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THE PROGRESS OF ONE CENTURY.
that is, we burnt the same articles, and got about the same amount of light from them, as we did four thousand years ago. Now we use gas, of which each burner is equal to fifteen or twenty candles; and when we wish for more, can have recourse to the electric light or analogous inventions, which are fifty-fold more brilliant and far-reaching than even the best gas. The streets of cities, which, from the days of Pharaoh to those of Voltaire, were dim and gloomy even where not wholly unlighted, now blaze everywhere (except in London) with something of the brilliancy of moonlight. In a word, all the advance that has been made in these respects has been made since many of us were children. We remember light as it was in the days of Solomon; we see it as Drummond and Faraday have made it.
"The same thing may be said of locomotion. Nimrod and Noah travelled just in the same way, and just at the same rate, as Thomas Acsheton Smith and Mr. Coke, of Norfolk. The chariots of the Olympic Games went just as fast as the chariots that conveyed our nobles to the Derby in our hot youth, when George the Third was king.' When Abraham wanted to send a message to Lot, he despatched a man on horseback, who galloped twelve miles an hour. When our fathers wanted to send a message to their nephews, they could do no better and go no quicker. When we were young, if we wished to travel from London to Edinburgh, we thought ourselves lucky if we could average eight miles an hour, just as Robert Bruce might have done. Now, in our old age, we feel ourselves aggrieved if we do not average forty miles. Everything that has been done in this line since the world began-everything, perhaps, that the capacities of matter and the conditions of the human frame will ever allow to be done-has been done since we were boys. The same at sea. Probably, when the wind was favourable, Ulysses, who was a bold and skilful navigator, sailed as fast as a Dutch merchantman of the year 1800, nearly as fast at times as a yacht or clipper of our fathers' day. Now, we steam twelve and fifteen miles an hour with wonderful regularity, whether wind and tide be favourable or not; nor is it likely that we shall ever be able to go much faster. But the progress in the means of communication is the most remarkable of all. In this respect, Mr. Pitt was no better off than Pericles or Agammemon. If Ruth had wished to write to Naomi, or David to send a word of love to Jonathan when he was a hundred miles away, they could not possibly have done it under twelve hours. Nor could we to our friends, fifty years ago."
WHOM GOD HELPS.
WHOM GOD HELPS.
THEN let those be afraid who are not afraid; and let those who are afraid take heart. Let those who think they stand, take heed lest they fall. Let those who think they see, take care that they be not blind. Let those be afraid who fancy themselves right, and above all mistakes, lest they should be full of ugly sins when they fancy themselves most religious and devout. Let those be afraid who are fond of advising others, lest they should be in more need of their own medicine than their patients are. Let those people who pride themselves on their cunning take care, lest with all their cunning they lead themselves into their own trap.
But those who are afraid, let them take heart. For what says the high and holy One, who inhabits eternity? "I dwell with him who is of an humble and contrite heart, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."
Let them take beart. Do you feel that you have lost your way in life? Then God Himself will show you your way. Are you utterly helpless, worn out, body and soul? Then God's
eternal love is ready and willing to help you and revive you. Are you worried with doubts and terrors? Then God's eternal light is ready to show you your way; God's eternal peace ready to give you peace. Do you feel yourself full of sins and faults? Then take heart; for God's unchangeable will is to take away those sins and purge you from those faults.
Are you tormented as Job was, over and above all your sorrows, by mistaken kindness, and comforters in whom is no comfort; who break the bruised reed, and quench the smoking flax; who tell you that you must be wicked, and God must be angry with you, or all this would not have come upon you? Job's comforters did so, and spoke very righteous-sounding words, and took great pains to justify God, and to break poor Job's heart, and made him say many wild and foolish words in answer, for which he was sorry afterwards. But after all, the Lord's answer was, "My wrath is kindled against you there, for you have not spoken of me the thing which was right, as my servant Job hath. Therefore, my servant Job shall pray for you, for him will I accept;" as He will accept every humble and contrite soul who clings, amid all its doubts and fears and sorrows, to the faith that God is just and not unjust; merciful and not cruel; condescending and not proud; that His will is a good will, and not a bad will; that He hateth nothing that He hath made, and willeth the death of no
man; and in that faith casts itself down like Job, in dust and ashes, before the majesty of God, content not to understand His ways and its own sorrows, but simply submitting itself in resigning itself to the good will of that God who so loved the world that He spared not His only begotten Son, but freely gave Him for us. -Charles Kingsley.
"NEARER TO THEE."
GOD is not far away,-they err,
And gleaming thro' the ethereal bars,
Beyond this world of woe and sin,
When o'er the azure plains on high
The chariot wheels of thunder roll, And, piercing thro' the human soul The fiery pointed lightnings fly; Where waters leap, in torrents wild,
O'er rocky steeps, and loud and shrill, They startle meadow-land and hill, With mighty voice; fair nature's child Is taught that this is God, and bows With humble, reverential vows.
The mighty ocean, stretching round The ponderous earth, whose billows roll
From shore to shore, from pole to
Speaks in a language most profound
On His blue banner were unfurled,
In burning lines, we plainly see
Yes, every star that lights the deep
Eternal summer nods and blooms,
Yet He is near, else when the snare
Is spread to take my wayward feet,
Amid the shadows and the night,
But the dear presence, ever near
Yes, very near, not far away,
Else why at morn and eventide,
And thro' the night and thro' the day,
And as the sweet communions blend,
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
Anecdotes and Selections.
THINGS TEMPORAL.-God never intended temporal things for His people's portion; therefore from them they must not expect their relief in times of trouble. He will have us read His love to us by things within us, not by things without us. He hath other ways of expressing His love to His people than by the similes of His providence upon them. How would earthly things be overvalued and idolized, if, besides their inconveniency to our bodies, they should be the marks and evidences of God's love to our souls! A Christian is to value Himself as the merchant or the husbandman doth. The merchant values himself by his bills and goods abroad, not by the ready cash that lies by him; and the husbandman by his deeds and leases, and so many acres of corn he hath in the ground, and knows he hath a good estate, though sometimes he is not able to command twenty shillings. Christian, thy estate also lies in good promises, and new covenant securities, whether thou hast inore or less of earthly comforts in thy hands.-Flavel.
THE ROLL CALL IN HEAVEN.-An incident is related by a chaplain who was in the army. The hospital tents had been filling up fast as the wounded men had been brought to the rear. Among the number was a young man mortally wounded and not able to speak. It was near midnight, and many a loved one from our homes lay sleeping on the battle-field-that sleep that knows no waking until Jesus shall call for them. The surgeons had been their rounds of duty, and for a moment all was quiet. Suddenly this young man, before speechless, calls in a clear, distinct voice, "Here." The surgeon hastened to his side and asked what he wished. "Nothing," said he, "they are calling the roll in heaven, and I was answering to my name." He turned his head and was gone-gone to join the great army whose uniform is washed white in the blood of the Lamb. Reader, in the great roll of Eternity your name will be heard; can you answer, Here? Are you one of the soldiers of Christ, the great Captain of salvation?
LATIMER'S CANDLE.-The martyrdom of the venerable Bishops, Latimer and Ridley, took place at Oxford, October 16th, 1555. The two noble martyrs quietly stood on either side of the stake, while, as chained captives, they were firmly fastened to it. Ridley was supplied by Shipside with some gunpowder, as was also Latimer. All being ready, a light was then brought and applied to the fagots. Bishop Latimer turned and addressed to his fellow martyr those memorable, prophetic, and imperishable words which every protestant should have engraved on his memory, "Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as, I trust, shall never be put out." The flames arose, and with them the cry of Ridley, "Lord, receive my spirit!" Latimer vehemently crying out, "O, Father of heaven, receive my soul!" He appeared to welcome the flames, embraced them, bathed his hands in
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
them, and soon died with little pain. Thus, Latimer and his companion, like Elijah, entered heaven in a chariot of fire. Men may die, but their words live on; and it is well, at the present time, to ponder over Latimer's last words as a sacred legacy. Can it be possible that at Oxford spiritual decay has commenced, and that scriptural truth is less appreciated than formerly? In nature, above all things, the water must be pure at the fountain; in like manner, at the fountain-head of learning, the school of the prophets, the truth, pure and simple, ought to be taught. The martyr's memorial, standing, as it does, at Oxford, should be a sermon in stone to remind professors and students of Latimer's memorial words.
MARY'S BOX.-Our Lord praised few when on earth; but He commended one for doing something which you and I can do: "She hath done what she could!" I often think He praised her for that, to encourage us all to do our best. Men-hard, Pharisee, and cabala men -misunderstood and sneered at poor Mary's broken box of alabaster; but He for whom she broke it recognized, appreciated, and accepted the oblation; and still true as ever is that parable of the broken box; for "the sacrifice of God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise!" Many a heart's secret fragrance, and capacity for precious gifts and graces, would never have been known, but that, like Mary's box, that heart was broken for Christ. Then the words came home to it with a sweeter, diviner unction. It had nothing else to offer, so it offered that-the sacrifice of God, which is a broken spirit; and that broken, contrite heart, which man may ridicule, but Thou, O God, wilt not despise !-Rev. J. B. Owen.
PRECOCITY OF SOME WRITERS.-Milton had written a considerable amount of verse prior to his eighteenth year. Abraham Cowley's "Pryamus and Tishbe" was written at ten; his "Constantia and Philetus" at twelve; and these and other "poetical blossoms published when he was fifteen. Pope composed the "Ode to Solitude," and part of an epic poem, "about twelve." All the writings of Thomas Chatterton were finished, and his own self-extinguished life was closed, when he had accomplished seventeen years and three months. Collins's "Persian Eclogues were composed at seventeen; Henry Kirke White's works were all produced while in his twentysecond year; and we scarcely forget Connop Thirlwall's "Primitiæ," written between eight and eleven; Leigh Hunt's "Juvinilia," or poems written between the age of twelve and sixteen; Shelley's Queen Mab," at sixteen; Byron's "English Bards and Scottish Reviewers," at twenty; Walter Savage Landor's "Poems," published in his twentieth year; and the "Lyrical Poems" of Alfred Tennyson, issued at the same age. Henry Taylor's "Isaac Commenus " composed before he had attained his majority. Douglas Jerrold's first play, though not performed till his eighteenth, was written in his fifteenth year; and James Sheridan Knowles wrote his first drama at twelve years of age, for a company of stage-struck boys, among whom he was the "star."-British Quarterly Review.