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and men around, smoking and lounging, while the alley was full of customers.
Come, let's go to the alley,” cried one of the boys, “it will be fun. Father would not like me to go; but I suppose he never need know it. Let's go, I say. Come John; come, Frank.”
"No," answered John, “I am not going, I'll have nothing to do with any such places.”
“ That's great!” cried the boy who proposed going; “why, you are not so easily hurt as all that comes to, are you? That's all nonsense. Come, boys; come, Frank, come, John."
Frank went forward.
“It will be no harm to be only a looker-on, and father will never find it out."
John stopped. The others looked behind, and saw he was not following.
“ Come!” they both shouted ; come, don't be so womanish!”
“ Can't !” shouted John back again, " can't break orders."
“ What special orders have you got ?" they asked, looking round.
“ I'm sure your aunt never told you not to go.”
“ I've got orders, positive orders, not to go there; orders that I dare not disobey."
“ It's all nonsense,” said the boys ; “ you need not try to make us believe that anybody has been giving you orders not to go to the alley. Come, show 'em to us if you can, show us your orders ?”
John took a red book from his pocket, which he opened, and pulled out a neatly-folded paper.
" It's here," he said, unfolding the paper, and showing it to the boys. They took it, and Frank read aloud :
Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way
of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away."
“ Yes,” said John, “it is nothing more nor less than the
Word of God; it is His order. This was almost the first verse I ever learned ; and I do not know how
times my mother used to repeat it to me before she died; and when I have a pen in my hand, and am going to write without thinking, this verse always comes uppermost ; so I always keep it with me, and I've always minded it. I minded it when I was a little boy, and I mean to now I am older. And so, boys, when any body asks me to go to bad or doubtful places, as I expect this is, I've got an answer for them-my orders forbid it. "Go not in the way of evil men ; avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it.' There's no mistake, you see ; so, if you go to the alley, I go home.”
This is, indeed, a manly stand. Would that every boy that knows the right-and few are ignorant of it in these days—could stedfastly maintain it; for it is not so much ignorance, as indecision that ruins so many. Take John's
motto ; learn its full meaning ; impress it upon your mind; carry it about with you; make it the man of your counsel ; for it is the warning and demand of the Holy Scripture, “ Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.”—Prov. iv. 14, 15.-Amer. P.
THE DEFORMED BODY AND DISTORTED
MIND. “FATHER, see that poor man who is going by. How frightful he looks !” said Richard to his father, as they were seated on the front piazza, on a pleasant summer evening.
Hush, not so loud, my son,” said Mr. Lord, “ do not let him hear your remarks. Though no unkindness is intended, they may give him pain. He is indeed an object of pity, the more so as it is evident his deformity is not his own fault.
The subject of this conversation was an old man whose spine was painfully distorted, and his lower limbs apparently scarce strong enough to bear the weight imposed upon them. It was with difficulty that he made a slow progress along the highway. He passed near enough to enable them to get a full view of his features.
“ He looks quite cheerful,” said Richard, when the poor man was out of hearing.
' It is possible that he may be more happy than many who are proud of the symmetry of their forms, and rejoice in their strength.”
“I should not think he could have any comfort.”
“He cannot, probably, have much bodily comfort, but he may have within him the peace that passeth understanding. Poor as he appears to be, he may have a title to exhaustless riches, and a crown of glory in heaven."
I hope he is a good man, I am sure. How do you suppose he became so deformed ?"
“ It is impossible for me to know; probably he has been so from his birth. It is a sad thing to have such a body, but as Leighton says, “It is a more deformed thing to have a distorted, crooked mind, or to have a froward spirit, than any crookedness of the body.' A man may have a distorted body, and not be to blame for it; but not so with a distorted mind. That can happen only through one's own fault."
“What is a distorted mind, father ?”
“ The mind is distorted when it does not act as it was designed to act. When we apply the words distorted and crooked to the mind, we use them figuratively. What was the mind made for ?”
“ It was made to think, and to think holily."
“ Very well. When a mind won't think or can't think holily, it is distorted. There are then a great many distorted and crooked minds in the world."
“ Yes, sir, there are a great many that are somewhat crooked, for there are a great many that can't think very well or very rightly.”
“Let us consider some illustrations. The mind was made to love truth.”
“Yes, and when one loves falsehood instead of truth, he has a crooked mind.”
“Yes, and so also has he when he loves evil instead of good.”
“There are more distorted minds than bodies in the world.”
“Yes, many more. If this distortion was visible to the bodily eyes, men would be more careful to avoid getting their minds out of joint. Men guard carefully against crooked bodies, but care very little about crooked minds. But in the sight of God, a crooked mind is as much greater deformity than a crooked body, as eternity is longer than time. I once knew a boy who contracted a foolish habit of turning his foot, and standing on the side of it. He was reproved for so doing, and warned of the consequences. He disregarded the warning, and the consequence was that his ankle grew permanently crooked, and he was lame for life. People said he was very foolish, and he was. But here is a boy who allows himself to get angry, and act unreasonably on the slightest provocation. He is taking a course that will for ever deform his mind.”
“The mind was not only made to think; it was also made to love. It was not made to cherish envy, hatred, and malice, but to exercise love toward all. If one fails to love, he deforms his mind, and nothing deforms it more than the indulgence of sinful passions.”
“I always knew that our minds ought to receive more care than our bodies, but I never before saw the reason of it so clearly. It is harder to correct the deformity of mind than of body, is it not ?”
“Yes, it is easier to conceal it from the view of man, and more difficult to correct or remove it. Somehow, very serious deformities of the body are removed by the skill of the surgeon, but no human skill can restore symmetry to the soul that has been deformed and distorted by sin. There is only One in the universe who can do it. But He can, and He is willing. However deformed and frightful your mind or heart may by sin have become, you
have but to go to Christ to find that old things have passed away, and that all things have become new ;' and that instead of being loathsome in God's sight, you are clothed with righteousness as with a garment, and with the beauties of holiness."
MISSIONARY MEETINGS. TODMORDEN
THE perpetuation and spread of the Gospel of Christ must be pleasing to all lovers of the Saviour, or who wish to promote the well-being of mankind. Perhaps no efforts put forth by the Church ought to be regarded with greater interest or pleasure than those which are connected with the juvenile department in the Missionary enterprise. I have, therefore, pleasure in informing the readers of the “ Juvenile Companion,” that the Juvenile Missionary Anniversary was held in the Sunday-school, Luddendenfoot, on Lord's-day, May 14th, 1854. Missionary cards had previously been distributed, and heartily had our young people used them. The meeting, which was well attended, was addressed by Mr. Henry Hollingrake and the Rev. C. Edwards, of Cross Lanes. Mr. Hollingrake excited much interest by exhibiting and explaining a Missionary map. The addresses delivered referred to the importance of Missions, the necessity and advantage of aiding them, and the propriety of enlisting the sympathies and engaging the efforts of the young in the work; together with some touching and striking incidents connected with Missionary operations. The collection made at the meeting, added to the sums raised by cards, produced the sum of 11. 14s., being much in advance of the preceding year. Our Quarterly Missionary Notices, the Missionary Reports, and the Juvenile Missionary Magazines were given to those who had been employed in collecting. The meeting afforded much enjoyment. A similar meeting was held at Mythomroyd, on Lord's-day the 9th of April,