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Hope Thou in God.


HEN the way is rough and dreary,
When thou footsore art and weary,

And no ray of light doth cheer thee,

Hope thou in God!

When thy heart o'erburden'd fails thee,
And temptation sore assails thee,
And no human help avails thee,

Hope thou in God!

When the world in scorn rejects thee,
And thy trusted friend neglects thee,
And thy fruitless toil dejects thee,

Hope thou in God!

He will gladden and relieve thee,
He will grace sufficient give thee,
He will bless and never leave the:

Hope thou in God!

J. K.

My Friend's Herbarium.

N the lowest shelf in the library of a friend of mine are a number of large volumes all in the same binding. I remember looking at them on the

morning of their arrival from the bookbinder's five-and-twenty years ago. I found there was nothing in them but clean white paper, except that on each alternate page was pasted carefully and neatly the name and description of some plant or flower.

The volumes were, in fact, intended to be a Herbarium of native British plants. A specimen of every herb and flower indigenous to this country was to be inserted in the book beside the printed description of it.

It did not take my friend long to fill up many of the blanks, for a great number of the plants were common and easily found; but as time went on the task became more difficult, and the work proceeded at a slower rate of progress,

for some of the plants grew only in certain districts of the country, which had to be visited in order to obtain them, and some in localities not easily reached, while a few were of sorts so rarely to be met with that they are seldom found except after much search.

I looked over the pages of the Herbarium to-day, and noticed there were still a few blanks where the names of certain very rare Alpine plants appeared. I found, however, that my friend's enthusiasm, instead of being diminished, now that his collection was so nearly perfect, was greater than ever. I believe he would willingly journey a thousand miles in order to obtain one of those few rare specimens which, as yet, he has been unable to obtain. His great desire now is to complete the collection: and I have no doubt that if he lives two or three years longer he will succeed, for he grudges neither pains nor money if only he can add to it.

To-day, when I had finished my inspection of the Herbarium, I said to my friend that it seemed to me to afford a striking illustration of the growth and progress of a true Christian life.

"How so?" said he.

"In this way," said I.

"When a soul first comes to Christ, all the graces of the Spirit have to be wrought in it. None of them are there at first. But there is a place for every one of them, and it is our life-long work to see that each of them be found there, and each in its own place."

"Quite true," said my friend; "and a young convert is like a young botanist. The work goes on fast at first, and he imagines that it is soon to be finished. But as time goes on the visible progress becomes less, and the task is felt to be the more difficult. When I began my collection, it seemed a poor day that did not furnish me with many different specimens, but now I think I have made good progress if in a whole summer I can obtain two or three additions to those I already possess."

"Yes," said I, "the Christian has an experience very

similar to the botanist. In its more advanced stages growth in grace is not to be measured by ells but inches. The noblest graces are the rarest. The virtues that go to make the character the nearest perfection are the last to be attained to. But, friend," said I, "does your botanical experience suggest any further parallel?"

"Yes," said he; "I have sometimes found on afterexamination of a specimen that it was imperfect. It was of the right kind, but wanted some part or other."


Ah," said I," these fragmentary graces are too common in the life-herbarium of Christian men. What more have you observed?”

"I have sometimes," replied he, "on looking over my plants, found one that has not been so well-preserved as the rest, and has become mildewed.”

“Yes,” said I, "there are plenty of specimens of mildewed graces in our life-herbariums ;-graces that are spoilt by worldliness and selfishness and carnal affections. What more, my friend? "

"Well," said he, "I have sometimes inserted a wrong specimen. Some plants very much resemble others. Look, there is the wild strawberry-plant, and here is another plant almost exactly like it, but yet quite different, for it bears no berries."

"I see," said I. "And in the life-herbarium there are not a few such plants: plants in the wrong place; plants of grace that should be fruit-bearing yet are not; but are, in fact, mere counterfeits of the grace they represent. Have you noticed anything else, my friend?"

"Not anything more, except that I am growing more and more anxious to get my collection completed."

"Ah, there, I fear as a botanist you have the advantage of many Christian men as respects their life-herbarium. There is not so much longing after progress, or so much an aiming at perfection as there ought to be. Many of us, having attained to the more easily-reached standards of grace, are content to remain there. I trust your example

as a botanist will teach me a lesson as a Christian, nay, more than one lesson. For, let me see, what lessons have we found here ? I must strive to attain to every grace and virtue. I shall naturally and necessarily, as I advance, find progress not so rapid as at first, therefore I need not be discouraged. And I must beware of mere fragmentary virtue, mildewed graces, and mistaken specimens, and not allow a mere human quality or characteristic to take the place of a Divine grace; and the great lesson of all is, that in Christian life we must always be adding, and always adding the right thing in the right place."

"Yes," said my friend, who was a true Christian as well as a cultured botanist, “that is the Apostolic exhortation: "Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.'" 1


The Long Pinafores.


AR away from where I now live, in a little town by the side of the sea, called Whitehaven, I spent the first few years of my life; and now, as I write, a clear picture rises before my mind's eye of the sea and the cliffs, and the long harbour walls, and the narrow dirty streets straggling up the steep hill-sides, with the bright summer sun resting everywhere, and making the place beautiful! I never visit any sea-side place and sniff the strong briny odours, not always the sweetest, of the harbour when the tide is out, without being reminded of my old home by the sea; and whenever I read of storms and disasters at sea, I think of the days when the waves used to 2 Peter i. 5-7.


leap right over the high parapet of the harbour, dashing even up to the lighthouse lantern, and when at nights I heard the howling winds and the unceasing surge of the waves as with long roll they beat against the cliffs.

On the heights overlooking the harbour are walls like those of a fortress in appearance, but these have long been disused for any warlike purpose, and now form part of the buildings erected at the mouth of a coal-mine. Deep down in the earth and for several miles beneath the sea, the coal is found, and here it is brought to the surface. There the valuable part is poured down long iron "shoots" into the ships waiting in the harbour to carry it to distant ports, while the refuse is thrown out on the other side of the cliff in huge heaps by the waterside. With mingled terror and delight I used to listen to the thundering roar with which the coals at intervals rattled down from the height into the deep holds of the ships; but I remember well the different feeling with which, even then as a child, I used to look at the sight presented on the other side of the cliff.

There on the beach might be seen a number of miserable grimy-looking creatures, all stooping down and busily at work among the rubbish heaps, carefully picking out the best pieces of the coal, and then carrying away their heavy burdens up the long flight of steps into the town, to sell them at a cheap rate among the poor, or to provide warmth in their own dwellings during the hard winter. Nearly all of those who toiled there were children, wild, uncared-for, almost starved, and there were few in those days who gave ever a thought of pity to, or sought to teach and help these poor outcasts.

But my dear mother, though her health was never very strong, almost from the very day when she first came to reside in the town, busied herself in visiting the narrow streets and alleys, where, huddled together in damp cellars and rooms to which it seemed as if the breath of heaven could never come, these and other poor children lived. Ah! she had learned the lesson, so simple and yet so hard for

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