GOD'S ARROws.-There was a deacon of Dr. Wardlaw's church who kept a respectable spirit-shop in Glasgow, Scotland-a wholesale dealer, I think, and a good man. At the prayer meeting one evening, in order to distinguish him from another of the same name, Dr. Wardlaw said, "Brother Fergusson, the spirit dealer, will lead our prayers." "The good doctor had no intention of shooting an arrow into the heart and conscience of his friend by making such a distinction; but he did it. Praying and spirit dealing, thus conjoined, seemed so utterly anomalous, as to make the gentleman very uneasy in soul. Shortly after, his youngest son, who was a thoughtful boy, was playing about the shop door, where an empty cask had been rolled out for removal. He went up to the barrel, gave it a kick, and said, "I wonder how many souls you have sent to hell!" His father heard the startling words. They formed another fiery arrow; and the last that was needed to convince him of the evil nature of his business, and to bring him to a right decision regarding it.

He speedily abandoned the spirit trade; became an abstainer and a minister; originated a new church a few miles from Glasgow; and has recently retired from a thirty years' successful ministry in one of the Evangelical Union churches of Aberdeen. The boy who, under God, helped to bring about such a change, at the age of twenty-one was ordained pastor of an Evangelical Union church in Glasgow, where he has laboured for thirty years as one of the most popular and successful ministers in that city.

JONAH'S ONE SERMON.-Jonah was but one man, and he preached but one sermon, and it was but a short sermon as touching the number of words, and yet he turned the whole city, great and small, rich and poor, king and all. We be many preachers here in England, and we preach many long sermons, and yet the people will not repent and convert. This was the first fruit, the effect, and the good that his sermon did, that the whole city, at his preaching, converted, and mended their evil living, and did penance in sackcloth. And yet here, in this sermon of Jonah, is no great curiousness, no great clerkliness, no great affectation of words, nor of painted eloquence; it was none other but, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be destroyed!" It was no more. This was no great curious sermon, but a nipping sermon, a pinching sermon, a biting sermon; it had a full bite; it was a rough sermon, and a sharp, biting sermon. Do you not here marvel these Ninevites cast not Jonah into prison? that they did not revile him nor rebuke him? They did not revile him nor rebuke him, but God gave them grace to hear him, and to convert and amend at his preaching, A strange matter, so noble a city to give place to one man's sermon! -Bishop Latimer, 1530.

HOW A CRICKET SAVED A SHIP.-In Southy's "History of Brazil" he tells how Cabeza de Vaca was in a great ship, going to South America, with four hundred men and thirty horses; and after they had crossed the equator, the commander discovered that there were only three casks of water left. He gave orders to make the nearest land, and for three days they sailed for the coast. A poor sick soldier, who had left Cadiz with them, brought a grillo, or ground-cricket with him,



thinking its cheerful voice would amuse him on the dreary voyage. But to his great disappointment, the little insect was perfectly silent the whole way. The fourth morning after the ship had changed her course, the cricket, who knew what she was about, set up her shrillest note. The soldier at once gave warning to the officers in charge of the vessel, and they soon saw high, jagged rocks just ahead of them. The watch had been careless, and the great ship, in a few moments, would have been dashed to pieces on the ledges if this puny creature had not scented the land and told them of their danger. Then they cruised along for some days, and the cricket sang for them every night, just as cheerily as if she had been in far-off Spain, till they got to their destined port, the Island of Catalina.

ARE YOU READY?-Rev. Dr. Kidd was a Scotch minister of some prominence, and very eccentric, and one who had his own way of doing things. One of his parishioners says:-"I was busy in my shop when, in the midst of my work, in stepped the doctor. 'Did you expect me?' was his abrupt inquiry, without even waiting for a salutation. 'No,' was my reply. What if it had been death?' asked he, when at once he stepped out as abruptly as he came, and was gone almost before I knew it." What a question! What a thought for every one of us! Does not death come to most, if not all, as unexpectedly as this? And does not the inquiry impress the lesson from our Saviour's lips, "Be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh ?"

The Fireside.


Look into the home of a fretful man or woman, and mark the discomfort, the unhappiness, the positive misery they often cause within its sacred enclosure. Notice a fretful man in his business relations-how disagreeable he makes himself to others, and how much he detracts from his own power to act coolly and wisely. See such a man in the church-what an amount of friction and trouble he causes, where all should work smoothly and quietly. Besides the rasping and discomfort such a person occasions, the example he sets is most pernicious. Children easily catch the manners of their elders, and fretful people have no one to blame but themselves if they have worrisome, teasing, disagreeable children.


You are a sister, and can mould a brother's mind to virtue and to usefulness. You are a daughter, and for your sake, your father may put forth efforts of unbounded might. You may hereafter bear the honoured name of wife, or the more sacred one of mother. Your influence may


then determine the character of your husband, and fix the destiny of your children. It may make your son an Augustine, an Oberlic, a Wesley, or it may leave him to curse his race with pestiferous teachings, life Socinus or Murray; with wars of ambition, like Napoleon; or with a baneful legacy of infidelity and vice, like Hume or Carlyle. Say not that because you are a woman your influence must be limited, but remember that your sex places you at the head waters of the great river of humanity, where a pebble may change the direction of the streamlet.-Dr. Wise.

The Penny Post Box.


INFIDELS make special pretensions to fair dealing and fair play. Now, would it be a fair way of investigating the character of any man, to go among his bitterest enemies, and hunt up every sneer, and scoff, and story, whether true or false, and then, without further ado, pronounce judgment upon him and refuse to have any intercourse with him? Would it not be reasonable also to consult his friends, and see what they had to say, and especially to become personally acquainted with him, and also to investigate the character and accusations of his enemies, before giving credence to them, and see whether they were not prompted by envy, malice, or revenge, in the charges which they brought against him?

But how do sceptics investigate the Bible? Not one in a hundred of them has ever read it through since they came to years of understanding. Not one in ten thousand of them could read it fluently and understandingly in the tongues in which it was written. They do not make it a study; they do not understand it; they cannot fairly represent it. It is a rare thing that an infidel quotes a passage of Scripture correctly. Even the passages they produce as objectionable are usually misunderstood, misquoted, or misrepresented. Probably not one infidel in five hundred could quote correctly from memory twenty passages Scripture, giving chapter and verse where they occur; and probably not one in a thousand could repeat verbatim five chapters from the Bible. And the little they do know of the words of the Book is what has been taught them in childhood, when their judgments were immature, instead of being learned by them when grown up, in the way of careful, diligent, painstaking investigation.


Now, we submit, that if men wish to investigate the Bible, they should read it, study it, learn it, practice it, and inquire concerning it among its friends as well as its foes; and then let them investigate the condition and character of persons who live according to the Bible, and compare them with men who hate it, curse it, or are ignorant of it, and they will be better fitted to judge of its merits.


Facts, Hints, Gems, and Poetry.


There are 18,000 Israelites in San Francisco, five synagogues in the State and three in the city.

The minute hand of a clock constructed for the Crystal Palace, Sydenham, is 19 feet in length, and the dial is 40 feet in diameter.

Another curious fact we have come across lately, is the item that a music box which plays 132 tunes has recently been finished in Geneva, Switzerland, for the Khedive of Egypt.

In Eastern Turkey, the people on entering church take off their shoes, but keep their hats on. An American saw, at Anital, 1200 boots and shoes at the door of a church.

The African chiefs are evidently fond of large umbrellas,—for we see it stated that a Glasgow firm manufactured a number as presents for these African chiefs, some of which were about 30 feet in circumference, and some about 18 feet.


An anonymous letter is the weapon of the coward.

We speak of educating our children. Do we know that our children also educate us?-Mrs. Sigourney.

I could hardly feel much confidence in a man who had never been imposed upon.-Hare.

We should judge men by their treatment of others rather than their treatment of us.

All brave men love; for he only is brave who has affections to fight for, whether in the daily battle of life or in physical contests.-Hawthorne.

comes when return is impossible, even to the strongest will.-Vinet.

There is an innate delicacy which respects the feelings of a child; and without which no man is fit to wear the name of gentleman.

The art of living easily as to money is to pitch your scale of living one degree below your means.— -Henry Taylor.


Neglected calumny soon expires.Tacitus.

No man's religion ever survives his morals.-South.

It is no use running; to set out betimes is the main point.-La Fontaine.

We ought as much to pray for a blessing upon our daily rod, as upon our daily bread.-John Owen.

God may sometimes delay His promise, but He will not deny it. He may sometimes change it, but He will not break it.

Knowledge is of two kinds; we know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it. -Johnson.

The word of all words, love, will no more express the myriad modes of mutual attraction than the word thought can inform you of what is passing in your neighbour's mind.-George Eliot.

A heart memory is better than a mere head-memory. Better to carry away a little of the life of God in our souls, than if we were able to repeat every word of every sermon we have heard.-De Sales.

As the rays come from the sun, and yet are not the sun, even so our love and pity, though they are not God, but merely a poor, weak image and reflection of Him, yet from Him alone they come. If there is mercy in our hearts, it comes from the fountain of mercy. If there is the light of love Habits of thought are not less in us, it is a ray from the full sun of tyrannical than others, and a time love.-Charles Kingsley.

Were all men to bring together their burdens of sorrow to be equally divided, each on reflection would choose his own. Socrates.


Poetic Selections.


I AM 80 weak, dear Lord! I cannot stand
One moment without Thee;

But, oh, the tenderness of Thine enfolding,
And, oh, the faithfulness of Thine uphold-

And, oh, the strength of Thy right hand!
That strength is enough for me.

I am so needy, Lord! and yet I know
All fulness dwells in Thee;

And hour by hour that never-failing treasure
Supplies and fills in overflowing measure,
My least, my greatest need. And so
Thy grace is enough for me.

It is so sweet to trust Thy Word alone,
I do not ask to see

The unveiling of Thy purpose, or the shin-

Of future light on mysteries untwining;
Thy promise-roll is all my own-

Thy Word is enough for me.

[blocks in formation]

I THOUGHT to find some healing clime
For her I loved; she found that shore,
That city whose inhabitants

Are sick and sorrowful no more.

I asked for human love for her;
The Loving knew how best to still
The infinite yearning of a heart
Which but infinity could fill.

Such sweet communion had been ours,
I prayed that it might never end;
My prayer is more than answered; now
I have an angel for my friend.

I wished for perfect peace, to soothe
The troubled anguish of her breast;

The human heart asks love. But now I And, numbered with the loved and called,


That my heart hath from Thee

All real, and full, and marvelous affection;
So near, so human! Yet divine perfection
Thrills gloriously the mighty glow!
Thy love is enough for me.

She entered on untroubled rest.
Life was so fair a thing to her,
I wept and pleaded for its stay;
My wish was granted me, for lo!
She hath eternal life to-day.

The Childrens' Corner.


-Phabe Cary.

Two ships were about leaving an English port. The captain of one of them purchased, just before sailing, a new anchor polished and beautiful. A passenger of the other ship, seeing the bright instrument as it was going aboard, said to his captain, "Why don't you purchase one, too?" His reply was, "It is very handsome, but I would not trust it; the iron in it is very poor."

The ships remained in sight of each other most of the way across to America. One day toward evening, when they were near Newfoundland, a fearful storm came up. The water was shallow, and both the ships cast their anchors. For hours they rode in safety amid the raging of the storm. But at last, near midnight, there was a sudden crash. The new and handsome-looking anchor had broken into pieces, and the ship was at the mercy of the tempest. Only three lives of all on board were saved. The old anchor of the other ship held firmly, and when the storm was over she went on her way in safety.

In the voyage to the heavenly shore there is but one safe anchor. It is the anchor of faith in Jesus. Many persons look around to find other anchors to which to trust their safety. When the day of trial comes not one of these will hold, and those who trust in them will be bitterly disappointed.

« VorigeDoorgaan »