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course of the year, and this is only one case among many. Alas! this is true: and it is also true that mortals live carelessly on, not only as if sudden death, but death in any form, were unknown and unexpected. Thousands fall at their side, and ten thousand at their right hand, and they forget the possibility that the arrow of death may ever come nigh them. The daily register, the open grave, the slow procession, the tolling bell, the closed shutter, the sable garb, the mourners going about the streets, —all these, and many other signs of mortality constantly around us, are insufficient; and as the sight passes from our vision, and the sound dies away on our ears, each careless one listens with eager credulity to the tempting whisper, · Thou shalt not die.'

I now come to the principal lesson which was strongly presented before my mind, while considering the subject of these pages ; and this is, the advantage which the progressing and confirmed believer, who has from a child known the holy scriptures, has at the point of death, over him who learns for the first time the value of his soul, the preciousness of his Saviour, and the solemn realities of eternity, in the agonizing hour of hastily entering upon it. When we are about to commence a journey from our home to a distant part, do we not prepare for it some time beforehand, that when the hour arrives we may be ready? Then how is it that we make so little preparation for the journey which we must all take at some time or other? A greater or less portion of time is given to each, in which to make our preparations, and we know not what will be the messenger, nor when the hour appointed to convey us to our long home. Some of my readers may not be acquainted

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with the following story, which seems to me very much to the point I am now pressing. In the days when jesters were in use, a nobleman had occasion to change the one he had for another, and, on dismissing him, gave him a staff which he charged him pever to part with till he met with a greater fool than bimself. The jester accepted the present and the condition : some time after, hearing his former master was ill, he craved permission to go and visit him, and was, after some difficulty, admitted, with bis staff in his hand, into the sick chamber. “I am going a long journey,' was the nobleman's first exclamation. * And when will you return?' inquired the jester. • Return! oh, never,' replied his master. * Then of course you are prepared for this long jour

Aye, that's the worst of it,' said the nobleman; I have scarcely thought of it at all.' Then,' exclaimed the jester, ' take back my staff, for I have at last found what I have been seeking ever since you gave it mema greater fool than myself.'

It is a favourite idea with many, that those who are plucked as it were as a brand from the burning, at a late period of their lives, are greater monuments of the grace of God, and have more call for gratitude and love than others; they have the solemn contrast before them of what they were, and what they now are, and the grace of God seems to them more rich by that contrast. And I would not for a moment fail to admire and wonder at, and be thankful to the God of all grace, who calls the sinner from darkness to light whensoever he will ; and in such cases, when God is magnified, I will rejoice; but with regard to my own feelings, I cannot help entering yet more fully into the sentiment contained in one of Dr. Watts's hymns, repeated to me by one of my Sunday scholars only last Sabbath :

To thee, Almighty God, to thee

Our childhood we resign;
'Twill please us to look back and see

That our whole lives were thine!"

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I will only add three short passages from scripture, which apply to all the different stages of life :

'Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven."

“ Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

“ The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness."


The following horrible piece of blasphemy occurs in a book which is put into the hands of the Romish children in the schools under the National Education Board of Ireland :-“ God, who is admirable in his works, would also make a created image of the Trinity in these three wonderful persons, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, whom he chose from the mysteries of the incarnation. What affections therefore are due to this admirable and venerable Trinity! And our greatest devotion, after that to Jesus and Mary, ought to be to St. Joseph ; such honour is due to the third person of the amiable created Trinity of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.”—From 'The Glories of St. Joseph, page 14.


No. XI.

When the halo of old endeared association is flung over scenery whose beauty is in itself sufficient to rivet the gaze and extort the admiration of even the passing stranger, the charm is complete. I read this truth in every wave of yonder shining river, that rolls so musically by. Beautiful Lee! once more I am on thy banks! Once more my eyes revel in delight upon that lovely picture to which familiarity but seems to add fresh charms ;-more fair, more precious now that for the hundredth time I gaze on thee, than when thy beauties charmed in days gone by, my childish imagination. Never since then have I beheld the stream I would compare with thee. The lordly Rhine, whose majestic banks, rocky and bare, or clad with vines, are crowned with bold baronial towers ;—the Elbe flanked with “ eternal forests,” dark fir or gloomy pine ;—the Meuse, rich and smiling in all its quiet loveliness ;—the lonely Wye that murmurs on so tranquilly in the deep stillness and seclusion of its romantic shores ;—the Churnet, winding and lingering, loth to quit the woods, and hills, and lovely vallies that skirt its varied course;-none are to me as thou, sweet Lee! Their beauties fascinate my taste, while admiration deeper than words can tell, fills my delighted eye;—the homage of my heart is thine. No wonder I should love thee! Thy banks are dotted with the homes of cherished friends ; amongst them is the hospitable roof of one dearer than all, deeply and fondly loved. Thy waters as they murmur by are fraught to me with other music than their own ;-kind welcomes, old familiar tones, voices of love, sounds hallowed by affection. Each fairy bay, each curve and headland of thy well-known shores brings with it scenes of childhood, and wakens up remembrances of happy days passed on thy pleasant banks. No wonder I should love thee!

Association is a talisman, and “ancient memories' are mighty spells; but the Lee requires them not to move the admiration of the beholder. Perhaps it is because I love the spot, or that familiarity has endeared the view from thence, but nowhere, methinks, does the river look so lovely as from the terrace walk of dear Castle Mahon. There it widens into a lake. like expanse, and the channel is so capricious in its windings that the vessels seem to be crossing 'at times from shore to shore, and are now and then lost sight of behind the projecting headlands. How often on a still, calm day, when' not a breath disturbed the glassy surface of the waters, and the heavens and they were of one soft delicious blue, have I leaned over the low parapet and drank in the quiet delights of the hour. Blackrock castle on the right, with its tower and battlements ;-the opposite shore sloping gently upwards, every rock and tree and building reflected and prolonged deep down in the shining waters ;—the distant town lying at the end of the beautiful vista formed by the lofty banks, and softened by the silvery haze that floated around it like a veil ;—the ships at anchor, motionless, sleeping as

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