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A/T ILTON may scarcely be classed among
'Let us with a gladsome mind,
Let us blaze His name abroad,
For of gods he is the God:
For His mercies shall endure, i
Ever faithful, ever sure.
Who, by His wisdom, did create
Who did the solid earth ordain
Who, by His all-commanding might,
And caused the golden-tressed sun
The horned moon to shine by night
He, with His thunder-clasping hand,
The floods stood still, like walls of brass,
His chosen people He did bless
And to His servant Israel
All living creatures He doth feed,
Let us therefore warble forth
This hymn was written by Milton when he was only fifteen. When he was but a few years older, he wrote tho Hymn on the Nativity. It is not known to every little one as his 'Let us with a gladsome mind' is known. But there are here and there verses so simply beautiful, that even little children may love and keep them in their hearts.
'It was the winter wild,
While the heaven born child,
Nature, in awe to Him,
Had doffed her gaudy trim,
But He, her fears to cease. Sent down the meek-eyed Peace: She, crowned with olive-green, came softly sliding.
Peaceful was the night
Wherein the Prince of Light
The winds, with wonder whist,
Smoothly the waters kist, Whispering new joys to the mild ocean; Who now hath quite forgot to rave, While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmed
The shepherds on the lawn,
Or ere the point of dawn,
Full little thought they then
That the mighty Pan Had kindly come to live with them below.
Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep, Were all that did their silly thoughts so busy keep.
When such music sweet
Their hearts and ears did greet,
Divinely warbled voice,
Answering the stringed noise,
Such music as, 'tis said,
Does all the picture rise before you of the shepherds on the plains of Bethlehem, keeping watch over their flocks by night, when they heard the angels' song?—the beautiful Bible picture of the Divine child cradled in the manger, because there was no room in the inn—of the strange brooding peace in which the whole world was held? for over the earth all wars had ceased in the year when Christ was born. This beautiful hymn is a gladness—which waits you with many other treasures—to love and linger over in the riper years to come.
John Milton was born in London, on the 9 th day of December, 1608. He was educated with great care by his father, who was himself distinguished as a musical composer. The poet inherited the same genius, and was well skilled in this lovely art. The music of his sweet-stringed lute passed into the music of his verse. No strains are purer in melody than the early poetry of Milton.
When he was seventeen he entered Christ's College, Cambridge. He was a diligent student; of a somewhat haughty temper, it is said, yet with a mild, serene beauty of person, which gained him the name of 'the lady of Christ's College.' In 1632 he retired from the university to his father's country house at Horton in Buckinghamshire; and here, in the sweet leisure of home and rural scenes, he wrote many of his beautiful early poems.
A few years after this his mother died. And then Milton left home, and travelled for fifteen months in France and Italy and Switzerland. He returned home no royalist—devoted to the cause of Cromwell—no friend to King Charles. Then, for many years, his history is so blent with the history of England, it is too difficult and too unquiet to describe now. Milton became Cromwell's secretary, and lived through the Commonwealth of England, when all who loved Charles were in disgrace. Then the scene changed again. Cromwell was dead. Charles Second was on his father's throne; and the republican poet took refuge in obscurity. He was indeed pardoned by Charles, but his public life was past; and the late, serenity of age he devoted, with solemn ardour, to his first pursuit—poetry.
His sight had been slowly failing. In 1658, when he began to write the 'Paradise Lost,' he was quite blind. His life lay behind him, full of its stormy memories, and the darkness shut him in—alone with God.
Since he left his father's house, he had scarcely known home-happiness. His wife was not fond, and his daughters were strangely undutiful. They gave him no daughter's love, but left him in his old age. Perhaps, from this cruel neglect, he turned the more fervently to the one friend left to solace him—the poetry he had loved from youth. He was seven years writing 'Paradise Lost.' A few years later he published 'Paradise Regained.' And three years after its publication he died, in a small house in London, on a November day in 1674.
Many great men crowded to the funeral that wintry hour, when the poet was buried in the chancel of St. Giles' church. And his beautiful, blind face was remembered, and his solemn music pn the organ, and how he rose in the early dark, that the first dawning hours of every day might be given to devotion and work.
His great poem, 'Paradise Lost,' is England's treasure through the centuries; but the little children will keep as theirs his beautiful early hymn.
Milton's third wife lived for fifty-three years after him. His three daughters also survived him; but he left no son. H. w. H. w.
THERE passed through the bustling street
Not lightly weary was she;
In well-doing steady and strong; And she trustfully looked for the 'season due,'
And the joy of the harvest-song.
But many a weary step
Has been hers in this sultry day; And never before has seemed to her
So long and toilsome the way.
She has 'begged' for the Master's cause
At many, many a door; And some have given and some have not,
And her heart is grieved sore.
She prayed in the morning hour,
That the Lord would bless her way; And many a time since then her soul
Has fled to its strength and stay. For it is not that the Lord
Will not provide for his own; For the silver and the gold of earth
Are His—are His alone.
But the people who will not give,
When the Lord comes back again,— ; Ah, what will they say to the 'Inasmuch'?
Ah, what will they answer then? l It is easy now to say
That China is far away; ■ That other claims, and nearer ones,
Are pressing hard to-day.
Will China be far away
When the Lord 'makes up His own;' And when they are called from east and west To stand at the judgment throne? i It is easy to say, 'So much
Has been given and done before, ! That I make it a rule, now, not to give To any new claim at my door.'
Has the Lord's loving-kindness stayed?
Has He risen and shut to the door? Do you think He will turn away when we knock,
And say, 'Had you but come before!'
Satisfy my thirsty spirit
I on earth no more shall need them;
But in heaven, when life is past, Let me, with the bright-winged angels,
Reach the fountain-head at last. x. c. D.
W$z JBauspring 3Sti>Ie Class.
QUESTIONS ON MATTHEW'S GOSPEL.
Who led Jesus into the wilderness, after He was baptised?
Why was He led there?
How long did He remain in the wilderness without food?
By what name, indicating his constant work, is Satan here called?
With how many different temptations did he try Jesus?
How many times did Jesus, in answering Satan, assert the supreme authority of Scripture, by using the words, 'it is written'?
By what suggestion did Satan tempt Jesus to distrust His Father's care?
What words of Scripture did Jesus quote, to shew that the Word of God is even more needful for man than bread?
What part of the 91st Psalm did Satan misquote, in order to tempt Jesus?
How did Jesus repel this temptation?
With what false promise did Satan tempt Jesus to covetousness?
With what sword did Jesus drive him away?
Who came to Jesus when Satan left Him?
Where was John the Baptist, when Jesus returned to Galilee?
At what city did Jesus dwell, after He left Nazareth?
What prophecy speaks of Christ's coming to that part of Galilee?
By what emblem does that prophecy describe the change wrought in the hearts of men by Jesus?
Name the subject of Christ's preaching in the early part of His ministry?
Which four disciples were first called?
What allusion did Jssus make to their occupation, when He called them?
What two words in this narrative point out their prompt obedience to the call of Jesus?
[These are Not Prize Questions; but intended eoltly to encourage the etudy of the Scriptures at home, and train the young in the art of queetioning.,]
PRIZE SCRIPTURE ACROSTICS AND QUESTIONS.
A SIMPLE maid, whom God, all-wise,
Had roused within her vacant mind
Some kindlings of delight,—
By feeble sense of right:
Till, in her heart, strange thoughts arose
Some kindness to express;
The mode or means to bless:
As, through the garden walk she strayed
'I may not proffer these,' she said,
But, o'er the grass, the summer breeze
Had withered leaflets blown:
For such are all my own.'
Then silently her lap she filled,
Whilst we our thankless murmurs stilled
This childish gift, so vain, so poor,
Yet most sincerely given,
We offer up to heaven.
The noblest efforts of the mind—
When viewed by Him, the all-wise and kind,
What can we yield to Him, who gave
Each gift that we possess, Who sent His only Son to save,
To succour and to bless?
Though reason fails, if love inspires
No loftier homage He requires,
Father, the tribute of our tongues
Thy sovereign grace receives:
Our lays of withered leaves! j. K. Hoik.
NEW EVERY MORNING.
THE sunlight is new every morning; let it stream in all its freshness into the household. Throw open the windows, and take it all in. 'It is health to the marrow and fatness to the bones.'
The mercy-seat is new every morning. It is sprinkled afresh with the blood of the Lamb, newly slain from the foundation of the world.
The Lord's mercies are new every morning. What mercies! how numerous! how great! how undeserved! yet how unfailing! O let the song of praise be new every morning. Let the incense of prayer be fresh as the new spices, beaten fresh for every morning sacrifice.
IJrije Striniuu ^.trostits attir ^rations.
Competitors not to be above fourteen years of ajre; and the answers must be honestly the work of the individuals competing.
Al l answers to be sent, with the name and address of the competitor, not later than the ISth of each month, to the Itev. John Kay, Coatbridge.
A CRY of woe, in sorrow's darkest hour;
Join those initials, and the name is found