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invigorating, and purifying; it cools the fevered brow, moistens the parched lips, and quenches the burning thirst; with the aid of the north-wind it produces the cooling ice, and flakes the mantling snow; it distils in enlivening dew, and descends in refreshing showers; it washes the filth from the surface of the earth and the poisonous malaria from the atmosphere; it imparts health, and promotes life; it is life's Balm of Gilead; it is the Abana and Pharpar of creation.
And, with the aid of the vernal breezes, it paints the flowers, bedecks the forest, and covers the earth with its carpet of green; it bedews the flowers, and makes their fragrance as sweet as the perfumes of Araby; it forms both the storm-cloud and the river, the sea and the ocean; it turns the mill-wheel, moves the spindle, and forms channels for conveying the wares of merchandise; it floats alike the mariner's stately craft and the Indian's light canoe; it is the great, broad highway of the world's traffic.
That's what it is; and now, what is it not? It is not a beverage that brings the orphan's tear or causes the widow's wail; it is not the drink that demons delight to quaff; it is not what the murderer imbibes to prepare for his deed of crime, or the reveler to besot his midnight debauch; it is not a liquid that dethrones reason and produces delirium; no ghosts of murdered innocents awake from their slumbers to pronounce its anathema; no lone prisoner accuses it of the crime that has brought him to the dungeon cell; no felon on the scaffold ever curses it for his untimely end; no courts of justice are ever kept busy with its crimes; and no prisons or almshouses are ever filled with its victims!
A glass of water has no bubbles of poison on its sur face, no foam in which lurk sadness and sorrow; ne heart-broken wives, grief-stricken widows, or starving orphans ever shed tears in its limpid depths; and no "drunkard's ghost, shrieking from the grave, ever curses it in words of eternal despair." But it is clear, beautiful, blessed, and glorious! Let us drink always and only the sparkling, pure, crystal water.
HENRY H. HOLLOWAY.
UT in the midnight's white and starry splendor
While softer human voices, sweet and tender,
Christmas is come.
The whole clear night seems bending low to listen;
And solitary, snow capped mountains glisten,
Christmas is come!
From sea to sea a mighty voice is pealing,
On moorland bleak and wide,
Through frozen fields and dead rose-gardens stealing, By wood and water-side,—
Christmas is come!
To lighted hearths whose fires make silver linings
To halls where Beauty's summer light is shining,
O world! O life! O hearts in sorrow sighing!
Remember that to-day
Across the waste of time about you lying
Christmas is come!
Oh! low and sweet the Christmas carols falter,
And for an hour about one shrine and altar
"Long love, long peace and reconciliation,"
We sing aloud, and then,
Their tones grown strong with joy and exultation, The great bells chime, Amen!
'Tis sweet to keep my hand in His,
To close my weary, aching eyes,
Through many a thorny path He leads
Through many a path of tears I go;
To know that He is close to me,
My God, my Guide;
He leadeth me, and so I walk
To blind my eyes, He may reveal
But while I lean on His strong arm
RICHMOND CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE
Nothing is hid from Thee,
All that I have or am
Is wholly Thine,
For Thou art mine.
It matters little, since Thy love
A MIDNIGHT HYMN.
the mild silence of the voiceless night,
When, chased by airy dreams, the slumbers flee, Whom in the darkness doth my spirit seek,
O God! but Thee?
And if there be a weight upon my breast-
If it be the heaviness that comes
In token of anticipated ill,
My bosom takes no heed of what it is,
For oh! in spite of past and present care,
Passes that almost solitary hour,
My God, with Thee!