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BY MRS. J. M. DERR.
'Tis found beneath the mercy-seat.” It is a sweet consolation to the child of Heaven, that amid all the distracting cares of earth, there is a place to which he can always have access, and from which he can draw comfort and peace. Many persons who are called christians, live on from year to year attending regularly all the outward forms of religion, and scrupulously avoiding outwardly even the appearance of evil, who never make this mercy-seat their familiar resort.
We cannot conceive of a real christian that does not love this holy place. It is one of the greatest privileges we have on earth, to be permitted to leave all our cares and draw nigh to that sacred place, where “Jehovah hears and gives answer to prayer." Every christian should have a closet, to which he can resort regularly, at such stated times as he has set apart to meditate and pray. Many excuse themselves on the ground that they have not time, or that the arrangements of the family or house, are such that it is impossible for them to have a place of retirement. This is seldom the case, however; for where there is a desire, a place can easily be found.
What proportion of our time should be consecrated to this holy duty ? The word of God gives us an answer to this. “Pray without ceasing,” “Watch and pray that ye fall not into temptation.” Surely, however, we cannot devote all our time to this one duty ? We can at least, besides being in that constantly prayerful frame of mind, the chief sense of the passage first quoted, fulfil the Poet's allotment of time :
“Go when the morning shineth;
Do thou in secret pray.” Some excuse themselves by saying that they are continually surrounded by so many others, or their business is such as to render it impossible for them to attend to these devotions. To such we say,
“If it is ere denied thee
There is not one that can be excused from thus holding communion sweet with the Saviour. There can always be a time and a place where those who have the most engagements, can embrace it if they have a desire. To the poor, weary, sin-sick soul, his closet is the most hallowed spot on earth. He can there pour out his heart where no eye can see him, or ear hear him, but his Heavenly Father's. It matters not though he be poor, friendless, homeless—without one being to whom he can look for help in any way, for he has this one place, sure, where he knows that he can "pour out his soul to his Saviour in prayer. There is no separation on earth that affects his heart like being deprived of that holy, that happy place, where
“Jehovah has heard and has answered his prayers." It is a cheering thought, too, to christian friends, to kindred spirits, that are separated far from each other, that they can go and in faith surround the mercy-seat, and that their prayers will unite them at their Saviour's feet. Distance deprives not the saints of communion with each other. Christ in them, and they in him, and though continent and seas divide them, their prayers are one, as the life from which they spring is one. This, too, is a great encouragement for all to pray. Let them early form the habit of secret devotional retirement, and they will be saved from a thousand snares.
"GOD IS LOVE."
BY J. M. WILLIS GEIST.
A shining angel, who,
Around my pathway flew.
And pointed to above,
He answered-God is love !"
Around this CENTER move,
“Our Center is God's love !"
OF ONE who perfect is,
That God may call us bis.
Wbo loved us with his life,
Proclaiming peace for strife :
In each to hail a brother,
By loving one another.
CHILDHOOD AND ITS JOYS. We cannot but believe that it is a part and parcel of our nature; wisely appointed by the Creator, of set purpose, that we should fervently love the days of our childhood, and delight to look back upon them, through all the wanderings and perplexities of our manhood. It is intended for our good, and purposed to give a moral flow to our affections and thoughts. There we see the innocency and purity of our first career. Most beautifully we are supported in these our thoughts, by a writer in Tait's Magazine. "See," says that Journal, “that young urchin, with red cheeks and flaxen curls, paddling in the runnel that rustles along the hedge side! How he loves to feel the cool water dance over his toes! How eagerly he pounces upon the minnow that darts from beneath the mossy stone before him, or comes flitting down the stream! How he flogs the tall weeds with his stick, and delights in making a puddle of the crystal brooklet! Observe that pretty black-eyed girl in the blue frock, with the toddling youngster by her side! She is making a garden in the dust, with twigs of trees, flowers plucked from the hedge row, white pebbles, and bits of broken crockery picked up in the lane. And how pleased is little Davie with the contrivance! Now he fetches a stone and stops up a gap in the border; now a blade of grass, or an unmeaning straw, sticking it with profound judgment in the middle of the miniature walk, or exactly in the place where it should not be. With the spirit of mischief he now runs over the labored work, and destroys their little Eden, trampling under foot its flowrets and its bowers.
"Does not every parent feel the force of this picture? and does not every reader remember his own delightful participation in scenes like these?
“Now see him again ! he is astride the grazing ass, supported by his sister. How he kicks and jumps, and opens wide his eyes, and fancies himself going to market! Now he is unsupported; his sister has withdrawn her arm. How
grave, how motionless! His tiny faculties seem to be busily questioning the danger. The ass innocently lifts a leg ; Davie's courage fails him ; he makes a comical wry face, and begins to whimper; and Davie, stretching out his little arm, asks for help !"
Such is the picture fresh from our own recollections and observances; as full of nature and ingenuous simplicity as are the dear little creatures whose likenesses are portrayed. The associations it calls up are like the strains of Caryl's music "gweet and mournful to the soul."
As the mind dwells upon it, charmed into a forgetfulness of the present, how does the remembrance of our own childhood spread freshly o’er the thoughts, while the image of the distant scene beams in the fancy as a vision far off, illuminated by a heavenly light; a glimpse, bright and beautiful, of some "loved island of the blest;" whence come ethereal notes of harmony, rather felt than heard.
It is something more than poetical phantasy which causes persons to revert with feelings of tranquil pleasure to the period of childhood long gone by, and to regret that it has passed away never to return. The days then of those years are the happiest of our lives; and for this reason the mind loves to recur to them; they are the happiest of our lives, because the most innocent.
“How sweet to every feeling heart
Those scenes again renew." Children may teach us one blessed, one enviable art: the art of being easily happy. Kind nature has given them that useful power of accommodation to circumstances, which compensates for so many external disadvantages; and it is only by injudicious management that it is lost. Give but a moderate portion of food and kindness, and the peasant's child is happier than the lord's : free from artificial wants, unsatiated by indulgence, all nature ministers to his pleasures ; he can carve out felicity from a bit of hazel twig, or fish it successfully in a puddle! I love to hear the boisterous joy of a troop of young urchins whose cheap playthings are nothing more than mud, snow, sticks; or to watch the quiet enjoyment of a half-clothed, half-washed boy, who sits crunching his brown bread and bacon at his father's door. These the gentry may overlook or despise, as they dust them in gilded equipages, seeking their pleasures, but they cannot be happier, and seldom as innocent.
“In my poor mind it is most sweet to muse
TO THE BUTTERFLY.
ANECDOTES FROM THE GERMAN.
BY REV. S. H. REID.
NO. I. The moon once rose in the east, and floated, like a light boat, in the reflection of an evening sky. Certain children pointed it out to their father.
—“How beautiful and pale it is,” said Allwin; "it does not always wear that appearance.”
“It is yet in its childhood,' replied his father. “With each day it will enlarge, and its light will increase, until the full phase is brought to our view. Perhaps clouds may sometimes cover it, and it will veil its face. After sometime it will again decrease, and become smaller, and thus form a striking image of human life.”
"I do not understand what you mean," said Theodore.
“O! yes," interrupted Allwin, “I know what you would say. Man also increases and diminishes. He appears awhile on the earth; then disappears and is hidden in the grave.”
“And what are the clouds which sometimes conceal the moon ?” inquired Theodore. "I do not know how to understand these."
“These are the misfortunes which befall man ;' answered the father. "No life has yet passed away serene and calm. Each has its dim days. But the clouds pass over the upright and good man, and uninterrupted peace fills his soul; and when at last he passes away from before our eyes, he is not destroyed, but shines in another sphere, everlasting and unchangeable !"
WIEN Alexander, the son of Philip, was at Babylon, he ordered a Priest from each religion which he had conquered, and assembled them all together in his palace. After this, he ascended his throne, and interrogated them thus
"Tell me,” said he; “Do you acknowledge and honor one high and invisible being ?” They all bowed their heads and said “Yes!" The king then asked, “With what name do you call the same?”