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"GOOD-BYE, DEAR OLD YEAR.” of it-surely not. The end of a story is COOD-BYE, dear old year,' said little nice when there is a grand finishing up in
U Nellie, as, in a mood half pensive, the last two or three pages; all the people half playful, she kissed her hand, and get into their right places, and troublesome looked out into the night stillness of the boys don't tease their sisters any more. 31st December. 'I must have a last peep Perhaps every year is something like a at your dark blue sky,' she continued, long story. If we were to try to do rightly,
before I lie down. You are to die in the and behave better as we went along, the night, old year; and when the stars twinkle end, after all, might be better than the out again, you will have passed away.' beginning. Mamma told me, when I put
Perhaps it was from an inclination to off my old merino and made it up into a gaze at a beautiful bright star that looked parcel for little Mary, that it was easy to in upon her, as she lay in her little bed; put off an old dress, but not so easy to put perhaps it was from the excitement of the off what she called old habits; she said they holidays, which she was throroughly en were something like a dress, we wore them joying, but somehow Nellie did not feel so so easily, only they fitted very tight. What drowsy as usual, or so ready to fall asleep. were some of them she told me of? Well,
"I wonder,” she said, fixing her eye on there was refusing to get up in the morning the star, as if it could tell her, where the when I was called; sulking or pouting old years go to, and what makes the year when I had to do something I did not like; neur. Oh! I think I know. The first day giving a cross answer, when a gentle one of the year is something like the world's might have stopped a quarrel (but really I birthday. Papi told me on my last birthday don't think she knows how provoking Tom that I was beginning a new year of my life. is), and many other things. She told me Now, on the 1st of January everybody that the very worst habit of all was, the begins a new year, and so they call it - New putting off doing what we knew to be Year's Day." Then, somehow, the new right; and what we quite intended to do, year brings so many nice new things with only thought we could could do it at any it. The fine new school-room in the lane time; very likely it would never be done at is to be opened to-morrow; we are going all. Ol! this moment I remember there to see the children get their buns and cakes, are these little books I intended to cover, and hear them sing their New Year's Hymn. and have all ready for the children toBut before that I shall have my New morrow, and they are not done yet: I am Year's gifts, when I go down to prayers. very sorry; I must be up in time for that. I am quite sure that beautiful New Tes I remember, too, mamma said, it is easier tament in mamma's room is for me: and I to put off bad habits, when we are children, saw papa looking at coral necklaces the than when we are grown up; just as it is other day in a shop window; I should not easier to do things in the day time, when wonder though I got one of them. Then the sun is shining, and the light is clear, there is to be a large party at grandpapa's; than when it is grey and dusky in the I am to have on my lovely blue dress with evening. We may be quite sure that is the swan's down; my old merino is to be true-Jesus said, “I must work while it is given as a New Year's gift to that poor day, the night cometh when no man can orphan child whom we went to see—it will work.” Mainma says the worst putting off be a grand new Sunday dress for her. Oh! of all, would be putting off loving and seeking yes, there are a great many nice things at Him when we were young, especially when the New Year. It is a very happy time; He has given so many beautiful promises and yet (it is strange) my text to-day was, to the children, all to theniselves. Getting “ Better is the end of a thing than the Him to be on our side would help us with beginning thereof." I wonder if the end all the bad habits we have to strive against, of the year is ever better than the beginning | and that would make it easier for us to
THE CRANES OF IBYCUS; OR, THE ALL-SEEING EYE.
get quit of them. It will be a pity, and | get strangely mixed up and confused in quite my own doing, I dare say, if I have the little girl's head; her bright star seemed the very same faults at the end of the new to grow dim, as with closing eyes she still year, as I have at the beginning.'
looked up unto the blue, and, drowsily But good resolutions, and Christmas murmuring goodbyes' to the old year, presents, and new-year's gifts, began to | Nellie fell asleep.
THE CRANES OF IBYCUS; OR, THE ALL-SEEING EYE. TBYCUS, a famous lyric poet of Greece, | cranes hovering above them, and one of I was assailed by robbers while journey. | them scoffingly said to another, 'Lo, there, ing to Corinth. As he fell beneath their the avengers of Ibycus.' murderous strokes, he looked round to see The words were overheard by some if there were any witnesses; but no human near them, and excited suspicion, for being was near. He saw only a flight of already the poet's disappearance had cranes soaring high over head, and he called awakened anxiety and alarm. Being queson them to become the avengers of his tioned, the murderers of Ibycus betrayed blood.
themselves, and were forthwith led to their A vain commision this might have been doom. thought by any one, and such it no doubt Thus the words, The cranes of Ibycus, seemed to the murderers.
passed into a proverb to express the Yet it was not so. For these bad men, wondrous way by which God in His a little time after, sitting in the open providence often brings the most secret theatre at Corinth, beheld this flight of crimes to the open light of day.
THE CRANES OF IBYCUS; OR, THE ALL-SEEING EYE.
therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever.” And when Ananias and Sapphira sold the land and kept back part of the price, how was their sin discovered ?'
Peter knew what they had done, and they both fell down dead when he accused them of their sin.'
'God saw their hypocrisy and wickedness, and punished them before all the church, for a warning to all of how vain it is to imagine that any sin can be hidden from
How very strange,' said Harry, after listening to this story, ‘No one would ever have thought that a flock of cranes could tell of a murder.'
• It is a very striking story, and forcibly reminds us of Solomon's words of warning against evil-speaking. Read Eccles. x. 20.
Ooo Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bed-chamber: for a bird of the air shail carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.” ?
6«The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” Even when no human eye witnesses the evil deed, and no human ear hears the evil word spoken, the All-seeing eye above and conscience within find winged messengers to tell the matter. When Achan saw among the spoils of Jericho a goodly Babylonish 'garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, and coveted them, and took them, and hid them in the earth, he thought no one would ever know what he had done. But God's eye was upon him, and he was obliged to confess his sin before all the people, and to suffer the punishment of his iniquity. How was Achan's sin found out, Harry?
The Israelites were beaten in the battle at Ai, and God told Joshua that it was because some one had sinned, and that they must discover who it was by casting lots; and then Achan was taken and stoned to death."
• The defeat at Ai and the lot were God's messengers to discover Achan's sin. And when Gehazi ran after Naaman, and said that Elisha had sent him to ask a talent of silver, and two changes of garments, how was his covetousness and falsehood found out??
God told Elisha all about it, and Naaman's leprosy came upon Gehazi to punish him.'
Yes; the Holy Spirit, the heavenly dove, showed Elisha Gehazi's wicked conduct, and he said to him, " Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned away from his chariot to meet thee? The leprosy |
"God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
À faithful dog was the means of discovering the murderer of his master, a Frenchman named Aubric de Montdidier. The dog vainly defended his master when his mortal foe Macaire attacked and killed him. Then he lay day and night on the forest grave in which Macaire, hoping to hide his crime, had buried his victim. But there is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves. The faithful dog never left the grave, excepting when he went to the house of his master's chief friend in Paris, for his daily meal. At length suspicion was aroused; the dog was followed to the forest grave, the ground was searched, the murder discovered, and the corpse again buried. Afterwards, the dog's furious attacks upon Macaire led to his being accused of the murder, and the matter was put to the proof by the ordeal of combat in the Isle de Nore Dame. The dog had a tub into which he might retire, the man a club and a shield. The combat was so lengthy that Macaire, no doubt tormented by his own conscience, was so worn out that he fainted away, and on coming to himself confessed the murder.
“If our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.'
He smiles in heaven, He frowns in hell,
He fills the earth, the air, the sea;
I cannot from His anger flee.
Yes-I may flee, He"shows me where;
To Jesus Christ He bids me fly;
There's only mercy in His eye.' • If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.'
ALEXANDER HUME. THE early hymn-writers of Scotland are
I very few indeed. In the long, sad, romantic history of this mountain land, the sweet, still voice of hymns is scarcely to be heard. The devotion of the people found its voice in other ways. We are left small legacy of sacred song from the days of the first Stuarts. But in the reign of James Sixth there was published a volume of
Hymns or Sacred Songs' by Alexander Hume.
Alexander Hume was one of an old Berwickshire family--afterwards ennobled, and bearing, for one or two generations, the title of Earl of Marchmont. He was a courtier, in the early part of his life, in the grave court of James Sixth; but in his latter years he had retired from the palace, and become minister of the little parish of Logie.
It must have been a gentle change from the pedantries of James Sixth's court, and the haughty strifes of the nobles, and the hard debates of the clergy, to retire to this peaceful parish among the green Ochill hills. The graceful links of the Forth wind here and there among its pastures, and the lovely rivers Allen and Devon water its lonely places. There is no lovelier spot to be desired or found, than many a nook of this little parish which the poet-courtier now tended. And the poem, of all the volume wbich is still best known, seems but a transcript of the beauty round him.
THANKS FOR A SUMMER DAY.
The darkness from the light,
Another o'er the night.
The shadow of the earth, anon,
Removes, and so draws by;
Appears a clearer sky.
The lapwing and the snipe,
O'er meadow, muir, and stripe.
Sets up his shining head,
Displays his beams abroad.
Against his visage shean,
In woods and gardens green.
Goes gladly forth the way;
Takes comfort of the day.
That nowhere shall ye find,
The air of passing wind.
The balmy leaf do bear:
They no more move or stir.
O'er rocks can swiftly rin
And makes a pleasant din.
That every cry and call
Again repeat them all.
That never think to drown,
Collect their liquor brown.
The sterling whistles loudí
Full quietly they crowd.
The sun goes out of sight,
With purple sanguine bright.
Endlang, a river clear;