Page images
PDF
EPUB

The haar from off the German Sea,

Oh! it was cold and keen, And scarce a single loiterer

On all the street was seen.

For such as called some home their own

Were thither hurrying fast, And homeless ones in nooks and stairs

Sought shelter from the blast..

Only one little waif stood still

Upon the wintry street,
Waiting to sell his matches there,

Amid the snow and sleet.

“ Only a penny, matches, sir,

Lights, matches, please to buy ; Only a penny, lights, sir, lights :

Such was the poor child's cry.

I saw him as I hurried past,

There shiv'ring in the cold;
A child in years, his pale thin face

Was prematurely old.

“Give me a box," I said, “ of those

Wax matches that you sell. Not change a shilling? Bring the change

Around to my hotel.”

The hours passed by, no boy returned

To bring me back the change; Temptation had o'ermastered him,

I thought, nor thought it strange,

Not strange that such a waif as he
Should clutch dishonest gain,

hoped that he would come: My hope, it seemed, was vain.

And yet

Poor child! he knows no better ; borg

And bred in some thieves' den, You cannot judge of such a child

As you would judge of men,”

Late in the evening came a knock

At my room door. “Come in." 'Twas a poor little shivering child,

His dress was worn and thin.

He spoke; his voice was very sad,

And yet the tones were sweet. “Are you the gentleman that bought

The matches in the street ?

There's fourpence of your shilling, sir,

My brither has lost some ; That's a' that's left, I've brocht it you,

For Sandie canna come.

He would hae come himsel' to you,

It's no for want o' will,
For him and me is honest, sir,

But Sandie's very ill.

A cart ran o'er him, and he lost

Your pennies in the sna';
His legs are broken, and he'll dee,

The doctor says. That's a'.

And there's your pennies, a'that's left."

He laid them on the tray,
And with a great heartrending sob

He turned to go away.

“Stay, little man. What is your name?

You're hungry, that I know, And very cold your little feet

With trudging through the snow.

O, Reubie, is it? That's your name.”

I placed him by the fire, And set before him everything

I thought he could desire.

He tried to eat, but scarce the child

From sobbing could refrain, Then started up—"I maun gang hame,

For Sandie's a' his lane.'

I rose up also. Then I said,

“I'll go with you, my man, And see how Sandie is, poor lad,

And help him if I can."

Upon the road he told me they
Were friendless and

one; His father and his mother both

He said were dead and gone.

We found poor Sandie on the floor,

Some shavings formed his bed ; He made a sign, I stooped to hear,

And this is what he said :

I got the change, was coming back, A bright example for us all

A horse then gave a start
As I was passing, and my legs

Were broken by the cart.

But Reubie, little Reubie, oh!

What will become of you When I am gone? When I am dead,

Oh! what will Reubie do ?”

“I will provide for him," I said,

Then gently took his hand ;
He could no longer speak, but he

My words could understand.

he gave

A smile broke o'er his cheek;

One look of glad surprise,
And all was o’er, the light of earth

Had faded from his eyes.

And I once thought the boy a thief

Dishonestly enticed, -
A small Barabbas, when the child

Was liker to the Christ.

With duty seen to mid his pains,

And done in face of death, And for another tender care

Breathed in his latest breath.

Did Sandie manifest,
Of duty and unselfish love-

A pattern for the best.

With sorrows many, many a care,

And privileges few,
Though tempted upon every side

He honest was and true.

A manly heart was in the child,

A spirit true and brave ;
Plant roses where he takes his rest,

Strew lilies on his grave.

And tell the young in happy homes

To be like him in youth,
To tread the path of helpfulness,

Of honesty and truth.

And seek the Spirit of the Lord

To help them in the strife ; 'Tis He alone can give them grace

To lead a noble life.

For God hath sent His Spirit down

To dwell with men below,
And in the blood for sinners shed

To wash them white as snow.

He cometh with the grace of Christ

Unto the burdened soul;
The dead in sin to life He brings,

And makes the wounded whole,

All for the sake of that dear Lord

On Calvary who died ;
Who was for us rejected once,

Condemned, and crucified,

That all the sins that we have done

By God may be forgiven,
And we, clothed in His robe of white,

Find entrance into heaven.

By the Author of 'Little Will,' 'The Blind Man on the Bridge,' &c.

of Protestant Deaconesses. OME years ago, when staying at Jerusalem, the writer

had the pleasure of an introduction to the widow of Pastor Fliedner, who was then residing at the

Deaconesses' Home in the outskirts of the city. The name of her revered husband had long been familiar as the originator of that work, which, commencing in 1833 in a room ten feet square with an attic above, in a summerhouse at Kaiserwerth, has sent out fruit-bearing branches not only into more than a hundred towns or villages in Germany, but also into Italy, Egypt, Turkey, Palestine, and North America. When we consider that the work was of a very multifarious kind, ultimately embracing schools, hospitals, orphanages, care of prisoners, &c., we may well ask how so small a seed could produce so great a harvest. The answer is to be found in the words which its founder took for his life-motto, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” The Master whom he delighted to serve, abundantly blessed his labours, and bestowed upon him the “ Well done,” even here.

Theodore Fliedner was born at Epstein in Germany, January 21st, 1800, and died at Kaiserwerth, October 4th, 1864. Within the comparatively short space of thirty years, the sapling he had planted at Kaiserwerth had become a great tree, and its offshoots were flourishing in four continents ! The son of a poor pastor he was early thrown upon his own resources, and manfully, while yet a child, battled with the trials and difficulties of life. Reading was his only luxury, and schemes of future usefulness formed his fairyland. At twenty years of age he became tutor in a gentleman's family at Cologne, and afterwards was ordained pastor of Idstein, an obscure village on the Rhine, where he had only £27 a year, the parsonage to be shared with the aged widow of a previous pastor! Still, nothing daunted, he threw his whole energy into the work, visited the schools, and opened

« PreviousContinue »