Puslapio vaizdai

F. y. z.


E have recently read with much interest a memoir of the late Miss Caroline W. Leakey, of Exeter, whose able pen has been so often employed in writing for this, and other magazines of a kin

dred nature.


Very many of our readers to whom Miss Leakey's name may be unfamiliar, will not fail to remember the many pleasing stories and touching verses bearing the initials X. Y. Z., the nom de plume under which she wrote, which have from time to time been published in the various magazines of the Religious Tract Society and elsewhere. Her Tracts, of which she wrote over thirty for the same Society, have been read by multitudes who never heard her name or saw her initials. They are among the most striking and interesting of the whole of the Tracts issued by the Society.

The memoir to which we refer is written by her sister, Miss Emily Leakey, and is entitled 'Clear Shining Light,' a title at once appropriate and suggestive.

Appropriate, inasmuch as it represents that which the subject of the memoir ever strove to be. Having received Christ, the light, and having proved in her own self the blessedness of walking in the light, it was her highest joy to proclaim Him, and to induce those around her to "taste and see that the Lord is good." In other words, she strove to glorify God by bringing all with whom she came in contact to Him who has said, "I am the light of the world."

It is suggestive of her present state in that happy place of which it is written : "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof."

Miss Leakey was born in Exeter in March 1827, and

from her earliest years seems to have been a child of grace. She was of a delicate constitution, and appears to have suffered much from weakness until arriving at early womanhood; but her childhood and youth were not wasted; fond of reading, she stored her mind with precious treasures, which in after life helped to make her useful to others. Besides which, her patience and lovely disposition, evinced under trying circumstances, could not have failed to have some good effect upon her home circle.

At twenty years of age, at the urgent request of a married sister residing in Tasmania, she went thither to help in bringing up her sister's children. But, after six years of great suffering from colonial fever, hip disease, and a complication of other complaints, she was compelled to return. to England.

For a short time after her return home her health improved, only, however, to be again assailed by disease, and for years the hand of the Lord seemed heavy upon her, sickness followed sickness, and bereavements came one after another; yet she did not complain; her whole thought seemed to be directed to this one object-the glory of God.

During the intervals of her illnesses she wrote much, and her poems had none of the sombre shade which might have been pardoned under the circumstances in which they were penned; but they all showed that they were written by one who felt what she wrote. In this magazine in 1874 a pretty little poem was published, entitled 'The See-good-in-all,' one verse of which we quote:

"Thank God, I have a song to sing

When summer's sun shines bright;
But thank Him more that I can sing
In the dark and wintry night."

How few of us there are who have a song of praise to sing when suffering pain or smarting under a bereaving blow. There are a few, however, who can do so, and Miss Leakey was one of them; and we may trace this

cheerful spirit to something beyond mere liveliness of disposition; it was the result of entire, firm belief in God's wisdom and love. "My Father knows best," seems to have been her constant thought.

One thing which must have greatly tended to the development of Miss Leakey's Christian character was her unremitting prayerfulness. Nothing was too small or unimportant for her to make a subject of prayer. Like a child speaking to its parent, she was in constant communion with, God, and the answers to her prayers were, in many cases, really remarkable.

On one occasion, when pressed for money, she laid the matter before the Lord, and prayed to be helped out of the difficulty. Nor did she pray in vain. An aged relative sent £100, with a note to the effect that she had left that sum in her will to Miss Leakey and her sister, but had thought best to advance it at once. Thus was her prayer answered, and the embarrassment removed.

Another time, when at Scarborough, she and her sister were saved from a danger which might have proved fatal to one or both. It was their custom to take a drive every morning, and every morning Miss Leakey prayed against accident. One day the cabman forgot to call, and took another fare. Although disappointed, she contented herself, saying and feeling: "The Lord did not mean us to go out to-day; don't let us fret about it." In the evening they heard that an accident had occurred to the cab, and the lady who was in it was killed.

There are many other instances, remarkable instances they may be termed, of God's overruling care for those who trust in Him, recorded in the memoir, to which we refer the reader.

This lesson may be learnt from the life of Miss Leakey: that whatever our position in life, however sorely tried by affliction or broken down by suffering, if we only cling to Jesus, and strive by the aid of the Holy Spirit to acknowledge and glorify God, He will never forsake us. We may

rest upon this promise as though it were spoken to ourselves individually.

"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee."

After much suffering, the end came; and, on the 12th of July, 1881, Miss Leakey's happy spirit found rest and peace with that Saviour whom she had loved so well and served so nobly while on earth.

Life's labour done, as sinks the clay,

Light from its load the spirit flies;
While heaven and earth combine to say,
How blest the righteous when he dies!

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Sweetest music-ever, never,
Ever bliss, but never woe;
Sweetest beatings-ever, never,—
Swaying softly to and fro.

Ever gazing, ever praising,
With the angel hosts above;
One eternal Hallelujah,

One unending song of love!
Sweetest music-ever, never,-
Ever bliss, but never woe;
Sweetest beatings-ever, never,—
Swaying softly to and fro.

Never sighing, never sinning;
No distrust, nor doubt, nor fear,
Through the ages of the ages,
Through the long eternal year!
Sweetest music-ever, never,
Ever bliss, but never woe;
Sweetest beatings-ever, never,—
Swaying softly to and fro.


Never morning, ever midnight,
Clouds on clouds unceasing roll,
As the darkness of the ages
Broodeth o'er the unsleeping soul.
Saddest music-never, ever,—
Never bliss, but ever woe;
Saddest beatings-never, ever,--
Swaying darkly to and fro.

Never, ever-never, ever,

This the melancholy chime,

From the turret-clock eternal,

That proclaims earth's ended time.
Saddest music-never, ever,—
Never bliss, but ever woe;
Saddest beatings-never, ever,
Swaying darkly to and fro.

Never finding, ever seeking
Place of refuge in the tomb;
In the regions, God-forsaken,
Of the homeless, hopeless gloom.
Saddest music-never, ever,-
Never bliss, but ever woe;
Saddest beatings-never, ever,—
Swaying darkly to and fro.

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