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ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
but he could not read in an English Bible. But he could read in Arabic. His master, on a journey to New York, bought an Arabic Bible for him, and the slave was greatly pleased with the gift. The minister, Mr. S., who related this, said, that after talking with the slave, he expressed a desire to see the Bible. It was accordingly brought from the place where it was carefully kept. It seems that the poor slave felt his Bible to be so precious that he asked his mistress to give him something to wrap it in, that it might be kept nice, and free from injury. She gave him, at first, a green flannel bag, but he thought this not nice enough to wrap the Bible in. So she hunted among her treasures, and found a piece of crimson silk velvet cloth, in which he carefully wrapped his precious Bible, and then put it into his green bag. He kissed his Bible before returning it to its place. Mr. S. said that he could not discover any dirt or dog-leaf in it. The slave had always been in the habit of washing his hands before he took up his Bible.
JESUS-Our True Friend.-How much we need real friendship in this world. But, alas, how little of it is to be found! Friendship needs to be shown most of all in the day of adversity, when the clouds lower and there is none to help. How often under such circumstances are our earthly expectations blasted! There is one, however, who exactly meets this great need of humanity, who is a friend for adversity, one that "sticketh closer than a brother"-Jesus is the true friend. Seneca, going to comfort his friend Polybius, persuaded him to bear his afflictions, patiently, because he was the emperor's favourite; telling him that it was not lawful for him to complain while the Cæsar was his friend. Oh! but the sure word of God affords a better cordial, that which is true comfort indeed it bids every true child of God not to be overmuch dejected under the greatest afflictions because he is God's jewel, God's child, God's inheritance, and God's Son is his constant, unfailing friend. "Doctor, what shall I do?" asked a patient of her medical adviser. "My friends are all out of town." "You may have one friend," was the answer, "who is never out of the way, but ever near and ever true. Jesus is the best Friend for earth or heaven." The last words of President Edwards when he came to die, were, after bidding his friends good-bye, "Now where is Jesus of Nazareth, my true and never failing Friend?" and so saying, he fell asleep. Reader, is Jesus your Friend? Make Him so by true and living faith, and He will never fail you.-Living Epistle.
WHAT IS A GENTLEMAN ?-A gentleman is just a gentle man, no more, no less; a diamond polished that was first a diamond in the rough. A gentleman is gentle. A gentleman is modest. A gentleman is slow to take offence, as being one who never gives it. A gentleman is slow to surmise evil, as being one who never thinks it. A gentleman subjects his appetites. A gentleman refines his tastes. A gentleman subdues his feelings. A gentleman controls his speech. A gentleman deems every other better than himself. Sir Philip Sidney was never so much of a gentleman-mirror though he was of English
knighthood—as when, upon the field of Zutphen, as he lay in his own blood, he waived the draught of cool spring water that was to quench his mortal thirst, in favour of a dying soldier. St. Paul described a gentleman when he exhorted the Philippian Christians, "Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think of these things."
DR. TYNG AND THE NEGRO.-Dr. Tyng told a story of himself not long ago, which had some point in it to those who are eager to preach before they are ready. While studying in Virginia, he was in the habit of holding a service at a neighbouring chapel. A friendly old darkey used to pass his church, and trudge a mile beyond to a Methodist meeting-house. When asked why he did not go to hear Massa Tyng, he made this shrewd reply: "Ah, no; don't catch dis nigger lettin' de students practise on him."
It is in the family life that a man's piety gets tested. Let the husband be cross and surly, giving a snap here and a cuff there, and see how out of sorts everything gets! The wife grows cold and unamiable, too. Both are tuned on one key. They vibrate in unison, giving tone for tone, rising in harmony or discord together. The children grow up saucy, and savage as young bears. The father becomes callous, peevish, hard, a kind of two-legged brute with clothes on. The wife bristles in self-defence. They develop an unnatural growth and sharpness of teeth; and the house is haunted by ugliness and domestic brawls. Is that what God meant the family to be-He who made it a place for love to build her nest in, and where kindness and sweet courtesy might come to their finest manifestations? The Divine idea can be realised. There is sunshine enough in the world to warm all. Why will not men come out of their caves to enjoy it? Some men make it a point to treat every other man's wife well but their ownhave smiles for all but their kindred. Strange, pitiable picture of human weakness, when those we love best are treated worst; when courtesy is shown to all save our friends! If one must be rude to any, let it be to some one he does not love-not to wife, sister, brother, or parent. Let one of our loved ones be taken away, and memory recalls a thousand sayings to regret. Death quickens recollection painfully. The grave cannot hide the white faces of those who sleep. The coffin and the green mound are cruel magnets. They draw us farther than we would go. They force us to remember. A man never sees so far
THE FIRESIDE.-THE PENNY POST BOX.
into human life as when he looks over a wife's or mother's grave. His eyes get wondrous clear then, and he sees as never before what it is to love and be loved; what it is to injure the feelings of the loved.
A MOTHER'S SOFT HAND.
JOHN NEWTON, when a young man, was very wild and wicked, but he had a good mother; afterward he was converted, and became a true Christian. He used often to say, "Even when I was very wild, I could never forget my mother's soft hand. When going to do something wicked, I could always feel her soft hand on my head. If thousands of miles away from her, I could not forget that." Oh, never forget your mother's soft hand and her loving words!
The Penny Post Box.
THE WORTH OF FINE MANNERS.
It would be vain as it would be ungracious to combat against the favourable influence of charm of manner. Engaging manners and bright conversation must and will always sway those brought under their attraction, and it is right that they should do so, for they are good qualities, though they may be only natural ones; and the enjoyment of them in others may be accepted as one of the amenities of our lot, if we meet with them in the order of Providence, and do not go out of our way to put ourselves under their influence. What a catalogue of social virtues it needs to make a man generally belovedsweetness of temper, good-nature, a yielding will, and ready compliance, a toleration of others' infirmities, and forbearance under small slights and hindrances, sympathy with others' modes of feeling, and delicacy of adaptation. Many a hero-we may add, many a saint-is without them, and makes his great cause to suffer from their absence. The reward of his labours is sought in a higher sphere, not in the praise of men; and his greatest admirers have often to become his apologists in the minor details of deportment and manner, conscious that he who would sacrifice his life for the sake of religion, or for the good of his fellowmen, yet failed to make himself agreeable to his personal acquaintances. But because from the infirmity of our nature great interests and high aims often make men regardless of lesser proprieties, let us not esteem the want of them as other than a fault, nor grudge the domestic philanthropist who cheers his neighbours' firesides, who raises their dulled spirits, whose presence brings refreshment with it, who enhances their every-day joys, and sympathizes in the little trials that each day also brings in its train-though it may be only through the impulses of a genial nature-his reward, in his indulgent hosts of friends, with their warm welcomes, hearty praises, affectionate extenuations, tender regrets.
FACTS, HINTS, GEMS, AND POETRY.
Facts, Hints, Gems, and Poetry.
London has nearly sixty thousand milliners and dressmakers.
The population of the United States is estimated at 45,000,000.
There are two thousand bats in the natural history section of the British Museum.
There are 3,000 Chinese in the Sandwich Islands. About thirty of them profess to be Christians.
The Presbyterian Church in England has 260 congregations, 53,000 members, and an annual income of £163,000.
There is an elm tree in Paris that was planted in 1605, in the reign of Henry IV. This year its leaves were as early as those of its younger neighbours.
If you would know, and not be known, live in a city.-Colton.
National enthusiasm is the great nursery of genius.-Tuckerman.
I never have found cunning and honesty living together yet.-Josh Billings.
you cannot stop a watch. So it is with the talk of men and women. Man is a great, ugly, coarse machine, but you can silence him. Woman is a beautiful, fragile, jewelled thing-but she will run on till she stops of herself."
The man who does no good, gets none.
As the rainbow is unravelled light, so Christ is unravelled God.-Joseph Cook.
Learning is an ornament in prosperity, a refuge in adversity, and an excellent provision in old age.
Hard labour is not when you are very actively employed, but when you must be.-Whately.
Nature has many perfections to show that it is an image of the Deity; and it has defects, to show that it is but an image.-Pascal.
None are so fond of secrets as those who do not mean to keep them; such persons covet secrets as a spendthrift does money, for the purpose of circulation.-Colton.
ALONE WITH CONSCIENCE.
Our strength often increases in proportion to the obstacles which are imposed upon it; it is thus that we enter upon the most perilous plans after having had the shame of failing in And we talked of my former living more simple ones.-Rapin.
One very common error misleads the opinion of mankind universally; that authority is pleasant, submission painful. In the general course of human affairs the very reverse of this is near the truth. Command is anxiety; obedience, ease.-Pascal.
Sir John Bennett, the Alderman and well-known watchmaker in the city of London, delivered a lecture the other day, during which he used the following happy metaphor: "You can stop a clock at any moment," he said, "but
In the land where the years increased.
The question it put to me,
The ghosts of forgotten actions
Came floating before my sight,
Was an awful thing to face-
POETIC SELECTIONS.-THE CHILDRENS' CORNER.
And I thought of a far away warning,
Of a sorrow that was to be mine,
And I thought of my former thinking
Then I felt that the future was present,
For it was but the thought of my past life
Then I woke from my timely dreaming,
And the vision passed away,
And so I have learned a lesson
Which I ought to have known before, And which, though I learnt it dreaming, I hope to forget no more.
So I sit alone with my conscience
In the place where the years increase, And I try to remember the future
In the land where time will cease.
And I know of the future judgment,
IF WE KNEW.
If we knew, when walking thoughtless
If we knew what forms are fainting
Planting rows of shading palms.
If we knew what feet are weary,
Poor, repentant Magdalenes;
If we knew when friends around us
First beneath the flowers should lie,
Fell our bitter, blinding tears,
The Childrens' Corner.
TRUTH AND FALSEHOOD.
I ONCE asked a deaf and dumb boy, "What is truth?" He replied by thrusting his finger forward in a straight line. I then asked him, "What is falsehood?" when he made a zigzag with his finger. Try to remember this; let whoever will take a zigzag path, go you on your way straight as an arrow to its mark, and shrink back from falsehood as you would from a venomous viper.