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number of cities, the population of which varies from between 500,000 and a million; many towns contain as many as 230,000."


A Clergyman observing a poor man by the road side loreaking stones with a bammer, and kneeling so as to get at his work the better, made the remark,

* Ah! John, I wish I could break the stony hearts of my hearers as easily as you are breaking those stones.”

The man replied,

"Perhaps, master, you do not work on your knees." TEACHERS this applies to you. Let private prayer form a chief part of your preparation for teaching, if you desire to impress your class.


A lock was shown to Gotthold, constructed of rings which were severally inscribed with certain letters, and could be turned round until the letters represented the name Jesus. It was only when the rings were disposed in this manner that the lock could be opened. The invention pleased him heyond measure, and he exclaimed : “O

that I could put such a lock as this upon my heart ! 4. Our hearts are already locked, no doubt, but generally

with a lock of qnite another kind. Many need only to hear the words Gain, Honour, Pleasure, Riches, Revenge, and their heart opeus in a moment, whereas to the Saviour and to his holy name it continues shut. May the Lord Jesus engrave his name with his own finger upon our hearts, that they may remain closed to worldly joy and worldly pleasure, self-interest, fading hononr, and low

revenge, and open only to him. 1


The guilt of many things is clearly discernible. Nobody questions the character of Sabbath-breaking, profanity, or drunkenness. Avarice, ill-temper, evil-speaking, though less obvious, are evident enough to be weighed by the standard of public opinion, and are readily acknowledged to be sins. Vanity, trilling, and procrastination, cannot easily elude a reckoning, and are pronounced inconsistent with any great measure of excellence.

But there is a sin cleaving to the Lord's people so subtle in its nature, so humble in its guise, so frank in its excuses, that exposure is difficult, and rebuke is often disarmed. What sin is it? The sin of not DOING. Neglected oppor. tunities, unused talents, undone good—these are to be arraigned in the great day in the same catalogue with others of a bolder and darker dye. “Inasmuch as ye did it not,” is the verdict of the Judge.

The nature of this sin the Lord laid bare in the parable of the talents, spoken to his disciples on mount Olivet, when by many significant illustrations he was striving to impress upon the little circle the nature of his kingdom on earth-its duties and obligations, its rewards and punishments—from which he was soon to be personally withdrawn, and which they were to be intrusted to carry forward alone.

Christ delivers his goods to his servants, every one according to their several abilities—some more, some less, special gifts and capacities, natural gifts and endowments, capable of being sanctified to the Lord, and consecrated to his service-for the use or abuse of which, each one must render an account. Every one is thus entrusted with a talent to be used, a work to be done for Christ, and he expects fidelity and diligence in the work.

One came at the reckoning with his work undone. It was he who had the least to do-so little, that what signified whether it be done, or left undone ? at best, the Lord could be hardly honoured ; at best, it could add but a small increase to his store. Was that excuse sufficient ? “Ah," pleads the unprofitable serrant, “ taking care of my own soul is a work of such vast concern, how can I busy myself for others ? The business of saving others is a hard service, a self-denying service-I am afraid to try; I shall be rebuffed, and frowned upon. But little is mine, and I fear to risk it in the bank of faith. The widow and the fatherless must look to others better able than I. I have no

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words for counsel; simple and unlettered, what can I do ?”
Did these cautious and timid excuses suffice ? " Thou
wicked and slothful servant;" “cast ye the unprofitable
servant into outer darkness ; there shall be weeping and
gnashing of teeth.” God's gifts cannot be hidden, and yet
returned to him entire ; for suffering them to lie idle, is
one form of wasting them.

grace will die out in the soul. One of the early fathers says, “As the corn left to lie in the barns, is consumed, being devoured of the worm, though if brought forth and cast into the field, it is multiplied and renewed again ; so also the spiritual word, if it be evermore shut up within the soul, being consumed and eaten into by sloth, envy, and decay, is quickly extinguished ; but if as on a fertile field, it is scattered on the souls of the brethren, the treasure is multiplied to them that receive it, and to Him that possessed it.”

Hiding one's talents may seem only a shrinking sensitiveness, or a harmless inefficiency. It is not, indeed, spending the Master's goods in "riotous living" like the prodigal, or wasting them like the unjust steward, or sinking them in debt like the unmerciful servant-it is only not doing all that might be done, the natural shortcoming of a distrustful and fearing spirit. But this is sin. This forfeits all. This wrecks hope. This brings under condemnation. “ Thou wicked and slothful servant.”

Are there not many interesting and amiable persons in fellowship with the churches, on whom no breath of reproach or censure ever fell, yet who at the last day may awake to this startling upbraiding of the Judge, when neglected opportunities, and unused talents in Christ's service shall weigh down the soul into utter darkness, and drag it from the light and joy of God's presence for ever ? Let us all be early warned, and with solemn self-scrutiny ask ourselves, Are we doing with diligence and fidelity that portion of the Master's work intrusted to our care? American Messenger.

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Slowly, pale orb, let not those golden streams
Of exhaled beauty yet withhold their ray.
The golden lamps whose unextinguished beams
Burn in the corridor of Heaven for age,
Hare not with wonted grandeur ceased to deck
High Heaven's resplendent roof, then why
Drag thy deserting beam adown the sky,
While sable night comes darkling o'er thy track.
How like the evanescent joys of earth,
Affection's bond, of friendship, or of love,
Youth's dewy shower of buoyant, jocund mirth,
And all the delusive hopes that beckoning move
In the sanguinary prospect, these impart
An halo of serenity around the heart;
But whilst the soul joys in the exquisite ray,
Retracing their bright steps they flee away.

J. O. B.

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The Rev. Mr. Tennant, of New Jersey, America, states, that a young man of his congregation, by trade carpenter, of industrious habits, and good conduct, addicted himself to the drinking of ardent spirits ; and from being remarkable for regularity and sobriety, became equally remarkable for idleness and vice. While pursuing this line of conduct, and neglecting his wife and children, he one night dreamed, that returning from one of his drunken revels, and getting as far as the head of his own stairs, he fell from the top to the bottom, and broke his neck, but opened his eyes in hell! Here his ears were deafened by the most boisterous sounds, such as he was accustomed to hear when frequenting the crowded taproom, filled with persons of every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, all seemingly enjoying themselves, and each roaring more lustily than another over their cups, which were abundantly supplied by the governor, to whom he turned, and said, 'What abominable lies they tell us in the other world ! They would make us believe that

hell is a place of endless fire and brimstone, where sinners are to be kept burning to all eternity; but here is all mirth and jollity! I think I should like this place mighty well.' When, all of a sudden, every eye fixed on bim with a horrid glare, as if to give him the lie, and rising from their seats, each tore open a cloak, which before hid them from his view, and presented a solid body of living fire, from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot!

On seeing this fearful sight, he grew pale and dumb with horror and awe; his very soul seemed to die within him, and he besought the governor to let him “ escape for his life.”

“No, no,” said the governor," there is no discharge from this place ; you see thousands coming in, but none going out.”

“Oh, but," said the young man, “ if I had known what a place of horror this was, I should have lived a different life, and never have come to this place of torment, I implore of you to let me out on any condition."

“Well,” said the governor, “I will let you go out on one condition, and that is, that you return here this day twelvemonths."

“I will," said he, flying from the pit of destruction, which effort awoke him out of his dream.

Scared out of his life, he flew from his bed to unburden his mind to his long-neglected minister, who heard him with extreme concern. Mr. Tennant told him that it was of the Lord's mercy he was now out of hell; and if he did not hear the dreadful warning, repent, and begin a new course of life, God would certainly cut short his life, and he would reap the fruit of his doings through an eternity in hell, “where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” He told him likewise from the Scriptures, that“ now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation," -"to-day, if you will hear his voice, harden not your heart."

The young man determined to lead a new course of life ; accordingly he forsook his former company, applied himself cheerfully to work, and soon had the delight of

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