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her mind. Were I in your place, I would not allow people to annoy her with their conversation. I would place every thing near her that she could require, and would take care that she should be kept warm ; I would not even speak to her myself, but I would pray to the Lord for her; for He only is able to fill up that blank in her mind which has changed the blessing of life into a burden.”
At these words, Jean, for the first time, directed her eyes towards me. A struggling tremor seized her frame, and something like a tear seemed to be forming in her eye. This was what I wished to see; but I was disappointed, for she instantly sank back into her former state. After praying with her, and requesting a person whom I could trust to watch her recovery, &c., I left the island.
I was soon gratified with hearing very pleasing accounts of this interesting young woman. Her affliction had been a blessing in disguise. After recovering from the shock her feelings had sustained, she continued in a thoughtful frame of mind. Her leisure hours, it was observed, were spent in retirement, and, feeling her need of religious instruction, she joined the Sabbath school, and entered a class of young women of her own age, where she is still, 1929, continuing to rise in the estimation of her teachers, and to store her young mind with the doctrines of the gospel.
A few months after the period referred to, I had the pleasure of recognising Jean among some young people who were applying for admission to the Lord's table. Her manners seemed rather above her station in life, and a confirmed melancholy, which time will probably never efface, was strongly marked on her countenance. “ Young woman,” said I, “ if I am not mistaken, I saw you once in a very trying condition. I trust you can now say with the Psalmist, 'It is good for me that I bave been afflicted, that I might learn thy statutes. The law of thy mouth is better than thousands of gold and silver!'” She heaved a deep sigh, and burst into tears. “You could not weep, then, at the time referred to," I continued. “I could not,” she replied; “ but I had then greater reason to weep than now.” “How?" I inquired. “ Because,” she said, " I was then friendless indeed ; but now, I hope, I have found a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."
About the same time, an advertisement was to be seen posted up in the different qırarters of this island, in which it was intimated, that any person or persons who had lately lost something valuable, and wished to recover it, might apply to J. M. of G., who would give it only to the person who could describe the quality and quantity of the article lost. While the intimation was attracting no small attention, and exciting in not a few a strong desire to discover the nature and value of the property of which J. M. of G. was the guardian, I received a visit from Jean, who presented me with a number of silver pieces. “A few weeks ago,” she said, " when on a visit to this island, I found these pieces lying scattered upon the shore. Having picked them up, I began to think of the sorrow and disappointment of the person who had lost them; and, calling upon J. M. of G., I gave them to him, requesting him to take steps for the discovery of the person who had lost the property; and since the owner cannot be found, I have brought it to you, that it may be expended in the purchase of tracts.” Jean had
probably never been in possession of so much property before. Many in her situation would have felt strongly inclined to keep what she had found, but being now influenced by the same mind which was also in Christ Jesus, Jean was enabled not only to resist the temptation, but to derive the purest delight in acting according to his rule,“ Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”
The northern extremity of the island of P-W-is bounded by a bold barrier of perpendicular rocks of various altitudes, being in soine places ten, and in others thirty or forty fathoms high. This wild region becomes, during the summer season, the haunt of immense numbers of sea-fowl of various kinds. Among these, the auk species is by far the most numerous. These birds are nearly as large as a hen, but not quite 80 round and plump. Their colour is a mixture of black, light blue, and white; and their eggs, which are of the same colour, are considerably larger than those of the common hen. The face of the precipice at various heights is relieved by ledges of rock, protruding in some places ten inches, and in others more than a foot. Upon these ledges the auks are to be seen, when a side view can be got of any part of the precipice, presenting the appearance of a great variety of strings of light blue beads, attached to the face of the rock by way of ornament. Should a large stone be thrown over the rock, not a bird will stir until it has fallen into the water, when they instantly rise like a cloud over your head : and, should you be an attentive spectator, you will not fail to observe that an equal number of them at the same time have taken a downward direction, and with the swiftness of an arrow pierced the surface of the water. Indeed, this downward flight is so rapid, that a stranger is not likely to observe it; the only indication that such a movement has taken place being a white streak made upon the sea, where the birds have entered the water. But, should the sun be shining, and the bottom of the sea be of a light colour, you can see them distinctly winging their way below the water, apparently as swiftly, and with as much ease, as if they were aloft in the air. In the absence of the birds, the imaginary strings of light blue beads are still to be seen on the face of the precipice, with this difference, thať the beads are greatly reduced in size. These are the eggs of the birds, not grouped together in threes and fours, as in the nests of other birds, but every one lying by itself upon the bare rock. When the birds return, each takes possession only of one egg. Thus we learn that the auk rears only one bird at a time; indeed, she is never seen in company with more than one young bird. The wisdom and goodness of God are strikingly displayed in the provisions he has made for this interesting bird. All the supplies of the auk must be brought from the sea, and it is so formed, as to be able with facility to traverse at all seasons the bottom of the deep, where she finds an abundance of food. These birds are, consequently, always found in excellent condition; and, during the summer months, become a very acceptable article of food to such as have courage enough to visit their aërial abodes..
Respecting the habits of this bird, islanders differ much in their
opinions. I have more than once seen a boat's crew completely divided upon this point; one party declaring that the auk was the most cruel and the most unnatural bird belonging to the sea ; that they had frequently seen her upon the face of the precipice belabouring ber young one until it screamed in agony, and persisting in her cruel inflictions till the little sufferer was compelled to seek refuge from its unnatural parent, by half flying, half tumbling, the distance of twenty or thirty fathoms into the sea. The other party, at the same time, maintained that no bird could be more kind and attentive to her young one than the auk; that they had often seen that bird on the face of the precipice spreading her wings, and crouching before her young one, and coaxing and caressing in such a way as to induce it to step upon her back, when she instantly, with outspread wings, dropped herself into the air, and in a few seconds gently shoved her young charge into the watery: element, in which it was henceforth destined to shift for itself. The same party also declared that the auk had been seen carrying her young one back from the sea to the precipice. Both parties, I believe, were only stating what they had seen, and what they believed to be true. The first descent of the young bird is probably always accomplished upon the parent's back; but when the wings become capable of carrying its own weight, such assistance is unnecessary, and the parent bird is led instinctively to force its offspring to exercise those powers with which Divine Wisdom and Goodness has endowed it.
Nor is the auk less attentive to the training of its young one after it is able to move in the waters. Being several years ago in one of our fishing sloops, and hearing a strange kind of noise, I called to the man at the helm to tell me the cause. “Oh, nothing at all,” replied he, “it is only a young auk that has lost its mother.” I stepped on deck. There was not a breath of wind; and the vast expanse of waters with which our little bark was surrounded being tinged by the rays of the setting sun, reminded me of the “sea of glass mingled with fire.” And there was the creature with outstretched neck, and screaming at the top of its voice, now rapidly darting in this direction, and now in that. “Where can the mother be?" inquired I. “At the bottom,” replied the skipper. “ She is down seeking food for it.” He was mistaken ; it was not meal time, but the hour of training. His words were hardly uttered, when up bolted the mother. But instead of permitting it to approach her, she continued for some time to swim rapidly around it, and frequently to dart down among the water, apparently for the purpose of inducing it to follow her example. At last, as if moved with pity, she drew near to it in a coaxing manner, and uttering sounds evidently expressive of tenderness; and having allowed the little creature to mount upon her back, and to take hold of the feathers of her neck, she dived with her load into the deep, where she continued for a considerable time; and no sooner did she reappear, than the young one, leaping from its parent's back, darted away from her, and, half swimming, half flying, along the surface of the water, it flapped its wings and gambolled, as if the submarine voyage had thrown it into an ecstacy of delight.
It was the discovery of such habits in the king of birds, that caused Moses to exclaim,-“ He led him about; he instructed him; he kept
him as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth. over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings; so the Lord alone did lead him.”—Deut. xxxii. 10.'
(To be continued.)
COMMUNITIES, as well as individuals, may have their characteristic and besetting sins. A nation may be “ proud,” like Moab—or “ treacherous” like Judal—or given to “ backsliding,” like Israel. The persons composing it may be “ liars,” like the Cretans—or “ oppressors,” like the Egyptians or “ drunkards,” like the Ephraimites--or “ soothsayers," like the Philistines. Their land, like Chaldea, may be “ a land of graven images”-its“ princes rebellious”—and its “ people mad upon their idols.”. A city may be licentious, like Sodom-or“ bloody,” like Jerusalem-or “ wholly given to idolatry,” like Athens. A family, like that of Eli, may be a community of sensualists. Churches even may be distinguished by their characteristic sins—by formality, like that of Sardis—or instability, like that of Ephesus—or lukewarmness, like that of Laodicea -or impurity of communion, like those of Pergamos and Thyatira. The house of God itself may become a den of thieves, and even the world, as a body, may be seen “ wondering after” some prevailing form of iniquity. Communities, too, like individuals, may be subjected to temporal punishment for their sins.” For these they may be s spoiled”—or “ broken in pieces” or “thrashed.” For these, they may be " plucked up”-or “ sifted-or o devoured. On families, God may pour out bis “ fury.” From churches he may “ remove the candlestick.” Of cities, he may make the “ memorial to perish.” Upon nations he may “stretch out the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness"-rendering them “ a desolation, and an astonishment, a hissing, and a curse.” “ În the city, and in the field,”-in“ their basket,” and in their store," — in“ the fruit of their body," and in “ the fruit of their land ;”-in " the increase of their kine,” and in “ the flocks of their sheep,” he may " send upon them cursing, vexation, and rebuke." " With madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart;"_" with terror, and with consumption; and with the burning ague;"-" with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew," God may smite them, until he make of them “ a perpetual end.” Nations, for the sins of nations,—-churches, for those of churches,-cities, for those of cities,-families, for those of families; may, in their collective capacity, have “ executed upon them the judgments written in his word.” It being so then, that a community, as such, may be so generally characterised by some one prevailing species of iniquity, that it may be truly said of it, that it is the sin of that community; and God being accustomed to visit on such ; temporal cala mities for their sin, we can have little doubt as to whether we are warranted to say, of such communities as may have brought upon themselves his judgments, that, in their collective capacity, they are guilty. Does it follow from this, however, that in every instarice in which the