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LONDON: R. K. BURT AND CO., PRINTERS,

WINE OFFICE COURT.

EXCELSIOR.

HELPS TO PROGRESS IN THOUGHT AND ACTION,

THE COMPLIMENTS OF THE SEASON.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!” is the greeting which, at this time, passes cheerily from one to another. By word of mouth, by the hands of the postman, and by the electric telegraph, the words are flashed from one end of the kingdom to the other.

There is a feeling abroad which seems to bring hand to hand and heart to heart, so that one and all join in the salutation.

Young and old, rich and poor, high and low, parents, children and friends, all agree in wishing one

another a happy new year; and there is no reason why the pages of EXCELSIOR should not express the same desire. The old year is gone, no more to return. All its joy and sorrow, its pain and sadness, its sunshine and cloud, are passed away; the good, the dear old year, which has been so full of blessing, has died out with the last day of December, and the merry bells have rung in the new one with a joyous peal. How soon all

appear to have forgotten the past, and to be looking forward to the wonths of that year which has but just commenced ! and how lightly and carelessly many persons are apt to wish a friend “ a happy new year,” without taking a moment to consider the meaning the

convey!

may be done by each one of us which shall contribute to the happiness of this year, which shall insure that its happiness shall last through the early spring-time, the bright summer, the golden autumn,

January, 1881.

words Much

and the snowy winter, so that when this year grows old, and the hour of its death approaches, we may look back upon it with calm delight.

Travellers in strange, unfrequented countries are, at times, glad to climb an eminence, and, resting for a while, to look back over the way they have come, and forward into the path before them; or, coming to the turning of the road, to glance backward into the one from which they are passing, and eagerly forward into that which now, for the first time, presents itself to view; to think of the dangers and perils, the escapes and conquests of the past, and by the experience thus gained, prepare for that part of the journey yet remaining to them.

In somewhat similar relation does the present moment stand to the past and future in life's journey. Let us, at this the beginning of the year, pause and look back, ere we venture on again in our pilgrimage.

Of course, in the past twelve months, which now seem to have passed so rapidly away that they appear only a few weeks, our readers have met with difficulty, trial, and disappointment. The resolutions they formed at the beginning have not been so well kept as they could desire; the path they laid out for themselves has been difficult to tread; and, altogether, they have been compelled to confess, at least to themselves, that the year has not been so successful as they had hoped.

Well, how shall these difficulties and trials, this want of success, affect us in regard to the future? Shall they make us sad and desponding-declining to make any fresh resolution or effort! or shall they not rather inspire us with new zeal and vigour, so that we may start with the resolve that, morally and intellectually, this year shall witness greater results than the last ?

If men had allowed a first failure to overcome them, and had given up all effort because of temporary non-success, there would have been no telegraph wire connecting England and America to-day; but because they persevered, in spite of obstacles, which some declared to be insurmountable, their work was at last crowned with success. Let us imitate their bright example. Where we failed last year let us be more vigilant this. Let us watch carefully against those temptations which have hitherto been too strong for us.

To be happy the year must be one of work. He whose body is suffused with the glow of health, after climbing the hill-side and reaching the top, experiences more pleasure and happiness than he who flings himself down upon the grass at the foot of the hill, and declines the labour of climbing it; and so he who in the pursuit of knowledge, of self-improvement, and of good to others, is at all times busily engaged, will have a healthy glow suffusing his soul, and will feel that his life is worth living, and that he is accomplishing that which is worth the effort..

We must work hard and steadily, so that more knowledge may be gained, so that when old temptations rear their head they may be struck down, and so that our fellows may feel that we exert an influence for good upon them.

If we think wisely of the past, one thing will be pretty plainly evident to us all, that we have failed through trusting too much in self and too little in God; and we shall do well to labour in the future heartily, as unto Him, seeking His aid and blessing on all the efforts we put forth, with a view either to our own advancement or the happiness and welfare of those about us.

Ask of the Past.”
WOULDS

LDST thou employ thine hours aright,
Let memory's range

be backward cast;
Her fading records bring to light-

Ask of the past.
There is thy lawful range of thought-

No doubts that register can blast;
Thence let thy deeds, thy words be brought-

Ask of the past.
Waste not thine energy of mind

On dreams in fancy's store amassed;
To fact be all its powers confined

Ask of the past.
See there, where thou hast gone astray-

Where, urging on thy course too fast,
Thou'st erred from virtue's narrow way-

Ask of the past.
Thoughts of the present nurture pride;

Reflect how short the time thou hast !
Wouldst use the moments as they glide-

Ask of the past.
Yes! wouldst thou now in time prepare

For joys that shall for ever last,
In faithful, fervent, humble prayer-

Ask of the past.

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