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Title: The Deaf Shoemaker - To Which Are Added Other Stories for the Young
Author: Barrett, Philip
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Deaf Shoemaker - To Which Are Added Other Stories for the Young" ***

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  The Deaf Shoemaker


  [Illustration: A SABBATH IN THE COUNTRY, page 190]




  Other Stories for the Young.

  ’Tis RELIGION that can give
  Sweetest pleasures while we live;
  ’Tis RELIGION must supply
  Solid comfort when we die.

                            MRS. MASTERS.

  No. 506 BROADWAY,

Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1859, by

  M. W. DODD,

In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the United States for
the Southern District of New York.

  Printer & Stereotyper,
  No. 26 Frankfort Street.

  This Little Volume is
                                              PHILIP BARRETT.



ENCOURAGED by your kind reception of my former little volume, I have
gathered together my scattered sketches with the earnest wish and
heart-felt prayer that they may be instrumental in leading you to
childhood’s best and truest friend—the blessed SAVIOUR.

                    Your attached Friend,
                              PHILIP BARRETT,
    _Rural Retirement, Va._


  JOHN McDONOUGH                                   9

  MARY AND HER DRAWER                             14

  “IT IS I!”                                      18

  THE ORPHAN                                      22

  THE RECORDING ANGEL                             26

  THOMAS WARD                                     29

  THE ROSE                                        34

  THE LANTERN                                     38

  THE DECISIVE MOMENT                             43

  THE ALARM WATCH                                 46

  “CONDEMNED”                                     51

  “I WANT TO BE A MINISTER”                       55

  RUFUS TAYLOR                                    60

  JAMES JONES                                     63

  GERTRUDE MASON                                  68

  THE DEAF SHOEMAKER                              71

  NORMAN HALL                                     77

  “DELAY NOT”                                     80

  THE SAVIOUR                                     85

  AUTUMN                                          89

  NERO                                            94

  THE RAILROAD                                   100

  A TRUE SKETCH                                  104

  “THE LAST NIGHT OF THE SEASON”                 108

  HUGH MILLER AND THE PRECIPICE                  112

  THE HOME OF ST. PAUL                           116

  HOME                                           121

  TO MY SABBATH-SCHOOL CLASS                     128

  HALF AN HOUR IN BAD COMPANY                    131

  THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW YEAR                  134


  MARGARET WILSON                                140

  GILBERT HUNT                                   145

  SKETCHES FOR YOUNG MEN                         155

    THE LAMP AND THE LANTERN, No. 1              157

          ”             ”     No. 2              159

          ”             ”     No. 3              164

    “WHO SHALL BE THE GREATEST?” No. 1           169

              ”          ”       No. 2           172

              ”          ”       No. 3           174

    THE POOR CONSUMPTIVE                         181

    “WHAT I LIVE FOR”                            184

    THE LAST SERMON OF THE SEASON                186

    “WILL NOBODY SAVE ME?”                       188

    A SABBATH IN THE COUNTRY                     190


    WHAT PRAYER DOES                             202

    “PRAY WITHOUT CEASING”                       204

  APPENDIX                                       207


  “JESUS, lover of my soul,
     Let me to Thy bosom fly,
   While the raging billows roll,
     While the tempest still is high.

  “Hide me, O my Saviour, hide,
     Till the storm of life is past
   Safe into the haven guide;
     O receive my soul at last.”

“JOHN MCDONOUGH! who is _he?_” my young reader will doubtless exclaim.

It is true, his name is not written in golden letters on the pages of
History,—no Senate chamber has resounded with his eloquence,—the
conqueror’s wreath has never encircled his brow; but John McDonough has
performed a deed which posterity, to the remotest generation, can never

But a few weeks since, the steamer Northern Indiana was burned on one
of the Northern lakes, and then and there it was, that this noble and
gallant deed was performed.

You who have never seen a ship on fire can form no idea of the awful
horror of such a scene. All was wild excitement and mad confusion. The
flames spread like a whirlwind over the noble ship, and soon wrapt it
in their withering embrace. Every heart was lifted to God in prayer;
every voice was joined in supplication; mothers were clasping their
infants to their bosoms; husbands endeavoring to save their wives;
fathers encircling their sons in their strong and unfailing arms; the
waters were a mass of living, immortal beings, struggling for life.

Amid the hissing of the flames, the pale glare of the atmosphere,
and the wild shrieks of hopeless agony that arose from the sinking
passengers, John McDonough might have been seen, calm and composed,
struggling nobly with the swelling waves, and bearing in one hand
_life-preservers_ to the perishing souls scattered over the surface of
the lake, which, to many, was destined soon to be the winding-sheet of

How noble the action! How my heart swells within me when I think of the
gallant and fearless conduct of such a man!

When despair clothed every brow, fear paled every cheek, and the wild
cry—“Save, Lord, or I perish”—echoed in the ears of the drowning,
his lofty brow showed no signs of fear, his eye beamed with hope. He
still struggled on, and on, till many and many a soul was rescued from
a watery grave.

I had rather be the brave, the dauntless, the self-sacrificing John
McDonough—the humble laborer on the ill-fated Northern Indiana—than
Alexander the Great weeping because there were no other worlds for him
to conquer.

God bless thee, noble John McDonough!

Though no eulogy be pronounced at thy death, no booming cannon thunder
over thy grave, no proud monument mark thy resting-place, yet there
will be erected in the hearts of thy countrymen a monument more lasting
than marble, more enduring than brass. May thy name live forever!

My young friends, do you not also see, concealed as it were by the
terrible grandeur and painful horror of the scene, a beautiful and
important truth displayed in the conduct of this noble-hearted man?

We are all embarked in a ship. The destination of that ship is
_Eternity_. The voyage is tempestuous, and when we least expect it, the
fires of hell may take hold upon us. But, thanks be to God, there is a
Great Life-preserver always at hand. That Life-preserver I now extend
to you: reject it if you dare; destruction is the consequence. Accept
it; and you will soon be landed on the blissful shores of Heaven. That
Life-preserver is


       *       *       *       *       *


  “ROCK OF AGES, cleft for me,
  Let me hide myself in Thee;
  Let the water and the blood,
  From Thy wounded side which flowed,
  Be of sin the double cure;
  Cleanse me from its guilt and power.

  “Not the labor of my hands
  Can fulfil the law’s demands;
  Could my zeal no respite know,
  Could my tears forever flow,
  All for sin could not atone,
  Thou must save, and Thou alone.

  “Nothing in my hand I bring,
  Simply to Thy cross I cling;
  Naked, come to Thee for dress;
  Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
  Vile, I to the Fountain fly,
  Wash me, Saviour, or I die.

  “While I draw this fleeting breath,
  When my heart-strings break in death,
  When I soar to worlds unknown,
  See Thee on Thy judgment throne,—
  Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
  Let me hide myself in Thee.”



  I CANNOT curb my temper,
    I might as well have tried
  To stop, with little pebbles,
    A river’s rapid tide.
  My good resolves I hardly form,
  When trifles raise an angry storm.

                              CHILD’S CHRISTIAN YEAR.

THE church bells were sending forth their merry chimes, and hundreds of
children were wending their way to the Sabbath-school. Mary was late
that morning, and ran very quickly to her drawer, in which were kept
her gloves, hymn-book, catechism, &c., and endeavored to jerk it open
at once; but in so doing she got it crooked, and it would move neither

Being in a great hurry, she began at once to fret and blame the drawer
for not coming out. She soon became quite angry; her check flushed, her
eyes sparkled, and with a violent effort she pulled the drawer out,
emptied its contents on the floor, tore her dress, disfigured her
hymn-book, and almost ruined the drawer itself.

Her father was patiently waiting in the hall for his little daughter,
when the accident occurred, and asked her what was the matter. Her
instant reply was, “Nothing, Father; you go on—I will overtake you

Little Mary did not overtake her father, and he looked in vain for her
at the Sabbath-school.

Her dress was so badly torn that she could not go to Sabbath-school,
and with tears flowing down her cheeks, she sat down and thought
soberly over her conduct.

She doubtless felt very sorry for her anger, and the unnecessary damage
she had done.

No one, when the family returned from church, said a word to her, but
left her to her own reflections. When her father had taken off his hat
and seated himself, she modestly approached him, threw her arms around
his neck, and said,—

“Father, do you know why your little Mary was absent from
Sabbath-school this morning?”

“No, my child,” he replied.

“I was in a very great hurry, and attempted to pull my drawer out very
quickly, and got it fastened so tightly that it would move neither one
way nor the other. I tried and tried, but it would not move. I then
got angry with the drawer, pulled it very hard, and not only scattered
its contents over the floor, but hung the knob in my dress and tore it
so badly that I could not come to the Sabbath-school.”

Her father told her he willingly forgave her, and that she must also
ask God’s forgiveness, for she had committed a sin in giving way to
her anger. He also told her to remember that nothing was ever made by
getting angry. If she ever tried to do anything, and could not do it at
once, she must not get angry, but be patient and calm.

I hope this little thing taught Mary an important lesson—and may it
teach you the same, dear little reader. _Nothing was ever made by
getting angry, but something always lost._

       *       *       *       *       *


  MY love, you have met with a trial to-day
    Which I hoped to have seen you oppose;
  But alas, in a moment your temper gave way,
    And the pride of your bosom arose.

  I saw the temptation, and trembled for fear
    Your good resolutions should fall;
  And soon, by your eye and your color, my dear,
    I found you had broken them all.

  Oh, why did you suffer this troublesome sin
    To rise in your bosom again?
  And when you perceived it already within,
    Oh, why did you let it remain?

  As soon as temptation is put in your way,
    And passion is ready to start,
  ’Tis then you must try to subdue it, and pray
    For courage to bid it depart.

  But now you can only with sorrow implore
    That Jesus would pardon your sin,
  Would help you to watch for your enemy more,
    And put a new temper within.

                              JANE TAYLOR.

“IT IS I!”

  “CLAIM me, Shepherd, as Thine own,
   Oh, protect me, Thou alone!
   Let me hear Thy gracious voice,
   Make my fainting heart rejoice.”

THERE was once a great storm on the Sea of Galilee.

The wild winds howled, and the furious waves rose almost mountain high.

There was a small vessel in the midst of this storm, and in this vessel
were some of Christ’s disciples.

When the storm had reached its utmost fury, and certain destruction
seemed to await those who were in it, a man was seen walking on the
water towards the vessel.

The disciples were at once struck with wonder and amazement. They were
doubtless somewhat superstitious, and supposed it to be a spirit;
for they were well aware that nothing having flesh and blood like
themselves could walk on the surface of the water without sinking.

But whose familiar voice is that, heard even above the roar of the sea,
and the noise of the winds? Who is He that dares approach their vessel
on such a night?

The voice is the voice of their Saviour; and He who dreads not the
rage of the billows, is He whom “the winds and the sea obey.” What are
His words? They are few and well chosen—such as were best suited to
the occasion: “It is I; be not afraid!” Oh, how welcome the visitor!
How delightful that familiar voice! How the downcast hearts of the
disciples throb with joy when they welcome their Saviour to their
bosoms! How their hearts gush forth in thanks when they see the raging
billows become, at His command, as gentle as a lamb, and the furious
winds as innocent as a little child.

Children, do not we gather some important truths from this Scripture
narrative? In the storms of adversity and sadness, affliction and
bereavement, ought we not hear Christ saying to us, “It is I; be not

       *       *       *       *       *


  THE beating rain in torrents fell,
    The thunder muttered loud,
  And fearful men with deep grief dwell
    Before their Saviour bowed.
  The billows lashed the rock-bound shore,
    The howling winds roared by,
  While feeble cries rose on the gale,
    “Christ, save us, or we die.”

  Upon a bed of sweet repose
    Our blessed Saviour lay,
  While round Him played the lightning’s flash
    From out a frowning sky.
  And feeble cries of grief and woe
    Were heard around His bed,—
  “Oh! Jesus, wake—we perish now,
    Our courage all has fled.”

  The lightnings flashed, the thunder roared,
    The foaming waves rolled by,
  And Jesus calmly rose and said,
    “Fear ye not; it is I.”
  Loud roared the winds in wailing notes,
    The night was cold and chill,
  And to the raging storm He said,
    “Hush, ye winds; peace, be still.”

  The winds were stilled, the sea was calm,
    The clouds soon passed away,
  And sunny skies, with golden gleams,
    Beamed on the face of day.
  “What man is this,” the seamen cry,
    “That e’en the sea ’ll obey?
  He only whispered, ‘Peace, be still,’
    And darkness passed away.”

                              WESTERN RECORDER.


  “AN orphan in the cold wide world,
     Dear Lord, I come to Thee:
   Thou, Father of the fatherless,
     My Friend and Father be!”

“COLD is the world without a father’s arm to shield, and a mother’s
heart to love. The sun shines but dimly on the head of the orphan,
for sorrow claims such as its own, and no earthly power can release
from its embrace. When a father dies, and she who ‘loves with a deep,
strong, fervent love,’ is laid in the grave, then is the brightness of
earthly existence extinguished.”

Children, how accurately do the above lines describe the lonely and
forsaken condition of the orphan!

Have you never felt your little hearts throb with sorrow when you saw
the children of the Orphan Asylum walk quietly down the aisle of the
church and seat themselves in regular order in the front pews? Did not
their plain dress speak to you in language which you were obliged to
hear? Did not the prayer arise from your breasts, that God would be a
Father to the fatherless, that He would watch over, guide and protect,
throughout the journey of life, that helpless little band of fatherless
and motherless children?

How lonely must their condition be. No father to counsel, no mother to
love, no home beneath whose shelter they may rest, but dependent upon
the cold charities of a colder world.

He who would treat unkindly, or wound the feelings of _an orphan_, is
worse than the brute of the field.

My young orphan friends, there is but one source to which I can direct
you; there is but one friend who will never desert you; there is but
one house whose door will never be closed against you.

That source is God; that friend is Christ; that house is one not made
with hands, eternal in the heavens. God will counsel you; upon the
bosom of Christ you may “lean for repose;” and the angels of heaven
will ever welcome you to their blest abode.

The kind father and the loving mother, from whom you have been
separated by death, you shall meet again, if you are Christians.

And to you, dear little readers, who know not the length and breadth
and depth of a Saviour’s love, let me say one word: THERE IS NO

       *       *       *       *       *


  “HOMELESS, friendless, for many years
    I’ve wandered far and wide,
  With none to wipe away my tears,
    And none to be my guide.

  “No gentle word to soothe my grief,
    Words so harshly spoken;
  No tender hand to give relief,
    And now my heart is broken.

  “I sigh to think in former days,
    When by my mother’s side
  I watched the sun’s last golden rays
    As they sank at eventide.

  “Oft I’ve played beside the brook,
    My brother’s hand in hand,
  As each did seek his favor’d nook,
    Then we’re a merry band.

  “I have no friends—my mother’s gone,
    She is far, far away;
  I sit beside her lowly stone,
    And sing my plaintive lay.

  “I pray that God will take me home
    To that bright world above;
  There we shall meet to part no more,
    In that heaven of love.

  “Death has marked me for its own,
    And I no more shall rove;
  God has called the orphan child
    To praise with Him above.

  “Can you hear my prayer, Mother,
    In yonder region bright?
  I’m coming to you now, Mother,
    Earth’s but a dismal night.”


  “AMONG the deepest shades of night
     Can there be one who sees my way?
   Yes, God is as a shining light
     That turns the darkness into day.”

WE are told, that during the trial of Bishop Cranmer, in England, he
heard, as he was making his defence before the judges, the scratching
of a pen behind a screen. The thought at once arose in his mind
that they were taking down every word he uttered. “I should be very
careful,” thought he to himself, “what I say; for the whole of this
will be handed down to posterity, and exert an untold influence for
good or for evil.”

Do you know, my young friends, that there is a Recording Angel in
heaven that takes down not only every wicked word you utter, but the
very thoughts of your minds and desires of your hearts?

Remember, that though your actions are not all seen by men, nor your
thoughts known to your companions, yet every action, thought and word
is carefully recorded in the Book of God’s Remembrance.

How chaste, then, should be your conversation, how guarded your
conduct, how pure your every wish!

At the day of judgment, how full will the pages of that book be of
your unkind treatment of some poor, forsaken little wanderer; of your
revengeful feelings towards your schoolmate for his little acts of
childish thoughtlessness!

But is there not some way to blot out these dark sins from the Book of
God’s Remembrance? Yes, there is. Christ has _died_, that you might
_live_. He assures you that though your sins are “as scarlet, they
shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall
be as wool.”

       *       *       *       *       *


  “IN all my vast concerns with Thee,
    In vain my soul would try
  To shun Thy presence, Lord, or flee
    The notice of Thine eye.

  “Thy all-surrounding sight surveys
    My rising and my rest,
  My public walks, my private ways,
    And secrets of my breast.

  “My thoughts lie open to the Lord
    Before they’re formed within;
  And ere my lips pronounce the word,
    He knows the sense I mean.”


  “COME, my soul, thy suit prepare,
    Jesus loves to answer prayer;
  He Himself has bid thee pray,
    Therefore will not say thee nay.”

EARLY one morning, in the month of September, 184-, Mr. Ward’s family
were assembled around the family altar for prayer, to implore the
blessing and protection of our Heavenly Father in behalf of their only
boy, who was about leaving his home for a distant school.

Thomas, a boy of about twelve summers, was deeply affected by the
solemn services, and as he arose from his knees his eyes were filled
with tears, thinking, perhaps, that he might never be permitted to
enjoy that delightful privilege again. His father prayed particularly
that God would take care of his boy during his absence from his
parents; that He would preserve him from all dangers; that He would be
near him in all his temptations; and, if they should not meet again
on earth, that they might all—father, mother and son—meet where the
“wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest.” He endeavored
to impress upon his mind the necessity of prayer, and that he should
never neglect it, under any circumstances. _Don’t be ashamed to pray,
my son_, said his father.

The ringing of the car-bell announced that in a short time he must
be off. The most trying point had now come,—he must bid his parents
farewell. Clasping his arms around his mother’s neck, he said: “Oh,
my Mother, my Mother, shall I ever see you again?” and with a kiss to
each, bade his affectionate parents adieu, and, valise in hand, walked
hastily to the dépôt.

Having procured his ticket, he seated himself in the cars, and in a
few moments left the home of his childhood for the P—— H—— school,
at B——. His heart was sad, as he thought of the many happy hours he
had spent “at home” with his kind parents, and a tear stole silently
down his cheek. These sad and melancholy thoughts, however, were soon
banished from his mind by the magnificent scenery of the country
through which he was passing.

He thought “the country,” as it was called in town, was the loveliest
place he had ever seen. Thomas’ mind became so much engaged with the
picturesque scenery—mountains, lakes and valleys—that he reached his
place of destination ere he supposed he had travelled half-way.

He met the principal at the dépôt, awaiting his arrival, and in a few
moments they were on their way to the school. Nothing of interest
occurred during the remainder of the day, with the exception of the
boys’ laughing at Thomas, calling him “town boy,” etc.; “initiating”
him, as they termed it. When the time for retiring to rest drew near,
and one after another of the boys fell asleep, Thomas was surprised
that not one of them offered a petition to God, asking Him to take
care of them during the silent watches of the night. He knelt beside
his bed, and attempted to offer a short prayer; but his companions
were laughing and singing, and he arose from his knees, wishing that
he was at home, where he could, in his quiet little chamber, offer up
his evening devotions. Some of the boys were actually so rude as to
call him “Parson Ward,” and ask him if he intended holding forth next

The next night Thomas felt so _ashamed_, that he determined _not to
pray_, and laid his head on a prayerless pillow,—a thing he had not
done since he was able to say, “Gentle Jesus, meek and mild.” The last
words of his father, “_Don’t be ashamed to pray_” came to his mind; but
thinking about them as little as possible, he soon fell asleep.

In a short time Thomas became the ringleader of the gang in all that
was bad, and soon learned to curse and swear worse than any of his

On a beautiful Sabbath morning, instead of going to church, he wandered
off, and finding nothing to engage his thoughts, determined to take
a bath. He had scarcely been in the water five minutes, when he was
seized with cramp, and sunk to rise no more. The last words that
lingered on the lips of the drowning boy were, “Oh, my mother!”

The awful death of Thomas speaks for itself. May it serve as a warning
to those who violate God’s holy commandment, and are _ashamed_ to
_pray_. May it also teach us how quickly one sin leads to another.
His _first_ sin was neglecting to pray; his _second_, profanity; his
_third_, Sabbath-breaking, which terminated in his death.

       *       *       *       *       *


  “JESUS, and shall it ever be,
  A mortal man ashamed of Thee?
  Ashamed of Thee, whom angels praise,
  Whose glories shine through endless days!

  “_Ashamed of Jesus!_—Sooner far
  Let evening blush to own a star;
  He sheds the beams of light divine
  O’er this benighted soul of mine.

  “_Ashamed of Jesus!_—Just as soon
  Let midnight be ashamed of noon;
  ’Tis midnight with my soul, till He,
  Bright Morning Star, bid darkness flee.

  “_Ashamed of Jesus!_ that dear friend
  On whom my hopes of Heaven depend!
  No, when I blush be this my shame,
  That I no more revere His name.

  “_Ashamed of Jesus!_—Yes, I may,
  When I’ve no sins to wash away,
  No tear to wipe, no good to crave,
  No fears to quell, no soul to save.

  “Till then—nor is my boasting vain—
  Till then I boast a Saviour slain;
  And oh, may this my glory be,
  That Christ is not ashamed of me.”


  “There is no rose without a thorn.”

THERE are few lovelier things than the rose to be met with along the
pathway of life.

There is something about it so meek and modest, that I love to look at
it; and what is sweeter than the mellow fragrance of a beautiful rose?
It always reminds me of that beautiful country where, we are told,
never-fading flowers continue to bloom forever.

The Church of Christ is compared, in the Bible, to the Rose of Sharon;
and it seems to me that the inspired penman could not have found,
throughout the length and breadth of the world, anything better suited
to convey the idea of gentle lowliness and meek humility, than the rose.

Its fragrance can be enjoyed by all. It is not sweeter to the king than
to the peasant. So with religion. It is a fountain from which all can

There is another thing about the rose which should teach us a lesson.
As there is no rose without a thorn, so there is no enjoyment without
some pain connected with it. There are many children who are always
discontented; they are never pleased with any thing, but are always
looking out for what is disagreeable, and not for what is pleasant.
What is this, but forgetting the delightful fragrance of the rose,
and piercing our fingers with the few thorns which are about it. Our
blessings are much more numerous than our cares and troubles. Why not,
then, clip off the thorns, and keep merely the fully opened rose?

As the leaves of the rose wither and die, so must we.

Let us always remember this, and also live in such a way, by shedding a
sweet fragrance about our pathway, that all who know us will love us,
and forget the few thorns of evil which may be found in our characters.

  “How fair is the rose! what a beautiful flower,
    The glory of April and May;
  And the leaves are beginning to fade in an hour,
    And they wither and die in a day.

  “Yet the rose has one powerful virtue to boast,
    Above all the flowers of the field:
  When its leaves are all dead and fine colors lost,
    Still how sweet a perfume it will yield!

  “So frail is the youth and the beauty of man,
    Though they bloom and look gay like a rose:
  But all our fond care to preserve them is vain,—
    Time kills them as fast as he goes.

  “Then I’ll not be proud of my youth or my beauty,
    Since both of them wither and fade,
  But gain a good name by well doing my duty;
    This will scent like a rose when I’m dead.”


       *       *       *       *       *


  “‘FLOWERS, sweet and lowly flowers,
    Gems of earth so bright and gay,
  Is there nothing you can teach us,
    Nothing you to us can say?

  “‘List, and ye shall hear our voices
    Speaking to you from the sod;
  List, for we would lead you gently
    Upwards from the earth to God.

  “‘Children, as ye gaze upon us,
    Think of Him who, when below,
  Told you well to mark the flowers,
    How without a care they grow.

  “‘Children, know that like the flowers
    You must quickly fade away:
  Life is short; improve the hours—
    You may only have to-day.

  “‘We were once but seeds, dear children—
    We were placed in earth, and died;
  You must die; but trust in Jesus—
    Fear not, but in _Him_ abide.

  “‘We proclaim the resurrection,
    How the dead in Christ shall rise;
  Incorruptible, immortal,
    They shall reign above the skies.

  “‘Farewell, children, and remember,
    When our forms shall meet your view,
  That the Lord, who clothes each flower,
    Will much more provide for you.’”


  GENTLY, Lord, O gently lead us
    Through this lonely vale of tears—
  Through the changes here decreed us,
    Till our last great change appears.
  When temptation’s darts assail us,
    When in devious paths we stray,
  Let Thy goodness never fail us—
    Lead us in Thy perfect way.

                              SP. SONGS.

THE sun had disappeared behind the western hills, and darkness was
fast covering the face of nature, when a little girl, who had been to
a distant city, commenced retracing her steps homeward. A kind friend
handed her a lantern, and told her if she followed the road on which
the lantern shone, it would certainly direct her home. She started
with a light heart and joyous spirits, much delighted with her journey
beside the still waters, and through the green pastures.

By and by she came to a certain place where two roads branched off. She
did not know which one to take; but soon found that her lantern shone
very plainly on the one beset with thorns and briers. She concluded to
disregard the advice of her friend, and took the opposite road, as it
seemed so much more pleasant than the one on which her lantern shone.
At first her pathway was bordered with roses of the sweetest fragrance,
and with everything calculated to make a young person happy. Finally
she reached a point in her journey where she knew not what to do. She
had no lamp to direct her; no kind friend to whom she might look for
directions; all around her was dark and dismal. Wherever she trod, her
steps seemed beset with troubles of every kind.

At last a friendly voice whispered in her ear, and said: “Stop, my dear
child—stop and think. You know not whither you are going. You are in
the road to death. Stop, before you further go.”

She determined to turn her course, and retraced her steps with a
heavy heart, determined thereafter always to follow the road on which
her lantern shone. She soon reached the place where she had left her
lantern, and found its rays still brightly shining on the same road.

She continued her journey onward, and found, though it was rough at
first, the farther she proceeded, the better was she pleased. When
she reached her home, she found her friends anxiously awaiting her
arrival. They all greeted her with a kiss, and welcomed her back again.

Children, the little girl about whom I have been telling you is the
young Christian, commencing her journey from the city of Destruction
to the New Jerusalem. The journey is her Christian life; the two roads
are the long and narrow road to Heaven, and the broad road to Hell; the
kind friend is some fellow Christian, and the lantern is God’s Holy
Word. The thorns in the one road are the trials of a Christian; while
the roses in the other are the allurements placed there by the Wicked
One, to ensnare the careless and inconsiderate. Her _home_ is _Heaven_.

Young Christian, learn a lesson from the conduct of this little girl:
Never pursue the course which seems most pleasant, but the one laid
down in the Bible.

“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

  “‘Whither goest thou, pilgrim stranger
    Wand’ring through this lonely vale?
  Know’st thou not ’tis full of danger,
    And will not thy courage fail?’

  “‘Pilgrim thou hast justly call’d me,
    Passing through a waste so wide;
  But no harm will e’er befall me
    While I’m blessed with such a guide.’

  “‘Such a guide!—no guide attends thee,
    Hence for thee my fears arise:
  If some guardian power befriends thee,
    ’Tis unseen by mortal eyes.’

  “‘Yes, unseen, but still believe me,
    I have near me such a friend;
  He’ll in every strait relieve me,
    He will guide me to the end.’”

       *       *       *       *       *


  “I’M but a stranger here;
    Heaven is my home:
  Earth is a desert drear;
    Heaven is my home:
  Danger and sorrow stand
  Round me on every hand
  Heaven is my fatherland,
    Heaven is my home.

  “What though the tempests rage?
    Heaven is my home:
  Short is my pilgrimage;
    Heaven is my home:
  And time’s wild wintry blast
  Soon will be overpast;
  I shall reach home at last.
    Heaven is my home.

  “Therefore I murmur not;
    Heaven is my home:
  Whate’er my earthly lot,
    Heaven is my home:
  And I shall surely stand
  There at my Lord’s right hand:
  Heaven is my fatherland,
    Heaven is my home.”


  “THERE is a time, we know not when,—
     A point, we know not where,—
   That marks the destiny of men
     To glory or despair.”

NOT many years ago, when the H—— river was very much swollen by the
spring rains, and the water had nearly reached its highest point, a
lumberman was seen in the midst of the stream, attempting to secure a
lot of timber which had broken loose from its fastening.

In his deep interest to secure the timber, he went too far out into the
current. His little bark was caught by the rapid tide, and borne along
with almost lightning rapidity.

There he sat, motionless as a pillar, not knowing at what moment he
should be swallowed up by the roaring and foaming stream. A friend
on shore sees his critical situation, mounts his horse, and rides,
courier-like, to a neighboring bridge which spans the river. On and
on he speeds; now the rider and the boat are side by side; anon the
boat passes him, but he spurs his noble animal onward, reaches the
bridge in time, seizes a rope and throws it over the arch, awaiting
with breathless suspense the approach of the pale and fear-stricken

The boat passes immediately under the arch, the boatman grasps the rope
with death-like earnestness, and is _saved_.

One moment’s delay of the rider, or his failure to grasp the rope,
would have sealed his doom forever, and the noble H—— been his grave.

My dear young friends, how often do we see persons, in their mad
attempts to procure the filthy lucre of this world, go too far into the
current of Sin, and are swept wildly over the cataract of Destruction,
not knowing, or not desiring to see, that the rope of Salvation is
within their grasp! Children, Christ bids you come, _now_. If you delay
another moment, your destiny for despair may be sealed.

How bitter will the thought be, when you come to die,—“I might have
been saved, but I neglected the golden offering of mercy, and therefore
must be consigned to a never-ending eternity of misery and suffering!”

       *       *       *       *       *


  IF idly spent, no art or care
    Time’s blessing can restore;
  And God requires a strict account
    For every misspent hour.

  Short is our longest day of life,
    And soon the prospect ends;
  Yet on that day’s uncertain date
    Eternity depends.

                              POEMS FOR THE YOUNG.


  BUT if we should disregard
    While this friendly voice doth call,
  Conscience soon will grow so hard,
    That it will not speak at all.

                              JANE TAYLOR.

A YOUNG lady, who was very much given to the habit of sleeping late in
the morning, purchased a small alarm watch, hoping that it would be
the means of breaking her of a practice not only troublesome to those
around her, but really a sinful waste of time. At night, on retiring
to rest, she so adjusted the watch that it would awaken her at five
o’clock the next morning. The watch, with a punctuality worthy to be
imitated by all of us, not only at the appointed hour, but at the _very
minute itself_, commenced such a whirring noise, that the sleeper was
immediately awakened, arose at once, and prepared herself for the
duties of the day.

The day passed away very pleasantly. She was at prayers and breakfast
at the appointed hour, and everything moved quietly and pleasantly on
throughout the entire day; and when the shadows of evening darkened the
face of nature, she felt that it was the most pleasant day she had ever

She retired to rest, the next night, with the same resolutions; but
when the morning came and her watch commenced its rattling noise, she
thought it was not worth while to get up then, but would lie in bed
only fifteen minutes longer. The expiration of the fifteen minutes
found her sleeping soundly, and she did not awake till the sun had
risen far above the tree-tops, and the laborers were busy at their work.

The next morning she heard her watch at its accustomed noise, but came
to the conclusion that getting up ahead of the sun was all a humbug.

The next morning she slept so soundly that she scarcely heard the watch
at all; and that night concluded not to wind it up, as she had no idea
of having her morning’s nap disturbed by such a disagreeable noise as
that. Thus did she return to her former bad habit, and “her last state
was worse than the first.”

Each of you, my dear young friends, has an alarm watch in your breast.
The moment you disobey your parents, utter an untruth, use a profane
expression, or break God’s Holy Day, you hear the busy fluttering of
that watch whispering in your ear, “_you have done wrong_, YOU HAVE
DONE WRONG.” The first time you did wrong how loudly did that little
watch whir and buzz! You turned pale, and your heart throbbed so
violently that you could almost hear it.

The next time its noise was fainter and fainter; and at last it grew so
feeble that you could not hear it all.

Then it was that you could swear so boldly, utter an untruth without
your cheek coloring, and break the Sabbath without one painful thought.

My young reader, you know too well what that alarm watch is, whose
ticking you so frequently hear in your breast. It is your CONSCIENCE.
And oh, how I tremble when I think of what an awful thing it is to
endeavor to drown the voice of that conscience!

Day after day, since your early infancy, your conscience has been
begging, entreating you to come to Christ and be saved. Its voice has
been unheeded. Beware, O young man or young woman, how you trifle with
your conscience! Its voice, once stifled, will be hushed forever.

Like the young lady about whom I have been telling you, if you do not
obey its summons at once, but keep on putting it off and off, it will
leave you in the awful embrace of that sleep “which knows no waking” in
this world, and you will only be aroused by the piercing notes of the
Archangel’s trump,—“Come to judgment.”

Conscience, my young friends, is “the fire that is not quenched,”
and “the worm that dieth not,” which shall continue to burn, yet not
consume, to gnaw and not diminish your immortal soul, if you do not
obey its whisperings by coming to your Saviour, now, in the morning of

How awful! oh, how awful will it be, to hear the voice of your
disregarded conscience ringing throughout the dark, deep caverns of

“Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand,
and no man regarded: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock
when your fear cometh; when _your fear cometh as a desolation_, and
your _destruction cometh as a whirlwind_; when distress and anguish
cometh upon you.”

       *       *       *       *       *


  WHEN a foolish thought within
    Tries to take us in a snare,
  Conscience tells us “It is sin,”
    And entreats us to beware.

  If in something we transgress,
    And are tempted to deny,
  Conscience says, “Your faults confess;
    Do not dare to tell a lie.”

  In the morning, when we rise,
    And would fain omit to pray,
  “Child, consider,” Conscience cries;
    “Should not God be sought to-day?”

  When within His holy walls,
    Far abroad our thoughts we send,
  Conscience often loudly calls,
    And entreats us to attend.

  When our angry passions rise,
    Tempting to revenge an ill,
  “Now subdue it,” Conscience cries;
    “Do command your temper still.”

  Thus, without our will or choice,
    This good monitor within,
  With a secret, gentle voice,
    Warns us to beware of sin.

  But if we should disregard
    While this friendly voice doth call,
  Conscience soon will grow so hard
    That it will not speak at all.

                              JANE TAYLOR.


  “NOW, despisers, look and wonder;
     Hope and sinners here must part:
   Louder than a peal of thunder,
     Hear the dreadful sound—‘Depart!’
           Lost forever!
     Hear the dreadful sound—‘Depart!’”

I SAW, not long since, a man busily engaged in branding, with a red-hot
iron, the word


on a large number of barrels of flour.

On asking him what it meant, he informed me that the flour was not
sound, and he was instructed to brand all such “_Condemned_.”

How forcibly, my dear young friends, did it remind me of the situation
of sinful persons—those who have no part nor lot in Christ’s kingdom!
What a melancholy spectacle would your Sabbath-school present, if
your Superintendent were instructed by a Divine command to brand all
the bad boys, and girls too—for we often find little girls as bad as
boys—“_Condemned!_” What would be their feelings while undergoing
such a painful and disgraceful operation? Yet God says those who
believe not on Christ are condemned already, and you know “His Word
is truth.” There is one, and only one, way by which this word can be
effaced from your guilty and sin-defiled hearts; and that is by the
purifying and sin-cleansing blood of Christ.

Then pray that He will “Create in you clean hearts, and renew right
spirits within you;” so that you may love Him better and serve Him more
faithfully in the future than you have done in the past.

       *       *       *       *       *


  THERE is a line, by us unseen,
    That crosses every path;
  The hidden boundary between
    God’s patience and his wrath.

  To pass that limit is to die,
    To die as if by stealth;
  It does not quench the beaming eye,
    Or pale the glow of health.

  The conscience may be still at ease,
    The spirits light and gay;
  That which is pleasing still may please,
    And care be thrust away.

  But on that forehead God has set
    Indelibly a mark,
  Unseen by man, for man as yet
    Is blind and in the dark.

  And yet the doomed man’s path below
    May bloom, as Eden bloomed;
  He did not, does not, will not know,
    Or feel that he is doomed.

  He knows, he feels that all is well,
    And every fear is calmed;
  He lives, he dies, he wakes in hell,
    Not only doomed, but damned.

  O where is this mysterious bourne,
    By which our path is crossed?
  Beyond which God Himself hath sworn,
    That he who goes is lost!

  How far may we go on in sin?
    How long will God forbear?
  Where does hope end, and where begin
    The confines of despair?

  An answer from the skies is sent:
    “Ye that from God depart,
  While it is called TO-DAY, repent,
    And harden not your heart.”

                              DR. J. ADDISON ALEXANDER.


  LIVES of great men all remind us
    We can make our lives sublime;
  And, departing, leave behind us
    Footprints on the sands of Time.


MORE than a century ago there lived in England an orphan boy of no
ordinary promise. From his early childhood, “I want to be a minister,”
was his chief desire. Being deprived not only of the counsel of a
father and the affection of a mother, but also of the necessary amount
of money to carry out his cherished desire, his youthful spirit was
bowed to the earth, and his noble heart throbbed only with feelings of
bitter disappointment and despair.

But a brighter day dawns. There is a prospect for his ardent desire
to be gratified. A wealthy lady kindly volunteers to pay all of his
expenses at the University of Oxford, if he will become a minister of
the Church of England.

But he is a Dissenter, and his noble spirit refuses to sell the
religion of his father and mother for the perishable riches of this
world, and he most respectfully declines the proffered kindness. God
bless thee, noble youth! Wait patiently—don’t despair—_never give
up_. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” The path of Duty is always
the path of Right.

Not long after this occurrence, a poor boy, dressed in the garb of
poverty, presented himself at the door of a celebrated minister, and
asked to have a private interview with him relative to studying for
the ministry. The minister listened patiently to the recital of his
many difficulties and numerous trials, but told him that he thought it
entirely unheard of, for a youth like himself to think about entering
upon so high and responsible a calling. He advised him to think no more
of preaching, but to choose some other calling.

Disheartened at himself, discouraged by his friends, poor, penniless
and forsaken, he knew not whither to go. No smile of encouragement met
his eye; no voice of approval sanctioned his noble endeavor. There was
one Friend, however, who had never forsaken him; who had never turned
a deaf ear even to his smallest desire; who had ever loved him with
fatherly affection and motherly tenderness. To that friend he then
betook himself, and when engaged in fervent prayer, a postman knocked
at the door, and handed him a letter from an old friend of his father,
informing him of his willingness to take him under his care and assist
him in his studies, if he was still intent upon studying for the
ministry. “This,” he exclaimed, “I look upon almost as an answer from
Heaven, and while I live I shall always adore so seasonable an opening
of divine Providence.”

The wishes of the poor orphan boy were thus gratified; and before
many years had passed away, under the guidance and instruction of his
friend, he became a bright and shining light on the walls of Zion.

Youthful reader, this orphan boy was PHILIP DODDRIDGE—the pious and
devoted minister of Christ, the beautiful writer, the faithful pastor,
the brilliant Christian.

If there be any one into whose hands this little article may fall,
who, like Doddridge, “wants to be a minister,” and is prevented from
accomplishing his desire on account of want of means, let me say one
word—_never despair!_ If God wants you to be a minister, He will
provide the means. Wait patiently, and pray earnestly.

  “Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
     The clouds ye so much dread,
   Are big with mercy, and shall break
     In blessings on your head.”

       *       *       *       *       *


  “ON a bridge I was standing one morning,
    And watching the current roll by,
  When suddenly into the water
    There fell an unfortunate fly.

  “The fishes that swam to the surface
    Were looking for something to eat,
  And I thought that the hapless young insect
    Would surely afford them a treat.

  “‘Poor thing!’ I exclaimed with compassion,
    ‘Thy trials and dangers abound,
  For if thou escap’st being eaten,
    Thou canst not escape being drowned.

  “No sooner the sentence was spoken,
    Than lo! like an angel of love,
  I saw to the waters beneath me
    A leaflet descend from above.

  “It glided serene on the streamlet,
    ’Twas an ark to the poor little fly;
  Which soon, to the land reäscending,
    Spread its wings in the breezes to dry.

  “Oh, sweet was the truth that was whispered,
    That mortals should _never_ despair;
  For He who takes care of an insect,
    Much more for His _children_ will care.

  “And though to our short-sighted vision
    No way of escape may appear,
  Let us _trust_, for when least we expect it,
    The help of ‘_our Father_’ is near.”


  Children, obey your parents in all things; for this is
  well-pleasing unto the Lord.—BIBLE.

ON an evening in July, 18-, as several youths, from twelve to eighteen
years of age, were standing at the corner of a street in the little
village of B——, Rufus Taylor, one of their companions, came up
to them and said, “Come, boys, let’s go and take a cool bath—’tis
terribly warm.”

Rufus had been positively forbidden by his parents to go bathing
without their consent; but, thinking they would never know anything
about it, he came up to the group of boys and made the preceding

They all, with one consent, agreed to it, and soon were on their way to
the bay.

Arriving at their famous bathing spot, and undressing in a few moments,
they soon plunged into the cooling water, and swam to an island, a few
hundred yards distant.

Rufus alone remained on the shore.

He was afraid to attempt swimming such a long distance, as he had
but recently learned to swim. But, collecting all his courage, he
followed his comrades, and cried out that he would overtake them or be
_damned!_ What an awful word to proceed from the lips of a boy twelve
years old! He had not swum more than fifty yards, when his strength
failed, and he sank beneath the blue waves of the roaring ocean. Every
effort was made by his friends to save him, but they were all in vain.

Let his untimely end be a solemn warning to boys who are in the habit
of disobeying their parents.

May it teach a lesson, also, to those who indulge in the use of profane
language. Rufus did not think that his _damnation_ was so near at hand,
when he uttered that awful curse.

He was hurried into the presence of his Maker without one moment’s
warning, and with the profane expression still lingering on his lips.

Who can tell the unutterable anguish of his parents when the
intelligence of the death of their only son—their disobedient
boy—reached their ears? His father, on being told that his son was
drowned, exclaimed, “_Oh, my disobedient son! I told him not to go
bathing without my consent. Would to God I had died for him!_”

       *       *       *       *       *


  “LET children that would fear the Lord,
    Hear what their teachers say;
  With reverence mark their parents’ word,
    And with delight obey.

  “Have you not heard what dreadful plagues
    Are threaten’d by the Lord
  To him that breaks his father’s laws,
    Or mocks his mother’s word?

  “What heavy guilt upon him lies!
    How cursed is his name!
  The ravens shall pick out his eyes,
    And eagles eat the same.

  “But those that worship God, and give
    Their parents honor due,
  Here on this earth they long shall live,
    And live hereafter too.”



  “MAKE us unguarded youth
     The objects of Thy care;
   Help us to choose the way of truth,
     And fly from every snare.”

“WHAT can be meant by ‘the little gambler?’ I never heard of a boy’s
gambling in my life!” my little reader will, no doubt, exclaim. Though
it may seem very strange, yet such things often occur. I will relate to
you an incident that occurred in my school-boy days, which, perhaps,
may bring to your recollection the fact that you have indulged in it
yourself. Boys as well as men are frequently found to be gamblers,
though, of course, on a much smaller scale.

At the corner of a street in the city of —— was a gaming house,
kept by a boy not more than twelve years old. It was one of the most
beautiful and pleasant places I ever saw, well calculated to entice
within its polluted walls the heedless and inconsiderate youth. Here,
after school hours, quite a number of boys were accustomed to assemble
and spend their evenings.

Passing near the above place one pleasant evening in May, I saw a
youth, whom I shall call James Jones, who seemed to be intently engaged
in the issue of a game. He was successful; and when he gathered up the
“stakes,” a smile of exulting joy passed over his face. I saw nothing
more of James till some eight years after the above occurrence. I was
standing in the court-room one morning, when I heard the clerk read out
a charge against James Jones for forcibly breaking into the trunk of a
certain gentleman, and stealing therefrom the sum of $500.

On examining the appearance of the young man more closely, I found him
to be the same youth whom I had seen in the “little gambling house.” A
widowed mother sat by his side, weeping most bitterly. His appearance
had altered very much. Long confinement had turned the healthy, robust
man into a mere skeleton. His countenance was haggard, his cheek
sunken, his eye dim, his step tremulous.

He was found guilty, and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in the
State Penitentiary. When he arose to receive the sentence the most
perfect indifference was manifested by him, while his poor mother
seemed as though she would die beneath the weight of such heavy

She informed me that James, at a very early age, became fond of bad
company, and would often steal away at night, and spend the time
allotted to rest in the most dissipated assemblies. He finally became
involved in debt, and determined to get out at all hazards. He was thus
almost forced to commit a deed which brought the grey hairs of his
mother in sorrow to the grave, and ruined him for life.

Doubtless, you would like to know what was James’ first act in his
downward career. It was betting at the “_little gambling house_.” There
he learned to do evil rather than good.

I have neglected to explain to you what the _gambling house_ was. It
was a wide-spreading elm tree, beneath the hospitable shade of which
the boys of the neighborhood were accustomed to meet and play marbles
for _have-ance_; that is, each boy kept all the marbles he knocked out
of the ring.

Have any of you ever been guilty of this? If so, then you were
gambling, and, unless you stop it at once, the gallows or the
penitentiary may be your end. Do not gamble with marbles; it may be
your ruin. Truly, “The way of the transgressor is hard.”

  “Placed on the verge of youth, my mind
    Life’s opening scene surveyed;
  I viewed its ills of various kinds,
    Afflicted and afraid.

  “Oh, how shall I, with heart prepar’d,
    Those terrors learn to meet?
  How from the thousand snares to guard
    My inexperienced feet?

  “Let faith suppress each rising fear,
    Each anxious doubt exclude;
  My Maker’s will has placed me here,
    A Maker wise and good.

  “He too, my every trial knows
    Its just restraint to give,
  Attentive to behold my woes,
    And faithful to relieve.

  “Though griefs unnumbered throng thee round,
    Still in thy God confide,
  Whose finger marks the seas their bound,
    And curbs the rolling tide.”

       *       *       *       *       *


“Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

  “LET him who thinks he stands secure,
  And in self-confidence is sure
  He shall unto the end endure,
                      ‘Take heed.’

  “Let him who fears not Satan’s art,
  Nor dreads temptation’s fiery dart,
  But says he’s safe in every part,
                      ‘Take heed.’

  “Let him who sees his neighbor wrong,
  And makes those faults his daily song,
  Blasting his fame with thoughtless tongue,
                      ‘Take heed.’

  “Let him whose heart is lifted high,
  Who’ll pass an erring brother by,
  Or bid him from his presence fly,
                      ‘Take heed.’

  “Who feels not his own strength is small,
  Nor lifts to heaven an early call
  For daily grace, lest he should fall,
                      ‘Take heed.’

  “By faith in ‘Christ our strength’ we stand,
  He keeps by His almighty hand,
  Those who obey His wise command:
                      ‘Take heed.’”


  “COME, children, come!
   God bids you come!
   Come and learn to sing the story
   Of the Lord of life and glory;
   Come, children, come!”

                              MRS. BROWN.

GERTRUDE MASON was a sweet little girl of about ten summers, with rosy
cheeks, and bright, sunny hair.

She did not live in the city, like a great many children, but she lived
at a quiet little cottage in the country, which she called “Rose Neath.”

Gertrude was a good child.

She loved everybody, and everybody seemed to love her.

She was meek and gentle, and was always willing to do any thing she
could to minister to the wants of the poor and needy.

Gertrude had a beautiful Newfoundland dog, named Rescue, and wherever
she went, her friend Rescue was always at her side. She loved him very
much, and used to give him part of her meals every day. One lovely
Sabbath morning, when the sun was shining brightly, and the little
birds singing sweetly from the boughs of the trees, Gertrude, dressed
neatly and tidily, hymn-book and catechism in hand, started off for the

She had not gone very far, when she came to a creek.

Thrown across this creek was a log, on which persons were in the habit
of crossing.

It had rained the night before, and the log was very slippery. Gertrude
did not think of this, and was about crossing over, when her foot
slipped, and she was thrown headlong into the swollen current.

She would have been drowned, had it not been for her faithful friend
Rescue, who swam in and brought her safely to the shore.

Thus was the life of this lovely girl saved by her affectionate dog.

This little story should teach us two lessons.

_First_, if we wish persons to love us, we must be kind and attentive
to them.

_Secondly_, the pathway of life is very slippery, and many of our
companions fall into very great sins, and it is our duty, like Rescue,
to save them from destruction.

       *       *       *       *       *


  WHILE in the tender years of youth,
    In nature’s smiling bloom,
  Ere age arrive and trembling wait
    Its summons to the tomb,

  Remember thy creator, God,
    For Him thy powers employ;
  Make Him thy fear, thy love, thy hope,
    Thy confidence, thy joy.

  He shall defend and guide thy course
    Through life’s uncertain sea,
  Till thou art landed on the shore
    Of blest eternity.

  Then seek the Lord betimes, and choose
    The path of heavenly truth:
  The earth affords no lovlier sight
    Than a religious youth.



  Onward through life he goes,
  Each morning sees some task begun,
  Each evening sees its close;
  Something attempted, something done,
  Has earned a night’s repose.


BENEATH the scorching rays of a blistering summer’s sun, or chilled by
the piercing blast of winter, a puny, sickly youth might have been seen
daily ascending a ladder, bearing on his head a heavy weight of slate.
There is nothing about his appearance but his feeble step and emaciated
frame, calculated to attract the attention of the passer-by: a closer
observation, however, will show that he possesses an eye which bespeaks
an amount of patient perseverance but seldom known.

On one occasion, when about twelve years of age, while engaged in
his accustomed labor, his foot misses the round of the ladder which
he had so long ascended, and the infirm youth is thrown a distance
of thirty-five feet on the hard stone pavement beneath. In a state
of perfect insensibility he is taken up and borne to the arms of
his afflicted friends. For two long weeks he remains in a state of
unconsciousness, not knowing the nearest and dearest of his relatives.

At the expiration of this time his mind begins to revive, and his
feeble eye wanders about the room with listless indifference.
Recovering from his attack, he immediately inquires for a book in which
he had been deeply interested previous to the accident which came so
near terminating his earthly career.

No one seems to answer his inquiries. “Why do you not speak? _Pray let
me have my book!_” Still no one replies. At last some one takes a slate
and writes upon it that the book had been returned to its owner.

“Why do you _write_ to me?” exclaimed the sufferer—“speak, _speak_!
SPEAK!” Again was the pencil taken and the three words—_you are

How severe the affliction! No more can that ear drink in the sweet
melody of the little warblers; no more listen to those words of
affection which make home the brightest and happiest spot in the
world; no more hear the gentle notes of the “sweet singer of Israel,”
or gather the soul-stirring anthems that echo and reëcho through the
vaulted roof of God’s sanctuary.

As his father was very poor, he was placed in an almshouse to keep him
from starvation.

He was soon removed, however, from his lonely prison home, and placed
under a shoemaker, but was treated so unkindly that his friends found
it necessary to have him again put in the poorhouse.

His studious habits and intellectual qualities soon attracted the
notice of the officers of the almshouse, and he was treated with marked
kindness and attention. While others were wasting the golden moments
of youth, the _deaf shoemaker_ was busy garnering his spare minutes,
and storing his mind with information which was destined to exert an
influence throughout the world.

In a short time he was removed to the London Missionary Society, whence
he went to Malta as a printer.

Here he studied very closely, and, after returning to London,
accompanied Mr. Groves in a tour through Russia, Georgia, Armenia,
Kurdistan and Persia.

During this tour he gathered a vast amount of information relative
to Eastern manners and customs, which rendered him one of the most
instructive and interesting writers in the world.

He published, as the fruit of his arduous toil during this journey,
quite a number of books, which have been greatly sought after both in
Europe and America, and have made him a welcome guest at thousands of
happy firesides.

His toilsome and unceasing labors for the cause of truth and religion
were too severe for so feeble a frame, and at an early age, not fifty
years old, JOHN KITTO—the deaf shoemaker of Plymouth—gently fell
asleep in the arms of his Saviour—beloved and respected by all who
knew him, and honored by those who had become familiar with him from
his deeply interesting and invaluable productions.

In speaking of Kitto, a clergyman of considerable distinction uses the
following beautiful language:—

“Rarely have we read a more touching record of heroic struggle than
the toilsome ascent of the deaf boy of Plymouth to the lofty position
of the world-famed Editor of the Biblical Encyclopædia, the Pictorial
Bible, the Daily Bible Illustrations. He reached, through incredible
difficulties, a position that few attain under the most favorable
circumstances, and has left behind him nearly fifty volumes, some of
which take high rank as works of critical authority. Truly the heroic
ages have not yet ceased, and there is a heroism of the solitary
student that is a nobler thing than that of the warrior on the field of
battle; and such heroism is seen in the life of Kitto.”

My young friends, how touchingly beautiful and highly instructive is
the brief but brilliant life of John Kitto! Do not

  “Lives of _such_ men all remind us
    We can make our lives sublime,
  And, departing, leave behind us
    Footprints on the sands of Time—

  “Footprints, that perhaps another,
    Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
  A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
    Seeing, shall take heart again?”

       *       *       *       *       *


  LORD, I am poor, yet hear my call;
    Afford me daily bread;
  Give me at least the crumbs that fall
    From tables richly spread.

  Thou canst for all my wants provide,
    And bless my homely crust;
  The ravens cry, and are supplied,
    And ought I not to trust?

  Behold the lilies, how they grow,
    Though they can nothing do;
  And will not God who clothes them so,
    Afford me raiment too?

  O may I heavenly treasures find,
    And choose the better part:
  Give me an humble, pious mind,
    A meek and lowly heart.

                              JANE TAYLOR.



  “BLESSINGS, Lord, vouchsafe to give
   On the teaching I receive.”

NORMAN HALL was what most of us would call a “dull boy;” that is,
though he studied hard, yet he was never ahead in his classes, and
could not master his lessons as easily as a great many other boys. He
was respected and beloved not only by his teacher, but also by the
scholars. His father and mother both felt very sad because their only
boy did not rank among the first in his class, and knew not how to
account for it.

One Friday, Norman missed nearly all of his lessons, and was so much
discouraged that he almost determined to quit studying entirely and go
to some honest trade. He left the school-room with tears in his eyes,
thinking that he had entered it for the last time. As he was going
home, he saw a large and deep hole in a rock, which a small stream, by
continually falling in the same place, had worn. It was the very thing
he needed, and suited him exactly. The thought at once arose in his
mind, if a little stream, so soft in itself, can make such a deep and
lasting impression on this hard and flinty rock, I am sure, by hard
studying and close application, I can make an impression on my mind,
which certainly is not as hard as this rock.

He returned to school on Monday, and studied more diligently than
he had ever done before; and as he grew in years, he grew in
understanding, and at length became a learned man.

Remember, “That a drop hollows out the stone not by force, but by
falling often; so you will become learned, not by a violent effort, but
by frequent reading.”

       *       *       *       *       *


  ’TIS the voice of the sluggard; I heard him complain,
  ‘You have waked me too soon, I must slumber again.’
  As the door on its hinges, so he on his bed,
  Turns his sides and his shoulders, and his heavy head.

  “A little more sleep, and a little more slumber;”
  Thus he wastes half his days, and his hours without number;
  And when he gets up, he sits folding his hands,
  Or walks about sauntering, or trifling he stands.

  I passed by his garden, and saw the wild brier,
  The thorn and the thistle grow broader and higher:
  The clothes that hang on him are turning to rags,
  And his money still wastes, till he starves or he begs.

  I made him a visit, still hoping to find
  He had took better care for improving his mind;
  He told me his dreams, talk’d of eating and drinking;
  But he scarce reads his Bible, and never loves thinking.

  Said I then to my heart, “Here’s a lesson for me,”
  This man’s but a picture of what I might be;
  But thanks to my friends for their care in my breeding,
  Who taught me betimes to _love working and reading_.



  “DELAY not, delay not, O sinner, draw near;
     The waters of life are now flowing for thee;
   No price is demanded, the Saviour is here,
     Salvation is purchased, redemption is free.”

THE sun was hanging low in the West; dark and threatening banks of
lead-colored clouds were moving slowly across the heavens; the distant
muttering of thunder, and quick and piercing flashes of lightning, bade
me prepare for the approaching storm. In circumstances like these, I
was riding slowly along the banks of a canal, when my attention was
attracted by the appearance of a small house, which sat just above my
head, on a little eminence. Seeing the storm was rapidly approaching, I
thought it would be a good shelter from the rain.

The unhinged shutters, the broken panes of glass whose places were
supplied by dirty rags, the large cracks between the logs, all told
too plainly that withering poverty had there an abode. After repeated
knocks at the door, a woman made her appearance. Such a human being I
had never seen. She looked more like a fiend from the regions of the
damned, than a living and immortal soul. Her cheek was sunken; her
eye dim and staring wildly about; her hair thrown loosely over her
shoulders; her feet uncovered; and her person clad in the most filthy
and disgusting manner.

She did not seem accustomed to seeing strange faces, and gave me such a
wild stare that my very blood chilled in my veins. There we both stood.
For some moments not a word was uttered by either. I was waiting to see
if she would ask me to take a seat. This she did not do; and feeling
that I had a matter of more importance than politeness to attend
to—_her soul’s welfare_—I sat down on the remains of what was once a
chair, and commenced the following conversation:

“Are you a Christian?” “No.” “Do you ever expect or hope to be a
_Christian_?” “No.” “Have you ever felt the workings of God’s Spirit
upon your heart?” “Never, since a child.” “Have you at any period
in your past life ever read your Bible?” “Yes, I read it when a
school-girl.” “Did you not see a peculiar beauty and simplicity in
it?” “I did not.” “Do you believe in the Bible?” “Yes,” she angrily
replied, “_I believe it to be a lie from beginning to end_.” “Have you
ever read any other books besides the Bible?” “I have read Bunyan’s
Pilgrim’s Progress, and believe that he was as complete a liar as ever
lived, and never experienced one feeling described in that book, but
wrote it only to deceive the foolish common people.” “Are you, in your
present situation, willing to die?” “_Yes, and willing to go to hell,
and stay there forever and ever!_”

Giving her several tracts on infidelity, which she contemptuously threw
on the floor, I invoked a Father’s blessing on her, and departed—never
to meet again till we stand around the judgment-seat of Christ.

The clouds which were wandering over the heavens when I entered the
house, had collected in a mass, and produced one of the most awful
storms I ever witnessed in my life. The wind blew most furiously; the
rain poured in torrents; peal after peal of the most deafening thunder
echoed and reëchoed among the mountain crags; and flash after flash
of piercing lightning darted across the heavens. But, my dear young
friends, this storm did not compare, in its madness and fury, with that
still more awful storm of despair and hopeless agony which was raging
in the breast of her from whom I had just parted.

Dear young friends, do not put off till to-morrow the eternal interests
of your immortal souls. Remember—oh, remember the terrible condition
of the woman about whom I have been telling you.

       *       *       *       *       *


  WHY should I say, “’Tis yet too soon
    To seek for Heaven or think of death?”
  A flower may fade before ’tis noon,
    And I this day may lose my breath.

  If this rebellious heart of mine
    Despise the gracious calls of Heaven,
  I may be harden’d in my sin,
    And never have repentance given.

  What if the Lord grow wroth and swear,
    While I refuse to read and pray,
  That He’ll refuse to lend an ear
    To all my groans another day!

  What if His dreadful anger burn,
    While I refuse His offer’d grace,
  And all His love to fury turn,
    And strike me dead upon the place!

  ’Tis dangerous to provoke a God!
    His power and vengeance none can tell:
  One stroke of His almighty rod
    Shall send young sinners quick to Hell!

  Then ’twill forever be in vain
    To cry for pardon and for grace;
  To wish I had my time again,
    Or hope to see my Maker’s face.



  ONE there is, above all others,
    Who deserves the name of Friend.
  His is love beyond a brother’s,
    Costly, free, and knows no end.


A MOTHER with three children was once returning home, at a late hour of
the night, through one of those dark and lonely passes which abound in
the Alps mountains.

The night was so very cold that she drew two of her children close to
her side, and clasped the youngest to her breast, in order to keep them
from freezing.

They thus journeyed on, drawn rapidly over the smoothly beaten road by
their faithful horse, dreaming only of the warm fire and affectionate
welcome which awaited them at their mountain home, little thinking of
the danger which lurked so short a distance behind them.

Presently she heard in the far-off distance the faint howl of a wolf.

In a few seconds that of another, and another, fell upon her ear.

The sound grew louder and louder, and the number seemed to increase
every moment.

The thought at once flashed across her mind, that a pack of
half-starved wolves was in hot pursuit of herself and darling little

The noble horse knew too well the danger that awaited himself and his
precious burden, and with renewed speed hastened rapidly onward.

But his strength was not sufficient to rescue his mistress and her
little ones from the jaws of twenty hungry wolves; for their fearful
yell rang louder and louder on the midnight air, till, on looking
behind her, the affrighted mother beheld them within a hundred yards of
the precious laden sleigh.

Their blood-shot eyes glared fiercely, and their tongues hung far out
of their mouths.

There was no escape—destruction was certain. Yes, there was one means
of escape, and only one; that was, to throw one of her children to the
wolves, and while they were satisfying their hunger on its body, she
and the other two might safely reach their home. Awful thought! She
looked into their cherub faces, kissed by the soft rays of the silver
moon, with that tenderness which a mother only can feel, and her loving
heart shrank back with horror from such a fiendish deed.

Not a moment was to be lost. The yelling wolves were within a few
steps of the sleigh—she felt their heated breath warming her cheek.
One minute more, and herself and children would be devoured by the
bloodthirsty beasts. Love for her children prevails, she throws herself
a sacrifice to the hungry pack, and soon breathes her last, surrounded
by the growls of devouring wolves, and the mournful dirge of the
mountain winds.

Children, was not that loving mother the SAVIOUR of her tender

And now I ask you,—Will you, can you, reject that dear Saviour
who suffered, and bled, and died on Calvary, to save you from a
never-ending destruction?

      “Oh! that all might believe,
        And salvation receive,
  And their song and their joy be the same.”

       *       *       *       *       *


Matt. xviii. 12, 13.

  “A GIDDY lamb, one afternoon,
    Had from the fold departed;
  The tender shepherd missed it soon,
    And sought it, broken-hearted;
  Not all the flock, that shared his love,
    Could from the search delay him:
  Nor clouds of midnight darkness move,
    Nor fear of suffering stay him.

  “But, night and day, he went his way
    In sorrow, till he found it;
  And when he saw it fainting lie,
    He clasp’d his arms around it;
  And, closely shelter’d in his breast,
    From every ill to save it,
  He brought it to his home of rest,
    And pitied, and forgave it.

  “And so the Saviour will receive
    The little ones that fear Him;
  Their pains remove, their sins forgive,
    And draw them gently near Him;
  Bless, while they live—and when they die,
    When soul and body sever,
  Conduct them to His home on high,
    To dwell with Him forever.”


  SEE the leaves around us falling,
    Dry and wither’d to the ground;
  Thus to thoughtless mortals calling,
    In a sad and solemn sound.

  On the tree of life eternal,
    O let all our hopes be laid;
  This alone, for ever vernal,
    Bears a leaf that shall not fade.


TO me, no season of the year brings with it so many solemn and
instructive reflections as Autumn. When I look around me and see
everything looking so barren and desolate, I cannot help feeling sad.
The fields which a few months since looked so gay and beautiful, with
their flower-dressed meadows and waving grain, are now parched and
dead. The busy scythe of the reaper has laid many a proud stalk level
with the ground, and the frugal husbandman has gathered his abundant
harvest into his garner, or left it carefully stacked in the field to
breast the storms of the approaching Winter. The variegated blossoms of
the apple-tree have matured, ripened, and fallen to the ground. The
garden which, a short time since, sent forth such delightful fragrance,
now lies barren and bare. The leaves have fallen one by one from the
sturdy oak, and left it in its lonely barrenness to battle with the
piercing winds and howling tempests of the winter king. I have sat by
my window and seen the green leaf of Summer first fade into a pale
amber color, grow darker and darker by degrees, till it finally turned
to a beautiful russet, and then flutter to the ground. When I first
noticed the tree, it was covered with a heavy foliage. In a few days it
became thinner and thinner; in a few more days a few leaves lingered on
its topmost boughs, and at last they, too, fell to the ground, and left
it perfectly solitary.

Children, can you look upon such scenes as these, and not feel that
they were intended by God to teach you many important truths? Does not
the barren field remind you of that soul from which the light of God’s
countenance has been withdrawn? The gathered harvest of that great
harvest of mankind which shall take place at the judgment day? Does not
the oak teach you, if you wish to encounter the trials and tempests of
the world, that you must lay aside everything, however small it may
seem, which will enable those trying tempests better to uproot your
faith and cast you headlong into destruction? May you, like it, the
more violent the storm, the deeper penetrate the roots of your trust
into the soil Christ Jesus.

  “The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
  _I will not_—_I will not_ desert to his foes;
  That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
  _I’ll never_—no, _never_—no, _never forsake_.”

When we look upon the fading leaf and the withering flower, may we feel
that “We all do fade as a leaf,” and that “All flesh is grass, and the
goodness thereof is as the flower of the field: the grass withereth,
the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” How
frequently do we see it the case, that those whom we consider friends,
when the sun of prosperity shines brightly upon us, cannot be drawn
away; but, like the leaves of the forest, as soon as the pinching
frosts of adversity begin to wither our hopes and blast our cherished
expectations, they can nowhere be found, but have left us to struggle
against difficulties, when we most needed their advice and counsel.
Let us not, then, put too much trust in an arm of flesh, but always
rely upon God, who will never desert us or leave us to the mercy of our
enemies. As the leaf falleth to the ground, and moulders into dust, so
does the body of man; but his spirit returneth to God who gave it, and
shall spend an eternity amid the joys of Heaven or the woes of Hell.

       *       *       *       *       *


  THERE comes, from yonder height,
    A soft repining sound,
  Where forest leaves are bright,
  And fall like flakes of light
                  To the ground.

  It is the autumn breeze,
    That, lightly floating on,
  Just skims the weedy leas,
  Just stirs the glowing trees,
                  And is gone.

  He moans by sedgy brook,
    And visits with a sigh,
  The last pale flowers that look
  From out their sunny nook
                  At the sky.

  O’er shouting children flies
    That light October wind;
  And, kissing cheeks and eyes,
  He leaves their merry cries
                  Far behind,

  And wanders on to make
    That soft uneasy sound
  By distant wood and lake,
  Where distant fountains break
                From the ground.

  No bower where maidens dwell
    Can win a moment’s stay;
  Nor fair untrodden dell;
  He sweeps the upland swell,
                And away!

  Mourn’st thou thy homeless state,
    O soft, repining wind!
  That early seek’st, and late,
  The rest it is thy fate
                Not to find?

  Not on the mountain’s breast,
    Not on the ocean’s shore,
  In all the East and West;
  The wind that stops to rest
                Is no more.

  By valleys, woods, and springs,
    No wonder thou shouldst grieve
  For all the glorious things
  Thou touchest with thy wings
                And must leave.

                              W. C. BRYANT.


  I WOULD not enter on my list of friends
  (Though graced with polished manners and fine sense,
  Yet wanting sensibility,) the man
  Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm.

                              COWPER’S TASK.

ABOUT fifty years after the birth of Christ there lived a Roman
Emperor whose name was Nero. He was one of the most cruel and
unmerciful men whose lives are recorded in history. He put to death
many of the noblest citizens of Rome upon the very slightest and most
unfounded charges. The most bloody and brutal act of his life was the
persecution of the Christians in and about the city of Rome. He set
fire to the city in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of seeing a
conflagration similar to that of a great city which had been destroyed
many years before. To silence the report of his having set fire to
the city, the base Nero laid the guilt of it upon the new sect of
Christians, whose numbers were rapidly increasing in every part of the
empire. The death of these poor harmless Christians was aggravated with
sport; “for they were either covered with the skins of wild beasts,
and torn to pieces by devouring dogs, or fastened to crosses, or
wrapped up in combustible garments, that when the daylight failed they
might serve, like torches, to illuminate the darkness of the night.”

He not only inflicted upon them every manner of torture and suffering
which his wicked and depraved mind could invent, but he also took a
great delight in seeing the poor innocent creatures suffer. Sometimes
he drove a chariot among the sufferers, and at others he stood among
them as a spectator of scenes which would make the coldest heart melt
with sympathy, and the eye of the most unfeeling shed tears of sorrow.

Such was the character of one of the most cruel and merciless wretches
that ever lived. And to what thing do you suppose, dear reader, his
cruelty may be attributed? To the great delight which he took, when
a child, in inflicting pain on the harmless and inoffensive little
insect. It was his delight to extract from it cries of sorrow, and
to tread upon the worm in order that he might witness its painful
writhings. As he was in childhood, so was he when he became a man.
As in childhood he caught the fly and pierced its body through with
pointed instruments, so in manhood did he cause his fellow-man to
suffer every pain which his corrupt heart could wish, or his sinful
mind invent.

Whenever I see a little boy or a little girl catching flies and pulling
their legs and wings off, or piercing their bodies, I always think
_there_ will be a _second Nero_, if that disposition is not changed by
God, or a check put upon it by some kind friend.

Children, be kind to every thing around you, particularly the dumb
brute. Do not throw stones at the harmless little sparrow, or the
pretty little snow-bird. Life is as precious to them as it is to you.
Doubtless they have feelings of love and tenderness for each other,
and why do you wish to destroy their happiness? Even if they had ever
wronged you, it would be your duty to return good for evil; and how
much more is it your duty _not_ to _injure_ them, since they have never
harmed you in the least. It always pains me very much to see a little
boy throwing stones at every cow, horse, or hog that passes along
within striking distance of him. Oh how unkind! How unlike Him who went
about doing good!

I once saw a boy throw a stone at a beautiful young horse. He did it
thoughtlessly, and did not intend hurting the animal; but the stone
struck it in the eye and destroyed its sight forever.

Dear reader, if you had seen the agony and heard the screams of
suffering which that _one_ stone caused that harmless horse, I am sure
you would never throw another stone at a bird or beast as long as you
live. The boy, when he saw the pain which he had caused the innocent
colt, went off and wept most bitterly; and I am certain, learned a most
instructive lesson. Children,

  “Let love through all your actions run,
   And all your _deeds_ be _kind_.”

       *       *       *       *       *

  “SWEET it is to see a child
  Tender, merciful, and mild;
  Ever ready to perform
  Acts of mercy to a worm;
  Grieving that the world should be
  Thus a scene of misery;
  Scene in which the creatures groan
  For transgressions not their own.

  “If the creatures must be slain
  Thankless sinners to sustain;
  Such a child, methinks, will cry,
  ‘Treat them gently when they die;
  Spare them while they yield their breath;
  Double not the pains of death;
  Strike them not at such a time,
  God accounts the stroke a crime.’

  “God is love, and never can
  Love or bless a cruel man;
  Mercy rules in every breast
  Where His Spirit deigns to rest;
  We ourselves to mercy owe
  Our escape from endless woe;
  And the merciless in mind
  Shall themselves no mercy find.”

       *       *       *       *       *


  “OH, turn that little foot aside,
    Nor crush beneath its tread
  The smallest insect of the earth,
    That looks to God for bread.

  “If He who made the universe
    Looks down in kindest love,
  To shape an humble thing like this,
    From His high throne above—

  “Why shouldst thou, then, in wantonness,
    That creature’s life destroy?
  Or give a pang to any thing
    That He has made for joy?

  “My child, begin in little things
    To act the gentle part;
  For God will turn His love away
    From every cruel heart.”


  “For we are sojourners, as were all our fathers.”—BIBLE.

THE cars were crowded. In one corner sat the grey-haired grandfather;
by his side, the gay, thoughtless maiden; farther on, the youthful
aspirant after the world’s honors; and at his elbow, the stern,
thinking business man, intently engaged in reading the morning’s Prices
Current, thinking only of Profit and Loss, and the rise and fall
of articles for which he trafficked, forgetting, not the _almighty
dollar_, but his _immortal soul_.

We started. On and on the fire-breathing iron horse drew us along:—now
hurrying around the sweeping curves; now ascending some steep
acclivity; now rattling through dark, dungeon-like tunnels; anon
speeding with almost lightning rapidity over the smoothly laid track.

None seemed to fear. All was happiness and joy. One was thinking of
the joyful welcome that awaited him at his happy home; another of the
pleasure he expected to meet with from the friends of his childhood,
from whom he had been separated many a long year; others were perfectly
indifferent—no trouble to cloud their brows, no care to harass their
hearts—gazing, with countenances of delight, on the fair fields of
nature which stretched out before them, the mirror-like lake, or the
cloud-capped mountain that lifted its proud head far above the bustle
and confusion of the world.

None thought of danger. None thought that the next moment might find
them a mass of bruised and mangled corpses, or struggling for life amid
the waves of some roaring river. The engineer was at his post; the
conductor would see that no harm should befall them.

My young friends, as I sat in that crowded car, many were the thoughts
that rose in my mind. I thought this life was but a railroad; we the
passengers. Some of us are thoughtful and considerate; many gay and
inconsiderate. The railroad of life has many curves, to avoid the
current of sin, or the pit of destruction; many a high acclivity of
difficulty; many a dark, lonely tunnel of doubt and uncertainty; many a
deep cut of affliction, from which the light of God’s countenance seems
entirely withdrawn. The route lies along the flower-dressed meadows of
happiness, and through the dark, dismal morasses of poverty and want.
At one moment all is beauty, loveliness and grandeur; at another, the
clouds of God’s wrath gather thick and heavy around us. Some of us are
journeying to our heavenly home; others, far from that home, in search
of what the world calls enjoyment, but, like the apples of Sodom,
bitterness and remorse.

My young friends, if Christ be our engineer and God our conductor, we
need fear no evil. All will be well; our journey safe and pleasant:
and we shall safely reach a glorious home in Heaven, and there spend
an eternity of blissful happiness in the company of the loved and lost
who have traveled this road, and reached, without any collision or
accident, its termination.

       *       *       *       *       *


  “THE line to heaven by Christ was made;
  With heavenly truths the rails are laid;
  From earth to heaven the line extends;
  To life eternal—there it ends.

  “Repentance is the station then,
  Where passengers are taken in;
  No fees for them are there to pay,
  For _Jesus_ is Himself the way.

  “The Bible is the engineer,
  It points the way to heaven so clear;
  Through tunnels dark and dreary here,
  It does the way to glory steer.

  “God’s love—the fire, His truth the steam
  Which drives the engine and the train;
  All you who would to glory ride,
  Must come to Christ—in Him abide.

  “In the first, second, and third class,
  Repentance, faith, and holiness,
  You must the way to glory gain,
  Or you with Christ can never reign.

  “Come, then, poor sinners, now’s the time,
  At any place along the line;
  If you repent and turn from sin,
  The train will stop and take you in.”


  “LET us be patient! These severe afflictions
     Not from the ground arise,
   But oftentimes celestial benedictions
     Assume this dark disguise.”


A VENERABLE minister of Christ left his home one bright, beautiful
Sabbath morning, for the house of God. He was riding a restless, fiery
mountain colt, but had no fears of his ability to manage him, as he had
been raised from early childhood, as it were, on a horse’s back, and
feared the wildest animal as little as he did a playful kitten.

He had gone but a short distance on his way, when the horse, becoming
frightened, made a sudden leap, and threw his rider headlong against
the projecting points of a large rock lying near the roadside. The
rock entered his skull, and in a few moments that aged father in
Israel breathed his last, with no kind friend near to whisper words
of consolation in his dying ear, or wipe the sweat of death from his
patriarchal brow.

The anxious congregation waited long and impatiently for the appearance
of their much-loved pastor, but he came not. His spirit had winged its
way to that bright, happy land,

  “Where congregations ne’er break up,
   And Sabbaths have no end.”

A portion of the congregation determined to find out the cause of his
long, unusual delay, and accordingly set out along his accustomed road.
After travelling several miles, what was their surprise and sorrow to
find their grey-haired shepherd, who had so long and so cheerfully led
them “beside the still waters, and through the green pastures,” who had
taken the lambs of the flock in his bosom, and protected their tender
little feet from the thorns which strew the pathway of childhood, lying
stretched on the cold ground, a lifeless corpse. Many were the tears
that moistened the noble brow of this man of God; bitter were the
throbbings of stricken hearts that stood around the body of him who,
Sabbath after Sabbath, had broken to them the Bread of Life.

There anxiously kneels at the side of her sainted father a little girl,
whom they have failed to notice. What is she doing there? Come, gather
closely around this scene, children, and look at one of your number.
She heard the clattering of the horse’s feet as he hurried wildly from
the spot where lay his lifeless corpse; she hastened quickly towards
the church and reached her father only in time to hear the death-rattle
in his throat, and see his brains all scattered over the ground. What
does she do? She gathers them up, places them once more in his skull,
and with her little hands endeavors to hold the shattered fragments
together. But it is too late now. Dear, loving little Mary can’t recall
the spirit of her departed parent back to earth; and the sorrowing
members of that shepherdless flock bear her away to a home, around
whose bright fireside and at whose morning and evening altar shall
never again be heard the voice of one whom none knew but to love.

My young friends, I have witnessed and heard of many touching scenes,
but for child-like innocence, and tender, loving affection, this
surpasses them all.

I now leave you to learn the many lessons of affection and love this
hasty sketch teaches, and hope you will not throw the book carelessly
aside, and forget all about it; but think if you love your parents as
fatherless little Mary loved hers.

       *       *       *       *       *


  I KNOW thou art gone to thy home of rest;
    Then why should my soul be sad?
  I know thou art gone where the weary are blest,
    And the mourner looks up and is glad;

  Where Love has put off, in the land of its birth,
    The stain it had gathered in this,
  And Hope, the sweet singer that gladdened the earth,
    Lies asleep on the bosom of bliss.



  “HASTEN, O sinner, to return,
     And stay not for to-morrow’s sun,
   For fear thy lamp should cease to burn
     Before the needful work is done.”

“THE LAST NIGHT OF THE SEASON,” stood forth in bold prominence from
mammoth posters at every prominent place in the city.

“_The Last Night of the Season_” headed an advertisement in every daily

“The Last Night of the Season,” was echoed by thousands of handbills.

“The Last Night of the Season,” lingered on the lips of nearly every

At night, thronging crowds, with hurried step and anxious heart,
pressed earnestly into the accustomed entrance—then too narrow to
admit the greatly increased numbers—of a large and brilliantly
illumined building.

Do you know, breathed in quick succession from one to another, it is
“The Last Night of the Season?”

Fellow traveller to the bar of God, “I have somewhat to say unto

Has not this sentence already gone, like an arrow, to your heart? Do
you not feel that perhaps you have seen the last night of the season of

Oh! it is an awful thought. Yet, thanks be to God, there is still
another opportunity of being saved. I now present you that opportunity.
Will you, can you, refuse? It may be the last night of the season. God
only knows.

  “Delay not, delay not, O sinner, to come,
     For mercy still lingers and calls thee to-day,
   Her voice is not heard in the vale of the tomb;
     Her message unheeded will soon pass away.”

Fathers, mothers, friends, relatives, brothers, sisters, those that
love you tenderly, dearly, Christian ministers, the writer of this
little article, all join in the earnest entreaty, “COME TO JESUS!”

He is a precious Saviour.

He is a loving Saviour.

He is a willing Saviour.

He is an able Saviour.

Then, will you not come and cast your burden upon _Him?_

He has never turned away _one_ soul.

The thief on the cross,—poor, weeping Peter—Mary Magdalene, with her
seven devils,—all found Him such a Saviour as I have described.

Young man, in the morning of life, you whose brow no cloud of sorrow
has ever darkened, will _you_ not come to that Saviour?

Young lady, will _you_ not come to that Saviour? Will _you_, whose sex
was the last at the cross, the first at the sepulchre, stay away from
that Saviour? The daughters of Jerusalem found Him an all-sufficient
Saviour, and will _you_ not come, like Mary, and

  “——fall at His feet,
   And the story repeat,
   And the lover of sinners adore?”

       *       *       *       *       *


  TO hear the Saviour’s word
    The gentle Mary came;
  Low at His feet she sat and heard
    Sweet mention of her name.

  She chose the better part,
    The one bright pearl she found:
  May we, with Mary’s constant heart,
    In Mary’s grace abound.

  Like her, we look above,
    To learn our Saviour’s will;
  The droppings of His lips we love,
    And would His word fulfil.

  Speak, as to Mary Thou
    Didst speak in Galilee;
  Call us by name, our hearts shall bow,
    And melting, flow to Thee.

                              E. M. C.


  “HEAVEN above and hell below,
   Pleasure, pain, and joy and woe,
   Repeat the words in accents slow,
       _Stop and think!_”

THE celebrated Hugh Miller, when a boy, was in the habit of scaling
giddy precipices, either in search of some peculiar specimen of rock,
or some unknown species of bird.

On one occasion he saw a raven’s nest far above the ground, snugly
fixed on a very high cliff, which had never been scaled by the foot of
man. From below it was a matter of impossibility to reach it, for it
was more than a hundred feet above the level of the sea. He therefore
determined to make an attempt from above. Creeping carefully along, now
holding by some protruding rock, now clinging to some slender shrub, he
at last found himself within six or eight feet of the desired prize.
There he stopped and hesitated. Beneath, the raging surf roamed and
boiled. One misstep would launch him into eternity.

His foot was stretched out to take the first step, when he observed,
as the sun burst suddenly from behind a cloud, the light glisten on
a smooth surface of chlorite, slippery as glass. He at once saw the
consequences of such an attempt, retraced his steps, and was, in God’s
providence, spared to exert an influence for good, the extent of which
will never be fully known.

Reader, have you ever attempted to perform some act which no one else
was able to accomplish, and been on the very brink of destruction, when
the Sun of Righteousness shone on your pathway and revealed to your
darkened understanding the imminent danger of your position?

Young man, you that are anxious to write your name high above that
of your fellow-man, beware how you step. The ocean of a never-ending
eternity is roaring beneath you. You, perhaps, do not see your danger,
yet it is there. If you are seeking only the riches of this world,
which perish with their using, and endeavoring to do what no one else
has done, pray that God will show you the peril of your position,
retrace your steps, and remember the sad end of him “who layeth up
treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12: 21.

The sequel to this little sketch is very, very heart-rending.

Not long after the above occurrence a youth named Mackay made a similar
attempt; paused even for a longer time; then trusting himself to the
treacherous chlorite, his foot slipped, and he fell headlong over the
precipice. His head striking violently against a projecting rock, his
brains were scattered over a space of ten or twelve square yards in

The rock doubtless yet remains—a lasting monument of the sinful folly
of man.

       *       *       *       *       *


  “A FEW short years—and then
    Our young hearts may be reft
  Of every hope, and find no gleam
    Of childhood’s sunshine left!

  “A few short years—and then,
    Impatient of its bliss,
  The weary soul shall seek on high
    A better home than this!

  “A few short years—and then
    The dream of life will be
  Like shadows of a morning cloud,
    In its reality!

  “A few short years—and then
    The idols loved the best
  Will pass in all their pride away,
    As sinks the sun to rest!”


  I NEVER left the place that knew me,
    And may never know me more,
  Where the cords of kindness drew me,
    And gladdened me of yore,—
  But my secret soul has smarted,
    With a feeling full of gloom,
  For the days that are departed,
    And the place I called my home.


WHO is there that can stand beside the simple stone which marks the
birthplace of GEORGE WASHINGTON, or enter that plain cottage in the
slashes of Hanover, or walk the halls of Monticello, and not feel
arising in his bosom feelings of pleasure and delight? Such feelings
are natural; and I hope, dear reader, you will ever cherish them for
the memory of such men as Washington, Jefferson, Clay, and the host
of others who have done so much for our common country. If we love to
visit the birthplaces and homes of men who have preferred death to
bondage, how much greater must be the love with which we look upon the
home of him who suffered and bled and died for the liberty of the soul
from the powerful bondage of sin and Satan—the home of Saul of Tarsus,
the scholar of Gamaliel.

That Tarsus was the birthplace of Saul is not very certain, as no one
informs us of the fact; but one thing is certain, it was there he spent
the hours of his childhood, there he was taught to reverence God’s
Word, and there his tender mind received those impressions of love to
God and his fellow-man, which followed him throughout his interesting
and eventful life.

Tarsus, at the time of Saul’s residence, was one of the largest cities
in Asia Minor. It was beautifully situated on the river Cydnus, in the
midst of a most fertile and picturesque valley, and was the capital of
Cilicia. On the one side a lofty peak of the Taurus mountains lifted
its hoary head, and stood like a sentinel, to watch over and protect
the city which lay in such calm quietude at its base; on the other lay
the lovely valley of the Cydnus, interspersed with beautiful groves
of palm trees and luxuriant gardens, through the midst of which the
silver stream wound its way till it was lost in the Mediterranean sea.
Over this plain, happy cottages were scattered like stars in the blue
canopy of heaven. Above the city, about a mile distant, were the falls
of the Cydnus, whose sullen roar added no little to the grandeur of
the scenery. Such was the nature of the country in which the youthful
Saul spent the days of his childhood and youth. Tarsus, as Saul himself
says, was “no mean city.” It was no less remarkable for the beauty of
its situation, than as a seat of learning and wide-spread commerce.

There is something about the word Home, which in itself is pleasant.
How delightful is it to him upon whose locks have fallen the snows of
many winters, and whose brow has been furrowed by the hand of time,
to look back to the home and friends of his childhood! Every thing
about the old homestead is interesting to him. Here, surrounded by
kind friends and dear relatives, he spent the happiest hours of his
life. Every spot has some attraction. In one he once was rescued from
danger; in another he used to indulge in those sportive games which
afford so much pleasure to the young beginner of life’s journey; beside
some murmuring stream he often strayed, and stole the nimble trout from
its crystal home, or rested his weary limbs beneath the wide-extending
branches of the aged oak which overhung the gushing spring.

Such, doubtless, were the feelings with which the great “Apostle of
the Gentiles,” when his mind was “burdened with the care of all the
churches,” visited his native city. And now how changed! An English
writer thus describes the present condition of that once prosperous
city: “It is now a Turkish town, greatly decayed, but still of some
relative importance, and carrying on a somewhat active commerce. The
population is about 6,000.”—However the works of _man_ may have
decayed in and around Tarsus, yet the works of _God_ remain almost
unaltered.—“The rich harvests of corn still grow luxuriantly after the
rains in spring; the same tents of goats’ hair are still seen covering
the plain in busy harvest. The same sunset lingers on the pointed
summits. The same shadows gather in the deep ravines. The water-falls
of the Cydnus still break over the same rocks.”

Who would not like to visit a city once hallowed by the presence of one
of the greatest and best of men?

       *       *       *       *       *


  I LEFT my home in childhood,
    The beautiful green spot,
  Where I used to sport among the leaves,
    Around my native cot.

  My heart was full of happiness
    Among the woods and hills,
  And I heard the voice of hope and love
    Sing gayly in the rills.

  Each lawn and sunny meadow,
    Each tree and flower was dear—
  And I left them full of sadness,
    With childhood’s flowing tear.

  And after years of roaming
    I sought again the scene—
  I stood within the cottage door,
    And looked upon the green;—

  But my heart within me died away—
    For time had trod the lawn,
  And change had passed o’er field and cot,
    And those I loved were gone!

  The earth was full of beauty,
    There was balm upon the air,
  But the feelings of my childhood
    I found no longer there.

                              C. W. THOMPSON.


  I AM not one of those who wander
    Unaffection’d here and there,
  But my heart must still be fonder
    Of its sites of joy or care;
  And I point sad memory’s finger
    (Tho’ my faithless foot may roam)
  Where I’ve most been made to linger,—
    To the place I called _my home_.


THOUGH many a long year has passed away since I mingled in the pleasant
enjoyments and childish sports of my native home, yet I look back with
feelings of the deepest sorrow, and sincerely wish that I could again
spend those hours which afforded me so much innocent delight. It is
true, that I had a home only for a very few years, for I had scarcely
learned to love my mother and feel the worth of my father, before the
clods of the valley rumbled over their coffins; yet those years were
the happiest of my life.

It is in the family circle that we are taught so many lessons of
kindness to our fellow-men, and it is there we are fitted to enter upon
the stern realities which await us in the busy world. There, and there
alone, are the seeds of truth and morality sown by the affectionate
hand of an attached mother; and a loving sister entwines her affections
around the heart of a thoughtless brother, and frequently keeps him
from houses “which are the way to hell,” and from a drunkard’s grave.

Blot out of existence the thousands of Christian homes in this land of
ours, and you will destroy the very _corner stone_ of this happy and
prosperous country.

It was around the fireside that such men as Patrick Henry, Henry Clay
and Daniel Webster first learned those lessons of wisdom and unwavering
devotion to their country.

Well has it been remarked, “There is no place like home.”

I had rather part with my right hand or my right eye, than to be
deprived of those simple truths taught me by my sainted mother when
I was scarcely old enough to lisp her name. How indelibly are they
impressed upon my mind! And those simple prayers which she taught
me—shall I ever forget them? No, never. They will go with me to my
grave. And when I was sick, how she watched over me, nursed me, and
prayed for my recovery!

My home! How thoughts of the loved and lost arise in my mind at the
mere mention of the name! That dear father, that more than sainted
mother, where are they? Gone, gone forever!

It is customary with many heathen nations, when any one of their number
is thought to be dying, to place him upon a narrow couch, set by his
side a small portion of bread and water, and permit him to draw his
last breath with no friend near to whisper words of consolation in his
dying ear, or shed a tear of regret at his departure.

How different in the Christian family! Nothing can equal the tender
care and soothing attention paid to him whose sand is well nigh run
out. And when he is gone, how fast do tears of bitterness flow from the
eyes of those who loved and watched over him even in the hour of death!

William Jay, in speaking of domestic happiness, uses the following
beautiful and touching language: “Oh! what so refreshing, so soothing,
so satisfying, as the quiet joys of home? Yonder comes the laborer;—he
has borne the burden and the heat of the day; the descending sun
has released him from his toil, and he is hastening home to enjoy
his repose. Half way down the lane, by the side of which stands his
cottage, his children run to meet him. One he carries and one he
leads. See his toil-worn countenance assume an air of cheerfulness. His
hardships are forgotten—fatigue vanishes—he eats and is satisfied.
Inhabitant of the lowly dwelling! who can be indifferent to thy
comfort? Peace to thy house!”

But, children, that pleasant home cannot always be the abode of

Since sin entered into this world of ours, and death by sin, man can
never be perfectly happy.

Sooner or later some member of that family will be locked in the cold
embrace of Death; and sadness will follow in the footsteps of joy.
There will be a vacant chair, and a deserted hearth-stone, ere many
more days shall have passed away. That dwelling in which pleasure and
happiness now reign, shall soon echo with the sobs and lamentations of
those who have parted with perhaps a father, a mother, a fond sister,
or a loving brother. He who to-day resides in the costliest mansion,
may to-morrow be an inhabitant of a hovel. That father who to-day bowed
before the family altar, and asked a Heavenly Father’s blessing upon
his children, may be wrapped in the winding sheet of Death to-morrow.

How important then is it, that we should look forward to a home in
that house not made with hands, whose builder and maker is God. There
father and mother, husband and wife, brother and sister, shall meet to
part no more. There shall be no night there. Pain and anguish, sickness
and sorrow, affliction and disappointment, shall be feared and felt no
more for ever. How happy the scene! How joyful the meeting of friends
and relations! How delightful will it be to meet with that father and
that mother who have gone before, and feel that we shall never be
separated again!

Children, if you wish to meet your departed relations, who have died
trusting in Christ, in Heaven, beware how you trifle away your inch
of time. If you die in your sins, you can never be with them in that
“happy land;” for to a sinner _Heaven_ would be the worst _Hell_ into
which he could be placed. Then, “Seek the Lord while he is near, and
call upon Him while He may be found.”

       *       *       *       *       *


    “BETWEEN broad fields of wheat and corn
    Is the lovely home where I was born;
    The peach-tree leans against the wall,
    And the woodbine wanders over all;
    There is the shaded doorway still:
    But a stranger’s foot hath crossed the sill!

    “There is the barn—and as of yore
    I can smell the hay from the open door
    And see the busy swallows throng,
    And hear the pee-wit’s mournful song:
    But the stranger comes—Oh, painful proof—
    His sheaves are piled to the heated roof!

    “There is the orchard—the very trees
    Where my childhood knew long hours of ease,
    And watched the shadowy moments run,
    Till my life imbibed more shade than sun;
    The swing from the bough still sweeps the air,
    But the stranger’s children are swinging there!


    “There bubbles the shady spring below,
    With its bulrush brook where the hazels grow;
    ’Twas there I found the calamus root,
    And watched the minnows poise and shoot,
    And heard the robin lave his wing:
    But the stranger’s bucket is at the spring!

    “Oh! ye that daily cross the sill;
    Step lightly, for I love it still;
    And when you crowd the old barn eaves,
    Then think what countless harvest sheaves
    Have passed within that scented door,
    To gladden the eyes that are no more.

    “Deal kindly with those orchard trees,
    And when your children crowd your knees,
    Their sweetest fruit they shall impart,
    As if old memories stirred their heart:—
    To youthful sport still leave the swing,
    And in sweet reverence hold the spring.

    “The barn, the trees, the brook, the birds,
    The meadows, with their lowing herds,
    The woodbine on the cottage wall,—
    My heart still lingers with them all:—
    Ye strangers on my native sill,
    Step lightly, for I love it still.”


                              LEWISBURG, Va., July 31st, 1858.

MY DEAR SABBATH-SCHOOL CLASS:—I have been intending to write you a
short letter ever since leaving home, but have been so constantly
engaged that I have not found an opportunity.

A great deal of interest has transpired since the commencement of my
mountain trip, of which I should like to tell you, but must defer
doing so until we meet, which, if God spares our lives, will be in a
few weeks. I know you would like very much to leave the hot and dusty
streets of Richmond, and come out and enjoy the pure mountain air
and health-giving water. My own health has improved very much, and
I do most earnestly pray that it and my life may be precious in the
sight of God, and I may yet ere long enjoy the greatest of earthly
privileges—preaching the mystery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I
have very often thought of and frequently remembered you at a throne
of grace. Oh! you know not how much pleasure it would afford me to see
you _all_ professors of religion. You know I told you before leaving,
if any of you should _perish_—I feel sad to think of such a thing—I
hoped it would not be my fault, for I had endeavored, feebly and
imperfectly though it was, to lead your youthful feet in the ways of
righteousness—the paths of peace.

I feel constrained to urge you once more to _come to Jesus_. We may
never meet again on earth, and I do so sincerely desire to meet my
Sabbath-school class in heaven. Suppose _one_ of you should be missing,
which will it be? May each one of you ask himself the question, “_Lord,
is it I?_”

And then, my dear young friends, we want ministers so badly. Where
shall we get them? Do I not hear at least _one_ of you say, “_Here am
I; Lord, send me?_” Think of that shepherdless and sorrowing flock,
that vacant pulpit, that newly made grave, in Amelia county! think how
fearlessly and faithfully the lamented S. HAMNER DAVIS stood up for
Jesus, and how triumphantly he died! My dear scholars, will not _some_
of you, would it be too much to say _all_ of you, dedicate yourselves
to the work of the blessed ministry? I know it has not a great many
earthly attractions, but there is something cheering in the thought of
living for the benefit of your fellow-men. I had rather be the humble
instrument, in the hands of God, of saving one soul, than be worth all
the riches or obtain all the honors which the world can furnish.

May the Lord abundantly bless and preserve you all, while we are absent
from each other, is the prayer of

                              Your affectionate Teacher,
                                           PHILIP BARRETT.


  “Separate from sinners and unspotted from the world.”—BIBLE.

A YOUTH was once unintentionally thrown into the company of some half
dozen young men of very immoral character. Their language, their jests,
were of the lowest order. Indecent expressions, vulgar anecdotes,
heart-defiling oaths, characterized their conversation. It was evident
there was no thought of God in all their hearts.

He left them and went to his room. It was time for retiring to rest.
He opened his Bible and attempted to read its sacred pages; but he
could not confine his thoughts. The low, vulgar anecdotes of that
godless party were continually flitting across his mind. Their hollow
mockery of God still rung in his ear; the thought that perhaps there
was no God, no heaven, no hell, disturbed his hitherto pleasant
evening meditations; but that kind, friendly voice within, the lives
and death-beds of parents whom he had loved only to lose, told him
too plainly there was a God above, of tender and forgiving mercy,
there was a heaven of bliss and joy, there was a lake whose waves of
fire and brimstone were never quiet. He knelt down to pray, and the
profane jests of that God-rejecting company intruded themselves upon
his thoughts; he retired to rest—they haunted his slumbers; he awoke
in the morning—they still lingered in his mind. Year after year has
passed away, but that half an hour in the company of the profane, the
wicked, still exerts its injurious influence upon the heart of that
young man. It will never leave him. Wherever he goes, whatever he
does, it will remain in his mind to the last day of his life. It may
be forgotten for a time, but, like the serpent concealed in a bed of
violets, it will again and again come up to pollute his best and purest
thoughts, to poison his sweetest affections.

My dear young friends, particularly boys, write this as your motto
upon the fly-leaves of your books—write it on the walls of your
rooms—write it in your copy books—write it on your hearts—KEEP OUT

       *       *       *       *       *


  HOW shall the young secure their hearts
    And guard their lives from sin?
  Thy word the choicest rules imparts
    To keep the conscience clean.

  When once it enters to the mind,
    It spreads such light abroad,
  The meanest souls instruction find,
    And raise their thoughts to God.

  ’Tis like the sun, a heavenly light,
    That guides us all the day,
  And through the dangers of the night
    A lamp to lead our way.

  Thy word is everlasting truth;
    How pure is ev’ry page!



  ’TIS greatly wise to talk with our past hours,
  And ask them what report they bore to heaven,
  And how they might have borne more welcome news.


ANOTHER year, with its fond anticipations and blasted hopes, its scenes
of joy and its seasons of sorrow, its days of rejoicing and its nights
of weeping, has been laid in the grave of the past.

Many a bounding heart that welcomed us a year ago, now lies beneath
the clods of the valley: many a cloudless brow which then met our eye,
now meets it no more for ever; many a manly form which then walked the
streets of our city, now walks the golden streets of the New Jerusalem.
The young man, before whom the future stretched in scenes of brightness
and beauty; the young lady, whose glowing cheek and brilliant eye
bespoke a long life of joy and happiness; the father, whose presence
cheered and whose counsel guided his little flock; the mother, whose
yearning heart seemed to throb only for the dear little one whose
cherub arms clung so lovingly around her neck; the young minister,
whose hopes of wide-spread usefulness gladdened his lonely hours of
toil; the venerable man of God, whose golden virtues, mingled with his
silver locks, won the love and admiration of all who knew him;—these,
all of these, have been laid in the cold and silent grave, during the
year that is past and gone.

Over some of their graves the green grass is not yet growing, and
stricken hearts are now bleeding for loved ones, with whom we had
expected to walk hand in hand during the year which has so beautifully
dawned upon us.

During the past year we have permitted many a golden opportunity for
doing good to pass away unimproved; we have failed properly to use
many a precious privilege; and does it not then become us, to-day,
to implore forgiveness for the past, and unreservedly to dedicate
ourselves and all we have and are, to the service of our blessed

Let us determine that this year shall be a year of entire consecration
to God’s service; that our places at the Sabbath-school, in the house
of God, at the Wednesday evening lecture, at the prayer-meeting, shall
be less frequently vacant than they were during the past year.

That this shall be a year of prayer—earnest, importunate prayer.
That we will especially pray for those who are bound to us by ties of
affection and love, but who know nothing of the warm affection and
tender love of a Saviour’s heart.

That it shall be a year of heart-searching.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts:
and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way

That it shall be a year of unremitting prayer for the outpouring of
God’s spirit, not only upon the church with which we are connected, but
throughout the length and breadth of His vineyard.

And, in conclusion, that we will endeavor so to live and act, that
whenever the summons comes to call us hence, our lights shall be
burning, our lamps trimmed, and we shall hear the welcome invitation,
“Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you
from the foundation of the world.”

       *       *       *       *       *


  “SWIFT as the wingèd arrow flies,
    My time is hast’ning on;
  Quick as the lightning from the skies
    My wasting moments run.

  “My follies past, O God, forgive;
    My ev’ry sin subdue;
  And teach me henceforth how to live,
    With glory full in view.

  “Thanks, Lord, to Thine unbounded grace,
    That in my early youth
  I have been taught to seek Thy face,
    And know the way of truth.

  “Oh! let Thy Spirit lead me still
    Along the happy road;
  Conform me to Thy holy will,
    My Father and my God.”


  “WHEN to the house of God we go
   To hear His word and sing His love,
   We ought to worship Him below
   As saints and angels do above.”

THERE is but one instance mentioned in the Bible in which a person went
to sleep during religious service. It was at night. Paul, the eloquent
preacher, with his usual burning zeal and strong enthusiasm, had
enchained the attention of his audience till a late hour—12 o’clock.
On the morning he was to leave them, His hearers were hanging with deep
sorrow on his parting words, for they felt “they should see his face no
more.” There was, doubtless, many a quivering lip, many a tearful eye,
many a throbbing heart.

In the midst of such a scene, beneath the preaching of so gifted, so
talented a man as Saul of Tarsus, there sat a young man unmoved by the
tears of the listeners, unaffected by the sermon of the minister. Deep
sleep fell heavily upon his slumbering eye-lids; his dull ear was
closed against the touching appeals of the fervent speaker.

The house was no doubt crowded; for the young man was sitting in a
window; “and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and
fell down from the third loft, and _was taken up dead_.” (Acts xx. 19.)

Sleeping, slumbering souls in the church of God, beware least you fall
asleep and _be taken up dead!_

       *       *       *       *       *


  “MY drowsy powers, why sleep ye so?
    Awake, my sluggish soul;
  Nothing has half thy work to do,
    Yet nothing’s half so dull.

  “We, for whom God the Son came down
    And labored for our good,
  How careless to secure that crown
    He purchased with His blood!

  “Lord, shall we lie so sluggish still
    And never act our parts?
  Come, Holy Spirit, come and fill
    And wake and warm our hearts.”



  O FEAR not in a world like this,
    And thou shalt know ere long,
  Know how sublime a thing it is
    To suffer and be strong.


ALMOST two hundred years ago there lived in Scotland a girl whose
name was MARGARET WILSON. She was a covenanter; that is, she belonged
to that noble band of Scotch Christians who claimed the right of
worshiping God according to the teachings of their own consciences.

About this time a violent persecution was commenced against these
quiet, inoffensive and pious covenanters. The officer who commanded the
King’s (James II.) forces in Scotland was named CLAVERHOUSE. He was a
man of violent temper, and possessed a heart as hard as adamant. The
mere mention of his name would cast a gloom over many a happy home,
and mothers would clasp their children closer to their bosoms whenever
the news of his approach reached their ears. He drank in iniquity like
water, and breathed out bitter persecution and death against God’s
servants. The poor covenanters were driven from their peaceful homes
by his troopers, and forced to seek shelter in the rugged sides of the
mountains. There they were hunted and shot down like wild beasts of the
forest. Homeless, poor, despised, forsaken of man, day after day, and
night after night, they wandered through the pathless woods without
clothing to protect or food to nourish them. From many a mountain top,
from many a barren heath, in the silence of the night, the fervent
prayer and the wild warbling notes of some simple Scotch hymn went up
like incense before the face of Jehovah. It is true “they were stoned,
they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword;
they wandered about in sheep-skins and goat-skins; being destitute,
afflicted, tormented; they wandered in deserts and mountains, and in
dens and caves of the earth.” (Acts xi. 37, 38.) They were imprisoned
by hundreds, and hung by scores. Corpses were seen dangling from trees,
and the atmosphere itself was tainted with death. The blood-thirsty
troopers spared neither age nor sex. The prattling babe and the hoary
head were alike disregarded.

The severity of the persecution only made them cling more closely to
their religion, and a mighty army of martyrs went up from Scotland to
join the ranks of the great captain of their salvation—Jesus Christ.

The noble courage with which MARGARET WILSON suffered death rather
than forsake the religion of her childhood, has made her name to be
held in lasting remembrance. She was quite young, but showed a degree
of calm composure and unshaken faith worthy of much riper years. On
being seized by the troopers, she was told that her life would be
spared if she would give up her religion. This she positively refused
to do, and was sentenced to be drowned. She was alike unmoved by the
fierce countenances of the brutal soldiery and their horrible threats.
Her heart was fixed. She was as firm as a rock. Finding her still
unyielding, she was taken to a place where the Solway overflows twice
a day, and securely fastened to a stake fixed in the sand between high
and low water mark. Presently the tide commenced coming in. At first
it played around her feet; by and by it rose higher and higher; at
last the waves approached within a few inches of her lips. Still she
remained unmoved. Her unclouded brow looked serene and happy. Her cheek
was pale, but not with fear. Her thoughts were wandering by the banks
of the river of the Water of Life; she seemed to be listening to the
angelic notes of the heavenly choir.

“Will you deny now your religion?” demanded the cruel soldiery.

“No, never; I am Christ’s; let me go,” she gasped out, her voice choked
by the gurgling water, and the waves closed over her for the last time.

       *       *       *       *       *


              THEIR blood is shed
  In confirmation of the noblest claim—
  Our claim to feed upon immortal truth;
  To walk with God; to be divinely free.
  Yet few remember them. They lived unknown
  Till persecution dragged them into fame,
  And chased them up to heaven. Their ashes flew
  ——No marble tells us whither.


       *       *       *       *       *


  THE morning hours of cheerful light,
    Of all the day are best;
  But as they speed their hasty flight,
  If every hour is spent aright,
  We sweetly sink to sleep at night,
    And pleasant is our rest.

  And life is like a summer day,
    It seems so quickly past;
  Youth is the morning bright and gay,
  And if ’tis spent in wisdom’s way,
  We meet old age without dismay,
    And death is sweet at last.

                              JANE TAYLOR.


  TOILING, rejoicing, sorrowing,
  Onward through life he goes;
  Each morning sees some task begun,
  Each evening sees its close;
  Something attempted, something done,
  Has earned a night’s repose.

                              LONGFELLOW’S VILLAGE BLACKSMITH.

THERE lives in the city of Richmond, Virginia, a very venerable and
highly respected negro blacksmith, named Gilbert Hunt. For more
than three-score years he has pursued his humble calling; and even
now, at the advanced age of seventy-seven years, the merry ring of
Gilbert’s anvil is among the first things that break the stillness of
the morning. His shop is situated on one of the most busy streets in
the city; and long before the stores are opened, or the busy hum of
human voices heard, the lively glow of the blacksmith’s fire and the
unceasing blowing of his bellows, whisper in the ear of many a tardy
young man—_Be diligent in business_.

Thus has he lived and labored through the weary days of many a long
year. Though time has plowed many a deep furrow across his dusky brow,
though his head is covered with the almond-tree blossoms of age,
though those that look out of the windows are darkened, though the
doors are shut in the streets, though the silver cord has been worn
almost to its last thread, yet Gilbert Hunt remains still healthy and
robust, retains the cheerfulness of youth, and seems to feel that his
work on earth is far from being accomplished.

His dark countenance, while in conversation, is lighted up with a
happy smile, and you cannot help feeling, as you look upon the old
and grey-headed man, what a precious promise that beautiful old hymn
expresses when it says,

  “E’en down to old age, all my people shall prove
  My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
  _And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
  Like lambs, they shall still in my bosom be borne_.”

The eventful life of this aged blacksmith, together with his vivid
remembrance of bygone days, renders an hour spent in his company very

’Tis true, his name is unknown both to fortune and to fame; for but few
stop, in this cold world of ours, to pay the deserved meed of praise to
humble, unpretending merit.

  “Far from the madd’ning crowd’s ignoble strife,
     His sober wishes never learned to stray—
   Along the cool sequestered vale of life
     He kept the noiseless tenor of his way.”

But to return to our first intention. Gilbert Hunt was born in the
county of King William, (Va.,) about the year 1780; came to the city
of Richmond when seventeen years of age; learned the trade of a
carriage-maker, at which he worked for a considerable length of time,
and by constant industry and close economy laid by a sufficient amount
of money to purchase his freedom of his master. In 1832, he determined
to emigrate to Liberia; and in February of that year, left Virginia.
He remained in Africa eight months, and having travelled some five
hundred miles into the interior, returned to the coast and embarked for
home. His reception, on arriving at Richmond, was one which would have
done honor to any conqueror or statesman, so highly was he respected
by the citizens. “When I reached Richmond,” to use his own language,
“the wharves were crowded with all classes and conditions of people;
I was invited to ride up town in a very fine carriage, but preferred
a plainer style, and came up in a Jersey wagon, seated on my trunk.”
Since that time, nothing of special interest has transpired in the
life of this truly remarkable man. “Toiling, rejoicing, sorrowing,” he
has followed with unpretending simplicity of character his accustomed
labor. Success seems not to make him proud, nor failure to discourage
him. He has made a sufficient amount of money to enable him to spend
the evening of his life in quiet retirement, but his place at his shop
is seldom, if ever, vacant.

For more than half a century he has been a consistent member of the
Baptist Church; thus teaching us, would we have the needed blessings
of life added to us, we should seek first the kingdom of God and His

The event which invests the name of Gilbert Hunt with more than
ordinary interest, is the active part which he took at the burning of
the Richmond theatre in 1811.

We add a brief account of this sad occurrence, as related by Gilbert
himself, feeling there are but few eyes which can read it without
moistening with tears.

“It was the night of Christmas, 1811. I had just returned from worship
at the Baptist church, and was about sitting down to my supper, when
I was startled by the cry that the Theatre was on fire. My wife’s
mistress called me, and begged me to hasten to the Theatre, and, if
possible, save her only daughter,—a young lady who had been teaching
me my book every night, and one whom I loved very much. The wind was
quite high, and the hissing and crackling flames soon wrapt the entire
building in their embrace. The house was built of wood, and therefore
the work of destruction was very short. When I reached the building
I immediately went to the house of a colored fiddler, named Gilliat,
who lived near by, and begged him to lend me a bed on which the poor
frightened creatures might fall as they leaped from the windows. This
he positively refused to do. I then procured a step-ladder and placed
it against the wall of the burning building. The door was too small
to permit the crowd, pushed forward by the scorching flames, to get
out, and numbers of them were madly leaping from the windows only to
be crushed to death by the fall. I looked up and saw Dr. —— standing
at one of the top windows, and calling to me to catch the ladies as he
handed them down. I was then young and strong, and the poor screaming
ladies felt as light as feathers. By this means we got all the ladies
out of this portion of the house. The flames were rapidly approaching
the Doctor. They were beginning to take hold of his clothing, and, O
me! I thought that good man who had saved so many precious lives, was
going to be burned up. He jumped from the window, and when he touched
the ground I thought he was dead. He could not move an inch. No one
was near that part of the house, for the wall was tottering like a
drunken man, and I looked to see it every minute crush the Doctor to
death. I heard him scream out, ‘_Will nobody save me?_’ and at the risk
of my own life, rushed to him and bore him away to a place of safety.
The scene surpassed any thing I ever saw. The wild shriek of hopeless
agony, the piercing cry, ‘Lord, save, or I perish,’ the uplifted hands,
the earnest prayer for mercy, for pardon, for salvation. I think I see
it now—all—all just as it happened.” And the old negro stopped to
wipe away a tear which was trickling down his wrinkled cheek.

“The next day I went to the place where I had seen so much suffering.
There lay a heap of half-burnt bodies—young and old, rich and poor,
the governor and the little child—whose hearts were still fluttering
like leaves. I never found my young mistress, and suppose she perished
with the many others who were present on that mournful occasion. _I
thought there would never be any more theatres after that._” The old
man was silent; his tale was told; tear-drops were standing in his eyes.

Should any of my readers desire to learn more of the history of this
venerable old negro, the simple sign of

  |  Blacksmith,  |

which still hangs over his door, will direct them to his lowly shop,
and guarantee a warm welcome at his hands.

       *       *       *       *       *


  UNDER a spreading chestnut tree
    The village smithy stands;
  The smith, a mighty man is he,
    With large and sinewy hands;
  And the muscles of his brawny arms
    Are strong as iron bands.

  His hair is crisp and black and long,
    His face is like the tan;
  His brow is wet with honest sweat,
    He earns whate’er he can,
  And looks the whole world in the face,
    For he owes not any man.

  Week in, week out, from morn till night
    You can hear his bellows blow;
  You can hear him swing his heavy sledge
    With measured beat, and slow;
  Like a sexton ringing the village bell
    When the evening sun is low.

  And children coming home from school
    Look in at the open door;
  They love to see the flaming forge,
    And hear the bellows roar,
  And catch the burning sparks that fly
    Like chaff from a threshing floor.

  He goes on Sunday to the church,
    And sits among his boys;
  He hears the parson pray and preach,
    He hears his daughter’s voice
  Singing in the village choir,
    And it makes his heart rejoice.

  It sounds to him like his mother’s voice
    Singing in Paradise!
  He needs must think of her once more,
    How in the grave she lies;
  And with his hard, rough hand he wipes
    A tear out of his eyes.

    Onward through life he goes:
  Each morning sees some task begun,
    Each evening sees its close;
  Something attempted, something done,
    Has earned a night’s repose.

  Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
    For the lesson thou hast taught:
  Thus at the flaming forge of life
    Our fortunes must be wrought;
  Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
    Each burning deed and thought.




FINDING in my portfolio a number of sketches not considered entirely
suited to the class for whom my little volume is intended, I have
determined to add them in the form of an appendix, with the hope that
they may prove interesting and instructive to persons of maturer years.

                              THE AUTHOR.


       *       *       *       *       *


No. 1.

IT has long been a mystery to us that the Bible is so little read,
so poorly appreciated. A few hurried snatches in the morning, the
shortest psalm in the evening, to a very great extent constitute the
Bible reading of many who even profess and call themselves Christians.
The prolific press is daily pouring forth issues of aids to Scripture
reading; the most gifted intellects, both of this and other lands,
are using all their powers to make the Bible the text-book of the
age; but in vain. There seems to have arisen, in the minds of many,
an insatiable desire for something new, something stirring, something
calculated to arouse their stupified faculties.

Persons will pore, hour after hour, over the pages of some trashy
novel, while the Bible—_its_ pages glittering with golden truths—its
chapters glowing with a Saviour’s love—lies unopened for weeks, yea,
months; its clasps blackened by canker—its cover thick with dust.

They will nestle in their bosoms the sin-stained pages of Byron—not
knowing his slime is polluting, his poison infecting, the purest
affections of their hearts, while a stream of living water is gushing
from this ever full and overflowing fountain of Truth. In the one
are found waters of Marah; in the other, sweet, soul-inspiring,
soul-cheering streams, whose supply is never wanting, whose freshness
never departs.

You cannot inflict greater punishment on some persons than force them
daily to read a portion of God’s word. To them it is as a root out of
dry ground, having no form or comeliness. Notwithstanding this, we
find in the Bible every thing that is attractive and lovely. Viewed
as a literary production, _aside from_ its inspiration, there is no
work, ancient or modern, which is marked by such variety of style—such
beauty of diction—such sublimity of sentiment. Its writers are taken
from all classes and conditions of life—from the shepherd boy that
watches his father’s flocks on the grassy hill-sides of Judea, to the
king, the golden magnificence of whose court, and unerring wisdom,
attracted the notice of Arabia’s queen—from the humble fisherman who
mends his nets on the shores of “deep Galilee,” to the talented scholar
of the learned Gamaliel.

The rich and the poor, the aged and the young, the wise and the
ignorant, the pastor and his people, can all discover in its pages
something to suit their respective situations. In fact, from Genesis to
Revelation, it is filled with truths simple enough for the prattling
child—deep enough for the profoundest scholar.

What sublime simplicity characterizes the Pentateuch! what melodious
notes fall upon the ear, like “sweet music from some far-off isle
enchanted,” as the sweet Psalmist of Israel sweeps the chords of his
thrilling harp! what rapt, impassioned eloquence bursts from prophetic
souls as they picture the future glory of Immanuel’s kingdom, or paint
the awful scenes of that wrathful day,

  “When, shrivelling like a parched scroll,
  The flaming heavens together roll;
  When louder yet, and yet more dread,
  Swells the high trump that wakes the dead!”


       *       *       *       *       *


No. 2.

TURN to the New Testament. How touching those simple narratives! Hard
indeed must be the heart of him who can read without deep emotion,
that truly affecting account of the return of the prodigal son to the
father of his early love, the home and scenes of his childhood.

Behold that aged man, as with tottering step, forgetful of the pressing
weight of his many years, he _runs_ to meet his poor wayward boy,
clasps him to his yearning bosom, falls on his neck and kisses him.

Stand beside the grave of Lazarus; look at those loving sisters of
Bethany, as with throbbing hearts and swollen eyes they gather around
the last resting-place of that much-loved and only brother. Is your
heart more unfeeling than the heart of Him of whom it was said, “Behold
how he loved him?” If not, then moisten his grave with a tear of
sympathy for those heart-stricken sisters; for it is not unmanly to

  “That noble gift! that privilege of man.”

Let us leave these scenes, so well calculated to sadden the heart and
moisten the eye, and turn to others of a far different nature.

Look at that stranger standing on Mars Hill. ’Tis true he is not
commanding in person; neither is his speech in itself eloquent; but
there is an electric current which continually passes from his soul to
his eye, making it to flash with dazzling brilliancy.

With the deep blue sky as his canopy, and standing where Socrates once
stood, he begins one of the most highly finished and closely argued
orations on record.

With kindling features and burning ardor, he enters at once into the
mysteries of his subject,—_The nature of God_. What eloquence!

  “It wields at will that fierce democracy.”

John Milton has truly remarked: “There are no songs comparable to the
songs of Zion; no orations equal to those of the prophets; no politics
like those which the Scriptures teach.”

But there is another feature in this precious Book to which we would
briefly direct your attention.

THE CHARACTERS.—A young man, dressed in the plain garb of a
husbandman, is wandering over the rugged sides of mount Ephraim in
search of his father’s cattle. Exposure to wind and storm has rendered
his frame robust, his tread firm and steady. Fearless courage sits
enthroned on his peerless brow; stubborn resolution, untiring energy,
prompt decision, all beam from a countenance, which, though bronzed by
the ardent frown of the summer’s sun, yet is none the less attractive
for the noble qualities which it so plainly displays. But it is the
commanding appearance of his person, the symmetry of his form, which
first unconsciously draws the attention. As the oak of the forest lifts
its head far above the surrounding trees, so does the dauntless crest
of this choice young man rise head and shoulders above his companions.

Such is the person and character of him who was chosen as the first
king of Israel; and as Pallas, “over the head and shoulders broad” of

  “Diffused grace celestial, his whole form
   Dilated, and to statelier height advanced,
   That worthier of all reverence he might seem
   To the Phæacians,”

so God endowed the son of Kish, in order that he might better
command the respect of those over whom he was called to preside.

Time does not suffice to notice in detail his anointing by the
venerable Samuel, nor the swelling tide of human beings which rolled
along the streets of Mizpah, on the day of his proclamation, nor how
the enemies of Israel were swept before his stalwart arm, like chaff
before the whirlwind.

Thus far Saul presents one of the noblest specimens of filial
obedience, of daring bravery, of unreserved submission to the will of
God, to be found in sacred history.

But his heart becomes elated at his unparalleled success, and the
remainder of his life is a series of heaven-daring presumption,
of flagrant disobedience, of detestable faithlessness, of unmanly
cowardice; his bosom swells with arrogant pride—that invariable
precursor of destruction—which paves his way to the most ignominious
of deaths—that of a cowardly suicide.

  “Then wish not o’er his earthly tomb
   The baneful night-shades’ lurid bloom
     To drop its deadly dew;
   Nor oh! forbid the twisted thorn,
   That rudely binds his turf forlorn,
     With spring’s green swelling buds to vegetate anew.”

But only remember that _one_ act of indiscretion will blast a lifetime
of virtue and usefulness; and remember also how essential it is that we
be true to our God, true to our country, true to ourselves.


       *       *       *       *       *


No. 3.

THERE is one other character, noticeable for none of those traits which
mark the life of Saul; yet of an order to which no one, we think, will
be unwilling to pay deserved tribute,—which next claims our attention.

Two men—the one in the prime of manly vigor, the other has passed
the ordinary limits of human life—are standing on the banks of the
Jordan. The one is arrayed in royal garments, the other in a pastoral
garb,—for during many a long year has he led his flocks beside the
still waters, and made them to lie down in the green pastures of Gilead.

The snows of four-score years have fallen softly upon his head, and his
“brow has grown wrinkled like the brown sea sand from which the tide
of life is ebbing.” The friends of his youth are _asleep with their
fathers_; the playmates of his childhood have also been laid in the
cold and silent sepulchres of Nebo or Pisgah. With the Poet he exclaims,

  “They are all dead now:
   I’m old and lonely.”

_He is blind._

                  “Thus with the year
  Seasons return. But not to him returns
  Day, or the sweet approach of ev’n or morn,
  Or sight of vernal bloom or summer’s rose,
  Or flocks or herds, or human face divine.”

To him taste has lost its sweetness; music, its melody.

David—for it is he who wears the robes of royalty,—insists on his
aged friend accompanying him to Jerusalem.

Noble-hearted old Barzillai replies, that he will go a little way with
him beyond Jordan, but adds, “Let thy servant, I pray thee, turn back
again, that I may die in mine own city, and be buried in the grave of
my father and my mother.”

How beautiful! how touching! how true to nature!

The winter of age is not severe enough to wither the blossoms of

A storm is raging on the sea of Galilee; the heavens are black with
clouds; the moaning of the billows, as they dash against the sides of
the vessel, falls on the ear with a peculiar loneliness; the winds
are howling fearfully through the rigging; an occasional flash of
lightning, as it darts athwart the waters, reveals to the eye many a
face pale with fear, and many a form struggling nobly with the furious

There is on that vessel an old weather-beaten sailor, whose home is the
bosom of the lake. Hardship and exposure have rendered him perfectly
reckless as to danger. His brow shows no signs of fear; his noble heart
throbs only with emotions of fearless daring.

A familiar voice is heard above the fury of the winds, the roar of the

The practiced ear of the sturdy old sailor quickly catches the sound,
recognizes it as his Master’s voice, and with impetuous zeal and
unshaken confidence, makes an attempt to rush into his embrace.

Though this Galilean fisherman doubtless possessed a rough exterior,
yet his heart was easily warmed into expressions of the deepest love,
and quickly melted to tears.

At one time we behold him, with that quick impetuosity which so
peculiarly distinguished him, cutting off the ear of a high priest’s
servant; at another, going out into retirement, and weeping with
intense bitterness.

In no instance is his ardent temperament more plainly shown, than
the one in which Christ appears to His disciples by the dim twilight
of morning on the shores of Galilee. It is he who hastily girds his
fisher’s coat about him, casts himself into the sea and swims with
longing earnestness to the shore.

It is true there are some acts in this noble apostle’s life over which
we should like to throw the mantle of forgetfulness; yet there is much
worthy of admiration and imitation.

No one ever suffered more than he on account of his errors; no one
of the apostles labored with more self-denying application for his
Master’s cause; and we are sure no one received a richer reward.

We know not with any degree of certainty how he died, though tradition
informs us that he was crucified, with his head towards the earth, thus
showing he never forgot, to the last hour of his life, that one act of
denial which caused him so many bitter tears, such intense anguish of

There are many other lovely characters which, did time permit, we
should love to dwell upon.

Let us read God’s word with more diligence and greater earnestness in
the future than we have in the past: let us lay its sacred truths up in
our hearts, and practice them in our lives.

Oh! let us rejoice, that this lamp does not shed its light on a
chosen few, but that its rays have penetrated many a land of darkened
ignorance and fiendish cruelty, scattering joy and happiness in
habitations where sorrow and misery once had their abode.

Let us thank God, that leaves from this Tree of Life have been wafted
by propitious breezes throughout the length and breadth of the world.
They are to be found in the hut of the Esquimaux, the hovel of the
African, the wigwam of the Indian, in the cottage of the laborer, in
the palace of the lord, floating on the surface of the Ganges, fringing
the borders of the Nile.

  ’Tis a fountain ever bursting,
    Whence the weary may obtain
  Water for the soul that’s thirsting,
    And shall never thirst again.

  ’Tis a lamp forever burning,
    By whose never-dying light,
  Sinners, from their errors turning,
    Are directed through the night.

  ’Tis a mine of richest treasure,
    Laden with the purest ore;
  And its contents, without measure,
    You can never well explore.

  ’Tis a chart that never fails you,
    Which God to man has given,
  And, though rudest storms assail you,
    Will guide you safe to heaven.

  ’Tis a tree whose fruits unfailing,
    Cheer and stay the fainting soul,
  And whose leaves, the nations healing,
    Scatter joy from pole to pole.

  ’Tis a pearl of price exceeding
    All the gems in ocean found;—
  _To its precepts ever listening,
    In its truths may I abound_.


       *       *       *       *       *


No. 1.

A TEACHER of great wisdom is seated in the midst of a class of
students, who long have hung with breathless silence on the wonderful
words which fall from his lips. His class is composed of persons from
nearly all conditions and callings of life. Some have been nurtured
on the bosom of the deep; some dwelt from early childhood under the
shadows of venerable mountains, and caught from them true nobility
and loftiness of soul; others, doubtless, spent their days in the
peaceful pursuits of husbandry; while one, at least, has lived amid
the active duties of public life, demanding, perhaps, with Shylock
relentlessness, the uttermost farthing from the hand of his debtor.

As they sit at the feet of their instructor, what diversity of
disposition meets our eye. One is impulsive, ardent, passionate; by
his side sits another, of fervent love, gentle mildness, unshaken
confidence; another is evidently very skeptical—sometimes doubting the
truthfulness of his own vision; by his side is one whose heart is as
guileless as that of a little child; while not far off, is another, of
calculating mind and heart, as black as night with vile hypocrisy.

What is the question which has so deeply absorbed their thoughts?—It
is one which they have been discussing by the wayside—for their cheeks
would burn with shame did they think their Master suspected such
feelings ever throbbed in their bosoms. It is this:—

“WHO SHALL BE THE GREATEST?” (Mark 9: 34.) That this is still an
absorbing thought of mankind, may be seen from the anxious brow and
hurried step of the merchant, the feeble frame and the hollow cheek of
the student, the brawny arm and vigorous tread of the laborer; yea,
the skeleton fingers of the lowly seamstress, as she mingles her very
life’s blood with her daily toil, and sings alike the “Song of the
Shirt,” and the Dirge of the Sewer. Neither is it alone common to the
city of the living; its intrusive front has even invaded the solemn
silence of the city of the sleeping dead.

Though prattling childhood and hoary-headed age, the lordly rich and
the needy poor, there dwell side by side, how great is the contrast
between the places of their abode! Over the one rises the proud
monument, on whose cold front are written in letters of gold the names
and deeds of the dead. The simple rose, with its blushing purity,
planted by the hand of affection, and watered by the tears of love,
sweetly blooms above the other. In what beautiful numbers has the poet

  “Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault
     If Memory o’er their tomb no trophies raise,
   Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault,
     The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.

  “Can storied urn or animated bust,
   Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
   Can Honor’s voice provoke the silent dust,
     Or flattery soothe the dull cold ear of death?”

       *       *       *       *       *


No. 2.

MEN are ambitious of the esteem of those who are prominent in the
eyes of the world on account of their wealth, their greatness, their

How fond we are of the notice of the rich! How we strive to win their
approbation! How we labor to gain their interest! How highly prized,
how exaggerated, how boasted of, their slightest attentions. We will
lick the very dust from the feet of _wealth_, and refuse to shake the
honest hand of _poverty_. With what amazing sycophancy do we bow our
heads at the footstool of him who has been mighty in battle, or great
in the councils of the nation! And then the learned! How we out-Boswell
Boswell himself, in picking up the crumbs which fall from their tables.
In their august presence the world-worshipper prostrates himself in the
dust of humility, and looks up to them for a smile with that air of
servility with which the dog turns his face to the eye of his master
for a crust of bread.

  _Men are Ambitious of Wealth._

The son of some poor cottager is charmed by the glitter and glare
of riches. His father’s cottage soon becomes too small for his
accommodation; the narrow confines of the little farm cramp too much
his swelling expectations. He leaves the home of his childhood, the
friends of his youth, and enters the busy, bustling marts of commerce.
No stone, however heavy, is left unturned; no task is too burdensome,
no difficulty too great, for the accomplishment of his heart’s desire.
Toilsome labor, assiduous application, penurious economy, a heart
steeled alike against the cries of want, the claims of his Maker, are
called into requisition for the furtherance of this one mighty object.
Visions of beautiful and boundless fields—of coffers overflowing with
gold, of princely mansions, flit across his disordered imagination
during the silent watches of the night. The more fuel he adds, the
stronger the passion burns.

As the shipwrecked mariner, driven at the mercy of the winds and waves,
seeks to quench his burning thirst by drinking the briny element
which surrounds him, only to find that his thirst is increased rather
than diminished, so does man find his desire for wealth increase with
each successive gain. Soon his ledger becomes his Bible, his bank his
sanctuary, his gold the god at whose shrine he bows morning, noon and
night.—When he has reached the dregs of his existence, when his body
is wasted by disease, weakened by age, when enfeebled Reason sits
tottering on her throne, how bitter must be his thoughts when they
revert to the hearts he has left all crushed and bleeding, to the
homes all deserted and destroyed.—He then begins fully to realize
the fact that he has been in the constant pursuit of an ever-receding
_ignis-fatuus_, which dazzled only to destroy him. He has betrayed the
noblest principles of the human heart for the sake of filthy lucre:
like Judas, madly dashes the occasion of his misery to the ground, and
frequently goes forth and hangs himself.

       *       *       *       *       *


No. 3.

_Men are Ambitious of Distinction._

AS the child with uplifted hand and eager look chases the bubble which
its tiny lips have fashioned, only to find that it vanishes into thin
air as soon as it is grasped, so does man, seemingly but a child in
understanding, spend days and nights of laborious toil in pursuit of
the bubble Distinction.

The heart of some youthful aspirant is fixed with a burning desire
for the gaudy tinsel of distinction, with which the name of some
hero in life’s battle is clothed. He abandons the cheerful fireside
and genial society of home, and chooses for himself some arduous
profession. Every energy is bent towards this one great object of his
life. Every faculty of mind and body is rendered subservient to this
“heart’s desire.” Hours which Nature has allotted to rest, are spent
in unwearied application. He finds himself not only burning the oil of
his midnight lamp, but the oil of the very lamp of life itself. He soon
finds that the race is not _always_ to the swift, nor the battle to the
strong—that “there is a Divinity that shapes our ends, rough hew them
as we may.”

As one competitor after another passes him, lean-faced Envy whispers
words of malice in his ready ear, so that him whom he once loved he
then despises.

As Themistocles could not sleep because of the deserved honors of
Melviades, so do the _deserved_ honors of his rivals drive peace from
his side, repose from his couch.

Every _laurel_ which crowns their brows becomes a _thorn_ in _his_
pillow. Anxiety for the future, dissatisfaction with the present,
remorse for the past, embitter his lonely hours. Long-deferred hope
makes his heart sick. And then he comes to the pass of death.

  “Another followed fast,
  And a book was in his hand,
  Filled with the flashes of burning thought,
  That are known in many a land;
  But the child of Genius quailed to hear
  Death’s pitiless demand.
  “_Here that book cannot enter with thee,
  For the bright flash of Genius is nothing to me._””

He presses into the unknown night alone, leaving behind him the sad
warning to those who come after him—LOVE NOT THE PRAISE OF MEN MORE
THAN THE PRAISE OF GOD. (John 12: 43.)

It may seem that we have painted the lovers of wealth and distinction
in colors too deep and dark. They, however, are intended as the
background from which true nobility and true greatness shall stand
forth with greater beauty and loveliness.

He who is conscious of possessing powers capable of benefiting his
fellow man, and spends his time and talents in inglorious ease, is
guilty of sinful self-indulgence. It is not ours, like the stupid
rustic, to sit still and wait until the stream passes by in order that
we may cross, but rather stem the current and breast its billows. If
we succeed, then success has been gained where it is always surest and
sweetest, in the discharge of duty. We have sacrificed no principle;
we have stooped to no mean act; our gold is not stained with the blood
of trampled-on innocence; our reputation has not been gained in the
pathway of shame.

If we fail, then we are encouraged by the thought that we have done
what we could. (Mark 14: 8.)

In reply to a letter from a young man in which the following sentence

“If I know my own heart, I ask not wealth or honor; but to do good and
to communicate, (Heb. 13: 16) is the object of my life,”—a successful
Christian merchant thus wrote:

“The object of your life as you explain it, is the noblest on the face
of the earth; and although it will not bring you worldly wealth and
ease, it is sure of much higher reward both here and hereafter. _Press
forward. Never lose sight of it._ Be very thankful that God has thus
called you to his service, and show Him your gratitude by consecrating
yourself wholly to Him. I think I have lived long enough to _know_
that your choice, or the service to which you are called, is not only
the noblest, but in fact, the only service worth a man’s living for
at all. How many failures do we see in the lives of the ambitious and
the great, notwithstanding advantages of the highest distinction. _But
bankruptcy with a genuine child of God is impossible._ HIS LIFE CANNOT

That there are and have been numberless persons, the object of whose
lives was to advance Christ’s Kingdom and add to the happiness of
their fellow-men, we have abundant testimony. The names of Howard,
of Wilberforce, of McCheyne, of Henry Martyn, of Hedley Vicars, of
Brainerd Taylor, of Harlan Page, of noble-hearted Daniel Baker, the
pioneer of the cross in the wilds of Texas, of many others, of whom the
world is not worthy, stand out in the boldest prominence. Yea, such
men are to be seen around us every day. In the pulpit, at the bar, in
the counting-room of the merchant, in the shop of the mechanic, at the
bedside of the sick and dying, fearing neither the death-breathing
pestilence, nor the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

Shall it not, then, be ours to follow in their footsteps? Is there any
pleasure so great as the pleasure of doing good?

_Who shall be the greatest?_ Not in worldly honors, but in the
measureless wealth of disinterested kindness, and the unfading honors
that cluster around the Cross of Christ.

Longfellow beautifully sketches the upward and onward career of a youth
who, despite the warnings of the aged, the entreaties of the young,
wound his weary way up the steep sides of one of the Alps mountains
only to make his grave beneath the cold snow of the topmost peak.

  The shades of night were falling fast,
  As through an Alpine village passed
  A youth, who bore, ’mid snow and ice,
  A banner with the strange device,


  “Beware the pine tree’s wither’d branch
  Beware the awful avalanche!”
  This was the peasant’s last good-night,—
  A voice replied, far up the height,


  At break of day, as heavenward
  The pious monks of St. Bernard
  Uttered the oft repeated prayer,
  A voice cried through the startled air,


  A traveller, by the faithful hound,
  Half-buried in the snow was found,
  Still grasping in his hand of ice
  That banner with the strange device—


  There, in the twilight cold and grey,
  Lifeless, but beautiful, he lay,
  And from the sky serene and far,
  A voice fell, like a falling star,


       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


  “IS this the place where a princess dwells,
   A favored daughter of the King of kings?
  Within their humble and contracted cells,
    Do heavenly spirits wave their guardian wings?”

STRETCHED on a bed of painful sickness there lay a woman in the last
stages of consumption. Pale-faced poverty was an inmate of the hovel in
which she dwelt. The broken panes of glass, the bare floor, the large
cracks in the wall, the scanty covering, carefully thrown over the bed,
all plainly bespoke the absence of the very necessaries of life. As I
entered the door, my heart throbbed hurriedly when my eyes caught the
destitution, the misery, the wretchedness, which surrounded me. Several
children, from six to fourteen years of age, were in the room—some
of them lying together on the floor, others seated on the remnant of
a chair, while one little fellow, with matted hair and unwashed face,
scowled at me from behind a door, as if he thought me an unwelcome
visitor. The children had evidently been long neglected. No voice of
love had often fallen on their ears; no smile of affection had cheered
their loneliness. Their lives had been made up with scenes of want and
wretchedness. Their minds were like gardens all overgrown with noxious
weeds. But few seeds of truth had been sown in their little hearts by
the hand of kindness, and their little voices had never sung the sweet
notes of “Happy Day,” or “The Sabbath-school.”

But let me not forget the quiet sufferer, who, with such calm
composure, has all this time been lying in unbroken silence. Her
days are almost numbered. Consumption, that fell destroyer of human
hopes, has long been gnawing at her heart-strings. The cord of life
is worn almost to its last thread. Her hollow cheek, her wasted form,
her sunken, death-glazed eye, all tell me that the cold, clammy hand
of Death is gradually chilling her life-blood. She breathes with
difficulty, for her lungs are too far gone to perform their functions.
Now and then a hacking cough seems as if it would rend her frail
chest to pieces. In her feeble hand she holds a fan, with which she
is endeavoring to cool her burning brow. Its faint fluttering is but
the counterpart of the almost fainter fluttering of life, as it hovers
round her heart.

I sat for several moments quietly gazing on the wan and wasted features
of the poor sufferer, before I could summon the resolution to say a
word. I finally broke the solemn silence which filled the desolate
chamber, by telling her that I sympathized very deeply with her in the
suffering through which she had to pass.

I then asked her, if God should see fit to call her away from earth,
did she think she was prepared for so awful a change. She feebly
whispered “Yes.”

“What is then to become of your unprotected children?”

“God will take care of them.”

“Do you think it right that _you_ should suffer so much, while others
are in the enjoyment of countless blessings?”


“Shall I read a portion of God’s Word, and pray with you?”

“If you please, sir.”

She reached her arm under the pillow and drew forth a Bible. Oh! how
precious a thing it is, in the hour of death, to pillow one’s weary
head on the precious promises of that blessed Book!

I slowly turned its sacred pages till I reached the fourteenth chapter
of John—that chapter of blessed memory, which has soothed the troubled
spirits of so many dying souls—after reading which, I knelt at her
bedside and united with her in prayer. When I arose from my knees, her
eyes were melted to tears, and a calm and holy peace rested on her pale
and emaciated face.

Reader, it was a precious season to my own soul. God grant that the
influences of that scene may never depart from me. My heart was
cast down in humility, in penitence, as I remembered how often I
had rebelled against God’s holy law. The unbidden tear was quietly
trickling down my own cheek as I left that Bethel—that house of God.

Since writing the above, “The Poor Consumptive” has sweetly fallen
asleep in Jesus.

       *       *       *       *       *


  “I LIVE for those who love me,
    For those who know me true;
  For the heaven that smiles above me,
    And awaits my spirit too;
  For the cause that lacks assistance,
    For the wrong that needs resistance,
  For the Future in the distance,
    _And the good that I can do_.”

WE are told that a word, when it has fallen from the lips, never dies
away; that the sound goes on widening and widening throughout the
immensity of space.

Such are our lives. The acts which we do, the words which we utter,
are exerting an untold influence for good or for evil. They are
moulding, silently but certainly, the character of those by whom we
are surrounded, for weal or for woe. Their influence extends even to

Fellow Christians! impressed with this solemn thought, let our heart’s
desire be to minister to the wants of the sick and dying, to carry
the glad tidings of salvation to the hovels of ignorance and poverty,
to cheer the homeless orphan, to console the friendless widow; for by
so doing, we shall surely gain our reward both in this world and that
which is to come. Let us do what we can to dry the tear of sorrow, to
gladden the heart of the laborer in his long hours of lonely toil; do
what we can by precept, by prayer, by example, by toilsome labor, to
win souls to Jesus Christ. Who had not rather be the means of saving
one soul, than obtain all the riches or receive all the honors the
world can furnish?—

       *       *       *       *       *


“WHAT a thought! The last opportunity I shall ever enjoy of making my
peace with God; the last time I shall ever listen to the glad tidings
of salvation; the last time I shall hear from the sacred desk the
earnest entreaty, Come to Jesus; the last time I shall ever sing the
songs of Zion!”

Such were the thoughts which rushed wildly through the mind of a young
man as his unwilling feet lingered on the steps of the house of God. He
was leaving that house with a heart at enmity with his heavenly Father.
Again and again had he put off for a convenient season the eternal
interests of his never-dying soul. Long, long had Satan pacified his
restless conscience by whispering in his ear that to-morrow would be
time enough. To-morrow after to-morrow had come and gone, yet he was
farther from salvation than he had ever been.

The minister’s earnest entreaty, a conviction of the awful eternity
which awaited him if he died in his sins, pressed with burning weight
upon his thoughts. He seemed to be held fast by some resistless power.
“Perhaps it may be the last night of the season of salvation; God only
knows. I will arise and go to my Father,” thought he to himself. He
sought the minister; went with him to his study; and there, by the aid
of God’s Spirit, trusts he gave himself to his Saviour.

Fellow sinner, this may be the last night of the season of salvation
to you. Will you not come to Jesus? Father and mother, brother and
sister, those that love you tenderly, all join in the entreaty, _Come
to Jesus_. He is a precious Saviour; he is a willing Saviour; he is an
able Saviour. Then will you not come and cast your burden of sin upon
him? He has never turned away one soul. “Ho, every one that thirsteth,
come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat;
yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”

       *       *       *       *       *


  “NOTHING in my hand I bring,
   Simply to thy cross I cling;
   Naked come to thee for dress:
   _Helpless_, look to thee for grace;
   Vile, I to the fountain fly;
   Wash me, Saviour, or I die.”

DURING the burning of the Richmond theatre, in 1811, a gentleman who
had nobly endangered his own life in endeavoring to rescue others from
the jaws of the devouring flames, was seen to leap from one of the
topmost windows to the ground. So severe was the fall, he was unable
to move an inch. Above him stood the tottering wall, ready to fall and
crush him to death. He looked around him; not a soul was near. From the
depths of his agony, he cried out, “_Will nobody save me?_” The cry
fell on the ear of a sturdy negro, who rushed to him, and bore him away
in his strong and brawny arms to a place of safety.

Such is the case with the sinner. When he finds that of himself he can
do nothing, that God’s angry vengeance is tottering above his head,
that no one is near to save him, then it is that he cries, “_Will
nobody save me?_” The cry comes to the waiting ear of his blessed
Saviour, and He bears him away in His arms of love to His Father’s

       *       *       *       *       *


THERE is something to me peculiarly pleasant in a country Sabbath. No
rattle of carts, no bustle of crowds, no hum of voices, disturb the
calm and holy quietude of the hallowed day. Cattle are quietly grazing
on grassy meadows, or sleeping in the refreshing shade; the irregular
tinkle of the sheep-bell falls sweetly on the ear; the plough stands
motionless in the unfinished furrow; the little songster trills from
some swinging bough its morning song. The household dog seems to know
it is a day of peaceful rest. His voice is hushed in silence. The
clouds glide calmly across the heavens; the rays of the Sabbath sun
rest sweetly on the face of nature. A dreamy, delightful serenity
hovers over all the land. The incense of prayer rises from many a
family altar, and the accents of praise tremble on many a lip.

Let us go up to the house of God. How different from our city churches!
Perhaps it is some venerable building whose foundation was laid by men
to whom the faces and forms of a Samuel Davies, or William Wilson, were
familiar; perhaps remains of the foundation erected for the protection
of God’s people against savage cruelty still linger around it; perhaps
marks of the Indian’s bullet have not yet been effaced from its rude
stone walls. Let us cross its threshold. No stained glass softens the
rays of light, no cushioned pew invites you to a seat, no costly pulpit
meets your eye; no beautiful fresco will draw your attention from the
minister or the word of God. Every thing is as plain, as practical, as
solid, as the men who first worshipped beneath its roof, but who now
sleep beneath the waving grass of the adjoining cemetery.

One by one the congregation begin to enter and take their seats. They
reverently bow their heads and seek the aid of God’s Spirit to enable
them rightly to understand and apply the truths to which they shall
listen. Many and varied are the personages which draw the attention.
One is a venerable elder: time has not dealt gently with him; his brow
is furrowed, his cheek wrinkled, and he totters feebly to his seat
beneath the weight of many years, and a life of laborious toil. Though
the fires of life are well nigh gone out, hope burns brightly in his
heart, and beams forth from his eye. The assurance that his Redeemer
liveth, is the rod and staff on which he leans for support. Another is
a young man. His step is firm, his frame robust. He has not seen the
snows of more than twenty winters. His countenance wears a thoughtful,
solemn air. He is thinking of God, of heaven, of eternity. He has not
come to the house of God because it is his custom, to see a friend,
or to while away an hour. His is a nobler object. It is to worship
God, to obtain instruction which shall lead his steps in the ways of
righteousness, the paths of peace. At his side sits his mother—“he is
the only son of his mother, and she a widow.”

But another form, of dignified, yet gentle, demeanor, enters the door.
The placid features of his face, the mildness of his eye, point him
out as “the man of God.” His appearance is such as at once to attract
the attention. He is very tall, perhaps above six feet. His person is
quite spare. He is slightly bowed with age, and as he feebly walks
down the aisle, you almost involuntarily rise from your seat as if to
do him reverence. He has long been a laborer in his Master’s vineyard.
For more than half a century has he proclaimed the glad tidings of
salvation from the same pulpit which he now occupies. His mind easily
reverts to the time when the whistle of the red man’s bullet was liable
at any moment to disturb the worship of God’s people; when the hardy
pioneers of Christ and His kingdom came up to the house of God with
muskets lashed to their backs. The thriving village in which he now
resides was then almost a wilderness; cattle grazed, and corn grew in
the fertile valleys from which now rises the populous city. The wild
Alleghanies, then the home of the beasts of the forest, now daily echo
with the rattle of the stage coach; and the shrill whistle of the
locomotive has made the panther and the bear to seek shelter in the
more distant West. He is one of a very few of the links which bind
the Virginia of the present with the Virginia of fifty years ago. His
few remaining silver locks are combed back from a forehead of fine
proportions. He enters the sacred desk; bows his head and supplicates
the assistance of God’s Spirit. He rises; “Let us worship God,” falls
tremblingly from his lips, and the whole congregation rise to their
feet. With earnestness, with simplicity, he invokes the presence of Him
with whom is the residue of the Spirit. He then slowly turns to that
beautiful old hymn, so dear to God’s people—

  “Whilst Thee I seek protecting power!
   Be my vain wishes stilled;
   And may this consecrated hour
   With better hopes be filled.”

So distinct is his enunciation that his voice falters on every
syllable. Every heart trembles in unison with his, and many an eye is
dimmed with the unbidden tear. From almost the entire congregation
rises up a united song of praise. One voice after another catches it
up, till there is scarcely one which does not join in the melodious

  “They chant their artless notes in simple strain,
   They tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim;
   Perhaps Dundee’s wild, warbling measures rise,
   Or plaintive martyr’s, worthy of the name;
   Or noble Elgin beats the heavenward flame;
   The sweetest far of Scotia’s holy lays:
   Compared with these, Italian trills are tame;
   The tickled ears no heartfelt raptures raise,
   No unison have they with our Creator’s praise.”

“_This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ
Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief_,” is
announced as his text.

Such a sermon I never heard before; such an one I am afraid I shall
never hear again. His voice, at first weak and tremulous, strengthens
as he progresses with his subject. His eye burns with a new lustre; his
frame becomes more erect, his features kindle with animation, as with
pathetic eloquence he dwells on Christ’s mission to this sin-stained
world of ours. And then, his invitation to those who know Him not.
How simple, how sublime, how earnest! His whole heart is full of the
deepest emotion struggling for utterance. As he looks anxiously on the
waiting congregation, and in accents of melting tenderness, says, _of
whom I am chief!_ the hot blood rushes unbidden to my face, and the
briny tear trickles unconsciously down my cheek.

I shall never forget that Sabbath, that sermon, that minister. They
will go with me to my grave. When I am earnestly engaged in other
pursuits, ever and anon visions of them flit across my mind, and awaken
emotions of the most delightful nature.

       *       *       *       *       *


  “WHY lament the Christian dying?
     Why indulge in tears or gloom?
   Calmly on the Lord relying,
     She can greet the opening tomb.”

EVERY voice was hushed; every step muffled. The soft rays of an April
sun kissed, with a lingering affection, the pale cheek of a young lady,
the tide of whose life was fast ebbing away.

She was the child of Christian parents, who had faithfully endeavored
to bring her up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. At an
early age she was deprived by death of her sainted mother; and before
many years had elapsed, she was called to mourn the loss of a father
upon whom every affection of her young heart was centred. To the
_bitterness_ of orphanage was added the loss of the greatest blessing
on earth—health. The rose of Death was long blooming on her cheek, ere
her nearest friends were aware that she was falling a victim to the
flattering and insidious attacks of consumption.

She had not neglected the early instructions of her pious parents, and,
when very young, made a profession of her faith in Christ. For several
years previous to her last sickness, her mind, at times, was clouded
with doubts, and she occasionally seemed to suffer unutterable anguish
at the absence of God’s Spirit from the heart. A few days preceding
her death, these doubts and fears were all entirely removed, and she
seemed to enjoy, to the fullest extent, the light of God’s reconciled
countenance. It was indeed beautiful to see her, who, but a few weeks
before, was so cold and indifferent, now wholly absorbed in the great
and glorious truth of salvation through Christ. She was frequently
engaged in earnest secret prayer, and never allowed anything to be read
in her presence but the Bible, or some of those sweet and touching
hymns so soothing to the troubled heart of the dying Christian. No
moment was to be lost. During the silent watches of the night, she
would frequently call her brother to her bedside, and say, “T——, read
to your dying sister some of those beautiful passages in Revelation
which our dear father used to love so tenderly, and caused to be read
when dying.” “How beautiful! how grand! how sublime!” she would
exclaim, when the book was closed.

Reader, come with me and stand beside the bed of this dear, dying
young Christian, and see how calmly, serenely and happily a Christian
can die. Contrast _her_ death-bed with that of Hume or Voltaire,
and tell me if there is not something in religion they knew nothing
about—something that fits a man for _life_, and especially for death;
listen attentively to the few words which drop from her faltering
tongue; treasure them in your memory, and so live that your last end
may be like hers.

The devoted Pastor of the —— church had frequent and delightful
interviews with her. In one of them the following conversation
occurred: “Miss M——, you doubtless are aware that you can be with
us but a few days more; are you _perfectly_ resigned to God’s will?”
With calm and sweet composure, she replied, “Yes, Mr. M——, perfectly,
_perfectly_, PERFECTLY; I long to be with my Saviour; earth has no
charms for me now.”

After reading the beautiful 14th chapter of St. John, Mr. M——
extended his hand, and was about bidding her, what seemed to him, a
last farewell, when she made the following remarks: “Perhaps this will
be the last time we shall ever meet again on earth: I wish you to
preach my funeral sermon in the old R——n church—the church of my
father and my mother, where first I listened to the glad tidings of
salvation; preach it from the text, “In the way of righteousness is
life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death”—Prov. xii., 28.
Preach to the living—to the living—to the living! And I want the
congregation to sing that delightful hymn, beginning,

  ‘God moves in a mysterious way—’

Good-bye.” The Sabbath previous to her death, several of her friends
united in singing that beautiful old hymn,

  “Rock of ages,” &c.

When they had completed the 3d verse, and were just beginning the last—

  “While I draw this fleeting breath,
   When my heart-strings break in death,
   When I soar to worlds unknown,
   See Thee on Thy judgment throne,—
   _Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
   Let me hide myself in Thee_”—

she, with a sweetness and heavenly melody which beggars description,
joined with them and sung the entire verse _alone_,—as the voices of
all in the room were so much choked with emotion they could not utter
a word. Oh, what a scene! That feeble, faltering voice spending its
“last lingering breath” in singing her Redeemer’s praise! I felt as if
I was standing in the very vestibule of heaven, catching some of those
sweet accents of devotion warbled by immortal tongues. Such composure,
confiding trust, holy resignation!

When her brothers and sister stood around her bed to receive the dying
embrace and last fond kiss of their dear sister, she made them kneel
down at her side, laid her feeble hands on their _orphan_ heads, (yea,
_doubly orphan_, since she was about leaving them,) and gave them a
sister’s dying blessing. She then remarked to her younger brother:—“My
brother, you _alone_, of the three which will be left when I am gone,
are not a Christian. My brother—my young, fatherless, motherless,
almost sisterless brother—_be a Christian!_”

A few moments before her death, a new and unusual lustre shone forth
from her eyes, a beautiful glow mantled her hitherto pale and wan
check, and in accents of the most touching and rapt eloquence, her
voice rich and full, she gave utterance to the following sublime
sentiment, which should live forever, and be proclaimed wherever the
Gospel of Christ is preached:—“I have tasted of Racine; I have dipped
into Voltaire; I have read Tom Paine; I have had the daring audacity
to study Hume; I have attempted to form a Philosophy myself—but have
found them all”—not one exception—“FALLACY, FALLACY!”

With these words lingering on her lips, she calmly and resignedly fell
asleep in Jesus. O for the death of those that die in the Lord!

The devoted Mr. M—— complied with her minutest requests; and when
he informed the congregation that he preached to them from the text
selected by his departed sister in Christ, and that she urgently
requested him to preach to the _living_, there was not a dry eye in the
house. Many a soul left that old time-honored church, feeling that “IN

       *       *       *       *       *


“PRAYER moves the arm that moves the world.”

HEROD Agrippa, finding that the death of the Apostle James pleases the
Jews, has seized the venerable Galileean fisherman and thrust him into
prison. Four quaternions of soldiers are guarding him. He is chained
by each hand to a Roman soldier—soldiers who know that, to sleep at
their post is to die. Thus guarded, the doors and windows and gates
all bolted and barred, he lays himself down to sleep. His sleep is
doubtless sweet and refreshing. His faith is strong in the promises of
the Lord. To human eyes, death seems certain. On the coming morrow,
this veteran soldier of the cross must lay his life down for Jesus.
Tears, hot and bitter, will be shed by God’s people over the lifeless
form of him who once so fearlessly breasted the strong waves of Galilee
to meet his Master.

But we are told that the Church “made prayer unto _God, without
ceasing, for him_.” And even while he is quietly and sweetly sleeping,
there is going up from an inner chamber on one of the dark and
unfrequented streets of Jerusalem, a fervent, importunate prayer in his

During the prayer, an angel of the Lord descends and stands by the side
of the slumbering apostle. A heavenly radiance lights up the dark cells
of the dismal prison. The heaven-sent messenger arouses the sleeper,
and the chains fall from his hands. No sound of footsteps is heard; no
rattle of chains breaks the solemn silence. There is no hurry. Peter
slowly girds his coat about him, and binds on his sandals. He then
throws his rough cloak around him, and follows the angel. They pass,
unheard and unseen, through the wards of the prison; the massive gate
moves on its hinges, and opens wide at their approach. At last he is
safe—safe from the wrath of his enemies. All—all of this accomplished
through importunate intercessory prayer!

Christian, I care not how lowly your situation, never say again, “_I
can’t do any thing for Jesus._” YOU CAN PRAY.

       *       *       *       *       *


DURING a great outpouring of God’s Spirit at —— college, my attention
was called to the case of a young man of the most wicked and immoral
character. It is true, he was the son of a godly father and a praying
mother; but this, rather than softening, seemed to harden his heart.
It was one of the most copious outpourings of God’s Spirit I ever
witnessed. The windows of heaven were indeed opened, and God was
pouring out such a blessing that it seemed there could not be room to
contain it. The dry bones of the valley had been breathed upon by His
Spirit, and hearts once dead in trespasses and sins were awakened to a
new life, and rejoicing in the blessed hope of salvation through Jesus

Nearly every student seemed to feel the need of a Saviour. Every
countenance was marked with concern; every heart lifted to God in
prayer for mercy and forgiveness. Rooms which once resounded with
drunken revellings, were now Bethels of the living God. Lips which
once profaned Jehovah’s name, and joined in singing lewd and vulgar
songs, now trembled with the accents of prayer, and sung the songs of
Zion. It was a delightful season—I shall never forget it.

Amid such scenes as these, there was one whose hard heart was steeled
against the influence of God’s awakening Spirit. It was A. M——, the
son of pious parents. Many and fervent were the prayers which ascended
in his behalf, but they seemingly were of no avail. The more Christians
prayed for him, the more hardened he became. The campus, time and
again, resounded with his awful profanity; and even the most obdurate
would stop and wonder that man, “whose breath was in his nostrils,”
could call upon God so frequently and earnestly to _damn_ rather than
_save_ his soul.

Such was the extent to which his God-defying; wickedness went, that
frequently, when the Christian students were engaged in the exercises
of a prayer-meeting, he gathered together a few of his sinful
comrades and held a _mock prayer-meeting_ in an adjoining room. Is
it not wonderful that God did not cut him down in the midst of such
heaven-daring presumption? But, like Paul, he was a chosen vessel. God
had yet a great and glorious work for him to perform.

During one of those meetings which he was in the habit of holding, the
arrow of conviction pierced his flinty heart, and laid him low and
bleeding at the foot of the cross.

Great was the joy among the students, when the glad tidings flew from
lip to lip that A. M—— had come to Jesus and fallen at His feet. Old
men wept with delight, and yearning hearts throbbed with inexpressible

The “tidings of great joy” soon winged their way to the ear of the
young man’s mother. Her heart overflowed with rejoicing, and tears of
exultation flowed in quick succession down her furrowed cheek. Said she
to a friend, “_I have never bowed my knee without beseeching God to
convert my poor wayward boy; and now my prayer is answered. Joy, joy,
joy!_ Now let thy servant depart in peace. My son is a Christian.”

This wayward boy is now a devoted minister of Christ, and has gone far
hence to proclaim the glad tidings of salvation to the hundreds of
settlers scattered along our western territories. Christian fathers,
Christian mothers, Christian brothers, Christian sisters, _pray without
ceasing_ for those who are near and dear to you. Your prayers will be


       *       *       *       *       *

Letters from Staunton, Va.

NO. 1.


  _Staunton, Va._, May, 1859.

THE Institution for the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind, situated at this place,
is a building of very attractive and beautiful appearance. Occupying
an eminence to the right of the Virginia Central Railroad, it is among
the first things that attract the attention in your approach to this
beautiful mountain town,—for we believe it has not yet risen to the
dignity of a city.

The style of the building is Doric; the entrance being a large portico
supported by six massive pillars. On each side of the portico are two
attractive wings, used for the reception of visitors and recitation
rooms;—in the rear are several other apartments, all large and well
arranged, appropriated to the different purposes of the Institution.

The building is situated in the midst of quite a number of stalwart
mountain oaks, and the yard is beautifully diversified by various
kinds of shrubbery and winding graveled walks. There is an absence
of everything like studied formality in the arrangement of both
the shrubbery and the walks, and the eye is at once struck with
the peculiarly easy and natural appearance of the building and its
surrounding ornaments.

On entering, you are at once pleased with the neatness and beauty of
the internal arrangements. A very polite and attentive gentleman meets
you in the reception room, and inquires if you wish to look through the
Institution. On replying affirmatively, you are first ushered into the
apartment for


The scene is one which awakens mingled feelings of pleasure and pain;
of pleasure to see so many afflicted little ones, for most of them are
young, led by the hand of kindness in the pleasant and peaceful ways of
wisdom; of pain, when you behold them rolling wildly their sightless
orbs, and seemingly endeavoring to gather in some few straggling rays
of the cheerful sun, or to look out upon the beautifully draped fields
of nature, and know that all these things, so attractive to us, are
midnight darkness to them.

One of the scholars, a little girl about ten years old, read several
passages from various books for me, and then pointed out on a large
map of the United States, Pittsburg, and told me at the junction of
what rivers it was situated, Richmond, Staunton, and many other places,
with an ease and accuracy really astonishing. Two other girls, somewhat
older, sung, and played on the piano “Do they miss me at home?” As
I listened to the sweet melody of their well-tuned voices, I, for a
moment, forgot their blindness, and felt tears dimming my eyes as my
mind wandered back to the two near and dear ones at home, and I thought
to myself, “Do they miss ME at home?” I then listened to the reading of
several passages in French by a young lady of about sixteen. It really
was surprising to witness the fluency with which her delicate fingers
glided over word after word, and sentence after sentence.

In all these cases the reading is done by passing the fingers over
raised letters.

The sweetness of expression, the amiability of character, the flow of
spirits which characterized one of the little pupils, Bettie Archibald,
engaged my attention, and enlisted my affection. On being asked if she
would be blind in heaven, she very sweetly and quickly replied, “No,

Quite a number of the male pupils are daily instructed in instrumental
music, and many of them display more than ordinary talents. It was
quite a treat to hear the little fellows play “Yankee Doodle:” their
faces were soon lighted up with smiles, and they played with as much
life and animation, as if they were leading an American army on to

We now wend our way into the apartments for


A large class, consisting of boys and girls, is seated in regular
order opposite their instructor, who is also deaf and dumb. At a given
signal, they all devoutly rise, and with eyes fixed on the fingers
of their teacher, follow him in his devotions, as he leads them to a
throne of grace. It is the most touching scene I ever witnessed. There
is but one person (he, your correspondent,) in that large assembly can
utter a syllable, or distinguish a sound. Not a sound is heard; the
stillness becomes painful—deathlike; the devotion seems to grow warmer
and warmer; the prayer is concluded; the seats resumed; all of this
gone through without the utterance of _one_ word.

What a lesson should it teach us! How true is it that we shall not
be heard for our much speaking! Leaving the chapel, we enter the
recitation room. Each pupil is standing opposite a black-board, with
his eyes turned to the teacher; questions and answers are written
by the instructor, and then copied by the pupils. In this room are
assembled classes, each under the charge of a separate teacher,
studying geography, grammar, history; and in one room is a small class
just beginning to read. The chirography of some of the pupils is really
beautiful; and we leave the room feeling that though God has deprived
them of two senses, yet, in his loving kindness, he has bestowed upon
them unusual capacities in the others. It may be a fact worthy of
mentioning, that the deaf and dumb do the printing (raised letters) for
the Blind: such is the economy of the Institute.

The number of pupils in the departments is at present sixty-nine.

In conclusion, I would express my especial thanks and obligations to
Assistant-principal Mr. COVELL, Mrs. COLEMAN, of the Blind, and Mr.
FINK, of the Deaf-mute Department, for their extreme kindness and

In my next, I shall give you a sketch of the Lunatic Asylum, also
situated at this place.

                              Yours, truly,
                                      PHILIP BARRETT.

No. 2.


                              STAUNTON, VA., June, 1859.

THE sun was hanging low in the west, when we stood at the gateway
of the Staunton Lunatic Asylum. His rays were gilding with a golden
lustre the hoary summits of the Blue Ridge, as they printed their bold
outlines on the cloudless evening sky; and as a few beams fell here
and there on the graveled walks, the flower-crowned terraces, and
verdant shrubbery of the beautiful greensward which stretches forth in
front of the Asylum, we could but thank an ever-gracious and ever-good
Providence, for His inestimable gift to mankind—the bright, sparkling,
joyous sunshine.

A moment’s glance at the general appearance of the buildings convinces
the beholder that they are not as beautiful nor as commanding as
those of the Blind Institute; though much taste is displayed in the
arrangement of the walks, and selection of many and choice specimens
of rare and beauteous flowers and shrubbery. You enter the main
building, after ascending a flight of granite steps, through a portico
of Ionic architecture, supported by four graceful pillars. The first
apartment which we enter is the _chapel_. On either side of the pulpit
are painted in beautiful gilt letters, the Ten Commandments; in the
opposite end of the room stands a large and handsome organ; the dome
and walls are beautifully frescoed. The pulpit is occupied every
Sabbath evening by some one of the ministers of the various evangelical
denominations worshipping in Staunton. All these bespeak that these
poor demented creatures are not forgotten on the Sabbath; and even
where a few sparks of intellect linger amid the ashes of minds once
proud and noble, it is interesting to see how those sparks are kindled
anew by the light of religion.

After wending our way through various other portions of the buildings,
and stopping here and there to bestow a hasty glance at one and
another rare specimen of curiously carved workmanship, by some lunatic
genius, we find ourselves gazing through iron bars at a scene which
would cause the most unfeeling heart to shudder with horror. There are
grouped together, in the narrow confines of four tall brick walls, not
less than a hundred patients in the very worst stages of lunacy. It
seems that the darkest cavern in the regions of Despair could present
no more heart-rending picture.

The wild glare of the piercing eye, the dishevelled locks; the
meaningless gibberish; the incoherent babbling; the fiendish ravings
that rent the silent air, together with numberless other acts which
constitute the sum of a poor maniac’s life, have left an impression on
our mind that will go with us to our grave.

How true are the words of the poet—

  “Oh, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown!
   The courtier’s, soldier’s, scholar’s eye, tongue, sword;
   The glass of fashion, and the mould of form,
   The observed of all observers, quite, quite down.”

We willingly leave such scenes, and turn our ready steps to an
observatory which crowns the main building, and commands one of the
loveliest views we ever witnessed.

Let us forget the painful sights we have just beheld, and drink in the
resplendent beauty of nature as she stands robed in the crimson folds
of evening—

  “For the west yet glimmers with some streaks of day.”

Beneath us are the various buildings of the Asylum, glittering, like
burnished gold, in the rays of the setting sun. To the north rise the
graceful proportions of the Blind Institute, nestled in its grove of
wide-spreading oaks; to the west are seen the heaven-pointing spires
and beautiful residences of Staunton; to the east is the graveyard of
the asylum, with its plain, upright marble slabs, marking the spot
where slumber the remains of many a friendless maniac; to the south
is one wide-extended view of sloping hills, smiling valleys, sunlit
streams and snow-white cottages, dotted over the scene like stars in
the blue canopy of heaven.

Who can look upon such a prospect and not feel his thoughts turn from
nature to nature’s God?

  “All things are calm and fair and passive; earth
   Looks as if lulled upon an angel’s lap,
   Into a breathless, dewy slumber: so still
   That we can only say of things, they be.”—FESTUS.

The gathering darkness reminds us that we have trespassed too long on
the kindness of the gentleman who has so cheerfully shown us through
the many apartments of this truly noble institution, whose object is to
ameliorate the condition of the suffering maniac.

We bid her, her directors and her officers “God-speed” in their noble
enterprise, and earnestly pray that they may continue “blessing and
being blessed” until the light of reason shall be shed abroad in the
darkened intellect of every lunatic in our land.

There are many other points which we might mention; but they are of
such a nature as only to sicken the heart, and we pass them by in
silence, simply remarking that if there be one crowning blessing for
which our hearts should ever be outgushing in grateful thanks to our
Heavenly Father, it is REASON.

                              PHILIP BARRETT.

Transcriber’s Note:

APPENDIX has been added to the Contents. Punctuation has been
standardized, and spelling and hyphenation have been retained
as they appear in the original publication, except as follows:

  Page 23
  but dependant upon the cold _changed to_
  but dependent upon the cold

  Page 30
  he seated him self in the cars _changed to_
  he seated himself in the cars

  Page 38
  this lonely vale of of tears _changed to_
  this lonely vale of tears

  Page 39
  and with everthing calculated _changed to_
  and with everything calculated

  Page 131
  their was no thought of God _changed to_
  there was no thought of God

  Page 138
  many a quiverering lip _changed to_
  many a quivering lip

  Page 145
  one of the most business streets _changed to_
  one of the most busy streets

  Page 159
  cords of his thrilling harp _changed to_
  chords of his thrilling harp

  Page 168
  ’Ts a mine of richest treasure _changed to_
  ’Tis a mine of richest treasure

  Page 173
  soon becomes two small for his _changed to_
  soon becomes too small for his

  Page 173
  only to find that his hirst _changed to_
  only to find that his thirst

  Page 177
  “The object of your life as you explain it
  Unmatched quotation mark retained as printed

  Page 196

  the child of christian parents _changed to_
  the child of Christian parents

  Page 215
  dotted over the scene liks stars _changed to_
  dotted over the scene like stars

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