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call it. It was a wild stormy day, and he took the road by the river. It was flooded frae bank to brae, and roarin' down its bed like a torrent. Many an hour his poor mother looked out for him, after darkness came on, but she never saw him in life again.'
'But wasn't he bad and wicked?' said Mary; 'how could every body like him, Granny?'
'Ah! no, Miss Mary, he wasn't what you call bad or wicked, but he couldn't say "No" to companions who were far worse than himself, and who loved strong drink; and so that was an end of him: but Granny must not make her dear bairns sad on such a happy day, so we'll say no more about him.'
'Oh! George,' said Mary, 'look how the snow has come on since we came; we'll make a splendid snow man in the back garden, by and bye. We must go, Granny; if we stay as long wherever we go first footin', New Year's day will be old before we are done.'
George felt rather solemnized and saddened by Granny's tale, and in after years, when tempted to be jolly and jovial, as his companions miscalled it, on a New Year's day, the thought of poor James stumbling into the dark river gave him nerve and strength to resist. 'First footing' to old nurse Brown brought a blessing to her, and to her dear little friends too. K.
SABBATH SCHOOL SPECTACLES.
A FRIEND of children once visited a **. Sabbath school and gave an address to the children, which interested them greatly.
He told them that, a few days before, he had taken a long walk. The weather was delightful, and the bright sunshine very cheering. As he walked along, he thought that he must put on his Sabbath school spectacles. 'I call,' said he, 'the power of seeing everything from the point of view of my class—the habit of turning all the little events of the day to the profit of the
children—my Sabbath school spectacles. When I put on these spectacles I say: "I see something which I will relate to my class; this would interest my children; here is a lesson from them—I will remember it on Sabbath."'
And what did this teacher see on his walk that day? At first he noticed two little sparrows hopping gaily along, picking up crumbs, and drinking little draughts of water. A child passed by eating a piece of cake, and the crumbs which he unconsciously let fall supplied the wants of the sparrows.
What did the spectacles point out in this as interesting to his class?
First, that God takes care of all: 'Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns: yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Dear children, if ever you are poor or in distress, do not forget that God made the crumbs fall for these two birds, and that he will be sure to provide what is needful for you, for you are much better than they.
And what next?
Next, that our trust in God, if it is real, gives us strength to carry on our work. The sparrows were seeking their food; they had come, by the flapping of their own wings, into the street where they picked up their breakfast . 'If any will not work neither should he eat.' (2 Thes. 3. 10.)
And what did this teacher see after that?
A terrible enemy: a young grey cat, with ferocious eyes, sharp claws, ready to spring upon the poor birds. At first it crouched behind a railing, then glided stealthily along the wall: when within afew steps of its prey, it placed itself before them, behind them, to the right, to the left, ite eyes fixed upon its victims, and following their every movement with eager, deadly, glaring eyes. The little birds feared nothing; they either did not see their enemy, or they thought themselves too far away from him to be in any danger. They hopped about, eat, drank and played in the sunshine, while their friend with the spectacles was trembling for them. The eat came nearer and nearer, he had just
See him in the temple standing,
While his humble supplication -;
His is not a boastful prayer,
It is one of earnest longing,
Yea, and more, for, standing lowly,
There he calls himself 'a sinner,'
And that'sinner's' earnest prayer,
'God be merciful to me,' Was by Him accepted rather
Than that of the Pharisee. t*
Or TBI FIFTEENTH AND SIXTEENTH CENTURIES.
IN a fine light of enthusiasm, yet sad; sad as beautiful things so often are, stands out from all the men of his time, the figure of Christopher Columbus.
The exact date of his birth is unknown; 1456, or a few years later, the early historians say. He was born in Genoa, and studied in the great School of Pavia. In 1470 he came to Lisbon, married the daughter of the Portuguese navigator Palestrello, and settled into what seemed a quiet life, busying himself for a livelihood by making charts and maps.
But a great thought broke upon him while he worked. God put the thought into his heart. Far away to the westward, far over the sunset sea, there lay an unknown land which he, Columbus, must find. Columbus felt it like an inspiration. God had given him this to do to plant the cross in the sunset far through mysterious ■pace, in some undiscovered region across the untraeked sea. Columbus felt that he must do his work. With what long patience he did it, with what noble fervour and simplicity, can never be truly toid,
But how should he do it? for Columbus was poor enough. And to hear him tell his strange thought, was like a fairy poem to
which the people listened and smiled, as they might listen and smile now at the fables of their own early history.
But the people who bartered keenly in the streets, and were filled with their gossips and their slanders, could not know this which was clear to Christopher Columbus. He applied to King John of Portugal. King John was but like his subjects. From him neither did he find any understanding or aid. A silly vision, the king like his
Eeople thought it. His wife was dead, and is home desolate. Columbus took his little boy Diego with him and left Lisbon to go where God should lead.
AVeary and hungry, he travelled through Andalusia, and stopped one day at the gate of the convent of La Babida. It was to beg bread and water for his little motherless boy. The superior of the convent was at that moment passing the gate, and struck by the noble stranger so tender and so stately and so poor, stopped with a courteous greeting, and they talked together in the gate. Soon Juan Perez de Marchena discovered that this was no common wayfarer. The tide of Columbus's life had turned; Marchena became his friend.
Marchena had interest at court which procured for Columbus at last, although slowly indeed, the aid he needed for his voyage. It was seven years before he was provided with the three ships necessary. On the morning of the third August, 1492, the ships lay in the little port of Palos in Andalusia, ready for the unknown' sea. 'Ferdinand and Isabella, Lords of the oceanseas, constituted Christopher Columbus their admiral, viceroy and governor-general of all such island and continents as he should discover in the western ocean.' Holding this high commission, Columbus went on board his ship. Solemn religious services were held upon the deck, and while all the air was still filled with the prayers and blessings of the people, the Spanish coast grew dim, and the mariners went out to that mysterious sea where ships had never sailed before.
A brave and able seaman was the Admiral Columbus. Do not suppose all