The History of Leith

March 18, 2012

What will wear. Church Magazine 1909

What will wear. Church Magazine 1909
In the yellow and time-worn records of the monthly
meetings of the Quakers in New Jersey, which have been
preserved for more than two centuries, are many entries
of the dates of the birth of children. These entries,
usually made by the father, are followed by some pious
adjuration. One such entry records the birth in 1648 of
Maria, the only child of her parents, John and jane
Vance. The grateful father adds the ejaculation : “And
fit her for her long journey, O Lord, with virtues that
will wash !
We smile at the quaint fancy of the old Quaker, forgetting,
if we are young, to notice whether the charming
qualities which we greatly desire are of the sort that will
fade in middle age.
A passenger on a sailing-vessel bound from New York
to the Azores was watching with some anxiety the provisioning
of the ship. Fruits, fresh meats, and vegetables
were taken on board in small quantities, while barrel
after barrel of hard, salt biscuit was rolled on deck.
“Surely you have enough of that tasteless food?” the
passenger said, impatiently. “No. If your making a
flying trip across to London,” answered the captain,
” your fancy dishes are well enough. But for a long
v’yage, there’s nothing like dried beef and honest hardtack.”
” Sir John Wilton, in his letters, thus describes the
r e t u r n of his son from Oxford : ” His mother was breathless
with anxiety. ‘Can he speak well?’ she cried.
‘Will he make a figure in Parliament? 1 would have
my son brilliant in argument. Are his manners those of
the court? What skill hath he in music?’ “But I
queried, ‘ Has the lad good common sense? Is he just
and merciful to his servants and dogs?’ ”
Men and women who by their lives are trying to justify
their right to be in the world are apt each morning to
hope for loftier conceptions of duty, for opportunities to
do heroic deeds, and for high exaltations of soul.
These are worthy aspirations. But we should not
forget the humble virtues of good-humour, unselfish
helpfulness, and glad hearts.
It is only on rare occasions that the traveller is given
angels’ food to eat. But the daily bread for which be
prays usually comes to him from these commonplace,
enduring qualities.

source-South Leith Church

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