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TAKE CARE OF THE BEGINNING,
Pourtrays those eyes which ever smiled
On sports of harmless glee,
A welcome kind and free.
No more around his chair
The envied kiss to share.
How desolate we are,
Our young lives' guiding star.
TAKE CARE OF THE BEGINNING. " ALL's well that ends well,” is a saying that's not always true. It is of the highest moment to begin well and go on well, and it is the best and surest way of managing to end well. Things may end well which began ill; that is the exception, not the rule. Therefore I say, "take care of the beginning !"
There is an Arab fable of a miller who was one day startled by a camel, who thrust his big nose in through the window of the room where the miller was sleeping. " It is very cold outside,” said the camel ; “ I only want to get my nose in.” The nose was let in, but soon in came the neck, then the shoulders, then the whole camel. Presently the miller began to be extremely annoyed at the ungainly companion he had got, especially as the room was not half large enough for both.
So he began to complain. But the camel replied, “If you are inconvenienced by my presence, Mr. Miller, you may leave; as for myself, I shall stay where I am.”
SIMPLE ANSWERS TO GREAT QUESTIONS.
The moral or lesson of this fable concerns you, my friend, and all. When temptation comes in the way, we must not yield to it. We must not allow even its nose to get in. If you yield even an inch, you will assuredly be overcome. No matter what the temptation is, no matter what the sin, the rule applies to all evil habits, indulgences, companions, books, &c.—thei
name is legion. Never say, in view of any one of them, “ there's no fear of me." John Newton says, Satan seldom comes to Christians with great temptations, or with temptations to commit a great sin. You bring a green log and a candle together, and they are safe neighbours; but bring a few shavings and set them alight, and then bring a few small sticks and let them take fire, and the log be in the midst of them, and you will soon get rid of your log. And so it is with little sins. You will be startled with the idea of committing a great sin, and so the devil brings a little temptation and leaves you to indulge yourself. “There is no great barm in this ;" no great peril in that;" and so by these chips we are easily lighted up, and at last the great green log is burnt. Watch and pray, that
ye enter not into temptation. “ Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it ; turn from it, and pass away.
Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left ; remove thy foot from evil."
SIMPLE ANSWERS TO GREAT
QUESTIONS. “ THERE once came to me an Irishman,” says Mr. Spurgeon, “when I was in my vestry, and Pat began by
156 SIMPLE ANSWERS TO GREAT QUESTIONS. making a low bow.” Now, your riverence, I have come to ax you a question.” “ Oh," said I, “ Pat, what is your question, and how is it you have not been to your priest about it?” Said he, “I have been to him, but I don't like his answer." Well, what is your question ?" Said he, " God is just ; and if God be just he must punish my sins; I deserve to be punished ; if He is a just God, He ought to punish me; and yet you say that He is merciful, and will forgive sins. I cannot see how that is right; He has no right to do that. He ought to be just, and punish those who deserve it. Tell me how He can be just and yet merciful.” I said, “That is through the blood of Christ," Said he, “ That is what my priest said. You are very much alike there ; but he said a good deal besides that I did not understand; and that short answer does not satisfy me.
I want to know how it is that this blood of Christ enables God to be just and yet merciful.” And then I saw what he wanted. I said, “Pat, suppose you had been killing a man, and the Queen had said, . That Irishman must be hanged.'” Said he, “ And I should richly deserve it." “ But suppose I was very fond of you, can you see any way by which I could save you from hanging ?” "No, sir, I don't.” “Then suppose I went to the Queen, and said, “Now, your Majesty, I am very fond of this Irishman. I think you are quite right in saying he must be hung ; but let me be hanged instead, and you will then carry out the law.' Now, the Queen could not agree to it; but suppose she could (and He can who has power over all kings and queens), and
suppose she should execute me, do you think the policeman would take you up afterwards ?” Says he, “ No, I should think not, ra’ally; they would not meddle with me; but if they did, I should say, What are you doing? Did not that gintleman condescind to be hung for me? Let me alone ;
SIMPLE ANSWERS TO GREAT QUESTIONS. 155 you do not want to hang two people for the same thing, do you ?! “Ah, my friend, said I, “ you have just hit it; that is the way whereby we are saved. God must punish sin! Christ says, 'My Father, punish me instead ;' and His Father did. He laid on Him the burden of our sins, and the punishment and chastisement of them too; and now that Christ is punished, He would not be just if He were to punish any sinner that believes in Christ; for if thou believest in Jesus thou art saved, and thou mayst go thy way—die when God pleases ; there is no hell, but heaven, for thee, and thou shalt see the face of God with joy and gladness, and sing songs of praise for ever and ever."
At the examination of a Deaf and Dumb Institution in London, some years ago, a little boy was asked, in writing, who made the world. He took the chalk, and wrote the words, “ In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
The clergyman then inquired in a similar manner, “ Why did Jesus Christ come into the world ?”
A smile of gratitude rested on the countenance of the little fellow, as he wrote, “ This is a true saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners."
A third was then proposed, evidently adapted to call the most powerful feelings into exercise.
Why were you born deaf and dumb when I can hear and speak ?"
“Never,” says an eye-witness, “shall I forget the look of resignation which sat upon his countenance, as he again took the chalk and wrote, “Even so, Father, for it seemed good in thy sight.'
Could any of our young readers have given better · answers ?
DIAMOND DUST. “Now abideth Faith, Hope, Love, these three ; but the greatest of these is Love;" for Love is the seraph, and Faith and Hope are but the wings by which it flies.
CHRIST is a path, if any be misled ;
He is a robe, if any naked be ;
If any be a bondman, He is free;
If any be but weak, how strong is he!
A pleasure without loss, a treasure without stealth. Do Christ this one favour; for all his love to thee, love all his saints, even the poorest, the meanest, and the weak. est, notwithstanding some slight difference in judgment. All the names of the children of Israel were graven on Aaron's breastplate; so are the names of all God's saints engraven on the heart of Christ. Let them be likewise on thine.-Wilcox.
SMALL SERVICES.- The following lines are no less true than beautiful :
Small service is true service while it lasts ;
Of all thy friends, though humble, scorn not one;
Protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun.