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effects might be such as we should both shrink | and frivolous gossip. He had not even a word from contemplating."

"But I am not engaged!" Will exclaimed, feeling under Mrs. Campbell's words almost as though he were a homicide.

"You are not, I know," the lady quickly replied; "and it is on that, dear Will, that I would say one word. I am perfectly aware you cannot control your affections; nor would it be fit that you should do so. At the same time, if you do feel any interest in us as a family-any personal consideration for me especially-would it cost you too much to delay the declaration of those affections for a while? I am aware of the sacrifice it may involve; but I am speaking selfishly, and as only a selfish mother might dare to speak."

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Not selfish," Will said, in his heart's gratitude, vainly striving to forget self, while the happy vision of his own love became yet more misty and indistinct in the distant future. "Do not speak so, Mrs. Campbell. I can enter into your feelings, indeed I can, and am prepared, as far as it is consistent with duty and honour, to meet them."

He felt that the sacrifice (it need not be a long one) must for the time be made-that duty and gratitude demanded it. How could he expect happiness with Madge if bought at such a price? He knew perfectly well in his heart's depths that Madge would feel even as he did, could she but know all. Madge so noble, so unselfish! Will's heart sank within him; but the sense of duty triumphed; and again he told Mrs. Campbell that it should be as she desired.

The latter acknowledged the unexpected concession with a friendly grasp of the hand and grateful smile, and then said: "There is still one more question I would ask you, dear Will. Does the young lady, does Margaret Raymond herself, know of your feelings towards her?"

"I don't know, I am sure," Will answered with some confusion; for he had never seriously surveyed the question in that light before; it had been so thoroughly taken for granted. "I do not know, Mrs. Campbell; but I should think she did. Why do you ask?"

"O it is not of much consequence; only the thought of a rumour-an idle rumour it may be -came at the moment into my mind."

"What is it ?" Will asked, as quietly as he was able.

"I have heard that young Brograve has been much at the Hall of late, that he greatly admires Madge, and that she appears not wholly averse to him. Pray do not let it disturb you-it may be, indeed I daresay it is, a report quite without foundation. Try and think no more of it, my dear Will, I beg of you," Mrs. Campbell continued, marking Will's too-evident agitation and discomposure, and beginning really to fear whether she might not have gone too far.

Will said nothing for a while-how could he? He had been absent from Rockwood a whole year previous to his accident, and had had but one short interview with the Raymonds-too short and too fearfully interrupted to hear such news, if true. There was only his own heart to reassure him and persuade him to lay aside Mrs. Campbell's unkind insinuation as false

from Madge whereby to contradict the statement; only the trustful speaking confidence of her brown eyes as they rowed that evening down the river, and the tears that he had seen gather in them that very day as she looked upon his wan and wasted countenance for the first time. But his own heart did reassure him, and after a minute, with a great effort reassuming his former self-possession, he said with a smile: "Yes, Mrs. Campbell, you must be right. I am convinced that can be only a foolish and passing report. Brograve is so old and close a friend of mine that I feel pretty sure I should have been told something had this been the case. Of course he admires Madge-he always did; and it is not likely, after the years we spent so much together, that the friendship of any of us should diminish as we grow older; still, I cannot think there is truth in the report you named."

Will spoke firmly and courageously; and yet it was very foolish and troublous, but so it was, that Madge's last words before she left the room that afternoon flashed for a moment across his mind: "We shall be seeing Charlie this evening." And then on the river that other evening now so long distant had she not said, "We only now want Charlie to make it complete"? Could it be? Was her love to him, after all, only that of a sweet and trusting sister? No, no. Will banished the thought almost before it was conceived; and yet it did help him just a little to contemplate more bravely the sacrifice he had engaged to makethe postponement of that which a few hours before had seemed so near and bright before him. Perhaps it was only right, he thought, that Madge should be left free a while longer. She was young, so young; and what right had he to claim affection which might be given indeed now, but which, if unclaimed by him for a season, might still become another's. This was foolish and unnecessary reasoning, I am quite prepared to acknowledge; but, as has been said before, Will was as yet far from strong physically, and we all know how powerful is the influence of body over mind at such seasons; and so it came to pass that Mrs. Campbell's final coup d'état was the most advantageous to her cause, as she very well expected.

Rising, and with a self-reproachful air, she took Will's hand. "How shall I ever forgive myself, or expect you to forgive me ?" she said. Will smiled faintly. "We have not yet quite finished our talk," he said, "and, as it has been begun and carried on with all frankness and sincerity, so let it end. How long, Mrs. Campbell, how long do you think I should refrain from taking any decisive step? Do not hesitate to name a time: if it be a duty, I shall not shrink from its performance, I trust."

"I think a year will plainly show," Mrs. Campbell answered; while again Will's heart sank within him: "by that time Miss Madge will surely know her own mind; and your path may appear more open. It is possible, just possible, that change of circumstance which now we cannot and would not like to anticipate may lead you before then to see things a little differently. If not, I trust dear Clara's strength

of character will rise superior to her sorrow, and that she will, some day, be happy."

A strange feeling of shrinking which Will had experienced on one former occasion, five years back, came over him at these words of Mrs. Campbell, more especially her disparaging allusion to Madge. Only now, instead of giving way to the feeling, Will tried with all his power to overcome it; for had she not been as a mother to him? Had she not, humanly speaking, for Dr. Macneil had told him as much, saved his life-that life which he hoped one day to share with Madge, and before which there still lay so much of duty to be fulfilled and earnest purpose and labour to be accomplished, for Will was not the one to live alone for Madge; and now could he not sacrifice one year's outward brightness for her and her daughter's sake? And yet, why call it sacrifice? He had that left him which was dearer than ought beside, and in the performance of a duty which it plainly appeared he owed towards man, and to God through man, he might expect help and strength and blessing.

Will did not tell her mother then that, even should Madge be separated from his love for ever, Clara might never become his wife-that nothing stronger than deep gratitude and sincere brotherly affection could ever exist between them; he only answered: "It shall be as you say, dear Mrs. Campbell, unless indeed," he added, "you think it well to consult the colonel beforehand on the subject."

"Nay indeed," Mrs. Campbell replied, "not a word to him. I must beg you as a personal favour to breathe not a word of our conversation to the colonel. You will grant this ?"

"Certaily," Will replied.

"And I also confide in your honour," Mrs. Campbell continued, still smiling, "to take no steps, either by word of mouth or by letter, to influence Miss Raymond, until the year of waiting be terminated ?"

"That is what I have already engaged," Will answered with the same indefinable shrinking and mistrust, which still he strove to overcome. There was no necessity to remind him of that; for, the step once determined upon and seen in the light of duty, Will was not likely to evade that duty or spare himself the suffering which it must bring. He did not tell Mrs. Campbell; but he had already inwardly resolved not to see Madge Raymond again until all could be explained, fully and satisfactorily. With the depth of love he bore her it would be cruelty to himself to act otherwise; besides, he was not strong: might not his resolution fail him and duty be forfeited, should he dare to make the experiment ?

Further conversation was here prevented by the appearance of Clara herself, holding carefully in her hands a glass of quaking snowwhite blanc-mange, which she deposited on the table before Will. "If Harold Raymond calls you a prudent gaoler," she said, addressing her mother, who found some difficulty in meeting her glance of dignified yet keen inquiry, "I beg to differ from him. If you are not wearied out by the interminable talk you have been carrying on this evening, I am perfectly sure Mr,

Karney is. He looks a whole week worse; and to-morrow Dr. Macneil will be angry; and there will be no going to Ryde on Thursday, unless," she continued in a softer tone, turning to Will, and placing the tempting plate before him, "you eat the whole of this white stuff" as you please to call it, and drink at least three glasses of papa's old port."

Clara was very beautiful as she stood there before him, the proud flash gone from her face, as her mother left the room, and only a look of great compassion and regard in its place, as she saw how pale and worn Will looked. "I am so dreadfully afraid mamma has been worrying you again about this stupid journey," she said. Had not Will's thoughts been too intently directed in another channel, he might have remarked that Clara's words and manner were by no means those of a love-lorn maiden, pining away from the pressure of unrequited affection; which in truth was not the case. Any girlish fancies which in past years might have crossed her brain had long given place to more sober and reasonable ideas. She felt to Will exactly as he did to her, regarding him as a sincere true friend, and nothing beyond. Moreover, she knew to a positive certainty that Will loved Madge Raymond, and that Madge was by no means wanting in like sentiment for him. She thought it just possible that this had been the subject of conversation to night, but could not reconcile it with Will's care-worn suffering face, so different from Madge's that afternoon, which it even made Clara glad to think about.

As to Clara's present state of health, or rather lack of health, it was nothing beyond the effect of the shock which so fearful an accident, toge ther with an unusual amount of anxiety and worry, must bring with them and exercise on a young and not over-robust frame. Clara's sorest trouble, that which weighed most on her mind, causing her life to be cold and cheerless and her manner perpetually reserved and selfcontained, was the total lack of sympathy and understanding between herself and her mother. For Clara's was a nature which would have opened out and warmed itself gladly in the smiles of confidence and affection, but which had been warped and chilled by bad education and constant disparagement and fault-finding. Besides, Clara could not but see through the veil of artifice and worldliness which continually enshrouded her mother's actions, and which her own nobler and more generous nature led her to despise and scorn. Could she, indeed, have guessed the theme of Mrs. Campbell's conver sation with Will that night, there would have been a summary and by-no-means-peaceful ter mination to the schemes of the one and the suf fering of the other; but, as may well be conceived, such a thought never for a moment crossed her mind, and, poor girl, she had no friend to tell her.

Mrs. Campbell, meantime, nursed herself with the delusion that she was acting for the best, and for Clara's ultimate happiness and benefit. So totally ignorant was she of the heart of her own child, so completely under the dominion of one idea, one determination which had taken possession of her breast years before, and which

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ment whatever to Margaret Raymond, nor is there the slightest prospect of his being so. He has never even spoken of love to her, nor does he know whether her affections wander in his direction. He certainly has spoken frankly and openly to me this evening; and I would not have his confidence abused; so that I hope you will circulate no foolish reports, which of course under the circumstances would be most repugnant to the feelings of both.”

she was resolved, by any means within her power and at any risk, to carry out the securing of Will Karney as a husband for Clara. The scheme laid for her younger daughter had proved successful; Sophy having been married in the spring of that year, and at the early age of nineteen, to Mr. Cunningham, a wealthy man in the neighbourhood, and some twenty years more advanced in life than his young bride. The opportunity for securing the remainder of her wish seemed now to have been placed within her very hands; and Mrs. Campbell was not the one to neglect it. No circumstances could have turned out more fortunately than those of the past weeks; and it must be confessed that the graces of Will's character with which she had been brought so constantly in contact had attached him to Mrs. Campbell by "Your judgment may prove faulty or cora stronger tie than she had felt before; though rect. I can only tell you what the young man her affection was of that strangely-selfish cha- himself has told me," Mrs. Campbell answered, racter which was willing to sacrifice his dearest"and that in strict confidence, which for the wishes to her own ambition and self-love.

O no, not about the journey. We have been talking of other things," Will replied, looking up abstractedly; then noticing for the first time the calm pitying interest of Clara's gaze, and crediting for the while her mother's false suggestions, he felt ashamed and sorry. "I will do my very best, indeed, Miss Clara," he continued, with a smile; "for I am not fond of scoldings; and, as this journey seems a thing inevitable, why the sooner we get it over the better."

"I am so glad you think as I do about it," Clara said, laughing. "I have been worried so with the perpetual talk that I hate the very name of Ryde. Will you come into the drawingroom a little after you have had your supper,

or not ?"

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"And so they have made it up at last?" colonel Campbell inquired of his wife as they sat together.

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"Made what up? Of whom are you speaking?" she asked in a somewhat-puzzled tone. 'Why Will and Madge to be sure. My dear, you need not carry your prudence too far. I am not the one to repeat the secret if it is not to be repeated at present, and I am sure it looks very well in Will to have made you his confidante."

"You are speaking under the strangest delusion, my dear George," Mrs. Campbell interrupted, with no small annoyance in her tone.

66

'What, do you mean to tell me that has not been the topic of your long discussion tonight ?" the colonel asked good-humouredly. "Whatever the topic may have been, you are labouring under a very false impression, from which I would at once relieve you," his wife replied, her usual composure of manner quite restored. "Will Karney is under no engage

"I am not usually the one to circulate reports of that description. I leave that to the ladies. At the same time, I can use my own eyes and my own common sense; and, if those two do not love one another, and that pretty strongly too, my judgment is sorely at fault for

once.

world I would not have abused. Did you hear
what Miss Berkeley was saying this morning re-
specting Miss Raymond and young Brograve ?"
"Miss Berkeley is an incorrigible gossip and
mischief-monger," colonel Campbell observed
with more asperity than his kindly nature
seemed capable of.
"Do let me beg of you, my

dear, to pay no heed to her scandal.”

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Well, I think in all probability it was an idle rumour," the lady remarked in a conciliatory tone, "and one which I shall be very careful in repeating."

"In not repeating, if you please. Well, I am disappointed by what you have told me to-night; though perhaps, after all, things will come right in the end. I shall never forget that girl's face by the river that evening-never! I hope it will come right some day I do indeed!"

"I hope so too," rejoined his wife; and with that the conversation terminated.

A. S. W.

"HOW TO READ THE BIBLE."

BY THE REV. EDWARD LESTER, Incumbent of St. Paul's, North Shore, Liverpool.

I. READ the whole of it-every chapter and every verse; "for all scripture was given by inspiration of God," and every chapter and every verse is "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction ;" and, if we would be made "wise unto salvatiou through faith which is in Jesus Christ," and be "throughly furnished unto all good works," we must "read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest" the whole. Both the Old and the New Testament must be read with diligence, if we are ever to become acquainted with the whole counsel of God. To understand the New Testament, we must be learned in the Old Testament; and, to comprehend the Old Testament, we must be well acquainted with the New. They explain each other: they come from the same Being, and are equally indispensable. We want both; and we must study both. My dear reader, let me

advise you to reverence and to read the Old Testament. Do not refuse to study its sacred pages, else you will both displease the Holy Spirit, by whose inspiration it was written (for "the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost"), and you will also deprive yourself of much necessary knowledge and have but imperfect ideas of God's truth: you will lose the beauty and fulness of Christ, your faith in him being feeble and uncertain. It is not only very sinful to slight the Old Testament, but it is also the height of folly. How did Timothy become wise unto salvation? Was it not from the Old Testament (2 Tim. iii. 15). Did not Christ himself refer the unbelieving Jews to the Old Testament? "Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me (John v. 39). Do not all the writers of the New Testament refer to the Old, and from it prove that Jesus is the Christ? And why? Because the Old Testament is full of him, full of information as to his character, office, and death and resurrection. Shall we then dare to treat the Old Testament with indifference ? Not if we are true Christians, of the same faith as the apostles, and governed by the same spirit as they were. Reader, love and reverence, read and study, the old scriptures: you will thus obtain a glorious insight into God's providential dealing with men, have an enlarged idea of his forbearance and love, and understand more fully the person, character, and mission of Christ. Thus, "being rooted and grounded in love," you shall be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth, and to know the love of Christ, and so be filled with all the fulness of God." Yes, reader, let the entire scripture be your daily study and delight: be occupied with the whole of it; thus you shall become "strong in the grace which is in Christ Jesus," and your profiting shall appear unto all men.

II. Read it in the spirit of deep humility, with an overwhelming sense of your ignorance and utter inability to comprehend its sacred contents if unaided by the Spirit of God. You may read and read again the bible, you may astonish and even edify others with your acquaintance with the letter of God's word; but, unless you read that word in the spirit of humble dependence upon the Spirit, all your reading and knowledge will profit you nothing: your knowledge will be mere head knowledge: it will have no enlightening power in the understanding, no spiritualizing power in the soul, no cleansing power in the heart; therefore it will be useless. You must have heart-knowledge of the sacred writings, and must be able to say with David, "I have hid thy word in mine heart." You must have a spiritual discernment, so that you may not only become acquainted with the letter (which killeth) of God's word, but also with the spirit of it. Now this is the gift of the Holy Ghost, bestowed upon those only who with humble ideas of themselves search and study the scriptures. Let us not deceive ourselves: mere power of intellect will not enable any one to profit after a godly sort in this study. The

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spirit of God's book is revealed not to the wise and prudent but to the simple-minded who seek for the light of the Spirit to teach and unfold the truth to them. How many gifted men there are who know nought of the gospel as the power of God and the wisdom of God. They can read the holy writings in their original languages, and reason profoundly, and think deeply, but they cannot understand spiritually what they read in God's word. It is as Matthew Henry says, "Men unsanctified receive not the things of God. The understanding, through the corruption of nature by the fall, and through the confirmation of this disorder by customary sin, is utterly unapt to receive the rays of divine light. The truths of God are foolishness to such a mind. The light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehendeth it not. It is the quickening beams of the Spirit of truth and holiness that must help the mind to discern the excellence of the spiritual matters of God's kingdom, and to so thorough a conviction of their truth as heartily to receive and embrace them. Thus the natural manthe man destitute of the Spirit of God-cannot know them, because they are spiritually discerned." Indeed, we want something more than a powerful intellect rightly and profitably to read the scriptures. We want divine light; and without that, in spite of all our learning and all our intellectual powers, the contents of God's word will be dark and incomprehensible. Without him we can know nothing. Without his teaching we must remain ignorant: without his light we must remain in darkness: without him, as our Teacher, Guide, and Illu minator, we shall never know spiritually, and never savingly understand, God's word.

If, then, reader, you would have a profitable understanding of the holy book, you must read it in a humble mind and with a praying soul, ever seeking the assistance of the Holy Ghost. You must ask for "an unction from the Holy One that you may know all things": you must crave of your heavenly Father "that the light of the glorious gospel of Christ may shine" into your sin-darkened heart, and so give you "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ"; yea, with the psalmist in Psal. cxix., you must pray, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. Teach me thy statutes, and make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works."

III. It is essential that the bible be read in an obedient spirit, in a spirit which is ready to believe all and carry out all it finds revealed therein. It was the absence of this spirit that was the cause of the fall of the priests and scribes. They read in Isaiah that Christ was to be a suffering Saviour, a man of sorrows, and one acquainted with grief; but this did not suit them; and when Christ came in his foretold character they rejected him: "They stumbled at the word, being disobedient." And, reader, it is the absence of this spirit that is the cause of so many divisions and heresies in the church at the present day. Men are puffed up with carnal conceit; and, instead of receiving what they find in God's word with simple childlike faith, they

dispute and object, and receive only those doc-| trines which please themselves: it is this which has rent the church, and which makes us so unfruitful in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. O may God give us a childlike faith and obedience to his word! May he enable us to receive with meekness the engrafted word, which, by the power of the Spirit, is able to save our souls! May he impart to us such a spirit of faith and odedience as to make us heartily to believe, sincerely to receive, and willingly obey every doctrine put forth in the sacred volume, so that "It is written" may be deemed by us all-powerful and all-sufficient! God, in mercy to you and to me, grant it!

And now, reader, in conclusion, let me urge upon you the importance of reading God's word as pointed out. Read the whole bible. Let me also urge you, reader, to read God's word in the spirit of deep childlike humility and obedience. As you read, seek the guidance and light of the Holy Ghost, and ask him to shed his light upon the sacred page, and so to open your eyes that you may see the wondrous truths of God, and comprehend them in all their saving power. Love the bible in your soul, feed upon it in your mind, and obey it in your life. So you will find the reading of God's word profitable: it will become more and more your delight; and you will feel, with John Locke, that "the bible has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter that it is all pure, all sincere, nothing too much, nothing wanting:" yea, "the bible will be the light of your understanding, the joy of your heart, the fulness of your hope, and the clarifier of your affections"-"a lamp unto your feet, and a light unto your path."

"How precious is the book divine
By inspiration given!

Bright

as a lamp its doctrines shine
To guide my soul to heaven.

It sweetly cheers my drooping heart
In this dark vale of tears:

Life, light, and joy it still imparts,
And quells my rising fears.

This lamp, through all the tedious night
Of life, shall guide my way,
Till I behold the clearer light
Of an eternal day."

THE LESSONS OF LIFE.

BY THE REV. C. RAWLINGS, B.A.

THE word "lesson" implies a thing or things taught. The things taught may be of very great importance or of comparatively-small importance: a lesson may be well learned, or imperfectly learned, or not learned at all.

Life is a great teacher: many and valuable are the lessons which it teaches. Our life's daily experience is teaching every one of us: there is line upon line, and precept upon precept. Every man, every woman, does in fact gather instruction from the lessons of life: not a few persons, however, would seem to learn but little from their past experience. The facts

which come under their notice, whether in connexion with themselves or their fellow-men, are not attended by any profitable result. They go on as they did before: if they said or did a foolish thing yesterday, they will say or do a foolish thing to-day. The persons referred to may acknowledge in words the desirableness, the importance, of deriving instruction from the lessons of life, but, under the influence of a habitual carelessness and thoughtlessness, they exhibit no practical improvement.

I will proceed to notice a few of the many lessons which the experience of our daily life is teaching us. There is the lesson of humility, the lesson of self-distrust. A hard lesson to learn is that lesson of humility: we are all of us too ready to rely on ourselves, to confide in our own wisdom, our penetration into character. How often are we deceived in our estimate of persons and things! How often is the judgment, on which we are disposed to pride ourselves, at fault! How often do our most careful calculations turn out to be erroneous! Surely all this might teach us humility, the selfappreciation which is founded on self-knowledge. Another important lesson which the life of every man should teach him, is the lesson of moderation. I do not so much refer to moderation in the use of the good things which Providence may have placed at our disposal, I allude to moderation in our hopes, desires, and aspirations. Vanity is stamped on all earthly things we cannot be too moderate in our expectation of happiness from the creature. We form, we cherish, hopes which are but too often doomed to the bitterness of disappointment. When we do obtain the object of our wishes, we do not realize the satisfaction, the enjoyment, which we had anticipated, we are discontented still. Our own experience, as well as much that we observe in the experience of others, should preach to us a lesson of moderation in hope, desire, and pursuit.

Again, I would remark, life's experience teaches us the importance, I was going to say the necessity, of self-discipline, and self-control under various circumstances. It cannot fail to be ill with the man who cannot exercise a control over himself, and who cannot abstain from what is calculated to injure himself, or others, or both. Self-discipline and self-denial bring along with them their own reward. We are called on repeatedly to witness illustrations of this in the history and career of men. Those, who allow their better judgment to be over-awed and overpowered by the dictates of inclination and passion, cannot reasonably expect success in any of their schemes and undertakings.

Finally, amongst the great lessons of life is the lesson of patient endurance. We have need of patience under the many trials and afflictions of the mortal state. We find our advantage in patience and calm submission to the will of God concerning us. We are taught by experience that impatience and irritability do not make things better, but invariably make things worse: the pressure of what are called the ills of life is felt least by the meek, the patient, and the enduring. Most important is the lesson of patience, but it is, especially under certain cir

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