The Penny Post Box.


THE normal condition of a Christian is work. A lazy, listless, idle Christian has no place in the dispensation of Christ. The Christian life is represented to us in the Scriptures by those things which require the greatest exertions of bodily strength, and the keenest attention of mind; by a state of war, by a combat, by wrestling, and by the running of a race. Now, they who run a race divest themselves of everything which may add to their weight or hinder their speed. And this is what Paul recommends to Christians. The race they are called to run is the Christian life-a life of self-denial and holiness. The prize they hope to obtain is eternal life with God. And to obtain this they must live in that state of holy obedience to God which he has promised to accept through the mediation of His Son. They must repress every temper, passion and appetite, and forbear every action which may hinder their progress in this divine life or be to them like a weight to one that runneth a race. Christ calls His disciples to the renunciation of every worldly advantage, and every temporal consideration, that may come in competition with their duty or divert them from that holy life of active obedience which His gospel requires.

A Christian without even energy enough to resist temptation to sin, who serves the devil more than he serves God, and whose soul is so hung about with weights that it cannot lift itself out of the vanities and worldliness in which it is mired, is a very worthless sort of a Christian. Away, then, with incumbrances! Let our loins be girded afresh. Let us quit ourselves like men who have an object in view, and strive for the mastery, that, being victors, we may be crowned at last. Now it is preparation, it is training, it is getting ready, it is starting, it is running the race. Sometimes it is up hill. Sometimes there are briars in the way. Sometimes stones. Sometimes it is quicksand, and it seems as if we should sink. But God's angel helps us out, and on we run. Dear Christian friends, weary, footsore, hungry, thirsty, even fainting-Courage! You are nearing the goal. A little while, and you shall be past all strife, and shall obtain the crown of glory which fadeth not away.


IF there be one virtue which most commends Christians, it is that of kindness; it is to love the people of God, to love the church, to love the world, to love all. But how many have we in our churches of crab-tree Christians, who have mixed such a vast amount of vinegar and such a tremendous quantity of gall in their constitutions, that they can scarcely speak one good word to you. They imagine it impossible to defend religion except by passionate ebullitions; they


cannot speak for their dishonoured Master without being angry with their opponent; and if anything is awry, whether it be in the house, the church, or anywhere else, they conceive it to be their duty to set their faces like flint, and to defy everybody. They are like isolated icebergs, no one cares to go near them. They float about on the sea of forgetfulness, until at last they are melted and gone; and though, good souls, we shall be happy enough to meet them in heaven, we are precious glad to get rid of them on earth. Be ye not thus. Imitate Christ in your loving spirit; speak kindly, act kindly, and do kindly, that men may say of you, "He has been with Jesus."

The Fireside.


CONFIDENCE is everything between husband and wife; and a woman loved desires above all this to be trusted. She would not be glad when he is sad. She would not be ignorant of his troubles, of his anxieties. Anything is better for her than to be shut out from the innermost of the life of one who should be all hers as she is all his. Woman, generally, are averse to keeping things to themselves, and a husband is often over-dosed with confidences; but many really affectionate men lead, as far as their wives are concerned, a double life. Of that which is not domestic they think it right to say nothing. Some grievous troubles may be upon them-dread of failure, certainty of loss, remorse for some mistake which has plunged them into anxiety, and they make no sign of it save by a change of manner, which to the women who are ignorant that they have any cares is incomprehensible. The wife would be sympathetic; but when a frowning brow, silence and a lack of the usual caresses are all the token she has of her liege lord's trouble, all her boasted intuition cannot keep her from flying to the conclusion that it is a personal matter, that she is no longer loved, or that he loves some one else. And I believe much domestic misery has been caused in the first place by the man's secretiveness when he had no secrets which might not have been shared by his wife. You may say, why should he talk to one who cannot understand or give counsel to a being with such vague ideas of stocks, and banking and speculation, that she can only wonder why things have gone wrong? Well, there are many reasons: the woman who holds him dear will give him more sympathy than any other living being, for one thing; and he needs sympathy, whether he knows it or not. And then she has her rights, for she is a partner in a firm of two, and the books should not be closed to her. She is mate of the vessel in which he is captain, and surely should know what shoals are near: and moreover, if you love her you do not want to make her miserable. Trust her. -Good Words.


Facts, Hints, Gems, and Poetry.


For nearly eight hundred years London Bridge was the only one over the river Thames.

The average age of sheep is ten years; cows, fifteen; hogs, fifteen; and horses not used as beasts of burden, twenty.

According to M. de Lesseps, previous to 1870, rain fell only about once a year in the region of the Suez Canal,

now it falls twice a month-one of the results accruing from the canal.

Pearls I take to be the devout thoughts of oysters living in holy hermitage.-Beecher.

Most of our misfortunes are more supportable than the comments of our friends upon them.-Colton.

"I never complained of my condition," said the Persian poet Sadi, "but once, when my feet were bare and I had no money to buy shoes; but then I met a man without feet, and I became contented with my lot."


Patience is the art of enduring human stupidity.

Our opportunities to do good are our talents. Dr. C. Mather.

The new Doomsday Book of Great Britain and Ireland gives the population of the United Kingdom at 28,000,000; the number of inhabited houses is put at 5,212,932, and there are 72,117,766 acres of assessable land in the kingdom. It is on the bed of luxury, not on Out of the 42,035,846 passengers the rock of nature, that scepticism has carried on the railroads of Massachu- its birth.-James Martineau. setts in 1875, not one was killed by If thou seekest thyself, thou shall any cause not occasioned by his own also find thyself, but to thine own carelessness, and only six were in any destruction.-Thomas a Kempis. way injured, and most of these but very slightly.

The more enlarged is our mind the greater we discover of men of originality. Your common-place people see no difference between one and another.-Pascal.

Dr. Forbes Winslow, who is regarded as one of the most able modern authorities on mental derangement, records it as a startling fact, not a mere rumour, Love is circumspect, humble.and that over 10,000 persons of unsound upright; not yielding to softness, or mind are confined in lunatic asylums to levity, not attending to vain things; in the United States, driven mad from it is sober, chaste, steady, quiet, and over-excitement by Spiritualism. guarded in all the senses.-Thomas a Kempis.


Character is the diamond that scratches every other stone.

The world is his who can see through its pretensions.-Emmerson.

Free souls freely work: whoever fears God fears to sit at ease.-Mrs. Browning.

I think it must somewhere be written, that the virtues of mothers shall, occasionally, be visited on their children, as well as the sins of fathers. -Dickens.

Poetic Selections.


FRESH glides the brook and blows the gale,
Yet yonder halts the quiet mill;
The whirling wheel, the rushing sail,

How motionless and still!

Six days of toil, poor child of Cain,

The seventh thy limbs escape the chain-
Thy strength the slave of want may be;

A God hath made thee free!

Ah! tender was the law that gave

This holy respite to the breast,


To breathe the gale, to watch the wind,
And know the wheel may rest.

But where the waves the gentlest glide,
What image charms to light thine eyes?
The spire reflected on the tide,
Invites thee to the skies.

To teach the soul its noblest worth,
The rest from mortal toil is given;
Go, snatch the brief reprieve from earth,
And pass-a guest to heaven.

They tell thee, in their dreaming school,
Of power from old dominion hurled,
When rich and poor, with juster rule,
Shall share the altered world.

Alas! since time itself began,

That fable hath but fooled the hour; Each age that ripens power in man, But subjects man to power.

Yet every day in seven, at least,

One bright republic shall be known;
Man's world awhile hath surely ceased
When God proclaims His own!

Six days may rank divide the poor,
O Dives, from thy banquet-hall;
The seventh the Father opes His door,
And holds His feast for all!


A MAN in his carriage was riding along,
A gaily dressed wife by his side;

In satin and laces she looked like a queen,
And he like a king in his pride.

I'd give my wealth for the strength and the health

Of the man who sawed the wood."

A pretty young maid, with a bundle of work,
Whose face, as the morning, was fair,
Went tripping along with a smile of delight,
While humming a love-breathing air.

She looked on the carriage, the lady she


Arrayed in apparel so fine,

And said in a whisper, "I wish from my heart

Those satins and laces were mine."

The lady looked out on the maid with her work,

So fair in her calico dress,

And said, "I'd relinquish position and wealth

Her beauty and youth to possess."

Thus it is in the world, whatever our lot,
Our minds and our time we employ

In longing and sighing for what we have

Ungrateful for what we enjoy.

'Twas ever so, that he who dared
To sail upon a sea unknown,
Must go upon a voyage unshared,
And brave its perils all alone.
Columbus, with his faith alone,
Sailed for new land beyond the sea;
Trusted behind by few or none,
Around him faithless mutiny.

A wood sawyer stood on the street as they And he who, not content to sit passed,

The carriage and couple he eyed,

And said, as he worked with his saw on a log,

"I wish I was rich and could ride."

The man in the carriage remarked to his wife,

"One thing I would give if I could

And dream upon the shores of truth,
Watching the sea-bird fancies flit

And wavelets creep through all his youth,
Must sail unblest of those behind,
While love turns to reproach her tone.
The loving God alone is kind
To him who dares to sail alone.
-M. J. Savage.

The Childrens' Corner.


IT is related of Dr. Scudder that, on his return from his mission in India, after a long absence, he was standing on the deck of the steamer, with bis son, a youth, when he heard a gentleman using loud and profane language: "See, friend," said the doctor, accosting the swearer, "this boy, my son, was born and brought up in a heathen country and a land of pagan idolatry, but, in all his life, he never heard a man blaspheme his Maker until now.' The man coloured, blurted out an apology, and looked not a little ashamed of himself.

[ocr errors]


THE Heathen blotted out? Why they hold four-fifths of the world. And what have we Christians invented without their aid--painting, sculpture? these are heathen arts, and we but pigmies at them.

What have we invented? Is it monotheism? [belief in one God.] Why the learned and philosophical among the Greeks and Romans held it; even their more enlightened poets were monotheists in their sleeves. Their vulgar were polytheists [worshipping many Gods]; and what are ours? We have not invented "invocation of the saints." Our sancti answers to their Dæmones and Divi, and the heathen used to pray their Divi or deified mortals to intercede with the higher divinity; but the ruder minds among them, incapable of nice distinctions, worshipped those lesser gods they should have but invoked. And so do the mob of Christians in our day, following the heathen vulgar by unbroken tradition. For in holy writ is no polytheism of any sort or kind.

The pagan vulgar worshipped all sorts of deified mortals, and each had his favourite, to whom he prayed ten times for once to the Omnipotent. Our vulgar worship canonized mortals, and each has his favourite, to whom he prays ten times for once to God. Call you that invention ? Invention is confined to the East. Among the ancient vulgar only the mariners were monotheists; they worshipped Venus; called her "Stella maris," and "Regina cælorum." Among our vulgar only the mariners are monotheists; they worship the Virgin Mary, and call her the "Star of the Sea," and the " Queen of Heaven." Call you theirs a new religion? An old doublet with a new button. Our vulgar make images, and adore them, which is absurd; for adoration is the homage due from a creature to its creator; now here man is the creator; so the statues ought to worship him, and would, if they had brains enough to justify a rat in worshipping them. But even this abuse, though childish enough to be modern, is ancient. The pagan vulgar in these parts made their images, then knelt before them, adorned them with flowers, offered incense to them, lighted tapers before them, carried them in procession, and made pilgrimages to them just to the smallest tittle as we their imitators do.

Indeed we owe all our Palladiuncula, and all our speaking, nodding, winking, sweating, bleeding statues, to these poor abused heathens: the Athenian statues all sweated before the battle of Charonea; so did the Roman statues during Tully's consulship, viz., the statue of Victory at Capua, of Mars at Rome, and of Apollo outside the gates. The Palladium itself was brought to

« VorigeDoorgaan »