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was produced, and under it might be seen a sight enough to give joy indeed to the poor hungry children : done up nicely was a little cooked joint, in a basin a large plumpudding, on a dish mince-pies, and, well protected, a bottle of wine-on it, in large letters, “For mother.” There were oranges, nuts, cakes, and sweets, and three white stockings so filled out and looking like a leg except that it seemed as if corns had grown on it, for it was by no means even and smooth ; on these were written, “ Not to be opened till Christmas Day, early in the morning.” Many other useful things were found in this wonderful box, and last of all a Bible for Mary, “Jessica's First Prayer” for Tommy, and “ Little Dot” for Willie. The delight of the children my little readers, who have so many nice books, can scarcely imagine. The first thing they did was to wash their hands and open the leaves with a gentleness that would have surprised some well-dressed boys who treat their books so badly. The sight of the good things to eat seemed to make the children more hungry than ever, and Mrs. Field, seeing their eyes looking wistfully at the table covered with all that was tempting, told Mary to give them a good supper, and leave the reading of the pretty books till Christmas Day.

“ She will not come now," said the poor woman; but while the famished ones were eating away, a sound was heard near like footsteps, and a young voice was soon cheering the widow's heart.

Edith Travers seemed born to bring sunshine into every place she entered; she had often read to Mrs. Field, and many a time had she denied herself some little comfort for the sake of helping others. In her home her mother looked


her with delight as she tried in every way to assist her; and many a stitch did she work so that “ mamma's dear eyes might not become dim before the right time," as she used laughingly to say.

Her father had plenty of ways to spend his income, therefore Edith did not have much money to call her own; but she had that talent called influence; and no one could resist her appeals for help when she made up her

mind that the case was a deserving one. All the good things in Mrs. Field's box had been given to Edith ; but the five shillings she gave to the old man who looked so hungry, so poor, yet so willing to earn a trifle, was her very own.

After reading a psalm and the angel's message to men about peace on earth, Edith sent up to heaven a short, simple prayer for God's blessing to rest upon these lonely ones, and with a smile she left them : the richest little woman she felt herself to be. And you may be sure her Christmas Day was indeed a joyful one.

There are many such girls in our dear old England; you meet them in the homes of the high-born, middleclass, and often in the humbler estate, doing their Saviour's work amongst the poor; and a glorious work it is too. Think of the gladness one kind thoughtful heart can bring to many, and how much easier it is to talk of religion when one's life shows we are in earnest. Christmas is a time for all true followers of Jesus to reflect, look back, and see how they have spent the past year.

If on the morning of the Redeemer's birthday, as they bow in prayer and say, “ Thou knowest all things, Thou knowest that I love Thee," and from His throne on high Jesus whispers in their ear, “ Inasmuch as ye did it unto the least of one of these My brethren, ye did it unto Me"---happy indeed is that human being; a sweet peace steals over the soul of such, and the light that shone brightly shall become yet brighter, for who would be content with present attainments? No true Christian. The

year is again at its close, imperfections though many are blotted out, and in the strength of the Mighty One another year is begun; and if only one soul is rescued from everlasting woe, what a glorious work that one converted, working, faithful Christian has done! The constant doing of little loving deeds do more for the welfare of our fellow-creatures than any one can conceive. 'Tis not always in our power to do great things, but who is there but can help some one?

Children seeing their parents generous and kind take

more notice, and believe them more than any words about doing good; and when it is the delight of the mother to care for those in distress the little ones reverence that woman and desire to be like her. Happy English homes, where prayer arises like incense, and where God answers the prayer and gives His gifts and graces, so that those who profess to be only on a journey to a better land show by their loving words and ways that they are indeed the children of God, and each works willingly and humbly to bring forward that time when all men shall know the Lord. When young I can remember the number of parcels all ready to be sent off on Christmas Eve. No one knew better than my father, who was a doctor, the wants of some people in the parish, and for years a comfortable dinner was provided for deserving poor patients, and they had no idea who to thank : such was his way. But one old couple who had for years had a hamper left guessed that the doctor was the unknown friend, and one morning they visited him in a cab, and when he entered the consulting-room an elegant china breakfast-service was laid out on the table. He looked surprised, the wife rose and said, “ Accept it, dear doctor, in grateful remembrance for so many Christmas dinners.” What could he do? How could they have got the money to buy it? How could he say it was a mistake? He rang the bell and sent for his wife; she came down, and at last the family followed to thank and congratulate the old people who had so gracefully shown their gratitude. They had had some property left them, and no doubt on Christmas Days, when surrounded with comforts, they did not forget the kind doctor.

H. W. P. Going, I don't know where.”

y in a large town in one of the midland counties of

England, there lived, some years ago, a man who was held in respect by many of his neighbours as say, however, he was an infidel. He declared that he had no need of a Saviour, the Bible was a book fit only for women and children, and all that Christian people believed about either heaven or hell were idle dreams.

a clever and successful man of business, and still more as a man of blameless moral character. Sad to

At length, still clinging to his unbelief, he reached middle life, when he was suddenly smitten by a stroke of paralysis, which deprived him of the power to walk, and even of discerning persons or things around him. As he thus lay on his bed, he uttered the mournful cry, “I'm going, I'm going, I don't know where.For forty-eight hours, scarcely ever ceasing for a moment, he repeated these dreadful words, times without number. At first he uttered them with the greatest possible rapidity, but by-and-by, as his strength declined, in slower tones. Hour after hour nothing else was heard in his chamber. At length the words-still the same—were gasped out with the greatest difficulty. I'm going-1-don't--knowwhere;" and then he breathed his last.

It may be, reader, that you are still in the prime of life, and that the day of your death is still many years distant; though, such is the uncertainty of life, it may be close at hand. But whether that day be near or distant, you are moving onward to it steadily, and it will surely come. You have here no continuing city, and no abiding home. You are certainly going to the grave, and, as certainly, you are going somewhere beyond.

Do you know where? We could suggest no question which concerns you more deeply.

In the beginning of the seventh century, Edwin, the Saxon king of Northumbria, summoned an assembly of his nobles to consult with them whether or not they should receive Christianity. Some adverse opinions were expressed, but at length one of the chiefs rose and said, “Thou mayest recollect, O King, a thing which sometimes happens in the days of winter, when thou art seated with thy captains and men-at-arms, when a good fire is blazing, and it is warm in thy halls, but rains and snows and storms are without, there comes a little bird, and darts across the hall, flying in at one door and out at the other. The instant of this transit is sweet to him, for he feels neither rain nor hurricane; but that instant is short, the bird is gone in the twinkling of an eye, and from winter he passes forth to the winter again. Such to me seems the life of man on this earth; such its momentary course compared with the length of time that precedes and follows it. That eternity is dark and incomprehensible to us, tormenting us by the impossibility of comprehending it. If then this new doctrine can teach us anything certain respecting it, it is fit we should follow it.”

The counsel was wise. We ought to welcome and to follow any doctrine which teaches us with certainty respecting the future life.

The “new doctrine" which our Saxon forefathers thus hailed was "the everlasting gospel," the gospel of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. It contains a great many wonderful things besides, but it crowns all by its grand and glorious discoveries of life and immortality. The gospel tells us where we may go.

It does not tell us everything we might wish to know about heaven, but it tells us enough to fill us with the most ardent desire to get there. It describes it as a place of everlasting rest, a place where there is no pain, no sorrow, no death, and, best of all, where there is no sin. It tells us that God's holy angels are there, and that all who are redeemed from this earth will join them in singing the praises of God and the Lamb for ever. It says that if we belong to those whom God loves, the Lord Jesus Christ will receive our spirits to Himself when we die, and that in the last great day He will raise our bodies incorruptible.

These are some of the things which the gospel tells us about heaven.

We often hear of places which are very beautiful, but which we never expect to see, still less to call our own. But God wishes us to have all the joy which springs from

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