Saint Patrick.


Saint Patrick is a name dear to many an Irish

  heart, some of our little readers will like to

  hear about Saint Patrick, who is called the

patron saint of Ireland.

In a small Christian village of Scotland, on the

banks of the Clyde, there lived a pious deacon,

 who had a little son named Succat. Succat was

 a bright boy, fond of frolic and of having his own

 way, much, I suppose, like many boys 

nowadays. His mother liked him to be happy, 

therefore she tried to lead him to the Lord Jesus,

 for she well knew her son could be truly happy

 only as he possessed the obedient and loving

 temper of the Son of God. In the morning she

 taught him to pray by her side, and in the 

evening she told him "that sweet story of old,"

 which was just as sweet and tender a thousand

 years ago as it is now; nor has it lost any of its

 sweetness in passing through the ages. Succat

 was born more than a thousand years ago, in 

the year 372 or thereabouts, when the light of 

the gospel in England and Scotland glimmered in

 only a few believing hearts and pious 

households scattered about. The rest were

 heathen, dark, very dark.

Succat turned his back on his mother's 

instructions, and became wild and wayward. At 

length the family moved from Scotland and went

 to Bretagne, where they lived by the seaside.

 Succat and his sisters loved to play by the 

seaside. One day as they were at play some 

distance from home, a boat full of pirates landed

 near them. The pirates stole Succat, and in 

spite of his cries hurried him on board their boat

 and sailed away. They took him to the Irish 

coast, and there sold him.

Ireland was heathen then. Succat was a slave in

 a dark, cruel land. Poor boy! His master sent 

him to the fields to look after his pigs. While he

 was alone in those wild, solitary pastures, with

 only swine to keep him company, Suceat 

remembered the lessons of his pious mother. 

He thought of the sins of his youth, and cried

 bitterly. He thought of his mother's Saviour, and

 he wondered if the Lord Jesus would take pity

 on him. He fell on his knees and prayed for

 forgiveness. Did God refuse to hear him? Oh no.

 God spoke peace to him, and Succat felt his 

hard, thoughtless heart leaving him, and a 

tender, penitent, humble, believing heart taking

 its place. This is the "new heart" spoken of in 

the Bible. Succat had no Bible. There was no 

printed Bible in those days, no priest, no pious

 friend, nobody to instruct or comfort, him but


God was his teacher. It was his Holy Spirit which

enlightened the poor lad's mind.

"The love of God increased more and more in

me," said he, " with faith and the fear of his


The Spirit urged me so, that I poured forth as 

many as a hundred prayers in one day; and even

 during the night, in the forests and on the 

mountains where I kept my flock, the rain and

 snow and frost and sufferings, which I 

experienced, excited me to seek more and 

more after God."

So that preachers or priests, or sacraments or

rites are none of them indispensable for the

 forgiveness of sins, and that peace of mind

 which comes from God alone. God can give it 

to the penitent soul anywhere.

At length Succat found means to escape, and

made his way home. You can well imagine the

 joy of his parents, not only at his escape from

 slavery, but from the worse bondage of sin. He

 did not, however, stay long. He felt an 

unconquerable desire to go back and preach the

 gospel in Ireland. His friends tried to divert him

 from it. It was in vain. Succat's mind was made

 up. He found his Saviour in Ireland; he found 

forgiveness and true joy there; and now above 

all things he wanted to tell the Irish what an

 almighty Saviour had died upon the cross to

 redeem them. And Succat went, carrying his

 whole heart in the work. He again landed on

 their shores, not as a slave, but as a Christian

 freeman, with the truth that could make them 

free. Everywhere he told the simple story of the

 cross. He collected the Pagan tribes in the 

fields and hollows by beat of drum, and preached

 Christ. His short and simple sermons touched 

their hearts, many souls were converted,

and many a precious little company of believers

dotted the Emerald isle.

This was the beginning of Christianity in Ireland,

and Succat was by and by put into the Romish

 calendar of saints, and called Saint Patrick.