Obrazy na stronie

other object, and the rest in shadow. So the sun shines on part of the moon, and the rest is in shade, and we do not see it at all. At first we see a little rim or edge of light on the round shape of the moon. ) We call it the new moon; but it is the same moon really, only fresh lighted up: we call it the crescent or growing moon too; but it is not the moon that grows, only the light that spreads. Every night you may see it creeping farther, till at the first quarter it seems this shape, ) when we say there is a half-moon; and then creeps on till it covers all the part of the moon that we see. We call this the full moon; and she looks quite round. Then the light goes away by degrees; we call it the last quarter when the moon looks in this shape (; and the waning moon when she looks so ( .

The crescent moon sets soon after the sun, and then a little later every night. At the first quarter she sets about midnight; at full, she rises at sunset and sets at sunrise, shining all night long, whether it be the short night of summer or the long night of winter. Then she rises later each night; and at the last quarter rises at midnight; so you cannot see her then, unless you are very brisk and get up before sunrise.

Those who are travelling by night or sailing on the sea ; those who lie awake on a sick-bed, or watch by their sick friends; those who return late from their work, or who toil to house their crops, feel the blessing of light during part or the whole of so many nights.

And those who love to look on God's works feel how beautiful and solemn is a still moonlight night, when the long black shadows lie on the grass, and the silvery gleam falls on the light branches, the shining leaves, and the open fields; and when it is reflected or thrown back from the rivers and the ponds, or from the dancing waves of the sea.

God set the lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth ; and when we see them shining in their brightness, and going on in the courses which He has appointed to them, we may think of the words of the 8th Psalm : “When I consider the heavens, even the works of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars which Thou hast ordained, what is man, that Thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that Thou visitest him ?"


All that God has made has a meaning beyond its outward beauty and fitness. All visible things speak of invisible; and what their hidden meaning is we learn from the Bible and from the writings of holy men of old, who had so studied the Bible, and so lived according to its teaching, that more was made known to them than we could find in it for ourselves.

The moon shines, but not by her own light. Christians are called upon to shine as lights in the world, and to let their light so shine before men that their good works may be seen, and their Father in heaven glorified in them. It is not by their own light that they shine, but by the grace of God,

Our Saviour says, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth in Me should not abide in dark

(John xii. 46.) And He says of those who abide in Him and serve Him, Thy whole body shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.” (Luke xi. 36.)

There are times when the shadow of the earth falls upon the moon, and takes away the whole or part of her light; when this happens, it is called an eclipse of the moon. So when the cares and pleasures of the world crowd upon our souls, we lose the light of God's grace, and are in darkness. Thus we see how Christians should shine by the light given them, as the moon shines by the light of the sun. each part of the surface of the moon gives back the light which falls upon it, so each Christian who makes up the body of Christ's Church, is bound to shew in his life the blessed effects of the light and grace given him. And as the whole body of the moon, dull and dark in itself, is clothed with another light till it becomes glorious and resplendent; so the Church of Christ, in which He abides by His Holy Spirit, will give back His brightness till the end of the world ; through the long night of His absence, His light is reflected from His Church, till His return shall bring the day that never ends.

For as the moon reminds us of our human nature, so it is especially the type of the Church. In the words of St. Ambrose, « the Church shineth not with her own, but with our Saviour's light, and draws to herself splendour from the Sun of Righteousness."

And the eclipses of the moon he likens to the persecu

As tions of the Church, saying, “ Like the moon, she seems to fail, but fails not indeed. She may be overshadowedfail she cannot."

“ The moon above, the Church below,

A wond'rous race they run;
But all their brightness, all their glow.

Each borrows of its Sun."


Dialogue on the Restoration of King Charles H. MR. AND MRS. STANLEY, AND BOYS AND GIRLS.

A Common, with Trees on it. Will. What are you all about there? Tom. Getting oak - apples for our hats to- morrow. Don't you know it will be the 29th of May?

W. Yes, now you have told me, I know; but I forgot it before.

Fanny. We should perhaps have forgotten it too; but we looked in the Churchman's Almanac. I stood up on a chair to reach it, and I saw the letters that are against the day. I knew what they meant, because of the service in the Prayer-book.

Sally. And to-morrow we shall hear the bells ring.

T. And have a holyday, and go to church. [He sees Mr. and Mrs. Stanley, and makes a bow.]

Mr. Stanley. So you are after your oak-leaves; but there are no oak-apples, are there?

Stephen. I have got one, sir; but the oak-leaves do as well, I think.

Mrs. Stanley. I wonder how many of you know why you wear oak-leaves on the 29th of May? Those who were at church last year may remember.

W. I was not at church, ma'am ; but I know it's about the picture we have got on the wall at home. There's a man with a crown on his head, and stuck in a tree. It made the little ones laugh.

Mr. S. It was no laughing matter to that man, though. F. Was it true, ma'am ?

Mrs. S. Yes, Fanny; that you may be sure, or we should not have a Church-service about it. But Sally remembers what it means ?

S. Please, ma’am, you said it was King Charles; and that wicked people were hunting him down, to take him and kill him.

Steph. Yes, they cut off his head.

Mr. s. No, Stephen, that was his father Charles I. Having taken him and put him to death, they would have no king at all; and, as Sally says, they hunted down his son Charles II., and would have killed him too. So he was forced to hide himself, and go without food or proper clothing, and undergo more hardships than the poorest man in his kingdom.

W. Had he no friends to help him, sir ?

Mr. S. Most of those who were faithful and loyal to him were in trouble and danger too. But he did meet with some such, who risked their lives to save him. And some of the things they did for him are more curious to read of than any story that could be made.

Mrs. S. While we sit to rest under this tree, we will tell you something about it.

[All the children stand round, with their oak-leaves and their hats in their hands.]

Mr. S. Well, it was after a great battle that King Charles II. had all these adventures. From this time till late in the autumn, he was hiding himself and trying to get near the sea-side, because then he hoped to escape from his enemies by crossing the sea, and join his mother and the rest of his friends. And the first thing we are told by the person who wrote his history is this about the oak-tree. After the battle, he made his servants cut off his hair, to prevent his being known; for men wore long hair in those days. And he sent away his servants, the history says, " and relied upon Him for his preservation, Who alone could and did deliver him.” You all know that this was Almighty God. [After a silence, Mr. Stanley goes on.] The king stayed all night in the wood; and in the morning he saw a man in an oak in the same wood, who had slept there all night.

F. Was it one of his friends, sir ?

Mr. S. Yes; and he told the king that his enemies were looking for him every where, and that it would not be safe for him to leave the wood; so he begged him to get up into the tree where he had been, for he was sure the boughs were thick enough to hide him. So Capt. Careless-that was his name-helped the king into the tree, and then the king helped him up. And there they stayed all day.

S. Did the cruel men come to look for him there, sir ?

Mr. S. Yes; he saw them from the tree ; and they were so near, that he heard them talking of what they would do to him, if they could catch him.

T. How hungry he must have been !

Mr. S. Yes; for he had been two days with scarcely any food, and two nights almost without sleep. So at night he and his friend left the tree, and walked a great way over hedges and ditches, till they came to a poor cottage, and called up the man who lived there. He knew Capt. Careless, and took them both into a barn full of hay. There it was settled that they should separate, and the king stay in the barn. The poor man had nothing to give him but a piece of bread and some butter-milk, which the king thought the best food he had ever tasted.

s. He was so hungry, I suppose.

Mr. S. Here the king stayed two days and nights; and then came a man from Capt. Careless to bring him to another house, more out of the way of the soldiers. So he changed clothes with the poor man, that he might be less known, and set off with his guide. But the rough shoes hurt his feet so much that he threw them away, and then his feet were so wounded with bushes and stones, he could scarcely get to the house, where they hid him in a barn with straw instead of hay. Here he had porridge, and butter, and cheese, which seemed quite a feast to him, and they got him some better shoes and stockings. Do you remember what happened next? [To Mrs. Stanley.]

Mrs. S. He was taken from the house of one poor man to another, to be hidden for some time, because the soldiers were less likely to look for him there than in rich houses. And though there was a great reward offered to anybody who would discover him, nobody betrayed him.

« PoprzedniaDalej »