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And the rays that they shed o'er the earth is the light

Of His glory, whose throne is above,
That tell us, who dwell in these regions of night,

How great is His goodness and love." “ Then, father, why still press your hand to your brow,

Why still are your cheeks pale with care ?
If all that was gentle be dwelling there now,

Dear mother, I know, must be there."
“ Thou chidest me well,” said the father, with pain,

“Thy wisdom is greater, by far; We may mourn for the lost, but we should not complain,

While we gaze on each beautiful star."

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J. E. Carpenter.

THE CLOUDS.

Sul’-try

Mead'-ows

A-maze'-ment Cab'-bage Joy'-ful-ly Ex-traor'-di-na-ry Cur'-tains

Grat'-i-tude

Pur'-ple En-grav'-ings Beau'-ti-ful Po-ta'-toes

One day John and Mary took a walk with their father. It was a very warm, sultry day, and far up in the sky were many clouds.

“Just look, Papa,” said John, “what big clouds !”

“Oh yes," said Mary, "I wonder what the Lord has made the clouds for?

“ The clouds are very useful,” said the father; “the Lord has made them because He loves us. The clouds are big curtains."

“ Curtains ? ” exclaimed the children astonished. Yes, truly," answered the father; " don't you know what we use curtains for ?" “Oh yes," said Mary; “I know. When the sun

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shines too strongly, we pull down the curtains to keep off the heat.”

Quite so," replied the father. “Now, when the sun shines very hot on the fields, the cows in the meadows are sadly annoyed, and the flowers and plants bow their little heads to the ground. Then the Lord spreads out the clouds before the sun, just as you pull down the curtains, and the cows begin to leap and to run about joyfully, and the flowers and plants lift up their heads with gratitude.”

While the father was speaking it began to rain. They went into a farm-house for shelter. The children placed themselves at the window to look at the rain, which was falling in heavy showers. “ That rain, too,” said the father,

comes from the clouds."

“What a pity !” said John, we can't walk now; everything is wet.”

“ True," answered the father; “still it is very useful. The Lord has made the clouds to give rain; they are big watering-pots."

Watering-pots ?" said Mary with amazement. “Yes, my dear,” said the father. “ What does our gardener use his watering-pot for ? ” “To wet the ground,” said John, quickly.

Yes,” continned Mary, "for if the ground is too dry the flowers will not grow.”

“ Just so," said the father ; “but when the big meadows and fields are too dry, who is the Great Gardener who is able to water them? And when the farmer's land is so dry, that the potatoes, and the cabbage, and the wheat won't grow, who is to wet all that ?"

“ Oh! I see! I see!” exclaimed John. “ Then the Lord takes those big clouds and presses rain out of them."

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“He does," said the father. • The clouds are big watering-pots with which the Lord wets this beautiful earth of ours, just as the gardener wets our garden.”

The rain was soon over, and the father again went out with his children.

“How rice it is !” they said, as they inhaled the cool, fresh air.

Ay,” said the father, " the Lord has done it with his big watering-pots. Now, look at the clouds ! ”

The children looked up and clapped their hands. “Oh!” they cried, “how beautiful!”

Here the great clouds floated about in the sky. The sun had just broken through them, and given them all sorts of fine colours. Some had gilt edges; others were red like crimson; some again were purple, pink, lightblue, and dark-blue. Many of them, too, had most extraordinary forms. On the left-hand side was large bluish cloud that looked like a large ship, with its sails set up to the top. On the right was a dark cloud, that had very much the shape of a big cow with three horns.

The children looked with delight at the beautiful sights above them.

Now, you see,” said the father, “that the clouds are pictures too. We hang up pictures and engravings in our rooms: so, the Lord hangs up golden, purple, and blue clouds on the walls of the sky, to make a beautiful drawing-room of our whole earth.

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Dr. Liefde.

An'-gry

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LITTLE DICK AND THE GIANT. Whis'-tling

Fright'-ened Wretch'-ed
Thirst'-y
Vic'-tims

I'-ron
Hun'-dred
Pris'-on

Gi'-ant
Laughed

Din'-ner Mo'-ment Crammed

Strug'-gled Little Dick, what a gay fellow he was ! He used to go singing and whistling about the whole day long. He was always merry, and scarcely anything could make him sad. One day, little Dick thought he would have a ramble in the forest, at some distance from his home. So off he set in high spirits, singing and whistling, till he made the woods ring again.

At last he reached a clear brook that ran through the wood; and being thirsty, he stooped down to drink. But just at that moment he was suddenly seized from behind, and found himself in the hands of a great, tall giant, a hundred times as big as himself. The giant looked at him with great delight, and then put him into a large bag, and carried him off.

Poor Dicky tried all he could to get out of the bag, but to no purpose. He screamed, he struggled, he tried to tear the bag, but the giant only laughed at him for his pains, and went on, holding him fast.

At last the giant came to his house,—a gloomylooking place, with a high wall all round it, and no trees or flowers. When he got in, he shut the door, and took Dicky out of the bag. The poor captive now thought his time was come; for when he looked round he saw a large fire, and before it two victims larger than himself roasting for the giant's dinner. The giant, however, did not kill Dick, but only put him into a prison which he had prepared for him. It was quite dark, with cross-bars all round it; and the only food in it was a piece of dry bread and a cup of water. Dick beat his head against the iron bars, and dashed backwards and forwards, and felt very wretched.

The next day the giant came and looked at Dick; and, finding that he had eaten none of the bread, he took him by the head, and crammed some of it down his throat. Poor Dick was too much frightened to think of eating or drinking.

He was left all alone in the dark another day, and a sad day it was. The poor creature thought of his own home, his companions, the sun-light, the trees, the flowers, and the many nice things he used to eat; and then he screamed, and tried to get between the bars, and beat and tore himself.

The giant came again, and wanted Dick to sing as he used to do, and be happy and merry. Sing, sing, sing!" said he; but Dick was much too sad to sing. A prison is no place to sing songs in. At last the giant grew angry, and took Dick out to force him to sing. Dick gave a loud scream, plunged, and struggled, and then sank dead in the giant's hand !

This is a true story.--Poor Dicky was a little bird, and that giant was a cruel boy.

The Youth's Friend.

66

THE OAK TREE.

The oak tree was an acorn once,

And fell upon the earth;
And sun and showers nourished it,

And gave the oak tree birth.
The little sprouting oak tree !

Two leaves it had at first,
Till sun and showers nourished it,

Then out the branches burst.

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