only object was to make money, soon set to work and printed books, pamphlets, tracts, magazines, and newspapers, of all kinds, at very low prices, to meet the demand. Some of these publications were bad, others were wicked, others were vile and infamous. Tales, novels, romances, plays, songs, ballads, and we know not what were published in millions. Can we wonder that some who could read became more vicious and wicked ?
True, there were some publishers who issued useful worksKnight, and Parker, in London, and the Chambers', in Edinburghand in their way they did good, but they were not—they did not profess to be-of a decidedly religious character. And nothing can effectually preserve men from vice and wickedness but real religion.
Plenty of room then for such publications as this to be circulated in every cottage in the empire—so cheap that the poorest may buy -50 amusing and instructive that all may be interested—so plain that all may understand and with so much religion every month that no man can take up a copy without finding words by which, under the divine blessing, he may discover the path of life. Jesus Christ is set forth in every number as the way to God.
Spread it then, christian friends, spread it on every hand. Can you who are rich do anything much more likely to do good among the poor than by ordering 50 or 100 copies for gratuitous distribution amongst them every month? Many a poor pious man or woman, who perhaps could do nothing else, not being able to teach in the sabbath school, would delight to be thus employed as the almoner of your bounty. And even where this is not or cannot be done, our poor pious friends, who wish to do some good in their life-time, may do much in this way, by shewing it to their neighbours, and getting subscribers, for its very low price places it within their reach. A poor bed-ridden man at St. Alban's was the means of circulating many by always recommending it to all who came to see him !
THE SABBATH IN SCOTLAND.
We enter a quiet unfrequented road, skiriting around those fine i clumps of trees, and that green hill to the west, and after wandering a few miles, we pass into a narrow vale, through which a small wooded stream makes its noiseless way, adorned on either side with rich green slopes, clumps of birches, and tufts of flowering broom.
As you ascend the vale, it gradually widens, the acclivities on either side recede to a considerable distance, and the road, taking a sudden turn, runs over the hill to the left, and dives into a sort of natural amphitheatre, formed by the woods and braes around it. On the further side you descry a small antique-looking church, with two or three huge ash trees, and one or two silver larches shading it, at one end, and a pretty mansion, built of freestone, handsomely slated, at a little distance at the other. Approaching, we find a few stragglers, as if in haste, entering the church door; the bell has ceased tolling, and the service is probably about to commence. We enter and find seats near the door. · How tenderly and solemnly that old minister, with his bland look, and silver locks, reads the eighty-fourth psalm, and how reverently the whole congregation, with book in hand, follow him to the close. A precentor, as he is called, sitting in a sort of desk under the pulpit, strikes the tune, and all, young and old, rich and poor, immediately accompany him. The minister then offers a prayer, in simple scripture language, somewhat long, but solemn and affecting. He then reads another psalm, which is sung, as the first was, by the whole congregation, and with such earnest and visible delight, that you feel at once that their hearts are in the service. The preacher then rises in the pulpit and reads the twenty-third psalm, as the subject of his exposition, or lecture, as the Scottish preachers uniformly style their morning discourse. His exposition is plain and practical, occasionally rising to the pathetic and beautiful. Ah, how sweetly he dwells upon the good Shepherd of the sheep, and how tenderly he depicts the security and repose of the good man passing through the dark valley and the shadow of death. His reverend look, the tremulous tones of his voice, his Scottish accent, and occasionally Scottish phrases, his abundant use of scriptural quotations, and a certain oriental cast of mind, derived, no doubt, from intimate communion with prophets and apostles, invest his discourse with a peculiar charm. It is not learned; neither is it original and profound; but it is good-good for the heart-good for conscience and the life. Old preachers, like old wine, in our humble opinion, are by far the best. Their freedom from earthly ambition, their deep experience of men and things, their profound acquaintance with their own heart, their evident nearness to heaven,
THE SABBATH IN SCOTLAND.
their natural simplicity and authority, their reverend looks and tremulous tones, all unite to invest their preaching with a peculiar spiritual interest, such as seldom attaches to that of young preachers. Everything, of course, depends upon personal character, and a young preacher may be truly pious, and thus speak with much simplicity and power. But, other things being equal, old preachers and old physicians, old friends and old places possess qualities peculiar to themselves.
After the sermon, prayer is offered, and the whole congregation unite in a psalm of praise. The interval of worship, it is announced, will be one hour. A portion of the congregation return to their homes, but most of them remain. Some repair to a house of refreshment in the neighbourhood, where they regale themselves on the simplest fare, such as bread and milk, or bread and beer. Others wander off in parties, to the green woods or sunny knolls around, and seated on the greensward, eat their bread and cheese, converse about the sermon, or such topics as happen to interest them most. The younger people and children are inclined to ramble, but are not permitted to do so. Yet the little fellows will romp, “a very little," and occasionally run off, but not so far as to be beyond call. A large number of the people have gone into the graveyard connected with the church. Some are seated on the old flat tombstones, others on the greensward, dotted all around with the graves of their fathers. See that group there. The old man, with “lyart haffets," and broad bonnet, looks like one of the old Covenanters. The old lady, evidently his wife, wears a sort of hooded cloak, from which peeps forth a nicely plated cap of lace, which wonderfully sets off her demure but agreeable features. These young people around them are evidently their children and grandchildren. How contented they look, and how reverently they listen to the old man. Let us draw near, and hear the conversation.
“Why, grandfather,” says one of the younger lads, “don't you think th' auld Covenanter; were rather sour kind o' bodies ?”
“ Sour!" replies the old man, " they had eneuch to mak’ them sour. Hunted from mountain to mountain, like wild beasts, it's nae wonder if they felt waeful at times, or that they let human passions gain a moment's ascendancy. But they were guid men for a' that. They were the chosen o God, and wrastled hard against the principalities and powers, against the rulers o'the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Reading their lives, I've often thocht they must ha'e been kind o' inspired. Like the auld prophets and martyrs, they were very zealous for the Lord God, and endured, cheerfully, mair distress and tribulation than we can well imagine.”
" Weel, weel !” says one o' the girls, “I wish they had been a wee bit gentler in their ways, and mair charitable to their enemies." THE OUTSIDE PASSENGER.
“Ah, Nancy," is the quick reply of the old man, “ye ken but little about it. A fine thing it is for us, sitting here in this peacefu’ kirk-yard, wi' nane to molest us or mak' us afraid, to talk about gentleness and charity. But the auld Covenanters had to encounter fire and steel. They wandered over muir and fell, in poverty and sorrow, being destitute, afflicted, tormented. But oh, my bairns ! they loved and served the Lord! They endured as seeing Him who is invisible; and when they cam' to dee, they rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer for his name. Nae doot, some of them were carnal men, and ithers o' them had great imperfections. But the maist o' them were unco holy men, men o' prayer, men o' faith, aye, and men of charity of whom the world was not worthy."
This answer silences all objections.
“Slowly the throng moves o'er the tomb-paved ground,
Turnbull's Genius of Scotland.'
THE OUTSIDE PASSENGER.
SOME years ago, a young lady, who was going into a northern county, took a seat in the stage coach. For many miles she rode alone; but there was enough to amuse her in the scenery through which she passed, and the pleasing anticipations that occupied her mind. She bad been engaged as governess for the grand-children of an earl, and was now travelling to his seat. At mid-day, the coach stopped at an inn at which dinner was provided, and she aligbted, and sat down at the table. An elderly man followed, and sat down also. The young lady arose, rang the bell, and, addressing the waiter, said, “Here is an outside passenger; I cannot dine with an outside passenger.” The stranger bowed, saying, “I beg your pardon, madam, I can go into another room," and immediately retired. The coach soon afterwards resumed its course, and the passengers their places.
At length the coach stopped at the gate leading to the castle to which the young lady was going; but there was not such prompt attention as she expected. All eyes seemed directed to the outside passenger, who was preparing to dismount. She beckoned, and