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MISSION IN A COAL MINE.
of sweet-smelling casket and bottle-a pair of candlesticks and candles which were dipped in naptha, and shone at night without melting; a looking-glass and little clock hung on the wall. The bedstead was richly furnished with pillows, blankets, and a beautifully embroidered coverlid; these were the only things in the whole palace that were not made of ice. On one side was a pretty fire-place and grate filled with ice-coals which were also dipped in naptha, and shone brightly at night.
The second room might be called the dining-room. The most charming adornment there was a lovely clock, through the transparent case of which the whole mechanical array of wheels could be seen. On all sides were sofas and arm-chairs, and in the corners elegantly-draped figures, as of sculpture. Against the walls stood ice-cupboards, in their transparency as of glass, through which might be seen a goodly stock of dinner paraphernalia, knives, forks, spoons, drinking-cups, as well as every sort of food; all and everything was of ice-some shining brightly, others again painted with the most natural colours of the objects represented.
This wonderful work of art, the enormous cost of which could only be justified by the fact that it did good to many thousands of persons, remained intact from the beginning of January till the middle of March, when the mild spring sun undermined its supports, and slowly consumed its beauty.
MISSION IN A COAL MINE.
THERE was a gentleman who lived in a part of the country where coal is dug, and one day he thought he should like to see a mine, and he was lowered down into one many hundred feet deep. When he got to the bottom the people there looked dark and dirty, and he did not know who they were. But there was one of them who knew him, and who ran up to the place where he was standing with great glee, and said, “O, sir, I never expected to see you here!" It was one of the boys of his class in the Sunday school. Having got permission to show the gentlemen over the mine, the little fellow set out, and took his teacher to every part worth seeing. But he was so overjoyed at the job, and skipped along so fast, that now and then he left the visitor in the darkness till he came back to him again with the little safety lamp which was hanging from his hand. He showed the gentleman where the miners were at work, and pointed out the thick pillars of coal which were left for a time to prevent the roof from falling in. It
is very likely that he took him to the stables where the horses were kept, and told him how many there were of them, and how long they had been down in that deep, dark place, and how blind they had become from not having any use of their eyes. But at last the teacher and his little guide came to the bottom of the shaftthat is, the deep pit up and down which the coal and work-people are drawn, and the gentleman was glad enough to see the light of day glimmering once more from the top, and had no wish to go back again through the dark diggings which he had left. But the boy had not yet shown him everything in the mine. There is," he said, "one place more that I must show you." But the gentleman told him he was tired, and did not care about seeing anything else; yet the boy was so earnest that he consented to go. In a short time he found himself in a large, gloomy-looking cavern, where there was a single candle burning dimly in that dark place. "Here," said the boy, "we have our prayer meetings;" and then he showed the visitor several seats cut out in the coal, upon which they were accustomed to sit while the Bible was read. And then, pointing to a box also cut out of a solid block of coal, he said, with evident pleasure, “Here, sir, is our missionary box."
ALL houses wherein men have lived and died
A sense of something moving to and fro.
Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive ghosts,
The stranger at my fireside cannot see
The forms I see, nor hear the sounds I hear;
All that has been is visible and clear.
We have no title-deeds to house or lands;
From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands,
The spirit-world around this world of sense
Our little lives are kept in equipoise
Of earthly wants and aspirations high,
And as the moon from some dark gate of cloud
So from the world of spirits there descends
-Henry W. Longfellow.
COUPLETS FROM COWPER.
ALL truth is precious, if not all divine;
But reason still, unless divinely taught,
Folly and Innocence are so alike,
The difference, though essential, fails to strike.
Habits are soon assumed; but when we strive
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
Love makes the music of the blest above,
Men deal with life as children with their play,
None sends his arrow to the mark in view
Enslaves the will, nor leaves the judgment free.
Youth lost in dissipation we deplore,
Through life's sad remnant, what no sighs restore.
-Selected by W. K., Langley Mill.
Anecdotes and Selections.
ANECDOTE OF DR. BETHUNE.
On one occasion, when the Doctor was resident in Philadelphia he went for a few days of rest to a trout stream he had heard of in the interior of the State. Arriving, an entire stranger, at a house kept by a man who had been accustomed to entertain those who came there to fish, he was coldly received. The man told him frankly he had attended a protracted meeting during the winter, that he hoped the Lord had forgiven his sins, and that he had joined the Methodist church, and meant to give up going with the kind of men who came up there to fish. The Doctor's humour overcame his scruples so far as to gain admittance for the night, and the next morning succeeded still further, prevailing upon the man to go out with him and show him the best places of the stream. They spent most of the day together; and, on returning to the house in the afternoon, the man slapped him on the shoulder, saying:-"Doc., I like you."
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
"Why do you like me, my friend?"
"Well, Doc., I'll tell you. We've been out a'most all day, we haven't caught much, you fell in and got wet, and I haven't heard you swear
After supper, as the Doctor was smoking his pipe in front of the house, his host came out, and, with some hesitancy, said, “Doc., since I jined the church I've had prayers every night; we are going to have them now, and maybe you wouldn't object to come in."
"Certainly not, my friend;" and he went in to listen to the reading of a passage in a broken way, and to join heartily in a good old Methodist hymn. During the singing the man watched him closely, and at the end said, anxiously, “Maybe you wouldn't mind leading us in prayer." The Doctor knelt and offered one of those full and hearty, yet simple supplications, which are so well remembered by all who knew him. He was hardly seated in front of the house again before the man reappeared, saying, "Doc., I kinder suspicion you.'
“What do you suspect ine of? Nothing bad, I hope.”
No, nothing bad; and maybe I'm wrong, but I kind o' think you are a minister."
"What makes you think I'm a minister ?"
"Well, I'll tell you. I haven't heard you swear since you came; then the way you jined us in the hymn; then the way you prayed, made me think you were a minister."
The Doctor laughed heartily as he acknowledged that he was indeed a minister. While ever willing to be known for what he was, he never paraded his calling, but stood simply upon his dignity and worth as a Christian gentleman, asking no favours for himself but such as he accorded generously to others.
ONE OF THE SORROWS OF LIFE.-Many a volume has been written about the love of parents, the love of mothers, its enthusiasms of hope and fancy, its adorations of the unworthy, its agony for the lost; but I do not remember that any one has ventured to touch upon a still more terrible view of the subject, the disappointment, for example, with which such a woman as I have attempted to set before the reader —a woman full of high aspirations, noble generosities, and perhaps an unwarrantable personal pride, all intensified by the homely circumstances of life around her-sometimes looks upon the absolutely commonplace people whom she has brought into the world. She, too, had her dreams about them while they were children, and all things seemed possible-while they were youth, with still some grace and freshness of the morning veiling their unheroic outlines. But a woman of seventy can cherish no fond delusions about her middle-aged sons and daughters, who are, to all intents and purposes, as old as she is. What a dismal sense of failure must come into such a woman's heart while she looks at them! Perhaps this is the reason why grandfathers and grandmothers throw themselves so eagerly into the new generations, by means of which human nature can always go on deceiving itself. Heavens! what a difference between the ordinary man or woman of