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aske 1 Göd not to throw the people into the pit, if he himself agreed to be nailed to a cross for them; and how, as soon as he bowed his head on the cross and died, the pit was shut up and the people saved! The deaf and dumb boy wondered much; but he made signs “that the person who died on the cross was but One, and the crowd very many. How could God be content to take One for so many ?” The lady took off her gold ring, and then put beside it a great heap of withered leaves of flowers, and asked the boy which was the best, the one gold ring, or the many, many dry leaves ?” The boy clapped his hands with delight, and spelt the word “ One ! One !" And then, to show that he knew what this meant, and that Jesus was the One who was worth all the rest, he ran and got his letters, and looking up, spelt the words, “ Good, good One .!" He had learned that day, dear children, that Jesus alone had saved them all, and he stood wondering at his love.A. A. Bonar,

RETIREMENT.

Solitary retirement is one of the most necessary

and profitable duties a Christian can perform, one of the greatest privileges he can embrace, and one of the happiest of enjoyments he can indulge in and partake of. It is then he has time for reflection, meditation, and spiritual exercise, then, from whence arise those blessed seasons a Christian so much delights in, when he can enjoy sweet communion, and holy “ fellowship with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ,” and if overwhelmed with the cares, sorrows, and anxieties of this world, he can, in retirement unburden his soul, and lay open his troubled breast before God, and with hopes of comfort derive innumerable bles sings. O yes; it is then, whilst safe and at rest, he can contemplate the bliss and happiness of that heavenly world, where there is fullness of joy and pleasures for evermore, where every care will have ceased, every fear have vanished, where every desire shall be fulfilled, every temptation shall be done away with, every grace be perfected, and where there will be no more enemies to resist, no more passions to subdue, and where no more sorrows will have to be endured, all then will be perfect, for God will be all and in all.

LADY LANE.

POETRY.
On earth where shall I go

To seek my Saviour's face ?
No other place I know,

But to a throne of grace.
The joy which there I feel,

Surpasses all the rest,
While sorrow is concealed

And all within me blest.

New life I there receive,

'Tis Jesus entering in, Whose Spirit, I believe,

Will lead me far from sin.

All

peace I there receive,
From Him who's ever true,
I will in Him believe

And all his ways pursue.
The narrow path I'll tread,

On Jesus I'll depend,
For in his word 'tis said,

In heaven it will end.

There joy shall never cease,

My friends are gone before,
In that bright land of peace,
We'll meet to part no more.

LADY LAYE.

THE ORPHAN'S PRAYER.
O Father, hear an orphan's prayer,

Now offer'd up to Thee,
And give me strength that I may bear

All insults heap'd on me.
And give me grace, that I may be

Like Jesus, kind and meek,
Who lov'd His foes, when on the tree,

And they His life did seek.
Oft when from door to door I go

To crave a scanty meal,
Oft angry words, ofttimes a blow,

They know not what I feel.
While they are rear'd in plenteousness,

With parents hand in hand,
The orphan has not one to bless,

Nor one with whom to stand.
He has to brave the scoffing sneers

Of those who near him come,
Not only young, but those in years,

Have drove the arrow home.
Forgive them, Father, let them know

Not what it is to be
An orphan in this world below,

A child of misery.
But bless them with a parent's hand,

To guide their erring feet,
While travelling through this barren land

Unto Thy mercy seat.
And let them learn Thy holy ways,

To Thee be reconciled,
And in those bright and happy days

They'll love an orphan child.
Hollingsworth.

WM. RIDER

[graphic]

On the island of Madeira there are many curiosities, most of them having some connection with the convents, or churches. One of these is the Chamber of Skulls, in the town of Funchall, which is the chief curiosity of the Franciscan Covent there. The cathedral is said to be built of cedar wood, with which the island abounded at the time of its first occupancy by the emissaries of the church. Some curious fortresses, and several interesting streams, which flow through the streets of the town, are also pointed out to strangers. The Franciscan Convent, however, merits particular notice, on account of the strange exhibition of the mortal remains of humanity, which one of its rooms presents. This chamber is large and lofty, and well fitted for the ghastly spectacle which it presents.

All round, from the ceiling to the ground, except in a space directly opposite the door, are rows of human skulls, with their horrible eye-sockets mocking humanity with death-like glances, and their bony jaws eternally grinning, as if tickled into laughter by the rallor of the spectator. The skulls are all singularly perfect, and almost uniform in colour, an unusual fact in relics of this kind, which generally range from an ivory white to a churchyard brown, according to the position in which they may have been placed since death-in the wet mould of the common grave, or the tight leaden coffin of the rich man's vault. The skulls are arranged in a curious manner, so as to alternate with an assemblage of stark thigh-bones, doomed to walk no more, which cross each other obliquely, and form a sort of parody on the well-established "skull and cross bones.” In the vacant space opposite the door, is a large picture of very mysterious aspect, which conveys no very definite idea ; and which the old monk who attends you knows no more about than one of those fleshless and jabbering skulls. Judging from the name of the place, the chief figure in the picture may be supposed to be St. Francis; and making a further guess as to the occupation of the saint, he seems to be-or the pious painter would doubtless wish us to think so-in the act of weighing a sinner against a saint. Certain it is, that a huge figure, not burdened with many of the details of perspective, stands very high up-upon nothing-and holds out one hand with a balance, in either scale of which sits a human being-one of the said human beings being much heavier than the other. Which of the two thus poised in the balance of everlasting happiness or woe is the sioner, and which the saint, is still more difficult to judge. As weigh goods to ascertain their value, perhaps the heaviest of the two is the saint, and yet one would think that a siziner would sink the lowest, as that is already his destination.

Nevertheless, here is a chamber of skulls, and a frightful exhibition it makes. All the skulls, --so says the officiating monk-are those of pious men, the bones of none but the holy finding a home there. A lamp, not of the cleanest, swings from the ceiling, and throws a pale light on the cranial individualities. Here is the brain case-deficient in the bump of cautiousness-of a holy father, who

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