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History and prophecy, parables and proverbs, scientific research, and the treasures of genius must yield their quota to his store. Difficulties must not daunt, but inspire him with new energy. It may be hard work to scale a mountain, but there's health and vigour in the exercise. The men who, some time ago, dug the artesian well at Brighton, were many months digging through the hard rock; but in one hour from the time they reached the spring, they had more water than all the town could exhaust. Success is a fruit which hangs from the boughs of the tree of diligence.
Assiduity in worldly matters, is not only excusable, but preferred, “Push," "Tact," "Keenness," "Energy," and "Promptness," are household words in City houses, and mean that he who has them is on the high road to prosperity and honour. Can these qualities be less important in spiritual matters? No! All that is legitimate, and praiseworthy, in matters connected with the acquisition of worldly wealth and civic fame, should, if possible, be wrought into our texture as teachers, and become part of our spiritual character; for, if he who is diligent in his worldly calling shall stand before kings, he who is diligent in works of faith and labours of love, shall, in due season, stand before the King of kings, well approved and gloriously honoured. “Hinder me not,” said Eleazar of Damascus, when Rebekah's relatives would have delayed his return to his master. “Hinder me not, seeing that the Lord hath prospered my way.” And as we, as teachers, are endeavouring to hasten the introduction of the Bride to the Bridegroom, shall we permit ourselves to be hindered by incompetence, unworthiness or indolence ? God forbid ! We may not be thus delayed, if diligence will prevent it: for our tardiness may retard others, and the time is short, too short to permit our regaining lost opportunities. Lost hours may mean lost souls. We must work while it is called to-day. It is said that one of the things which led to Cardinal Wolsey's rise, was a rapid journey (for those times) he made from Richmond to Flanders, to convey a message from King Henry VII. to the Emperor Maximilian. This he accomplished in a little over three days, greatly to the admiration of the king, and the conse. quent advance of the young and ready courtier. Shall a man be thus diligent to gratify an earthly monarch, straining all his powers and lending all his resources to win a smile or obtain a fleeting favour, and shall not we from higher and holier motives, devote all our energies to please Him, and advance His cause, who calls us to be co-workers with Jesus in the spread of his truth? Wolsey found that the smiles and favours of earthly kings are deceitful and vain; but, we know that the smile of God's approval is an enduring
honour, surviving even the wreck and ruin of this lower world, and then borne by us into that new and eternal world wherein dwelleth everlasting righteousness.
Remembering, then, the rest that remains, and the promised reward, let us, day by day, renew our determination to be more diligent in acquiring ability for our work, striving after perfection, and with the measure of it to which we have already attained, let us be even more diligent than in the past in prosecuting our work. The fields are white unto the harvest, and let us not only pray for an increase of labourers, but earnestly seek the sympathy and co-operation of such as are eligible to be our coadjutors in the holy work : bring in such, and receive them in the Lord with all gladness, that they may be our fellow-helpers in the truth, and then very soon, O glorious thought! we who sow, and they who reap, shall rejoice with the Lord of the harvest, and the garnered souls, for ever, and for ever.
G. M. M,
MALAGASY SCHOLARS. The King Radama I., early discerned the secular advantages which he and his people would derive from the instructions of the Missionaries, and from the first he gave them his countenance and aid. He sent the sons of his highest nobles to be taught, and took a pleasure in visiting the school, to hear them recite their lessons and sing their hymns. Soon the children became attached to their teachers and to the school; to many, the daily task was only a most pleasant occupation. Often, indeed, before daybreak, as if impatient to begin their work, would groups of them gather outside the teacher's house, repeating the multiplication table, or other prescribed exercises in which they were interested. An unexpected and amusing proof of their fondness for the school occurred a short time after its commencement. Wanting some relaxation for themselves, and imagining that Malagasy children, like boys and girls at home, would be gratified with a holiday, one day the announcement was made that the school would be closed for a short time. This was a surprise and a mystery to the parents, and the only explanation they could imagine was, that the Missionaries intended in this way to punish their children for some unknown offence. A kabary, or public council, was consequently summoned to investigate the matter, and even the King sent to inquire what the children had done. Of course the explanation was as satisfactory to the parents, as their anxiety for the improvement of the children was encouraging to the Missionaries.-Madagascar, its Mission and its Martyrs.
YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION.
It is one thing to theorize on theological doctrines, it is quito another to be the living epistle of Christ, known and read of all men; one thing to maintain points of faith to the very letter, and another to be the temples of the Holy Ghost. Saved men-men obviously delivered from the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of Christ, are after all the best commentaries on the gospel, the best witnesses to its truth, its inspiration, its divinity; and the work in which private Christians should engage, is prayerfully to endeavour to multiply the number of such witnesses. It is a mistake, to call it by no harsher name, to leave this hallowed work to the ministers and missionaries of Christ-a mistake to suppose that none but the officially-appointed should speak to their fellow-men about the things of the kingdom-a mistake to imagine that the pecuniary gift to the treasury of heaven exonerates the giver from the duty of trying to convert sinners from the error of their way. The Young Men's Christian Association has helped in some measure to correct this mistake. Many of the members of that society are active in their spare moments in doing good, freely and unofficially, as they have opportunity; and perhaps in no way have they done greater service than in speaking to young men who come from the country to the great 'metropolis to engage in commercial pursuits. Such young men are, of course, continually coming in search of employment in the huge emporium of business, and the clerk or warehouseman who has the love of Christ in his heart has the opportunity, as these strangers arrive, to hold out to them the welcoming hand of Christian affection, and, if they be not already joined to the Lord, to lead them to some well of salvation in the great city. If this were done on a far larger scale by the great multitude of professed followers of Christ not in London alone, but in the other large towns--ay, in small ones too-of the empire, what a multitude of young men, humanly speaking, who are sacrificer to intemperance, impurity, and other forms of so-called pleasure, would be saved from the ruin which a Christless life entails on both body and soul! The distribution of religious tracts and books is a good and blessed work, in which many are regularly engaged, but the living voice ought ever to supplement the printed page. There is a charm in the living voice when it is properly used in the service of Christ, that arrests the attention of the person addressed. Let him feel that you are in earnest, and he will listen ; but very much depends upon the living voice being properly used, and therefore we repeat the expression. By this is meant mildness, gentleness of tone—the silver trumpet heralding the tidings of release. No man was ever yet scolded into the faith, or dogmatized into deliverance, or threatened into believing union with the Lord of life and glory. “He that winneth souls is wise." Ay, that is it. And they may be won. 6 Come unto me,” is the gentle persuasion of the good Shepherd who gave his life for the sheep,—" come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."-Allen White.
Oh break, oh break, hard heart of mine!
F. W. FABER, BIBLE CLASS AGENCIES.
PROBABLY few will be disposed to deny, that however successful Sunday schools may be, when conducted in an exclusively religious spirit, they flourish better when they have also the benefit of those secular agencies which are strictly compatible with the great principles of Christianity. The Sunday school is an institution whose primary object is to benefit spiritually those children who may come within its pale; but if I rightly understand the object Sunday school teachers have in view, it is not only to teach and impress the principles of the Bible upon the minds of their charge upon the Sabbath, but also to endeavour to make them reduce those principles to practice during the week; hence, the friendly and familiar communication of the teacher with his class during the week is generally productive of great benefit to both.
It is to be feared that there are some worthy people, who, in their hypercritical prudence, quite defeat their own object. They do not like children to read fiction, so they provide them with a mass of learned lumber in the shape of “Lectures,” “Discourses," "Sermons," and "Treatises;" literature which the minds of chil- . dren (and of many adults too) are utterly unable to grasp : consequently they are driven to the meretricious novels, which are so fatally attractive to young people. Where a school is conducted in this exclusively religious spirit, where all secular books are forbidden the library, and all secular recreation prohibited at the children's festivals, it is no wonder that the children regard such a school with something like disfavour,
In this short paper, however, I purpose to confine my remarks to one or two agencies that might be beneficially employed in connection with Bible classes.
I have no hesitation whatever in mentioning elocution classes as most invaluable aids to Bible classes. Young men will have associates of their own age and sex, and if they do not find them in connection with their own school, they will find them in far less reputable places. The advantages they would derive from being active members of elocution classes, are neither few nor small; they would have the benefit of co-operating with each other in all the affairs of the class; they would have one object, that object their mutual improvement. Thus a love of reading and study would be engendered; a desire created not only for each one to benefit himself, but to benefit his fellow-members. At the meetings of the class