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endeavour a smile breaks over his features. From the land of the rising sun comes an angel, who touches and awakes him, and holding a casket full of precious gifts from the All-wise and good, says to him, " Use these for thy Master, and blessing shall be thine." The angel vanishes, and all at once the youth sees a road stretching upward from before him; thorns are strewn upon it, heavy clouds overhang it; but, sloping upward through the air, its farther end is lost in the land of the rising sun, while a glorious city is dimly seen on high. As he looks, a voice cries unto him, “My son, bestrew thy gifts on wisdom's path." Attracted by the sound, he leaps to his feet and is ready to run along the path ; but looking around, another scene called up as by the wand of a magician arrests his notice. A magnificent forest resounds with music and laughter. Birds are singing, brooks murmur music as they flow, trees waving in the golden sunshine seem to clap their hands in triumph, while birds and brooks and trees and flowers unite in one grand hallelujah to the great Creator. At first it seems so to the youth; but he is in doubt when, through the trees, he can faintly hear the sounds of woe and catch glimpses of a lurid glare. A mystic influence draws him to the wood, an influence which he knows he can resist, but to which he would like to yield were it not for the lurid glare behind. But a voice whispers to him out of the wood,“ Perhaps you may never reach the end of either road. Take what is best for the present.” He does so, and when he plunges into the forest, clouds and darkness rush round the sun, clothing it in sackcloth.
For a time the youth revels amongst scenes of beauty and gladness; all nature seems to welcome her child ; and so long as his gifts are strewn around, song answers to song, and the wood resounds with mirth and music. But as his angel gifts become few and far between, the companions who laughed so loudly with him, now laugh as loudly at him, the trees lose their foliage, and become gnarled and stunted, leafless and decayed. The song of the lark gives place to the croak of the raven, the earth swallows the rivulets, and the heavens belch forth their thunders. Yet he presses on, nor thinks at all of going back. He drinks from a solitary fountain, but its waters are as gall and wormwood, and he spits them out in disgust. His clothes are torn, his limbs bare and bleeding, his heart harder and darker, yet he staggers on, grinding his teeth in agony and cursing the God of heaven.
Behind him all is dark and frowning; before him a yawning gulf, horrible in its hungry darkness ; beneath him, hot and blistering rocks; above him, a leaden, relentless sky. In his clenched hand he holds yet one precious pearl, and if he use it aright, he may perchance retrace his steps.
For a moment he looks at the jewel, and the forest stands in hushed expectancy; and from behind him he can faintly hear a voice, saying, " Come back, my son, come back.” But with a wild laugh on his face, he hisses through his teeth, “Too late, too late ;” and tossing his last gift and last hope into the gulf, he throws his hands upward and
plunges after it into outer darkness; and the gulf closing around a lost immortal, I wailed aloud, turned sadly away, and saw him no more.
Thou, noble youth, who readest this, come tell me my dream. Is it not a picture of many whom thou knowest, who have begun life by choosing the vanities and frivolities of earth rather than the enduring realities of eternity ? and to you does not a voice now descend from the upper world, Beware lest thou also shouldst thus be led astray? As thy soul shrinks from corruption in all its forms, what must it be if thou, too, with such splendid possibilities, shouldst reap corruption ? For ere long, when thou hast enjoyed life to the full, and despised the quiet paths of godliness,—when you have turned night into day with revelry, and surrounded thyself with all the fairy creations of wealth, after you have sown your wild oats amidst song and dance and sparkling repartee, you will awaken with the sad wail, “Behold, it was a dream.” Then those laws of thy nature which have been long outraged will arise in all their grandeur and inflict terrible retribution. "Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for what a man soweth that shall he also reap.” And thus a life which might have ended in triumph amidst the last splendours of a good life, is finished in darkness and dismay, amidst the tears of the sufferer, the anguish of wise friends, and the sorrow of those angels of light, who, turning away for ever from a lost soul, leave him alone with an angry conscience. Beware then, lest this be thy fate; grasp firmly thy remaining gifts, and hold them before thee to guide thee through the gloomy forest back to the realms of eternal day.
THE PURSE OF GOLD.
A TRUE STORY. SARAH GOODWIN was the name of a | a neighbour and the constant aid of poor seamstress, residing in a large her poor little boys. It was touch. city. She was not wholly friend- ing to behold their kind ways and to less; but those whom she knew, and | hear their gentle words. Every. who would have aided her in her body said that they would be blessed struggles, were very poor, and in coming years for their thoughtcould not. So she, a widow withful love. four boys from the ages of four to Morning and night they read nine years, struggled through win together the Bible, and there they ter's cold and summer's heat, pro found a Saviour-even Him who viding her little family with bread, had loved them, and given Himself and that was all. Her boys were for them. The widow was a humgood children, always in their home ble believer, and rejoiced in hope after nightfall, and giving their that her sins were forgiven her mother every halfpenny of their through the merits of Jesus, whom little earnings, as often as they she truly loved. found work to do. At last the The widow recovered; but it was mother fell sick, and through a now the middle of a bitter winter, weary illness she had no other at and their little stock of fuel was tendance save the occasional help of nearly gone. As soon as her
strength permitted, she walked she saw the stranger enter. She through the cold of a cheerless day | knew him by the long hair which to the shop of her employer, and curled to his shoulders; and, timidly told his manager her sad story. crossing the street, she made her But he said it was hard times; her way into the hall, and there, bewil. illness had made room for others as dered by the light, she knew not badly off as herself; and they had what to say, till twice asked by a not one stitch of work to give her. servant what she wanted. Of course, With a sinking heart, but praying, she could do no more than describe to keep her courage up, the poor the stranger by his tall stature and woman toiled on from shop to shop, flowing air. But he had already until it became late; and, what with gone out again; she must call on tears and the darkness, she could the morrow, they said, and ask for hardly see her way home.
Mr. Ashcraft. "If Mr. Hart had himself been The next morning, having eaten there," she said to herself, bending nothing,---for she could not touch a to the strong wind, and drawing her farthing of the money,-she was adscanty shawl closer about her form, mitted into the room where sat the “I know he would have given me stranger. He arose as she entered, work.”
and gazed with a curious air till As she whispered thus through she presented the purse. Then he her chattering teeth, a tall gentle started with pleased surprise, laid man passed by her, and as he did so, down his paper, took the gold and something fell to the ground and carefully counted it over. lay upon the crusted snow. Sarah “It is all safe,” he said, “you paused; she had heard the noise have not taken--" made by the little packet, and a “Not one piece, sir,” she cried strange feeling led her to search for eagerly, trembling as she spoke. it. Oh, joy! it was a purse, heavy “You seem poor,” remarked the and filled to the brim; yellow and stranger. shining lay the gold within, as she “I am poor,” she replied. Carried it towards a lighted win “Got a family, I suppose ?” dow.
“Four little boys, sir; I am a “My poor boys, they shall want widow.” food no more !" she cried; "this is “Humph! so I suppose; that's gold! I think that God must have the old story." put it in my way, for He saw I was “Ask Mr. Hart, the tailor,” cried in despair."
the widow, stepping forward a little; Suddenly, like a flash of light- | “he knows me well; he knows that ning, the thought occurred to though I am poor I am honest.” Sarah, that not one halfpenny of the A bright red spot burned on her treasure was honestly hers. But a cheeks as she spoke, and she forced moment she lingered, pressing the back the tears. money with her numbed fingers, the “Now confess," said the stranger, sorrowful tears chasing down her rising and walking to and fro before thin cheeks; then, starting forward the fire," tell me, did you not expect to find the owner of the purse, she a large reward for this P” walked hurriedly up the street, fear “I did think, perhaps—” and she ful that the temptation, should she turned with quivering lips to the arrive at her poor room and see her door. hungry children, might prove too “Stop, stop !" cried the stranger; strong for her honesty.
“you know you would never have Opposite a great hotel, as she returned the purse had you not stood thinking which way to take, expected to be well paid for it.”
“Sir!" said the widow, her voice thrusting his hand into that place, rising beyond its usual tone, and when, lo! out came the very purse her thin form erect,
the widow had returned that morn. The stranger paused, holding the ing, with five pieces of gold still in purse in his hand; then drawing forth a small coin, offered it to her. A scene of joyous confusion fol.
For a moment she drew back; | lowed, and the voice of prayer but then remembering that her ascended from Sarah Goodwin's full poor boys were hungry at home, heart. Again and again she looked and in bed because there was no at the glittering treasure. It seemed fire, she burst into tears as she took a fortune to her. How her heart it, saying, “ This will buy bread for ran over with gratitude to God and my poor children,” and hurrying the stranger! away, she buried the bitterness of She could not rest, till, throwing that morning in her own heart. on her bonnet, with cheeks glowing
It was four o'clock on the same now with hope and happiness, she day. Sarah Goodwin sat by a ran back to the hotel to pour forth scanty fire, busy in sewing patches her thanks. on the very poor clothes of her four A carriage stood at the door laden boys.
with trunks behind. The driver “Run to the door, Jimmy," she mounted the seat as she had reached said to the eldest, as a loud knock the steps, and, turning her head, was heard.
there within sat the stranger. She “Oh, mother!” the boy cried, had not time to speak; but he nodreturning, “a big bundle for us! ded his head, as he saw her with What is it? What can it be?”
clasped hands standing there, and a “Work for me, perhaps," said the prayer on her lips. Sarah never widow, untying the large package, saw the stranger again. She took a when suddenly there came to light little shop and stocked it well, and four suits of grey clothes, with four put her boys to school. To-day she neat, black, shining caps, each ex is the owner of a respectable shop. actly fitting to the heads of her boys. Of her four boys, two are ministers, Almost overcome with wonder, the one is a doctor, and the other a widow fell on her knees, her eyes thriving tradesman. fixed on the words, “A present for Nobody knows where the man the fatherless;" while the boys, lay- with the flowing hair has gone; but ing hold of their suits of clothes, if he is living, and should ever hear jumped about the floor shouting of Sarah Goodwin, he will have the with glee.
joy of knowing the noble results “What's in the pocket, here of this generous deed towards the what's in the pocket ? cried Jimmy, | worthy woman and her four boys.
THE CHRISTIAN'S LIFE-COURSE.—The new life of the converted is like the morning light. At first it seems an uncertain struggle between the darkness and the dawn. It quivers long in the balance. At one moment the watcher thinks, surely yonder is a streak of light: the next he says with a sigh, it was an illusion : night yet reigns over all. When the contest begins, however, the result is not doubtful, although it may for a time appear so. The first and feeblest streaks of light that come mingling with the darkness, have issued from the sun; and the sun that sent these harbingers, though distant yet, is
steadily advancing. Ere long the doubt will vanish, and morning will be unequivocally declared. Once begun, it shineth more and more unto the perfect day; and it is perfect day when the sun has risen, as compared with the sweet but feeble tints of earliest dawning. Sometimes there are irregularities and backgoings. Clouds deep and dark creep in between the sun and the world's surface. After the morning has so far advanced, the darkness may increase again; but even in this case, the source of light is coming near without any faltering. The impediment which has partially intercepted his rays is movable, and will soon be taken out of the way. There are similar irregularities in the progress of a just man's course. Sometimes he halts, or even recedes. After experiencing the light of life, and exulting in a blessed hope, he again comes under a cloud, and complains of darkness. But the Source of his light and life will not fail. He changeth not; and therefore that seed of Jacob, though distressed, will not be consumed.
OUR MISSIONS:-CONVERSIONS. In the Annual Report it is stated from professing openly that Jesus that upwards of 600 persons have was his Saviour. He has been a been baptized during the past year. candidate for baptism for more than Every one of these has a * story of a year. By the goodness of God he grace" to tell. Varied as may be the was baptized on the 27th September experience of these converts, they last in the Colingah chapel. Afterall owe their conversion to the same wards, as he was very desirous to Spirit, and are proofs to us that God acquire more knowledge, and as he is working with the missionaries and is a promising and intelligent young prospering the work of their hands. | man, he was sent to Serampore ColIt will be interesting to select a few lege by Mr. Sale." cases, and to see in what various The next example of Divine grace ways sinners in heathen lands are is related by Mr. Morgan, of Howled to the Saviour.
rah. The Brahmin caste, to which The first relates to a youth in the this youth belonged, regards all mission school at Baraset, a station manual labour as degrading. BrahDear Calcutta, where two native mins will become soldiers, or accept brethren are diligently striving to situations which do not require them bring sinners to God. “One of our to soil their hands with toil, so that school-boys," says Ram Krishna, when a Brahmin becomes an artisan, "Jogendronath Gangooly by name, as this youth has done, it is a sure having received some Scripture sign that he is a changed man. knowledge, and having read several “Two years ago,” says Mr. Mortracts, and the New Testament gan, “I reported the baptism of a through, and some parts of the Old young Brahmin, and that he conTestament, was convinced of the sented to work as a mechanic on the truth of Christianity. He forsook railway; he has steadily worked Hinduism, and began to study the there ever since, and is an expert bible seriously. He prayed often, workman. and attended Divine service, for “I married him this year to a rewhich he was persecuted in various i spectable native Christian girl, who ways. But nothing could deter him was employed in visiting respectable