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There are many and weighty reasons why you should do this. First, it is your duty-God commands it. Second, it is for your personal happiness. Third, it will qualify you for more extensive usefulness. If you neglect religion now, you may never have an opportunity to seek it. The brittle thread of life may be severed in an instant, and you are lost, for ever lost! But should you live many years, you may not be able to obtain salvation, after having refused the present opportunity. God says: “My Spirit shall not always strive with men.” He may say to you as he did to one anciently : “ Ephraim is joined to his idols; let him alone.” Dear reader, if God should say this of you, what could you do to obtain salvation ? Are you a professor of religion, and have you idols in your heart ? If so, you are also in danger. Oh, be warned, be entreated, by all the mercies of God, and in view of the eternal interest of your soul, to seek salvation now, to-day, with all your heart; and heaven, with its untold stores, shall be your rich, your cverlasting reward.—Zion's Herald.
THE LITTLE HERO OF HARLEM. At an early period in the history of Holland, a boy was born in Harlem, a town remarkable for its variety of fortune in war, but happily still more so for its manufactures and inventions in peace. His father was a sluicer—that is, one whose employment it was to open and shut the sluices, or large oak-gates, which, placed at certain regular distances, close the entrance of the canals, and secure Holland from the danger to which it seems exposed, of finding itself under water, rather than above it. When water is wanted, the sluicer raises the water more or less, as required, as a cock turns the cock of a fountain, and closes them again carefully at night, otherwise the water would flow into the canals, then overflow them, and inundate the whole country; so that even the children in Holland are fully aware of the importance of a punctual discharge of the sluicer's duties. The boy was about eight years old, when one day he asked permission to take some cakes to a poor old blind man, who lived at the other side of the dyke. His father gave him leave, but charged him not to stay too late. The child promised, and set off on his little journey. The blind man thankfully partook of his young friend's cakes; and the boy, mindful of his father's orders, did not wait, as usual, to hear one of the old man's stories, but as soon as he had seen him eat one muffin, took leave of him to return home.
As he went along by the canals, then quite full—for it was in October, and the autumn rains had swelled the waters—the boy now stopped to pull the little blue flowers which his mother loved so well, and, in childish gaiety, hummed some merry song. The road gradually became more solitary, and soon neither the joyous shouts of the villager, returning to his cottage home, nor the rough voice of the carter, grumbling at his lazy horses, was any longer to be heard. The little fellow now perceived that the blue of the flowers in his hand was scarcely distinguishable from the green of the surrounding herbage, and he looked up in some dismay. The night was falling; not, however, a dark, wintry night, but one of those beautiful, clear, moonlight nights, in which every object is perceptible, though not as distinctly as by day. The child thought of his father, of his injunction, and was preparing to quit the ravine, in which he was almost buried, and to regain the beach, when suddenly a slight noise, like the trickling of water upon pebbles, attracted his attention. He was near one of the large sluices, and he now carefully examines it, and soon discovers a hole in the wood, through which the water was flowing. With the instant perception which every child in Holland would have, the boy saw that the water must soon enlarge the hole through which it was now dropping, and that utter and general ruin would be the consequence of the inundation which must follow. To see—to throw away the flowers-to climb froin stone to stone till he reached the hole, and to put his finger into it, was the work of a moment, and, to his delight, he finds that he has succeeded in stopping the flow of the water.
This was all very well for a little while, and the child thonght only of the success of his device. But the night was closing in, and with the night came the cold. The little boy looked round in vain; no one came. He shouted -he called loudly—no one answered. He resolved to stay there all night; but, alas! the cold was biting, and the poor finger began to feel benumbed, and the numbness soon extended to the hand, and hence throughout the whole arm. The pain became still greater, still harder to bear, but still the boy moved not. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he thought of his father, of his mother, of his little bed, where he might now be sleeping soundly; but still the little fellow stirred not, for he knew that did he but remove the small slender finger which he had opposed to the escape of the water, not only would he himself be drowned, but his father, his brothers, his neighbours nay, the whole village. We know not what faltering of purpose, what momentary failures of courage, there might have been during that long terrible night; but certain it is, that at daybreak he was found in the same painful position by a clergyman returning from attendance on a death-bed, who, as he advanced, thought he heard groans, and, bending over the dyke, discovered a child seated on a stone, writhing with pain, and with pale face and tearful eyes.
“ In the name of wonder, boy," he exclaimed, “ what are you doing there?”
" I am hindering the water from running out,” was the answer, in perfect simplicity, of the child, who, during that whole night had been evincing such heroic fortitude and undaunted courage.
The Muse of History, too often blind to (true) glory, has handed down to posterity many a warrior, the destroyer of his fellow-men-she has left us in ignorance of the name of this real little hero of Harlem.
THE CURLY-HAIRED LITTLE BOY. IN coming down the North river, in the magnificent steamer, Isaac Newton, as the passengers were retiring to rest, I noticed a fine-looking, curly-haired little boy, about six years old, undressing himself, while his father arranged his bed. Soon his father tied a handkerchief around his head, to protect his curls, which looked as if the sun-light from his young happy heart always rested there. This done, I looked for him to seek his resting-place; but, instead of this, he quietly kneeled down on the floor, put up his little hands together, so beautifully childlike and simple, and resting his arms on the lower berth, against which he knelt, he began his evening prayer.
The father sat down by his side, and waited the conclusion. It was, for a child, a long prayer, but well understood. I could hear the murmuring of his sweet voice, but could not distinguish the words he spoke. But what a scene! There were men around him-Christian men-retiring to rest without prayer; or, if praying at all, a kind of mental desire for protection, without sufficient courage or piety to kneel down in a steam-boat's cabin, and, before strangers, acknowledge the goodness of God, or ask his protecting love.
This was the training of some pious mother. Where was she now? How many times had her kind hand been laid on those sunny locks, as she had taught him to lisp his prayers!
A beautiful sight it was that child at prayer in the midst of the busy, thoughtless throng. He alone, of the worldly multitude, bowed his knees to heaven. I thank the parental love that taught him to lisp his evening prayer, whether dead or living, whether far off or nigh.
It did me good; it made me better. I could scarce refrain from weeping then, nor can I now, as I see again that sweet child, in the crowded tumult of a steam-boat's cabin, bending in devotion before his Maker.
When the little boy had finished his evening devotion, he arose and kissed his father most affectionately, who put him into his berth to rest for the night.
If ever I meet that boy in his happy youth, in his anxious manhood, in his declining years, I'll thank him for the influence and example of that night's devotion, and bless the name of the mother that taught him to pray. Scarcely any passing incident of my life ever made a deeper impression on my mind.
I went to my room, and thanked God that I had witnessed it, for its influence on my heart.
THE DRUNKARD'S SON.
“MOTHER, this bread is very hard; why don't we have cake and nice things, as we used to have when we lived in the great house? Oh, that was such a pretty house, mamma, and I did love to live there so. You made sweet music there, mamma, with your fingers, when Pa would sing. Pa used to laugh, then, and take me on his knee, and say I was his own dear boy. What makes Pa sick, ma? I wish he was not sick, for it makes me afraid when he stamps on the floor, and says, “George, go off to bed!' Say, when will he get well, and take me on his knee, and love me, as he used to? But, Ma, there is a tear in your eye; let me wipe it. There another comes; oh—another! Did I make you cry these tears, mamma?
“ Hush! little innocent; you cannot stop your mother's tears, for they are the overflowings of a fountain, filled with blighted hopes, anguish, and misery. She cannot tell you when your father will love you, for, alas! he is a drunkard!"
I heard a beautiful boy, scarce four years old, lisping this to his mother, and I pitied him from my inmost soul. His name was George Elwyn. His father was once rich and happy, and nearly idolized his little son; but in an evil hour he began to sip the intoxicating cup—the habit had grown upon him, until the peace of his family was