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But now I know how fading

Are all things on the earth ;
Death's ebon wing was shading,

At the hour of my birth.
Mine was a happy life, mother,

And many a sunny hour
I've spent alone with you,

In our cool and shady bower.

And yet it was not ever

With all our days of gladness,
That our hearts were free from sorrow,

Our eyes undimmed by sadness.
But I am hastening, mother,

To that mansion in the skies,
Where not one bitter tear

Shall ever dim my eyes.

Even now my feet are laving

In the dark, cold waves of death;
And at every step grows shorter

My faint, expiring breath.
Farewell, my precious mother;

Weep not, for all is well ;
This hour, in brightest glory,

With Jesus I shall dwell.

West Ham.

H, E. W.

“MY CUP RUNNETH OVER.” The twenty-third Psalm is remarkable for the number of pastoral allusions it contains. By no one of the sacred writers do these appear to have been better understood, or more frequently and appropriately quoted, than by the author of this beautiful Psalm once the shepherd-boy of Bethlehem. In his event

P

ful history many little incidents are mentioned, and among his recorded experiences there are many touching references, pointing to places, and scenes, and circumstances, which had been treasured amongst the memories of bygone years. These bear testimony to the trials and dangers attendant upon a shepherd's life; but they also show how valuable was the knowledge which, at a very early age, he possessed, and how great were the skill and courage with which he performed the duties of his daily, although perilous, occupation.

Young as he was, and not much assisted, or thought about, by his elder brothers, David seems to have been well instructed in the business of feeding and folding his father's sheep. On leaving home in the morning, he knew where to choose the best pasture-ground. With a practised eye, such as can only be acquired in out-of-door employments, he watched the changes of weather and of seasons; keeping near to the gentlyflowing streams, on the banks of which the herbage would always be fresh and nutritious. When the sky was cloudless, and the sun high in the heavens, shelter was necessary. He would then conduct his charge where they could lie down on the cool side of some lofty or overhanging rock. At evening, as the shadows lengthened, and darkness came on apace, by the safest and shortest route he led the

way

homewards; knowing nothing of fear even when passing along some of those deep and dark ravines which might easily suggest thoughts about the valley of the shadow of death.

From all we know of David, at his entrance into public life, it is reasonable to believe that, notwithstanding what some would have considered its dangers and its hardships, he enjoyed the solitude of the wil. derness. There he probably cultivated his talent for music-an accomplishment in which he delighted, and in which, according to the taste and knowledge of the age, he evidently excelled. Nor must we limit our thoughts to the lyre — attractive and elevating as were its sweet sounds, when elicited by the hand of him who has earned for himself an undying reputation as “ the sweet singer of Israel.” This was not the only reason why he loved to wander far away from home, and friends, and the busy haunts of men. Touched by the Spirit of God, his young heart was moved by nobler impulses than those of personal grati. fication. He had learned that

“ The calm retreat, the silent shade,

With prayer and praise agree;" and, whilst seeking the guidance of his heavenly Father's hand, and listening to the whisperings of his mercy, he was girding himself for the exercise of strong faith, and for the conflicts, and sorrows, and disappointments, he had to bear inuch sooner than he expected.

Years passed away. The boy grew to be a man. The shepherd became a king. In the maturity of age, and most likely during a period of domestic quietness, and national prosperity, he wrote the Psalm from which we have quoted the expression of grateful acknowledgment, placed at the head of this paper. Let us ponder over it; in the hope of finding instruction suitable to the circumstances of every reader. We have abstained from referring to passages of Scripture, and marking quotations, because we think that will be a profitable occupation for our readers. They should write, for their own guidance, a detailed account of David's early history.

“MY CUP RUNNETH OVER.”—Is it not a significant emblem of a plentiful supply of temporal blessings ? The cup not only full but overflowing! Let us think of the numberless mercies which are new every morning, continued throughout the day, and again renewed at night. So accustomed are we to an uninterrupted

sessor.

supply of these blessings, that we too often forget how greatly we need them, and how much we should miss them. What a calamity it would be, if our unwearying Benefactor were to withhold some of these needful supplies only for an hour, or even a minute ! We ought to feel, and thankfully acknowledge, that one of our greatest mercies is the kindness, and forbearance, and long-suffering of God; that when we are forgetful of Him, He is never unmindful of us.

We have nothing to do with the capacity of the cup. Although one cup may be larger or smaller than another, we may be certain that the dimensions of each are accurately adjusted to the individual pos

Nor should we inquire very particularly about the qualities of the materials with which the cup is filled. These are well chosen ; exactly adapted to each case, and only require to be rightly used to yield appropriate enjoyment. It is a great, although a very common, mistake to suppose that possessing and enjoying are always proportionate to each other. There may be the means of obtaining any reasonable amount of, so-called, earthly good; but there may not be the wish, the inclination, or what is often called the heart to do so. There may be the ability to obtain, and the desire to possess; but there may not be the capacity, or capability, of enjoying. Food, and clothing, and the many other things which make a comfortable home, are in themselves unspeakably-important blessings. The means of obtaining continual and sufficient supplies of these bounties, is an additional blessing. Something more, however, is required. For the complete enjoyment, even of our every-day temporal mercies, there must be, according to age, ability, and various other circumstances, the possession of health and vigour, and the habitual exercise of physical and mental energies.

The actual quantity of what is familiarly termed this world's good, which is required to satisfy our real and daily-recurring necessities, is entirely relative. What is sufficient for one person would not be enough for another. There is no rule by which to measure the wants and wishes of different persons, any more than there is for gratifying them. On this subject, as well as many others, no two persons feel or think alike. At the same time it deserves consideration that, if we were to deduct all the fanciful and artificial wants, those which were real and essential would be fewer than they appear to be at present.

Never for a moment forgetting that, by reason of disease, and poverty, and crime, many thousands of persons endure sufferings and privations which it is not in the power of words to describe; how thankful we should be that the number is much greater of those who possess very many of the things which are sufficient for comfort and enjoyment—who are able to say, “My cup runneth over," although it may not be said of any of them, tható They have more than heart could wish.” Nothing which has here been stated must be

supposed as being in any way intended to discourage the use of all lawful means for the acquisition of property and the increase of earthly comforts. There are m

many, who, on looking back to the period of their outset in life, whilst acknowledging that goodness and mercy have followed, or rather, perhaps, preceded them all their days, are reminded that their cup is much larger than it was at the beginning. It has always been full -always running over—but its capacity has been constantly increasing. There is no sin, although there are many dangers, in being rich. The sin associated with the possession of riches, consists in setting the heart too intently upon them; using them improperly, or neglecting to use them in the right way; loving the creature more than the Creator; receiving his gifts, but forgetting the Giver.

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