Citation
Talks with Uncle Morris, or, The friend of my boyhood

Material Information

Title:
Talks with Uncle Morris, or, The friend of my boyhood
Series Title:
Little Dot series
Added title page title:
Friend of my boyhood
Creator:
Old Humphrey, 1787-1854 ( Author, Primary )
Knight ( Printer )
Religious Tract Society (Great Britain) ( Publisher )
Place of Publication:
London
Publisher:
Religious Tract Society
Manufacturer:
Knight
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
64 p., [1] leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 16 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Uncles -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Intergenerational relations -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Storytelling -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1890
Genre:
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Date of publication based on inscription.
General Note:
Frontispiece printed in colors.
Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Old Humphrey.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026879860 ( ALEPH )
ALH4898 ( NOTIS )
174050426 ( OCLC )

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> | The Book of Books

Springfield Stories.
@, | Little Dot

af John Thomson's Nursery.
Two Ways to begin Life.

Ethel Ripon.

Little Gooseberry

Fanny Ashley.

The Gamekeepers Daughter

Fred Kenny.
















Jennys Waterproof.






: The Holy Well

: The Travelling Sixpence...

x ‘Tie Three Flawers

Bi Lost and Rescued
Lighithearers & Beacons.
Liitle Lottie.
_ Ihe Dog of St. Bernard
Isaac bould,the Waggoner.
Uncle Ruperts Stories for Boys
Dreaming and Qoing,

ys of being Useful

| Rivers

Lessons out of School



THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY.

56. PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON

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TALKS WITH UNCLE NORRIS,







Wittle Dot Serics.



TALKS WITH UNCLE MORRIS

OR,

The Friend of my Boyhood,

BY OLD HUMPHREY,



THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY:

56, PATERNOSTER Row; 65, St. Paui’s CHURCHYARD;
AND 164, PICCADILLY.







CONTENTS.

CHAP, PAGE

1, THE FRIEND OF My Bovyoop . 5 5

ll. THE CAT AND THE GLASS-BOTTLED WALL Il

ia, THE Younc BULLOCK 4 : . 16
Iv. THE DOG AND THE CHAIN , 4 30
v. THE GREAT CRY . : . - 39

vi. THE STRANGE Doc. : > 51



TALKS WITH UNCLE MORRIS.

~nedRewn

E
Fhe Friend of my Boyhood,

NEN we go back in our re-
Wh membrance to the days of
: our youth, we cannot but
feel affection for such
friends of our boyhood as
treated us with kindness,
and gave us salutary counsely There
are not many men in the world now that
resemble my Uncle Morris... When I
was young, I spent some time with him;
he lived in a cottage about a mile out of
town. He was then a man in years,
but his years sat lightly upon his very






6 Talks with Uncle Morris.

peaceful brow.. The contented smile,
the cheerfulness of heart, that lighted up
his face, were rarely banished from his
benevolent features. He bore his trials
as a floweret bears the drops of dew,
and they only gave a deeper interest to
his character.

I know not how it may be with others,
but with me the very bodily infirmities
of those I love become, in a degree, in-
teresting to me. My uncle in his youth,
was injured by a fall; it so far affected-
his right hip, that one leg became a few
inches shorter than the other. Toremedy
this defect, he wore a high-heeled shoe,
and walked with a stick with a cross at
the top. The limping gait and the high-
heeled shoe of my Uncle Morris, are
things that my memory cannot part with.

There is, or there ought to be, a kindly
drawing towards those who are naturally
or accidentally deformed and infirm, a
yearning desire to render them a service:



The Friend of my Boyhood. 7

I always felt this towards my Uncle
Morris.

It is said that “old age and youth
cannot dwell together;” but this was
not the case with us. I loved my uncle,
I had reason to love him; and I am
quite certain that he loved me.

My Uncle Morris was, as far as his
infirmities would allow him to be so, a
truly happy man. Was this because his
path through life had been smoother than
that of others? No; he had often drunk
of the cup of bitterness, he had frequently
been “afflicted and distressed in mind,
body, and estate ;” yet was he still happy.

Should you ask me what it was that
made him so, my answer would be a
very plain and common-place one; yet
still there is a fulness of meaning attached
to it that will make it worth your best
attention. My uncle was a real Christian,
a true and humble-minded disciple of
Jesus Christ.



8 Talks with Uncle Morris.

Had he been a man of great talents
instead of deep piety, I might have
honoured him more in days gone by;
for then, in my ignorance, I was putting
sweet for bitter, and bitter for sweet,
good for evil, and evil for good: but
since then the scales have been merci-
fully taken from my eyes, and a new
song has been put into my mouth. I
now honour and love the memory of my
uncle because of his piety.

Though my Uncle Morris was, as I
said, in years, yet he was by no means
an idle man; he was too much interested
in the welfare of the souls and bodies
of all around him not to find full occu-
pation: but I am not going to give you
his history. I will relate a few only of
the many recollections of him which
occur to me, and 1 hope the reader will
find them interesting.

Among the many useful qualities of
my kind-hearted uncle, was the ready



The Friend of my Boyhood. 9

talent of turning even the most trifling
incident to a good account. He was
the very man to sit with at home, or to
walk with abroad; for he always seemed
grateful to God, and in good humour
with all things around him.

A ramble in the fields with him was
delightful; for there was not a white
sun-lit cloud in the sky, nor a bird on the
wing, nor one tree more beautiful than
another, that escaped his observation.

He loved to pore over the rippling
brook, to watch the spider as he spun
his web on the hawthorn bush, to follow
the beetle with his eye as he crept be-
neath the grass, and to muse in the
shadowy nook beneath the aged oak.

Nor were these idle pleasures; for
God was Jin all his thoughts, and His
goodness was seen throughout His crea-
tion, I never saw my uncle regard
shrub or flower without hearing him
speak in praise of its Almighty Maker.



10 Talks with Uncle Morris.

But though he so much enjoyed the
fields, he did not like me to spend
much of my time there. ‘“ Humphrey,”
he used to say, “a feeble old man like
me may be allowed to sit in the sun, and
to loiter among the dancing daffodils;
but you must be more actively employed.
To ramble in the fields may be well as a
pastime, but not as employment. ‘Youth
is the time to serve the Lord,’ and to be
diligent in obtaining knowledge, or in
learning some useful calling.”

There was one difficulty that my uncle
had to contend with; he had not been
much accustomed to the company of
young people, and found it no easy thing
to be sufficiently simple when conversing
with them. I once heard a wise man say,
“T have been trying for years to be
simple ; but I find it a hard thing still.”

I shall now give an account of some
of the lessons this holy man taught me
from common objects.



Il

kee
fhe Gat and the Glass-hottled Hall,

—_—
%, NE day while J was standing
with my Uncle Morris,
looking in the direction of
the garden, we saw a black
cat walking along the glass-
bottled wall. Oh, how
choice was she of her steps!
how daintily she trod the pointed glass
and the decayed mortar, feeling her way
with her paws, and raising her tail in the
air to balance her body !

My uncle was not a man to overlook
such a sight. “ Humphrey, Humphrey !”
said he; “if I had walked as carefully
through the world as pussy is walking
along the wall yonder, how many snares





12 Talks wite Uncle Morris.

should I have avoided! See how she
is picking her way ; not a paw will she
put down till she is satisfied of a firm
_ and easy footing. How cautiously, how
softly she proceeds. What a reproof to
the headlong career of the thoughtless
and self-willed !

“ Many persons, Humphrey, have been
made to remember the sins of their youth,
and compelled against their will to go
softly all their days; but few, very few,
of their own accord take up the resolution
of the psalmist, ‘I will take heed to my
ways, + or regard the advice of the
apostle, ‘See that ye walk circumspectly,
not as fools, but as wise.’ ” 2

While my uncle was speaking, the
black cat still crept along the garden
wall, neither looking to the right hand
nor to the left. When she had got to
the end, she cautiously placed her paws
on the wall, as far as she could, with her

1 Psalm xxxix. 1. 2 Ephesians v. 15.



The Glass-bottled Walt. 13

head downwards, and then taking a leap
lodged on the garden-roller ; after which
she scampered quickly along the middle
walk.

« Ay, ay, Humphrey,” said my Uncle,
“puss knows when she may run without
danger ; and well would it be for us all
if we knew it too. How many people
have I seen walking, and lazily too, when
they ought to have been running in the
way of salvation ; and running heedlessly
when they ought to have taken heed to
their steps! ”

- It was not half an hour after this,
that, being abroad with a young com-
panion, and seeing my uncle ata distance,
we both set out to run, trying which
should first get to him. I took the short
cut, and got ahead of my companion;
but, in attempting to run along the top
of a bank, I rolled into the ditch: very
fortunately, it was dry at the bottom,
My comrade left me behind him,



14. Talks with Unele Morris.

“Quietly! quietly!” said my Uncle
Morris, as I afterwards ran up to him
out of breath; “he who sets out at the
top of his speed will tire ere he gets to
the mile-stone. The candle that burns
the fastest will be soonest extinguished
in the socket. Those who run fast at
first are sure to lose their wind. It is a
capital thing, no doubt, to be ahead of
your companions; but then it is a sad
thing to be passed in the middle of your
race. Beginning well is a good thing,
Humphrey, but enduring to the end is
better. Iam afraid that you have for-
gotten the black cat creeping along the
glass-bottled wall: she managed much
better than you have done; but the roll
you have had in the ditch may perhaps
make you wiser for the future. Hum-
phrey,” said my uncle, after a pause, as
we walked on together, “it is necessary
in common life to walk circumspectly,
but it is especially so in the Christian





The Glass-bottled Wall. 15

course ; for our paths are beset with as
many dangers and difficulties as the
cat found in her way along the garden
wall. ‘Teach me Thy way, O Lord,
and lead me ina plain path,’! is an ex-
cellent prayer to have continually in our
mouths.

“«He that walketh uprightly walketh
surely,” and he who seeks God's guid-
ance is the most likely to set forth God’s
glory. When we walk carelessly in holy
things, we are always in danger; but
when we commit our ways to the Lord,
we are always secure. Then ‘see that
ye wall circumspectly, not as fools, but
as wise.”

1 Psalm xxvii. 11 : 2 Proverbs x. a.





16

Hil,
The foung Bullock.



SHALL not soon forget walk-
ing with my Uncle Morris
to Farmer Broughton’s field,
where some men _ were
ploughing with a team of
oxen. I then had a lesson
on the sin and folly of
disobedience, which is still
fresh in my memory.

The farmer had a young bullock in
the team that morning for the first time,
which had never before worn a yoke on
his neck, and we were not a little amused
to see his antics.

He was a strong well-made animal, of
a pretty dark colour, with a black nose









The Young Bullock. 17

and a curly forehead; but surely never
was bullock more perverse.

One minute he ran forward, and ie
next pushed back; now he was kicking
behind him, by and by pushing the fore
ox with his horns; sometimes he pushed
on one side, then on the other; and now
and then he made a dead stand till
dragged on by the other oxen.

When he did go on, it was in sucha
shuffling manner, and with such wide,
uneven steps, that he continually swerved
from side to side, hanging down his
head, shaking his horns, and lashing his
flanks with his tail.

However, he was obliged to keep on
at some rate, as the other oxen continued
to pull along, in a slow but steady
manner, taking no notice of their way-
ward companion, who spent his strength
for nothing, and made for himself double
the work his master required of him,

Before we left the field, the untoward
fom



1s Talks with Uncle Morris.

animal, having quite wearied himself out, |

fell down in the furrow completely ex-
hausted; he lay like a lamb while they
took the tackle off him, and soon after
the men led him home in a much more
docile humour than they brought him
out.

“There,” said my uncle, as they shut
the gate after them with a sharp rattle,
“that young bullock reminds me very
much of your Uncle Morris; for he has
played just such a game twenty times
over in his life.”

“ How is that, uncle ?” said I. “Were
you ever put to work in a team ?”

“No,” said my uncle; “but I have ©
had many a yoke laid on my neck, and |
many a cross on my shoulders, and that
by the hand of my most faithful and
merciful Creator, who has promised to
do me good and not evil all the days of
my life; and has declared that all things,
even the most bitter trials, shall work







The Young Bullock. 19

together for my good: yet He never laid
_ His hand upon me but I behaved some-
thing like that young bullock. I kicked,
rebelled, struggled, hung back, ran for-
ward, pulled this way and that, and
strove all in my power to get from under
it. Oh, how have I dragged for one
_ path when God has pointed to another!”
I was always of a lively turn; and
while my uncle went on talking, I could
. not help fancying him yoked in a team
like a bullock, kicking and plunging
about. This broughta smile on my face,
but my Uncle Morris thus went on :—
~“ Many instances does my conscience
bring before me this moment, when, after
praying night and day, ‘Not my will,
but Thine’—and God’s will has come—
my whole soul has risen in-opposition to
it, and I have resisted stoutly to get my
own way ; but, I thank God, I never got
it yet. No, He is my Master still, and
_ trust He ever will be. It is better to



20 Talks with Onele Morris. eeee

be broken down to His will, though He
should bring us to ‘the dust of death,
than to be given over to a will of our
own.

“You saw that the poor bullock cut
out for himself twice as much work as
his master required him to do, for his
path was plainly marked out, had he
been content to walk patiently in it: but
no; he must be pulling this way and
that way, and dragging every way but in
the furrowed line before him, though it
was all to no purpose in the end; for
submit he will, and submit he must, for
they will teach him his lesson before
they have done with him.

‘Just so it is, Humphrey, with a child
of God, when his restless wayward will
is striving against the will of his heavenly
Father; he gets nothing but his labour
for his pains.

““«Oh!’ says he, when the cross comes,
if I could but do this, or that, or the



The Young Bullock. 21

other, if it had been anything but this, I
could have borne it. All of no use,
Christian; your path is marked out for
you; on you must go, bearing the yoke;

to turn out of the way is impossible :



‘this is. the way,’ however rough, ‘ walk
ye in it? Your heavenly Father knows
that even this heavy cross is good for
you. He has promised, and He is
- faithful, that He will lay no more upon
_ you than He will enable you to bear.”

Many persons would suppose that this
sort of conversation was rather too grave
for a boy of my years; but I did not
find it to be so, though I did not set
such store by it as I should have done
in after days. While my uncle talked
to me, he stood in his customary attitude,
resting on his stick, the toe of his short
leg just touching the ground.

“Many of God's people, Humphrey,”
said he, ‘ make hard work for themselves
when they begin fretting and cumbering



22 Talks with Uncle Morris.

themselves about the future; when they
get distrusting God’s providence, and
stretching out their necks that they may
see the road before them.

“Tt is hard work when we get puzzling
and caring for ‘the morrow,’ and hard
work in vain: for, except the Lord build
the house, they labour in vain that build
it. Our dear Redeemer taught us to
pray, ‘Give us this day our daily bread;’
but few of us are satisfied without a loaf
ready for to-morrow.

“If God’s children would but cast
their care on the Lord, while they
diligently employ the talents He has
given them, what a load of sinful sorrow
would they get rid of! they should soon
find, by blessed experience, that He.
careth for them.

“The young bullock cannot see why
he is made to go in one line, bearing a
weight on his neck; he cannot make out
what all this is for.







The Young Bullock. 22

“As you grow older, Humphrey, and
know more of God’s goodness, you will
find that the dealings of God with His
children are often very dark and mys-
terious: they cannot see what He is
bringing about, why they should go in
_ such a path, or bear such a burden, when
to all their judgment they could serve
Him much better, and be more useful in
His work, were these things not so; but
God still speaks to His children, as He
did to the children of Israel, ‘Go for-
ward!’ It is useless to stand idly trying
to scan all His ways; they never will
understand them on this side of the
grave. His faithfulness is the staff given
them to lean upon, yea, it is their song of
rejoicing ; for when they cannot see the
brightness of His countenance, they can
hold fast by the word of His promise.
They know what He has promised
He is able to perform, and not ‘one
jot or one tittle’ of His word shall pass



24 Talks with Uncle Morris.

away.t God is with His children where. |

ever they are, though they cannot always
perceive Him. He has declared He
never will leave them nor forsake them.”

Here my uncle moved forwards a few.

paces with his stick in his hand, leaning
alittle to the right, every step that he
took with his short leg; but he was so
full of his subject that he soon made a
halt to take it up again.

“Humphrey,” said he, stretching out
his finger, “never doubt God’s goodness.
If you could peep behind yonder cloud,
you would see the sun as plain as you
did just now, when he was gilding the
earth and the heavens with his glory.
It is just so with the sun’s Maker.

‘Behind a frowning providence,
He hides a smiling face.’

“The poor bullock comes down in
the furrow at last. It is of no use his
kicking, and pushing, and dragging; he

1 Matthew v. 18,





“The Young Bullock. 25

got nothing by it. His haughty spirit is
brought low, he gives it all over, down
he comes at last even to the ground;
and mark, when they see him lying like
a lamb at their feet, all his strength and
pride brought down, their behaviour is
changed towards him. Now their work
is done with him. They come and take
off his yoke, a little rest and ease for
him now, they lead him home; he can’
be led now, who could hardly be driven
before.

“He shall now have something to eat
at their hands, a little water to drink, a
good stable and clean straw. He has
given himself up to them at last, anda
good thing it is for him; for they know
how to take care of him, and provide for
all his wants, and this he will learn more
and more when he is brought wholly to
submit.”

My uncle again moved on, but his
face was full of animation; the subject of



26 Talks with Oncle WTS.

the young bullock just suited him: he



tould not pass by the stile with the i

broad rail at top, without hastily sitting
down upon it to finish his remarks.
“God's children, Humphrey, are all
brought to give up at last. They may

struggle and rebel a long time; but by |
the continuance of His grace they are |

softened down to submission at last. Be
the cup of affliction ever so bitter, they

are brought at last to drink it, blessing |

the name of the Lord; and then it is
that the dregs of it are sweetened to
them.

“God is too good not to try His
people. ‘He shall sit as a refiner and
purifier of silver. ! It is a glorious work
God is bringing about, when He afflicts
His children. The dross of their old
nature must be consumed, that they may
bear His image. While they are un-
melted, the furnace work must still go

+ Malachi iii, 3.



The Young Bullock. 27

on; while they are unsubdued, the
burden must be still heavier, and the
cloud must be still darker; but when
they are brought to give up all, and lie
at His feet in a broken and contrite
spirit, committing all they have into His
hands, and counting not their very lives
dear unto them, so they may but be
conformed to His will, then the work is
accomplished, the heat of the furnace
abates, the times of refreshment come
from the Lord. The cloud is withdrawn
from His countenance, and the beams of
His everlasting kindness shine forth.

“Now He comes to bind up the
broken heart, and to heal the bones
which He has broken. Now He comes
with the precious promises of His word,
making the trembling Christian feel that
His love is still the same, yesterday, to-
day, and for ever.

“He that spared not from us His
only Son, but freely gave Him up for



28 Talks with Uncle Morris.

us all, shall He withhold any good thing |



from them that love Him? He cannot.

and does not withhold any necessary _

good from His children, though they
may think so: the very hairs of their
heads ‘are all numbered ;’ and He has
declared, he that touches them, touches
_ the apple of His eye. ;

“*Q fear the Lord, ye His saints:
for there is no want to them that
fear Him. The young lions do lack,
and suffer hunger: but they that seek
the Lord shall not want any good
thing.” ?

When my uncle got home, he brought
his big Bible; he set me-to learn the
two following texts, and I have never
since forgotten them: “ Thou hast chas-
tised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock
unaccustomed to the yoke: turn Thou
me, and I shall be turned; for Thou art
the Lord my God,”? “Humble yourselves

2 Psalm xxxiv. 9, 10. 2 Jeremiah xxxi. 18.





The Young Bullock. 29

therefore under the mighty hand of God,
that He may exalt you in due time.” !

I have given you as good an account
of my uncle’s remarks on the young
bullock as I can. Can you wonder that

I should love the memory of my Uncle
Morris ?

11 Peter v. 6.





309

IV.
The Bog and the Chain,



N Ay uncle and I went to call,
§ one morning, upon Farmer
Reeves ; and as we passed
through the court gate,
Lion, his large black and
white Newfoundland dog,
peeped out of his kennel. No sooner
did he see us than he came jumping
forward wagging his bushy tail, and
barking in a fond and playful manner.
Lion was a fine-grown young dog, full
of play and good nature; his head, back,
and sides were black as jet, with a fine
polish upon them; while his belly, the
under part of his neck, his paws, and the
tip of his tail, were as white as snow.







The Dog and the Chain. 31

When he perceived that we were in-
clined to notice him, he began to leap
about in all directions, showing his joy
in the most vehement manner. As we
stood just out of the length of his chain
he became quite desperate in his efforts
to reach us, bounding forward with all
his might, and seeming’ at every spring
to forget that he was tied up, until the
tightening of his chain brought him again
to the ground.

“Lion, Lion!” said my Uncle Morris,
“take things more quietly. It will not
do; you cannot master that chain of
yours.”

But Lion, instead of being pacified,
became still more unruly at my uncle’s
voice, till at last, by a sudden jerk of his
chain, he was completely thrown on
his back.

Some minutes afterwards, we looked
round and saw him lying in his kennel
panting, with his mouth wide open, and





22 Talks with Uncle Morris.

his red tongue moving quickly in and
out : it was a very warm day.

Before we left the farm, my uncle and
I begged Lion half an hour’s liberty, and
surely never was dog more full of delight.
He leaped towards us as if to express
his gratitude; then bounded over the
fold gate and the garden wall, scampered
round the rick yard and through the
orchards, till, at last, we saw him racing
in a clover piece full a quarter of a mile
from the house. Happy as the dog was,
I question if he was more so than my
Uncle Morris.

A field of clover in full blossom is
delightful. When you are close to it,
the green leaves and light purple flowers,
with ten thousand bees buzzing about
them, are a picture; and when you are
at alittle distance, and the breeze blows
towards you, the scent is very grateful.
But mind that you never venture through
a clover field after a shower of rain; for







The Dog and the Chain. 32

the leaves at a single touch will pour the
water they hold upon your feet, and the
bossy blossoms will so bob against your
legs that you will be as wet as if you had
walked through a horse-pond.

I thought to myself, as we returned
home, “Now my uncle will be sure to
have something or other to say about
Lion;” but I was mistaken, for he never
spoke a word about him all the way, and
seemed more than usually silent.

The following evening, however, when
we were all met together for our usual
reading, after we had sung a hymn, my
uncle read the forty-second Psalm; and
then looking at me, “I will tell you,
Humphrey,” said he, “what thoughts
filled my mind while we were looking at
Farmer Reeves’ dog yesterday. He was
a beautiful animal, and it did my heart
good to see him set at liberty.

“We saw him one moment springing
forward with all the eagerness of desire

pe



34 Talks with Uncle Morris.

and beheld him the next moment brought
to the ground again by the chain which
confined him. Even so, thought I, is it
with the faithful follower of Christ: the
affections and desires of his heart seek to
be free, while the chain of his infirmities
drags him to the earth.

“There are seasons in the Christian’s
experience (1 pray God of His mercy
that you may live to know them !) when
he so rejoices in the greatness and
goodness of God, and the immeasurable
love of the Saviour, that he loses in his —
transport the remembrance of his de-
pendent and helpless state; he forgets
the chain that holds: him to the earth.
But how often is it, after seasons of the
most glorious exultation, when he has
been panting, ‘as the hart panteth after
the water brooks,’ and thirsting for the
living God, even longing for the hour of
his departure when he may ‘come and
appear before God, that we find him



The Dog and the Chain. 35

lying prost.ate in the dust, his joy turned
into mourning, and his song into heavi-
ness! The voice of triumphant thanks-
giving is gone, and his language is,
‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul?
and why art thou disquieted within me?’!

The psalmist often experienced these
changes. At one time we see him
bounding forward in spirit, and crying
~ out, ‘How amiable are Thy tabernacles,
O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea,
even fainteth for the courts of the Lord:
my heart and my flesh crieth out for the
living God, ? but at another time he is
brought very low, he feels the chain, and
says, ‘Il am troubled ; I am bowed down
greatly ; I go mourning all the day long.’®

“St. Paul breaks forth in the wonder
and joy of his soul, ‘O the depth of the
riches both of the wisdom and knowledge
of God!’ 4 but another time we find him

1 Psa, xlii, 5, 3 Psa. Ixxxiv. 1, 2. 3 Psa. xxxviil. 6
4 Romans xi, 33.



36 Talks with Uncle Morris.

pressed down with the thoughts of his
helplessness and depravity ; he feels the
chain, and cries out, ‘Who shall deliver
me from the body of this death ?’1 So,
then, we see how impossible it is for us
to praise God as He ought to be praised,
or even as we long to praise Him, owing
to the hindrances of our sinful nature.
“An old writer says, ‘The flesh
hinders from duty: when we would
pray, the flesh resists; when we should
suffer, the flesh draws back. How hard
is it sometimes to get leave of our hearts
to seek God!’ And so will it ever be
with us while we are in this world ; ‘for
the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and
the Spirit against the flesh : and these are
contrary the one to the other :’ so that
ye cannot do the things that ye would.?
“You saw when the chain was taken
off farmer Reeves’s dog, how he raced
away in free and perfect liberty; he

1 Romans vii, 24. 2 Galalians v. 17.



The Dog and the Chain. 27

could then perform all that he had wished
to do when his chain held him fast. And
there comes a day when the children of
God will be freed from the bondage of
this mortal body; then will they enter
into that ‘glorious liberty’ so long
promised them—that ‘glorious liberty,’
the thought of which so often has turned
their mourning into joy, and wiped the
tears away from their eyes.

“You are young, Humphrey, aad may
think that I talk very seriously to you;
but when I am gone, as I soon shall be,
when I tread the starry pavement of the
skies, the thoughtless and the gay may
gather around you, and you may stand
in need of some of the grave sayings of
your Uncle Morris. Bear with me, then,
and forget not my sayings.

“You saw how happy Lion was when
liberated from his chain, much more
happy than if he had never been in
captivity. You must for a season wear







38 Talks with Uncle Morris.

the chain, as your fathers have done
before you; but in all your trials, be they
great or small, look to the end. In your.
sins and your sorrows, Humphrey, look
to Jesus, and cling to His cross; then,
when your earthly chain shall be broken,
you will enter on perfect liberty in the
kingdom of heaven.”





39

V.
fhe Great Cry,

+

%)\ NE evening, as I sat down as
usual to read to my uncle,
I was struck much with the
\\ meekness of his appearance :
he had met with an accident, a
short time before, and had sprained
his ankle; his foot was placed on a
cushion, and his crutches stood in the
corner; his face was very pale, but his
features expressed patience, meekness,
and resignation.

Some people talk, or whisper, or move
from one place to another, to occupy
themselves in various ways while the
Scriptures are being read, but not so my
Uncle Morris; resting his elbow on the






40 Talks with OUnele Morris.

table and his cheek upon his hand, he
used to fix his eyes mildly but attentively
upon me. It was the Holy Bible that
he was listening to; and had I been an
aged minister of the gospel, instead of a
youth, he could not have attended to me
more earnestly.

I stopped when I came to the verse,
“But when they knew that he was a
Jew, all with one voice about the space
of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of
the Ephesians ;”+ for the confusion of the
scene at Ephesus came before my mind,
and I could not help saying, “ Uncle,
what an uproar it must have been!”

“Tt was indeed an uproar,” replied my
uncle. ‘I would that the cry, ‘Great is
Diana, had ceased for ever, when the
town clerk appeased the people, and that
we might witness in this present day the
Lord alone exalted. But, alas! there is
a cry in our day, and in our land, as loud

1 Acts xix, 34.



The Great Cry. Al

and as long as the cry at Ephesus; it is
taken up at all points, and echoed back
from all quarters ; ‘Great is Diana!’ and
this Diana is poor human nature. Great
are the noble acts, and wonderful are the
exalted deeds of mighty human nature!

“Take heed, Humphrey, that you add
not to this cry. You will hear it every
day, and every hour. Whom do we
celebrate in conversation? Circles are
drawing round the fire every night,
multitudes are gathering together every
day; what do they talk about? Alas!
about anything, so that it be but beneath
thesun. Learning, literature, arts, science,
poetry, or philosophy, in short anything,
so that it tends to exalt the great
goddess human nature. Each has a
favourite theme ; some admire her head
most, some her arms, and others her
feet; but all are agreed that ‘Great is
Diana !’

“Mind, Humphrey, I am not speaking



42 Talks with Uncle Morris.

bitterly or ill-naturedly of my fellow-
sinners: thousands of them offer praise
to the King of kings and Lord of lords,
and ten thousands pray to Him in the
name of Jesus Christ; and how rare
it is compared with the contrary practice
in common conversation. How rare a
thing to magnify the name of the Lord
God of heaven and earth, and to inter-
rupt this cry about Diana by proposing
that ‘Jesus Christ, and Him crucified,’
shall be the theme of*the heart and
tongue.

“¢Qh that men would praise the Lord
for His goodness, and for His wonderful
works to the children of men!??

“ Now mark what I say, Humphrey,”
said my uncle, putting his spectacles on
the table, and meekly pointing at me
with his finger, to secure my attention ;
“mark what 1 say, Humphrey, for it is
true. Whom do we celebrate in our

' Psalm cyvii. 8.



The Great Cry. 43

books? What numbers of them are
written to the praise and glory of men,
and of their mighty acts and daring
deeds! Alas! I fear that for one volume
exalting the name of God and ‘ His
Christ, at least a hundred take up the
cry, and proclaim far and wide, ‘ Great
is Diana.’ Indeed, so hard is the heart
by nature and so full of enmity to God,
that men had rather write about the dust
under their feet, than set forth the
‘excellency of the knowledge of Christ
Jesus. And we by nature had rather
not read at all, than read only of a
crucified Redeemer. Oh, how humilia-
ting is this thought! After all our dear
Saviour has done and suffered for us,
how hard and stubborn must our natures
be! We had need to smite upon our
breasts, and ask God to take away the
stony heart, and give us a heart of flesh.

“Whom do we celebrate in our songs?
Many indeed are the songs of Zion,



44 Talks with Unele Morris.

written to magnify the name of the Lord;
but what proportion do they bear to
those composed for Diana? While two
or three are gathered together, singing,

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain,
what crowds are tuning their harps and
hearts to the praise of the great goddess!
Whilst a remnant are raising their voices
to proclaim aloud the praises of their
Redeemer, to show forth the wonders of
His name, to exalt Him as ‘altogether
lovely,’ the ‘chiefest among ten thousand,’
what a company are shouting, with the
sound of music and melody, ‘Great is
Diana of the Ephesians !’

* «Oh that men’ in their songs ‘would
praise the Lord for His goodness, and
for His wonderful works to the children
of men!’

‘Whom do we celebrate in our private
thoughts? Are we not prone, even
those of us whose hearts have been
broken and quickened and purified by



The Great Cry. 45

the all-conquering grace of God, to think
well of such poor services as we are
enabled to perform, as though they were
worthy to recommend us to God? Even
upon our knees sometimes the Lord
alone is not exalted. God has not all
the glory. Spiritual pride creeps in:
‘Great is Diana’ may still be heard,
though it be but in a whisper, in the
very presence of God. What hard work
it is to ‘decrease, that Christ may
‘increase.’ ”

It was often the case, when my uncle
was talking to me, that he seemed to be
carried away with the subject, to speak
as if he had a grown person beside him.
It was a little the case in the present
instance. He went on thus :—

“But blessed are they that hate the
cry, and strive against it; let us see who
they are. These are they who have felt
themselves weak and helpless, faint and
uneasy sick and sinful. These are they



46 Talks with Uncle Morris.

whose iniquities are gone over their
head, a heavy burden, too heavy for
them to bear; these are they who have
leaned upon their Saviour, and found
strength alone in Him. These are the
mourners who ‘shall be comforted ;’ the |
meek who shall ‘inherit the earth ;’ the
afflicted and tempest-tossed who shall
‘find rest’ to their souls; the ‘poor in
spirit’—mark it, Humphrey—the poor
in spirit, whose is the kingdom of
heaven.

“ These are they of whom the world is
not worthy, who, like their Divine Mas-
ter, are ‘despised and rejected of men.’
Oh, how astonishing, how amazing will
be the bursting forth of their glory and
happiness, when they arrive at home!
for they are now sojourning in a strange
city, and the citizens know them not,
therefore they abuse them.

“They are counted blind—because
they cannot see the surpassing greatness



The Great Cry. 47

and majesty of this mighty Diana, nor
aamire the wonderful feats she is able to
perform. Nay, they will turn away their
eyes from them, lest by any means they
should be tempted to exalt what in the
eyes of their Lord is abased : ‘ For the
wisdom of this world is foolishness with
God.! What says the Lord? ‘Let
him that glorieth glory in this, that he
understandeth and knoweth Me, that
1 am the Lord which exercise loving-
kindness, judgment, and righteousness,
in the earth: for in these things I de-
light.’?

“They are counted deaf—because
they heed not the praises of this mighty
Diana, and turn away their ears from the
shouts in her favour. They are jealous
over their much-abused Lord, and cannot
bear to hear the praise of men so loud
and long; whilst their hearts are melting
in love and praise to their dear Redeemer,

1 Corinthians iii, 19. 2 Jeremiah ix. 24.



48 Talks with Uncle Morris.

who loved them, and gave Himself for
them.

“They are counted dumb—for they
can never find a voice to celebrate the
praises of the mighty Diana. They have
great reason to distrust her at every
step; for she has deceived them a
thousand times, and they have been a
thousand times humbled to the dust on
her account, and made to drink deeply
of the bitter waters in the valley of
humiliation, they find themselves never
so weak as when she reigns over them,
and never so strong as when she lies
prostrate at their feet: therefore they
have no heart to exalt her, and no voice
to sing her praises; and for this cause
are they pitied and despised.

“ Oh, when they are arrived at home,
when they are all gathered together in
that great day of the Lord, when the
books shall be opened, and the secret
sins of the heart made manifest, they



The Great Cry. 49

will all stand before the Judge clad in
the white robes of their Saviour’s right
eousness. Then will it be known that
they can see; for they shall have bold-
ness to look upon the Judge; while those
who despised ‘the wedding garment’
shall call upon the rocks to fall on them.!
Then will it be known they can hear;
for their triumph shall be manifest,
when their Lord shall say unto them,
‘Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit
the kingdom prepared for you.’* Then
will it be known that they can speak ; for
they shall shout forth in the presence of
God, and all His holy angels, an ever-
lasting and glorious song: ‘ Blessing,
and honour, and glory, and power, be
unto Him that sitteth upon the throne,
and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.’?
Thus it shall be unto those with whom
the Lord alone is exalted, who, forsaking
all to follow Him, count the high things

1 Rev. vi. 16, 3 Matt. xxv. 34. 3 Rev. v. 13.
Ee



50 Talks with Uncle Morris.

of this world, even Diana herself, but
dung and dross, that they may win Christ
and be found in Him.

“ May the Lord in His infinite mercy
incline us to be like-minded with them,
so that while the multitude are crying
some ‘one thing, and some another,’ the
language of our hearts may be, ‘My soul,
wait thou only upon God; for my ex-
pectation is from Him.’”!

1 Psalm Ixii. 5.





VI.

Fhe Strange Hog,

194.

a& NCLE Morris and I were out
a short distance from home
one winter, in one of the
most desolate tempestuous
nights I ever remeinber.
It was one of those nights
in which if we are abroad we feel grateful
that we have a home to go to, and if at
home that we have a roof of any kind
over our heads.

The rain was heavy and incessant, the
wind blustered and howled across the
bleak meadows, and piles of sodden
slippery snow lay at our feet. My uncle
and I waded along as well as we could,





52 Talks with Uncle Morris.

leaving a shoe mark of water behind us
at every step.

We were half way up the longest lane,
when we heard a pattering of feet behind
us ; and looking back, I saw a poor dog,
miserably wet, paddling after us, over
his toes in water. As I turned, he
crouched to the ground, and then ran
back to some distance, tucking his tail
close to his legs. ‘“ Poor creature,” said
my uncie: “if he comes home with us,
and even begs for a night’s lodging, I do
not sce how we can refuse him in such a
night as this.” And so the poor dog
seemed to imagine; for he kept on after
us as close as he dared, though every
time I looked round he stopped short,
and prepared himself to run back again,
if necessary.

However, he followed us all the way
home; but when we came to the cottage
door, and my uncle was willing that he
should come in, off he went again, nor



The Strange Dog. 53

could all my calling and coaxing get him
to come near us. Poor, timid thing;
though he was frightened at the wind,
chilled with the cold, and drenched with
the rain, yet was he suspicious of those
who offered him a shelter. He was
afraid to stay out, and afraid to come in;
so we were obliged to leave him to
himself.

“Set the door a little open,” said my
uncle, “and let him alone: here is a
warm fire and a good supper if he comes,
but he will not believe us if we stand all
night long telling him so.”

We left the door open: the wind and
the rain became furious, and, at last, in
the poor dog ventured, but crouched
himself under one of the chairs, and lay
there trembling in a manner most pitiable
to behold.

Every time I looked round, or spoke
to him, he trembled more, till my uncle
told me to take no notice of him. We



54 Talks with Uncle Morris.

then laid down a mat before the fire, and
went on with our supper.

“Poor fellow; he was a pretty dog,
but in a sad condition, miserably wet
and thin, shaking with fear and cold, and
so spotted and dabbled that we could
hardly tell his colour.

‘Who would ever suppose this could
be the same dog!” thought I, as I sat
looking at our visitor some hours after;
for he stood boldly epright in front of
the hearthstone with his two curly ears
erect, and his eyes eagerly fixed on my
uncle.

His whole appearance was so different,
and his manner so free and sprightly,
that I could hardly fancy he really was
the same poor, timid creature that lay
trembling under the chair. The truth
was, the fire had warmed his heart, and
dried his coat, and my uncle had given
him some food.

A hungry dog he was, and a hungry



The Strange Dog. 55

dog he looked; for I suppose not all the
flattery and fair speeches that could be
invented would have called off his eyes,
for one minute, from my uncle: they
were animated with the most eager ex-
pectation. I made him look off twice,
with my calling and coaxing, but it was
only for an instant. He found that I
had nothing to give him, and fair speeches
are poor diet, so he paid no attention
to me any longer; but stood eagerly
watching my uncle, till, becoming more
and more impatient, at last he fell to
whining, and then danced about with his
fore feet.

“There,” said my uncle, as he put
down a plate of fragments ; “I suppose
we should have .a difficult task to turn
you out now, if the rain were all over
and the night as fair as summer time.
However, we must turn your visit to
some good account, Carlo, that you may
pay for your night's lodging.



56 Talks with Uncle Morris.

“There are many people, Humphrey,
who take up their Bibles and go to church,
and say their prayers, and do such like
things, because they are afraid to leave
these matters unattended to any longer.
They hear of death, of judgment, of
eternity, and these things sound dismal
and alarming: they must needs become
religious, there is no help for it; and
religious they become in their way.
Your uncle Morris has too much reason
to know this to be true, seeing that he
did the same thing till it pleased God to
teach him better.

“Oh that such poor deluded people
would look closely into God’s word! Oh
that they might be stirred up to cry unto
God for a new heart, a new nature; for,
‘If any man be in Christ, he is a new
creature: old things are passed away.’ }
Satan has no objection to outward
appearance, so that there be no inward

12 Corinthians v. 17,



The Strange Dog. 57

change; he has no objection to our
wearing a saint's coat and waistcoat, so
long as a sinful, unchanged, unsanctified
heart is beating beneath them.

“ This poor dog did not come shivering
to the door because he liked it; no, had
the night been fair, he would have roamed
abroad. He dared not stay away, that
was the reason. The wind sounded in
his ears, and the rain pelted on his back;
he must needs come to the door sill.

“The people of whom I have spoken,
Humphrey, are religious because they
dare not let religion alone. They cannot
say from their hearts it is because they
love God, His word, His house, and
His people; they love Him not, for they
know Him not. Like this poor dog,
were the night fair without,,they would
roam abroad. Were there no terrors,
no alarms sounding in their ears, the
world would have them ; for its pleasures
are their choice. But as it is, the night



58 Talks with Uncle Morris.

is rough without, the wind and the rain
are frightful sounds; they must needs
come to the house of God.

“Poor creatures! they know just as
much of the spiritual delights of those
who walk by faith in Christ, as this poor
dog knew of our warm fire, a dry coat,
and a good supper, when shivering in
the cold and rain of this tempestuous
night.

“T cannot tell what this silly .dog
thought would be done to him if he
came in; but he was sadly suspicious.
I suppose he thought we should tie him
to the leg of the table, and never let him
run about any more.

“ However, he seems to find himself _
pretty much at his ease: neither the’
wind nor the rain keeps him with us
now, depend upon it; and he eats his
food as though he would never be satis-
fied.

‘Many professors are poor, suspiciotis



The Strange Dog. 59

souls, There are feasts in the gospel
they little dream of; let them once taste,
and they will be blessed for ever. No
turning them off any more; they can
never get enough of its treasures. A
thought: of the Saviour's love brings
tears into the eyes. ‘ More of it,’ says
the soul, ‘or my life will be a burden
to me.’

“T talk of these things in this way,
Humphrey, because they will rise in
your memory when I am gone; if you
do not understand them now, you may,
through mercy, understand them then.

“A real child of God, who goes to the
cross of Christ to get rid of his burden,
is quickly delivered from his fears. A
look of love from a crucified Saviour
casts out fear. Then the Christian runs
on in the narrow way, with a light heart,
‘leaping and praising God.’ His mouth
is filled with laughter, his mourning is
turned into dancing. Christ is’ his all,



60 Talks with Unele Morris.

his home, his ‘portion,’ his ‘dwelling
place,’ his ‘refuge ;’ he will shelter there
for ever. The tempest without is un-
heeded now. He finds all his heart can
desire in Christ. ‘Whom have I in
heaven but Thee? and there is none
upon earth that I desire beside Thee.’ 4

“You have been trying to coax Carlo
away from me, but he will not forsake
me now; he has found out that I have
something to give him, and you have
nothing. The world still holds out its
allurements, its temptations, and promises
great things to the Christian: ‘All these
will I give thee, if thou wilt worship me.’
But the soul heeds no more fair speeches,
knowing where true joys are to be
found,

“ David knew well what this hungering
and thirsting was. We find him panting
after God, ‘as the hart panteth after the
water brooks.’? He cannot be satisfied,

1 Psalm Ixxiii, 25. 2 Psalm xiii, 1.



The Strange Dog. | 61

so he looks on to a time when he shall
be satisfied: ‘I shall be satisfied, when
I awake, with Thy likeness,’” 1

How long my Uncle Morris would
have gone on in this way I do not
know ; but the time was come for putting
down the Bible on the table, and for
family prayer. And sweet was the
petition that was put up that night by
my uncle, at the throne of grace, for all
sorts and conditions of men, high and
low, rich and poor; and fervent was the
praise that ascended from his lips to the
Father of mercies, for all that he had
done, and all that he had promised.
Both praise and prayer were offered up
in the name of the Redeemer. It was
his custom when reading the Bible to
accompany it with short explanations
and illustrations; and as few read the
Book of truth so much, and pondered it
so deeply as he did, so it rarely happened

' Pselm xvii. 15



62 Talks with Uncle Morris.

that he failed to enlarge the views of his
hearers, while his humble and devotional
spirit spread a sense of reverence and
solemnity around. Young as I then
was, these seasons of prayer were pro-
fitable to me; and now I look back to
them with an added interest. There
was a Sincerity and earnestness in his
devotion, which told me that religion
with him was a reality.

Though I have only mentioned the
remarks made by my uncle on The Cat
and the Glass-bottled Wall—The Young
Bullock—The Dog and the Chain—The
Great Cry—and The Strange Dog; yet
I could relate a score other interesting
particulars, if time served me, wherein
his observations were equally striking
and profitable. I have walked with him
abroad, when the book of creation has
excited his wonder and thankfulness;
and I have sat with him within doors,
when the Book of Revelation has called



The Strange Dog. 63

forth a yet warmer glow of gratitude
and joy; in both cases his tongue has
been like the pen of a ready writer, or
like a harp whose melodious strings,
struck by a skilful hand, resounded with
the praises of the Lord of earth and
heaven. Many men have I admired for
their talents, while others have called
forth my respect by their virtues; but
never did I so truly love and honour a
man for a kind heart and a Christian
spirit, as I loved and honoured my
uncle.

I love to go back in my fancy to the
days of my youth. My kind-hearted
Uncle Morris has long since been beck-
oned away to realms of unfading bliss ;
but though no longer an inhabitant of
this world of sorrows, his image is often
present to my memory: there he stands,
resting on his stick, the toe of his short
leg just touching the ground, with the
same cheerful, benevolent smile on his



64 Talks with Unele Morris.

face as in years gone by. “Humphrey,”
I hear him say, “never doubt God’s
goodness. If you could peep behind
yonder cloud, you would see the sun as
plain as you did just now, when he was
gilding the earth and the heavens with
his glory. In your sins and sorrows,
look to Jesus and cling to His cross;
then, when your earthly bonds shall be
broken, you shall enter on perfect liberty
in the kingdom of Heaven.”





LONDON; KNIGHT: PRINTER, MIDDLE STREET, BC.



7


























Tilt the Sugar Melts.

The Story of a Geranium.

i The Flying Postman
The Money in the Milk.

The Cowslip Ball

| The Little Model

Aary Sefton.

&| Tales from aver the Sea

Lisetta & the Brigands.

4 Bessie Graham

Jin his FathersArms. —

} Cosmo & his Marmoset.

Talks with Uncle Morris.

Herbert & his Sister.
Lucy Millers Good Work

Little AndysLegacy.

How the Gold Medal was Won,
& The Young Drovers.
aster Charlés'’s Chair.

Little Kittiwake.

Hi Squire Bentley's Treat.

eee Visit to The Sunny Banke

Amys Secret.

| The Children in the Valley







THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SO GUERY:
56. PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON.







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The Baldwin Library

B Dale
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7

> | The Book of Books

Springfield Stories.
@, | Little Dot

af John Thomson's Nursery.
Two Ways to begin Life.

Ethel Ripon.

Little Gooseberry

Fanny Ashley.

The Gamekeepers Daughter

Fred Kenny.
















Jennys Waterproof.






: The Holy Well

: The Travelling Sixpence...

x ‘Tie Three Flawers

Bi Lost and Rescued
Lighithearers & Beacons.
Liitle Lottie.
_ Ihe Dog of St. Bernard
Isaac bould,the Waggoner.
Uncle Ruperts Stories for Boys
Dreaming and Qoing,

ys of being Useful

| Rivers

Lessons out of School



THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY.

56. PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON

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TALKS WITH UNCLE NORRIS,




Wittle Dot Serics.



TALKS WITH UNCLE MORRIS

OR,

The Friend of my Boyhood,

BY OLD HUMPHREY,



THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY:

56, PATERNOSTER Row; 65, St. Paui’s CHURCHYARD;
AND 164, PICCADILLY.




CONTENTS.

CHAP, PAGE

1, THE FRIEND OF My Bovyoop . 5 5

ll. THE CAT AND THE GLASS-BOTTLED WALL Il

ia, THE Younc BULLOCK 4 : . 16
Iv. THE DOG AND THE CHAIN , 4 30
v. THE GREAT CRY . : . - 39

vi. THE STRANGE Doc. : > 51
TALKS WITH UNCLE MORRIS.

~nedRewn

E
Fhe Friend of my Boyhood,

NEN we go back in our re-
Wh membrance to the days of
: our youth, we cannot but
feel affection for such
friends of our boyhood as
treated us with kindness,
and gave us salutary counsely There
are not many men in the world now that
resemble my Uncle Morris... When I
was young, I spent some time with him;
he lived in a cottage about a mile out of
town. He was then a man in years,
but his years sat lightly upon his very



6 Talks with Uncle Morris.

peaceful brow.. The contented smile,
the cheerfulness of heart, that lighted up
his face, were rarely banished from his
benevolent features. He bore his trials
as a floweret bears the drops of dew,
and they only gave a deeper interest to
his character.

I know not how it may be with others,
but with me the very bodily infirmities
of those I love become, in a degree, in-
teresting to me. My uncle in his youth,
was injured by a fall; it so far affected-
his right hip, that one leg became a few
inches shorter than the other. Toremedy
this defect, he wore a high-heeled shoe,
and walked with a stick with a cross at
the top. The limping gait and the high-
heeled shoe of my Uncle Morris, are
things that my memory cannot part with.

There is, or there ought to be, a kindly
drawing towards those who are naturally
or accidentally deformed and infirm, a
yearning desire to render them a service:
The Friend of my Boyhood. 7

I always felt this towards my Uncle
Morris.

It is said that “old age and youth
cannot dwell together;” but this was
not the case with us. I loved my uncle,
I had reason to love him; and I am
quite certain that he loved me.

My Uncle Morris was, as far as his
infirmities would allow him to be so, a
truly happy man. Was this because his
path through life had been smoother than
that of others? No; he had often drunk
of the cup of bitterness, he had frequently
been “afflicted and distressed in mind,
body, and estate ;” yet was he still happy.

Should you ask me what it was that
made him so, my answer would be a
very plain and common-place one; yet
still there is a fulness of meaning attached
to it that will make it worth your best
attention. My uncle was a real Christian,
a true and humble-minded disciple of
Jesus Christ.
8 Talks with Uncle Morris.

Had he been a man of great talents
instead of deep piety, I might have
honoured him more in days gone by;
for then, in my ignorance, I was putting
sweet for bitter, and bitter for sweet,
good for evil, and evil for good: but
since then the scales have been merci-
fully taken from my eyes, and a new
song has been put into my mouth. I
now honour and love the memory of my
uncle because of his piety.

Though my Uncle Morris was, as I
said, in years, yet he was by no means
an idle man; he was too much interested
in the welfare of the souls and bodies
of all around him not to find full occu-
pation: but I am not going to give you
his history. I will relate a few only of
the many recollections of him which
occur to me, and 1 hope the reader will
find them interesting.

Among the many useful qualities of
my kind-hearted uncle, was the ready
The Friend of my Boyhood. 9

talent of turning even the most trifling
incident to a good account. He was
the very man to sit with at home, or to
walk with abroad; for he always seemed
grateful to God, and in good humour
with all things around him.

A ramble in the fields with him was
delightful; for there was not a white
sun-lit cloud in the sky, nor a bird on the
wing, nor one tree more beautiful than
another, that escaped his observation.

He loved to pore over the rippling
brook, to watch the spider as he spun
his web on the hawthorn bush, to follow
the beetle with his eye as he crept be-
neath the grass, and to muse in the
shadowy nook beneath the aged oak.

Nor were these idle pleasures; for
God was Jin all his thoughts, and His
goodness was seen throughout His crea-
tion, I never saw my uncle regard
shrub or flower without hearing him
speak in praise of its Almighty Maker.
10 Talks with Uncle Morris.

But though he so much enjoyed the
fields, he did not like me to spend
much of my time there. ‘“ Humphrey,”
he used to say, “a feeble old man like
me may be allowed to sit in the sun, and
to loiter among the dancing daffodils;
but you must be more actively employed.
To ramble in the fields may be well as a
pastime, but not as employment. ‘Youth
is the time to serve the Lord,’ and to be
diligent in obtaining knowledge, or in
learning some useful calling.”

There was one difficulty that my uncle
had to contend with; he had not been
much accustomed to the company of
young people, and found it no easy thing
to be sufficiently simple when conversing
with them. I once heard a wise man say,
“T have been trying for years to be
simple ; but I find it a hard thing still.”

I shall now give an account of some
of the lessons this holy man taught me
from common objects.
Il

kee
fhe Gat and the Glass-hottled Hall,

—_—
%, NE day while J was standing
with my Uncle Morris,
looking in the direction of
the garden, we saw a black
cat walking along the glass-
bottled wall. Oh, how
choice was she of her steps!
how daintily she trod the pointed glass
and the decayed mortar, feeling her way
with her paws, and raising her tail in the
air to balance her body !

My uncle was not a man to overlook
such a sight. “ Humphrey, Humphrey !”
said he; “if I had walked as carefully
through the world as pussy is walking
along the wall yonder, how many snares


12 Talks wite Uncle Morris.

should I have avoided! See how she
is picking her way ; not a paw will she
put down till she is satisfied of a firm
_ and easy footing. How cautiously, how
softly she proceeds. What a reproof to
the headlong career of the thoughtless
and self-willed !

“ Many persons, Humphrey, have been
made to remember the sins of their youth,
and compelled against their will to go
softly all their days; but few, very few,
of their own accord take up the resolution
of the psalmist, ‘I will take heed to my
ways, + or regard the advice of the
apostle, ‘See that ye walk circumspectly,
not as fools, but as wise.’ ” 2

While my uncle was speaking, the
black cat still crept along the garden
wall, neither looking to the right hand
nor to the left. When she had got to
the end, she cautiously placed her paws
on the wall, as far as she could, with her

1 Psalm xxxix. 1. 2 Ephesians v. 15.
The Glass-bottled Walt. 13

head downwards, and then taking a leap
lodged on the garden-roller ; after which
she scampered quickly along the middle
walk.

« Ay, ay, Humphrey,” said my Uncle,
“puss knows when she may run without
danger ; and well would it be for us all
if we knew it too. How many people
have I seen walking, and lazily too, when
they ought to have been running in the
way of salvation ; and running heedlessly
when they ought to have taken heed to
their steps! ”

- It was not half an hour after this,
that, being abroad with a young com-
panion, and seeing my uncle ata distance,
we both set out to run, trying which
should first get to him. I took the short
cut, and got ahead of my companion;
but, in attempting to run along the top
of a bank, I rolled into the ditch: very
fortunately, it was dry at the bottom,
My comrade left me behind him,
14. Talks with Unele Morris.

“Quietly! quietly!” said my Uncle
Morris, as I afterwards ran up to him
out of breath; “he who sets out at the
top of his speed will tire ere he gets to
the mile-stone. The candle that burns
the fastest will be soonest extinguished
in the socket. Those who run fast at
first are sure to lose their wind. It is a
capital thing, no doubt, to be ahead of
your companions; but then it is a sad
thing to be passed in the middle of your
race. Beginning well is a good thing,
Humphrey, but enduring to the end is
better. Iam afraid that you have for-
gotten the black cat creeping along the
glass-bottled wall: she managed much
better than you have done; but the roll
you have had in the ditch may perhaps
make you wiser for the future. Hum-
phrey,” said my uncle, after a pause, as
we walked on together, “it is necessary
in common life to walk circumspectly,
but it is especially so in the Christian


The Glass-bottled Wall. 15

course ; for our paths are beset with as
many dangers and difficulties as the
cat found in her way along the garden
wall. ‘Teach me Thy way, O Lord,
and lead me ina plain path,’! is an ex-
cellent prayer to have continually in our
mouths.

“«He that walketh uprightly walketh
surely,” and he who seeks God's guid-
ance is the most likely to set forth God’s
glory. When we walk carelessly in holy
things, we are always in danger; but
when we commit our ways to the Lord,
we are always secure. Then ‘see that
ye wall circumspectly, not as fools, but
as wise.”

1 Psalm xxvii. 11 : 2 Proverbs x. a.


16

Hil,
The foung Bullock.



SHALL not soon forget walk-
ing with my Uncle Morris
to Farmer Broughton’s field,
where some men _ were
ploughing with a team of
oxen. I then had a lesson
on the sin and folly of
disobedience, which is still
fresh in my memory.

The farmer had a young bullock in
the team that morning for the first time,
which had never before worn a yoke on
his neck, and we were not a little amused
to see his antics.

He was a strong well-made animal, of
a pretty dark colour, with a black nose






The Young Bullock. 17

and a curly forehead; but surely never
was bullock more perverse.

One minute he ran forward, and ie
next pushed back; now he was kicking
behind him, by and by pushing the fore
ox with his horns; sometimes he pushed
on one side, then on the other; and now
and then he made a dead stand till
dragged on by the other oxen.

When he did go on, it was in sucha
shuffling manner, and with such wide,
uneven steps, that he continually swerved
from side to side, hanging down his
head, shaking his horns, and lashing his
flanks with his tail.

However, he was obliged to keep on
at some rate, as the other oxen continued
to pull along, in a slow but steady
manner, taking no notice of their way-
ward companion, who spent his strength
for nothing, and made for himself double
the work his master required of him,

Before we left the field, the untoward
fom
1s Talks with Uncle Morris.

animal, having quite wearied himself out, |

fell down in the furrow completely ex-
hausted; he lay like a lamb while they
took the tackle off him, and soon after
the men led him home in a much more
docile humour than they brought him
out.

“There,” said my uncle, as they shut
the gate after them with a sharp rattle,
“that young bullock reminds me very
much of your Uncle Morris; for he has
played just such a game twenty times
over in his life.”

“ How is that, uncle ?” said I. “Were
you ever put to work in a team ?”

“No,” said my uncle; “but I have ©
had many a yoke laid on my neck, and |
many a cross on my shoulders, and that
by the hand of my most faithful and
merciful Creator, who has promised to
do me good and not evil all the days of
my life; and has declared that all things,
even the most bitter trials, shall work




The Young Bullock. 19

together for my good: yet He never laid
_ His hand upon me but I behaved some-
thing like that young bullock. I kicked,
rebelled, struggled, hung back, ran for-
ward, pulled this way and that, and
strove all in my power to get from under
it. Oh, how have I dragged for one
_ path when God has pointed to another!”
I was always of a lively turn; and
while my uncle went on talking, I could
. not help fancying him yoked in a team
like a bullock, kicking and plunging
about. This broughta smile on my face,
but my Uncle Morris thus went on :—
~“ Many instances does my conscience
bring before me this moment, when, after
praying night and day, ‘Not my will,
but Thine’—and God’s will has come—
my whole soul has risen in-opposition to
it, and I have resisted stoutly to get my
own way ; but, I thank God, I never got
it yet. No, He is my Master still, and
_ trust He ever will be. It is better to
20 Talks with Onele Morris. eeee

be broken down to His will, though He
should bring us to ‘the dust of death,
than to be given over to a will of our
own.

“You saw that the poor bullock cut
out for himself twice as much work as
his master required him to do, for his
path was plainly marked out, had he
been content to walk patiently in it: but
no; he must be pulling this way and
that way, and dragging every way but in
the furrowed line before him, though it
was all to no purpose in the end; for
submit he will, and submit he must, for
they will teach him his lesson before
they have done with him.

‘Just so it is, Humphrey, with a child
of God, when his restless wayward will
is striving against the will of his heavenly
Father; he gets nothing but his labour
for his pains.

““«Oh!’ says he, when the cross comes,
if I could but do this, or that, or the
The Young Bullock. 21

other, if it had been anything but this, I
could have borne it. All of no use,
Christian; your path is marked out for
you; on you must go, bearing the yoke;

to turn out of the way is impossible :



‘this is. the way,’ however rough, ‘ walk
ye in it? Your heavenly Father knows
that even this heavy cross is good for
you. He has promised, and He is
- faithful, that He will lay no more upon
_ you than He will enable you to bear.”

Many persons would suppose that this
sort of conversation was rather too grave
for a boy of my years; but I did not
find it to be so, though I did not set
such store by it as I should have done
in after days. While my uncle talked
to me, he stood in his customary attitude,
resting on his stick, the toe of his short
leg just touching the ground.

“Many of God's people, Humphrey,”
said he, ‘ make hard work for themselves
when they begin fretting and cumbering
22 Talks with Uncle Morris.

themselves about the future; when they
get distrusting God’s providence, and
stretching out their necks that they may
see the road before them.

“Tt is hard work when we get puzzling
and caring for ‘the morrow,’ and hard
work in vain: for, except the Lord build
the house, they labour in vain that build
it. Our dear Redeemer taught us to
pray, ‘Give us this day our daily bread;’
but few of us are satisfied without a loaf
ready for to-morrow.

“If God’s children would but cast
their care on the Lord, while they
diligently employ the talents He has
given them, what a load of sinful sorrow
would they get rid of! they should soon
find, by blessed experience, that He.
careth for them.

“The young bullock cannot see why
he is made to go in one line, bearing a
weight on his neck; he cannot make out
what all this is for.




The Young Bullock. 22

“As you grow older, Humphrey, and
know more of God’s goodness, you will
find that the dealings of God with His
children are often very dark and mys-
terious: they cannot see what He is
bringing about, why they should go in
_ such a path, or bear such a burden, when
to all their judgment they could serve
Him much better, and be more useful in
His work, were these things not so; but
God still speaks to His children, as He
did to the children of Israel, ‘Go for-
ward!’ It is useless to stand idly trying
to scan all His ways; they never will
understand them on this side of the
grave. His faithfulness is the staff given
them to lean upon, yea, it is their song of
rejoicing ; for when they cannot see the
brightness of His countenance, they can
hold fast by the word of His promise.
They know what He has promised
He is able to perform, and not ‘one
jot or one tittle’ of His word shall pass
24 Talks with Uncle Morris.

away.t God is with His children where. |

ever they are, though they cannot always
perceive Him. He has declared He
never will leave them nor forsake them.”

Here my uncle moved forwards a few.

paces with his stick in his hand, leaning
alittle to the right, every step that he
took with his short leg; but he was so
full of his subject that he soon made a
halt to take it up again.

“Humphrey,” said he, stretching out
his finger, “never doubt God’s goodness.
If you could peep behind yonder cloud,
you would see the sun as plain as you
did just now, when he was gilding the
earth and the heavens with his glory.
It is just so with the sun’s Maker.

‘Behind a frowning providence,
He hides a smiling face.’

“The poor bullock comes down in
the furrow at last. It is of no use his
kicking, and pushing, and dragging; he

1 Matthew v. 18,


“The Young Bullock. 25

got nothing by it. His haughty spirit is
brought low, he gives it all over, down
he comes at last even to the ground;
and mark, when they see him lying like
a lamb at their feet, all his strength and
pride brought down, their behaviour is
changed towards him. Now their work
is done with him. They come and take
off his yoke, a little rest and ease for
him now, they lead him home; he can’
be led now, who could hardly be driven
before.

“He shall now have something to eat
at their hands, a little water to drink, a
good stable and clean straw. He has
given himself up to them at last, anda
good thing it is for him; for they know
how to take care of him, and provide for
all his wants, and this he will learn more
and more when he is brought wholly to
submit.”

My uncle again moved on, but his
face was full of animation; the subject of
26 Talks with Oncle WTS.

the young bullock just suited him: he



tould not pass by the stile with the i

broad rail at top, without hastily sitting
down upon it to finish his remarks.
“God's children, Humphrey, are all
brought to give up at last. They may

struggle and rebel a long time; but by |
the continuance of His grace they are |

softened down to submission at last. Be
the cup of affliction ever so bitter, they

are brought at last to drink it, blessing |

the name of the Lord; and then it is
that the dregs of it are sweetened to
them.

“God is too good not to try His
people. ‘He shall sit as a refiner and
purifier of silver. ! It is a glorious work
God is bringing about, when He afflicts
His children. The dross of their old
nature must be consumed, that they may
bear His image. While they are un-
melted, the furnace work must still go

+ Malachi iii, 3.
The Young Bullock. 27

on; while they are unsubdued, the
burden must be still heavier, and the
cloud must be still darker; but when
they are brought to give up all, and lie
at His feet in a broken and contrite
spirit, committing all they have into His
hands, and counting not their very lives
dear unto them, so they may but be
conformed to His will, then the work is
accomplished, the heat of the furnace
abates, the times of refreshment come
from the Lord. The cloud is withdrawn
from His countenance, and the beams of
His everlasting kindness shine forth.

“Now He comes to bind up the
broken heart, and to heal the bones
which He has broken. Now He comes
with the precious promises of His word,
making the trembling Christian feel that
His love is still the same, yesterday, to-
day, and for ever.

“He that spared not from us His
only Son, but freely gave Him up for
28 Talks with Uncle Morris.

us all, shall He withhold any good thing |



from them that love Him? He cannot.

and does not withhold any necessary _

good from His children, though they
may think so: the very hairs of their
heads ‘are all numbered ;’ and He has
declared, he that touches them, touches
_ the apple of His eye. ;

“*Q fear the Lord, ye His saints:
for there is no want to them that
fear Him. The young lions do lack,
and suffer hunger: but they that seek
the Lord shall not want any good
thing.” ?

When my uncle got home, he brought
his big Bible; he set me-to learn the
two following texts, and I have never
since forgotten them: “ Thou hast chas-
tised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock
unaccustomed to the yoke: turn Thou
me, and I shall be turned; for Thou art
the Lord my God,”? “Humble yourselves

2 Psalm xxxiv. 9, 10. 2 Jeremiah xxxi. 18.


The Young Bullock. 29

therefore under the mighty hand of God,
that He may exalt you in due time.” !

I have given you as good an account
of my uncle’s remarks on the young
bullock as I can. Can you wonder that

I should love the memory of my Uncle
Morris ?

11 Peter v. 6.


309

IV.
The Bog and the Chain,



N Ay uncle and I went to call,
§ one morning, upon Farmer
Reeves ; and as we passed
through the court gate,
Lion, his large black and
white Newfoundland dog,
peeped out of his kennel. No sooner
did he see us than he came jumping
forward wagging his bushy tail, and
barking in a fond and playful manner.
Lion was a fine-grown young dog, full
of play and good nature; his head, back,
and sides were black as jet, with a fine
polish upon them; while his belly, the
under part of his neck, his paws, and the
tip of his tail, were as white as snow.




The Dog and the Chain. 31

When he perceived that we were in-
clined to notice him, he began to leap
about in all directions, showing his joy
in the most vehement manner. As we
stood just out of the length of his chain
he became quite desperate in his efforts
to reach us, bounding forward with all
his might, and seeming’ at every spring
to forget that he was tied up, until the
tightening of his chain brought him again
to the ground.

“Lion, Lion!” said my Uncle Morris,
“take things more quietly. It will not
do; you cannot master that chain of
yours.”

But Lion, instead of being pacified,
became still more unruly at my uncle’s
voice, till at last, by a sudden jerk of his
chain, he was completely thrown on
his back.

Some minutes afterwards, we looked
round and saw him lying in his kennel
panting, with his mouth wide open, and


22 Talks with Uncle Morris.

his red tongue moving quickly in and
out : it was a very warm day.

Before we left the farm, my uncle and
I begged Lion half an hour’s liberty, and
surely never was dog more full of delight.
He leaped towards us as if to express
his gratitude; then bounded over the
fold gate and the garden wall, scampered
round the rick yard and through the
orchards, till, at last, we saw him racing
in a clover piece full a quarter of a mile
from the house. Happy as the dog was,
I question if he was more so than my
Uncle Morris.

A field of clover in full blossom is
delightful. When you are close to it,
the green leaves and light purple flowers,
with ten thousand bees buzzing about
them, are a picture; and when you are
at alittle distance, and the breeze blows
towards you, the scent is very grateful.
But mind that you never venture through
a clover field after a shower of rain; for




The Dog and the Chain. 32

the leaves at a single touch will pour the
water they hold upon your feet, and the
bossy blossoms will so bob against your
legs that you will be as wet as if you had
walked through a horse-pond.

I thought to myself, as we returned
home, “Now my uncle will be sure to
have something or other to say about
Lion;” but I was mistaken, for he never
spoke a word about him all the way, and
seemed more than usually silent.

The following evening, however, when
we were all met together for our usual
reading, after we had sung a hymn, my
uncle read the forty-second Psalm; and
then looking at me, “I will tell you,
Humphrey,” said he, “what thoughts
filled my mind while we were looking at
Farmer Reeves’ dog yesterday. He was
a beautiful animal, and it did my heart
good to see him set at liberty.

“We saw him one moment springing
forward with all the eagerness of desire

pe
34 Talks with Uncle Morris.

and beheld him the next moment brought
to the ground again by the chain which
confined him. Even so, thought I, is it
with the faithful follower of Christ: the
affections and desires of his heart seek to
be free, while the chain of his infirmities
drags him to the earth.

“There are seasons in the Christian’s
experience (1 pray God of His mercy
that you may live to know them !) when
he so rejoices in the greatness and
goodness of God, and the immeasurable
love of the Saviour, that he loses in his —
transport the remembrance of his de-
pendent and helpless state; he forgets
the chain that holds: him to the earth.
But how often is it, after seasons of the
most glorious exultation, when he has
been panting, ‘as the hart panteth after
the water brooks,’ and thirsting for the
living God, even longing for the hour of
his departure when he may ‘come and
appear before God, that we find him
The Dog and the Chain. 35

lying prost.ate in the dust, his joy turned
into mourning, and his song into heavi-
ness! The voice of triumphant thanks-
giving is gone, and his language is,
‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul?
and why art thou disquieted within me?’!

The psalmist often experienced these
changes. At one time we see him
bounding forward in spirit, and crying
~ out, ‘How amiable are Thy tabernacles,
O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea,
even fainteth for the courts of the Lord:
my heart and my flesh crieth out for the
living God, ? but at another time he is
brought very low, he feels the chain, and
says, ‘Il am troubled ; I am bowed down
greatly ; I go mourning all the day long.’®

“St. Paul breaks forth in the wonder
and joy of his soul, ‘O the depth of the
riches both of the wisdom and knowledge
of God!’ 4 but another time we find him

1 Psa, xlii, 5, 3 Psa. Ixxxiv. 1, 2. 3 Psa. xxxviil. 6
4 Romans xi, 33.
36 Talks with Uncle Morris.

pressed down with the thoughts of his
helplessness and depravity ; he feels the
chain, and cries out, ‘Who shall deliver
me from the body of this death ?’1 So,
then, we see how impossible it is for us
to praise God as He ought to be praised,
or even as we long to praise Him, owing
to the hindrances of our sinful nature.
“An old writer says, ‘The flesh
hinders from duty: when we would
pray, the flesh resists; when we should
suffer, the flesh draws back. How hard
is it sometimes to get leave of our hearts
to seek God!’ And so will it ever be
with us while we are in this world ; ‘for
the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and
the Spirit against the flesh : and these are
contrary the one to the other :’ so that
ye cannot do the things that ye would.?
“You saw when the chain was taken
off farmer Reeves’s dog, how he raced
away in free and perfect liberty; he

1 Romans vii, 24. 2 Galalians v. 17.
The Dog and the Chain. 27

could then perform all that he had wished
to do when his chain held him fast. And
there comes a day when the children of
God will be freed from the bondage of
this mortal body; then will they enter
into that ‘glorious liberty’ so long
promised them—that ‘glorious liberty,’
the thought of which so often has turned
their mourning into joy, and wiped the
tears away from their eyes.

“You are young, Humphrey, aad may
think that I talk very seriously to you;
but when I am gone, as I soon shall be,
when I tread the starry pavement of the
skies, the thoughtless and the gay may
gather around you, and you may stand
in need of some of the grave sayings of
your Uncle Morris. Bear with me, then,
and forget not my sayings.

“You saw how happy Lion was when
liberated from his chain, much more
happy than if he had never been in
captivity. You must for a season wear




38 Talks with Uncle Morris.

the chain, as your fathers have done
before you; but in all your trials, be they
great or small, look to the end. In your.
sins and your sorrows, Humphrey, look
to Jesus, and cling to His cross; then,
when your earthly chain shall be broken,
you will enter on perfect liberty in the
kingdom of heaven.”


39

V.
fhe Great Cry,

+

%)\ NE evening, as I sat down as
usual to read to my uncle,
I was struck much with the
\\ meekness of his appearance :
he had met with an accident, a
short time before, and had sprained
his ankle; his foot was placed on a
cushion, and his crutches stood in the
corner; his face was very pale, but his
features expressed patience, meekness,
and resignation.

Some people talk, or whisper, or move
from one place to another, to occupy
themselves in various ways while the
Scriptures are being read, but not so my
Uncle Morris; resting his elbow on the



40 Talks with OUnele Morris.

table and his cheek upon his hand, he
used to fix his eyes mildly but attentively
upon me. It was the Holy Bible that
he was listening to; and had I been an
aged minister of the gospel, instead of a
youth, he could not have attended to me
more earnestly.

I stopped when I came to the verse,
“But when they knew that he was a
Jew, all with one voice about the space
of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of
the Ephesians ;”+ for the confusion of the
scene at Ephesus came before my mind,
and I could not help saying, “ Uncle,
what an uproar it must have been!”

“Tt was indeed an uproar,” replied my
uncle. ‘I would that the cry, ‘Great is
Diana, had ceased for ever, when the
town clerk appeased the people, and that
we might witness in this present day the
Lord alone exalted. But, alas! there is
a cry in our day, and in our land, as loud

1 Acts xix, 34.
The Great Cry. Al

and as long as the cry at Ephesus; it is
taken up at all points, and echoed back
from all quarters ; ‘Great is Diana!’ and
this Diana is poor human nature. Great
are the noble acts, and wonderful are the
exalted deeds of mighty human nature!

“Take heed, Humphrey, that you add
not to this cry. You will hear it every
day, and every hour. Whom do we
celebrate in conversation? Circles are
drawing round the fire every night,
multitudes are gathering together every
day; what do they talk about? Alas!
about anything, so that it be but beneath
thesun. Learning, literature, arts, science,
poetry, or philosophy, in short anything,
so that it tends to exalt the great
goddess human nature. Each has a
favourite theme ; some admire her head
most, some her arms, and others her
feet; but all are agreed that ‘Great is
Diana !’

“Mind, Humphrey, I am not speaking
42 Talks with Uncle Morris.

bitterly or ill-naturedly of my fellow-
sinners: thousands of them offer praise
to the King of kings and Lord of lords,
and ten thousands pray to Him in the
name of Jesus Christ; and how rare
it is compared with the contrary practice
in common conversation. How rare a
thing to magnify the name of the Lord
God of heaven and earth, and to inter-
rupt this cry about Diana by proposing
that ‘Jesus Christ, and Him crucified,’
shall be the theme of*the heart and
tongue.

“¢Qh that men would praise the Lord
for His goodness, and for His wonderful
works to the children of men!??

“ Now mark what I say, Humphrey,”
said my uncle, putting his spectacles on
the table, and meekly pointing at me
with his finger, to secure my attention ;
“mark what 1 say, Humphrey, for it is
true. Whom do we celebrate in our

' Psalm cyvii. 8.
The Great Cry. 43

books? What numbers of them are
written to the praise and glory of men,
and of their mighty acts and daring
deeds! Alas! I fear that for one volume
exalting the name of God and ‘ His
Christ, at least a hundred take up the
cry, and proclaim far and wide, ‘ Great
is Diana.’ Indeed, so hard is the heart
by nature and so full of enmity to God,
that men had rather write about the dust
under their feet, than set forth the
‘excellency of the knowledge of Christ
Jesus. And we by nature had rather
not read at all, than read only of a
crucified Redeemer. Oh, how humilia-
ting is this thought! After all our dear
Saviour has done and suffered for us,
how hard and stubborn must our natures
be! We had need to smite upon our
breasts, and ask God to take away the
stony heart, and give us a heart of flesh.

“Whom do we celebrate in our songs?
Many indeed are the songs of Zion,
44 Talks with Unele Morris.

written to magnify the name of the Lord;
but what proportion do they bear to
those composed for Diana? While two
or three are gathered together, singing,

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain,
what crowds are tuning their harps and
hearts to the praise of the great goddess!
Whilst a remnant are raising their voices
to proclaim aloud the praises of their
Redeemer, to show forth the wonders of
His name, to exalt Him as ‘altogether
lovely,’ the ‘chiefest among ten thousand,’
what a company are shouting, with the
sound of music and melody, ‘Great is
Diana of the Ephesians !’

* «Oh that men’ in their songs ‘would
praise the Lord for His goodness, and
for His wonderful works to the children
of men!’

‘Whom do we celebrate in our private
thoughts? Are we not prone, even
those of us whose hearts have been
broken and quickened and purified by
The Great Cry. 45

the all-conquering grace of God, to think
well of such poor services as we are
enabled to perform, as though they were
worthy to recommend us to God? Even
upon our knees sometimes the Lord
alone is not exalted. God has not all
the glory. Spiritual pride creeps in:
‘Great is Diana’ may still be heard,
though it be but in a whisper, in the
very presence of God. What hard work
it is to ‘decrease, that Christ may
‘increase.’ ”

It was often the case, when my uncle
was talking to me, that he seemed to be
carried away with the subject, to speak
as if he had a grown person beside him.
It was a little the case in the present
instance. He went on thus :—

“But blessed are they that hate the
cry, and strive against it; let us see who
they are. These are they who have felt
themselves weak and helpless, faint and
uneasy sick and sinful. These are they
46 Talks with Uncle Morris.

whose iniquities are gone over their
head, a heavy burden, too heavy for
them to bear; these are they who have
leaned upon their Saviour, and found
strength alone in Him. These are the
mourners who ‘shall be comforted ;’ the |
meek who shall ‘inherit the earth ;’ the
afflicted and tempest-tossed who shall
‘find rest’ to their souls; the ‘poor in
spirit’—mark it, Humphrey—the poor
in spirit, whose is the kingdom of
heaven.

“ These are they of whom the world is
not worthy, who, like their Divine Mas-
ter, are ‘despised and rejected of men.’
Oh, how astonishing, how amazing will
be the bursting forth of their glory and
happiness, when they arrive at home!
for they are now sojourning in a strange
city, and the citizens know them not,
therefore they abuse them.

“They are counted blind—because
they cannot see the surpassing greatness
The Great Cry. 47

and majesty of this mighty Diana, nor
aamire the wonderful feats she is able to
perform. Nay, they will turn away their
eyes from them, lest by any means they
should be tempted to exalt what in the
eyes of their Lord is abased : ‘ For the
wisdom of this world is foolishness with
God.! What says the Lord? ‘Let
him that glorieth glory in this, that he
understandeth and knoweth Me, that
1 am the Lord which exercise loving-
kindness, judgment, and righteousness,
in the earth: for in these things I de-
light.’?

“They are counted deaf—because
they heed not the praises of this mighty
Diana, and turn away their ears from the
shouts in her favour. They are jealous
over their much-abused Lord, and cannot
bear to hear the praise of men so loud
and long; whilst their hearts are melting
in love and praise to their dear Redeemer,

1 Corinthians iii, 19. 2 Jeremiah ix. 24.
48 Talks with Uncle Morris.

who loved them, and gave Himself for
them.

“They are counted dumb—for they
can never find a voice to celebrate the
praises of the mighty Diana. They have
great reason to distrust her at every
step; for she has deceived them a
thousand times, and they have been a
thousand times humbled to the dust on
her account, and made to drink deeply
of the bitter waters in the valley of
humiliation, they find themselves never
so weak as when she reigns over them,
and never so strong as when she lies
prostrate at their feet: therefore they
have no heart to exalt her, and no voice
to sing her praises; and for this cause
are they pitied and despised.

“ Oh, when they are arrived at home,
when they are all gathered together in
that great day of the Lord, when the
books shall be opened, and the secret
sins of the heart made manifest, they
The Great Cry. 49

will all stand before the Judge clad in
the white robes of their Saviour’s right
eousness. Then will it be known that
they can see; for they shall have bold-
ness to look upon the Judge; while those
who despised ‘the wedding garment’
shall call upon the rocks to fall on them.!
Then will it be known they can hear;
for their triumph shall be manifest,
when their Lord shall say unto them,
‘Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit
the kingdom prepared for you.’* Then
will it be known that they can speak ; for
they shall shout forth in the presence of
God, and all His holy angels, an ever-
lasting and glorious song: ‘ Blessing,
and honour, and glory, and power, be
unto Him that sitteth upon the throne,
and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.’?
Thus it shall be unto those with whom
the Lord alone is exalted, who, forsaking
all to follow Him, count the high things

1 Rev. vi. 16, 3 Matt. xxv. 34. 3 Rev. v. 13.
Ee
50 Talks with Uncle Morris.

of this world, even Diana herself, but
dung and dross, that they may win Christ
and be found in Him.

“ May the Lord in His infinite mercy
incline us to be like-minded with them,
so that while the multitude are crying
some ‘one thing, and some another,’ the
language of our hearts may be, ‘My soul,
wait thou only upon God; for my ex-
pectation is from Him.’”!

1 Psalm Ixii. 5.


VI.

Fhe Strange Hog,

194.

a& NCLE Morris and I were out
a short distance from home
one winter, in one of the
most desolate tempestuous
nights I ever remeinber.
It was one of those nights
in which if we are abroad we feel grateful
that we have a home to go to, and if at
home that we have a roof of any kind
over our heads.

The rain was heavy and incessant, the
wind blustered and howled across the
bleak meadows, and piles of sodden
slippery snow lay at our feet. My uncle
and I waded along as well as we could,


52 Talks with Uncle Morris.

leaving a shoe mark of water behind us
at every step.

We were half way up the longest lane,
when we heard a pattering of feet behind
us ; and looking back, I saw a poor dog,
miserably wet, paddling after us, over
his toes in water. As I turned, he
crouched to the ground, and then ran
back to some distance, tucking his tail
close to his legs. ‘“ Poor creature,” said
my uncie: “if he comes home with us,
and even begs for a night’s lodging, I do
not sce how we can refuse him in such a
night as this.” And so the poor dog
seemed to imagine; for he kept on after
us as close as he dared, though every
time I looked round he stopped short,
and prepared himself to run back again,
if necessary.

However, he followed us all the way
home; but when we came to the cottage
door, and my uncle was willing that he
should come in, off he went again, nor
The Strange Dog. 53

could all my calling and coaxing get him
to come near us. Poor, timid thing;
though he was frightened at the wind,
chilled with the cold, and drenched with
the rain, yet was he suspicious of those
who offered him a shelter. He was
afraid to stay out, and afraid to come in;
so we were obliged to leave him to
himself.

“Set the door a little open,” said my
uncle, “and let him alone: here is a
warm fire and a good supper if he comes,
but he will not believe us if we stand all
night long telling him so.”

We left the door open: the wind and
the rain became furious, and, at last, in
the poor dog ventured, but crouched
himself under one of the chairs, and lay
there trembling in a manner most pitiable
to behold.

Every time I looked round, or spoke
to him, he trembled more, till my uncle
told me to take no notice of him. We
54 Talks with Uncle Morris.

then laid down a mat before the fire, and
went on with our supper.

“Poor fellow; he was a pretty dog,
but in a sad condition, miserably wet
and thin, shaking with fear and cold, and
so spotted and dabbled that we could
hardly tell his colour.

‘Who would ever suppose this could
be the same dog!” thought I, as I sat
looking at our visitor some hours after;
for he stood boldly epright in front of
the hearthstone with his two curly ears
erect, and his eyes eagerly fixed on my
uncle.

His whole appearance was so different,
and his manner so free and sprightly,
that I could hardly fancy he really was
the same poor, timid creature that lay
trembling under the chair. The truth
was, the fire had warmed his heart, and
dried his coat, and my uncle had given
him some food.

A hungry dog he was, and a hungry
The Strange Dog. 55

dog he looked; for I suppose not all the
flattery and fair speeches that could be
invented would have called off his eyes,
for one minute, from my uncle: they
were animated with the most eager ex-
pectation. I made him look off twice,
with my calling and coaxing, but it was
only for an instant. He found that I
had nothing to give him, and fair speeches
are poor diet, so he paid no attention
to me any longer; but stood eagerly
watching my uncle, till, becoming more
and more impatient, at last he fell to
whining, and then danced about with his
fore feet.

“There,” said my uncle, as he put
down a plate of fragments ; “I suppose
we should have .a difficult task to turn
you out now, if the rain were all over
and the night as fair as summer time.
However, we must turn your visit to
some good account, Carlo, that you may
pay for your night's lodging.
56 Talks with Uncle Morris.

“There are many people, Humphrey,
who take up their Bibles and go to church,
and say their prayers, and do such like
things, because they are afraid to leave
these matters unattended to any longer.
They hear of death, of judgment, of
eternity, and these things sound dismal
and alarming: they must needs become
religious, there is no help for it; and
religious they become in their way.
Your uncle Morris has too much reason
to know this to be true, seeing that he
did the same thing till it pleased God to
teach him better.

“Oh that such poor deluded people
would look closely into God’s word! Oh
that they might be stirred up to cry unto
God for a new heart, a new nature; for,
‘If any man be in Christ, he is a new
creature: old things are passed away.’ }
Satan has no objection to outward
appearance, so that there be no inward

12 Corinthians v. 17,
The Strange Dog. 57

change; he has no objection to our
wearing a saint's coat and waistcoat, so
long as a sinful, unchanged, unsanctified
heart is beating beneath them.

“ This poor dog did not come shivering
to the door because he liked it; no, had
the night been fair, he would have roamed
abroad. He dared not stay away, that
was the reason. The wind sounded in
his ears, and the rain pelted on his back;
he must needs come to the door sill.

“The people of whom I have spoken,
Humphrey, are religious because they
dare not let religion alone. They cannot
say from their hearts it is because they
love God, His word, His house, and
His people; they love Him not, for they
know Him not. Like this poor dog,
were the night fair without,,they would
roam abroad. Were there no terrors,
no alarms sounding in their ears, the
world would have them ; for its pleasures
are their choice. But as it is, the night
58 Talks with Uncle Morris.

is rough without, the wind and the rain
are frightful sounds; they must needs
come to the house of God.

“Poor creatures! they know just as
much of the spiritual delights of those
who walk by faith in Christ, as this poor
dog knew of our warm fire, a dry coat,
and a good supper, when shivering in
the cold and rain of this tempestuous
night.

“T cannot tell what this silly .dog
thought would be done to him if he
came in; but he was sadly suspicious.
I suppose he thought we should tie him
to the leg of the table, and never let him
run about any more.

“ However, he seems to find himself _
pretty much at his ease: neither the’
wind nor the rain keeps him with us
now, depend upon it; and he eats his
food as though he would never be satis-
fied.

‘Many professors are poor, suspiciotis
The Strange Dog. 59

souls, There are feasts in the gospel
they little dream of; let them once taste,
and they will be blessed for ever. No
turning them off any more; they can
never get enough of its treasures. A
thought: of the Saviour's love brings
tears into the eyes. ‘ More of it,’ says
the soul, ‘or my life will be a burden
to me.’

“T talk of these things in this way,
Humphrey, because they will rise in
your memory when I am gone; if you
do not understand them now, you may,
through mercy, understand them then.

“A real child of God, who goes to the
cross of Christ to get rid of his burden,
is quickly delivered from his fears. A
look of love from a crucified Saviour
casts out fear. Then the Christian runs
on in the narrow way, with a light heart,
‘leaping and praising God.’ His mouth
is filled with laughter, his mourning is
turned into dancing. Christ is’ his all,
60 Talks with Unele Morris.

his home, his ‘portion,’ his ‘dwelling
place,’ his ‘refuge ;’ he will shelter there
for ever. The tempest without is un-
heeded now. He finds all his heart can
desire in Christ. ‘Whom have I in
heaven but Thee? and there is none
upon earth that I desire beside Thee.’ 4

“You have been trying to coax Carlo
away from me, but he will not forsake
me now; he has found out that I have
something to give him, and you have
nothing. The world still holds out its
allurements, its temptations, and promises
great things to the Christian: ‘All these
will I give thee, if thou wilt worship me.’
But the soul heeds no more fair speeches,
knowing where true joys are to be
found,

“ David knew well what this hungering
and thirsting was. We find him panting
after God, ‘as the hart panteth after the
water brooks.’? He cannot be satisfied,

1 Psalm Ixxiii, 25. 2 Psalm xiii, 1.
The Strange Dog. | 61

so he looks on to a time when he shall
be satisfied: ‘I shall be satisfied, when
I awake, with Thy likeness,’” 1

How long my Uncle Morris would
have gone on in this way I do not
know ; but the time was come for putting
down the Bible on the table, and for
family prayer. And sweet was the
petition that was put up that night by
my uncle, at the throne of grace, for all
sorts and conditions of men, high and
low, rich and poor; and fervent was the
praise that ascended from his lips to the
Father of mercies, for all that he had
done, and all that he had promised.
Both praise and prayer were offered up
in the name of the Redeemer. It was
his custom when reading the Bible to
accompany it with short explanations
and illustrations; and as few read the
Book of truth so much, and pondered it
so deeply as he did, so it rarely happened

' Pselm xvii. 15
62 Talks with Uncle Morris.

that he failed to enlarge the views of his
hearers, while his humble and devotional
spirit spread a sense of reverence and
solemnity around. Young as I then
was, these seasons of prayer were pro-
fitable to me; and now I look back to
them with an added interest. There
was a Sincerity and earnestness in his
devotion, which told me that religion
with him was a reality.

Though I have only mentioned the
remarks made by my uncle on The Cat
and the Glass-bottled Wall—The Young
Bullock—The Dog and the Chain—The
Great Cry—and The Strange Dog; yet
I could relate a score other interesting
particulars, if time served me, wherein
his observations were equally striking
and profitable. I have walked with him
abroad, when the book of creation has
excited his wonder and thankfulness;
and I have sat with him within doors,
when the Book of Revelation has called
The Strange Dog. 63

forth a yet warmer glow of gratitude
and joy; in both cases his tongue has
been like the pen of a ready writer, or
like a harp whose melodious strings,
struck by a skilful hand, resounded with
the praises of the Lord of earth and
heaven. Many men have I admired for
their talents, while others have called
forth my respect by their virtues; but
never did I so truly love and honour a
man for a kind heart and a Christian
spirit, as I loved and honoured my
uncle.

I love to go back in my fancy to the
days of my youth. My kind-hearted
Uncle Morris has long since been beck-
oned away to realms of unfading bliss ;
but though no longer an inhabitant of
this world of sorrows, his image is often
present to my memory: there he stands,
resting on his stick, the toe of his short
leg just touching the ground, with the
same cheerful, benevolent smile on his
64 Talks with Unele Morris.

face as in years gone by. “Humphrey,”
I hear him say, “never doubt God’s
goodness. If you could peep behind
yonder cloud, you would see the sun as
plain as you did just now, when he was
gilding the earth and the heavens with
his glory. In your sins and sorrows,
look to Jesus and cling to His cross;
then, when your earthly bonds shall be
broken, you shall enter on perfect liberty
in the kingdom of Heaven.”





LONDON; KNIGHT: PRINTER, MIDDLE STREET, BC.
7


























Tilt the Sugar Melts.

The Story of a Geranium.

i The Flying Postman
The Money in the Milk.

The Cowslip Ball

| The Little Model

Aary Sefton.

&| Tales from aver the Sea

Lisetta & the Brigands.

4 Bessie Graham

Jin his FathersArms. —

} Cosmo & his Marmoset.

Talks with Uncle Morris.

Herbert & his Sister.
Lucy Millers Good Work

Little AndysLegacy.

How the Gold Medal was Won,
& The Young Drovers.
aster Charlés'’s Chair.

Little Kittiwake.

Hi Squire Bentley's Treat.

eee Visit to The Sunny Banke

Amys Secret.

| The Children in the Valley







THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SO GUERY:
56. PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON.




m ——

\ es

each with a
C:@3 Os RES:

Be Se
pan) FRONTISPIECE




AND
Woop
ENGRAVINGS.




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a





Tibetan