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FACTS, HINTS, GEMS, AND POETRY.
fixed rule of taking several hour's exercise every day, if possible, in the open air, if not, under cover, will be almost certain to secure one exemption from disease, as well as from attacks of low spirits, or ennui -that monster who is ever waylaying the rich and indolent. It is hard to laugh it off, especially in these days, when there is little to laugh at. Low spirits cannot exist in the atmosphere of bodily and mental activity.
Facts, Hints, Gems, and Poetry.
Queen Victoria has sixty grandchildren.
The London police force consists of 9,292 men.
The London police force have the names of 117,000 habitual criminals on the register.
Of the 20,000 persons arrested in England last year for debt, one-fourth were able but unwilling to pay. India has 750,000 acres devoted to the cultivation of opium.
The number of deaths in the English mines last year averaged one to every 510 persons employed. The total number of persons employed was 538,829.
The British navy consists of 33,500 seamen; 7,000 boys (including 3,000 under training); marines ashore and afloat, 14,000; coast guard, 5,500; or a total of 60,000.
The greatest wrong you can do God is to doubt His love.
What God gives men as steppingstones, they often make into stumblingblocks.
The Chinese have a saying that "Great souls have wills. Feeble souls have only wishes."
In life it is difficult to say who do you the most mischief-enemies with the worst intentions, or friends with the best.-Bulwer.
Never will there be peace until Christians agree to differ and agree to look for the evidences of Christian
character in the temper and the life.Channing.
To flatter a person adroitly one must know three things: what they are, what they think they are, and what they want other people to think they are.
Memory is the only paradise from which nothing can ever drive us.Richter.
Who ever knew a miser to forget where he had buried his gold?
Get atop of your troubles, and then they're half cured.-L. M. Allcott.
The sternest irony of fate may lie in the fulfilment of our wishes.
The greatest man living may stand in need of the meanest, as much as
the meanest does of him.
No man ever became eminent in anything unless he worked at it with an earnestness bordering on enthusiasm.
The effects of weakness are inconceivable; and I maintain that they are far vaster than those of the most violent passions.-Cardinal de Retz.
The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us, and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.-George Elliott.
Speaking truth is like writing fair, and comes only by practice; it is less: a matter of will than habit; and I doubt if any occasion can be trivial which permits the practice and formation of such a habit.
POETIC SELECTIONS.-THE CHILDRENS' CORNER.
WHEN We hear the music ringing
Where the spirit knows no care:
Shall we know each other there?
When the holy angels meet us,
As we go to join their band,
Yes, my earth-worn soul rejoices,
Thus their mortal friends to know.
O! ye weary ones and tossed ones,
ALAS! that I should only " stand and wait," While others sow and reap;
Weary should linger at the vineyard gate And ever weep
My sad, sad watch without the garden's bound,
Nor enter in where fruit and wine are found.
Was it for this, dear Lord, and only this,
"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want." -Psalm xxiii. 1.
GREAT SHEPHERD, Thou who didst of old
Thou art not changed; Thy people still
And those who put their trust in Thee
"They shall not want," Thou dost declare;
Not all their wishes dost Thou grant,
All wise and good, Thou dost not fail
With Thy right hand Thou leadest them
And feedeth them with richer food
And when they pass through Death's dark
Thy staff shall be their stay; And Thou shalt be their portion blest When call'd from earth away.
The Childrens' Corner.
A RESPECTFUL BOY.
AN old man entered a railway carriage, and was looking around for a seat, when a boy, ten or twelve years of age, rose up and said, “Take my seat, sir." The offer was accepted, and the infirm old man sat down. "Why did you give me your seat?" he inquired of the boy. "Because you are old, sir, and I am a boy!" was the reply.
WITHIN the last ten years, the human nature of Christ has been brought prominently forward. A great deal has been done to present Him more vividly and more historically before us; but we cannot say that enough has been done. There have been but few attempts to trace in Him those subtle shades of feeling, those finer touches of intellectual and poetic sentiment, which, after all, make a man real to us. It is on these I propose to dwell; less on the moral majesty, and more on the exquisiteness of His character; less on the suffering lover of man, and more on the King in His beauty. So doing, we may add something to our conception of His individuality. For when men tell us of His life, and describe His death, and dwell upon His love, He remains still a vague outline to many of us; but when He stops by the wayside, and the women cluster around Him, and He stoops to lay His hand on the children's heads, and claim them for His own and for His kingdom; or when, resting by the well, he wakes the uncultured woman's interest by half-mysterious sayings, tinged with something of the Socratic irony, but with greater solemnity and profounder meaning than that of the sage of Athens; then His personality begins to shape itself within us. We recognise the uniqueness which belongs to a living character. It is by dwelling on these things, and by an analysis of character based upon them, that we may arrive at a deeper as well as a more critical knowledge of the intense and universal character of His human nature.
In mediæval times this humanization of Christ for men was done by art. The exquisite simplicity and naturalness of frescoes, such as those in the Arena Chapel, brought Christ and His life home to men's minds. But though natural, these representations did not dwell enough on the distinctly human traits in His life. Series like Giotto's were connected with doctrine, and so far removed from simple humanity. They grew still more doctrinal afterwards, till, from step to step of idealization, the manhood of Christ grew fainter and fainter in art, and He became only divine, and clothed with the terrors of divinity.
But in the thirteenth century, also, the Dominicans and Franciscans seized on the passion of Christ as the special object of religious emotion in His life, and taking that piece of manhood out of the rest, concentrated men's minds on it alone. Art at once began to supply the religious demand for representations of the days of the passion, and the people, taught as much by the
paintings as by the preachers, saw the manhood of Christ only as a suffering manhood. The rest of His human life passed into all but absolute extinction in the intense light which was thrown upon the passion. Later on, the natural conclusion followed upon this isolation of one part of Christ's human life in art. He became only a fine head or a noble figure in the centre of a picture. He was painted only as a good subject, around which artists could throw a poetical or aesthetic air. All awe, all faith, all sublimity, all touch of what was divine in Him, passed away when the last trace of His pure and natural manhood was lost in art. For they go together.
There are many curious analogies in theology to this limitation in art of the idea of Christ's manhood. I will dwell upon a few. After the Reformation, and almost up to the present day, Christ, as a man, has been continually more and more hidden from us by the accumulation of theological doctrines around Him. Our theologians have, like artists, taken Him farther and farther from earth, and isolated Him in His divinity in heaven. But this is not the only analogy. As art, by insisting only on the passion, put out of sight the rest of Christ's life, and produced a maimed representation of His humanity, so did, and so do, those theologians, whether Evangelical or Anglican, who dwell too exclusively on the atonement, the death, and the sacrifice of the passion. The result was and is that Christianity has been so much made into a religion of suffering, endurance, sacrifice, and asceticism; that all that side of human life which has to do with healthy, natural joy, with love of beauty, with what is called profane poetry and art, with delight in natural scenery, with social companionship, has been, to a large extent, left unchristianized, relegated to the realm of the irreligious. We want a Christ entirely one with all that is joyous, pure, healthy, sensitive, aspiring, and even what seems to us commonplace in daily life; we desire Him, while He is still our King, to be also "not too bright and good for human nature's daily food," for business, and for home; we wish Him to share in our anxieties about our children; to come and hallow our early love, and bless with a further nobleness all its passion; to move us to quietude and hope within the temple of the past, where our old age wanders and meditates; to be with us when our heart swells with the beauty of the world, and to give His sympathy to us in that peculiar passion; to whisper of aspiration in our depression, of calm in our excitement; to be, in fine, a universal friendly presence in the whole of our common life.
I believe that out of that will spring no diminution of reverence to Him, no unhappy familiarity; but rather that deepening of
THE PROGRESS OF ONE CENTURY.
awe, that solemnity of love, which arise towards one whom we have lived with daily, and never known to fail in the power -sweetest of all in a world where so much seems mean and commonplace of lifting the prosaic into the poetic by the spirit of love; of giving us the sense of greatness in things which seem the smallest; of making life delightful with the feeling that we are being educated through its slightest details into children of the Divine Holiness.
THE PROGRESS OF ONE CENTURY.
THE eminent essayist, Mr. W. R. Greg, in his thoughtful and eloquent work, "Enigmas of Life," thus puts several common facts in a very uncommon way :—
"Few phenomena are more remarkable, yet few have been less remarked, than the degree in which material civilization—the progress of mankind in all those contrivances which oil the wheels and promote the comfort of daily life-has been concentrated into the present century. It is not too much to say that in these respects more has been done, richer and more prolific discoveries have been made, grander achievements have been realised, in the course of the sixty or seventy years of our own life-time than in all the previous life-time of the race, since states, nations, and politics, such as history makes us acquainted with, have had their being.
Consider only the three momentous matters of light, locomotion, and communication, and we shall see that this generation contrasts most surprisingly with the aggregate of the progress effected in all previous generations put together since the earliest dawn of authentic history. The lamps and torches which illuminated Belshazzar's feast were probably just as brilliant, and framed out of nearly the same materials, as those which shone upon the splendid fétes of Versailles when Marie Antoinette presided over them, or those of the Tuileries during the imperial magnificence of the first Napoleon. Pine wood, oil, and perhaps wax, lighted the banquet-halls of the wealthiest nobles alike in the eight century before Christ and in the eighteenth century after Christ. There was little difference, except in finish of workmanship and elegance of design, little if any advance, we mean, in the illuminating power, or in the source whence that power was drawn,-between the lamps used in the days of the Pyramids, the days of the Coliseum, and the days of Kensington Palace. Fifty years ago,