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BY C. E. A.

THERE is something solemn, something deeply affecting in the very thought, that all we behold must decay and die. There is nothing permanent, nothing lasting in this world of change. “Passing away, seems written on every leaf and flower, as change follows change in quick succession. In spring time we rejoice at the re-appearance of the flowers, the return of birds and gentle breezes, and in the enjoyment of those beauties and blessings, we scarcely notice, that already spring has faded into summer; and instead of the sweet, cool zephyrs that fanned our brow, we feel the hot breath of the summer's sun. But summer too, with all its joys, is calmly, quietly passing away, flowers are drooping, while here and there can be seen the sear and yellow leaf speaking in silent language of approaching dissolution.

“Passing away !" How like a sad and melancholy tale it falls upon the heart, and we start, to find that we too, have passed already so far down the stream of time, and soon our frail vessel will land us on the shores of Eternity.

“We all do fade as a leaf,” is the language of the “ Holy Book," and how strikingly true. A few short years and the infant upon the mother's breast will have grown to manhood. Childhood and youth alike will have passed away, while a few more weary years of joy and sorrow, finds him a resting place beneath the sod. Mutation and decay is the destiny of everything we behold in this world. Let us for a moment take a retrospective glance.

Where are the friends of our childhood, and the companions of our youthful days ? Ah! echo answers where? They too have passed anwy.

Some lie sleeping in yonder church-yard. Long, long ago, they passed away into the "silent land” and left us sad and lone; others have passed from our warm embrace, out upon the battle-field of life, and we meet them no more, until we meet in a land of “rest." Time is leading them onward and onward still, and soon, they too, will have passed the bourne. How fast time is hurrying us on to our Eternal Home, and yet how little we feel the import of the short sentence--passing away.

A few short and weary years, and we too will be numbered among the for. gotten things of earth, and others will occupy the places we now fill.

Time is winging us away

To our eternal home,
Life is but a fleeting day,

A journey to the tomb." Soon all the noise and tumult of this vain world shall be hushed furever. Generation after generation is passing away, as shadows flit across the plain. Earth's vast drama is hastening to a close. Time is rushing on to its eternal sepulchre, and soon the end will come.

The purposes for which God kindly gave it will be accomplished, and its mighty ages

narrowed down to the moment of its close. Then earth with all its pomp and splendor shall pass away like mist before the morning sun. "The Heavens shall pass away as a scroll when it is rolled together, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat." And man, what of him whom God made a little lower than the angels ? Shall he perish with the earth ? Ah! no, “The hour is coming, in the which all that are in their graves shall come forth, they that have done good unto the ressarrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation,” is the language of holy writ.

“Mutation marks all earthly things

The friends we love to day,
Like every mundane joy may be,

To-morrow far away.
But 0! there is a land-a clime,

Where changes do not come;
Where friends that meet shall never part,

The Christian's happy home."



Relieved against the quiet sky,
Before me in the distance lie,
A range of mountains blue and high,

In dignity serepe.
How well defined, and smooth, and cold,
Like metal fashioned in a mould,
They lift their brows unmoved and bold,

And wear almost a frown.

1 draw more near, and there I see The life and joy of flower and tree, And hear the cheerful minstrelsy

Of waterfalls and birds.

In nook and dell, what love and cheer;
For now a thousand charms appear,
To please the eye, enchant the ear,

Which distance hid before.

'Tis thus with those we daily meet, In public marts and on the street, And silent pass or coldly greet

Statues of men they seem. But yield we to the social law, And nearer to our fellows draw, What in the distance cold we saw,

Is full of life and love,



Our father's growing old, Joho!

His eyes are growing dim ;
And years are on his shoulders laid,

A heavy weight for bim.
And you and I are young and hale,

And each a stalwart man,
And we must make his load as light

And easy as we can.
He used to take the brunt, John !

At cradle and the plow,
And earned our porridge by the sweat

That trickled down his brow;
Yet never beard we bim complain,

Whate'er bis toil might be,
Nor wanted e'er a welcome seat,

Upon his solid knee.
And when our boy-strength came, Joba!

And sturdy grew each limb,
He brought us to the yellow field,

To share the toil with him ;
But he weut foremost in the swath,

Tossing aside the grain,
Just like the plow that heaves the soil,

Or ships that sheer the main.
Now we must lead the van, John!

Through weather foul and fair,
And let the old man read and doze,

And tilt his easy chair;
And he'll not mind it, John, you know,

At eve to tell us o'er
Those brave old days of British times,

Our grandsires and the war.
I heard you speak of Ma'am, John!

'Tis gospel what you say,
That, caring for the like of us,

Has turned her head so gray!
Yet, John. I do remember well

When neighbors called her vain,
And when her hair was long and like

A gleamiog sheaf of grain.
Her lips were cherry red. John !

Der cheeks were round and fair,
And like a ripened peach they swelled

Against ber wavy hair,

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Her step fell lightly as the leaf

From off the summer tree,
And all day busy at the wheel

She sang to you and me.
She had a buxom arm, John!

That wielded well the rod,
Whene'er with willul step our feet

Tbe path forbidden trod;
But to the heaven of her eye

We never looked in vain,
And ever more our yielding cry

Brought down her tears like rain.
But that is long agone, John !

And we are what we are,
And little heed we, day by day,

Her fading cheek and hair.
And when beneath her faithful breast

The tides no longer stir,
'Tis then, John, we the most shall feel
We had no friend like her!

Sure there can be no harm, John!

Thus speaking softly o'er
The blessed names of those, ere long

Shall welcome us no more.
Nay! hide it not, for why shouldst thou

An honest tear disown?
Thy heart one day will lighter be

Remembering it has flown.
Yes, father's growing old, John !

His eyes are getting dim,
And Mother's treading softly down

The deep descent with bim.
But you and I are young and hale,

And each a stalwart man,
And we must make their paths as smooth

And level as we can.


The spirits of the loved and the departed

Are with us; and they tell us of the sky,
A rest for the bereaved and broken-hearted ;

A house not made with hands, a home on high!
Holy monitions-a mysterious breath-
A whisper from the marble halls of death
They have gone from us, and the grave is strong!

Yet, in night's silent watches, they are near!
Their voices linger round us as the song

Of the sweet skylark lingers on the ear,
When, floating upward in the flush of even,
Its form is lost from earth, and swallowed up in heaven.


BY R. P. T.

THE MIDIANI TE'S DR E A M. “BEHOLD, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley-bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along” (Judges vii: 13).

Solomon says that, “ In multitudes of dreams there are divers vanities." This one considered apart from its connections, seems simply ludicrous; and we are led to wonder at the odd and apparently incoherent things that are often grouped together in this way. But the Almighty can as easily cause the foolishness of men to praise Him, as weak things to confound the things that are mighty.

We have here presented quite a different aspect of our general subject. It has already been observed how the will of Heaven has been directly rerealed to godly men, as Jacob and Joseph ; also that the ungodly have been made the channels, indirectlv, for similar communications, as Pharoah and his officers; but here we have simply the dream in an annonymous character—the individual being entirely concealed beneath the significance of the dream itself. So that, we perceive, the Lord, who alone is the true interpreter of dreams, is not limited either to time, places or men, which are made indiscriminately the media through which He effects with equal certainty His divine purposes.

In the dream before us, we are uncermoniously introduced into the midst of one of the most wonderful and interesting scenes of Israelitish warfare. The Lord had raised up Gideon to avenge his nation of the encroachments and injuries perpetrated for so many years by the Midianites and their allied powers. He, though summoned to the leadership of his people as "a mighty man of valour," doubted, like Moses, his fitness for so great a work, until the declarations of the angel were confirmed by miraculous signs.

Accordingly, the flesh and unleavened cakes which he had been directed to prepare upon a rock were consumed by fire at the touch of an angel's staff; and the mysterious fleece of wool, at his own request, was filled with the dew of heaven while all around remained perfectly dry, and then it was “ dry only upon the fleece," wbile upon all the ground there was dew. Furthermore, an angel appeared to him by night, most probably in a dream, to order the destruction of the altar which his idoltrons father bad erected to Baal-to confirm him in his own mission, and as a beginning of the great work which he was called upon to perform.

With such unmistakable indications of the divine favor and presence he could not do otherwise than "go forwards ” Hence, be placed himself at the head of an army gathered from the tribes of Manaseb, Asher, Zebulon and Napthali, and pitched on Mount Gilead, over againt the Midianites, the Amalekites and Arabians who were in the valley of Jezreel beneath. But here again he bad cause to doubt and fear in face of the fearful odds against him; for while the enemy appeared like grasshoppers in the valley for multitude, and numberd 135,000 soldiers, besides camels as numerous as sands upon the sea-shore, he could muster but

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