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Observer, Oct. 1, 71.
person at Egerton committed the other day. He had heard by chance that Black Horses (meaning shares in a mining company) were rising high in the market, and, thinking that it related to horseflesh, took all his colts, draught horses, and fillies to Ballarat, but when he arrived there he found that he himself was sold, and not his horses. He feared persons were as much deceived in theological matters as this poor man had been. We must, in order to arrive at a just conclusion, take not only the beginning and the end of a subject, but the top and the bottom also, and compare all its several parts, in order to understand its true meaning. A few more arguments in the same strain, and replies thereto, brought the specified time to a close.
A lengthy discussion on baptism is not called for in our pages, unless the disputants display more than average ability, or some peculiar circumstance import some feature of unusual interest. In the present case a part of the report forwarded for insertion is given, not on the ground of special merit, for Mr. Hastie was too weak to bring out what might have been presented on the other side, and also because the report (much of it cut from a local paper) is defective. But having received the subjoined note we have given a sample of the first night's debate, which is somewhat similar to that of the second night. As the first discussion of the kind in the colony of Victoria it may be read with some interest. ED.
BUNINYONG, June 10th, 1871.-To the Editor of the Ecclesiastical Observer. Dear Sir, Please to insert the enclosed report, of the first discussion that has taken place in the colony of Victoria, in which the disciples have taken part. Yours truly, FRANCIS GOODE.
THE BUNCH OF VIOLETS. "While place we seek, or place we shun, The soul finds happiness in none; But with a God to guide our way, 'Tis equal joy to go or stay." So sang old Adam Grant, the market gardener, as he plied busily his spade and rake, clearing the flower grouud of the overgrown spring roots, to make way for the gay seedlings of summer.
Adam got less by his flowers than his vegetables, but he was very fond of the flowers, and spent all the time he could spare on them. He used to say "To my thinking, flowers and birds is the prettiest innocentest things as is, and look less hurt by the curse than any of God's creatures."
He was a happy old man, and he knew it, and thanked God for it.
"Who can help but be happy that believes the promises?" He used often to say.
"Ah! but, Adam," a cavilling neighbour would ask, "how can you make sure that the promises belong to you?"
"How? By taking God at His Word. They are made to them who know their need of 'em—I know my need of 'em
"Well, I wouldn't be so bold and presuming as to make sure, anyhow," the retort would be.
"And I wouldn't dare to be so proud, and bold, and presuming, as to believe one thing when God says
another. Doesn't He say, 'Ho, every one that thirsteth?' and 'Ask and ye shall receive?' I thirst-I do thirst, and desire His renewing grace day by day, and He gives it me, or else the Work would not go on in my soul; it would wither, like these flowers nnwatered. Go to Christ, friend."
One would try him, and another; for it was a godless place he lived in; but he had always his answer ready.
But we said he was singing at his work; and though his voice was rather interrupted by the digging of his spade, or by a little speech that he wonld now and then make to the flowers as he trimmed them, yet it was evident to any ears behind the hedge that he was singing, and that if nobody else did, he at any rate enjoyed his music.
What a man you are for tuning, Mr. Grant," said a tall, carewornlooking woman, peering over the hedge.
Adam rested on his spade, and nodded to her.
"Makes the work go along easy," he replied.
"It's well for them that can sing away trouble of any kind," answered
"While place we seek, or place we shun," began Adam again. He knew that his visitor was a regular set grumbler. He had often talked with her, but she never sought conversation for profit's sake, but that she might tell out all her miseries. He had listened to these over and over again, and tried hard to show her that every one had a bright side; but he always found her in the same state of mind when they met again. So he thought he wouldn't invite her complaints, as he was busy.
"I want a few things of you," she said, peevishly interrupting him; "Miss Bella's ill, and the nurse and Miss Mabel ordered me to get her a nosegay."
"She shall have the best I can make her," said Adam, leaning on his spade, and looking round; "it's rather a poor time, but there's never a blossom as comes out of the earth, down to the poorest weed, that isn't full of beauty; so we shall find summat."
And taking his knife from his pocket, he peered about among the flowers, culling one here and another there, and looking at each as if he were giving an affectionate charge to it to solace the sick girl, and while thus employed, he went on singing
"The soul finds happiness in none ;
"You'll please be quick, Adam," cried the woman, who seemed irritated by the music or the words; "I was ordered to be quick, so you must excuse my ordering you."
Oh, by all manner of means. It don't. signify to me being ordered, unless it's to be summat as is beyond me," replied Adam.
"I can't say that," was the answer. 'I feel it very much; having been in such a different way of life, I find it very hard to be ordered at all, especially by a nurse no better than myself."
Adam began singing again, as he cut some slips of mezereon
"He that is down need fear no fall,
He that is humble ever shall
Have God to be his guide."
If you mean that at me," said the woman, sharply, "you are wrong, Mr. Grant; for I am down low enough, I'm sure, and I have pride to put up with, for all that, every day of my life."
Yes, I know it," said Adam, beginning to tie the flowers.
Nobody could help knowing it that saw nurse Webster's uppish manners; and for all Miss Bella and Miss Mabel are kind in their way, they are proud, I can tell you; and for me who was once, you know, in
Observer, Oct. 1, '71
such different circumstances-kept | thing or two, I'll help you to some a girl myself, and lived in a house of with pleasure." my own-I little thought I should ever have to go out and be a poor housekeeper, to be ordered about oh dear!" And she began to look as if tears would soon come.
So very sorrowful was her face that the old man hadn't the heart to lay the nosegay in her basket without a word of sympathy. he knew not what to say; he had but the old thing to repeat over again. He appeared not to notice the coming tears, and said cheerfully,
"The hedge is low indeed, but that's no reason why I should serve my customers over it. Please to come in through yon wicket, and maybe you can spare a minute to come and look at the young things that's coming up so fine, and you can tell Miss Bella I'm raising a trifle or two as early as I can on purpose for her. Come, now, and I'll give you a posy for yourself."
"Ah, I used to be so fond of flowers, and took such a pride in my garden, said the woman, entering through the wicket.
"Well did you?" said Adam; "that's well; I like people to be fond of flowers, they are such comfortable things-I get many a pretty reflection from one often."
"Thank you kindly," said the woman, with more life in her tone than before. And she followed him up and down the narrow pathways, or pads, as old Adam called them, and became quite interested in what she saw, but still more in the kind old man himself, who seemed as if he had her happiness at heart, and so indeed he had.
For between his remarks on the
things, and in journeying from bed to bed he took up his song again, his shaky old voice pronouncing the words plainly enough, though the
elaborate flourishes in the tune sometimes made them rather disjointed.
"All scenes alike engaging prove
To souls impressed with sacred love." than once, and his companion could This stanza he had repeated more not help saying,
indeed make people happy, Mr.
"I believe that true religion does
Grant; but I can't think that it makes every place engaging alike."
Can't you?" said Adam, moving his hat, and passing his hand over his bald head. "Well there's many things that is quite as true as if we believed 'em. an' we don't believe for all that."
"Wisdom?" said his companion.
Observer, Oct. 1, '71
When they had got to the end of the heap, close to which stood a pump, Adam pointed to a root of violets in full blossom, growing at the side.
"D'ye see that?"
"What of it?" she asked, in
'Yes, heavenly wisdom, by means of which I should, if I had it (enough of it, you understand), say this to myself' Adam, you have lost all that you used to enjoy so much; you'll have a dull life of it now so far as them things go; but courage, man, you are put upon commons for only a little time; very soon you must have left it, and if God has taken it away a little beforehand, it ought to make you more joyful in the thought of those good things that are signed and sealed yours by His own hand, and that He will never take away.""
"Ah, yes, you might be resigned; but you couldn't enjoy life-that's what I said," she replied.
"Oh, but couldn't I?" he answered quickly. "If I had wisdom given me, I could. Why, if I had strength to work, I could enjoy work for a master as well as work for myself; and if not-if I was sick and weakly, couldn't I look out on the work of others, and enjoy that? Why, when the heart is taught by God to see His love and power in His beautiful creation, there's enough in a daisy, or a blade of grass even, to make it dance with joy, and sing with praise."
“Then you would do it? Depending on the grace and wisdom I had," replied Adam; "but whether I did it or not, says nothing -the thing is true."
"I can be calm, and free from care,
On any shore, since God is there.' Look here," he said, leading the way to the rubbish heap, where he had thrown, during the last week or so, the superfluous growth of the garden "just look'ee here, and I'll show you as pretty a piece of teaching as I've seen this many a day,"
What of it? Why, it's a NeaA fortpolitan, as you may see. night ago I flung it away with rubbish out of the beds: it pitched itself here as content as if it was in the best bed in the garden, and just see if it's not as thriving as if it really
Certain sure, and no suppose' about it," said Adam; " and that's a picture of what we've been talking
When Divine truth, like that stream of fresh water, flows into the heart, it will rejoice anywhere and everywhere.
"Here," he said, after a pause, "if you mind, I'll put it in a pot for you-it's a real Neapolitan, and they're very choice, you know; and when you look at it, you remember that it's not the place that makes happiness."
She smiled, and he potted the root, gathering the blossoms first for her root should not bear well it's second to give to Miss Bella, for fear the moving, and with a friendly nod let her out through the wicket. As she went along the hedge, she heard him singing
"While place we seek, or place we shun, We can find happiness in none; His companion followed him, but But with a God to guide our way, thinking more of the impossibility 'Tis equal joy to go or stay." of appropriating his doctrines than And with a softened sigh she began of the "pretty piece of teaching "to think there must be some truth
she was to witness.
Observer, Oct. 1, '71.
THE DIGNITY OF MAN.
ACCORDING to the Jewish faith, this material universe, whatever other puposes were to be answered by it, was made for man; to be his home, to develope his physical powers, to stimulate his intellectual faculties, to be a test and discipline of his moral character. This was the old faith of Jewish Patriarchs, and prophets and psalmists; and it is mine. I refuse to be reduced to the same rank, to be placed in the same order, as the cattle that browse on the hills, or the fish that people the sea. I assert my supremacy. I believe
that I have received from the hand of God crown and sceptre, and that although other designs may be accomplished by the existence of the material and living things around me, they are intended to serve me. The sun shines, that I may see the mountains and the woods and the flashing streams, and that I may do the work by which I live. For me, the rain falls, and the dews silently
distil,-to cherish the corn which grows for my food, to soften the air I breathe, and to keep the beauty of the world fresh and bright on which I rejoice to look. The music of the birds is for me, and the perfume of the flowers. For me it was, that forests grew in ancient time and have since hardened into coal; for me, there are veins of iron and of silver penetrating the solid earth; and for me, there are rivers whose sands are gold. The beasts of the earth were meant to do my work; sheep and oxen are given me for food. Fire, hail, and the stormy wind were meant to serve me. have authority to compel the lightning to be the messenger of my thought, and the servant of my will. Man is placed over the works of God's hands; for those works were meant to minister to man's life, man's culture, and man's happiness. -R. W. DALE's Jewish Temple and Christian Church.