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RESPECT FOR THE AGED.
EVERENCE for age being a Divine command, should form an inseparable part of the earliest education. It seems inexplicable that parents should neglect to impress on their children the solemn injunction: "Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God." The command derives force from the situation in which it is placed; guarded by the majesty of Him from whom it emanates, and linked with the duty which man owes to his Maker and his Judge. If we admit that there is a general declension in duty to the aged; mothers! is not much of the fault with you? If so, where is the remedy? Certainly in the power of early instruction and in the influence of example. Begin then with your little ones.
Require them to rise and offer a seat when an aged person enters the room-never to interrupt them when speaking -but to solicit their advice and reverence their opinions. You will say these are simple rules. Yes! But the oak springs from a diminutive germ. Show them the reason for these simple rules from the book of God. Consider the slightest disrespect to aged relations or any person advanced in years, as a fault of magnitude; give them on this subject, line upon line, until the habit of paying respect to the hoary head is confirmed. A favourite writer tells us, she once knew the father and mother of a large family, who, on the entrance of their aged parents, rose and received them with every mark of respect, and who were also in the constant practice of treating all other persons advanced in years as especially honourable and deserving the first attention. The children beholding continually this deference shown to the aged, made it a part of their own conduct. Before they were capable of comprehending the reasons on which it was founded, they copied it from
the ever-open page of parental example-the beautiful habit grew with their growth, and was rewarded by the approbation of all who witnessed it. Especially was it cheering to the hearts of those who received it, and who found the chill and solitude of the vale of tears, alleviated by the tender love that walked by their side. "I saw," continues the same writer, "these children when their own parents became old. This hallowed principle, early incorporated with their character, bore a rich harvest for those who had sown the seed. The honour which from infancy they had shown to the hoary head, mingling with the fervour of filial affection, produced a delightful combination—one which, to a casual observer, had an echo of that injunction: 'Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."" It is a frequent complaint of those past the meridian of life, that they do not receive the respect that was once paid to age, which alas! is too true in a vast number of cases. Men with grey hairs, women with wrinkled faces, speak of it as a thing that was, and mourn that they do not see it now-a-days. We were visiting lately in a family where there were several pretty girls-beautifully attired, well educated, literally loaded with accomplishments, and withal were very hand
The door opened, and in came an old lady-very old. She looked about her as she slowly moved forward; not a head bowed in token of her presence- -no one moved to give her a seat. "Louise," whispered one, "give grandmother a chair." "I shan't; she might as well stay upstairs," was the ungracious reply. Presently, one of them, shamed at our disapproval, for we immediately rose and conducted the aged woman towards our own chair, offered her the seat with rockers, but she declined it, preferring to take what was offered ungrudgingly. During all her stay, those very genteel young ladies noticed her no more than if she were not in the room, except
when she used an odd or ungrammatical expression, they tittered and ridiculed it among themselves. Oh! it was thoroughly revolting to see that crown of grey hairs mocked by these thoughtless creatures. Soon those trembling feet would be treading towards the verge of the grave, and the mould would crumble and fall upon the coffin, and they would think of her as the old woman, whose presence was a trouble -a check upon their pleasure—one who was always quoting old-fashioned songs or singing them through her nose, whose homely gown with its crossed handkerchief was distasteful to their fashionable eyes, and of whom even the matron would say: "Well, really, mother was growing so very childish I could hardly mourn that she was gone." Thus it is said that many of the aged are treated at the present day. Their sorrows, their tears, their sacrifices, their humble, hard toils for children who have grown to manhood, are all forgotten, and those to whom they have given birth are ashamed of them. Alas! that it should be so that while God, the great Being to whom we owe all that we are, treats the grey hairs with reverence, calling them crowns of glory, we insult them in our conduct towards them. It is probable that some expect too much. They think the young neglect them, but do they not owe something to the young themselves? Those who linger at a banquet after others are gone, should take especial pains to make themselves agreeable. If they find less courtesy than they wish, let them show more. It becomes them to be very meek and patient, to make amends for their long entertainment at life's board. "I had a beautiful dream," said a bright boy; "I thought we children were all in heaven and so happy. By-and-bye grandfather came in, frowning and saying, as he always does, 'Can't these children stop their noise?' so we all ran away."
THE WIDOWER AND THE MOTHERLESS.
"I would, but cannot rest
In God's most holy will;
I know what He appoints is best,
O Mrs. Campbell is really gone, poor
thing!" said one neighbour to another, as they glanced at the house opposite, and noted the closely-drawn blinds and the ominous-closed shutter nearest the door. Yes, it was indeed true, Isabel Campbell had passed from her happy, earthly home into the Father's house of many mansions; and within his lonely room sat one who mourned the wife of his youth, the first and only love of his life, with a bitterness of sorrow that refused to be comforted. All around reminded him of her: the room in which he sat his study-bore on every side the traces of her fingers, and every arrangement of its furniture was fraught with some memory of her. Before his marriage, this room had been his "bachelor sanctum," as he had laughingly told Isabel, when, in proud joy, he brought her to the home she was henceforth to gild with sunshine. Her woman fingers soon worked wondrous alterations in it, and it became so pleasant that in those days of early married life, no room seemed so dear to either as this. Here, in the bright summer evenings, Philip wrote his business letters, while she worked quietly by the window, until the desk was closed, and he was at liberty to come to her side. Then, on the quiet happy Sundays, when no business duties called him away from home, they together went to their loved Sunday school, and afterward to the house of God in company, closing the day with a long talk by the study window, or with a hymn of praise to the God who had given them so much of joy and happiness. So the years passed on; children's voices rang through the passages, and made music in the house; and
the husband and wife, the heart of each safely trusting in the other, without doubt or fear of change, often talked together of God's goodness to them, and prayed for help and guidance in the pilgrim path they were treading side by side. Often as Philip looked upon his treasures, his precious wife and three dear children, he shuddered to think what the anguish would be if He who gave them were to recall the gift. He hardly dared think what his life would be without her, his faithful, loving wife-how desolate, how lonely, how sad ! Yet now the trial he had most dreaded had come to him. God, in His mysterious providence, had called away the wife and mother so tenderly loved. With her head resting on his shoulder, her last look of love given to him, Isabel had passed in the early morning light away from earth to heaven. Quietly to all outward semblance, Philip had wiped the death-damps from the dear brow, and tenderly whispered his last farewell; but the haggard grief stamped on his face was painful to behold, and when the last struggle for breath had ceased, he turned mechanically from the bedside, and gazed fixedly into the compassionate face of the kind. neighbour who had been with his wife all through her illness. She was alarmed at his stony gaze, and spoke gently to him, reminding him of the children; but he did not heed her words-for the time he had almost forgotten their existence, his whole being was bound up in the one agonising thought that she was gone-gone to return no more. Oh! was he never again to feel the clinging clasp of those dear arms? never again to hear the music of her voice speaking his name? It was agony to think of it, and the strong man felt crushed with his weight of sorrow. After giving all necessary orders, he went into the study, and locking the door he sat down in her chair. For hours he sat there alone in bitter grief, no one disturbed him, and food would only have choked him. He wished
he could pray, but there seemed a heavy stony weight on his heart that prevented him from lifting it up to God, and rebellious thoughts crowded like evil spirits upon him. At length, as the evening shadows fell, he roused himself to think of his little ones and of their loss. As he went to seek them, he heard the sound of the evening bells calling to the house of prayer, and his resolution was taken--he would go to the sanctuary. He found that Mrs. Deane had gathered the children around her, and in her gentle, womanly way was talking to them. Traces of tears were on the childish faces, but it was evident that they did not realise the great loss they had sustained. Philip went towards them, and they clustered round him, prattling in their artless wonder, and asking questions about "dear mamma,' which were most touching to hear. After a few minutes' talk with them, Philip said, "Will you stay here this evening, Mrs. Deane ? I feel I must go out." Mrs. Deane willingly complied, though she looked rather surprised, and murmured something to the effect that it was not usual to attend a place of worship under existing circumstances. "Never mind," said Philip, "if not usual it is not improper;" and his heart echoed "I know she would have me go." So with his eldest child, a little fairy of seven years, bearing her mother's name, Philip bent his steps to Greysville, the next town. He felt that he could not attend his own place of worship, for he could not bear to be questioned and condoled with, so they went into a sanctuary at the entrance to the town, and mingled with the worshippers.
(To be continued.)
REAL Sorrow is almost as difficult to discover as real poverty. An instinctive delicacy hides the rags of the one and the wounds of the other.
A FEW THOUGHTS FOR
your first-born, who is the joy and pride of your home. The home you came to as a happy bride you may have to leave, you may have to say farewell to the friends of
"Fothers! Would that you could feel
ROM this day will I bless you." Oh, your early married life, and the comfort
assured that this blessing was pronounced
and luxuries by which you have been surrounded you may suddenly be deprived of; so pray that your treasure may be in heaven, and there your heart will be also. Through all the joys and sorrows that beset your path "commit your way unto the Lord," and then at another anniversary you will be nearer to God than you have ever been before. GERTRUDE.
NEW YEAR'S DAY.
(See Illustration, page 6.)
and surely all will agree with her. Yours PAGE FOR OUR YOUNG FRIENDS. is a very busy life, full of joy, but often interwoven with sorrow. Your round of duties, day after day, may at times appear wearisome; but discouraged, those little ones for whom you toil will surely be a blessing if rightly guided. We do not like to foreshadow dark days in your homes, we would rather write to you of bright days and months without a cloud, when your beloved husband will come in and out in your midst, and your darlings will be happy and healthy in the sunshine of their earthly parents' love, and above all, smiled upon by your Father and theirs; but dark days will come, we know, this year as they have in previous years: some of you may be laid on a bed of sickness, and perchance a bed of death; your husband may be left desolate and your little ones motherless; but Jesus will meet you in "the valley;" and He will comfort your bereaved ones if you have made Him your friend. Your beloved husband may be taken, and then may follow in the train a multitude of sorrows; but for this trial a special and most tender promise has been made. Some of you will have to give up your dear children-it may be the sweet babe who is resting on your bosom, or
Year's How bells ring, and are not all the little boys and girls merry?” 'No, not all," said a little girl; "Susy Ray isn't." "And who is Susy Ray, little poppet," said grandpapa, who was the first speaker, taking the child on his knee. "Oh! grandpa, she's lame; can't walk you know. She isn't merry, grandpa." Lowering her voice; "I'm going to take her some presents. Will you come, too?" "Yes, my pet; When shall we go? After breakfast? "Yes," said Bessie, smiling contentedly. Little Bessie was the youngest of five children; and five very happy young_faces appeared at the table that morning. Father and mother, and their kind grandparents, were there too, with uncles and aunts; and, to their universal amusement and gratification-a baby cousin. A joyous gathering. Now for the presents! "Look, mamma, said Bessie, pointing to a large wax doll, who sat in state on a side table, dressed in the latest style, and by her side the gailydecorated trunk, which doubtless contained an abundant supply of clothing for the