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the soul. Laid up for many years: His folly is still heightened, when he thus counts on "riches and time, as though they were both his own and at his disposal! Eat, drink, and be merry: The evidences of his great folly still increase. In bis view, eating, drinking, and being merry is the great end of life. He altogether loses sight of the future and immortality
Verse 20. Ood said: The divine being here interposes, not directly, but by means of a mortal disease, which should suddenly and immediately end his life. Thou fool: Here the word fool is used in its strong and proper sense. He is a fool indeed, who makes his highest interests subordinate to the mere gratification of the flesh. This night thy soul shall be required of thee: Not only shall his life be cut short, but his soul shall be made to reap its folly in the future scene of reward. Whose shall these things be: They will fall into the hands of greedy heira, who, in such circumstances, are most likely to waste them in sinful folly and dissipation.
Verse 21. So is he that layeth up treasure for himself; The securing of riches from proper motives, and for right ends, is not here condemned. It is a Christian duty to gain all we can in a lawful way, that we may therewith serve God. It is when riches are sought for what they are in themselves, and for selfish purposes, that the pursuit of them is sinful. Not rich toward God: To be rich toward God is to be rich indeed. These riches may be possessed in the absence of the riches of this world, and the riches of this world are really of true account to us only when they are used in such a way as will make us rich towards God.
Practical Thoughts:—The covetous heart cannot forget worldly lusts even in the most solemn seasons; would make the Gospel serve its selfish ends; perverts the whole of life to worldly objects; forgets from whom all temporal blessings flow; refuses to recognize in the possession of worldly wealth God's opportunity to do good; seeks not the best way to use, but to hoard and increase its store; would strive to feed an immortal soul with earthly gain; plans and prepares as if earth were to be its portion forever, and lays up no treasure
for the vaster life hereafter, and faces death unprepared.
A Home for his Mother.
Business called me to the United States land office. While there, a lad apparently sixteen or seventeen years of age came in and presented a certificate for forty acres of land.
I was struck with the countenance and general appearance of the boy, and inquired of him for whom he was purchasing the land.
"For myself, sir."
I then inquired where he had got the money. He answered, "I earned it."
Feeling then an increased desire for knowing something more about the boy, I asked about himself and and parents. He took a seat and gave me the following narrative: "I am the oldest of five children. Father is a drinking man, and often returns home drunk. Finding that father would not abstain from liquor, I resolved to make an effort in some way to help my mother and brothers and sisters. I got an axe and went into a new part of the country to work clearing land, and I have saved money enough to >buy forty acres of land there."
"Well, my good boy, what are you going to do with the land?"
"I will work on it, build a log house, and when it is all ready, will bring father, mother, brothers and sisters to live with me. The land I want for my mother, which will secure her from want in her old age."
"And what will you do with your father, if he continues to drink V
"O, sir, when we get him on the farm, he will feel at home and be happy, and I hope become a sober man,"
''Young man, God bless you."
By this time the Receiver handed him his receipt for his forty acres of land. As he was leaving the office he said, "At last I have a home for my^ mother."
That, which is called considering what is our duty in a particular case, is very often nothing but endeavoring to explain it away.—Bkhop Butltr.
m ■ .
VOIi. XXXII. MAY, 1881. NO. 5.
The Guardian hereby affectionately tenders its greetings to the many Sunday-school scholars who during the late Easter season bowed at God's altar and took tipon themselves the solemn vows of their baptism, and the duties of adult church membership. Towards this all true Sunday-school teaching must continually look. Its aim must be to briog every scholar penitently to the feet of Christ. Beautiful are these confirmation services, in which young people, in the hopeful, joyous springtime of life give thtmselvea to Christ. Beautiful to the teatful eyes of pious parents, who during many anxious prayerful years tried to train them for habitual service in our Master's cause. Beautiful and touching to the Sundayschool teacher who has faithfully and long labored to prepare the hearts of scholars for this solemn act of consecration to the Lord. May God bless all these catechumens and help them to keep their hearts and habits unspotted from the world, and make them zealous in good works, fervent and frequent in prayer, serving the Lord.
England is but a small country, territorially, as compared with the United States. Its mountains are but hills, its lakes, ponds, and rivers creeks aside of ours. At least if we should on our side use the extravagant comparisons which the typical British swell uses. Of its kind British scenery is unsurpassed, and so is ours of its kind. One day the late Dr. Robert J. Breckenrirjge had a burly pompous English squire as his traveling companion in a stage coach. After making sundry disparaging remarks about America, the Briton Degan to dilate over the river Thames. Said he: "Now be candid
sir, and tell us if you have a river in America to be compared to the Thames." The American tourist turned on him in the following style: "Why, sir, I live on the banks of a river that is formed by the confluence of two others that, coming 1500 miles from opposite directions, meet and form a third, which flows on 1000 miles in another direction till it takes in a fourth that has come 3000 mili-s from another direction, and a fifth that has come 3000 miles in another direction, and these form one mighty stream which flows down a thousand miles further until, by thiity mouths, it disembogues itself into the sea."
This was too much for the stately squire, who, as the Kentucky divine puts it, demurely "settled himself in the corner and cut my acquaintance." As Dr. Breckinridge was at that time living at Lexington, Kentucky, our young readers will be able to verify the correctness of his statement by consulting their maps. The following description of America by an enthusiastic Irishman may serve as a supplement to the foregoing: "I am told that you might roll England thru it, an it wouldn't make a dent in the ground; there's fresh water oceans inside ye moight dround auld Ireland in, an' as for Scotland, ye moight stick it in a corner, an' ye'd never be able to find it out, except it moight be by the smell of whiskey."
Journeys and voyages made in winter are peculiarly trying and perilous. "Pray that your flight be not in winter" was the advice of our Saviour to those who were approaching a period of great tribulation. Those who voyaged the ocean during the past winter passed through great storms, and many perished beneath the waves. During the spring and summer the sea is more calm, storms are less frequent and less violent, and passengers can spend much of their waking time in the invigorating sea air on deck. As a rule, unless necessity compels one, it is unwise to undertake a sea voyage in winter. Still more unwise is it to put off the great duties we owe to God, till the old age of life's winter. In the spring and summer of youth and manhood's prime, when our course is more calm, clear and unhindered, the voyage heavenward is far more easily made. In spiritual as in natural thirgs, wintry voyages are fraught with danger and death. Start early in life on your homeward voyage, and may the great Pilot give you a safe landing "on the bright eternal shore."
Some otherwise worthy people are given to disagreeable habits which are a discredit to them and an offence to others. How coarse it looks for a man to blow his nose into his hand and then wipe it on his pantaloons, the chair or carpet. What are pocket handkerchiefs for? Don't bite your nails; once formed the habit is difficult to get rid of. And so is that of stroking the beard. We have known some most worthy men for many years, and scarcely ever meet them without noticing the continuous patting and pulling of this facial adornment. Perhaps we ought to make some allowance for the youthful aspirant to a moustache. How often have we watched with sympathetic commiseration the youth, when the down on his face had barely become visible, pulling and twisting as for dear life at each side of the mouth where perhaps on older faces the hair ought to have appeared. And in the more advanced stages of the moustache how the airy young man, at his business, in company and at church pulls and twists at the waxed, attenuated ends, whilst dozens of eyes are witnessincr his listless yet laborious work. We cannot see that the thing pays, even where most successfully accomplished. Louis Napoleon was a prince in this sort of pig-tail adornment at the sides of his mouth. But if a decent regard for manly attainments requires a pig-tail at all, it would to our
thinking be more rational to train it to hang down the back, as the Chiuese have it.
Don't fumble your watch key or chain in company or at any other time, nor drum with the fingers, nor screw or twist a chain about or some other objects on wh:ch you can lay your hands. Sit up in a straight natural posture, and do not seek a corner or wall to lean against. We know of some people who cannot sit five minutes anywhere without sliding into a half-reclining posture. Avoid boisterous conversation and laughter on the street. Once these little things become a fixed habit it will be hard to abandon them.
One can learn many a useful lesson in walking the street. The character and culture of the people you meet are often indicated by seeming trifles. There comes a boy with a smiling face, lifts his little hat as he passes me, and I at once think of his pure-minded considerate mother, who not only teaches him to pray, but to be a mannerly boy. Then I meet a young fellow scarcely grown, his one cheek bulging out over a large quid of tobacco ; every few steps he spits a mouthful of this nasty liquid on the pavement. And I at once wonder where this lazy lounger gets money from to indulge such a habit, and whether he has no mother to tearh him better manners on the street. There I have just now tried to pass three young ladies at a street crossing. The three keep stiffly abreast and compel me to step aside into the mud. How much niceritwould lookifthey wouldpassover the crossings in single tile, so as to give .other people an equal chance to get over unpleasant places. A certain minister says: "I once walked a short distance behind a well dressed young lady, and thinking as I looked at her becoming apparel, 'I wondered if she took as much pains with her heart as she did with her body.' An old man was coming up the walk with a loaded wheelbarrow, and before he reached us he made two attempts to go into the yard of a small house; but the gate was heavy, and would swing back before he could get through. 'Wait,' said the young girl, springing lightly forward, , Til hold the gate open.' And she held the gate open until he passed in, and received his thanks wiih a pleasant smile as she went on. 'She deserves to have graceful attire,' I thought, ' for a beautiful disposition dwells in her breast.'"
Some professedly enlightened people are evermore clamoring agaiost alleged restrictions on the Lord's day. Tney insist that all places of amusement should be open on this day, that public institutions like museums and galleries of art should invite the people to their halls. Whatever faults the Earl of Beaconsfield may have, he is admitted to be a sagacious statesman, and one of the first literary men of the world. In addressing the House of Lords on a motion for opening museums on Sunday, he said: "Of all diviue institutions, the most divine is that which secures a day of rest for man. I hold it to be the most valuable blessing ever conceded to man. It is the cornerstone of civilization, and its removal might even affect the health of the people. It (the opening of museums on Sunday) is a great change, aud those who suppose for a moment that it would be limited to the proposal of the noble baron, to op?n museums, will find they are mistaken."
Mr. Gladstone long ago put himself on record as opposed to opening museums on Sunday.
Thomas Gray, the celebrated author of the "Elegy written in a Country Churchyard," was very much devoted to his mother. She had twelve children. All except Thomas died in their infancy from suffocation produced by fullness of blood. He narrowly escaped a like fate through the courage of his mother, who with her own hanls opened a vein when the child was taken with the dreaded disease, and thus saved his life. After his father refused all assistance, she helped him to an education with her scanty means, and for his sake endured many privations. After he had become a noted author, he continued to love his good old mother with the tenderness of a child. He abandoned some of his cherished plans in life, in order that he might be near her and the better minister to her cooafort. Never did an
affectionate child more sincerely mourn the loss of a parent than did Thomas Gray at the bier of his mother in 1753. Over her remains he placed the following epitaph.
Beside her Friend & Sister
A certain writer says "that Gray seldom mentioned his mother without a sigh." After bis death her wearing apparel was found carefully laid up in his apartment just as she had left it. He sacredly preserved the relics and carefully gave them away by will. Thirteen years after her death he said: "It seems to have been but yesterday, and every day I live it sinks deeper and deeper into my heart."
A Certain man, eminent for his piety, said that when he was a child his mother used to bid him kneel beside her and place her hand upon his head while she prayed. Before he was old enough to know her worth, she died, lie was inclined to evil pleasures, but whenever tempted he always felt himself checked, and as it were, drawn hack by the soft hand on his headWhen young he traveled in foreign lands, and often when greatly tempted to yield to evil the recollection of the soft hand always checked him. "I appeared to feel its pressure as in the days of my happy infancy, and sometimes there came with it a voice , in my heart—a voice that must be obeyed— 'O, do not this wickedness, my son, against thy God.'"'
Sin always sours, divides and destroys what it touches. The pure, unselfish, self sacrificing love of Christ though found in His humblest followers always heals, sanctifies, sweetens, unites and saves. Some years ago a young German student in Copenhagen passing along one of the canals of the city, saw a little girl falling into the deep water. The affrighted crowd were loud in their pity, but none tried to save her. The student at once leaped into the canal and as the people on shore took the rescued child from his uplifted hand, his exhausted body sank in death. He was a stranger to all, to the little girl, too. He died to save her. Never did a private person receive such a funeral in Denmark. Nearly all the people of the city, with the King and his family at their head followed his remains to one of the prettiest spots in their largest cemetery. With his own hand the King laid the highest Order of the Kingdom upon the hero's coffin. The grave of the humble unknown student of civil engineering is marked with a costly monument erected by the King and his grateful subjects in memory of the man who gave his life to save that of a little girl. Before that the Danes hated the Germans. The sacrificial death of the young German has healed their hatred. One of their number said: "The self-forgetting love of this German, which counted not his own life dear, this love has endeared to us all the Germans in Copenhagen. Since the day on which we followed his body to our cemetery, thousands have become inwardly reconciled to the people of the German land." How this incident reminds us of another One who gave His life for us, that we through Him might live forever.
BY THE EDITOR.
In the days of Christ the Sea of Galilee was a great centre of commercial and social life. Its shores were dotted with crowded cities, and teemed with a busy population. Indeed, the whole district of Galilee must have been densely crowded. A certain writer says that it had two hundred and four cities, each of which numbered over fifteen thousand inhabitants. It is said to have averaged fifteen hundred people to the square mile. Seen from the hill of beatitudes, the present desolation around the Galilean Lake presents a marked and sad contrast to it* ancient appearance. The small city of Tiberias, unknown to Bible
history, is the only town in view. All its ancient towns have been wholly swept away, with not a relic or ruin wherewith to identify their beauty.
On the western coast, a short distance south of the supposed site of Capernaum, are a few crumbling peasant huts, pens scarcely fit for human habitation. Near by are the ruins of a tower, probably the remains of an ancient castle-tower, affording an outlook across the sea. A solitary thorn tree lifts its top above these filthy abodes, and a small stream of fresh water purls towards the sea. The Arabs call this place El Mejdel, and our Bible calls it Magdala. Our Saviour is reported to have made but one visit to this place, on His return from the opposite side of the Bea, where Ha had performed the miracle of feeding four thousand men. But although we are not told of it, it is probable that He visited it more than once in traveling from place to place up and down the coast. Here lived a certain woman named Mary. To distinguish her from the other Marys who had ministered to Christ, she is called Mary of Magdala, or, as translated into Euglish, Mary Magdalene. Most likely this was her native place. Who her parents and relatives were we are not told. Geikie in his "Life of Christ" fills up the picture of her healing, with extracts from a poetic writer, in this wise:—
"The landing-place for boats at Capernaum wa3 at the south side of the town. Hither, one evening, came Jesus in a boat from across the sea, four of His earliest disciples serving as oarsmen. The sun was just setting. The soft evening wind had risen to cool His brow, and the waters, sparkling in the moonlight, rose and fell round the boat and gently rocked it. As it touched the shore there were few people about, but a boat from Magdala lay near, with a sick person in it, whom it had taken her mother's utmost strength to hold and keep from uttering loud cries of distress. She had been brought in the hope of finding Jesus, that He might cure her.
"The mother had recognized Him at the first glance, for no one could mistake Him, and forthwith cried out with a heart-rending voice, 'O, Jesus, our helper and teacher, Thou messenger of the All-Merciful, help my poor child!