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A MINISTERIAL friend in a letter lately makes the following remark : "One of our young men has come to the conviction that the Lord has called him to the work of the ministry. He accordingly commenceu his studies onder my direction, reciting in the evenings, after bis day's work is done-rising early next morning to prepare his lessous for the next recitation. In this way he made commendable progress; and this week he has gone to an academy to pursue bis studies regularly, with a view of preparing for college by next fall.”

This extract at once called to our mind the old proverb which we have placed as our caption. This is only one case of a thousand. There are many young men who have the talents and the desire, and who also feel the pressure of a call to the holy ministry, who are at the same time hedged about with difficulties. Then comes the tug of war. Have they the perseverance necessary to fight their way through the many giants of Despair which threaten them at every step? Is there at band "the patience that shall never faint; and the courage that shall be always ready ?" If so, the end will be attained. In every good way God helps those who help themselves. In every right andertaking there is a way wherever there is a will.

Thus it is that many of the leading men in church and state have worked their way through the most discouraging difficulties, from unfriendly obscurity up to positions of usefulness and honor. In the example of the young man mentioned in the extract, we clearly see a prophecy which will no doubt be fulfilled in a like success. Let him but go forward in the same spirit in which he has commenced, and victory is certain.

lle found a friend in his pastor, who entered with warm sympathy into bis case, and cheerfully rendered him the needed counsel and help. The same assistance can always be commanded. We cannot conceive of an instance in which an earnest and wori by young man would fail to find a friend to help bim along in so poble a purpose. Only be must show himself to be true and in earnest. There are in every community generous men who have open bearts and willing hands, to sympathize with and aid ingenuous young men, who seek to prepare themselves for usefulness in the church and in the world. Let thein but prove by their perseverance, industry and self-denial, that they are really worthy and in earnest, and God will provide for them generous friends.

There is not the least doubt, that many who turn back and fail in their endeavors are themselves at fault. Either they have not the necessary perseverance or fail by proper humility and industry, to inspire and retain the confidence of such as would otherwise be ready to assist them. Who has not known mournful instances of young men who could not bear their own prosperity, suffering themselves to be caught in the spare of pride and self-sufficiency, so as to render themselves fairly unworthy of the generosity of those who were instrumental in pla ing their feet in the path which, but for their own folly, might have led them to a position of usefulness and honor. Such is the deceitfulness and perversion of the human heart! If the disciples were led on one occasion to dispute among themselves as to who among them should be greatest, it is not to be wondered at that there should always be such as starting out with humble bearts and pure motives, should become giddy as they rise, and at length entirely lose their balance. Against this most formidable of foes, all aspiring young men should prayerfully guard. Keeping this enemy beneath their feet, all others will assail them in vain.

Should this, our present writing, fall under the eye of some young man who is struggling with difficulties in lonely obscurity, we bid him take heart and not yield to discouragements. Where there is a will there is a way.” In this case, 100, the word holds good, “Weeping may endure for a night, bur joy cometh in the morning." As when one goes through a long bridge, the opening at he far end may seem so small as seemingly to make egress impossible, yet it is but an optical illusion, and the way will widen as fast as we proceed ; so difliculties, however forinidable they may seem before is, will all vanislı as we pass on, and what seemed giants before us, will soon lie as vanquished foes behind us. Only let us keep ever in mind, that as the largest oaks grow in the deepest valleys, so usefulness and true lovor, are fruits that only grow to true perfection in the vale of humility.


I thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.-Prov 24: 10.

FAIst not beneath thy burihen, though it seein
Tov he: vy for thee, and thy stiength is small;
Though the fierce raging of the nvon-ride beam
On by defenceless head untempered full.
Though sid and heart-siek, with the weight of woe
That io che parih would crush thee--journey on :
What though it be with taltering steps and slow,
Thou wilt forget the toil wben rest is won.
Nay! murmur not. because no kindred heart
May share thy burthen with thee --but alone
Suill struggle bravely on, though all depart;
Is it not said that "each must bear his own !"
All have not equally the power to bless ;
And of the many, few couid cheer our lot,
For the heart knoweth iis own bitterness,
And with its joy a st anger meddleth not."
Then be not faithless, though thy sonl be dark ;
Is not thy Master's seil upon thy brow?
Ofi has iis presence saved thy sinking bark.
And thinkest thou “ He will forsake thee pow?"
“ Has He not bid thee cast on Him thy care,
Saying He careth for thee?" Then arise !
And on thy path, if trod in faith and prayer,
The thorus shall turn to flowers in Paradise.



What is the little one thinking about?
Very wonderful things no doubt.

'Unwritten history!

Unfathomed mistery!
Yet he laughs and cries, and eats and drinks,
And chuckles and crows and nods and winks
As if his head were as full of kinks
And curious riddles as any sphinx !

Warped by colie, and wet by tears,
Punciured by pains, and tortured by fears,
Our little nephew will lose two years ;

And he'll never kuow,

Where the sunmers go;

lle need not laugh, for he'll find it so! Who can tell what a baby thinks ? Who can follow the gogamer links

By which the manikiu feels his wity
Out from the shore of the great unknown,
Blind and wailing, and all alone,

Into the light of day!-
Out from the shore of the unknown sea,
To sing in pititul agony-
Of the unknown sea that reels and rolls,
Specked with the barks of little souls-
Barks that were launched on the other side
And slipped from heaven on an ebbing tide!

What does he think of his mother's eyes ? What does he think of his mother's hair?

What of the cradle roof that flies Forward and backward through the air?

What does he think of his mother's breast,
Bare and beautiful, smooth and white,
Seeking it ever wiib fresh delight--

Cure of his life and couch of his rest?
What does he think when her quick embrace
Presses his band and buries his face
Deep when the heart throbs sink and swell
With a tenderness she never can tell,

Though she murmur the words

Of all the birds-
Words she had learned to murmur well?

Now he tbioks he'll go to sleep?
I can see the shadow creep
Over his eyes in self eclipse,
Over his brow and over his lips,
Out to his little finger-tips !
Softly sinking down he goes !
Down he goes! Down he goes !
Soe! he is hushed in sweet repose !



CHRISTIANITY is anything but sanctimonious gloominess and misanthropic austerity. It is the fountain of all true joy, and of that peace which “passeth all understanding." But this joy swells up from the consciousness of pardon and of fellowship with God, is inseparable from holy earnestness, and has no concord with worldly frivolity and sensual amusement, which carry the sting of a bad conscience, and beget only disgust and bitter remorse. What is more blessed," asks Tertullian, “than reconciliation with God our Father and Lord; than the revelation of the truth, the knowledge of error; than the forgiveness of so great past misdeeds ?

Is there a greater joy than the disgust with earthly pleasure, than contempt for the whole world, than true freedom, than an unstained conscience, than contentment in life and fearlessness in death ?

Against the intoxicating and immoral amusements of the heathen, therefore, the Christian life of the early church took the character of an inexorable Puritanic rigor. Members of the church were forbidden, on pain of excommunication, to attend the popular gladiatorial shows and fights of beasts, where murder was practised as an art to please the eyes and gratify a cruel curiosity. Tatianus calls them, without exaggeration, terrible feasts, in which the soul feeds on human flesh and blood. The o her apologists speak of them with equal abhorrence, and cannot conceive how any person of culture and humane feelings could frequent and admire them. What a contrast this to tbe opinion of even such a noble heathen as Cicero, who, far from condemning the bloody conflicts of the circus, commended them as excellent schools of courage and contempt of death. To what a height this cruel passion had risen among the Romans, we may judge from the fact, that on the single day of the inauguration of the Flavian amphitheatre five, or according to other accounts, even nine thousand wild beasts were slain ; and that the emperor Commodus himself appeared before the applauding public seven hundred and thirty-five times in the character of Hercules, with club and lion's skin, and from a secure position killed innumerable beasts and men Even a Constantine, as late as 313, committed a great multitude of defeated barbarians to the wild beasts of the circus for the amusement of the people, and was highly applauded for this generous act by an unknown heathen orator. The Christians were the more averse to these barbarous and revolting sports, since not only criminals, but often their own brethren and other innocent persons, slaves and captives of war, were there thrown to lions and tigers.

But the prevailing sentiment of the church went further; and rejected all kind of public spectacles, tragedies, comedies, dances, mimic plays, and races; the more decidedly because these amusements were at that time so closely connected with the idolatries and immoralities of the heathens, that such a thing as roclaiming and elevating them was out of the question. After the days of Augustus the Roman theatre became more and more a nursery of vice, and deserved to be abhorred by all men of decent feeling and refined taste. Here, too, the church defended the interests of virtue and true culture. The theatrical shows of those days were justly regarded as belonging to the "pomp of the devil,” which the Christian in baptism renounced. It sometimes happened that converts, who were overpowered by their old habits and visited the theatre, either relapsed into heathenism, or fell for a long time into a demoniacal state and deep dejection of spirit. Tertullian, even before he became a Montanist, wrote a special treatise De spectaculis, in which he endeavors to set forth the incompatibility of Christian sentiment with the frequenting of the theatre and circus. Such exhibitions, says he, excite all sorts of wild and impore passions, anger, fury and last; while the spirit of Christianity is a spirit of meekness, peace and purity. What a man should Dot say, thinks Tertullian, be should not hear. He flatly rejects the grounds on which loose Christians would plead for those fascinating amusements; their appeals to the silence of the Scriptures, or even to the dancing of David before the ark, and to Paul's comparison of the Christian life with the Grecian games. He inclined strongly to the extreme view, that all art is a species of fiction and falsehood, and inconsistent with Christian truthfuluess. But to all the worldly pleasures of those times the Lord's words could be truly applied : “ It is better to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell-fire.” Tertullian likewise, in two other treatises, De habitu muliebri, and De cultu feminarum, specially warned the Christian women against all display of dress, in which the heathen women shone in temples, theatres and public places. Visit not such places, says be to them, and appear in public only for earnest reasons The handmaids of God must distinguish themselves even outwardly from the handmaids of Satan, and set the latter a good example of simplicity, decorum and chastity.

GRANDMOTHER LOIS. How little is revealed in the Scriptures concerning grandmothers ! Much is related of mothers, whose names are familiar to every reader of the Bible. There was Eve, Sarah, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, Naomi, Hannah, Abigail, Elizabeth, Mary, and many others, whose maternal influence we can trace through the faithful record that is given of their lives. But little is said of grandmothers as such. Only one besides Lois is spoken of definitely as sustaining this important relation. Probably it is not because this class have no mission to perform ; nor because no endearing tie unites them to the family; for what more charming portrait than that of a wrinkled, bowed, cap-crowned old lady, whom the little folks delight to call grandma'm," especially if she be one of the pious women of Israel ? There is interest in all her movements; even her infirm, tottering step, so like that of a little child beginning to walk, makes an appeal to the heart. Her smile is a ray of the old familiar sun-her voice the music of an old, but pleasant instrument. When she speaks of her blessed Lord and her hope of heaven, it is in no modern way; and it reminds us of the patriarchs and “times of old.” She is wairing for

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