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But at last the poor wreck of the soul that was left dies like all its better powers. A few feelings and memories were all that were left-«just something that hell can plague-and these find their own place in its awful grave. Death is removal, but not rest, a night without a morning, a sorrow without a joy.
So, piecemeal, the greedy die daily, ever dropping something that gave light and joy; at last everything perishing in final ruin.
“Therefore, take heed and beware of covetousness.” True life lies not in having goods, but in being right. Remember greed grows apace, that you can never keep it in bounds. The Saviour, knowing this, bids us deny that is to say, dethrone---self. Remember, some who are poor are very rich, and some who are rich are very poor. Seek to have Godnot gold; His grace and joy in the heart--not plenty in the barns. Watch your heart, and see it does not get so absorbed with care as to wither, and shrink, and die. “What is à man profited if he gain the whole world, and lose his soul ?” “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all other things will be added thereto."
The Use of a Tract. so was appointed chaplain to a military academy
in my native country,” said Bishop MʻIlvaine, V SS of Ohio, in an anniversary address. “Shortly after my arrival I received a communication from an officer in the depôt, stating that however I might believe and rejoice in the doctrines which it was my duty to inculcate, there were those among my congregation who believed not a word of them, and he reckoned himself among the number of the unbelievers. He had to state, further, that he believed there was not a person in the neighbourhood who put the slightest faith in my doctrines.
“One day, soon after my appointment, a cadet came to
my apartments, and told me that his father had recently died, and that he had enjoined him to come and seek my acquaintance. I gave the young man a tract: it might not produce its effect at the moment, but it was like throwing bread upon the waters, with the hope of finding it after many days. In two weeks from that period a young man, one of the finest in the academy, came to me attired in his full uniform ; his eyes were filled with tears, his utterance was nearly choked with emotion. At first it appeared to me that he had been the victim of some sad disaster; at length he stated that he had been brought up without religion ; that he had lived unacquainted with God; that his mind was disposed towards scepticism; but that a tract had fallen into his hands, and, such was the effect which it produced upon his heart and mind, that, when reading it, he could not refrain from laying his hand upon the Bible, and saying, “This must be true.' He told me that he had found the tract in his room, but was ignorant how it came there.
"I explained to him how that tract had been given away by me, and how it had evidently found its way to the man by whom it was most needed. It afterwards transpired that the young man to whom I had given the tract had placed it in his friend's room for the purpose of ascertaining how he felt on the subject of religion. Soon afterwards they came to my apartments together, and one of them, throwing his arms round my neck, inquired what he should do to be saved. Nor did the result end here. In consequence of the reading of that tract, many were roused to consideration. Ere long they began to attend public worship; and after a short time there were many professing, steady, zealous, practical Christians. Meanwhile our prayer-meetings were joined by the professors of military and civil engineering, the professors of mineralogy and chemistry, and the instructor of artillery, and as many as seventeen cadets."
Effie's Jug of Flowers.
CHAPTER 1. HOME in Nag's Rents-four grimy walls, blotched with grease and mildew, and a cracked, smoky ceiling staring down upon a squalid floor, from
which the sound of the scrubbing-brush had long departed. A few broken panes, patched with brown paper, did duty as a window, across the lower part of which hung
a frouzy rag, that might once have been a muslin curtain ; while through the upper half a few dusty sunbeams found their way, and fell upon the hearth opposite. And what a hearth! Fenderless and heaped with the ashes of departed fires up to the grate, whose bars were rusty with the slops that from time to time were flung against them. Two creaky chairs, a wooden table, and a frying-pan, whose greasy interior formed a playground for sportive mice, composed the furniture; and strips of peeled-off paper dangling from the walls, and some long-established cobwebs, completed the adornments. Before the window stood a long box turned on its side-a repository of rubbish —while its upper surface, by means of a straw pillow and a ragged blanket, served as a bed.
In this cheerless attic, and on this wretched couch, reclined a child of ten. Judging from her slender frame, she seemed little more than seven, but her small face was aged with woe. Her blue eyes and flaxen hair had been a mother's pride in Effie's happier days; but the first were sunk and ringed with dusky circles, and the gold of the latter had faded to a dingy drab; yet there was a grace in her fragile form, and a sweetness in her upraised glance, which made her look almost spiritual amid her squalid surroundings, and told of better times gone by.
Her father, Edward Brook, had once been a sober and respected mechanic. For years he had held a good position, and could boast a snug rose-covered cottage of his own, and a kind, true wife-a very fairy-queen for the wonders of domestic comfort which her two busy little hands managed to work; but in an evil hour pride and envy entered the heart of Brook, and he was persuaded to join a "strike” that was planned in an ale-house one Sunday afternoon. For weeks he and the rest skulked about the scene of their former employment, “living on strike;" but the master, unable to accede to the high wages and short hours they demanded, filled their places with foreign workmen; and they who were discontented with reasonable pay and con
stant work were soon glad to pick up a “hand-to-mouth” livelihood by doing any odd jobs that offered at about half their former earnings.
This state of things only chafed the spirit of Ned Brook. The cottage was sold, and he came, with little Effie and his sorrowing wife, to that wilderness of bricks and smoke dingy, cruel London—to look out for “ something to do."
Mary Brook never reproached her husband, but day by day she grew paler and paler, weaker and weaker, drooped, sickened, died; and in her the good angel of Edward Brook departed from earth. He had now to toil, late and early, at any employment which offered ; and, to make matters worse, he had fallen in with some of his former pot-house companions, who persuaded him to console himself for his long hours and scanty meals during the week, by being “jolly” on Sundays--which “jollity” consisted in smoking at the street corners until the public-house was open, and, as soon as the doors were set swinging, in drinking and swearing in the tap-room until they were turned out at the hour of closing, utterly refusing the invitation of the Saviour, “ Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,” and, instead of going to Him, seeking pleasure in rioting and dissipation.
The result was that, instead of returning to his work refreshed by a day' of peaceful retirement, and strong in the manly strength of gospel promises and Christian hope, he spent the Monday in sleeping off the effects of the Sunday's debauch; and thus a course which began with sabbath-breaking ended in a brutish existence in the foul attic of Nag's Rents.
Thus, too, it was that his poor little orphaned Effie was left day after day foodless, fireless, and alone. Poor, pale little maiden! She would have done her feeble best to have made the den less den-like; but the wooden pail, which she had once or twice begged of a neighbour, leaked cruelly; and her course from the wash-house to the garret left a watery trail behind her; besides the greater slops here