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ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
ABSENT—PRESENT:—"Absent from the body-present with the Lord.” But bow quickly! You cannot compute it by time—not a sand-fall, or the twinkling of an eye! It is here, it is there! On that bed lies your friend. Death's cold hand is upon him. You wait in awful silence for the coming change. You tremble to think of what he is and what he must be in a moment! You catch his last breath; you notice that twitch of the face-he is gone! You bend over him no, not over him, over his dust; you call, but there is no answer. You glance upward, and faith sees a convoy of angelic messengers upbearing his redeemed and wondering spirit to paradise! And are these things so with the humble believer in Jesus ? O yes! Blessed, thrice blessed hope ! “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord : for we walk by faith, not by sight: we are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him."
THE OLD HIGHLAND CHIEF.—The late celebrated Dr. Chalmers was once spending an evening at the mansion of a Scotch nobleman. The conversation was on the condition of the very poor and the new pauper system for their relief. On these subjects Dr. C. was quite at bome, and he talked wisely and well. Among the company was a fine old Highland Chieftain, who heard with profound attention and admiration the Doctor's wonderful conversational powers. Soon after the old chieftain retired to rest, when he was seized with a fit of apoplexy, and in a few minutes expired. As Dr. Chalmers stood among the distressed visitors, he broke out in a tremulous voice, “Had I known that my venerable friend waş within a few minutes of eternity, I would not have dwelt on pauperism in our evening's conversation. I would have preached unto him Christ Jesus and him crucified, and would have urged him with all earnestness to prepare for eternity.”
OUR GRAVES.-Christian! you ought not to have a weeping willow planted over your sleeping dust. We are told that one of these trees was planted so as to droop over the tomb of Napoleon on the island of St. Helena ; fit emblem of'unavailing grief for the vanity of human glory! Christian! evergreens should grow over your resting place; emblems of your body rising again, a glorious, immortal form, at the resurrection of the last day.
THAT WAS A SINGULAR COMPLIMENT, at least, some will think it was, which Charles Wesley once paid to one of his sisters. She was a thoughtful young lady, and did not seem to relish the witty fun and crackling jokes of her young companions, but found higher enjoyment in improving her mind and seeking earnestly the best gifts. When her brother was told of this, he said, “O yes ! it is true. In fact sister Patty is too wise to be witty.”
LAMENT OF A Lost Soul. What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul ?” Robert Hall, impressed by the solemnity of these words, flowing from the lips of him who spoke as never man spoke, asks with awful emphasis, “What would be the funeral obsequies of a lost soul? where shall we find the tears fit to be wept at such a spectacle: or, could we realize the calamity in all its extent, wha kens of commiseration and concern would be deemed equal to the occasion ? Would it suffice for the sun to veil his light, and the moon her brightness-to cover the ocean with mourning, and the heavens with sackcloth; or, were the whole fabric of nature to become animated and vocal, would it be possible for her to utter a groan too deep, or a cry too piereing to express the magnitude and extent of such a catastrophe ?"
A FAMILY I KNEW. WHAT an uproar there is in some houses where there are many children who have been allowed to do just what they please. I am always glad to get out of such a place as soon as I can; and when I get quite out of the sound of their noise, I then think to myself somebody must be to blame for that. In a few cases it may be that both father and mother may have to be from home nearly all the day working for scanty wages, only just enough to find bread. In that case it would bé unkind to blame them, and unfeeling not to pity them. But in cases where mother is always at home, well
to do, and in good health, there can be no excuse for such disorder. Here is a case in contrast.
I have some pleasing recollections of a family I once knew. In thinking of them now, a feeling of sadness crosses my miud, because of being separated from them: but the day is at band when separated friends shall meet, and then I hope to meet this whole family-father, mother, and ten or eleven children, with their Saviour and mine.
Ten years, perhaps, have passed since I lived near them, was intimate with them, and often in their dwelling. The word of God was valued in that house, and christians assembled there to read it and offer prayer and praise.
One thing which struck me at the time, and still remains vividly impresssed on my mind, was the implicit submission of the children to their parents. It was not that they were easily subjected, but that they did not appear to think of having a will in opposition to that of their parents. Yet they were not in slavish fear or dispirited, for they were not ruled with an iron rod.
THE PENNY POST BOX.
I said once to the father, “How is it that your children are in such subjection ?" This was his remarkable answer : “We have made it a rulema law in this house that no child shall act in opposition to the will of the parent. The parent's will is expressed, the child must then obey. That is an understood thing with all our children. When there is a new comer—when another child is given us—we have some trouble at first with it; there is a disposition to wilfulness, until it is old enough to understand the rule. Then we have no more trouble with it-it acts like the others."
THE SEVENTH-DAY SABBATH. What an infinite blessing when rightly observed! But I do not wish to offer any thoughts of my own on this great theme. I lately met with a paragraph which I thought might be suitable to your Penny Post Box.
“The Sabbath is nearly as old as the creation. On the sixth day of time that work was completed, and its Author stamped the following day with his signature, in perpetual memory of himself as the Being by whose underived wisdom the vast undertaking was devised —by whose uncaused power it was achieved. Adam awoke from his first sleep to behold the light of the earliest Sabbath-day. Almost contemporaneous with the appointment of marriage, it might be said of the corrupters of the one as it was to the perverters of the other,
From the beginning it was not so.' Our Magna Charta is an ancient guarantee of civil rights, but neither in antiquity, nor in its own nature and extent, can it for a moment vie with the world-old and world-wide charter of a free seventh day, which the Creator hath given to the human race for all time. How many changes and catastrophes has it survived! Kingdoms have, in multiplied instances, risen and fallen. Systems of opinion on all subjects have succeeded each other in constant succession. The institutions of man have perished one after another. Religious ordinances themselves have fulfilled their temporary destinies and disappeared. But the Sabbath, like the perpetual hills, has outlasted the patriarchal altars, witnessed the decay of all other sacred monuments, survived the tabernacle, the temples, and sacrifices of a gorgeous ritual, and, after the various fortunes of eighteen christian centuries, is sti. as full of vitality and vigour as at any former period of its history. And we have reason to believe that, like the ordinances of heaven, it will live through all the ages of time: Nor will it end when the sun has ceased to run its course. Then, indeed, it will no more bless the men who shall be
FAOTS, HINTS, GEMS, AND POETRY.
found to have preferred death to life-a lawless freedom to a holy rest. But there will remain a rest to the people of God,' and for them the Sabbath will begin a brighter career, as the one day-the unchanging boly day of eternity."
Facts, Hints, Gems, and Poetry.
been manned on occasions of service
and quarterly practice by about 26,550 ROYAL NATIONAL LIFE BOAT SOCIETY.
persons, and out of that large number This is one of our most noble and only six have lost their lives. Since generous institutions. The Report the formation of the society it had for 1865 states that during the past expended on lifeboat establishments year thirty-seven new lifeboats had £136,881, and had voted eighty-two been built, and most of them already gold and 759 silver medals for saving placed on the coasts of the United life, besides pecuniary rewards to the Kingdom by the institution. Boat- amount of £21,140. The total amount houses and transporting carriages had of receipts during the year had been been likewise provided for nearly the £28,932 3s. 3d. whole of these boats. The lifeboats It is a pleasing fact that several of the institution now numbered no large midland towns, far away from less than 162. Through their direct the sea, are raising subscriptions to instrumentality 532 lives and twenty present a lifeboat to the Society. vessels were saved during the past year, nearly all of them under circum.
Wints. stances when no other description of boat could with safety have been used. GOOD COUNSEL. – Deliberate with For these, and for exercising the life caution, and then act with decision; boats quarterly, the institution had oppose evil with firmness, but forgive granted payments amounting £4986. offences cheerfully. The number of shipwrecks on the CHOOSING A WIFE.-Old Fuller gave coasts of the British Isles last year a whole volume of advice when he was 1,738, attended with the loss, un said, “ Take the dutiful daughter of a happily, of 472 persons. It was, how good mother.” ever, an encouraging fact that the pre- MEN, IT IS SAID, must belong to one servation of life from shipwreck con. of three classes those who go backtinued steadily to make progress, and ward to do worse, those who stand that the average loss, instead of being, still and do nothing, and those who as in former years, 1,000 per annum, go forward to do better. Now take was now not more than 600. The your choice. total number of lives saved during MIND YOUR MONEY.—Make it your the forty-two years since the estab- servant, or it will be your master. If lishment of the institution, either by you love it you cannot be said to pos. its lifeboats or by special exertions sess it, for it will possess you. for which it has granted rewards, was Dont TRUST A MAN who tells you 14,930. The lifeboats of the institu. money will do anything, depend upon tion have, during the past four years, I it he will do anything to get it.
FAOTS, HINTS, GEMS, AND POETRY.
ALL INTELLIGENT BEINGS ARE SO being can attain. It is the joy of CIAL.-A man would only have little angels, heaven on earth, and the very pleasure in discovering all the beau- heaven of heaven. ties of creation if he had no com- WE ONLY TRULY SAY, “ Thy will be panion to whom he could tell his joys. done on earth as it is done in heaven,"
OPPOSITION is not always our enemy, when we long to be in heaven that we but often our friend. A kite rises may do it perfectly ourselves. against the wind. For a ship a head wind is better than none, for it cannot
Poetic Selections. move in a dead calm.
IDLENESS ENFEEBLES A MAN. It JERUSALEM THE GOLDEN. works on him insensibly until he is
JERUSALEM the Golden,
I languish for one gleam
My thoughts, like palms in exile,
Climb up to look and pray
For a glimpse of that dear country
That lies so far away.
And every bird a singing,
Of the same secret knows!
I know not what the flowers
Are prophecies of thee.
Jerusalem the Golden,
When sun sets in the west,
It seems the gate of glory, from which all evil is entirely ex- Thou city of the blest! eluded, and where complete perfection And midnight's starry torches, is enjoyed; and this is just what we
Through intermediate gloom,
Are waving with their welcome,
To thy eternal home.
Jerusalem the Golden !
Where loftily they sing, of God had not shed light upon it by O'er pain and sorrows olden his teachings, and especially by his
For ever triumphing! his own death and resurrection from
Lowly may be thy portal,
And dark may be the door,
God's palace for his poor.
Our flowers but half unfolden,
Our pearls that turn'd to dew,of life, but into life—that life which is
And all the glad life-music
Now heard no longer here,
Shall come again to greet us,
As we are drawing near. perity, soothes adversity, calms sor
Jerusalem the Golden!
I toil on day by day;
That midst thy leaves of healing
My soul may find her nest,
Where the wicked cease from troublingexcellence to which an intelligent The weary are at rest.