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"WHAT SHALL IT PROFIT "
ESTHER, a poor orange-girl, in a town where the Sabbath is not kept as it is in Scotland, was passing a church. The door was open. These words reached her, spoken by the minister in his sermon, “ What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ?” (Matt. xvi. 26).
The words pierced her conscience. Hungry and barefooted, she had been almost driven desperate to get bread for herself and her poor little brother. Just at that moment a bird at the church door picked up a crumb from a spot where some beggar had been eating his breakfast. It was like another word to her. It brought back a text she once learned in a Sabbath school, “Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feedeth them: are ye not much better than they ?”
“ God will take care of me, if I only love and trust him," murinured poor Esther. “ How sinful I was even to doubt it! May the Lord forgive me for intending to do what was wrong, and have pity upon me and upon my poor little brother. I will go home and pray for the pardon of my sin.”
She passed through a narrow street, where there was a small chapel. The bells were silent, and scarce a passenger to be seen. Just at that moment a gentleman brushed past her and entered the chapel. He drew out a book from his pocket as be entered, Esther thought she heard a chinking sound. She looked, and there lay a crimson purse on the doorstep. She lifted it with a trembling hand. No earthly eye was near. another temptation. The devil whispered, “This is an answer to prayer. It will help you and your brother,
and the rich man will not miss it.” But the words rang in poor Esther's ears, “What will it profit?” She resisted the devil with the sword of the Spirit. The good seed had fallen into an honest heart.
She waited outside till the congregation was dismissed. A policeman threatened her, but she watched till the gentleman came out. He angrily looked at her basket, and asked if she was not ashamed of her traffic on the Lord's day. She held out the purse. He took it, walked a few steps, then returned and asked her name and ad. dress. Without a word of praise, or a farthing of reward, the poor girl went home to her hunger and her little brother.
But God remembered her. Next morning the old gentleman called, and put her in the way of an honest livelihood. Her rags was exchanged for good warm clothes, and she moved to a better lodging. Next Sabbath she was in church, joining in heart and soul, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name !"
A JUDGE BEARING WITNESS. JUDGE BULLER, when in the coinpany of a young gentleman of sixteen, cautioned him against being led astray by the example or persuasion of others, and said, “If I had listened to the advice of some of those who called themselves my friends when I was young, instead of being a Judge of the King's Bench, I should have died long ago a prisoner in the King's Bench."
RELIGION WITHOUT FEELING. A RELIGION without feeling must be a religion without faith, without hope, without peace, without comfort, without devotion, without morals, without love to God, or love to mankind.-Dr. Jones.
“HE BREATHES." A LABOURER fell from the top of a building on which he was working, and was taken up insensible. For a time it was supposed he was dead. At length one remarked, “ He breathes." It was true that the lungs had begun to perform, in a very feeble manner indeed, their office. His friends were thus encouraged to make renewed efforts for his full resuscitation.
There are Christians who fall from their steadfastness, and seem to be dead to all spiritual life. In such those who watch for the slightest indication of spiritual life may see something to encourage effort. They follow the example of him who never quenches the smoking flax. Instead of leaving them to perish, they strive to bring them back to life.
“NEVER GIVE IT UP." I SUPPOSE you read much in your Bible ; never give it up, my daughter, for this is the Book of books, the comfort of the living and the hope of the dying, and in it is a resource for all kinds of affliction. It is sight to the bliud, and gives him to know the true God, and his wondrous mysteries; and this work as a sacred duty is confided to us, that we should carry it forward, and, if necessary, shed the last drop of our blood, which we would do willingly for such a just and holy cause.
I am sure the more you read it the more you will like it, for you will understand it better.-Letter from a Spanish Prisoner at Malaga to his daughter.
THE POWER OF THE TONGUE. THE tongue is the instrument of the greatest good and greatest cvil that is done in the world. - Raleigh.
" LET US BE THANKFUL." EFER7 misery that I miss is a new mercy; therefore let us be thankful.-Izaok Walton.
Oh,” cried Emma Rich, out of breath with running up to Julia Kent, “ there's an old man coming down Truman Street, and he walks so queer; the boys are pestering him, and it frightened me awfully.” Julia looked round, yet saw nobody but Emma at her side, pale and trembling. “How did he look ?" asked Julia.
Awfully,” said Emma, who saw him through her fears; and fears, you know, often give quite a wrong im. pression. Julia looked again, and then caught sight of an old man staggering round the corner, with a pack of rude boys behind him. “Let's run away,” cried Emma.
Instead of that, Julia stopped. “ I should think those boys would be ashamed to treat an old man so," she said, her cheeks glowing. “He's somebody's grandfather.” “Oh, I am so frightened,” cried Emma again.
Frightened !” cried Julia, indignantly; “ then run. Julia went back. Boys,” she said boldly, “I think you ought to be ashamed to treat a poor old man so
Should you like it, if 'twas your grandfather ?” “Who are you?” cried the rude boys, and they began to sneer at her. “ You may laugh as much as you please,” said
“I don't mind it." “I hear a friendly voice,” said the old man, “but I'm blind'; I cannot see where it comes from.” “It is I,” answered the child, going up to him, "and I will lead you home if you like me to do it. May-be you lost your way, sir. It must be so hard not to see. “Yes, dear child,” said the old blind nian; “ I'm a stranger here. I'm visiting my daughter, who lives in street. I just stepped out to air myself, and somehow missed my way. The boys think I'm tipsy, for I can't walk with young legs. How came you to befriend me, dear child ?" “Oh, sir,” said Julia, “ I thought you must be somé. body's grandfather, and I could not bear to see you treated so.
I will lead you home, sir." " God bless you, dear child," said the old man.
As soon as Julia took him in charge, the rude boys sneaked off, showing that the brave stand of even a little girl for the right puts to flight the wicked. Carefully she helped him down steps, and round sharp corners, and past the dogs and the people in the streets, the old man thankful for a little child to lead him, and Julia very pleased to do it, for Julia had been taught to respect and care for the aged. Her grandfather had lived in her father's family, and she knew old feet needed young, active stops to go for them; old eyes wanted young, bright eyes to see for them; and old hands, which had done the hard work of other days, must now have young, strong hands to help them.
So in every old man, no matter how poor he was, she saw " somebody's grandfather,” who ought to have respectful behaviour and kind attentions.— American.