of the king, as though the thing were done for his glory. He was cunuing enough to know that the waves ere long would wash away the coat of plastering, and that then his own name would appear, and his memory be handed down to successive generations. How many there are, who, while affecting to seek only the glory of God and His church, are really seeking whatever is calculated to gratify self-love. Could the outer coat, as it were, of their pretences be removed, we should see them as they really are, desirous not of God's glory, but of their own.

HEARTLESS SERVICE.-God cries, "Bring thy heart, or bring nothing." Like a jealous husband when he hath a wife, yet he is jealous whether he hath her heart; so whatever thou do, yet God is jealous still, and respects not what thou doest, but whether thou do it from the heart, that is, of mere love toward Him. If Pilate had washed his heart when he washed his hands, he had been cleaner than Naaman when he came out of Jordan; if the Shechemites had circumcised their hearts when they circumcised their flesh, they had saved their souls when they had lost their lives; if Cain had offered his heart when he offered the fruits, his offering had been acceptable as Abel's. But as swine's flesh was like sheep's flesh, yet was not accepted because it came from an unclean beast, so Cain's offering, Pilate's washing, the Shechemites' circumcision. the Pharisee's prayer and fast and alms, were as fair as the apostles,' yet they had no reward but, "Woe to you, hypocrites!" because they wanted the heart, which is like the fire that kindleth the sacrifice.-H. Smith.

FAITH.-See the spider casting out her film to the gale; she feels persuaded that somewhere or other it will adhere and form the commencement of her web. She commits the slender filament to the breeze, believing that there is a place provided for it to fix itself. In this fashion should we believingly cast forth our endeavours in this life, confident that God will find a place for us. He who bids us pray and work will aid our efforts, and guide us in His providence in a right way. Sit not still in despair, O son of toil, but again cast out the floating thread of hopeful endeavour, and the wind of love will bear it to its resting-place.-Spurgeon.

The Fireside.


No man who has once heartily and wholly laughed can be altogether and irreclaimably bad. The man who cannot laugh is only fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; and his whole life is already a treason and stratagem. The remark of De Maistre that "the wicked man is never comic" is truly wise, as also is the converse, "that a truly witty man is never wicked." A laugh, therefore, to be genuine, must flow


from a joyous heart and a clear and unfettered conscience. Archdeacon Hare observes that "some of those who have been richest in wit and humour have been among the simplest and kindest-hearted of men," and he instances Fuller, Bishop, Lafontaine, Claudius, and Charles Lamb. This life would be but a dull and monotonous existence were not the ordinary and every-day intercourse of society enlivened by sallies of wit and good humour, and there is probably no enjoyment so innocent out of which we derive the same amount of gratification and pleasure as a good, hearty laugh. There is wisdom, then, in a laugh. Philosophers and wise men may exercise their risible muscles without fear of being accounted fools. Laughter and smiles have been favourite themes of the poets, who invariably use this metaphor when describing nature in her most beautiful and varied aspects. Beauty is never so lovely as when adorned with a smile, and conversation never sits easier upon us than when we now and then discharge ourselves in a symphony of laughter. It is difficult at first to feel, "at home" with a comparative stranger, however brilliant and learned his conversation may be, until we strike some mutually sympathetic chord. We then know him to be human; he possesses one vulnerable point through which to reach his heart; and if he be capable of appreciating wit, we may not unreasonably conclude that he is also sensitive to other and better influences.

The Penny Post Box.


A MAN may know all about the rocks, and his heart remain as hard as granite or adamant; he may know all about the winds, their courses and their currents, and be the sport of passions as turbulent and fierce as they; he may know all about the stars, and his fate be as the meteor's that blazes for a little while and is then lost, quenched in eternal night; he may know all about the sea, and be a stranger to the peace of God; his soul may resemble its troubled waters, which, lashed by storms and ruffled by every breath of wind, cannot rest, but throw up mire and dirt; he may know how to rule the spirit of the elements, and not know how to rule his own; he may know how to turn aside the deadly thunderbolt, but not the wrath of an angry God; you may know all, in short, that man has discovered or his skill invented, but if you do not know Jesus Christ, if your eyes have never been opened to a saving knowledge of the truth, what will that avail you, when they åre fixed in their sockets, glazed by the hand of death? Equally by the death-bed of the greatest philosopher, as of the hardest miser that ever ground the faces of the poor, there is room and reason for the solemn question: "What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world-all its learning, its wealth, its pleasures and honours→→ and lose his own soul?"


Facts, Hints, Gems, and Poetry.


Herodotus speaks of petroleum as being used two thousands years ago under the name of Pitumen. Tacitus, Pliny, and many Roman writers ascribe to a species of it, found in the Ionian Islands, singular healing and embrocating qualities. Externally it is particularly adapted to skin diseases, salt rheum, rheumatism, and neu ralgia. Internally it is used as a sudorific and anti-spasmodic.


Hawthorne said: "The greatest obstacle to being heroic is the doubt whether one may not be going to prove one's self a fool. The truest heroism is to resist the doubt, and the profoundest wisdom to know when it ought to be resisted, and when to be obeyed."

That constant desire of pleasing, which is the peculiar quality of some, desires in this, that it scarcely ever may be called the happiest of all

The estimated destruction of property by the inundations in the south-fails of attaining its ends, when not western portions of France, amounts to 300,000,000 francs. The number of persons who perished is estimated

at 3,000.

Ten thousand people are said to have lost their all by the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland.

The royal library at Brussels now contains 300,000 volumes.

The Bank of England has about 800 clerks.


A man cannot better spend his life than in learning how to live.

In some people what is called

manners is an excess of manner.

Good intellectual faculties give sight; nothing but sensibility gives insight.

That is never a bad book which sets us to thinking; but that is which makes us feel wrongly.

In order to give life to their straight lives, the Greeks drew them with the hand and not by rule.

Man is distinguished from animals by foresight, and man from man by foresight. All wrong, injustice, selfishnesss is short-sighted.

We speak of "here and hereafter," but man's life is an ever-present here, an everlasting now. The hereafter is ever turning into here; the future is ever becoming now.

disgraced by affectation.-Fielding.

"A dead man can drift down stream,

but it takes a live man to pull up against it. That is the time that tries a man's soul-when the tide is against him."

Many who have escaped the rocks of gross sin have been cast away on the sands of self righteousness.

Those who suspect all are much to be suspected.

True merit, like a river, the deeper it is, the less noise it makes.

Virtue will catch as well as vice, by contact; and the public stock of honest, manly principle, will daily accumulate.

Poetic Selections.


CHRIST Who art above the sky,
Teach me how to live and die;
God has sent me here to be,
Born of human kind like Thee;
Thou hast gone before me here;
Make my pathway safe and clear.
Pure as snow from taint of wrong,
Thou hast felt tempation strong;
Thou wilt help me firm to stand
When the tempter is at hand;
Thou wilt turn my thoughts to Thee,
And the thought of sin will flee.

When I fall, my weakness spare;
Saviour, save me from despair!


By the mercy-gate Thou art,
Vision of the Bleeding Heart!
If I kneel before the gate,

Thou wilt never cry, "Too late.”

If I fall on evil days;

If the hope of life delays;

If my dear once leave me lone;
Be Thou here when they are gone;
Thou hast known what sorrow is;
Thou wilt turn my tears to bliss.

So far off, and yet so near,
Fill me with Thy presence here!
By the love that brought Thee down,
By the ancient cross and crown,
Aid me here to live and die,
Christ who art above the sky.

-Good Words.


COME unto me, the Master says,
But how? I am not good;

No thankful song my heart will raise,
Nor even wish it could.

I am not sorry for the past,
Nor able not to sin;

The weary strife would ever last
If once I should begin.

Hast thou no burden then to bear?
No action to repent?

Is all around so very fair?

Is thy heart quite content?

Hast thou no sickness in thy soul?
No labour to endure?

Then go in peace, for thou art whole;
Thou needest not His cure.

[blocks in formation]

Come, come to Him who made thy heart;
Come weary and oppressed;
To come to Jesus is thy part,

His part to give thee rest.

New grief, new hope He will bestow,
Thy grief and pain to quell;

Into thy heart Himself will go,
And that will make thee well.
-George Macdonald.

"The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.-Psalm cxxvi. 3.

OUR Saviour and our God,

To Thee we raise our voice;
Thou art our only hope and trust:
In Thee will we rejoice.

When from the heavenly fold
We wander'd far astray,

Thou didst not leave us to ourselves
To perish in the way.

Thine eye was on us still

So vast and free Thy love;
To save us from eternal woe
Thou camest from above.
Thou didst the cross endure,
And suffer in our stead;
That full atonement should be made
Thy precious blood was shed.

Thy grace led us to see

The virtue of that blood;

To feel its power, and trust in Thee,
Our Saviour and our God.

While life endures Thy love

Our constant theme shall be:
The great redemption wrought for us
That we might reign with Thee.
-J. Dore.

The Childrens' Corner.


'IF I were a General," said Freddie, laying down his history, "I should be happy."

"Are you not happy now?" asked Aunt Margaret.

"Oh, yes; but I long to be a hero. It is something to be a hero. Do you not think so?"


Yes," said Aunt Margaret, "I admire a hero.

Shall I tell you how you may become one now, a boy hero, which I think is far more noble than being a General ?"

"Yes," said Freddie, eagerly, "do tell me."

"By being master of yourself. Do not give way to angry, wicked feelings. The Bible says, 'He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city.' Think of this, and when tempted to do wrong, fight for the right, and you will be a hero greater than a General."


IN and about this quaint old English city there are many things to attract, and interest, and profit. The American tourist will not forget that here Sebastian Cabot passed his early life; and from this port sailed the ship that first touched the shores of the Western Continent. These facts, and the numerous monuments of antiquity, literary and educational institutions, large trade, extensive manufactories, commercial importance, the hot baths at Clifton, and its famous Suspension Bridge, made my visit exceedingly agreeable; and yet the whole combination would not have drawn me thither except as associated with the name and faith of George Muller. This is why so many Christian tourists turn aside to spend a time at Bristol. They would personally inspect the trophies of grace won by this man of God.

For thirty-nine consecutive years Mr. Muller has literally accepted the words of Jesus, "All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." And in tangible, substantial form, may be beheld the truth of the Divine promise.

The five spacious orphan houses, built of stone, architecturally plain, finely located, capable of accommodating 2,050 children, these are veritable monuments of believing prayer; here is indisputable evidence that God still hears and answers prayer. The current opinion that they who become eminent for prayer and intimate communion with God owe their attainments to natural excellence of character, or peculiarly favouring circumstances, has no warrant from the history of Muller.

Until twenty years of age he was a profligate. His mother died in his fifteenth year; his father was not a Christian. While a student he was invited into a little prayer-meeting, and there received his first religious impressions. Immediately he sought instruction of Dr. Tholuck, at Halle, Germany, in preparation for the life of a preacher. For a few months he was a missionary among the Jews in London, subsequently preached in the rural districts, until led "to form a plan for establishing, upon Scriptural principles, an institution for the spread of the gospel at home and abroad." Meanwhile he chanced to read the life of A. H. Franke, who, years before, had founded an orphan house at Halle. That this suggested to him a like work cannot be affirmed, for he says, "I have frequently, and for a long time, thought of labouring in a similar way, and in reliance upon the Lord." In November, 1835, the matter was settled, and the following April an orphan house was opened in Bristol, with seventeen girls, between the ages of seven and twelve. In a few days he opened

[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »