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the Israelites, when David numbered them; and the destruction of the Assyrian army in one night, in the reign of Hezekiah, are among the most prominent mentioned in sacred history.
John. I have heard you mention the plague in London, in the reign of the second Charles, as a most destructive judgment, but it was the last time that it visited that city.
Papa. London was greatly depopulated then; not only by those who died, but by the numbers who fled into the country. The court, the parliament, and a great number of clergymen withdrew themselves; but the places of these last were filled by devoted pastors, who had been persecuted and driven from their homes by the party then in power, but who now nobly forgot all their grievances, and returned to wait upon the sick and the dying.
Sarah. But although these evils may be permitted or sent by the hand of God, yet is it not our duty to avoid everything which might render us susceptible of its attack?
Papa. Certainly, this is our duty, and it would be wrong not to use such precautions as God has put in our power. The great fire in London, soon after the plague there, has been considered a benefit rather than an evil, as the buildings afterward erected were generally of brick instead of wood, and the streets and alleys were made wider.
John. While we have had to deplore this visitation of Heaven, which fell most heavily upon the intemperate, the visit of Father Mathew I hope will have a beneficial effect upon that portion of the community. Is he not called the Apostle of Temper
ance, sir ?
Papa. He is thus designated, and his being a priest gives him great influence over the minds of the people. You remember the anecdote you read the other evening, of the person who wished to have his pledge given back to him, but when told, if he took it back he must return the priest's blessing, he determined not to withdraw his pledge.
Sarah. I think the greatest blessing of the past year has been the continuance of peace. If we look toward Europe, how sad have been the miseries endured there by war!
Papa. Yes, Rome has felt the horrors of a siege. Paris has
had her streets stained with the blood of her citizens. Ireland has again quailed under famine and oppression, and Hungary lies bleeding at the feet of her bloodthirsty victor.
Ellen. Do you think, pa, the time is far distant when, as is said in the Bible, men will learn war no more ? Toddlertidos al
Papa. There are aspects and features of the present time that give us reason to hope that such an era is drawing onward; the great exertions now making to spread the tenets of the Bible are among the most happy omens of such a period.
Mamma. I hope, above all things, that God will preserve us from the horrors of war. Our forefathers endured a great deal from the cruelty of the Indian, as also during the war of the Revolution, and we are now enjoying the blessings which cost them deprivations and sufferings which only the holiness and justice of their cause could enable them to bear.
2100 Sarah. I can truly say, there is no country so dear to me as my own, and I hope ever to feel grateful that my lot has been cast here.
Papa. You may indeed, my love, well feel thus ; and I hope we shall all of us retire to rest with minds thrilling with thanks to Heaven for the mercies of the past year, and be induced, while we are thus distinguished, to alleviate the sorrows and administer to the necessities of such, whom we may have it in our power to assist.
I AM.—He doth not say, I am their light, their guide, their strength, or tower, but only I AM. He sets, as it were,
his hand to a blank, that his people may write under it what they please that is good for them. As if he should say, Are they weak? I am strength. Are they poor? I am riches. Are they in trouble? I am comfort. Are they sick ? I am health. Are they dying? I am life. Have they nothing ? . I am all things. I am wisdom and power.
I am justice and mercy. I am grace and goodness. I am glory, beauty, holiness, eminency, supereminency, perfection, all-sufficiency, eternity! Jehovah, I am. Whatsoever is amiable in itself, or desirable unto them, that I am. Whatsoever is pure and holy-whatsoever is great or pleasantwhatsoever is good or needful to make men happy, that I am.
The atmosphere rises above us with its cathedral dome, arching toward the heaven, of which it is the most familiar synonym and symbol. It floats around us like that grand object which the Apostle John saw in his vision: "a sea of glass like unto crystal.” So massive is it, that when it begins to stir, it osses about great ships like playthings, and sweeps cities and forests like snow-flakes to destruction before it. And yet it is so mobile that we have lived years in it before we can be persuaded it exists at all, and the great bulk of mankind never realize the truth that they are bathed in an ocean of air. Its weight is so enormous that iron shivers before it like glass, yet a soap-ball sails through it with impunity, and the tiniest insect waves it with its wings. It ministers lavishly to all the senses. We touch it not, but it touches us : its warm south wind brings back color to the pale face of the invalid ; its cool west winds refresh the fevered brow, and make the blood mantle in our cheeks ; even its north blasts brace into new vigor the hardened children of our rugged clime. The eye is indebted to it for all the magnificence of sunrise, the full brightness of mid-day, the chastened radiance of the gloaming, and the clouds that cradle near the setting sun. But for it the rainbow would want its triumphal arch, and the winds would not send their fleecy messengers on errands round the heavens. The cold ether would not shed its snow feathers on the earth, nor would drops of dew gather on the flowers. The kindly rain would never fall—hail, storm, nor fog, diversify the face of the sky. Our naked globe would turn its tanned, unshadowed forehead to the sun, and one dreary, monotonous blaze of light and heat dazzle and burn up all things.
Were there no atmosphere, the evening sun would in a moment set, and, without warning, plunge the earth in darkness. But the air keeps in her hand a sheaf of its rays, and lets them slip but slowly through her fingers; so that the shadows of evening gather by degrees, and the flowers have time to bow their heads, and each
creature space to find a place of rest and nestle to repose. In the morning the garish sun would, at one bound, burst from the bosom of night, and blaze above the horizon ; but the air watches for his coming, and sends at first but one little ray to announce his approach, and then another, and by-and-by a handful ; and so gently draws aside the curtain of night, and slowly lets the light fall on the face of the sleeping earth, till her eyelids open, and, like man, she goeth forth again to her labor until the evening.
'T'Is sweet, 'Tis sweet,
At Jesus' feet!
'Tis sweet to seek,
Who guides the meek.
At close of day,
'Tis sweet to pray.
'Tis blest, to pour
His grace implore.
And when the heart
God doth impart.
From day to day,
grief in any form,
A. C. J.
Translated from the German.
BY MRS. H. C. CONANT.
“Now, then, my men, all hands to work !” Thus cried Master Schmidt, the potter, to his journeymen, as they finished their breakfast of coffee and white bread. He rose from the table, the workmen did the same, and all repaired to the adjoining workshop, where each placed himself quietly behind his wheel and began to labor.
“Who's there, fumbling at the latch ?" said the master, breaking in upon the silence. “Come in ! come in !” he cried, impatiently, as the handle rose and fell several times without opening the door. He was just leaving his seat, when a little maiden tripped in, and after a timid courtesy, remained standing close by the threshold. She seemed about twelve years old. The clock had not yet struck five, yet her flaxen hair was neatly combed, her shoes blacked, and her whole dress, though poor, had a trim and orderly look. Cheeks and hands glowed with that rosy hue which only cold fresh water gives. Master Schmidt remarked all this with quiet pleasure. A friendly smile softened his face as he called to the bashful child.
“Why, how now, my little daughter, up so early? Dost hold to the old saying, “ Morning hours bring golden showers ? All right, my girl! It becomes thee well, too; look’st like a rosebud in morning dew. Come, then, what hast thou for me? A bit of custom, hey ?"
The child hesitated, and looked into her apron, which she held gathered up in her hand. At length she took out of it a broken porcelain tea-cup. “I only wished to ask,” said she, in a modest tone, " whether you could mend this for me—and so that no crack can be seen ?"
Master Schmidt examined the article, which was of very fine china, and painted with beautiful flowers. “So that no crack