A MAN who prided himself on his morality, and expected to be saved by it, who was constantly saying, "I am doing pretty well, on the whole; I sometimes get mad and swear, but then I am strictly honest; I work on Sunday when I am particularly busy, but I give a good deal to the poor, and I never was drunk in my life." This man once hired a canny Scotchman to build a fence around his lot, and gave him very particular directions as to his work. In the evening, when the Scotchman came in from his labour, the man said, "Well, Jock, is the fence built; and is it tight and strong?"


"I canna say that it is all tight and strong," replied Jock, "but it's a good average fence, anyhow. If some parts are a little weak, others are extra strong. I don't know but I may have left a gap here and there a yard wide or so; but then I made for it by doubling the number of rails on each side of the gap. dare say that the cattle will find a very good fence, on the whole, and will like it, though I canna just say that it's perfect in every part."

"What!" cried the man, not seeing the point, "do you tell me that you have built a fence around my lot with weak places in it, and gaps in it? Why, you might as well have built no fence at all. If there is one opening, or a place where an opening can be made, the cattle will be sure to find it, and will all go through. Don't you know, man, that a fence must be perfect, or it is worthless ?"

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"I used to think so," said the dry Scotchman, "but I hear you talk so much about averaging matters with the Lord, seems to me that we might try it with the cattle. If an average fence won't do for them, I am afraid that an average character won't do in the day of judgment. When I was on ship-board, and a storm was driving us on the rocks, the captain cried, 'Let go the anchor !' But the mate shouted back, There is a broken link in the cable.' Did the captain say, when he heard that, 'No matter, it's only one link. The rest of the chain is good. Ninety-nine of the hundred links are strong. Its average is high. It only lacks one per cent. of being perfect. Surely the anchor ought to respect so excellent a chain, and not break away from it?' No, indeed! he shouted, 'Get another chain!""

He knew that a chain with one broken link was no chain at all. That he might as well throw the anchor overboard without


any cable, as with a defective one.

So with the anchor of our

souls. If there is the least flaw in the cable, it is not safe to trust it. We had better throw it away and try to get a new one that we know is perfect.


DAMASCUS is believed to be the oldest city in the world. According to Josephus, it was founded by Uz, the son of Aram and the grandson of Shem. In the fourteenth chapter of Genesis it is referred to as a well-known city, and in the fifteenth chapter it is stated that Eliezer, Abraham's steward, was from Damascus. In the time of David "the Syrians of Damascus came to succor Hadadezer, king of Zobah," with whom David was at war. The latter obtained a great victory over them, became completely master of their city and the surrounding territory, which he garrisoned with Israelites. In the reign of Ahaz, it was taken by Tiglath Pileser, who slew its king, Rezin, and added its provinces to the Assyrian empire. It was taken and plundered, also, by Sennacherib, Nebuchadnezzar, the generals of Alexander the Great, Judas Maccabæus, and at length by the Romans in the war conducted by Pompey against Tigranes, in the year before Christ 65. During the time of the emperors it was one of their principal arsenals in Asia, and is celebrated by the Emperor Julian as, even in his day, "the eye of the whole East." It grew fin magnificence under the Greek emperors, and when taken by the Mohammedans, in 634, was one of the first cities of the Eastern World.

It is still one of the leading cities under the sway of the Turks, and is considered by them as one of their holy cities. Here the pilgrims assemble on their journey to, and separate on their return from Mecca. It has long been notorious for Mussulman bigotry and hatred of Christianity, and fanatical outbreaks have frequently occurred. In 1860, no less than six thousand Christians were massacred and their quarter of the city burned. Formerly, no Christian could walk the streets of the city without incurring the risk of being insulted, and otherwise maltreated, but during the last ten years, the people have learned to have a wholesome dread of Christian nations, and to treat Christians with greater respect. Here, as all over the Turkish Empire, the power of Mohammedanism is waning, and that of Christianity is rising. European progress, civilization and political influence, have had much to do with this;


and so have also the Christian Missions established at Constantinople and other leading cities, including Damascus, and the wide circulation by the members of these Missions of the Bible in Arabic, and words setting forth its truths and the errors of the Koran. Some of the latter have been prepared by learned converts from Mohammedanism, and they are exerting a very considerable influence.


READER, if you really want to be saved, I give you an invitation this day. It you want to have peace with God now, and glory in heaven hereafter, I invite you to come to Christ at once, and both shall be your own.

I invite you boldly, because of the words Christ Himself has spoken, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest"—Matt. xi. 28. "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out"-John vi. 37. Reader, are you tired of your sins? Are you labouring and heavy laden? I invite you this day to come to Christ, and you shall be saved.

I know not who you are, or what you have been in time past, but I say boldly, Come to Christ by faith, and you shall have a pardon. High or low, rich or poor, young man or maiden, old man or child, you cannot be worse than Manasseh and Paul before conversion, than David and Peter after conversion; Christ, and you shall be freely forgiven.

come to

Take the advice I give you this day, and act upon it at once. Stand still no longer, waiting for some imaginary frames and feelings which will never come. Hesitate no longer, under the idea that you must first of all obtain the Spirit, and then come to Christ. Arise and come to Christ just as you are. He waits for you, and is as willing to save as He is mighty. He is the appointed Physician for sin-sick souls. Deal with Him as you would with your doctor about the cure of a disease of your body. Make a direct application to Him, and tell Him all your wants. Tell Him you want to be saved, and ask Him to save you. Rest not till you have actually tasted for yourself that the Lord is gracious. Cast yourself wholly and unreservedly on Christ, and your soul shall be saved.

Reader, once more I invite you. Come to Christ. The Lord grant the invitation may not be given in vain. Come to Christ. Come!-Rev. J. C. Ryal.



ONE of the greatest peculiarities of the Dutch is their cleanliness, or rather their love for cleanliness. This has become even a passion with them, and is carried to the same extent as religious observances are in some countries—as fasting in Italy, or keeping the Sabbath in Scotland and England. It is due, I think, partially, to their great industry, and particularly to their special love for working in water. A Dutchman is always washing or scrubbing something. They keep their houses so clean that you will look in vain for a particle of dust of any kind. The doors, sills, and other wood work are kept freshly painted, and the walls are as white as new-fallen snow. On entering a Dutch house, you see the cleanliness before you see anything else. In nearly every house there is one room, a sanctum sanctorum of cleanliness, which nobody is allowed to enter except the woman of the house, who goes in once a week to clean it; at which time she gives every article of furniture a thorough overhauling, scrubs the floor, washes the windows, polishes the door knobs, dusts the curtains, and then religiously shuts it up till the next cleaning day. Every Saturday morning the Dutch women wash their houses on the outside, scrubbing them from pavement to chimney. Any point that is too high for broom or ladder they reach by a forcing pump. Out of nearly every window may be seen a woman, stretching herself half-way out, perhaps, with brush and cloth, reaching after some fancied dirt spot, or dashing a pail of water at it. It is understood at this time that the town is given up to cleaning, and the passers-by on the pavement below have no right to complain if they get a shower of water and suds over their heads. The spiders have been driven entirely out of Holland, or have left in disgust; and I do not think I ever saw a fly anywhere in the country. No swallows are allowed to dirty up their houses or stables, and, strange to say, one sees no birds about whatever, except the omnipresent storks, which are allowed by special favour to build their nest in the chimney-tops, owing to a particular veneration which the Dutch have for this bird, likely because it is a water fowl, or rather a water and land fowl, or, like the Dutch themselves, an amphibious swamp animal. As you go through a Dutch town, the most common sight is the women washing in the canals. On both sides, from one end of the street to the other, they may be seen, at all times of the day, washing everything from a baby's stocking to a table-cloth; and when they have nothing


else to wash, they wash out their brooms and brushes and tubs and themselves. Sometimes the whole canal has the appearance of flowing with soap-suds. The Dutch have learned the art of washing, and everything connected with it, so well, that other countries often send their linens there to be washed and bleached, especially the large manufactories. The meadows outside of a Dutch town are fairly white with washed articles stretched over them.


NAPOLEON had a magnificent crown made for himself in 1804. It was this crown that he so proudly placed upon his head with his own hands in the cathedral of Notre Dame. It is a jeweled circle, from which springs several arches, surmounted by the globe and cross, and where the arches join the circle there are alternately flowers and miniature eagles of gold. After his downfall, it remained in the French Treasury until it was assumed by another Bonaparte, when Napoleon III. made himself Emperor in 1852. It is now in the regalia of France, which have only just been brought back to Paris from the western seaport, to which they were sent for security during the Prussian invasion, just as the Scottish regalia were sent to Dunnottar. If we may judge from some of the German photographs of the Emperor William, the crown of the new German Empire is of a very peculiar shape, apparently copied from the old Carlovingian diadem. It is not a circle, but a polygon, being formed of flat, jeweled plates of gold united by the edges, and having above them two arches supporting the usual globe and cross. Of the modern crowns of continental Europe, perhaps the most remarkable is the well-known triple crown, or Papal tiara, or perhaps we should tiaras, for there are four of them. The tiara is seldom worn by the Pope; it is carried before him in procession, but except on rare occasions, he wears a mitre like an ordinary bishop. Of the existing tiaras, the most beautiful is that which was given by Napoleon I. to Pius VII. in 1805. It is said to be worth upwards of £9,000. Its three circles are almost incrusted with sapphires, emeralds, rubies, pearls, and diamonds; and the great emerald at its apex, said to be the most beautiful in the world, is alone valued at sixteen thousand francs.

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