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ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
fifty, and that ideal creature which he, or she, appeared to the mother's eyes at fifteen! The old people gaze and gaze to see our old features in us; and who can express the blank of that disappointment, the cruel mortifications of those old hopes, which never find expression in any words?-Mrs. Oliphant.
IF I ONLY KNEW IT.-Is there one whose heart is bowed down because of uncertainty as to his acceptance with God? Look up and behold the beaming countenance of your Lord! That heavenly smile is the prelude of the joyful assurance so soon to be given, if indeed it is not the indubitable witness itself. Doubt not, longing soul, but cast yourself at His feet-launch out on the immutable promises of Him who never turns away or leaves in doubt the persistent and sincere aspirant after salvation!" "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out!" Enrapturing words! Blissful promise! How they should put to flight all unbelief! The Scriptures further assert, "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself!" Jesus says, "Be not faithless, but believing!" "Let not your heart be troubled!" "My peace I give unto you"-just the peace you are seeking-the blessed assurance that you are His child. This He will give, and speedily too, if you prefer and seek Him above all things else and doubt not His word.
ANECDOTES OF COLERIDGE.-He was dining with some friends near London, when a broken soldier, in old, tattered uniform, came to the window begging; on which Coleridge launched into a history, causes, effects-everything-of the Peninsular War. "What a pity," said one of the party afterwards, "that that old soldier came up to the window!" "It would have been all the same," said the other, "if a magpie had hopped across the path." It seldom happens that those who are famous in monologue are equally clever at retort. But Coleridge uttered one of the finest things, on a sudden provocation, ever said in any language. He was addressing a Bristol mob, when some of his hearers, not liking his sentiments, hissed. He paused, looked calmly round at them, and then, enunciating very slowly, said, "When on the burning embers of democracy you throw the cold water of reason, no wonder that they hiss." It was, of course, better suited to an Athenian assembly than to a Bristol mob; but it was a glorious outburst all the same.-Cornhill Magazine.
THE SUNNYSIDE.-Grumbling is poor business. It never does the grumbler any good, and makes other people uncomfortable. Dr. Johnson used to say that a habit of looking at the best side of every event is better than a thousand pounds a year. Bishop Hall quaintly remarks, "For every bad there might be a worse; and when a man breaks his leg, let him be thankful that it was not his neck." When Fenelon's library was on fire, "God be praised," he exclaimed, "that it is not the dwelling of some poor man." This is the true spirit of submission, one of the most beautiful traits that can possess the human heart. Resolve to see this world on its sunny side, and you have almost half won the battle of life at the outset.
THE FIRESIDE.-THE PENNY POST BOX.
AMONG home amusements the best is the good old habit of conversation, the talking over the events of the day in bright and quick play of wit and fancy, the story which brings the laugh, and the speaking the good and kind and true things which all have in their hearts. It is not so much by dwelling upon what members of the family have in common, as bringing each to the other something interesting and amusing, that home life is to be made cheerful and joyous. Each one must do his part to make conversation genial and happy. We are too ready to converse with newspapers and books, to seek some companion at the shop, hotel, or club-room, and to forget that home is anything more than a place to sleep and eat in. The revival of conversation, the entertainment of one another, as a roomful of people will entertain themselves, is one secret of a happy home. Wherever it is want
ing, disease has struck into the root of the tree; there is a want which is felt with increasing force as time goes on. Conversation, in many cases, is just what prevents many people from relapsing into utter selfishness at their firesides. This conversation should not simply occupy husband and wife, and other older members of the family, but extend itself to the children. Parents should be careful to talk with them, to enter into their life, to share their trifles, to assist in their studies, to meet them in the thoughts and feelings of their childhood. It is a great step in education, when around the evening lamp are gathered the different members of a large family sharing their occupations with one another, the older assisting the younger, each one contributing to the entertainment of the other, and all feeling that the evening has passed only too rapidly away. This is the truest and best amusement. It is the health education of great and noble characters. There is the freedom, the breadth, the joyousness of natural life. The time spent thus by parents, in the higher entertainment of their children, bears a harvest of eternal blessings, and winter evenings furnish just the time.
The Penny Post Box.
THE EXACT TRUTH.
Two young masons were building a brick wall-the front wall of a high house. One of them, in placing a brick, discovered that it was a little thicker on one side than on the other. His companion advised him to throw it out. "It will make your wall untrue, Ben," said he. "Pooh!" answered Ben, "what difference will such a trifle as that make? you're too particular."
"My mother," replied his companion, "taught me that 'truth is truth,' and ever so little an untruth is a lie, and a lie is no trifle."
FACTS, HINTS, GEMS, AND POETRY.
"Oh," said Ben, "that's all very well; but I am not lying, and have no intention of doing so.”
"Very true; but you make your wall tell a lie; and I have somewhere read that a lie in one's work, like a lie in a character, will show itself sooner or later, and bring harm if not ruin."
"Ill risk it in this case," answered Ben; and he worked away, laying more bricks and carrying the wall up higher, till the close of the day, when they left work and went home.
The next morning they went to resume their work, when behold, the lie had wrought out the result of all lies. The wall, getting a little slant from the untrue brick, had got more and more untrue as it got higher, and at last, in the night, had toppled over, obliging the masons to do all their work over again. Just so with ever so little an untruth in your character; it grows more and more untrue if you permit it to remain, till it brings sorrow and ruin.
Tell, act, and live, the exact truth always.
Facts, Hints, Gems, and Poetry.
THE TOMB OF HOWARD. Count Sollohub, of the Ministry of Justice at St. Petersburg, has forwarded to the Howard Association, London, of which body he is a corresponding member, a photograph of the tomb of John Howard, who died near Kherson, in the south of Russia, eighty-five years ago (January, 1790). The tomb consists of a plain obelisk surrounded by a circular wall, in which is a large gate of ironwork. In a letter to Mr. Tallack, accompanying the photograph, the Count remarks:-"Owing to neglect, and the lapse of time, some of the stones of the obelisk have fallen down. I have, therefore, brought the matter under the notice of the Minister of the Interior, and he has given the needful directions respecting it. The Municipality of Kherson will erect a new monument before long, and it is already being prepared. When completed I hope to be able to send you a photograph of that also."
The German papers announce the death of Professor Tischendorf at Leipsic. He was sent by the Saxon government in 1840 to France, England, Holland, Switzerland, Egypt,
Truth being founded upon a rock, you must boldly dig to see its foundations, without fear of destroying the edifice; but falsehood being laid on the sand, if you examine its foundations you cause it to fall.—Anon.
It is a curious fact that though the rain keeps thousands away from Divine worship on Sunday, it does not deter a single man from attending to his business on week-days.
Prayer is, at first, the outgrowth of need, the cry of the beggar; afterwards the outgrowth of love, the expression of thanks.
Never turn a blessing round to see whether it has a dark side to it.
Ill-founded enmities are ever the most obstinate and bitter.
Old men go to death; death comes to the young.
GEMS-POETIC SELECTIONS.-THE CHILDRENS' CORNER.
Good, kind, true, holy words dropped in conversation may be little thought of, but they are like seeds of a flower or beautiful tree falling by the wayside, borne by some bird afar, haply thereafter to fringe with beauty some barren mountain-side or to make glad some lonely wilderness.
If another has been false to thee, do not thou increase the evil by being false to thyself. Do not say the world hath lost all its poetry and beauty; 'tis not so; make thine own poetry and beauty by a brave, a true, and above all, a religious life.
A diamond is no more self-luminous than any other clod. The difference lies in the transparency, that is in the power of receiving and transmitting light; and in the keeping one's self in connection with the One who is the light.
Time is a stream in which there is no mooring the barks of life, because there is no casting anchor in it.
I SAT at the door at eventide,
A sparrow was twittering at my feet,
And it looked at me with dark, mild eyes,
And said to me, in words as plain
As the words of a bird could be,
And it shone through the glossy leaves of
Like an angel clothed in light;
"I'm only a lily, a useless flower,
But the Master cares for me.'
Then it seemed that the hand of the loving
Over my head was laid;
AFTER AND OVER.
AFTER the shower, the tranquil sun;
The Childrens' Corner.
USEFUL ADVICE TO BOYS.
To throw stones.-Fold each one carefully in a feather-bed, and give notice to all the neighbourhood when you are going to throw.
To carry Gunpowder in the Pocket.-Soak it well in cold water, and then wrap it up in a cover of oiled silk.
To Slide down the Bannister.-Let a surgeon sit upon the lower stair. Also, carry a pailful of poultice in each of your hands, as you may need it.
To Cure Creaky Boots.-Wear them always in going to the pantry.
USE OF THE POWERS OF SPEECH.
BUILD a mill with the nicest and most costly machinery, capable of grinding the most precious grain and producing the finest flour with which to feed the multitudes. Throw in leaves and chaff to be ground; throw in mud and filth of the gutter; throw in lava from some belching volcano, or the stones and rubbish from some mine of sulphur, and what comes of it? A worthless substance comes out dust, filth, and the smell of brimstone.
This is just what is being done in much of the conversation that takes place. God has constructed powers of speech. They are nicely and wonderfully formed. They are the tongue, teeth and lips. There are the vocal cords below the larynx of the throat, through which the air is forced when we speak, producing sounds as the wind does on the Æolian harp.
The power of speech is peculiar to the human race. ennobling. It is advantageous. Words are the signs of ideas. By speech we communicate ourselves to others; interest, instruct, and benefit them. This, of course, when conversation is proper and well regulated. And this is not all. One, who speaks wisely, is benefited himself. A good conversation has a reflex influence on the mind of the speaker. His own heart is refreshed, strengthened, and blest by the words he uses. And he who has a good heart, with the tongue blesses God. Here is the highest felicity.
It is lamentable that the wonderful powers of speech are very much prostituted to the most unworthy, vilest, and wicked purposes. Leaves and chaff are put in, and nothing valuable comes out. Such is vain conversation. Talk and nothing said. It is about nothing, is nothing, and God cannot understand it, as He cannot understand nothing. Mud and filth put in, and such comes out. There is that which smells of the fires of the bottomless pit, profanity, oaths, and the most horrid imprecations. The earth mourns because of profanity; the heavens seem astonished, and hell holds a jubilee.
It is easy to talk. The boy, who whistled in school said, "It whistled itself." So it seemed with many in talking.
"The tongue is an unruly member." So says the Apostle James. He also says, "No man can tame it." True enough. But its possessor can. He, by the grace of God, can do it. Hence the injunction, "Slow to speak.' And hence it is said, "If man among you seemeth to be religious and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his heart, that man's religion is vain." How worthy