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Our last extract, and with this we reluctantly lay aside the charming volume, is a very pleasing morning hymn :Now that the daylight fills the sky, We lift our hearts to God on high, That He, in all we do or say, Would keep us free from harm to-day. May He restrain our tongues from strife, And shield from anger's din our life, And guard with watchful care our eyes From earth's absorbing vanities. O may our inmost hearts be pure, From thoughts of folly kept secure; And pride of sinful flesh subdued, Through sparing use of daily food. So we, when this day's work is o'er, And shades of night return once more, Our path of trial safely trod, Shall give the glory to our God. CHRISTIAN Vows; WHEN TO MAKE THEM,
AND HOW TO KEEP THEM. By J. Leonard Posnett. Elliot Stock.
We have not, for some time past, met with a more excellent little book on the subject of Christian vows than this, nor one more fit for the use of Sabbathschool teachers, or indeed of any who have devoted, or intend to devote, themselves to the Divine service. The responsibilities and obligations which devolve upon those who labour for God are many and heavy, and they should consequently be approached thoughtfully and prayerfully: “Be not rash with thy mouth; neither let thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God."
Any contribution, therefore, which helps us to weigh well the nature of such holy resolutions, and rightly to appreciate the glorious result to be attained from their true performance, is deserving of welcome. Mr. Posnett's tract is one of these aids to Christian resolution ;
and the manner in which he has handled his subject calls for our warm commendation. To bespeak our readers' attention, we give two extracts from the book : the first is introductory; the latter relates to the moral consequences of the violation of vows.
“A vow is not an ordinary promise, but a promise made to God of doing some good thing in the future. The practice of making vows is of great antiquity. It prevailed extensively
amongst the ancient Greeks
and Romans. A living writer says: “If the Romans laid claim to be the most pious of all people, it was purely because they dwelt, in mind, upon the great number of their vows, and their care and conscientiousness in the fulfilment of them; for to vow the dedication of a temple or altar, a public game, to à deity for the welfare of the state generally, or the obtaining of any particular favour, a victory, or the taking of a city, was one of the most frequent resources of Roman statesmen and generals; the latter particularly thought to increase at once the spirit of their troops, and their certainty of victory, by vows pronounced aloud immediately before the beginning of a battle. At Rome an epidemic was the most common motive of vows; and in the uncertainty as to which deity sent the calamity, and which was the fittest to remove it, many gods were included in one and the same vow. Most of the temples, and a great number of altars, were erected in Rome in fulfilment of VOWS ;
not unfrequently too, great sacrifices, share in spoils, or the best of the armour captured, golden crowns, festal games, and libations were vowed.
Countless were the votive offerings to conciliate a god, promised by individuals in illness, at the outset of a journey, in storms and other dangers, consisting of victims and other hallowed presents. All cattle born between the first of March and the last of April were dedicated to Jupiter.' Customs somewhat similar may be found in the east at the present time, in connection with idolatrous worship. It is reasonable to expect that religious observances, so wide-spread and extending over many ages, had their origin in Divine teaching. Accordingly, we find amongst the Jewish people a variety of laws for the regulation and execution of vows, given by their inspired legislator, Moses."
6. The moral consequences of the violation of vows:- There is a Greek mythical story of the treatment of the goddess Juno by Mandrabulus the Samian. This man had, under her
the psalmist. • When thou vowest a vow, defer not to pay it' (Eccles. v. 4.) Don't calculate on to-morrow. To-morrow is not yours; to-morrow's in
another world.' The history of many lost souls is a history of broken vows. Be prompt then. Imitate the tradesman who obtains discount by prompt payment. Let those too, who have broken their vows, and perhaps forgotten them, consider that the hour will come when the chambers of memory will be unlocked. The past will be required ; and the recollection of broken vows will be one of the bitterest ingredients in the cup of future and endless misery.”
auspices and by her direction, discovered a gold mine. In the first flush of gratitude he vowed to her a golden
This however he presently exchanged for a silver one, and again that for a very small brass one, and that for nothing at all. So the proverb runs, The river past and God forgotten.' The Berleburger Bible says :- Many persons, when they are in need or desire aught from God, precipitate themselves into certain vows, and promise more than they have afterwards any desire to fulfil, when avarice comes in and incites them not to perform that to which they have solemnly engaged themselves. In the hour of need many promise to God golden mountains ; how thankful they will be; how they will improve themselves if they should only become again free and healthy. But, alas ! how soon does the deceitful heart forget all that when it is out of the strait.'
• Vows made in pain how soon will ease recant.' One thing, however, is certain-Almighty God does not forget, never. Bible history shows that in ancient times a special curse sometimes fell upon those who had offended by a violation of vows. And it is still true, there is that withholdeth more than is meet, and it tendeth to poverty. We have read of a merchant who, after having amassed a large fortune, experienced a reverse. He then vowed that, should prosperity return, he would devote a certain proportion of his gains to the Christian cause. This he did, whilst he was the possessor of a few hundreds ; but his resolution broken when he became wealthy. The tide of prosperity then turned, and all was lost once more. Again he vowed, whatever his property, he would give a tithe to the cause of God. Again he prospered. But when his property came to thousands, he failed to keep his vows. He was ruined, and died in a workhouse. Even though the consequence of infidelity to vows should not appear in this life, it assuredly will in the world to come. · Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he reap. When should our vows be performed ? Now. "I will pay my vows unto the Lord now,' says
INDEX TO THE FOUR GOSPELS. By T.
Bishop. Book Society.
An index to the four gospels, suitable for the scholars of our sabbath classes, is a want which has been much felt. We do not as a rule advocate the use of indices by young people; we would rather see the books for which they are intended well thumbed and bearing marks of much handling,—the Bible especially—without the
pupil having recourse to such adjuncts. There are cases, however, where they may be judiciously employed; and hence a necessity for good and cheap works of the sort is sometimes felt. The present index is creditably compiled, considering the compass (8 pp.), and the type selected for it by the printers is very distinct ; but we think some regret will be expressed at the absence of cover or wrapper, were it only of paper. Books wanting this protection in the hands of children soon become a disjointed bundle of tattered leaves.
THE HIDING PLACE AND ROOM IN IT FOR
You. Book Society.
"On the eve of one of the dreadful battles fought during the Crimean war, a pious soldier was reading the 32nd Psalm to some of his comrades. He stopped at these words in the 7th verse, • Thou art my Hiding Place,' and be: gan to speak to them of the fearful
danger to which every sinner is exposed, ! them that beautiful hymn, beginning and of the safety and blessedness of “How loving is Jesus, who came from those who are in Christ Jesus. Those,' the sky.' In the battle on the following said he, who are living in sin have no day, this good man was struck by a ball security whatever. The storm of battle on the chest, and fell mortally wounded. may soon burst, and in a moment they A comrade raised him to carry him to may be summoned to the bar of Divine the surgeon; but it was too late_life justice. There, with no faith in Christ was fast ebbing away. * It is all right, and no love to God, their condemnation dear Robert,' he said ; 'I'm in the is sure, and will be everlasting. But Hiding Place we were speaking about ; “ there is no condemnation to them who I'm safe and happy in Jesus ; and soon are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. viii. 1). I'll be with Him for ever. Oh, make Jesus has taken the sinner's nature, and Him your Hiding Place, and by-and-by stood in his room, and borne the punish- I'll welcome you into His heavenly ment due to his sins. Those who have kingdom." fled to Him are therefore perfectly secure. In this way does this excellent little No evil can come nigh them in Him as book open; and its earnest words, if their Hiding Place. Should they fall in well pondered and acted upon, cannot the battle, Jesus will receive them to fail to produce good results for time and dwell with Himself in glory everlasting.' eternity. Published at a penny, and With many earnest and affectionate having a pretty ornamental cover, it words he urged his comrades to flee to ought to have a large circulation among the. Hiding Place. He then read to Sunday-school classes.
ONLY A LOCK OF HAIR.
ONLY a day, and yet how long a story! Than self and its most loved enjoyments
Only a dream, and yet return it will ; are ;
Only a curl from out the auburn glory None duly loves Thee but who, nobly free
That crowned her head, now slumberFrom sensual objects, finds his ALL in
ing so still. Thee. Glory of God! thou stranger here below, A little life, and yet it led to heaven, Whom man nor knows nor feels a wish The home that longer ones may never
to know, Our faith and reason are both shocked She had no wanderings to be forgiven to find
Before the golden door could let her Man in the post of honour, thee behind. in. My soul, rest happy in thy low estate, Nor hope, nor wish, to be esteemed or
Only a sunbeam, for a moment tinting; great.
Only a rainbow in a frowning sky; To take the impression of a Will Divine,
And gone so soon, yet on our memories Be that thy glory, and those riches thine.
printing Confess Him righteous in His just de
Those soft, sad images that cannot
die. crees, Love what He loves, and let His pleasures please;
Only a little bird, to sing and perish ; DIE DAILY ; from the touch of sin re- Only a little heart, to beat with love; cede;
Only a lock of hair, to fondly cherish, Then thou hast crowned Him, and He But one fair angel more to welcome us reigns indeed.
THAT's How.–After a great snow- | rock at the bottom of the sea. He did storm a little fellow began to shovel a not seem to take any food; but in a few path through a large snow-bank before weeks he grew larger, and got his shell. bis grandmother's door.
He had no- Then, coming forth, he crept boldly thing but a small shovel to work with. along at the bottom of the ocean, and
“ How do you expect to get through scratching up the sand with his claws that drift ? ” asked a man passing along. for worms, or surprising other prey, he
“ By keeping at it,” said the boy led a luxurious life.” cheerfully; is that's how !”
“Lobster life seems very pleasant for That is the secret of mastering almost a lobster,” said Harry. every difficulty under the sun. If a hard “ Yes; though not one free from task is before you, stick to it. Do not danger. At times they are quite dekeep thinking how large or hard it is, fenceless, and must seek safety in hidbut go at it, and little by little it will ing as at first. Our lobster continued grow smaller and smaller until it is
to grow till his shell was too small. He done.
had found plenty of food, and was strong and vigorous; but when summer
came he knew his danger; and finding NEVER lay too great stress upon a safe retreat, for a while he lay torpid your own usefulness, or perhaps God
and motionless. Then he threw himmay show you that He can do without
self upon his back, trembling, and you.
striking his claws together, and swelling till his shell parted and he escaped.
Feeble and timid, he was fortunate to LOBSTER LESSONS.--"Mother, one escape the dog-fish and cod, who would of this lobster's claws is a great deal have considered him a dainty morsel; larger than the other,” called Harry but in two days his skin grew nearly as from the kitchen. “I thought you said hard as before, his appetite returned, ” Harry hesitated.
and he could venture forth again.” Thought that order and symmetry “But about this little claw, mother ?" marked the works of God,” said Mrs. asked Nellie. Harper, joining the children.
“ Clothed in his hard case, the lobare right; but our lobster has been ster is a terror to others, and secure fighting, and so lost one of his large from all but those of his own kind. At handsome claws. Don't you think it a some seasons of the year, it is said that proof of God's kind care for him, that, they never meet without a contest; when he loses one, another will grow in to lose a leg, or even a claw, is no great its place?
calamity; for while the victor feasts Why, when we lose an arm, another upon his spoils, the other has only to does not grow!” exclaimed Harry, in retreat till a new claw can grow. While great surprise.
this is small and tender, he is upon his “ No; it is only those creatures who good behaviour ; but in three weeks it are in constant danger of losing their is nearly as large and strong as the old members for whom this wonderful provision is made. Thus God shows His " What a beautiful red colour he peculiar and tender care for all the has !” said Nellie. works of His hand, providing for each Now that he has been boiled; but just what they will be likely to need. when alive he was of a greenish or Let me tell you the story of this lobster. brownish black. Truly this is a wonAt first he had not this hard shell, and derful creature !"-Child's Oron Vegahad to hide himself in a little cleft of zine.
SUNDAY-SCHOOL TEACHING: A CONVERSATION.
BY MISS E. J. WHATELY.
saw such thoughtless | remarks. Very good so far; and now waste of time in my life,” said I thought we were going to have Elinor Fordyce, as she entered Mrs. some hints about how to teach, or to Villers's sitting-room, and joined a ask or be asked questions : but no, little group of two or three friends, as soon as the reading was over, Mr. who were gathered, according to - said he had an appointment, frequent custom, around that lady's and must leave us to ourselves ; so invalid couch.
he left, and Mrs. L- took his " What is it that excites your in- place at the head of the table, and dignation so much, Ellie ? " asked asked the teachers each to give the Lina Thornley:
lists of regular attendants at the “Oh, it was the teachers' meeting," school. This was done, and then said Elinor. “You know I have just there were a few remarks from the agreed to take a class at Mr. L-'s teachers by way of explanation: one Sunday-school. Mrs. L- pressed girl had left to go to service, and me very much, and said teachers another had been kept away by were really wanted. I had been sickness, and so on. Then the longing for some direct work for was a little pause, and presently Miss God since I came here, and I felt N- said in a low voice to Mrs. it quite an answer to prayer; but Lthen I knew I had very little expe- 6. What do you think of Sarah rience in teaching. I told Mrs. Jackson ? do you think she is im- this, and she advised me to
proving ?' come to the teachers' meeting;' "I fear not,' said Mrs. Lwhich she said would be such a help "I am not satisfied about her ; but I to me; and so I should certainly hope Anne Jennings is beginning to have expected to find it.”
think seriously.' “But you were disappointed ? 66. Yes, so do I,' said Miss T-; asked Lina.
and do you know I am very much Indeed I was.
We all assem- encouraged about Mary Smith ; she bled, six or eight teachers, in Mrs. said such a nice thing to me the L's parlour, and Mr. L- other day.' And then followed a opened with prayer. His prayers are little anecdote of Mary Smith. Next, always excellent, as you know. He another lady told how Hannah Jones next read a chapter and made a few was too fond of finery, and then