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that Nabal was a great coward as well as a coarse blusterer. When be heard of David's indignation, “ his heart died within him, and be became as a stone.” It would seem as if the weight of his own craven fears helped to sink him into the grave. Possibly his own cowardice was the instrument with which the Lord smote him; and the terrors of his guilty, cowardly spirit, were the disease of which he died. This much is certain, be perished for his sins. There is no hint that be was indoient or dishonest, or that his wealth had been gained by fraud and falsehood. The head and front of his offending were not seen in the way in which he had secured his prosperity, but in the spirit in which he received and used it. The very day wherein be refused relief to those who had befriended him, “ he held a feast mm house like the feast of a king.” He had an abundance of this world goods, and he saw his brother have need, and he shut up his bowel of compassion against him. He is not accused of heresy or idolatry Sabbath-breaking or blasphemy. He was utterly wanting in meek, ness and gentleness, courtesy and kindness. He would indulge me self even to gluttony and drunkenness, and vet refused his bread 1 those who were ready to perish; therefore the anger of the Lor waxed great against him, and swept him into an untimely grave. El name has become imperishable br being written in the book which to be translated into every tongue and read in every land; but I immortality which Scripture has given him is an immortality of intam He has been Lifted out of obscurity by the hand of Inspiration; DI the elevation given to him is that of the scaffold and the gibbet, 4 which he is exhibited as a warning to all mankind against those sins brutish selfishness which are infinitely obnoxious to our Father 1 heaven, Who delighteth in mercy.
"CHRISTMAS IS COMING!” “PRECIOUS little difference it makes | birthday present in my life, tha to us whether it comes or not,' re.
can remember.” marked Ike Roberts; "one of our
“It is too bad,” said his comp pleasant ways, Miss Mabel, is to
nion compassionately. “The memo take no notice of the holidays."
of those days is worth all the wol u must seem very strange not 1 to me, now that my home is brok to have presents and a Christmas
up, and I have only what is past dinner ; with your big family, I enjoy. I am more grateful to: should think you would have such
dear mother and father, for layi nice times,"
up such a store of bright memor , "I do generally enjoy the day, for for me, than I could be if I w there is no school, and I have a
ever so rich an heiress.". holiday now I'm in the shop, and
“ That talk about the sun we fellows go off skating or for a walk.
| hours of childhood' is stuff to m But sometimes I envy those that have such jolly times at home. |
said Ike bitterly. “I have had go Why, I never had a Christmas or I them; but it hasn't been in i
s at home. times enough, because I would ha one cares to remember exactly. It staying it to make it strong. There's isn't mother's fault that there has the frame done, and you have only been so little of this kind of thing to cover it neatly with pretty chintz, in our house. She'd work her or with bright cambric under white fingers off to make us happy, but muslin. Tack the cloth over the father doesn't see the need of || top, and then round the edge, and amusement; so mother has let it draw it in folds, and tie it to the go, with a thousand other things. middle of the stick, and then tack I tell you, Miss Mabel, since I have it around the bottom, and just finish been about, and seen how other peo- it off with a fringe or gimp, and ple live, I've had some pretty savage you'll have a tasteful hour-glass thoughts about matters here, and stand for your mother's present.” have just made up my mind that I “That is a first-rate idea. I can won't be bored staying in in the easily make the frame out of an old evenings, and that as soon as I can box at the shop; and I dare say I I will be off to the city to find my can get it into the frock you propose, own fortune and pleasure. Now teil seeing it is to be hammered instead of me, after standing it two weeks, do sewed. One of those black walnut yon blame me?"
brackets would please Sarah, if "Instead of this, let us talk of you'll draw a pattern for the carvChristmas, Ike,” said Mabel, but
ing." with a look that showed how fully * With pleasure. And suppose she sympathised with her boy-friend. you make some hanging shelves for "Don't you think we can get up some Tom's school-books. The poor boy kitle gifties this year? There are has to scold every day because three weeks yet, and at least we can Harry and Puss get them to build make merry for the children.”
houses with.” "If we ask father for presents, he “ Brilliant idea number three, will say, as usual, that those who which makes me think that some have to earn money know its worth;' toys in the way of box waggons and and I'm sorry to say that my ex painted blocks would keep those chequer is low just now.”
young persons from that extremity "We should never think of asking for amusement. It is strange I for presents; we must make them. never thought of doing any of these The value doesn't count; it is only things before, instead of growling the good feeling shown, and the fun for the lack of them. Can you think of keeping lots of secrets, and then of anything likely to be acceptable enjoying the surprises on Christmas to the governor, Miss Mabel po morning. I'm sure we can do some “I think I'd restrict my offering thing.".°
to the family—any way to private "Nothing would suit me better; life,” replied Mabel demurely. only tell me what to do. I am quite “Oh, you know well enough that a novice, you know.”
I mean father-tell me what to give “Only yesterday," said Mabel, him.” "you were lamenting because there "If you will make him a draught are no ornaments and 'little con board, I will coax him to leave his veniences in the house; suppose you paper, and play some evening.” make some. Your mother needs a Ike looked dubious, and said he stand in this room, for her work would obey, and just then Mr. basket, and you can manufacture Roberts opened the front door, and one easily. Saw two pieces of board | almost instantly the tea-bell rang; round, about the size of the top of for it was well understood that a barrel, and nail one on each end of patient waiting was not among this å stick the right height, of course worthy man's virtues.
The meals were dismal seasons, i concluded that, even with Mabel and Mabel did not blame Ike for Percy there, and “Christmas comcalling them “feeding times.” The ing,” staying at home was a bore. table was always bountifully spread, The next morning Sarah came to but without the least attempt at | Mabel's room to display an elaborate taste, and table-talk was an unknown list she had prepared for her intendluxury. Mr. Roberts always ate ed gifts. rapidly, with an abstracted, ungenial 1 “Now for mother,” she said. "I look, not at all in keeping with the am going to make a sofa cushion thanks he always repeated before out of an old pillow, and cover it beginning. His wife had an air of with patch like Ike's stand, and wanting moral elbow room as she crochet a tidy for it. For Ike, a sat behind the tea-tray, and while toilet set-brush, box, and pineating nervously hushed the children, cushion ; Tom, skatebag; Harry, and watched her lord, as though ever knit wristers; Pussy, rag doll, nicely dreading some outburst of displea- | dressed." Then Sarah finished her sure—which, howerer, never came. list, hiding the announcement, If it had, the air might have been “needle-book," after Mabel's name, clearer after the storm. There is with her hand. something drearily depressing in "You have done famously,” said the lowering cloud which neither Mabel; “but what for your father?" sends forth lightning nor dispels be "That's just what I want to fore the breeze. One such presence | know," said Sarah. will make unhealthful and chilling “There are some beautiful Au. the atmosphere of any home, and tumn leaves pressed in one of your this household had nerer known any
school-books; make a wreath of other.
them for your father." After tea, Mrs. Roberts went to “Miss Vabel! what do you put Pussy to bed, and Tom and mean:" cried Sarah, laughing," Harry escaped to their own room, ' wreath for father-ha! ha!” choosing a frolie in the cold and I don't mean for his head, child dart to the weariness of keeping ba: a picture; and I'll show you how quiet in the parlour, whicher Ver to make a home-made passe-partou Roberts retreated with his paper. frame for it; and I wouldn't forget snd where Mabel ard Ike and Sarah' c 3 Bridget-a calico apron or liner were won iscussing the Chrismas car will make her happy all day project in low tones After s maze sad chidie, your fingers will have Mrs Roberts broeght her words, to s to accomplish all this. You and there was so attempt made se bod better take your crochet to general conversationbrai babe school to do at play-time.”
-Ard I will get up early, as ] Madei tangan ses she decat sbcci bare doe this morning. I never the mo s hat there was se hace eli so wiling to be industrious ir lare o home in the renalar rir Ere said Sarah, heartily. ruang heats that are we be calls upon Mabel's wisdon hers threr Tom Wis 202 were so constant during the busy partire a szar ver
d ers that wowed, that she had band Awers
the time for her own schemes * VER T r e
pretty lamp shade, papei has been select
the worsted balls, and water-coloui all No
de sabes somehow grew under her se maradh*
. 1ooch, and were hid away Pren d
wasserted in her trunk. she wil
he was in the Besides sdrising about all the different things she had suggested, “If the things are needed, I supthe young lady must help Tom pose they may as well come now as to devise a rustic cross to stand on any time," was the reply; and Mrs. Sarah's present that was to be; and Roberts was happy as she relapsed a card-board vase, adorned with tiny | into silence, and thought over what bright leaves, to hold lamplighters; to select, and how she could manage and a tasteful pasteboard bag to to get the things made up in time hang against the parlour wall for and without raising suspicion. holding papers.
Then Harry must be rescued from Christmas eve was come, and as a fit of the dumps, on account of his Mr. Roberts opened the hall door, helpless youth, by the assurance that the rest of the family were gathered he could melt the honey-comb into in the parlour, admiring the effect of pretty shapes of wax; and that some the evergreen festoons and wreaths, bits of cloth would make nice pen that gave to the parlour, and the wipers for his father and the boys ; dining-room as well, a refreshing air and that pictures cut from old of cheerfulness, and the mingled papers would charm Pussy. And voices sounded like music, even to even her little ladyship insisted upon Mr. Roberts's ear; and there was a preparing some valuable token for new softness in his face, when, after each member of the family, taking a few minutes, he passed through endless pains to impress upon Mabel the festooned door, over which a that she was not to expect the card, illuminated by Mabel, offered earthen cat that had mysteriously a Christmas greeting. vanished from the child's scant As soon as tea was over, all disstore of treasures.
persed to finish up the last arrange“Mr. Roberts," said his wife one ments; and after a short consultaevening, “ what do you think of the tion with Mabel, Mr. Roberts went children's plans for Christmas ?” into the town as he said—“on
"I don't think on the subject,” business.” was the reply.
Pussy pleaded that stockings | "But you must see how much in- | should be hung around the stove; terested they are," persisted his wife but Mabel objected that Santa Claus with unusual firmness. “It is very could never drive his reindeer team pleasant, as Mabel says, to see them down through the long stovepipe; all so intent upon delighting each and so the table was drawn into the other. There never was so little middle of the room, on which were quarreling in the house before; nor placed, amid much excitement and so little idleness,” she added.
merriment, the various packages"Humph!” uttered Mr. Roberts; only Ike's “flour-barrel " had to lie " of course they never think of what alongside. When all was completed they will get in return for their for the morrow, Mr. Roberts were pains."
still absent, and Sarah whispered to "Indeed, they don't seem to; still, Mabel that “after all, father didn't it would seem hard to give them like it, and that half spoiled her nothing, when I know they will have pleasure.” something for us. There are a few “Never fear that, dear,” said things-dresses for the girls, and Mabel, cheerily; "only all take my caps for the boys—that they must advice, and go to bed. I think he have soon, any way; and I was will like better to find the house thinking that it would do as well to quiet when he comes in ;” and get them now; and Ike-I would having regarded Mabel as the oracle like to give him some useful article. so long, they soon dispersed, and How does it strike you?”
presently heard the front door, and then the parlour door open, and close | No, here are lots of sugar-plums, as again: and after that, “ All through though more sweets were needed the house not a creature was stir than we have tasted already!" In ring—not even a mouse," till Christ spite of this little speech, however, mas morning dawned, clear and this last discovery did not seem to beautiful.
be looked upon as superfluous; and At seven o'clock, as agreed, the if Mr. Roberts had eaten it all himparlour was invaded by the expectant self, he could not, as Sarah said, household; and after much confusion have been nicer all that day. of tongues, Ike, who was to act as And what a glad day it was, to be Santa Claus, and was dressed in furs sure! What with disposing of the and a mask to suit the character, new adornments about the parlour, distributed the presents, all of which | and trying the new skates, and the were duly admired. When the table games, and peeping into the new was emptied, and the hour-glass books, and eating the nice dinner had ceased to be a flour-barrel,
in the new fineries, the children Santa Claus suddenly discovered thought there had never a day flowr yet new mysteries hid under the so swiftly; and the evening was no table.
less pleasantly passed with play: “Ah! what is this?” he cried, and merry talk, in which father and “ for Mrs. Roberts—a picture, mo mother joined with no less zest thar ther," quite forgetting his part as | the young people. Saint Nicholas, “and it's a perfect “O dear," sighed Pussy, when a beauty, too!” And so it was, an last her sleepy head sank upon th engraving after one of Landseer's soft sofa-cushion, “I'm so sorry i gems, framed in black walnut. “And ain't Christmas every day!” here,” continued Ike, when the de "Perhaps," said Mrs. Roberts lighted tumult had subsided, “here “we might make every day a litti are three books, one for Miss Mabel like it. Don't you think so, James ? Percy, one for Sarah, and-why, this It sounded oddly, that Christia is just the very thing I have been name, instead of the stiff “Mister; wanting, father, I'm sure I'm hugely but not more so than the quiet,“ obliged. What is this P a doll, Puss: think it is worth while to try it, m it's just the size of Miss Raga dear,” that was responded. muffin. I advise you to borrow a A hush fell on the circle as the gown for her. And Harry, allow me sat among those Christmas green to congratulate you upon the fulfil but none of the old restraint was it ment of your highest hopes, and it, and all felt instinctively that th present you with some skates. Tom, spell was broken, for that Christma here are a game, and a puzzle, and was come into their midst at last. lastly, a calico-dress for Bridget.
THE FATHER'S ATTITUDE.*
BY THE REV. J. CULROSS, D.D. How does God stand affected towards us? He is the high and lof One who inhabiteth eternity: does He think of creatures so low as y
* From “ Emmanuel; or, The Father Revealed in Jesus." By JAMES CULROSS, D. (London : J. Nisbet & Co.) We have much pleasure in commending this work, by writer who has often enriched our pages, to all the readers of The Church.