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FOR 1870.


"And they brought young children to Him, that He should touch them :
and His disciples rebuked those that brought them.

"But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased, and said unto them.
Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of
such is the kingdom of God."-ST. MARK X. 13, 14.






What plea-
sant words!
As I write
them I

fancy I see

-glad that I can address so many young people at the same time, and anxious that what I say may do them good, without any mixture of ill. If we should be careful that our words be of the right kind when we are only speaking to others with our voice, how much more careful ought we to be when we write our thoughts; so that people far and near, now and hereafter, may read them! What a happy world ours would be, if men had never written anything that their fellow-men could be injured by; if all that has been put into books were true, and good, and beautiful. Well, if we cannot look for so much as this, seeing that human nature is of itself so evil, we can at least try for ourselves neither to write nor to read anything but what is in agreement with the Scriptures, and with what we know is the will of God.


an array of happy faces; I mean the readers of "Early Days," to whom I have so often spoken, so far as a printed page can speak, during the last twelve months, and, indeed, for years past. If every number of our little Magazine is read, at one time or another, by only five persons, nearly two hundred thousand pairs of eyes will meet the words I am now writing. "What a host!" you are ready to say. It is indeed a host; and, when I think of it, I am both glad and anxious, VOL. X. SECOND SERIES.-January, 1870.

I did not intend to write about the great number of the readers of "Early Days" when I took the pen just now into my hand; but the mentioning it has raised

some thoughts in my mind, which it may not be amiss in part to tell you.

First, then, the circle of my readers is so great, that I may be almost sure that some who listen to me in January are taken every year to their "long home" before December comes round again. I know that this has been the case with some who, twelve months ago, were in as good health as any of us now are. But, then, is this a cause for sorrow only? No, very far from that; for I believe that a large part of the young people for whom I write are among those who read the Bible, who love Jesus, and who try to please God in all they say and do. So that, although I sorrow with father and mother, brothers and sisters, that are left behind, there is a deep joy under it all,the joy of knowing that, though the little ones are no more, they have gone home to heaven and to Jesus; and that if the elder ones who have been taken, repented of their sins and asked Jesus for pardon, they also are now for ever safe in His hands. I had a little sister, when I was a child, who died when she was only five years old. She loved God, and I doubt not went thus early to

see Him in the world above. Though I am now far from being young, and the hair on my head is even turning grey, I often think of her, and feel drawn all the more towards heaven because she is there.

But now for us the toils and dangers of the old year are gone, and a new one lies all before us, to make it, if we are spared to its close, almost what we like. Which shall it be? a good or a bad one? I think none of us would wish it to be a bad one; but, then, it will not be a good one without proper care on our part.

Perhaps you would ask, if we were just now in a room talking with each other, what is it needful to take care about, in order to spend a happy year? But I think most of you know already what is the secret of a pleasant life; so that, I only need to remind you of your Bible, your teachers' advice, and your kind parents' wishes. Is there anything else to which you must listen? Yes, you know there is conscience, that inward voice that tells you when you do right and when you do wrong; and there is the good Spirit of God, who, for Jesus' sake, comes often to you, and whispers good things into your heart. It is

only by attending to these things, day by day, that people, whether young or old, can have what in the Bible (Prov. xv. 15) is called " a merry heart;" that is, a mind cheerful, and at peace with itself and with God.

I shall often think of my young friends during the year we are just entering. The faces of most of them are, of course, strange to me. But how plea sant it is to know that all who fear and love God are going to dwell in one city, where they will be one blissful family for ever! May God have you, my dear children, in His gracious keeping, and preserve both you and me unto everlasting life. F.


Tis hard to lie on a sick-bed, to toss wearily from side to side, counting the hours, and longing for the daylight; to hear the wind moan among the trees, and the rain beat heavily against the windowpanes; this is hard, even when you lie on a bed of down, and when all that love and riches can procure is lavished on you. It is not pleasant to be forced to lie quite still, hour after hour,

because the doctor says you must, when all is joyous around you, the bright sun shining in at the window, and the little birds in the jessamine outside joining their cheerful notes to the merry voices of children at play. The draught of medicine is bitter even when a loving hand brings it to you. Sickness, though you are in the midst of friends and comforts of all kinds, with a skilful doctor to call and see you every day, is often bad enough to bear. But if, when you are laid aside by affliction, you can see in the lonesome night the stars shining bright, but cold, through the roof of your humble dwelling, and feel the rain drop on your thin pallet; if the bare walls are your curtains, and there is no hand to reach your medicine for you at the right time; if the voice that would have cheered you in such restless hours is hushed in death, and you lie thinking with a heavy heart of friends and happy scenes that you will behold no more; how hard then appears the lot which it seems good to our Father who is in heaven to appoint to you! How difficult it is sometimes not to give way to a distrust of His goodness and mercy, His

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