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MR. BURNS MADE A PRISONER IN CHINA.
I was provided with a servant and whatever food I wished, at the expense of the government, and had I been well and had with me a good supply of Christian books, I might have enjoyed the journey much. As the case was, my books were nearly all gone; and as to my health, a slight cold which I had caught before coming to the city, had, through excitement, &c., taken the form of an intermittent fever with chills (ague), which, violent at first, continued more or less during all my journey.
REACHES CANTON. “On reaching Canton on the morning of the 30th September, instead of being taken to the mandarin's office, two men were sent by the authorities to conduct me straight from the boat to the office of the British Consul. The Consul has had a communication from the Chinese Governor-General about me. I did not see it, but the Consul informed me that it was conceived in a mild strain, much more so than he had expected ; and I am thus wonderfully preserved and freed from the infliction of any punishment or penalty. I am sorry to add, that there is reason to fear my two companions are still confined at Choan-chow-foo, though the Governor-General assures the Consul, they have been sent to their native districts, to be liberated on finding proper security.
“If shut up for a season at Canton, I am in the midst of kind missionary brethren, American and English; and my acquaintance with the Canton dialects now reviyed, should save me, through the grace of God, from spending my time unprofitably. The field is the world ; the seed is the Word of God. Most of those who came down with me from Choan-chow were Canton men. They treated me with much respect ard kindness, and with them, in
the course of the month we spent together, I had many conversations on the subject of the Gospel, which, I trust, may not prove altogether useless. Looking back on the whole scenes through which I have passed, and contrasting the life and favors granted us, with the misconstruction and suffering to which we might have been subjected, I cannot but adore the wonderful goodness and power of Him, to whom the kingdom belongs, who unceasingly cares even for the meanest of his servants. And while the people of God have need to pray for us that we may be guided to act aright, and not to rush into danger without cause, they have surely also to give praise for deliverance vouchsafed, and for opportunities such as seldom occur of making known something of the truth of the Gospel to men in authority and to many
others." Reader, try to remember often in prayer our dear friends in that heathen land, and plead earnestly that the word of truth they proclaim may have free course and be glorified.
“IT COMES FROM ABOVE." There was once in France a poor boy, who was called “ Little Peter.” He was an orphan, and begged his bread from door to door. He sang very prettily, and people seldom sent him away empty-handed. It was an idle and uncomfortable life which he led; but Peter had no one to care for him, and he did not know what else to do. He had the singular custom of saying on every occasion, “ It comes froin above." I will tell you why.
When his father was on his death-bed-if, indeed, he had a bed, for he was very poor-- he said to his son, “My dear Peter, you will now be left alone, and many troubles IT COMES FROM ABOVE.”
you will have in the world. But always remember, that all comes from above; then you will find it easy to bear everything with patience."
Little Peter understood him, and in order not to forget the words, he often thought them aloud. He acknowledged every gift with the words, “It comes from above." As he grew up, he used to consider what the expression meant. He was intelligent enough to see, that as God rules the world, we may well believe of everything that happens in the way of his providence, “It comes from above."
This faith of Little Peter frequently turned out for his benefit. Once, as he was passing through the town, a sudden wind blew off a roof-tile, which fell on his shoulder, and struck him to the ground. His first words were, “It comes from above." The bystanders laughed, and thought he must be out of his senses, for, of course, it could not fall from below; but they did not understand him. A minute after, the wind tore off an entire roof in the same street, which crushed three men to death. Had Little Peter gone on, he would probably have been at that moment just where the roof fell.
Another time, a distinguished gentleman employed him to carry a letter to a neighbouring town, bidding him make all haste. On his way he tried to spring over a ditch, but it was so wide that he fell in, and was nearly drowned. The letter was lost in the mud, and could not be recovered. The gentleman was angry when Little Peter told him of his misfortune, and drove him out of door with his whip. “It comes from above," said Peter, as he stood on the steps. The next day the gentleman sent for him. “See here," said he, “there are two halfcrowns for you for tumbling into the ditch. Circum
HOW TO BE HAPPY.
stances have so changed on a sudden, that it would have been a misfortune to me had that letter gone safely."
I could tell you much more about Peter. When he had become a great boy, he was still called “Little Peter." A rich gentleman, who came into the town, having heard his story, sent for him, in order to give hiin something. When Little Peter entered the room, the Englishman said, “What Chink you, Peter ; why have I sent for you ?” “ It comes from above," replied Peter. This answer greatly pleased the gentleman. After thinking awhile, he said, “ You are right; I will take you into my service, and provide well for you. Will you agree to that ?” from above," answered Peter; “God is very good to me ; I will gladly go with you."
So the rich Englishman took him away. It was a good thing for the poor boy, who had been taught no trade. Long afterwards, we learned that when his master died, he left him a ge sum of money to carry on his business, and that “ Little Peter” was then a wealthy man in Birmingham. But he still said, of every occurrence, “It comes from above."
“ It comes
HOW TO BE HAPPY.
. I WILL give you two or three good rules which may help you to become happier than you would be without knowing them ; but as to being completely happy, that you can never be till you get to heaven.
The first is, “ Try your best to make others happy.” “I never was happy,” said a certain king, “till I began to take pleasure in the welfare of my people ; but ever since then, in the darkest day, I have had sunshine in my heart."
I CAN DO AS I LIKE.
My second rule is, “Be content with little." There are many good reasons for this rule. We deserve but little, we require but little, and," better is little, with the fear of God, than great treasures and trouble therewith.” Two men were determined to be rich; but they set about it in different ways, for the one strove to raise up his means to his desires, while the other did his best to bring down his desires to his means. The result was, the one who coveted so much was always repining, while he who desired but little was always contented.
My third rule is, “Look on the sunny side of things.”
Look up with hopeful eyes
Though all things seem forlorn ;
Again to-morrow morn.
The skipping lamb, the singing lark, and the leaping fish, tell us that happiness is not confined to one place. God in his goodness has spread it abroad on the earth, in the air, and in the water. Two aged women lived in the same cottage ; one was always fearing a storm, and the other was always looking for sunshine-hardly need I say which it was who wore a forbidding frown, or which it was whose face was lighted up with joy.
I CAN DO AS I LIKE." No one has a right to do as he pleases unless he pleases to do right.