Page images
PDF
EPUB

POETRY.

“ You are good and true, Mary, my own dear wife. I am proud of you-I love you—and my first desire is for your happiness

. 0, if I could always see your face in sunshine, my home would be the dearest place on earth.”

“How precious to me are your words of love and praise, Andrew,” said Mrs. Lee smiling up through her tears into bis face. “ With them in my ears, my heart can never lie in shadow."

How easy had been the work for Andrew Lee. He had swept his hand across the cloudy horizon of his home, and now the bright sunshine was streaming down, and flooding that home with joy and beauty.

Reader, go and do likewise.

Poetry.

THE TRAVELLER'S HOME.

THE traveller in the sunny hours The idle traveller to his feet
Idles along the way~

Starts with an eager eye,
He takes small heed of time, or tide, And rushes on in baste to find
While cloudless is the day-

Some place of shelter nigh.
He drinks the sunshine in like wine,
He plucks the flowers at will

Just so, O God! we idle on
And does not hasten when he sees

When all is peace and rest, The sun sink down the hill.

And scarce a thought of Thee and

Thine
He needs no shelter but the sky Finds refuge in our breast.
Of azure o'er his head-

'Neath sunny skies, with love and joy, The sweet red clover at his feet

What need have we of Thee? Affords a fragrant bed

Why take a pilot when our boat His lamps are the eternal stars

Floats on a summer sea ? Set in the purple dome The birds will chant his vesper hymns, But when the clouds of grief grow black What careth be for home?

Across our placid skies

When tempests toss our helpless bark, But when black clouds obscure the And boisterous winds arisewest,

0, then, we trembling turn to Thee, And muttering thunders peal And at Thy feet we fallAnd the red lightning sets upon Crying for shelter from the storm,

The heavens its flaming seal ; Believing Thee our All..

ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.

Anecdotes and Selections.

A GUILTY CONSCIENCE.—The conscience is like a fire under a pile of green wood long ere it burn; but once kindled, it flames beyond quenching. It is not pacifiable while sin is within to vex it. The hand will not cease throbbing so long as the thorn is within the flesh, In vain he striveth to feast away cares, sleep out thoughts, drink down sorrows, that hath his tormentor within him. When one violently offers to stop a source of blood at the nostrils, it finds away down the throat, not withont hazard of suffocation. The stricken deer runs into the thicket, and there breaks off the arrow; but the head sticks still within him, and rankles to death. Flitting and shifting ground gives way to further anguish. The unappeased conscience will not leave him till it hath showed him hell; nor then neither. Let then this fool know that his now seared conscience shall be quickened; his deathbed shall smart for this.--Thomas Adams.

THE TONGUE.—Go lead a lion by a single hair, send up an eagle to the sky to peck out a star, coop up the thunder and quench a flaming city with one widow's tears ; if thou couldst do these, yet the tongue can no man tame. We allow the tongue salt, not pepper; let it be well-seasoned, but not too hot. It is a little member, little in quantity, but great in iniquity. What it hath lost in the thickness it hath gotten in the quickness; and the defect of magnitude is recompensed in the agility: An arm may be longer, but the tongue is stronger; and a leg hath more flesh than it hath, besides bones which it hath not, yet the tongue still runs quicker and faster, and if the wager lie for holding out, without doubt the tongue shall win it. Thomas Adams.

STORY OF A MISER.—The following scene occurred at a railway station in Italy :-"On a bitter cold day a inillionaire applied at the ticket-office for a third-class ticket. What l'exclaimed the official, who knew him, "you, sir, take a third-class on such a day as this ?' 'Why, I must,' was the cool reply, "since there is no fourth-class.' 'I beg your pardon,' answered the official, handing him a ticket, but there is here is one.' The man of wealth hastily paid for it, and rushed forward to take his place. On the doorkeeper asking to see his ticket, the traveller produced it, but was rather taken aback on being told that the ticket would not do for him. 'And why not?' he exclaimed. “Why, sir, because it is a dog-ticket !!"

WHAT BACON SAYS OF RICHES.-I cannot call riches better than the baggage of virtue ; the Roman word is better, impedimenta ; for as the baggage is to an army, so is riches to virtue ; it cannot be spared nor left behind, but it hindereth the march; yea, and the care of it sometimes loseth or disturbeth the victory. Of great riches there is no real use, except it be in the distribution, the rest is but conceit.

ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.

: Do Good.—Thousands of men breathe, move and live-pass off the stage of life-are heard of no more. Why? They do not a particle of good in the world ; no one was blessed by them as the instrument of their redemption. Not a word they spoke could be recalled, and so they perished; their light went out in darkness, and they were not remembered more than the insects of yesterday. Will you thus live and die, O man immortal ? Live for something. Do good, and leave behind you a monument of virtue that the storms of time can never destroy. Write your name in kindness, and love, and mercy on the hearts of those you may come in contact with year by year. You will never be forgotten. No! your name, your deeds will be as legible on the hearts you leave behind as the stars on the brow of the evening.

CHINESE PORTRAIT PAINTERS.-If you present yourself as a subject, you are asked the preliminary questions : “How you likey? You likey handsome, or you likey likey?" You naturally reply that you wish the portrait to be like you; but woe betide you if, after that announcement, you object to the picture on the score of its ugliness. It is said that a sitter once ventured to do so; the aggrieved artist turned round to the collected audience, and, with upraised hands, exclaimed, in expostulatory tones, “Suppose no bave handsome, how can ?". Great was the sympathy evinced for the aggrieved artist, and overwhelming the confusion of the caricatured sitter.

HUMILITY.-As it is with respect to all graces, so particularly as to this clothing of humility; though it makes least show, yet come near, and you will see it both rich and comely; and though it hides other graces, yet when they do appear under it, as sometimes they will, a little glance of them so makes them much more esteemed. Rebecca's beanty and her jewels were covered with a veil; but when they did appear, the veil set off and commended then, though at a distance it hid them.-Leighton.

RESISTING TEMPTATION.-Frequent and fierce is the devil in his attacks, on all sides besieging our salvation. We therefore must watch and be sober, and everywhere fortify ourselves against his assault; for if he but gain some slight vantage ground, he goes on to make for himself a broad passage, and by degrees introduces all his forves.-Chrysostom.

SECRET PRAYER.-In public and private duties we may admit of the company of others to join with us; and, if they be such as fear God, the more the better. But in secret duties Christ and thou must whisper it over betwixt yourselves; and then the company of the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend that is as thine own soul, would not be welcome.-Flavel.

THE SABBATH.- If keeping holy the seventh day were only a human institution, it would be the best method that could have been thought of for the polishing and civilising of mankind.--Addison.

THE FIRESIDE.

Will You TRY?-Let every one study to recommend religion to the world, by conforming his practice to its rules, and adorning his life with shining holiness and virtue ; and by guarding against all injustice and dishonesty, pride, passion, revenge, evil-speaking, and everything that may stumble and beget prejudices in men against Christianity, who are too apt to impute the faults of its professors to the religion itself. If every professed Christian will contribute by personal reformation to mend one, then we should all be mended, and the increase of Christ's kingdom would be glorious.-Willison.

The Fireside.

BE ACTIVE.

It is a bad thing for a man to allow himself to sink down into a state of idleness—a very bad thing. No matter what has pressed him down

- it is a bad thing. So long as a man struggles up against sinking, there is hope for him. But let him give way, and it is all over with him!

I know there are many poor men and poor women with large families who often find it very hard work to bear up against the heavy weights that seem to press them down. Small wages and many wants make up the burden of their load, and many sink under it-sink into a state of helpless and careless indifference; and from this state they never attempt to rise, but sit folding one hand in the other, indulging in grumbling complaints, or, alas ! only rising up to go and try to drown the recollection of their troubles in intoxicating liquors, if they can get hold of them. There they sit, idle, dirty, wretched, and discontented. As for spending a happy Sabbath-clean, comfortable, and contented, in the fear and worship of God, why that is a thing which they may see others do, but which they never think of doing, and never attempt to do themselves. They are sunk too low for that.

This is a bad state for a man to be in, no matter how he has been brought into it—it is a bad state. I know many will be ready to tell me that it is not their own fault. Well : that may be true; and I believe it is in many cases, but it is not in all. Many sink into this state wbo need not have sunk into it. I would ask such, how is it that your neighbour, who gets no better wages than you do, has such a nice clean house, and manages to make things "meet and tie ?” Why be does not sit down in despair! He keeps doing all he can, and his wife does all she can, and the children that are old enough do what they can-all that are able do something, and " many littles make a mickle.” And then they make the “littles” they get go as far as

THE FIRESIDE.

cour

they can. Not half a farthing is wasted. And time, which makes money, and, in one sense, is money, and more than money, is not wasted—I say it is not wasted in idle gossip by the wife, or, what is worse, by hours together at the beer-shop or public house by the husband. And having worked all day, they lie down at night, and their sleep is sweet-sweeter than that of many who are richer than they. They struggle hard every day it is true, but they have their reward, and sometimes, by their industry and carefulness, they rise into circumstances of comfort and happiness.

But let a man who is down low in poverty and wretchedness sit still and fold his hands, and say he can do nothing, and never try to do anything, and he will be poor and wretched still; and so, it is likely, with such an example, will his children be after him. But they will get up, if they see their father and mother trying to get up. And if the father and mother should not succeed the children may.

So age, man! Don't sit down in despair. Be up and doing. If thou doest thy best, there is One who will help_thee of whom perhaps thou hast not thought. God will help thee. For that old trite saying is a true one after all,“ God help those that help themselves."

Yes : and I could tell you of many poor men who, by sobriety, activity, carefulness, and perseverance, have worked their way up so that they have now a comfortable house, with good furniture in it, and good food and clothing, and all they need to make them contented and happy as regards this life. And this is what I want, by writing this, to persuade other poor men to try to do. Some have even become rich. But I don't want to persuade you to try to be rich; for, having food and raiment, we should learn therewith to be content. I don't preach contentment without food and raiment, but I advise you to have a good try to get them, and by your own efforts too, and then, if you succeed, what you get will be more prized: it will be your own.

Try to get up, then: don't despair. And remember that it is becanse we have fallen away from God and done him wrong that the earth is cursed, and we are doomed to labour. This is a great evil it is true, but it is over-ruled for good. Men are so disposed to vice and sin that they would be more vicious and wicked than they are, if the greater portion of their time was not employed in earning their daily bread. But idleness is a greater curse than labour, and always brings its own punishment. Life and activity is the great law of the universe-God himself works in creation and providence, and in our redemption. Jesus Christ worked the works of him that sent him, when he came and died for our sins. Angels work in the service of the Most High, and are employed in conveying the spirits of saints to heaven. Devils are active in seeking to work our death—and even our first father in the garden of Eden was not put there to be idle, but “to dress it and to keep it.” Never then sink into sloth, but be active, and God will bless you!

PAUL PRUDENT.

« PreviousContinue »