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CHRISTIAN MAN'S LIFE. A Christian man's life is laid in the loom of time to a pattern which he does not see, but God does; and his heart is a shuttle. On one side of the loom is sorrow, and on the other is joy; and the shuttle, struck alternately by each, flies back and forth, carrying the thread, which is white or black, as the pattern needs; and, in the end, when God shall lift up the finished garment, and all its changing hues shall glance out, it will then appear that the deep and dark colors were as needful to beauty as the bright and high colors.
UGLY KINI OF FORGIVENESS. There is an ugly kind of forgiveness in this world-a kind of hedge-bog forgiveness, shot out like quills. Men take one who has offended, and set him down before the blow-pipe of their indignation, and scorch him, and burn his fault into him; and, when they have kneaded him sufficiently with their fiery fists, then-they forgive him.
A NOBLE MAN. A NOBLE man compares and estimates himself by an idea which is higher than himself, and a mean man by one which is lower than himself. The one produces aspiration; the other, ambition Ambition is the way in which a vulgar man aspires.
THE SEVEREST TEST OF FRIENDSHIP.
It is one of the severest tests of friendship to tell your
friend of his faults. If you are angry with a mah, or hate him, it is not hard to go to him and stab him with words; but so to love a man that you can not bear to see the stain of sin upon him, and to speak painful truth through loving words,—that is friendship. But few have such friends. Our enemies usually teach us what we are, at the point of the sword.
TRUE WAY OF LOOKING AT A GIFT. The other day, in walking down the street, a little beggar boy,-or one who might have begged, so ragged was he,-having discovered that I loved flowers, came and put into my
hand a faded little sprig which he had somewhere found. I did not look directly at the scrawny, withered branch, but beheld it through the medium of the boy's heart, seeing what he would have given, not what he gave; and so looking, the shriveled stem was laden with blossoms of beauty and odor. And if I, who am cold and selfish, and ignorant, receive so graciously the offering of a poor child, with what tender joy must our heavenly Father receive the sincere tribute of his creatures when he looks through the medium of his infinite love and compassion!
ALL the sobriety which religion needs or requires, is that which real earnestness produces. Tears and shadows are not needful to sobriety. Smiles and cheerfulness are as much its elements. When men say,—Be sober, they usually mean, Be stupid; but, when the Bible
says, Be sober, it means, Rouse up and let fly the earnestness and vivacity of life. The old, Scriptural sobriety was effectual doing; the latter, ascetic sobriety is effectual dullness.
A MAN's house should be on the hill-top of cheerfulness and serenity, so high that no shadows rest upon it, and where the morning comes so early, and the evening tarries so late, that the day has twice as many golden hours as those of other men. He is to be pitied whose house is in some valley of grief between the hills, with the longest night and the shortest day. Horno should be the center of joy.
JOHN G. C. BRAINARD was born in New London, Connecticut, October 21st, 1796. He died September 26th, 1828. He studied law, but practiced little: being devoted to literary pursuits. He was a chaste and beautiful writer, both in prose and poetry.
EPITHALA'mium is the Greek name for a nuptial, or wedding song. It was sung by a band of youths and maidens in honor of the newlywedded pair, breathing wishes for their prosperity. Though no longer in vogue, the custom of singing the nuptial song was very ancient, not only among the Greeks and Romans, but, also, among the Hebrews. The 45th Psalm affords a very beautiful specimen of this sort of composition; being, as Bishop Burnet observes, “an epithalamium to Christ and the Church.”
JOHN G. O. BRAINARD.
I saw two clouds at morning,
Tinged by the rising sun,
And mingled into one;
I saw two summer currents
Flow smoothly to their meeting,
In peace each other greeting;
Such be your gentle motion,
Till life's last pulse shall beat;
Float on, in joy, to meet
SERENADE, from the adjective serene, is the name applied to a musical performance, given under a serene or clear sky; usually under the window of the party serenaded.
JAMES G. PERCIVALO
Softly the moonlight
* For a Note on Percival, see Exercise CLXVII.