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1860.]

Prize Contests.

As heathen philosophy failed to answer the question, "What is Truth?” -so heathen civilization had to fail in instituting ennobling recreations for her people.

But why is this species of barbarism and crime still keeping pace with the march of Christian civilization? For more than eighteen hundred years has truth, like the sun, shed its life-giving beams over the islands For eighteen hundred years have the amand continents of the earth. bassadors of Peace labored to gladden the wastes of moral desolation and restore sighing and seeking humanity to the practice of virtue and the enjoyment of happiness. Much has been done. The dark shades of ignorance and superstition have yielded to the clearer light of revelation, whose genial beams rejoice the valleys and plains of sin; still the stench issuing from this unblushing arena of iniquity continues to infect the air with its noxious vapor.

A knowledge of sin, and its effects upon the human race, give the answer to the question. The amphitheatre as a central exhibition of man's inhumanity to man," and all the gladiatorial shows and prize rings emanating from it, manifest only what already exists in man as a possibility. The capacity for such bratal enjoyment does not depend on the exhibition itself, but has its ground in the fallen nature of man; the occasion serves to bring it out in bold relief. Man reveals his own character, just as a tree reveals its species. The principle, that every thing is its own revelation; that like begets like, that love begets love, that Christianity begets Christianity, and barbarism begets barbarism, lies in the constitution of the world.

Eighteen hundred years ago, Christianity became a positive life-giving power in the world, offering freedom and happiness to all who would accept of it. There was a fountain of good established, imparting health to all those who drink, while those who refuse to drink, become the channels for the perpetuation and transmission of crime, disease, and death!

Keeping this in view, it is easy to understand why relics of barbarism rise in their naked deformity in a christian age, to dishonor man, and retard the progress of Truth and Freedom.

The source of good and the source of evil are distinct in their essence and character, opposed to each other in their workings, and produce effects as different as light and darkness. The one is the mortal enemy of man, and incites him to disorganization and ruin; the other is his friend, and qualifies him for the fulfilment of his trust here as a pledge of happiness hereafter.

Here we have the key that unlocks all the avenues of error so conspicuous in our times. It is the power of sin that stimulates to viceto deeds of darkness and blood.

We turn away in "holy horror" from the contemplation of the Romans feasting their appetites upon their barbarous institutions, while we of an enlightened age, basking in the light of God's counsel, wink at deeds transacted in the midst of us as base in their character, and as pernicious in their tendencies as any that dishonored the names of the Cæsars! Even under the flag of our Union, streaming over the Capitol of the nation, the emblem of our rights and blessings, dyed in the blood of our fathers, acts of violence are perpetrated, challenges to

vindicate a false sense of honor are given, and every species of highhanded wickedness is committed! Yet the temple of our liberties stands firm against all the shafts of disruption that are hurled against it; and it will stand, for God will preserve it. The march of Truth is onward. Where her banner has once been unfurled, it can never be supplanted by the enemies of the great Standard-Bearer. Error may have an apparent victory over it; but only an apparent one; for

"Truth crushed to earth, shall rise again;
The eternal years of God are hers;
But error, wounded, writhes with pain,
And dies among its worshippers."

Even the late Prize Bing exhibition in which the two most civilized and influential nations on earth were represented, is no evidence against the truth and final triumph of Christianity. It only proves the deep depravity of man. Thousands were there to witness the brutal contest, but the stamina of England and America were not there; nor had it their countenance; on the contrary, it received, as it merited, their general condemnation.

Constantine the Great, the first Christian Emperor who mounted the throne of the Cæsars, pronounced against Amphitheatrical exhibitions. Since then, it, along with the whole catalogue of the "bloody code" are losing their hold upon the nations in the degree that Christianity is arrayed against them. Christianity is the only antidote to this, and all other forms of vice and crime. Its mission is not only to restrain evil by opposing it, but it also confers a positive good. This is its true dignity and glory. It not only disqualifies man for the enjoyment of sin; it also raises him into his normal condition. It not only strips the beggar of his rags, it also clothes him in the garments of peace. It has already done a mighty work in the world, and it will continue to do it. It will pall down and build up until it shall have appropriated all the "vessels of wrath" and made them "fit temples" for the service of God; "until the islands shall be made glad, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose."

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EDITORIAL SEED-THOUGHTS.

"GATHER UP THE FRAGMENTS THAT REMAIN, THAT NOTHING MAY BE LOST."

THE LATENT LIFE OF SEEDS.

What this

modesty of the professor.
gentleman has thus done was, after all,
caused the boys to do. To give $5 was
of little moment, compared with what he
but a small act for a rich man, and to
get it was not much to the winning boy,
as compared with what he was induced
by the offer to win for himself. This is
after all the true philosophy of doing
good; and great resources of well-doing
may be squandered where this secret is
unknown; and, when it is kept in view,
small resources may be turned to great

account. He is the wise man who knows

The largest sum deposited by one boy There is growing in a parlor in New was $29.83. Thirty-two boys deposited $124. The happy boy who was entitled York, a thrifty plant which sprung from to Mr. Field's five dollars called and rea seed procured from an Egyptian mum-ceived the same with the promptness and my, entombed thousands of years ago. Though the seed had been injured, the germinating principles still remained. With a fact like this before us, need we doubt that the seed of truth lodged in the mind will ultimately spring up and grow into fruit. It may lie latent for years, but the proper conditions will finally be brought to surround it under the superintending care of that divine and all-wise Providence which does not forget to care for the blade of grass, the lily of the field, and the sparrow worth but half a penny. Herein lies a world of comfort and encouragement for those who labor for the instruction of the young, whether pastors, teachers, or best way to help others is to teach and parents. A youth of fifteen heard Bax-aid them to help themselves. In this ter preach, and after ninety years, when that youth was one hundred and five years old, the truth proclaimed in that sermon coming up in his mind, caused him to seek the great salvation. Eternity will no doubt reveal many similar instances in which sheaves were gathered long, long after the seed was sown. "In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand, for thou knowest not whether shall prosper this or that, or whether both shall be alike good." Every thoughtful person's recollection would furnish abundant illustrations for an interesting and instructive sermon on this text.

how to start influences which shall after

wards work out their own results. The

way their own resources are brought
into activity, without which they can
This
wisdom we would commend to the read-
never truly fulfil their mission.
ers of the Guardian, both to those who
are able to assist others, and to those
who need help.

ALWAYS DOING SOMETHING.

Cyrus W. Field seems to be always doing something which causes him to get favorably into the papers. A day or two since, in company with Professor Mitchell, he visited the Newsboys' Lodging House, and was so much pleased with the good habits steadily being developed among that lively fraternity, since the establishment of their bank, that he announced he would give a premium of five dollars to the boy who would have saved the most money during the month.

INTERMARRIAGE OF BLOOD RELATIONS.

When will men and women become wise in reference to the solemnity of marriage! Facts have shown the disastrous results of marriages among blood relations beyond all doubt, and yet the old folly is constantly repeated. It may be that some ignorant persons are yet innocently in the dark on this subject; but the evil practice is by no means confined to the ignorant. Among comparatively intelligent persons the practice continues, notwithstanding facts are constantly circulating in our public journals, and are also patent to the observation of every one who will spend a moment's thought on the subject. The Ohio Legislature have passed some laws on the subject of the intermarriage of near relatives; and if one-half of what has been affirmed as the effects of cousins intermarrying be true, it is manifestly

It

the duty of the Legislatures of all the States to interfere to prevent so injurious a custom. It is said that in Massachusetts, out of 17 families, formed by the marriage of cousins, there were 59 children, and in Ohio, in 873 such families, there 3,900 were children. would thus seem that the average number of children is not diminished by such intermarriages, the Massachusetts statistics giving 5 children to each such marriage. But, out of those 95 children, 44 were idiots, 12 scrofulous, and only 37 in tolerable health; while in Ohio, 2,400 out of 3,900 were either intellectually or physically defective. In one case of the marriage of double cousins, nine children-all there were--were idiots of low grade.

THE LIFE THAT AWAITS US.

With all his disposition to drift into strange veins where we can by no means follow him, Rev. Henry Ward Beecher often says beautiful things. Among them is the following:

As I grow older, and come nearer to death, I look upon it more and more with complacent joy, and out of every longing, I hear God say, "O, thirsting, hungering one, come to me.' What the other life will bring, I know not, only that I shall awake in God's likeness, and see him as he is. If a child had been born in the Mammoth Cave, how impossible would it be for him to comprehend the upper world! His parents might tell him of its life, and light, and beauty, and its sounds of joy; they might heap up the sand into mounds, and try to show him by pointing to the stalactites how grass, and flowers, and trees grow out of the ground, till at length, with laborious thinking, the child would fancy he had gained a true idea of the unknown land. And yet, though he longed to behold it, when the day came to go forth, it would be with regret for the familiar crystals, and the rock-hewn rooms, and the quiet that reigned therein. But when he came up some May morning with ten thousand birds singing in the trees, and the heavens bright and blue, and full of sunlight, and the young leaves, all a glitter with dew, and the landscape stretching away, green and beautiful, to the horizon, with what rapture would he gaze about him, and see how poor were all the fancyings and the interpretations which were made

within the cave, of the things which grew and lived without; and how would he wonder that he could have regretted to leave the silence and the dreary darkness of his dread abode! So when we emerge from this cave of earth, into that land where spring growths are, and where is summer, and not that miserable travestie which we call summer here, how shall we wonder that we could have clung so fondly to this dark and barren life.

But on, then, O heart! and yearn for dying. I have drunk at many a fountain, but thirst came again; I have fed at many a bounteous table, but my hunger returned; I have seen many bright and lovely things, but while I gazed, this luster faded. There is nothing here that can give me rest, but when I behold thee, O God! I shall be satisfied.

THRILLING INCIDENT OF HEROISM,

ness.

Say not that the world is all selfishSome disinterested love still remains. The holy martyr spirit has not all been exhausted in the heroic ages of the Past. A touching instance a love stronger than death, has been given recently by "Grace Greenwood." She refers to an incident that took place at the burning of a steamer on one of the western lakes, thus:

"Among the passengers whose courage and presence of mind rose superior to the perils and horrors of the night, was a mother, who succeeded in saving her two children by means of a floating settee. While they were in the water, the mother saw a man swimming towards the settee, and, as he was about to grasp it, she cried: Don't take it from my poor little children!' The man made no answer, yet the appeal struck home; for by the light of the flaming vessel, she could see that his face was convulsed by the struggle between the mighty primal instinct of nature, and something better and holier. It was but for a moment. He threw up his hands with a groan of renunciation, flung himself over backward, and went down."

MOTHER'S DREAM OF HEAVEN. THREE beautiful children made glad the home of a happy mother. Her love for them was intense, and her care never failing. They were in her thoughts all

the day long, and in her dreams by night. The youngest of these children was a boy. He had large deep blue eyes, and his long lashes when he slept lay upon his cheeks like the lashes of a woman. Something in his face ever awakened in the minds of those who gazed upon him, thoughts of heaven, and many said of him that he was but a stranger here, and would soon return to his own country. And such thoughts came sometimes to the happy mother, and then her heart trembled and grew faint.

have not really lost him, for he is present in your thoughts, and you love him with even an intenser affection than before. To part with him is hard, for our natural feelings cling to those we love, and their removal brings exquisite pain. But our natural feelings have in them the taint of selfishness, and it is needful that they should be elevated and purified; or, rather, that they should die, in order that spiritual affections may be born. And what are spiritual affections? The love of things good and true for their own sake. And such affections are not born unless natural affections are laid in the grave. The death of these affections is always accompanied by pain; but the birth of corresponding spiritual affections will be with joy. The deep sorrow you now feel is a natural sorrow. Your heart is aching for its loss; and, even while reason and reli

"I will not believe it," replied the weeping mother. "It was not good to take from me my precious boy.'

""

"He is with the angels-think of that. The great problem of his life is solved, and it is well with him. There is neither doubt, nor fear, nor anxiety on his account, for he is safe in the everlasting habitations of our Father in heaven."

"God is good," were the words of one who sought to comfort her, "and he af-gion tell you that this removal from flicts us in loving kindness." earth to heaven is one of infinite blessedness to your boy, you mourn his loss and will not be comforted. But, it is for you to look up and feel an exquisite joy in the thought that you have added one to the company of God's angels. It may not be now; it cannot be now; for the smiting of your natural affections is too recent, and the waters of affliction must flow for a time. And it is good that they should flow forth, in order that spiritual consolation may flow into your heart from heaven. But this influx of healing waters will depend on yourself.

The mother listened, and the consoler went on.

"No more grief, no more sorrow, no more pain! Think of that. Let not your thoughts droop with feeble wings about the dark and gloomy grave. He is not there. But, let them rise on swift and sunny pinions to the beautiful dwelling of the angels. His decaying body lone fil the grave; but his pure spirit, that gave life and beauty to its earthly tenement, has gone to its better home.

At last, what had been feared befel the child. The Angel of Death came and removed him from his earthly abode to his heavenly dwelling-place, and the stricken mother bowed her head, and would not listen to the voice of consolation.

"Would you have him back again? Had you the power, with a word, to call him to earth, would you speak that word now that he has escaped the long trial and suffering that comes to all who have to make the journey of life? No, I am sure you would not."

The tears of the mother ceased to flow and she bent nearer to him who spoke, and listened more intently. He went on. "All children who die are raised up in heaven and received by angels, who love them with the utmost tenderness. Your dear boy, though he has been taken from an earthly mother, has already found a heavenly one. And you

You must be willing to look up and to seek comfort from the only source whence it springs. You must be spiritually glad that your child has gone to heaventhat is, glad for his sake, and for those who are made happier in heaven by his presence. There is such a gladnessbut it thrills in a region of the mind far above the place where natural affections move-and it is full of that interior delight which fills the hearts of angels."

Thus spoke the Comforter, and his words found the mother's heart. She did not make a response, but her thoughts were filled with new images; and, even in the bitterness of her sorrow, she tried to look away from her own loss and to think of all that her absent one had gained.

In the night following, as she lay slumbering on her pillow, which was wet with tears, a sweet dream, that was not all a dream, came to her. She saw be

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