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indeed, are they who can look back with regret upon so few opportunities missed, so few court-cards thrown away out of their hands as Robert Stephenson.
Having spent a year or two as an apprentice in his father's manufactory of locomotives at Newcastle (even at that time a school, if not of thought, yet of action), and two or three more years in South America, whither he was sent to examine and report upon the gold and silver mines of Columbia, he returned to England at the close of 1827. He found the public mind greatly excited upon the railway question. Can locomotives be successfully and profitably employed for passenger traffic?" was still a moot point, of which his father sustained the affirmative, alone against a host. It was almost a repetition of Athanasius contra mundum when George Stephenson fought the battle of the Locomotive -of the Rail and Wheel-or, as he himself termed them, "Man and Wife." Mr. Smiles tells us how he struggled for their conjunction in the Committee-room of the House of Commons; and when men deemed him all but a maniac for persevering in his theory, how bravely and tenaciously he persisted till he had succeeded. Joining forces with Mr. Joseph Locke, the eminent engineer, the son not only wrote the ablest pamphlets on the subject in debate, but he greatly aided his father in the construction of the Rocket, the celebrated prize locomotive, the powers of which, as displayed at Liverpool, at once settled the question at issuejust as the trial trip of the Great Eastern has settled, we presume, the
much debated point as to whether so large a ship can possibly be manageable in a heavy sea.
One of those best qualified to speak to his contributions to the development of the locomotive engine, informs us that, from about five years from his return from America, Robert Stephenson's attention was chiefly directed to its improvement. "None but those who accompanied him during the period in his incessant experiments can form an idea of the amazing metamorphosis which the machine underwent in it. The most elementary principles of the application of heat; of the mode of calculating the strength of cylindrical and other boilers; of the strength of rivetting and of staying flat portions of the boilers, were then far from being understood, and each step in the improvement of the engine had to be confirmed by the most careful experiments, before the brilliant results of the Rocket and Planet engines (the latter being the type of the existing modern locomotive) could be arrived at."
Stephenson's time was not, however, so fully taken up during the above interval as to preclude attention to his other civil engineering business, and he executed within it the Leicester and Swannington, Whitby and Pickering, Canterbury and Whitstable, and Newton and Warrington railways, while he also erected an extensive manufactory for locomotives at Newton, in Lancashire, in partnership with the Messrs. Tayleur. About the middle of the above period, also, the first surveys and estimates for the Lon
don and Birmingham Railway were framed, leading eventually to the obtaining of the Act. Then followed the execution of that line; and here Robert Stephenson had an opportunity of showing his great talent for management of works on a large scale. This was the first railway of any magnitude executed under the contract system; perfect sets of plans and specifications (which have since served as a type for nearly all the subsequent lines) were prepared -no small matter for a series of works extending over 112 miles, involving tunnels and other works of a then unprecedented magnitude.
Many other railways in England and abroad were executed by him in rapid succession; the Midland, Blackwall, Northern and Eastern, Norfolk, Chester and Holyhead, to
gether with numerous branch lines,
The career of this eminent man, which was but short, was brought to a sudden and unexpected close: but he was ready. Preparation had been made for that event some time before, and in the settlement of his affairs the governing principle was clearly the good of man and the glory of God. Stewardship was recognised in the appropriation of every penny.
The Sunday School.
AN ADVENTURE IN GREENLAND.
HANS EGEDE SAABYE, grandson of
The women's boat is much larger than the kajak. It is used to convey goods from place to place, and the women row it. The men row beside
it in the kajak, and with this protect the boat from large waves; and, in case of need, keep it upright, by taking hold of the side.
The good missionary set out in the large boat, with six women to row. With much labour, they managed to row three miles through the ice by twelve o'clock. They had another mile to go, and they were just saying to each other, "This next mile will not be so dangerous," when the steersman suddenly cried out, "Look there, up to the rock, Sir! A dreadful storm is rising, which will soon overtake us." Saabye saw it, and answered, "We cannot go on; the waves are too strong against us; let us put back. We shall find some place in the neighbourhood where we can stop till the storm is over." They tacked about, but while they were doing so, the storm came up, and would have overset the large boat,
had not the Greenlander in his kajak kept on the side of the wind, and let the waves roll over him first, by which they lost something of their violence before they reached it. The women lost their courage, and would not work any longer. "Row!" cried Saabye, and took an oar, "or we shall be drowned." "We shall be drowned, do what we may," they said; "nothing is of any use. Saabye rowed with all his might, and encouraged the women, saying, "Let us do what we can, and we shall be saved." After an hour of great peril, in which sometimes their hopes quite sank, they were able, through the goodness of God, to land upon firm ice. Here they rested for a little while, lying down upon the snow, and turning the boat upside down over them. They were very faint, and would have been glad of something to eat; but Saabye had but two biscuits, and he wished to keep them for a time of sorer need.
A part of the afternoon was already gone, when the weather became more calm. "To-morrow is Sunday, said the missionary; "I must go forward by the land, or else back." "You are joking, Sir," said the steersman. "No," replied Saabye, "I am quite serious." "You cannot go forward," said the steersman, "for I do not know the way; and you cannot go backward, for the way is too long for you to reach home by night." "Let us see," said Saabye; "follow me." 19 The steersman and two of the women followed. The others would not stir. As long as daylight lasted, the travellers did very well, though the snow was deep; but when night came on, they could not tell where were the hills, or where were the valleys. They fell into heaps of snow; helped each other up; fell again, and again got up; and became every hour more fatigued and faint. It was now the middle of the night. They were half frozen with cold, and felt as if they could not stir another step.
have missed our way," said the Greenlander; "I no longer hear the sea roar." This was sad news for the poor travellers. Saabye stood
still and listened.
"No," said he, I cannot hear the sea roar; we have lost our way." They changed their course, and, after two hours' toil, they came to a plain near the sea. "I know where we are now,' said Saabye; 66 we are in Sand Bay, not far from home." "We must clamber up that rock," said the Greenlander; "then we shall have scarcely half a mile." How were they to get up the rock? Now for Saabye's biscuits. The two biscuits were divided among them; they swallowed some snow, and felt a little refreshed. "As you get near the top of the rock, you will find it perpendicular," said the Greenlander; "if your foot slips, you will fall into the sea, and no one can save you." "We will try," answered Saabye. And now they began, with the little strength they had left, to climb up. They crawled along till they came to the perpendicular ascent. The Greenlander, who had, of course, been accustomed from his youth to climb high rocks, got up first. After resting himself a little while at the top, he lay flat on the ground, stretched himself out as far as possible over the side, and helped to pull the others up. Their knees tottered, they staggered, and were almost on the point of falling, but the Greenlander's arm was strong, and he helped them faithfully. "God be praised!" they said one to another, when they found themselves safe at the top. They were so exhausted that they were obliged to sit down and rest themselves ten times during the quarter of a mile which they had still to go.
It was four o'clock on Sunday morning when the missionary reached home. His wife was praying for him. When he opened the door, and showed her that he was safe, she wept for joy, and could only say, "God, then, has restored him to me." The tired missionary rested for a few hours, and performed Divine service at the usual time.
How would my young readers like Greenland travelling? This was one of Saabye's adventures. He had hundreds like it.-Miss. Rep.
The Fragment Basket.
BLESSINGS OF POVERTY. The following remarks of a very distinguished writer on this subject are worthy of serious consideration:66 Poverty is the nurse of manly energy and heaven-climbing thoughts attended by love, and faith, and hope, around whose steps the mountain breezes blow, and from whose countenance all the virtues gather strength. Look around you upon the distinguished men that in every department of life guide and control the times, and inquire what was their origin, and what were their early fortunes. Were they, as a general rule, rocked and dangled in the lap of wealth? No; such men emerge from the homes of decent competence or struggling poverty. Necessity sharpens their faculty, and privation and sacrifice brace their moral nature. They learn the art of renunciation, and enjoy the happiness of having few wants. They know nothing of indifference or satiety. There is not an idle fibre in their frames. They put the vigour of a resolute purpose in every act. The edge of their mind is always kept sharp. In the school of life men like these meet the softly-nurtured darlings of prosperity as the vessels of iron meet the vessels of porcelain.
QUICK IN HER APPLICATION
"It amazes me, ministers don write better sermons-I am sick the dull prosy affairs," said a lady the presence of a parson. "But it no easy matter, my good woman, write good sermons," suggested th minister. "Yes," rejoined the lad "but you are so long about it; could write one in half the time, if only had the text." "O, if a text all you want," said the parson, will furnish that. Take this o from Solomon: It is better to dwe on a housetop, than with a brawlin woman in a wide house."" "D you mean me, Sir?" inquired th lady quickly. "O, my good woman, was the grave response, you wi never make a good sermonizer you are too soon in your appli cation."
BUSINESS OF LIFE.
On her death-bed, the amiable and gifted Jane Taylor, the last tim she took her pen-it was on the day preceding her death-wrote as fol lows:-"Oh, my dear friends, if you knew the thoughts I have now, you would see as I do, that the whol business of life is preparation fo death."
I CARE not for the joys of earth,
Were crowns of gold and jewels mine,
Without my Saviour's smiling face;
I could not rest without His grace.
Riches and honours, pleasures, all The splendours of this earthly ball,
Contrasted with my Saviour's love, Are like the motes that float in air, So light and vain. How could I bear
To exchange for them the joys above When mortal hope shall all expire, And earth dissolve in flaming fire,
I shall be safe and happy too; For then my name, like burnished gold Shall stand on Heaven's fair shining scroll;
My joys for ever pure and new. D.
JESUS IS GOD.
They came and held But, in the midst of
"They held Him by the feet, and worshipped Him."-MATT. xxviii. 9. How tender, how pure, how constant, the love of woman! Next to the love of God is hers. What ecstasies of joy Mary Magdalene and the other Mary" felt, now that their LOVED ONE, their adorable Lord and Saviour, was restored! Him by the feet, and worshipped Him." their joy, what humility and reverence they exhibit! By His feet they held Him, while they worshipped Him. Then, JESUS IS GOD; because from these women He received and permitted worship, which belongs to God alone. They not only showed their love for Him as man, but their reverence for Him as God. They "worshipped Him." It was not a mere salutation offered and received; it was worship, due only to God-just that same worship which Peter would not allow Cornelius to offer him (Acts x. 25, 26), which the angel refused from John (Rev. xix. 10-22), and which the redeemed from among men pay to "HIM which liveth for ever and ever."-Rev. v. 19.
Who but God could do the mighty works which Jesus didopen the eyes of them that were born blind; heal all manner of sickness and disease among the people; cleanse lepers, cast out devils, calm the raging sea, and hush the stormy wind; call the dead to life, conquer death and the grave; and, in defiance of the sealed stone and the Roman watch, come forth to be worshipped by these women? Ah! these all proclaim this same Jesus to be God-the God all heaven adores, and all the earth shall one day worship.
What a foundation this lays for our faith and hope, our confidence and trust in Jesus! Oh! ye guilty, sin-burdened, trembling fellow-sinner, remember, JESUS IS GOD. You tremble to think of God; but did ever sinners, even the chief, tremble to think of Jesus? Oh, no! What sinner could, when His very enemies said of Him that He was the "friend of publicans and sinners," and that "this man receiveth sinners?" Did He ever turn away any who came to Him for help and cure? Never. And if He never denied those who came seeking cure to the body only,