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260,000,000; of Africa, 150,000,000; of America, 48,000,000; of Australasia, 3,000,000; and of Oceania, 20,000,000.
In the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland there are 91,000 square geographical miles, and on them food is raised for 30,000,000 human beings. If the whole world
were peopled in the same proportion as the British Islands, there would be in all 220 times as many inhabitants as there now are in the United Kingdom, or the globe would contain six thousand six hundred millions, being about eight times its present population. Here is work for thoughtful boys. W. L.
Youth and Childhood.
"I PROMISED MY FATHER I WOULD NOT GO."
JAMES was the eldest boy of a large family, and son of a clergyman. He was anxious to study, but his health was not thought sufficiently good, and he abandoned the idea. When
his son was about sixteen, he went to B, for the purpose of entering a dry goods store. His father gave him a letter to a minister of his acquaintance there; he also gave him money enough to take him to B-, and to pay his board for two weeks, till he could obtain work. He had arrived in B-, and was on his way to deliver his letter as directed, when he was accosted by a young man who asked him where he was going, on learning which, he said,
"Go with me, and I will help you to get work."
Where are you going?" "I am going to the theatre, and I will there introduce you to persons who will help you."
"I can't go-1 promised my father I would not go to a theatre."
Just as the noble boy said this, an elderly man passed him on the sidewalk, and heard the remark. He stopped, and said,
"I am glad to see a boy who remembers his promise to his father. Who are you, my lad ?"
James told his name and errand.
And where are you going, Sir ?"
"I am going to a prayer-meeting. The minister whom you are seeking will probably be there also, and after the meeting is over I think I can help you to work."
James went with the gentleman to meeting, after which he was introduced to the clergyman to whom his father had written. While he was presenting his letter, the gentleman who brought him there was talking to another man-his partner in business. Then turning again to James, he said,
"Come to our shop to-morrow, and if you hold out as you have begun, you shall never want for friends or employment."
The minister advised him to go, telling him it was one of the best business firms in the city. James went, and was at once received. His strict integrity, industry, and faithfulness endeared him to his employers. He steadily rose from one place to another still higher, until he became a partner in the firm. He still maintained his integrity, walking in the fear of God, and now, after many years, continues to be greatly respected by all who know him, and greatly blessed in all his business relations. He often says he owes all his prosperity to that promise made to his father.
Will our young men take heed to this lesson?
LITTLE MARIE was an orphan; a woman had the care of her, but she was hard and unfriendly to the child, and made her work very hard, so that she grew unhappy, and often wept, and longed to be with her father and mother in heaven.
In winter, Marie was compelled to go to the forest to gather wood, and if she did not bring enough to the house, the bad woman received her with harsh words, and often beat her. Once Marie was obliged to go out in the forest, and she went weeping on her way, for although the winter was nearly over it was still cold; and Marie's clothes were scanty and much worn, for since her parents died she had received no new ones. When she came to the forest she sought diligently for the dry boughs, bending hither and thither, till her little hands could grasp no more. Now she wished to go to the house, and came to an open space in the forest; there she saw under a tree a snowdrop standing, and because she was so tired from stooping and running, she sat down beside it, and laid her bundle of wood near her. As she sat there she looked at the flower, and thus addressed it: "What a lovely green garment hast thou, dear snowdrop! that adornest thyself so beautifully; wilt thou not also freeze, as I, poor child, shall in my torn garments? And such a beautiful white cap as thou wearest I will never receive from the bad woman."
So speaking, she laid her head upon the bundle of wood, and began again to weep bitterly, till at last she fell asleep. Then she dreamed that a slight wind moved the snowdrop, and she heard it begin to ring and tinkle softly. Then little Marie perceived the snowdrops that yet sleep in the earth rub the winter sleep from their eyes, stretch their limbs, and come forth to the daylight, open their cups, and begin to ring lightly, lightly, with silvery tones, so that it re-echoed very wonderfully. But Marie never awoke from that
beautiful dream, but went dreaming to heaven, and to her father and mother.
When they sought her on another day, they found her dead, surrounded by the blooming snowdrops, who covered her even in death with their green leaves.
LITTLE EDDIE; OR, "PRAY GOD."
EDDIE was a fine boy of two years old. His father was an eminent minister of the Gospel, and his mother had taught him, even thus early in his life, the name of God.
He was a very intelligent and lively little fellow. Busy as a bee all day, cheeked like rosy apples, and full of health and frolic-he was the joy of the household.
At family prayers he would sit upon his mother's knee and listen to his father-whom he loved-as if he understood every word.
don't know how much even little children gather up, when we think they are inattentive, or that what we say is above their comprehension. At least, it happened that little Eddie, with a child's faith, rebuked, on one occasion, both his father and mother.
For, upon a time, this dear boy was taken suddenly and alarmingly ill. He complained that he could not swallow, that he could scarcely breathe. His father was sent for; and general consternation prevailed. No physician was at hand, and the malady waxed rapidly worse. remedy after another, such as were suggested to the parents and family, were tried, and all without avail. It appeared certain that the darling sufferer must soon die, unless relief was speedily obtained.
The poor little fellow well knew two things all this time,-that he was in great pain, and that every effort was making for his relief. He could see also, perhaps, though so young, that his parents were much alarmed. He was their darling, and they were at their wits' end.
"Is it croup? Is it quinsy? What can it be ?"
And still the little breast heaved more painfully, and the feeble breath was almost stopped. They looked upon each other with extreme perplexity and anxiety. The mother bursting into tears, dropped her head on her husband's bosom, and cried,
"Eddie will die! What shall we do-what shall we do?"
The father did not know what to reply, but tried to comfort her as well as he could. The doctor will come soon, and all might be well.
But the little boy, struggling on the bed, between life and death, heard his mother's question. Raising himself from the pillow, and concentrating all his strength in the utterance, he said suddenly,
Again the parents looked at each other-no longer doubtfully. Was it a voice from heaven reminding them of the Great Physician? They sank upon their knees by the bed side, and besought Jesus to heal His lamb.
Their prayer was heard-little Eddie was spared-he yet lives. Pray for him, that his infant faith may grow with him to the "stature of a perfect man in Christ."
AWAY in the west lived a Catholic family, in which was a little girl, seven years old. She was induced to go to a Protestant Sunday school. The father became very anxious about his soul. His distress increased daily; and one night at the midnight hour he arose from his bed in agony. He begged his wife to pray for him. She told him that she could not pray better than he could.
"What shall I do, then ?" "Perhaps," said she, "our little Mary can pray."
So the father went up to her chamber where she was fast asleep, and took her up from her bed in his arms, and bore her down stairs, and putting her down gently, he said to her with great earnestness,
"Mary, can you pray?" "O yes, father, I can pray." "Will you kneel down and pray for your poor father ?"
"Yes, I will pray for you." So she kneeled, put up her little hands, and said,
"Our Father, who art in heaven," going through with the Lord's Prayer. Then she prayed for her father in her own language, asking God to love him and have mercy upon him, and to pardon all his sins for Jesus' sake.
When she had finished her prayer, her father said to her, 36 Mary, can you read your Bible?"" "O yes, father, I can read. Shall I read to you in my Bible?" "Yes, read to me."
So she began at the third chapter of the Gospel according to St. John. She read along until she came to that verse: 66 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
"O Mary," said he, "is that there ?"
Yes, father, it is here. Jesus said so."
"Well, that is just what I needwhat your poor father needs."
"Yes, father; and hear the rest ofit-'For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him might not perish, but have everlasting life.'
"O, that is for me-for just such as me; 'whosoever believeth in Him;' I can believe in Him; I do believe in Him."
And from that hour the father went on his way, rejoicing in Christ Jesus with great joy.
So gather in the children-all children-into the Sabbath school, of all classes, from all conditions.
AT JESUS' FEET.
THE Rev. W. Jay one day attended the dying bed of a young female, who thus addressed him :-"I have little," said she, " to relate as to my
experience. I have been much tried and tempted, but this is my sheet anchor: He has said, 'He that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out!' I know I come to Him, and I expect that He will be as good as His word. Poor and unworthy as I am, He will not trifle with me; it would be beneath His greatness; I am at His feet. As you have often said
"Tis joy enough, my All in all,
At thy dear feet to lie;
"Am I old enough to be converted?"
"Are you old enough to love your father and mother?"
"Yes, mother, I do love you." "Then you are old enough to love Jesus."
"I can't convert myself, can I?" "No; but you can ask Jesus to convert you.'"
"Will He convert me if I pray to Him?"
"If you really desire to be converted, and ask Him to give you a new heart, He will do so.'
FRANK, THE BLIND BOY.
THE other day I went to see a little blind boy. The scarlet fever settled in his eyes, and for many months he has not seen at all. He used to be a sprightly little fellow-upon the run everywhere.
"Well, my dear boy," I said, "this is hard for you, is it not?"
He did not answer for a minute; then he said, "I don't know as I ought to say hard; God knows
best;" but his lip quivered, and a little tear stole down his cheek.
"Yes, my child, you have a kind heavenly Father, who loves you and feels for you more even than your mother does."
"I know it, Sir," said the little boy, "and it comforts me.'
I wish Jesus was here to cure Frank," said his little sister; "Jesus cured a good many blind men when He was on earth, and I am most sure He would cure Frank."
"Well," said I, "He will open little Frank's eyes to see what a good Saviour He is. He will show him that a blinded heart is worse than a blind eye, and He will wash his heart in His own blood, and cure it, and make him see and enjoy beautiful heavenly things, so that he may sit here, and be a thousand times happier than many children who are running about.'
"I can't help wishing he could see," said Lizzie.
"I dare say," said I; "but I hope you don't try to make Frank discontented."
"Frank isn't discontented," said Lizzie earnestly; "he loves God!"
"And love sets everything right, and makes its own sunshine; does it not, Frank?"
"I don't feel cross now," said the little blind boy, meekly; "when I'm alone I pray, and sing my Sabbath-school hymns, and sing, and sing, and God's in the room, and it feels light, and-and-I forget I'm blind at all!" and a sweet smile stole over his pale features as he spoke; it was heavenly light I was
I went to pity and comfort him, but I found God had gone before me. The great God, who has a thousand worlds to take care of, did not overlook him, but with His heart of love came and turned his mourning into joy, his darkness into light, and made him in his misfortunes as happy as a child can be. ¦ Oh, God can do more and better for us than we can ask or think.
"But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."-(Matt. xii. 36.) So spake the Ruler of the Nations. We cannot remove the guilt of a single sin; the precious blood of Christ alone can do this. There is no satisfaction to the divine justice, but by the offering once made on Calvary. At what a price are we redeemed! So infinite in its value, so costly, that it exceeds the entire worth of the universe. We cannot fathom the nature of sin-its heinousness-its depravity-its enormity. Its height, its depth, its length, its breadth, can only be known when we look to the wonderful sacrifice made to meet the demands of God's violated law. We perceive in the atonement how great our distance is from God; how wide our alienation and separation from Him; how great the enmity of the human heart! Oh, wondrous mercy, to provide such a scheme for our deliverance from eternal punishment! How deep our obligation! What language can describe-what mind can fathom-the rich treasures of divine grace, or comprehend a love so vast, so infinite, to rebellious men? "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!" (Rom. xi. 33.) And yet how inconsiderate, how indisposed, how slow to believe that our very words are noted down by Him who affirms, that for every idle word spoken we shall give an account. We often act as if we were not responsible for the uttered language of the lip; as if there was no divine inspection going on; as if our words passed without attracting His notice, and all in reference to a future judgment. The truth, however, stands on record; and, whether we believe it or not, we shall awake up hereafter to the consciousness that nothing has escaped the divine investigation. Were this fact plainly and vividly kept in remembrance, would it not have a powerful influence on our social conversation? Would it not check the tendency to a vain, trifling, unedifying intercourse with others with whom we come in contact? Speech is a talent, which for its use or abuse we are