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FACTS, HINTS, GEMS, AND POETRY.
they were not remembered more than the insect 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 storm of time can never destroy. Write your name in kindness and love and mercy on the hearts of thousands you may come in contact with, year by year, and you will never be forgotten. No! your name, your deeds, will be as legible on the hearts you leave behind as the star on the brow of evening. Good deeds will shine as the stars of heaven.
Facts, Hints, Gems, and Poetry.
Hammerfest is the most northerly town in the world. It has a popula tion of 2,057. There are many Laplanders and Finlanders in the town.
The principal business is in cod liver oil and fish, and the odour from the oil makes it very disagreeable. Reindeer and goats abound here, while there are but six horses in the town. I don't know whether it is because of the fish diet or of the long winter nights, but any disconsolate childless couple had better come and spend a season here. The sun sets here Nov.
18th, and does not rise again until Jan. 28th. Children go to school with lanterns for about six weeks.
During the last whaling voyage of the barque "Nile" of New London a whale was captured, in the head of which was found the head of a Scotch gun harpoon marked "True Love, 1861." The ship "True Love" has not cruised for eight years, and the whale must have carried the iron for that period if not longer.
France has still to feed 25,000 men who fought under the first Napoleon. Hints.
Adversity exasperates fools, dejects cowards, draws out the faculties of the wise and industrious, puts the modest to the necessity of trying their skill, awes the opulent, and makes the idle industrious.
Matthew Henry was eminent for his meek and Christian spirit under injuries. One of his favourite sayings was, "How pleasant it is to have the bird in the bosom sing sweetly."
Whether I am happy or unhappy is not my chief affair; what most and first concerns me is to find my work in life, to recognize it, and to do it.
Throw life into a method, that every hour may bring its employment, and every employment have its hour.
Men may judge us by the success of our efforts; but God looks at the efforts themselves.
Complaint against fortune is often a masked apology for indolence.
The softest road is not always the best road. It is on the smooth ice we slip; a rough path is usually safer for our feet.
The way to have miracles wrought in us is to yield obedience to the divine word.-Hall.
God has two thrones, one in the highest heavens, and the other in the lowest hearts.-Wright.
My gems are falling away, but it is because God is making up his jewels. Wolfe.
All our present glory consists in our preparation for future glory.-Owen. A foe to God was never true friend to man.-Young.
POETIC SELECTIONS.-THE CHILDRENS' CORNER.
ON Tabor's height a glory came,
We see the Christ stand out between
And there in Tabor's harmless flame
The crowning revelation came.
And Love was lord on Tabor's hill.
IN HIS PLACE.
WHAT though unmarked the happy workman toil
And break, unthanked of man, the stub-
It is enough, for sacred is the soil,
Far better in its place the lowliest bird
Than that a seraph strayed should take the word,
And sing His glory wrong.
The Childrens' Corner.
WHEN I was a boy I and a number of my playmates had rambled through the woods and fields, till, quite forgetful of the fading night, we found ourselves far from home; we had lost our way. It happened that we were nearer our home than we thought; but how to get to it was the question. By the edge of the field we saw a man coming along, and we ran to ask him to tell us. Whether he was in trouble or not I do not know, but he gave us some very surly answer. Just then there came along another man, who, with a smile on his face, said, Jim, a man's tongue is like a cat's; it is either a piece of velvet or a piece of sand-paper, just as he likes to use it and to make it; you always seem to use your tongue for sand-paper," and then he pleasantly told us the way home. Try the velvet, children.
THERE is danger that we mistake the true idea of cross-bearing. As far as we go in our conception of its significance we may be right; but we may stop so far short of the special grandeur of our calling as to hold a real error by holding partial truth.
When we speak of taking up the cross and following Christ, we have in our mind, perhaps, the denial of our natural inclinations. It is the crucifying of flesh, and sense, and natural delights, and ties; it is the cross of personal troubles, the sorrowful way of our own inward conflicts, the via dolorosa along which we gain no step of progress but by terrible struggles "with foes without and fears within." Now this experience, with more or less positiveness, belongs, of course, to the Christian life. If one count the cost, he must face these items and reckon them in.
But the true cross is something more and other-we must go back to the original cross to learn what. We follow Christ in cross-bearing. Our cross is modelled after His. Crucifixion is one with the Master and the disciple. The cross of Jesus was the burden of all sinning and suffering hearts. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. But we shall belittle the grand and awful dignity of those sorrows and that grief if we make them to consist in the suffering that was purely personal, the privations that concerned Himself alone. The wandering, the weariness, and the houselessness, tried His human frame; but it was not these that marred His countenance more than all the sons of men. The record of His cross-bearing is not that line of the gospel that tells us of the wood, and the hill, and the place of a skull. It is that earlier gospel of Isaiah-" He bare our griefs and carried our sorrows." It was no such mean idea as the stinting of His own comforts, the breaking up of His nightly rest, long journeys on foot, or even the sharpness to the flesh of nail and thorn. It was the sadness and sorrowfulness of our condition that bore Him down. It was our pain that gave Him the sharpest pang. Human misery, human unbelief, human selfishness, human condemnation, these were heavier than the ponderous oaken beam. Simon of Cyrene took the wood on his shoulders and bore it up the slopes of Calvary, but he did not bear the cross of Jesus. That lay heavy on the heart of the Master. It was that that pressed the life-currents out of His veins. It was no grief whose cause was personal to Himself that made His soul exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. He carried us, in all the burden of our ruin, the weight of our eternal care, each individual soul gone
astray and given over as lost-and this was the strain upon His soul too mighty for nature. All His life witnesses to this fellowship of His inhuman anguish. It was not just our nature which He took; it was our perverse, wandering, outcast selves, with all our exposure, with every disability and infirmity, our subjection to pain, and toil, and sickness, and death. The lame, the halt, the blind, the maimed, the palsied, the possessed, the leper-why the very mother that bore them would not have lived more in their life, felt their pain and sadness more keenly, and made their care more jealously and tenderly her own, than this stranger from Nazareth.
And so His word remains, sounding through the deeps of poverty, the night of shame, and the dim recesses of the heartache, "Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Exchange burdens with me. Leave on my heart your weary loads, and upon your own necks take instead, my yoke which is easy, and my burden which is light."
Here, then, if we follow Christ, is our cross, not the trouble that begins and terminates with ourselves. If we were to be occupied perpetually with our own sorrows and cares, it would disappoint all the nurture and training which God in His gospel and His providence bestows upon us. We should become morbid and self-absorbed. The whole design of the discipline of grace is to make us unselfish, to take us out of ourselves, and absorb us in the care of others. The man who cannot see this has not yet opened his eyes upon the celestial glory of the gospel, has never read aright the life of Christ. The cross each of us is to bear is all that weighs upon the hearts of our fellowmen, their sin, their shame, their degradation, their infirmities, their spiritual hindrances, their manifold outward and inward smart and anguish.
THE winter of the year 1740 was a very severe one in Russia; poverty and misery abounded in the land; and in order to give occupation to some of the many thousands of people who were thrown out of work by the inclemency of the season, the Empress Anne planned and caused to be constructed a work of architecture which, though of little durability, had the merit of entire originality. This was the celebrated ice-palace which was built in St. Petersburg according to the designs of Alexis Danilowitsch.
It was made of the purest and most transparent ice, cut in great masses from the frozen Neva, and brought up to the building-site
by means of cranes and pulleys. The single blocks were worked out in the most accurate manner, and adorned with various architectural decorations; when two completed ones were to be placed upon each other, water was first poured between them, which, freezing, at once united them in a single mass. Thus the whole building seemed to be cut out of one frozen whole, and the bluish tint of the pure ice made it resemble one of those enchanted edifices carved out of a single diamond, of which we read as children in fairy tales.
The house, properly so called, was forty-six feet long, eighteen broad, and twenty-one high. The front was divided by pillars into compartments, in each of which was a window, the framework being painted green; the panes, also of ice, were as transparent and smooth as ground glass; at night they were generally lighted up from the inside, and then the whole house was illuminated by the softest pearly light. The centre division looked like an entrance, and was richly decorated, the real inlets being at the back, and consisting of two moderately sized openings, about which were grouped flowers and trees; on the latter were perched quaint-looking birds, all made of ice and gaily painted, so as to resemble nature. The roof which surmounted the whole was flat, and surrounded by an ornamental balcony, decorated by statues standing upon low pedestals. Round the house was fixed an elaborate railing, also of ice, which enclosed a broad space for walking. In front of this enclosure stood six guns, three on each side. They were of the size of four-pounders; but, being of ice, they were only loaded with half a pound, and the balls, which consisted of pressed tow, would pierce through a board two inches thick from a distance of sixty steps without bursting the gun. On each side lay a dolphin, which threw up lofty jets of naptha at night, and so formed two beautiful fountains of fire. At both ends of the row of guns in front of the enclosure stood two pyramidal buildings, on each of which was painted a sun-dial. They were lighted up at night with great paper lanterns. On the left side of the house was a life-sized elephant: upon his back was a man with a battle-axe, and in front two guides in Persian costume. elephant was hollow, and spurted from beneath his tusks twentyfour feet into the air by day a shower of water, and by night a feathered spray of glowing naptha. At the right side was an enormous bath, made, in true Russian fashion, of round blocks of ice.
The interior of the house was divided into three compartments, namely, a spacious ante-room, and two side apartments; one of these was arranged as a bedroom, and contained, in addition to a table borne by two figures, upon which were placed every species