« VorigeDoorgaan »
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
"What dreadful nonsense," said Mother Hen,
"You're as bad as the two-legs that don't have wings,
For what isn't worth a mullen-stalk.
And Peep in her feathers curled one leg,
And said to herself, "But he was an egg."-St. Nicholas.
Anecdotes and Selections.
ST. ANTHONY AND THE SHOEMAKER.-That is "a pretty story"-as, indeed, good old Bishop Latimer calls it, quoting it from one of the old Fathers of the Church-of St. Anthony, that when he was living a very hard and severe life in the wilderness, there came to him one day a voice from heaven, saying, "Anthony, thou art not so perfect as a cobbler that dwelleth at Alexandria." Hearing this, Anthony forthwith rose, took his staff, and travelled to Alexandria, where he found the cobbler, who was greatly astonished to see so reverend a father come to his house. Then spake Anthony to him, saying, "Come and tell me thy whole conversation, and how thou spendest thy time." Sir," said the cobbler, "as for me, good works have I none; my life is but simple and slender, seeing that I am but a poor cobbler. In the morning, when I rise, I pray for the whole city wherein I dwell, especially for all such neighbours and poor friends as I have; after that I sit me down to my labour, where I spend the whole day in getting my living; and I keep me from all falsehood, for I hate nothing so much as I do deceitfulness; wherefore, when I make any man a promise I keep it, and perform it truly; and thus I spend my time poorly with my wife and children, whom I teach and instruct, so far as my wit will serve me, to fear and dread God; and this is the sum of my simple life."
ORIGIN OF PEWS.-There is a speck of history connected with the origin of pews, which cannot help but prove interesting. In the early days of the Anglo-Saxon and some of the Norman churches, a stone bench afforded the only sitting accommodations for members or visitors. In the year 1319, the people are spoken of as sitting on the ground, or standing. At a later period, the people introduced low, three-legged stools, and they were placed in no order in the church. Directly after the Norman conquest seats came in fashion. In 1387, a decree was issued that none should call any seat his own except noblemen and patrons, each entering and holding the first one he found. From 1530
to 1630, seats were more appropriated, a crowbar guarded the entrance, bearing the initial of the owner. It was in 1508 that galleries were thought of. And as early as 1614, pews were arranged to afford comfort by being baized or cushioned, while the sides around were so high as to hide the occupants-a device of the Puritans to avoid being seen by the officer who reported those who did not bow when the name of Jesus was announced.
THE SABBATH.-I have no sympathy with those who would make the Sabbath a day of gloom. I would have the sun to shine brighter, and the flowers to smell sweeter, and nature to look fairer on that day than on any other. I would have the very earth to put on her holiday attire on the blest morning on which the blessed Saviour rose, and on this day, above all others, would like a flood of comforts to flow in on the households of our poor. It has always afforded me great satisfaction and delight to read how kindly and wisely David mingled earthly mercies with spiritual blessings. Does it teach us no lesson to read how, on the occasion of bringing up the ark, when he had made an end of offering up the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, and blessing the people, "he dealt to every one of Israel, both man and woman, to every one a loaf of bread and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine?"-Dr. Guthrie.
FRANKLIN AND SIMPLE LANGUAGE.-Tradition has it that years ago, when Benjamin Franklin was a lad, he began to study philosophy, and soon became fond of applying technical words to common objects. One evening, when he mentioned to his father that he had swallowed some acephalous mollusks, the old man was much alarmed, and suddenly seizing him, called loudly for help. Mrs. Franklin came with water, and the hired man rushed in with the garden pump. They forced half a gallon down Benjamin's throat, then held him by the heels over the edge of the porch and shook him, while the old man said, "If we don't get those things out of Benny, he's pizened, sure." When they were out, and Benjamin explained that the articles alluded to were oysters, his father 'fondled him for an hour with a trunk strap for scaring the family. Tradition adds that ever afterward Franklin's language was marvellously simple and explicit.
ASK AND RECEIVE.-Sir Walter Raleigh one day asking a favour from Queen Elizabeth, the latter said to him, "Raleigh, when will you leave off begging?" To which he replied, "When your majesty leaves off giving." So let us ever be asking from God, who is ever giving, and ever willing to give.
NEVER burn kindly-written letters; it is so pleasant to read them over when the ink is brown, the paper yellow with age, and the hands that traced the friendly words are folded over the hearts that prompted
THE PENNY POST BOX.
them, under the green sod. Above all, never burn love-letters. To read them in after years is like a resurrection to one's youth. The ⚫lderly spinster finds in the impassioned offer she foolishly rejected, twenty years ago, a fountain of rejuvenescence. Glancing over it, she realizes that she was once a belle and a beauty, and beholds her former self in a mirror much more congenial to her taste than the one that confronts her in her dressing-room. The "widow indeed" derives a sweet and solemn consolation from the letters of the beloved one who has journeyed before her to the far-off land from which there comes no message, and where she hopes one day to join him. No photographs can so vividly recall to the memory of the mother the tenderness and devotion of the children who have left at the call of Heaven as the epistolary outpourings of that love. The letter of a true son or daughter to a true mother is something better than an image of the features; it is a reflex of the writer's soul. Keep all loving letters. Burn only the harsh ones, and in burning them forgive and forget them.
The Penny Post Box.
A SECRET OF TEACHING.
AN old letter of Mr. Thomas Carlyle's on teaching, written in 1859 to a young man who asked his counsel, has just been published. In it he says: "The grand secret (worth all the others together, and without which all the others are worth nothing and less) for inculcating and teaching virtues and graces is, that a man honestly, and with more and more of silent sincerity have them himself, lodged there in the silent deeps of his being; they will not fail to shine through, and be not only visible, but undeniable in whatever he is led to say or do, and every hour of the day he will, consciously or unconsciously, find good means of teaching them. This is the grand indispensable requisite; this present, the rest is very certain to follow; the rest is mere matter of detail, depending on speciality of circumstance, which a man's own common sense, if he is in earnest toward his aim, will better and better instruct him in. The business, I am sorrowfully aware, is often enough undertaken without this indispensable pre-requisite-nay, in general there is a dim notion abroad that a man can teach such things by merely wishing to do it, and without having them himself; but the fatal result inevitably is, he teaches, can teach, nothing but hypocrisy and unblessed apery and mendacity. It is a kind of salvation to his poor pupils if they, in a dim way, see through him, and refuse to imbibe the slow poison of such teaching. I fancy you to be an ingenuous young man, aiming manfully to do your best in the vocation which has fallen to you; and I hang up far ahead, I hope, this ugly but true warning upon a certain path which all mortals of us ought to avoid and abhor much more than we do at present."
FACTS, HINTS, GEMS, AND POETRY.
Facts, Hints, Gems, and Poetry.
The six largest steamers in the world are the Great Eastern (owned by the international Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company), 678 feet long 77 feet broad; the City of Pekin (Pacific Mail Steamship Company), 6,000 tons, 423 feet long, and 48 feet broad; the Liguria (Pacific Steam Navigation Company), 4,820 tons, 460 feet long, and 45 broad; the Britannic (White Star), 4,750 tons, 455 feet long, and 45 broad; the City of Richmond (Inman), 4,600 tons, 453 feet long, and 43 broad; the Bothnia (Cunard), 4,500 tons, 425 feet long, and 42 broad.
Only 20,410 people, mostly agricultural labourers, have settled in Canada the past year, against 39,373 the year previous, and only 9,214 passed through to the States, against 40,000 the preceding year.
The census of Alsace and Lorraine shows a decrease of twenty thousand in the population since 1871. The falling off is largest in Lorraine.
OLD DUTCH PROVERBS.
We must row with the oars we have; and as we cannot order the wind, we are obliged to sail with the wind that God gives.
Patience and attention will bring us far. If a cat watches long enough at the mouse nest, the mouse shall not escape.
Fools always will ask what time it is, but the wise know their time. Grind while the wind is fair, and if you neglect, do not complain of God's providence.
He that lags behind in a road where many are driving, always will be in a cloud of dust.
We praise willingly in others those merits which we fancy we ourselves possess.
I will listen to any one's convictions; but pray keep your doubts to yourself. I have plenty of my own.-Goethe.
The man who is disgusted with all the world, is seldom satisfied with himself.
There is nothing so clear-sighted and sensible as a noble-mind in a low estate.-Jane Porter.
To have ideas is to gather flowers. To think is to weave them into garlands.-Madame Swetchine.
I've never any pity for conceited people, because I think they carry their comfort about with them.George Eliot.
THE WORK OF GRACE.
How the light of heaven is stealing
Sweetly stealing, sweetly stealing,
That precedes eternal day.
See the tears, the blessed trouble,
POETIC SELECTIONS.-THE CHILDRENS' CORNER.
Now the light is growing brighter,
Fear of hell and hate of sin;
Now upon the favourite passion
And the lights of world and fashion,*
Sweetly stealing, &c.
See! more light! the spirit tingles
With contrition's piercing dart;
Free! free! the joyous light of heaven
He is waiting, waiting, waiting,
He has looked with wondrous patience
Shall observe Him at the door,
In your hours of peace and strife.
In the hush of evening hours?
In your times of grief and doubt,
He is waiting, waiting, waiting,
Have you kept Him long enough?
THE ALTERED MOTTO.
O THE bitter shame and sorrow
Bleeding on the accursed tree,
"Some of self, and some of Thee." Day by day His tender mercy,
Healing, helping, full and free,
"None of self, and all of Thee."
The Childrens' Corner.
SLOW AND SURE.
IT is curious to see how the people that hurry the most get on the slowest; perhaps you have never noticed that. Just watch a silkworm, or any comfortable fat caterpillar, calmly eating a leaf a great deal bigger than itself. If it took large pieces and bolted them whole, it would choke, and there would be an end of the caterpillar, instead of the leaf; but, as it is, "the slow and sure" way answers to perfection. Try it the next chance you have; bread and butter are not bad to begin upon; cake takes longer, as a rule.