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QUIEJ SUNDAY IN A WELSH VALLEY.…

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QUIEJ SUNDAY IN A WELSH VALLEY. frt A QUIET I" royn he Quiver of Jan. 2nd, 1864.) ?' <7 n?ch to be deired certainly, 10 the ?-? ,f ,h" noisy, bustling Sundays in town, *hich ai.i ?"'? in comparison with other day of qui. et in comparison with other iays of j the We' e4, are yet 'n themselves noisy enough, and often *erT bu«ll^ exciting as well. How different is a a ?'?'?°?'yP?<'e? all is hushed and 3u"iet t h er 9?tther *o h?Howin? is the i fluence, that we <H)c?evpn\ ? '? c"nscious ?f the holy day, and to 6Ur itn4»in„V '°\S all ?? "?Tements are quieter; the *"?s <m i VI'nils Be ? to 1) ? gentler moti -Q, and the quiver- !??Teft? ?'?pe'- more softly to each other, and the ?"? broo? '"?'?o''e solemnly and in a deeper ?oce new week begins with the day of rest. 1 Tiler ?en?" fMrymg wheels, nor trampling hoMM, I nor loud-calling ploughboys to disturb the calm of the sacred mornine; the kine are driren past to the milk- ing as usual, but the milkmaid wears her Sunday attire, and walks more demurely than on other days. As you awake among such scenes, with the knowledge that Sunday has begun, your heart ascends more thankfully to the Giver o. all good-the Giver to man and beast of that quiet, happy, restful day. My wife and I were tire I of the heat, and the dust and the noise, and the turmoil, and the endless going to and fro; so, like everybody else we went out of town," and we thought it would be well to commence with a Sunday, and spend it pleasantly, resting in one of the Welsh valleys. Accordingly Saturday saw us safely at Llangollen, a lovely spot-" the pride of North Wales" and long before ur usual hour we were soundly sleeping, well tired by our journey and well pleased at the prospect of the morrow. Our first care next morn- ing was to open wide our chamber window, and admit the fresh breeze that came along the valley. Oh how refreshing that breeze was, and how lovely the scene around us! Not many yards from the house-and intercepted from it only by the road and the garden- the Dee, then quite a little stream, by reason of the drought, was lazily tumbling over its broad, rocky channel; on the other side the river, rose the picturesq ue hill, dotted with trees and cottages and crowned with the ruins of an ancient fortress; looking down the valley, the view is shut out by the lessening hills at a bend in the river, while in the opposite direction they rise, higher and higher, crowding upon each other away to those great mountains which the hardy tourist loves to climb. The sun was slowly breaking through a little mist which hung about the tops of the hills, giving pro- mise to a glorious day; the air was clear and pure; scarcely any one was astir only from a few white chim- neys across the river was the faint smoke visibly issuing. To look upon such a scene made our heart glall; life seemed a truly pleasant thing —something to be enjoyed, something to be thankful for—and we hastened to meet our fellow-travellers. Everybody was cheerful, and apparently happy the conversation was animated, but carried on quietly; inquiries as to the comfort of the night, gratulations on the fine morning, questions about the church and the services, passed between the tourists assembled there. Of course we were going to church but as the parish church (dedicated to St. Colleen, of whose existence in the calendar we were confessedly ignorant until that time) stands closo to The Hand," it was only necessary to start a very few minutes before the time for the commencement of the service so, till then, we sat at the open window enjoying the fresh air, and pleasantly chatting with our friends, some outside, others still lingering in the coffee-room. Like soften'd airs that blowing steal, When meres begin to uncongeal, The sweet church bells began to peal." It was pleasant to hear the church bells, and to watch the passers-by; first of all a few children, with their Bibles and Prayer-books tied up in handkerchiefs, and some old people in twos and threes, with down-bent heads, and slow and careful steps, wending their early way to worship; then, in greater numbers, townsfolk and visitors together. an d i s i tors C, On to God's house the people prest; Passing the place where each must rest, Each enter'd like a welcome guest." So we rose from our seat and followed after. The church has no external beauty to commend it, and the interior is not fitted up in the style usual in churches at the present day. The dark, oaken pews are high and narrow; the rafters and the front of the little organ-gallery are of carved oak of ancient workmanship, most of it brought, it is said, from the old Cistercian Abbey in the Valle Crucis the pulpit and desk stand side by side against the southern wall of the the nave, and some of the windows are filled with stained glass of dark colours, which pleasantly relieve the white- washed walls. The church was well filled, and the ser- vice, which is ia. English in tlr: mornings during sum- mer, was nicely conducted. It was good to worship God in that old-fashioned house of prayer, with the bright sunlight all round, and the gentle breeze stealing through the open windows, and making the leaves on the trees outside rustle in cheerful accompaniment to the voices within the church; it made you feel how good and how bounteous God is, and we repeated with a new meaning, and with greater earnestness, the opening words of the first prayer, Almighty and most merciful Father." There were heartfelt petitions that Sunday morning; we asked God's blessing, and as we left the church we felt that we had it, to sanctify our pleasures, and to make them a part of our daily service to Him. After church, a pleasant walk round the hills and back by the Valle Crucis and its ruined abbey, gave us an appetite for our early dinner. It was very hot, the sun shone forth in all his power, and we were glad to take the shady path by the water side as far as we could. There were no sounds of labour, and the heat was too great for the birds to sing much; now and then the buzzing of a bee, or the bleat of a sheep, would break the quiet; all else was still as it ought to be on that day of which it is written that God, at the beginning, blessed and sanctified it. The ruins of the Abbey were undisturbed by visitors, and there they stood, solemn and grand, amid the general stillness. What memories crowd round these ruins! Could they but speak, what histories might they divulge-what lessons might they teach us! They could tell of those holy, self- denying brethren of the white habit, who first lived there in godly fellowship; in their mistaken zeal separating themselves from the world, of which they should have beea as the salt; and how in later years men abused the order of their church, and within sanctuary of her walls committed all manner of excess and abomination they could tell of the little round of daily toil, unbroken by harsh words or unkind actions, and of restless ambition and petty tyranny they could tell of life-long sacrifices made for the Master, and of lives which exhibited no spark of intellectual activity nor of spiritual aspiration; they could tell—ay, far more than we can now even conceive-the thoughts and feel- incys of nations and of centuries, of which the world has had no benefit, because they were compressed within the narrow limits of the monastery walls, and confined to a little colony of monks. "Whoso readetli, let him understand. In the evening we went to church to attend the Welsh service, partly, it must be admitted, from curiosity. Al- though we could not understand more than three or four words of it, we could follow the prayers and the lessons, and our devotions need not have been, and we trust they were not, the less sincere because the congre- gation was worshiping in a language unknown to us. When twilight drew on, I again went out to walk- this time alone. From age to age, ever since the patri- arch Isaac went out to meditate in the fields at even- tide," men have choscn the still hours of summer twi- light to wander in secluded places, to commune witxi themselves and with their God j and to some this has been the only time when rest and quiet have entered in- to their souls, and they have felt at peaca. On this Sunday night I wandered througk fields and along nar- row lanes, on the rising ground behind the town. The darkness was fast coming on; a few cloudg had gather- ed around the setting sun, andaow seemed to be increas- ing, although the breeze had quite fallen. I walked on without thinking whither I was going, for I felt restless and troubled; a burden lay upon my spirits which I could not cast aside in the enjoyment of the duties and the pleasures of the day, it had been forgotten but now, at the close of the day-in the hours of meditation -it pressed heavily, and I could forgot it no longer. The past came back to my remembrance, bringing with it the forms and faces of many who --a I had loved, but who, alas were now fallen asleep." There is no floci, however watched or tended, But one dead lamb is there j There is nolfireside, bowso'er defended, But has one vacant chair Then I thought of the futura, and tried to fancy what it would be. Once I imagined—vain man that I was! —that I had bodied forth an outline of days to come but then I thought again that only God knew that; and I felt thrown back to the present with all its cares, and forced to think of difficulty and trials, great and grievous; of sorrow and disappointment, hard to be borne of doubt, long wrestled with of hope and expectation, re- peatedly overthrown, till I felt weary and sick at heart, and ready to cry out, "How long? 0 Lord! how long?" The air is full of farewells to the dying, And mourning for the dead; The heart of Rachel, for her children crying, Will not be comforted." I sat silent for a long while, burying my face in my hands, as these sad memories and baffling thoughts rose in my mind. When I looked up again, the darkness was fast deepening, and in the gloaming the masses of the hills looked very black and dreary, as they stood out against the evening sky. But the silence was unbroken, And the stillness gave no token;" and to the hills I looked in vain for strength or hope; but up above, through an opening in the clouds one star was shining brilliantly. I Tig all light there. Yes; but how dark here. Yet will not the light return in the morning ? and an inwam echo replied—" In the morn- ing And so I felt my burden grow lighter, the future grew brighter, and by the time my walk was ended, I was cheerful aad happy, for I had learnt a lesson which will  e not be easily be forgotten. Just as over all nature ther comes the^night of darkeness and solitude, so in a man's life there is the night of sorrow and trial; and as surely as the Almighty Ruler will bring back the sun on the morrow to glad and cheer the earth will He send again to cheer the earth, so surely will He send again to man joy and prosperity when the fitting t:me arrives I had left my hotel agitated and doubting; I returned to it (oh, how different !) quiet and trustful. And as we retired that n;ght, we felt that it had been a good Sunday for us —truly a day of rest-for the weary spirit had found peace in the consciousness pf the ever-ruling presence of the Great Father and we were both of us the better and the happier (and it was a good augury for oar holiday trip) for the quiet Sunday we had spent in the Vale of Llangollen.

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