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ANECDOTES, SELECTIONS, AND GEMS.
A FOREIGNER VISITING LONDON-On approaching the capital (on the Dover Railway) my wondering eyes looked down from the carriage into innumerable narrow streets of small houses, all of uniform and mean appearance, blackened with coal-dust, and shrouded by a smoky atmosphere. Such is the gloomy avenue which leads to the delightful parks of the metropolis, its superb squares, magnificent bazaars, and rich palaces. What crowds in the streets, what bustle, what hurry! These carriages, public and private, almost as numerous as the foot passengers; that dazzling display of every production of British industry and of the most distant lands; these forests of ships motionless in their immense docks: the steam-boats which, like a weaver's shuttle, incessantly ply up and down the Thames with inconceivable rapidity, taking up and setting down at every pier a fresh cargo of breathless passengers; everything you behold tells you that you are now in the capital of the commercial world. If the Germans feed upon the ideal, the practical is the characteristic of Great Britain; I say Britain, because most of what I say of England is applicable to Scotland also. Reality, action, business, bear sway in the politics, the industry, the commerce, and I will even say, in the religion of the English; yet this practical tendency which characterises England is not selfish as might have been expected. The large scale on which the people work gives a certain scope and grandeur to the imagination. The habit which the English have of forming into parties, and of looking constantly at themselves as a nation, is opposed to a narrow selfishness; and a more elevated sentiment struggles with this vice in a large portion of the people. Perhaps one of the things that strikes a stranger most on his arrival in London is, not the nobility, but the common people; their strength, their energy, their quickness, their skill, their civility, and, above all, their calmness and silence during their unceasing activity. They are all alive to what they are about, and they are clever at it; you can see this in the carriages, the ships, and especially the railroads. The skill with which an English coachman drives you through the streets of London, among thousands of vehicles, without ever jostling you, is inconceivable. D'AUBIGNE.
SIGNS OF THE TIMES.-Look where we will, we see our religion receiving large and still larger numbers in its kindly embrace. No age can be compared with the present in the extent of our philanthropy. We have associations for the relief of every form of suffering, and for the extension of new rights and privileges to the whole human race. We have societies called the "Brotherhood of Nations," and the "League of Universal Brotherhood;" we have even World's Conventions" in the cause of humanity. No class is overlooked, no form of evil is forgotten, no human being is thought too low to be regarded and saved. The inebriate is no longer despised and trampled beneath our feet; but he is taken up, reformed, and becomes a man. The slave is finding every day new
ANECDOTES, SELECTIONS, AND GEMS.
friends; it is felt more and more widely that man cannot hold property in the image of God; the master feels it, and let appearances be adverse as they may to freedom in any quarter for the moment, they are only appearances. The great tide of freedom is setting through the world, and wherever christianity is received and obeyed, the enslaved must be emancipated. Heaven above and earth beneath have pronounced the fiat, that the day dawns when by the joint agency of civilization and religion, slavery shall be no more. The great cause of Peace is enlisting more and more hearts; war is unpopular; it requires an apology; it cannot abide the light of this age, it cannot look the gospel in the face. The crimi nal is now visited in his cell; legislation looks kindly upon him, and his restoration to virtue and honour is advocated. The poor seaman is pitied and befriended; aye, the alien is welcomed by the philanthropist. The time hastens on when humanity shall be deemed even greater than patriotism. God bless those christian enterprises! and give us still larger mental conceptions on this subject, still deeper and sincerer aspirations for the practical prevalence of the great sentiment that the whole race are "members one of another." A. B. MUZZEY. The Bible. How comes it that this little volume, composed by humble men in a rude age, when art and science were in their childhood, has exerted more influence on the human mind and on the social system, than all other books put together? Whence comes it that this book has achieved such marvellous changes in the opinions of mankind-has banished idol worship-has abolished infanticide-has put down polygamy and divorce-exalted the condition of woman-raised the standard of public morality-created for families that blessed thing, a christian home-and caused its other triumphs, by causing benevolent institutions, open and expansive, to spring up as with the wand of enchantment? What sort of a book is this, that even the winds and waves of human passions obey it? What other engine of social improvement has operated so long, and yet lost none of its virtue? Since it appeared, many boasted plans of amelioration have been tried and failed; many codes of jurisprudence have arisen, run their course, and expired. Empire after empire has been launched on the tide of time, and gone down, leaving no trace on the waters. But this book is still going about doing good-leavening society with its holy principles-cheering the sorrowful with its consolationsstrengthening the tempted-encouraging the penitent-calming the troubled spirit-and smoothing the pillow of death. Can such a book be the offspring of human genius? Does not the vastness of its effects demonstrate the excellency of the power to be of God? DR. M'CULLaugh.
Facts and Hints.
ANGER. To be angry about trifles is mean and childish; to rage and be furious is brutish; and to maintain perpetual wrath is akin to the practice and temper of devils; but to prevent and suppress rising resentment is wise and glorious, is manly and divine.
A FIT REPLY.-"If we are to live after death, why don't we have some certain knowledge of it ?" said a sceptic to a minister. 'Why had you not some knowledge of this world before you came into it?" was the reply.
THE TWO INFLUENCES.-The human heart rises against oppression, and is soothed by gentleness, as the waves of the ocean rise in proportion to the violence of the winds, and sink with the calm into mildness and serenity.
AN OLD COIN.-A short time ago, a shilling of Henry VII. was sold in London for £7 12s. 6d.
MR. ALDERMAN LUCAS who died lately, worth between £300,000 and £400,000, was originally a waterman on the Thames.
CLEAN WASHING.-To be clean once is a good thing-to be clean once a week is better-to be clean every day is best. A habit of being clean is what is wanted. Acquire the habit, and get yourself only once, by way of experiment, into a dirty state, and you will feel then by contrast what a wretched thing it is. A habit cannot be commenced too early. The habit of cleanliness should be begun for children by their parents. Children should be washed daily. Their heads should be kept particularly clean, and their hair combed and brushed. In this way, not only the many forms of disordered health produced by dirtiness would be avoided, but many kinds of irritation of the skin, and many positive skin diseases, and troublesome diseases of the scalp, would be kept off; in addition to the formation of a habit of being clean, which the child would continue for himself as he grew up. Every one, adult and child, is liable to disordered general health from uncleanness of skin, as well as to skin-complaints. It has been shown how important an organ the skin is in the bodily economy, and it may be easily understood how injurious to its operations it must be to allow its thousands, nay its millions of pores, to be clogged and covered up with refuse matter. Besides obstructing the process of perspiration, the perspired matter left on the skin, being once thrown out of the scope of living operations, begins to act like all other animal refuse left to decay; it surrounds the body with a bad atmosphere. Many readers may have gone into a crowd of dirty people, and observed the fetid smell. That smell is made up of unhealthful matters diffused through the air from the decaying dirt on the skins of the people. A person may be poisoned by his own skin if he keep it very dirty. Family Economist.
THE PENNY POST.
The Penny Post.
ONE of our Correspondents has sent us a curious piece of information, which we give entire.
I SAW a thing 'twas made of flesh and blood,
It often crept as if it knew not whether
It heeded not, provided it could welter
In ditch or slough, which were its bed and shelter.
I've seen it stand at times almost upright,
But all the while its heavy eyes kept blinking;
And yet it looked as if 'twere almost thinking;
The earth spun round and round it—then 'twas sinking;
And there it lay-so loudly did it snore,
The dogs would stop to bark at it while sleeping.
It could not walk, and had got tired of creeping;
But shuffled off as if 'twere sidelong leaping;
And then it fell, foaming with froth at mouth,
It was not man, nor was it wholly beast,
And yet 'twas often found beneath the manger; 'Twould often glut itself as at a feast,
And cast its sickliest smile upon a stranger; 'Twas often found where safety was the least, And yet it had no self-defence in danger;
Wherever it was seen the ass would bray,
I saw it once, and then 'twas young and tender,
But soon it bloated like a high fed swine;
Alas! 'twas one of those who'd left off thinking,
THE CHILDREN'S CORNER.
The Children's Corner.
LITTLE TOMMY AND HIS SHILLING.
Day by day was disappointed,
For no signs of growth he spied.
More than any child could bear,
LITTLE Tommy found a shilling,
As he came from school one day; "Now," said he, "I'll have a fortune, For I'll plant it right away.
Nurse once told me, I remember,
I'll not say a word to mother,
For I know she would be willing; Home I'll run, and in my garden,
Plant my precious bright new shilling.
Every day I'll give it water,
And I'll weed it with great care;
It will many shillings bear.
Laid full many a splendid plan,
Wishing he had grown a man. Day by day he nurs'd and watch'd it, Thought of nothing else beside;
Never was a kinder mother
But wher. his sad tale she heard, 'Twas so funny, she from laughing, Could not speak a single word.
FROM Greenland's icy mountains, From India's coral strand, Where Afric's sunny fountains
Roll down their golden sand: From many an ancient river,
From many a palmy plain, They call us to deliver
Their land from error's chain. Shall we, whose souls are lighted With wisdom from on high-Shall we to men benighted The lamp of life deny?
This was worse than all, for Tommy Thought his sorrow too severe; And in spite of every effort,
Down his cheek there roll'd a tear.
This his tender mother spying,
"Where to plant your bright new shilling,
To procure the books they need.
Precious seed you then may sow; And ere many months are ended, Trust me you will see it grow,"
Salvation! oh, salvation!
The joyful sound proclaim, Till each remotest nation
Has learnt Messiah's name!
Waft, waft, ye winds, the story,
It spreads from pole to pole: "Till o'er our ransomed nature
The Lamb for sinners slain, Redeemer, King, Creator,
In bliss returns to reign.