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The sun rose on a sunless morn,
His rays were wan and pale;
And thick the mists, and dark and low,
That shrouded all the vale.

The day beheld the welkin vexed
With storms that swept on high,
In drifting seas of darkest clouds
That blotted out the sky.

At noon still fiercely raged the blast-
It blew a hurricane ;

Till sobbed the winds themselves to rest 'Mid deluges of rain.

Full heavily all day it fell,

The streams were swollen high,
And 'mid the clouds no rent appeared
In all the sullen sky.

Yet men had light to see their path,
Had light to find their way,
And light to ply their wonted task,
Through all that sunless day.

The hammer of the smith rings on
Amid the shadowy gloom;
The carpenter toiled at his bench,
The weaver at his loom.

The work of life went on unchecked,
The labourer's task was done,
Though all the day o'er all the land
Men never saw the sun.

Until the hour of eventide

To toiling men brought rest, Then shone he forth at last as he Was setting in the west.

The clouds that long had hid his face
Around his setting rolled,

Bright with a glory not their own,
In amethyst and gold.

The portent of a goodly dawn

Upon the coming day,

A promise that the mists should rise,
The shadows flee away.

Thus with a soul that seeks for God,
Sometimes its search seems vain
No sight of Him in dawn or day
The weary heart can gain:

Which yet doth love His light and truth,
And longs to see His face;
To know the sweetness of His smile,
The gladness of His grace.

But mists of woe are o'er the sky,
The clouds hang like a pall,
While sobs of anguish wring the heart,
And tears of sorrow fall.

No ecstasy of faith is there,
No rapture sweet of love,
No gleam of golden light on earth,
No glow in heaven above.

But weariness in waiting long

To hear the Saviour's voice
Say, "All thy sins have been forgiven,
O weary heart rejoice."

Strange that a soul should so desire

And yet should still be sad;

Strange that a heart should love the Lord,
Yet dare not to be glad.

What cause may cloud a spirit thus
That loves the Master well,

With shadows darkening all its path

What tongue of man can tell?

Some burden of the daily life,

Some trial great and long,
May mix the daily bread with tears,
And sorrow with the song.

Some secret pang within the soul

That cannot find relief;

Some pain whose cause in darkness lies, Some hidden spring of grief.

Perhaps some frailty of the frame

Inherited with life,

Or discord of the mental chords,
May fill the heart with strife.

While all through sorrow's darkest hours,
When shone no cheering sun,

The Saviour's word that soul obeyed-
The Master's work was done.

The Christ it loved, although unseen
Amid the daylight dim,

It sought, and found the path He trol,
And followed after Him.

Press on in hope, O weary heart,
Thy woes will soon take flight;
Thy longing eyes shall yet behold
At eventide the light:

Shall see those clouds of trials dark
That hid the sun on high
Blaze forth in purple and in gold
Across the sunset sky :

The promise of a coming day

No cloud shall ever dim;

When we at last shall see the Lord,
And live on high with Him.


An Old Scholar's Memories.


O-DAY I have been reading one of the sermons of of John Welch, of Ayr, the son-in-law of Knox. It is said that few could hear him without tears. He was one of those deeply spiritual men to whom the unseen was the real. Often all night he continued in prayer; and every day, in the rude town where he lived, he used to preach the everlasting Gospel. To my own heart, and after two hundred years, his words come home with peace. Many people, he said, are tempted to think that the sorrow they have to bear are so many proofs that God has ceased to have for them a kind heart. "But think ye not,” he says, "that this was not a sore temptation to Lazarus

that he had not so much as one to bind up his wounds, and to comfort him, and give him a bit of bread to refresh him, but was compelled to lie at the glutton's gate begging, and was glad that the dogs came and licked his wounds? Was it not a sore temptation to the cripple-man that lay so long at the pool of Bethesda, and when the angel came down to stir the water, he had not one to let him down? And was not this a sore temptation to David when all his kinsfolk had forsaken him, and his familiar friends had left him, and when they that sat at his table had lifted up their heels against him, was not that a sore temptation, think ye? Yet I assure you these outward afflictions may stand very well with the love of God; for ye dare not say but the Lord loved Lazarus, notwithstanding of all his sores and outward miseries, because after his death his soul was carried into Abraham's bosom, that is, into the kingdom of heaven. Ye dare not say but the Lord loved that crippleman, notwithstanding he lay so long at the pool and had none to let him down into it; because He sent His own Son to heal him. Ye dare not say but the Lord loved David, notwithstanding all his troubles, crosses, and afflictions that he sustained before he came to the kingdom; because the Lord delivered him out of them all, and confounded all his enemies with shame, and put him in peaceable possession of his kingdom." And, though there are surer evidences of Divine good-will than restored prosperity, yet the argument is sound. Afflictions may indeed stand very well with God's love. Let us, sorrowful people, only see to it that our sorrow is leading us to God. After that, we may, like John Bunyan's pilgrim, go on our way, singing.


In the shadow of a ruined abbey in the south of Scotland there is a philosopher's grave. Sir David Brewster was a great scholar, a famous man of science, and at the same time a devout Christian. His studies were much engaged upon the nature of light; and it is a delightful thing to think

that he who knew so much about optics, had also found that the light and life of the soul come from the Sun of Righteousness. On the tomb, in Melrose Abbey, are these words, "The Lord is my Light." One can hardly wonder that, even in this dark world, he who thus walked in the light and loved it was a happy man. "During my life," he said, towards its close, "I have been very happy; and I am now going to be unspeakably happy with my Saviour." Could we but learn that simple truth of how to be at peace, would it not be better than to know all that human learning can show?


"How much better is it to be ignorant of everything that learned men know, and to have a fuller knowledge of Christ crucified, than to be wise as Solomon, and miss the gain of sound and sensible piety." Such is the wise view of a good man who lived in Germany two centuries since, and nothing has taken place to show his opinion wrong. Honest piety is infinitely better than unspiritual cleverness. Plain folk who are 66 no scholars," but who love the Lord Jesus, and to whom the Bible and prayer are delightful, may be of good comfort. But we should try to have both sound education and sound godliness. Learning and piety are sisters; and they love to be together.


To-day, as I write-it is the beginning of April-my little girl and I were caught in a shower. It was worth while to bear the wetting, that one might watch afterwards the outburst of the sun, revealing in the warm light a million diamond points, wherever hung a drop of moisture. As we were watching the glorious return of sunshine, the words of Robert Bolton, one of our English ministers in the seventeenth century, came into my mind: "Such tears as burst out of a heart oppressed with grief for sin are like an April

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