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ON AN ICE FLOE.
however, soon snowed up. All our labour was rendered heavier by the storm, which made it almost impossible to breathe. About eleven we experienced a sudden fissure which threatened to tear our house asunder; with a thundering noise an event took place the consequences of which, in the first moments, deranged all calculations. God only knows how it happened that in our flight into the open sea none came to harm. But there, in the most fearful weather, we stood roofless on the ice, waiting for daylight, which was still ten hours off. The boat King William lay on the edge of the floe, and might have floated away at any moment. Fortunately the fissure did not get larger. As it was somewhat quieter at midnight, most of the men erept into the captain's boat, when the thickest sail we had was drawn over them. Some took refuge in the house; but there, as the door had fallen in, they entered by the skylight, and in the hurry broke the panes of glass, so that it was soon full of snow. This night was the most dreadful one of our adventurous voyage on the floe. The floe was 93 degrees Fahr. Real sleep, at least in the boat, was not to be thought of; it was but a confused, unquiet, half-slumber, which overpowered us from utter weariness, and our limbs quivered convulsively as we lay packed like herrings in our furs. The cook had, in spite of all, found energy enough in the morning to make the coffee in the house, and never had the delicious drink awakened more exhausted creatures to life. The bad weather raged the whole day. We lay in the boat half in water, half in snow, shivering with the frost, and wet to the skin. We also passed the night of the 15th in the same comfortless position, and only on the morning of the 16th did the weather begin to mend, allowing us to leave the shelter of our asylum.
At four in the morning, the second officer, to whom a longer stay in the boat was painful, caught sight of a star, and with a thankful heart brought us news of the good sign. The driving snow had not quite left off, but one could at least take breath. Our first steps were directed to the boat King William, which lay on the other side of the half-foot-broad fissure running through the house. It was brought to the flag-staff near the two other boats, which were fast frozen in, in spite of all the storm. We provided this conveyance with a roof of boards, covered with sail-cloth, and six of the men made it their sleeping apartment, whilst the house was cleaned from the snow.
For five nights we slept in the boats. The days to the 19th were employed, it being tolerable weather, in raising our settlement from its ruins, and laying the foundations of a necessary and satisfactory abode. Soon a wooden kitchen was built. A new
dwelling-house, exactly like the one destroyed, but only half as big (fourteen feet long, ten broad, six and a half high in the middle), was built with all the requisite arrangements, store-room, wooded beds, stove and window, and so on. Unfortunately the first night we moved in, being stormy weather, the roof flew off; the inside was at once filled with snow, and we had to migrate to the boats once more. This mischief was repaired on the following day. As there was only one sleeping-room in our new house for six men, the rest from this time had to sleep in the boats. Throughout all the discomfort, want, hardship, dangers of all kinds, the frame of mind among the men was good, undaunted, and exalted. The cook kept a right seaman-like humour, even in the most critical moments. As long as he had tobacco he made no trouble of anything. On the 3rd of January, during the frightful pressure of the ice which destroyed our floe, and threatened every minute to sink our house, the cook happened to be repairing the coffee-kettle, “ If the floe would only hold together until he had finished his kettle! he wished so to make the tea in it, so that, before our departure, we might have something warm."-The German Arctic Expedition.
LET dotards grieve for childhood's days,
And only those look back
Whose wasted wealth or shattered health
I cannot join in mourning time
Forever passed away,
For, whilst I look on Nature's book,
I'm thankful for to-day.
Then tell me not that childhood's days
Alone are fraught with joy,
That manhood's fancy cannot raise
The structures of the boy;
The childish mind is lost in dreams
But man beholds majestic themes
O ye whose eyes upbraiding rise,
Pronouncing faith unjust,
Who walk the earth with cherished hopes
Discard a false, unmanly thrall,
Nor own so weak a sway,
But hope in Him who gave you all,
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
Anecdotes and Selections.
BOLDNESS FOR CHRIST.-One of Frederick the Great's best generals was Hams Joachim von Zieten. He was never ashamed of his faith. Once he declined an invitation to come to his royal master's table, because on that day he wished to present himself at the table of his Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. It was sacrament day. The next time he appeared at the palace, the king, whose infidel tendencies were well known, made use of some profane expressions about the holy communion of the Lord's Supper, and the guests laughed at the remarks made on the occasion. Zieten shook his gray head solemnly, stood up, saluted the king, and then said with a firm voice, "Your Majesty knows well that in war I have never feared any danger, and every where have boldly risked my life for you and my country. But there is One above us who is greater than all men; He is the Saviour and Redeemer, who has died also for your majesty, and has dearly bought us all with His own blood. This Holy One I can never allow to be mocked or insulted, for on Him repose my faith, my comfort, and my hope in life or death. In the power of this faith your brave army has courageously fought and conquered. If your Majesty undermine this faith, you undermine at the same time the welfare of your state. I salute your Majesty." This open confession of his Saviour by Zieten made a powerful impression on the king. He felt that he had been wrong in his attack on the faith of his general, and he was not ashamed to acknowledge it. He gave his hand to Zieten-his right hand, placing the left on the old man's shoulder—and said with emotion, "O, happy Zieten! How I wish I could also believe it! I have the greatest respect for you. This shall never happen to you again." The king then rose from the table, dismissed his other guests, but said to Zieten, "Come with me into my cabinet." What passed in that conference, with closed doors, between the great king and his greater general, no one has ever learned; but this we know, that the Lord's own words were verified to Zieton: "Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father which is in heaven."
A DELIGHTFUL LEGEND.-There is a charming tradition connected with the site on which the temple of Solomon was erected. It is said to have been occupied in common by two brothers, one of whom had a family, the other had none. On the spot was a field of wheat. On the evening succeeding the harvest, the wheat having been gathered in shocks, the elder brother said to his wife, "My younger brother is unable to bear the burdens and heat of the day. I will arise, take of my shocks and place them with his, without his knowledge." The brother being actuated by the same benevolent motives, said within himself, "My elder brother has a family, and I have none. I will contribute to their support; I will arise, take of my shocks and place them with his, without his knowledge." Judge of their mutual astonishment
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
when, on the following morning, they found their respective shocks undiminished. This course of events transpired for several nights, when each resolved in his own mind to stand guard, and solve the mystery. They did so, when, on the following night, they met each other half way between their respective shocks with their arms full. Upon ground hallowed by such associations as this was the Temple of King Solomon erected, so spacious, so magnificent, the wonder and admiration of the world. Alas! in these days how many would sooner steal their brother's whole shock than add to it a single sheaf!
THE COMMON LOT.-We are prone to imagine that our temptations are peculiar; that other hearts are free from secret burdens that oppress our energies, and cast a cloud upon our joy; that life has for others a freer movement and a less embarrassed way. But the more we know of what passes in the minds of others, the more our friends disclose to us their secret consciousness, the more do we learn that no man is peculiar in his moral experience that beneath the smoothest surface of outward life lie deep cares of the heart-and that, if we fall under our burdens, we fall beneath the temptations that are common to man, the existence of which others as little suspect in us as we do in them. We have but the trials that are incident to humanity; there is nothing peculiar in our case; and we must take up our burdens in faith of heart that, if we are earnest, and trifle not with temptation, God will support us, as, in the past fidelity of His providence, He has supported others as heavily laden as ourselves.-J. H. Thom.
THE POWER OF FAITH.-It was the faith of Moses that made him despise the riches of Egypt; the faith of Joshua that made him valiant; the faith of Joseph that made him chaste; Abraham's faith made him obedient; St. Mary Magdalene's faith made her penitent; and the faith of St. Paul made him travel so far and suffer so much till he became a prodigy both of zeal and patience. Faith is a catholicon, and cures all the distemperature of the soul; "It overcomes the world," saith St. John; "It works righteousness," saith St. Paul; "It purifies the heart," saith St. Peter; "It works miracles," saith our blessed Saviour; miracles in grace always, as it did miracles in nature at its first publication; and whatsoever is good, if it be a grace, it is an act of faith; if it be a reward, it is the fruit of faith; so that all the actions of man are but the productions of the soul, so are all the actions of the new man the effects of faith. For faith is the life of Christianity, and a good life is the life of faith.-Jeremy Taylor.
AGAINST THE GRAIN.-The other day I was planing a board, and by accident planed one shaving the wrong way of the grain. Of course the surface was left rough. Turning the board, I noticed that it took more than one driving of the plane to get the surface smooth again. It was necessary to go over and over it again. There, thought I, is life illustrated. One wrong stroke cuts deeply and roughly. An evil deed eats like a canker. Long, weary years hardly efface the errors of a day. How rough, jagged and unsightly, then, our lives must be. Standing beside the bench, plane in hand, guided by that carnal mind,
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
powerful in its enmity, the strokes, alas! how often, run against its grain. When do we ever smooth out? Shall the surface never be smooth? Let the Master workman advise a little. Seek His help. This Master workman-Jesus Christ—is able and willing to give the needed help. Working under His instruction, in obedience to His behests, with reliance upon His wisdom, with confidence in His help, the work, hard as it seemed while the trust was in self, shall be accomplished satisfactorily.
BELIEVING, WE REJOICE.-The faith of Christians being in general so weak, no wonder their love is so weak also. It is the natural consequence of faith that it works by love; and the greater our faith is, the greater also is our love. When we believe that God really has loved us, and is "just and faithful to forgive us our sins," when we see that He hath already pardoned them, Christ having borne the punishment due unto them, then our hearts are set at liberty to love God. But while we are striving to obey the law, as a covenant of works, and find perpetually that we fall short, no wonder we have hard thoughts of God. We should ever, then, remember that Christ "hath redeemed us from the curse of the law," that we are "justified by faith, without the works of the law."
LIVING IN THE EIGHTH CHAPTER.
I WAS once expounding the seventh and eighth of Romans to a class of coloured Bible-women, deeply experienced as to their hearts, but very ignorant, as I supposed, in their heads. It was before I had learned this blessed secret I have been trying to tell you, and what I said I cannot possibly imagine now, but it was certainly something very different from my present position. After I had been talking quite eloquently for a little while, an old coloured woman interrupted me with
Why, honey, 'pears like you don't understand them chapters." "Why not, aunty?" I asked. "What is the matter with my explanation ?"
Why, honey," she said, "you talks as if we were to live in that miserable seventh chapter, and only pay little visits to the blessed eighth."
"Well," I answered, "that is just what I do think. Don't you ?" "Laws, honey," she exclaimed, with a look of intense pity for my ignorance, "why, I lives in the eighth."
I knew it was true, for I had often wondered at the holiness of her lowly life, and for a moment I was utterly bewildered. But then I thought, "Oh! it is because she is coloured and poor that God has given her such a grand experience to make up." And I almost began to wish I was coloured and poor that I also might have the same experience. But, I rejoice to say to you to-day that, even if you are white and not poor, you yet may know what it is to abide in Christ, and to rejoice in all the blessedness of such abiding.—Hannah Smith.