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THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY;
56, PATERNOSTER ROW, 65, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD, AND
AND SOLD BY THE BOOKSELLERS.
TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO:
A STORY FOR NEW YEAR'S DAY.
"Ir is twenty-five years ago this very new year's day that we took this dear treasure to our home," said old John Barlow; "and see what the Lord has done for us, all through her."
The Lord had indeed done much for John Barlow-so he thought, and gratefully acknowledged; and this is the history of the "dear treasure" of which he spoke, though not told in exactly his own words.
It was a dismal winter's night, twenty-five years ago, that John Barlow sat in his easy chair by a very warm fireside, quite alone.
He was a very common sort of man, his neighbours would have said. That is to say, he was a working man, like themselves—a little better off than some of them, perhaps ; for he was under gardener to the Squire, at fair weekly wages, all the year round. He was a quiet, silent man, without any remarkable gifts of wit, or skill, or education; a common, average man of his class, kind-hearted, inoffensive, sober, industrious, and so forth.
He was forty years old, a little less or a little more, on that new year's eve, with a pleasant-tempered, cheerful wife, then out, though it was so late, and five children, who were snug in bed and asleep.
"Fanny is late, very late," said John, looking at his clock, which stood in a corner of his room, ticking loudly; and he saw that the hands pointed to nearly eleven. other hour, and we shall see another year. God help us to make better use of our time; for we spend our years as a tale that is told, we do."