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23 said in a shy, shamefaced tone of voice; as if she had pecting to be admitted on sufferance into her new

and as if the ready sanction of her engagement were tional cause of gratitude. So Clara really felt it. zmember once, a long time ago," she went on, “it was an

like this, not long after Herbert came home; and you than most people have got. The Chesters, you know,

so many more things to make me

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to me about my having

"I eveni talke happ:

Zed about them."

we ta "Y

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, I remember, dear.”
now it seems, oh, so much more strange that I should
very many good things. I wonder why it is? It makes
Lost sorry to think about it."

you remember what we settled at last, Clara, in our long

that we must not decide too soon about such things. Changes may come, you know. Some great happiness may

to those who seem most full of trouble ; and I am quite

that if your life needs some kind of sorrow, that will come in good time. It will be a good time, dear child, won't it?

it may seem hard to look forward to now?” see," said Clara, in her old meditative way of taking in her ness's sayings, she never thought how strange it was that Griffiths should talk of sorrow to her, happy as she was. was only thinking regretfully of her own present supe





gove Miss

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But now to-day I wonder why I should have so much iness and other people not? I can't help thinking about Chester, I wish she was as happy as I am instead of having

a dreadful trouble. Her sister is getting worse, Mrs.
ham said so to-day."
he talk was interrupted by a loud call for Clara ; and she
up, almost regretfully, even though the hasty summons was
Herbert's voice.
I hope I shan't have to give up all the lesson-time; I
aldn't quite enjoy myself if I didn't come in here always,”

said, simply.
Liss Griffiths smiled almost sadly as she gave another kiss
congratulation, and then another impatient call was heard,
Clara disappeared, looking in again to say hurriedly,–

Oh, I forgot to tell you something ! Eva Brakespear is
Sing in a fortnight, Mrs. Watham told me so to-day."

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Br L. N.

Assechi shall lead them,”

Che Christmas festival draws near, that festival Vrhacire world alike combine to honour; and Te ein boho to the fields of Bethlehem, where

essc :te bright starlight night, a stillness unda sreries of the angels, in a lowly manger the Tunane wonds which head this page are realized : Asball lead them."

has Cristeas been called the Children's Feast, and

she festival of the Holy Innocents follow closely in its northe firstfruits of the leading of that little Child seniz be of tender age and of pure unsullied virtue.

Test of "peace on earth, good-will towards men,” rings in curears, and I think it would be well if we let these other words Anitheir echo there,—"And a little child shall lead them.

Consider for a moment the gentle leading of a little child , whose fresh young mind is free from all hard, suspicious thoughts whose sympathies are quickly enlisted on the side of all that is good and true, and whose affections are warm and tender. Such a one taking by the hand the careworn man of business, the weary woman, the sin-stained or the sorrowful, would soon lure them on into paths of innocence and peace; and if such would be the influence of the earthly child, how far above it must be the leading of this heavenly Child, whose birthday we keep at Christmas.

Many of us can testify to the silent leading of a little child. The “Do come, because I want you to,” from the lips of some little one, is often all-persuasive, and many a hard heart has been touched when by accident the prayer of some little one has fallen upon the ear. Again, the sympathy of a child is all-powerful because so real and unobtrusive. From whence springs all this ? you ask. I answer, from the man er-throne

of Bethlehem, where all who would learn a simple childlike

faith must go.

Christmas comes round year by year and finds us changed; the cry, "Christmas is not what it once was to me," goes up from many a heart; the social greetings pall upon the ear; the social meetings are a weariness because of some hidden grief, or else because our family circle is broken and those who once formed a part of it and gathered around our Christmas fire are either working and striving in some far distant land, or, perchance, their voices are hushed in the sleep of death, and the va cant chairs testify that we are fast learning to "count in Paradise our store." Yet in spite of all this we are bidden to rejoice! Let us, then, taking as our watchword “ And a little child shall lead them,” forget ourselves and our own griefs, enjoying Christmas with the children, and saying with the poet, “Come to mo, O ye

For I hear you at your play ;'
And the music of your laughter

Quite takes my care away.” Christmas without the children would indeed be sad. If we have none of our own we need not seek far; there are many neglected little ones in the courts and alleys of our great towns, and in the lanes of our villages, to whom we may impart the " glad tidings of great joy,” and who may be helped to use their Christian privilege of spending a bright and merry Christmas, and in so doing we shall be following the leading of the Child of Bethlehem.

All the world consents at Christmas thus to pay its homage to the infant King in the persons of His little ones; hence have arisen various customs in different countries, such as the Christmas-tree laden with its countless gifts, and the little stocking hung up so carefully by many a tiny bed on Christmas Eve, to be filled, as the little occupant fondly believes, by good King Christmas in the middle of the night. All this speaks of the reign of the infant Saviour, who has come to spread His gifts abroad, and to implant in the hearts of His people the love of giving pleasure to these His little ones.

And let us all look well to ourselves, that as Christmas by Christmas passes over our heads, each year leaving behind its own peculiar mark of sorrow, or it may be of joy, we strive humbly and with meek and lowly spirit to accept the gentle

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leading of the Child of Bethlehem, and to gain something of a Cake spirit, and to lose somewhat of that worldly preoccapiel mind which constant contact with this busy every-day We must give us. Then, indeed, as the Christmas chimes ring out, there will be no want of harmony between our frame of mind and their glad strains, and surrounded by the children on the Children's Festival we shall realize its highest and holiest joys, as summed up in the fulfilment of that earliest Christmas promise, “ And a little child shall lead them.” In this way, for instance, the Children's Hospitals, which modern philanthropy Las raised up in our great city, may serve to open out a means of doing true Christmas work, not only in the more important way of sending contributions to the funds of these noble and much needed institutions, but by giving to the little ones packets of toys, and of those Christmas cards which form such a welcome accompaniment to the season in the homes of those who have friends to care for them.


Coom, be a brav' lass, when l’se yawn,

Coom, kiss the bairns, Mary, vor me; What! croop doon and whine a slave mawn,

a When a vree land calls ower the zea ?

Shan't I miss t'whoite cottage at whoam,

The squoire, and the schule, and the vearm? A vreeman I vears not to roam,

My manhood can keeps heself warm.

'Tis vor thee, zitting unket in doors,

Vor the bairns crying, “Feyther !” by noight, My spirit will vloat from far shores,

As thou watchest yon dim harbour loight.

"Oot on stroike,"—Aye, tis meracle, zure,

That mony a long year 'ev fled, Wi' the hoonger of labour untold,

While the beasts wos warm littered and ved,

Taint no use to be flinging ov' stoans,

I'se no chat ov' a tramper's distress;
I've no cause vor the guardians' zoft toanes,

Yet the farmers ev med a zad mess.

O kiss the bairns, Mary, vor me,

Canst steal I a lock of Kate's hair ? Be zure I shall think, loov, ov thee,

When I clems up Faith's angel-thronged ztair.

Young Measter will cooi doon ť morn

Wi' his powny and Billy vor me; I knows he will look quite vorlorn,

When a hears I is ower the zea.

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