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The livelong night, 'till the moon went out,
Beat slow through the fogs their way;
And now was the break of the day-
"Cast now your nets on the other side"
And they cast, and were dragging hard;
But that disciple whom Jesus loved
Cried straightway out, for his heart was moved: "It is our risen Lord
Our Master and our Lord!"
Then Simon, girding his fisher's coat,
Repenting sore the denial first,
He feared no longer his heart to cast
Down deep into the hungry sea.
And the others, through the mists so dim,
Dragging their net through the tide;
'Tis long, and long, and long ago
And with eager eyes and lifted hands
The fire of coals by the sea
On the wet wild sands by the sea.
'Tis long ago, yet faith in our souls
Is kindled just by that fire of coals
That streamed o'er the mists of the sea;
When Peter, girding his fisher's coat,
To answer, "Lov'st thou me ?"
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
Anecdotes and Selections.
TRUTH FOR THE Truth's SakE.-The allegiance of the soul to truth is tested by small things rather than by those which are more important. There is many a man who would lose his life rather than perjure himself in a court of justice, whose life is yet a tissue of small insincerities. We think that we hate falsehood when we are only hating the consequences of falsehood. We resent hypocrisy and treachery and calumny, not because they are untrue, but because they harm us. We hate the false calumny, but we are half pleased with the false praise. It is evidently not the element of untruth here that is displeasing, but the element of harmfulness. Now, he is a man of integrity who hates untruth as untruth; who resents the smooth and polished falsehood of society, which does no harm; who turns in indignation from the glittering whitened lie of sepulchral Pharisaism, which injures no one. Integrity recoils from deceptions which men would almost smile to hear called deception. To a moral, pure mind, the artifices in every department of life are painful; the stained wood, which passes for a more firm and costly material in a building, and deceives the eye by seeming what it is not, marble; the painting which is intended to be taken for a reality; the gilding which is meant to pass for gold; and the glass which is worn to look like jewels; for there is a moral feeling and a truthfulness in architecture, in painting, and in dress, as well as in the market-place, and in the senate, and in the judgment hall. "These are trifles." Yes, these are trifles: but it is just these trifles which go to the formation of character. He that is habituated to deceptions and artificialities in trifles will try in vain to be true in matters of importance; for truth is a thing of habit rather than of will. You cannot, in any given case, by any sudden and single effort, will to be true, if the habit of your life has been insincerity.-F. W. Robertson.
CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS.-The Bible does not underrate Christian ethics or the spotless example of Jesus; but the sacrificial death of the Redeemer transcends all other truths in significance and saving power. As Dr. James W. Alexander once said, "He who would tear from the gospel the atoning death of the Redeemer, would drain away the vital fluid from the vein, and artery, and heart. Of all objects in the gospel that which stands in highest relief is-the cross. Of all its syllables the most sacred is-atoning blood." Of all that my Bible tells me of my Divine Lord, the most precious and the most memorable is, that He laid down His life for my sins. If I could deliver but one discourse to a congregation made up of all the dwellers on the globe, this should be my text, "Christ Jesus died for our sins." This is the text that has rung round the world wherever pure Christianity has found a voice. This is the truth that shook pagan Rome to its foundations, and has been an overmatch for the proudest infidelity. This is the truth that
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
has lain warmest and closest to the Christian's heart in every age. This is the truth that awakens sinners and converts souls.
-Dr. T. L. Cuyler.
OLD SINS.-Dr. Guthrie says: "I have read of brave, stout captives, who had escaped from prison, but who brought away with them, in swollen joints or festering wounds, the marks and injuries of the cruel fetters. And do not old sins continue to hang about a man even after grace has delivered him from their dominant power? Who does not need every day and hour to resort to the fountain of cleansing, and wash his heart in the blood of Christ oftener than he washes his hands in water? We need to be renewed day by day; converted, as it were, not once or twice, but every day. Surely, the happiness of a child of God lies mainly in this-that sin, though it remains within his heart, has ceased to reign there, and that, made perfect at length in holiness, he shall enter by the dismal gate of death into the full and glorious liberty of the children of God.
A FORTUNATE FALL.-An English painter, named Sharp, owed the favour he enjoyed with George the Third to an odd misadventure. It was the custom for the court attendants, when the king passed along the lobbies of the palace, to clear the way by crying out, Sharp, sharp, look sharp!" This cry reaching Sharp's ears as he was preparing colours in a room in the palace, he, thinking he was called, rushed out to meet the impatient caller, and coming into collision with His Majesty, the painter measured his length upon the floor. From that time George III. lost no opportunity of pushing the fortunes of the artist so strangely introduced to his notice. Sharp rose through his own fall.
TAKE HEED HOW YE HEAR.-A heathen Indian woman once said to a Christian Indian, named Esther, "I often go to your meetings, and always hear something. One Sunday lately the minister exactly described the state of my heart. Indeed, I fully thought he would soon say, 'There sits a woman who is just what I have been saying.' Do tell me how the minister knows, and who it is that tells him." "Oh! yes," said Esther, "I will tell you. The minister preaches the pure word of God, and that word speaks to our hearts. If we are willing to listen to it, God works in our hearts by His Spirit, and shows us that it is spoken to us. Then we see and hear what is our real state; and every one thinks, 'That was spoken to me!'"
MOTHERLY.-What a dear old Saxon epithet is the word "motherly!" Motherly kindness, attention, nurture! The word is never unwelcome when fairly applied. Motherly influence; who has not felt it? Motherly love; who has not joyed in it? Motherly self-denial; often the secret heading of the longest chapter of her life, the memory of which long survives them all. Motherly self-sacrifice; true to the last, often reappearing in some posthumous expression, like the voice from the tomb. The Rev. John Burbidge, of St. Stephen's, Sheffield, put it to the mothers and sons of his church: "Does not history tell us how St. Augustine, Theodoret, Basil, and Chrysostom owed every
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
thing to a mother's prayers? Have we not read how Bishop Hall was dedicated to the service of Christ by his mother on her death-bed; how Payson traced all his hopes and usefulness to the Christian nurture of his home; how Brainerd ascribed his deep religious feelings to the education of his early years; how Philip Henry and his five sisters avowed that what piety they possessed they owed, under God, to their parents; how James Montgomery traced his love for spiritual things to the instruction received in childhood; how the mother of the Wesleys left impressions on the characters of her illustrious_sons which were never effaced; how Romaine, Doddridge, Felix Neff, Legh Richmond, Richard Knill, and Robert Moffatt, all tell the melting and moulding influence of the Christian home amid which they were reared?-Quiver.
THE OLD-FASHIONED MOTHER.-Thank God! some of us have had an old-fashioned mother. Not a woman of the period, enamelled and painted, with her great chignon, her curls and bustle, whose white, jewelled hands never felt the clasp of baby fingers; but a dear, oldfashioned, sweet-voiced mother, with eyes in whose clear depths the love-light shone, and brown hair, just threaded with silver, lying smooth upon her faded cheek. Those dear hands, worn with toil, gently guided our tottering steps in childhood, and smoothed our pillow in sickness, ever reaching out to us in yearning tenderness. Blessed is the memory of an old-fashioned mother. It floats to us now, like the beautiful perfume of some wounded blossoms. The music of other voices may be lost, but the entrancing memory of her will echo in our souls for ever. Other faces may fade away and be forgotten, but hers will shine on. When, in the fitful pauses of busy life, our feet wander back to the old homestead, and crossing the wellworn threshold, stand once more in the room so hallowed by her presence, how the feeling of childish innocence and dependence comes over us, and we kneel down in the molten sunshine streaming through the open window-just where, long years ago, we knelt by our mother's knee, lisping "Our Father." How many times, when the tempter lured us on, has the memory of those sacred hours, that mother's words, her faith and prayers, saved us from plunging into the deep abyss of sin. Years have filled great drifts between her and us, but they have not hidden from our sight the glory of her pure, unselfish love.
THE OLD SAILOR.
A PIOUS man was on his way to church where divine worship was about to be celebrated for the special benefit of seamen. Just opposite the church, at the door of a public house, sat an old sailor with a stern and resolute air. With folded arms, and a pipe in his mouth, he was looking with indifference, if not contempt, on those of his comrades who were on their way to public service.
"My friend," said the stranger, approaching him, are you not coming with us to church ?"
THE FIRESIDE.-THE PENNY POST BOX.
"No!" replied be, rudely. His very demeanour might have conveyed the reply to the stranger, who added mildly, "You appear to have seen hard days. Have you still a mother?"
The sailor raised his head, and fixed his eyes on the stranger without uttering a word.
"Well, friend, if your good mother were here, what counsel do you think she would give you?"
The sailor instantly arose, and, brushing away a tear, which he vainly endeavoured to hide, said in a stifled voice,-"I will go.'
Such recollections have caused a tide of deep feeling to rush into the soul of many a weather-beaten sailor and soldier. Separated from their native home by rolling oceans, many such men have shared the refined sentiment of the celebrated Hooker, "I would be good, were it only to please my pious mother, and be a comfort to her in her old age and widowhood."
HOMES are more often darkened by the continual recurrence of small faults than by the actual presence of any decided vice. These evils are apparently of very dissimilar magnitude; yet it is easier to grapple with the one than the other. The eastern traveller can combine his force and hunt down the tiger that prowls upon his path; but he can scarcely escape the musquitoes that infest the air he breathes, or the fleas that swarm the earth he treads. The drunkard has been known to renounce his darling vice; the slave to dress and extravagance, her besetting sin; but the waspish temper, the irritating tone, rude, dogmatic manners, and the hundred nameless negligences that spoil the beauty of association, have rarely done other than proceed till the action of disgust and gradual alienation has turned all the currents of affection from their course, leaving nothing but a barren track, over which the mere skeleton of the companionship stalks along.
The Penny Post Box.
THE HISTORY OF THOUSANDS.
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, and none are blessed by them, none could point to them as the instruments of their redemption; not a word they spoke could be recalled, and so they perished; their light went out in darkness, and