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GNAWING A FILE.
a moment he stood confounded. At last he said, “For once I have made a fool of myself.”
And so he had; for he was not only obliged to go supperless to bed, but, what was of vastly more consequence, he had lost a good set of teeth that would be quite indispensable in procuring his future suppers. And here we will leave his ratship, in order to make an application of the story.
Men ought to be wiser than rats ; but they are not, for they also frequently gnaw a file.
A person gnaws a file when, just for the sake of having his own way, he obstinately persists in doing that which is against bis own interest—that which injures himself a vast deal more than anybody else.
An illustration :-A boy, whose name I feel a little delicacy about mentioning, once gut a little grouty at something his mother required him to do; so when lie was called to dinner, to show his independence, he said, with pouting lips-
“ I don't want any dinner.”
Now, he was hungry enough ; but he was determined he would not eat, out of spite. He overheard his sister say
“ Guess he'll get hungry by supper time.”
So he nourished his wrath to keep it warm, and when his sister called him to supper, he grouted out more than
“ I don't want any supper.". But as he turned to go off, he heard his mother say— “ You'll be a cheap boarder at this rate."
So he had the blessed satisfaction of having his own way, and went supperless to bed, where he repented at
LETTERS FROM CHINA.
his leisure. There he lay and thought the matter all over again and again. He finally came to the “unanimous conclusion" in his own mind, that he was a great fool for having done as he had ; for he had injured no mortal living so much as himself. It is almost unnecessary to add, that he had a remarkably good appetite for break
and that, from this time, he was of the unshaken opinion that it was miserably poor policy to gnaw a file.
LETTERS FROM CHINA. We have lately received letters from Mr. Burns, Mr. Douglas, and Mr. Sandeman. They are all well, and busily employed in their great work. Mr. Douglas tells us of a new place he had just been at which had never been visited before by any missionary. He says :
“One of our preachers, whose mother lives near An-hai, had repeatedly urged me to visit the town; but our plans had always been disappointed till this time ; we spent two days and a-half, and in the opinion of us all, we had never in any other place such an encouraging reception. The largest audiences were in the court before Kwan-yin's temple ; it is the largest in the place and stands on the highest ground. Here, as usual, it was at the invitation of the people themselves that we went to the temple, and the priests never make any objection. Several shopkeepers asked us into their shops to drink tea and converse on Christianity, and one evening when heavy rain came on, one of them sent two men with a polite message that he had prepared a room for me, asking me to spend the night at his house ; as the gospel-boat was dry enough, I declined his offer, but it showed his good feeling towards
LETTERS FROM CHINA.
the foreigner. Some of our company went up as my substitutes, and in the morning reported that they had a long and interesting conversation. As our boat lay at a bridge in the main street of the town, a great many persons came down into the boat to converse with us, and to get books; some came over and over again. Many persons asked us to set up a chapel to let them hear the gospel regularly ; it was sad to have to say that we had yet enough of suitable men; but I do hope that before long it may be possible to answer their request.”
Might not the Children's Missionary go to this place if we had enough money raised to support him ? When will that be ?
The New Chapel at Pechuia. “ Last Sabbath I stayed and preached in the new chapel at Pechuia, which is now quite finished and occupied, the old one having been returned to its owners.
The new chapel is about thirty-one feet square, and seventeen feet high. On the left hand of the pulpit a part is screened off for the women ; and in the opposite corner is the stair to the upper story ; that contains a room for myself, about eleven feet square, placed so as to catch the southerly monsoon ; a back room adjoins; there are also three similar rooms for the chapel-keeper and two preachers ; and a school-room, twenty feet by ten; the remaining space in the centre of the upper story is used as a hall for morning and evening worship and other such meetings, besides serving as a passage to the rooms which are arranged round the side. Access is had by a ladder to the roof, which is flat, making a pleasant walk in the cool of the morning and evening."
LETTERS FROM CHINA.
Sad Case of an Old Chinaman. About two years ago an old man was put in prison, at Chang-chou, for selling a house which belonged to him at Chioh-bey, for the missionaries to preach in. He was not a Christian, either. The poor man has been kept in prison until lately, when, to the great joy of the American missionaries who bought the house, he was set at liberty. Mr. Sandeman says:
" It was instructing to see the man who for two years had been imprisoned for being connected with those who love the name of Jesus. He is old and venerable looking. But it was sad to learn that he was not of the mind of those of old, who ‘being let go, went to their own company.' His imprisonment for the name of Jesus had not taught him the love of Jesus ; and on the following Sabbath, when the believers met together and praised the Lord for the deliverance-the delivered was not there. And so is it true to-day, as at the commencement of the Christian church, And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor-and though I give my body to be burned,' or spend days or years in prison—and have not the love of Jesus—it profits me nothing.' What a mournful missing of the jewelled crown is that when a man suffers in connection with Christ, but not for his unspeakable love, wherewith he loved us.
“How many at home connected with Christian families, as children or relatives, or as servants, do suffer something for the cause of Christ, but have no part or lot in his love—no more than this poor Chinaman seems to have, though imprisoned on account of Christians for many days."
THERE IS ANOTHER MAN." DURING a heavy storm off the coastof Spain, a dismasted merchantman was observed by a British frigate drifting before the gale. Every eye and glass were on her, and a canvas shelter on a deck almost level with the sea, suggested the idea that there yet might be life on board. With all his faults, no man is more alive to humanity than the rough and hardy mariner ; and so the order instantly sounds to put the ship about, and presently a boat puts off, with instructions to bear down upon the wreck. Away after that drifting hulk go these gallant men through the swell of a roaring sea ; they reach it ; they shout, and now a strange object rolls out of that canvas screen against the lee shroud of a broken mast. Hauled into the boat, it proves to be the trunk of a man bent head and knees together, so dried and shrivelled as to be bardly felt within the ample clothes, and so light, that a mere boy lifted it on board. It is laid on the deck: in horror and pity, the crew gather round it: it shows signs of life; they draw nearer, it moves, and then mutters, in a deep, sepulchral voice, “ There is another man.” Saved himself, the first effort he makes is to save another. Oh ! learn that blessed lesson! Be daily practising it. And so long as in our homes, among our friends, in this wreck of a world which is drifting down to ruin, there lives an unconverted one, there is “ another man;" let us go to that man, and plead for Christ ; go to Christ, and plead for that man the cry, “Lord, save me, I perish!” changed into one' as welcome to a Saviour's ear, “Lord, save them, they perish!”