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ice, and the terrible wetting which followed, were soon forgotten, at least for a time, as he was called to the presence of his angry parent, to answer for the twofold sin of disobeying him, and breaking the Sabbath.
And the punishment which followed, though severe, was less than the desert. How true that “the way of transgressors is hard.” So felt the young Sabbathbreaker, when the ice gave way, when splashing in the water, when cold and shivering he reached the shore, when in the presence of his offended father, and subsequently, when smarting from the punishment that was inflicted. And now, my young friends, I hope you will profit by the sin, the danger, and punishment of the Sabbath-breaker and the ice. And as you would not like to share his fate, pray to God to keep you from the sin which led to it. First, disobedience to parents, and secondly, disobedience to God.
WAS IT BY CHANCE ?
In the winter of 1854, a fine new iron ship sailed out of Liverpool with a large number of passengers, who were leaving their native country to seek their fortunes in the far distant golden land of Australia. A lad about fifteen years of age had been committed by his parents to the charge of a family of emigrants, and was hastening from his home in one of the midland counties to embark, looking forward with all the eagerness of youth to the excitements and novelties of a life in that land which had no doubt been pictured to his imagination as one of delight and wealth. A slight accident to the train in which he travelled detained him a few hours, and when he reached Liverpool the ship had sailed. Bitterly disappointed, he returned to his home, lamenting the unlucky chance that had so suddenly put an end to his cherished hopes and golden dreams. A few days later came the appalling news that the ship which had sailed amid the high hopes of so many hearts, had been totally lost on the coast of Ireland, and all on board, save only two or three, had been engulphed in the raging waves.
How then was the grief and disappointment of this youth and his parents turned to joy and gratitude to God for his preservation. Did the detention of the railway train happen by chance ?
A young man, well known to the writer, who had been visiting Europe during the past winter, was about to return to this his native land, and when on his way to the office to engage his passage by the Pacific met, by chance, a friend, who after much urging persuaded him to delay his departure till the sailing of the next steamer, so that he might join a party of friends who were to sail on board of her. He came safely home, and expected to find that the Pacific had arrived at her appointed time, and that his friends would be anxious on account of his non-arrival. Alas, the fate of that devoted ship may remain a terrible mystery, to be revealed only when the sea shall give up its dead. Does the widowed mother of that young man, when she looks on him with gratitude for his escape from such a dreadful death, ascribe to chance his meeting with his friend in the street of Liverpool ?
A gentleman residing on the lovely winding Connecticut, for many years an attendant at a church where Jesus was not preached that he is the Lord, was going as usual on a Sabbath morning last winter to his accustomed place of worship, accompanied by his little daughter. The enow and sleet drove pitilessly, and his dwelling being far from the church, was almost exhausted with facing the keen and cutting storm, ere they had proceeded more than half the distance, so that the father determined to return, when, casting his eyes around, he noticed accidentally a beautiful church, which had never until now attracted his attention. He felt a desire or curiosity to turn in and hear what kind of preaching was in such a church. On entering he was struck by the earnestness of the prayer offered by the pastor, and particularly by a fervent petition that God would bless the preaching of his word to any stranger who might be providentially present. This
seemed so specially adapted to him, that he listened with great attention, and for the first time heard of Christ the Lord, who gave himself as an atonement for the sins of men. The Spirit applied the word with power to his heart, and at the close of the services he felt that he had found something that was suited to his case as a sinner: In the evening he again entered that place of worship, where again he heard of the love of Jesus, which so rejoiced his heart that he related all to his wife on his return home, saying, “I have now found the truth-something substantial to rest upon." He now resolved to attend regularly ; and it was not long ere he saw that he must depend upon the merits of another for his salvation ; and he is now" rejoicing in God his Saviour.”
Who will suppose that the circumstance of this man's entering the church where Christ was preached was an accident, or the result of chance ?
No, there is no such thing as chance in this world, which is governed and upheld by an ever-present and almighty God.- American Messenger.
AN EXAMPLE OF PERSEVERANCE
Charlotte Elizabeth Brown, or Mrs. Tonnor, is well known as one of the most enterprising and devoted women of our day. Though signalized by not a few peculiarities, which none perhaps wish to imitate, her life, subsequent to her conversion, was a fine example of the intense devotedness of a Christian female's heart, and of the large success which the God of all grace may grant to it. She was deaf, and was naturally drawn towards those afflicted like herself. During a sojourn in Ireland, part of her time was occupied in teaching some boys who were deaf. One of her pupils was not merely deaf and dumb, but so stupid moreover, that all attempts to convey ideas into his mind appeared likely to be baffled.
But “he that believeth does not make haste ;" and Charlotte Elizabeth did not hastily abandon her undertaking, nor was she left without her reward. By pains and perseverance, the latent intellect of her ward began to appear, and that encouraged, while it repaid her. Salvation, and the way to it, formed of course her master-aim, as a Christian dealing with a soul ; for she was one of those who believe that all is solemn trilling, or akin to insanity on man's part, till Salvation from sin and death be made sure.
But if Charlotte Elizabeth had experienced much difficulty in conveying right ideas of material things into the dark mind of her pupil, how much more when she came to tell of the spiritual, the heavenly, and Divine ? Accordingly, the mind upon which she put forth her energies, stoutly refused to receive the idea of God-a spiritual and invisible Being. He could not be seen, or handled, and therefore did not exist, was the reasoning of this Surdmute, and all may recognise in it the same amount of knowledge and soundness as exists in the reasoning of Atheists of a different class.
But this ingenious teacher was not to be baffled. She brought a current of air to play upon the cheek of her ward. She then asked him if he saw the air, or could he touch it, and as he could do neither, his difficulty disappeared. New thoughts rose up in his mind. The Saviour and his religion were gradually made known; and the boy heretofore so dark and piteous, and defective, awoke to a new world-he became a remarkable mapifestation of the power of grace.
It was pains and prayer rewarded; it was another soul added to the great family which are named after Christ. But even this is not all. At the age of nineteen-seven or eight years after his training commenced this youth died, and his death was that of a triumphant believer. Never did a case more signally display the power of the Spirit of God. Never was a soul more remarkably rescued from death and darkness, and never was success in life, success of the highest type, that which reclaims the soul, more mani. festly granted as the reward of faith, and pains, and prayer, in the Redeemer's cause. “ She shall shine as the stars for ever and ever."
This case might suffice for the purpose for which it has been introduced ; to show the effects which are sure to follow from well-directed efforts, however unpromising the materials may appear. Who would hesitate resolutely to prosecute any proper system of self-culture after such results as these ? But to show that this is not singular, we intend, submitting another case next month.
THE SPECIAL AIR OF CHILDREN ENLISTED
IN BEHALF OF CHRISTIAN MISSIONS. My dear young friends,
A few weeks ago I received a letter from one of our Missionaries in Australia, which spoke of the increasing demand for labourers in that Colony, and of the necessity of an immediate supply of men from England. Since my letter came to hand, I have read in the Mis. sionary Report still further encouraging accounts, and the cry of the people is, “ Come over and help us.” Now it struck me that the children of Sunday-schools might undertake, and do themselves the great honour of sending out several Missionaries, by their own endeavours. I don't mean to say that you should pay the whole amount out of your own pockets, nothing of the sort. But I will point out to you a plan by which you may accomplish the work in one week. In the first place let me tell you that the work must be your own, and not the work of the teachers and members of the church. Who was it that collected the money to build the ship “ John Williams?” it was the children of the Sundayschools. Remember I am not asking you to get money to build a large ship, for that would require so many thousand pounds, but I want you to see, that if children by their united efforts could raise money enough to build a very large and beautiful ressel, you need not despair of raising