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ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
Anecdotes and Selections.
In the morning, a great while before day, in a solitary place.-Mark i. 35. In the evening alone on a mountain apart.-Matt. xiv. 23.
All night on a mountain.-Luke vi. 12.
Before preaching-Mark i. 36-38.
Before choosing the twelve apostles.-Luke vi. 12-16.
Previous to feeding the four thousand, and after healing the dumb, lame, and blind.-Matt. xv. 30-39.
Before walking on the sea to His disciples who were in peril.— Matt. xiv. 24-33.
At meal time.-Luke xxiv. 30.
After an active public day.—Mark i. 21—34.
After feeding five thousand.-Matt. xiv. 15-21.
Apart, though His disciples were with Him.-Luke ix. 18.
Audibly, so as to constrain one of His disciples to ask Him to teach them how to pray.—Luke xi. 1.
For Peter, before His fall.-Luke xxii. 31, 32.
For His apostles, and all that should ever after believe on Him.→→ John xvii. 9; xv. 20, 24.
For His enemies at His crucifixion.-Luke xxiii. 34.
In the wilderness, after the miraculous draft of fishes, and healing one sick of the palsy.-Luke v. 16.
At His baptism.-Luke iii. 21.
At His transfiguration.-Luke ix. 28, 29.
At the grave of Lazarus.-John xi. 33-38, in connection with 41 and 42.
In prospect of His agony and death.-John xii. 27, 28.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Matt. xxvi. 36-44; Mark xiv. 32-39; Luke xxii. 41-45.
On the Cross.-Matt. xxvii. 46.
After He had finished His work, His last dying breath was prayer. -Luke xxiii. 46.
In what beautiful harmony is this with the entrance on His public life. Luke iii. 21.
From these records of Jesus' praying Christians are emphatically taught what to do, and how to act, under every variety of circumstance and condition-namely, to live in the spirit of prayer.
If the perfect man Christ Jesus, if Jehovah's equal, His only begotten Son, so constantly breathed out His holy aspirations, and found refreshment and joy and solace in communion with His Father and our Father, how much more need we, who are imperfect, who have to war against the flesh, and who know nothing right of ourselves.
How many of our backslidings, bad tempers, unbecoming actions, are traceable to an absence of the spirit of prayer. If we look into
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
our past experience, we shall find, as a rule, that the inflowings of Christ's strength and grace are associated with the outgoings of fervent, believing, persevering prayer.
PRACTISING IN PRIVATE.-There is a story of a Scotch soldier who was arrested for treasonable practises; the charge being brought by his comrades, that every evening he went out beyond the camp, as they supposed to hold communication with the enemy. His answer that he went to pray seemed to them so improbable that they only ridiculed it. Brought before his superior officer he gave the same explanation of his absence. "You say you go to pray; you can pray then?" said the officer. "Yes, sir." "Well, you never needed to pray in your life more than you do now," was the reply, "so get down on your knees and let us hear you pray." The soldier knelt down and poured out his heart to God in such earnest supplication that the officer was convinced that he was no traitor, and allowed him to go in peace. His Father who had seen in secret rewarded him openly. It is related that "in a certain community a youth who had been reared a Roman Catholic had been converted in a revival. As was the custom he was quickly called upon to take part in public prayer, in which he proved to be very proficient. His old companions were amazed, and went to the meeting for the purpose of hearing him. At last an idea struck one of them. 'I know,' he said, 'how it is that prays so well; he practises in private !'" This practising in private is the secret of a great deal of the success of men who have power with God. He who only prays publicly brings little blessings to his own or others' souls. But he who dwells at the mercy seat, and comes often to the throne of grace, who practises in private and holds intimate communion with the Lord, will come forth from his closet fragrant with the unction of the holy One, and will not only partake of God's blessing himself, but will also bless and comfort others in their weariness and tears.
QUARRELLING CHRISTIANS.-No man will promptly develop as a Christian who lives in a state of quarrel. In enmity against God, he is, of course, not a Christian at all; but reconciled to Him, he must remain a dwarf unless he secures peace with those around him. Fighting the brethren, contending with bitter words and hard strife for even the best of doctrines, he will stunt the growth of a divine life within him. Even fighting against sin is not to be done in a quarrelsome way, but in a spirit of honouring God while abhorring the sin and pitying the sinner. We are to conduct a warfare, but our fight is to be a "good" one; which means that it is to be directed against wrong and in favour of right, and also that it is to be waged so that in the darkest day of defeat we may be able to say, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
CULTURE WITHOUT GRACE.-There is no more forlorn sight than that of a man highly gifted, elaborately cultivated, with all the other capacities of his nature strong and active, but those of faith and reverence dormant. And this, be it said, is the pattern of men in whom culture, made the chief good, would most likely issue. On the other
hand, when it assumes its proper place, illumined by faith, and animated by devout aspiration, it acquires a dignity and depth which of itself it cannot attain. From faith it receives its highest and most worthy objects. It is chastened and purified from self-reference and conceit. It is prized no longer merely for its own sake, or because it exalts the possessor of it, but because it enables him to be of use to others who have been less fortunate. In a word, it ceases to be self-isolated, and seeks to communicate itself as widely as it may. So culture is transmuted from an intellectual attainment into a spiritual grace. This seems the light in which all who are admitted to a higher cultivation should learn to regard their endowments, whatever they be.-Shairp.
THE ART OF LIVING WITH OTHERS.-It is not well for us to cherish the habit of dwelling much on the faults and shortcomings of those with whom we live. It makes us more critical than generous. It affects the cordiality of our manner toward them. It insensibly lessens our confidence. It interferes with the delicious ease and freedom of our intercourse with them. It colours the remarks that we make about them to others, and then reacts with double force upon our own feelings and our relations to them. It is said of the virtuous woman, whose price is above rubies, that the law of kindness is in her tongue. But in order to be in the tongue, it must first be in the heart, and the habit of dwelling much on the imperfections of our friends and associates will soon drive it from us.
A BEAUTIFUL LESSON.-"I have learned," said an aged mother in Israel, "to go directly to God with every trouble and every joy. He has invited me to cast my care upon Him; and why should I, then, try to bear it all myself?" Beautiful lesson-the lesson of child-like trust in the love and tender solicitude of our heavenly Father. "He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust." Happy would it be for all, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters in Israel, if this beautiful lesson should be fully learned. We should cease to carry needless burdens, and life would indeed be lightened.
COURTESIES TO PARENTS.
PARENTS lean upon their children, and especially their sons, much earlier than either of them imagine. Their love is a constant inspiration, a perennial fountain of delight, from which our lips may quaff and be comforted thereby. It may be that the mother has been left a widow, depending on her only son for support. He gives her a com fortable home, sees that she is well clad, and allows no debts to accumulate, and that is all. It is considerable, more even than many sons do; but there is a lack. He seldom thinks it worth while to give her a caress; he has forgotten all those affectionate ways that kept the wrinkles from her face, and make her look so much younger than her
THE PENNY POST BOX.
years; he is ready to put his hand in his pocket to gratify her slightest request; but to give of the abundance of his heart is another thing entirely. He loves his mother? Of course he does! Are there not proofs enough of his filial regard? Is he not continually making sacrifices for her benefit? What more could any reasonable woman ask?
Ah! but it is the mother-heart that craves an occasional kiss, the support of your youthful arm, the little attentions and kindly courtesies of life, that smooth down so many of its asperities, and make the journey less wearisome. Material aid is good so far as it goes, but it has not that sustaining power which the loving, sympathetic heart bestows upon its object. You think she has outgrown these weaknesses and follies, and is content with the crust that is left; but you are mistaken. Every little offer of attention, your escort to divine worship, or for a quiet walk, brings back the youth of her heart; her cheeks glow, and her eyes sparkle with pleasure; and, oh! how proud she is of her son.
Even the father, occupied and absorbed as he may be, is not wholly indifferent to these filial expressions of devoted love. He may pretend to care very little for them, but having faith in their sincerity, it would give him serious pain were they entirely withheld. Fathers need their sons quite as much as the sons need their fathers; but in how many deplorable instances do they fail to find in them a staff for their declining years!
Begin early to cultivate a habit of thoughtfulness and consideration for others, especially for those whom you are commanded to honour. Can you begrudge a few extra steps for the mother who never stopped to number those you demanded during your helpless infancy? Have you the heart to slight her requests or treat her remarks with indifference, when you cannot begin to measure the patient devotion with which she bore with your peculiarities? Anticipate her wants, invite her confidence, be prompt to offer assistance, express your affection as you did when a child, that the mother may never grieve in secret for her son she has lost.
The Penny Post Box.
THE Bible allows no slovenliness in business. Christianity encourages invention, promotes refinement, suggests method, insists upon order, promptness, regularity, good humour, good manners, and good livings. The resources of the earth are abundant for all. If manual labour were made a part of education-an essential in every school and college curriculum-the world would be brighter and cheerier for the change. It is because labour has been dunned out as toll for a liveli hood-underpaid, overtaxed, unfashioned, and unchurched, that so many toilers are worn, and weary, and forced to be illiterate and melancholy; whereas if their work and position were properly rewarded, they would be strong, vigorous, intellectual, religious, and happy.
FACTS, HINTS, GEMS, AND POETRY.
Facts, Hints, Gems, and Poetry.
In Europe the coal areas in square miles stand approximately thus: Great Britain, 5,500; France, 1,000; Saarbruck, 900; Belgium, 500; Bohemia, 400; Westphalia, 350; Spain, 200; Ireland, 150; Russia, 100. The British Possessions occupy 7,000; the United States, 200,000. The world's yield of coal is about 200,000,000 tons annually. The annual revenue to the English government from the cultivation and manufacture of opium in India is between £6,000,000 and £7,000,000.
The total number of Post Offices in the entire Russian Empire, both in Europe and Asia, is 3,200. In London alone there are 530, and in England and Wales there are 9,280.
The Financier states that the amount of coin and bullion in the Bank of England now is the largest ever known. An oyster measuring twenty-two by ten inches has been found at Greenwich, Connecticut.
It is stated that one Parisian milliner uses 40,000 humming birds every
Woollen cloth was introduced into England in 1191.
Love one human being purely, warmly, and you will love all. The heart in this heaven, like the wonderful sun, sees nothing, from the dewdrop to the ocean, but a mirror which it warms and fills.
Folly begets folly; and when a man has taken up a false and untenable position, he usually manages to cure an error in judgment by an error of temper.
It is vain to expect any advantage from our profession of the truth, if we be not sincerely just and honest in our actions.
If we are faultless, we should not be so much annoyed by the defects of those with whom we associate. If we were to acknowledge honestly that we have not virtue enough to bear patiently with our neighbour's weaknesses, we should show our own imperfection, and this alarms our vanity.
The art of conversation consists in the exercise of two fine qualities. You must originate, and you must sympathize; you must possess, at the same
It is only by labour that thought can be made healthy, and only by thought that labour can be made happy: and the two cannot be separated with impunity.-Ruskin.
"My children," said an old clergy-time, the habits of communicating and man to the children of his flock, listening. The union is rare but irre"never forget to keep on the right sistible.-Froude. side of the public house, and that is the outside. Many a convict would have been saved from a life of misery, and many a man from the scaffold, had he never tasted the intoxicating cup." Hooker used to say, "If I had no other motive for being religious, I would most earnestly strive to be so for the sake of my mother, that I might requite her care for me, and cause her widow's heart to sing for joy."
Oh, the curse of egotism, the deadly poison of self-seeking! A man is but the fraction of a man until he goes out
Wealth tries the soul, poverty the body.