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" ENTERTAINING ANGELS UNAWARES.” . We thought of this beautiful sentence, of which the above is a portion, on an occasion of recent occurrence. A little church near us was to be dedicated, and in the heat of the day, a bowed-down man, with long patriarchal garments, came toiling up the hill, and wended his way towards our dwelling. He had come, the old man said, all the way from the city, for the purpose of seeing one more dedication before he died. He was way-worn and feeble; in his own language, spoken with a faltering tongue“ You don't know how feeble I am"-we read his extreme exhaustion. We made him sit down to a refreshing dinner, for we saw by thé beaming face, that though the skin was dark upon his visage, the heart in the sight of God was very white.
“How old are you, father ? ” we naturally asked, and to our astonishment he answered, “I was ninety-nine years old nine months ago."
If we had looked upon him with veneration before, we now beheld him with awe. One hundred years had nearly passed since he first saw the light. Since then what mutations, what changes, what revolutions have taken place! Where are those who began life with him? Dead, nearly all dead. “My old wife," he said, “went home twenty-seven years ago ; and I have been waiting the will of my Master erer since to call me also.”
One hundred years; an old saint longing for the last great change.
"I ain't afraid to die," he exclaimed, his face radiant with the peace of the Christian : “I've been over sixty years getting ready; they'll put this old body down below, but never mind, my real home will be up there—up there.!" he repeated, raising his eyes with an expression of joy.
Surely, if we ever entertained an angel unawares, we did that day, in ministering to this aged pilgrim. The old man with his hoary head, and his long coat girded about the loins, and his “ Pilgrim's Progress," which he carried with him wherever he went, with his dark eye lustrous yet, brought a blessing to our home, and all, even the very little children, felt the influence of his presence.
Peace go with the aged pilgrim. It may be that the slight frame is laid away in silence-that the tongue will never move more in the soft accents of peace and good will, —that the old staff is put by in some corner,—that the ancient spectacles are laid snugly in some receptacle,- that the cold hands are crossed in silence and moveless for ever; yet we know that "up there" he shines with steady glory; i and we shall once again see the beaming of those dark eyes, and feel the clasp of his fingers, and hear him say again-"God be with you."
Oh! it is very sweet when our Father deigns to put “his angels” under our protection-let us be careful that we offend Him not, by rejecting one of the least of his children.- Olive Branch.
LITTLE BRIGHT-EYED TOMMY, THE SABBATH
Many a Sabbath morning might have been seen a beautiful boy, of some eight summers, trudging along the dusty road to the village Sabbath school ; and so very interesting-looking was dear little Tommy in our view that an artist, we think, would have been arrested n his walk to gaze on his sunny face ; and we should not have felt surprised if he had earnestly begged for a “sitting," that a portrait of the cherub-looking boy might have graced his studio.
Dear little Tommy was called by those of us who knew and loved him, “the bright eyed boy ;” and no marvel, for seldom have we looked upon such a pair of brilliant, laughing eyes. The contour of the face too was perfect, and the shining auburn hair curled luxuriantly above and around it. In his figure, little Tommy was a perfect man in miniature ; so much so, that when on one occasion the little fellow was visiting a fashionable watering-place,
strangers constantly halted before him to gaze and admire the unique" little man.” But the dimpled, sunny face has a dark shade on it now, and the bright eye is closed in a long, last sleep. Step softly! it is a solemn place-how marble-like the lovely form has become! The little chubby feet tread life's path no more-they are stretched out in a narrow bed, and the little round hands are meekly folded on the quiet breast. The hand of disease has stamped its impress on the face of the once beautiful boy, and the grave-robes are folded around the little form so admired in life. But the bud of beauty is gone to bloom in a more congenial climate ;-it was not allowed to unfold here !
“ We would not recall thee from glory and bliss,
While answering angels repeat the glad song." In the Sabbath-School to which little Tonımy belonged there was what was called “ little prayer meeting.” Once a month the female teachers gathered the girls around them to sing and pray in private ; and exceedingly interesting was the sight, to behold the concentric circles of very little ones kneeling around their teachers, who asked for blessings on their young heads. Two little ones were admitted among them, to aid in leading the singing, dear little Tommy was one of them. The last hymn he joined in singing there seemed like a shadow cast before to tell of the coming event. It was this :
Who are they whose little feet,
Pacing life's dark journey through,
They had ever kept in view ?
I, from Afric's burning sand,
I, from islands of the main.
Every tear and pain gone by;
At the portal of the sky.
Conquerors over death and sin ;
Let the little travellers in ! ” The nature of the disease sent to hasteu little Tommy to the tomb precluded any of his friends from holding conversation with him. The little mind often wandered ; and so great was his weakness, when consciousness returned, he could only speak in monosyllables, and even these he could not repeat. But most patient and quiet lay the dear little boy on his bed of death, now and then giving sign of pain or thirst by saying in a gentle voice,“Oh, dear!” Thus he lay, till the dark-winged angel came, and then so gently he passed from earth to the spirit-land, it seemed like the natural sleep of a lovely infant; but, as the day was i breaking, the anxious watchers could only say—“Dear , Tommy is gone!”
One night during the early part of his illness, there was a fearful thunder-storm ; but young dying Tommy felt no fear-he requested the window-curtain to be drawn back, and the candle to be extinguished that he might the better see the vivid lightning! Ah, dear little boy! thou art far above the thunder-cloud now. May we meet thee in the | uncorrupted, undefiled land, where fear, and sin, and death
are for ever excluded. May the tears that are falling over l; the little grave of this beautiful Sabbath-school boy be
submissive tears- remembering that he is safely folded in the great Shepherd's arms.— The Mother's Friend.
A LESSON FOR THE PRINCE OF WALES. During her Majesty's residence, some years ago, at Osborne, in the Isle of Wight, her children were accustomed to ramble along the sea shore. Now, it so happened on one occasion, that the young Prince of Wales met a boy who had been gathering sea shells. The boy had got a basket full. The young Prince, presuming upon his high position, thought himself privileged to do what he pleased with impunity. So without any notice he upset the boy's basket and shells. The poor lad was very indignant, and observed, “ You do that again, and I'll lick you.” “Put the shells into the basket," said the Prince, “and see if I don't.” The shells were gathered up and put into the basket. “Now," said the lad,“ touch'em again, old fellow, if you dare!” whereupon the Prince again pitched over the shells and the lad "pitched into him," and gave him such a licking as few Princes ever had. His lip was cut open, his nose knocked considerably out of its perpendicular, and his eyes of a colour which might have well become the champion of a prize ring. His disfigured face could not long be concealed from the royal mother. She inquired the cause of its disfigurement. The Prince was silent, but at last confessed the truth. The poor boy was ordered before the Queen. He was asked to tell his story. He did so in a very straightforward manner. At its conclusion, turning to her child, the Queen said, “You have been rightly served, sir. Had you not been punished sufficiently already, I should have punished you severely. When you commit a like offence I trust you will always receive a similar punishment.” Turning to the poor boy, she commanded his parents to her presence the following morning. They came--and the result of the interview was, that her Majesty told them she had made arrangements for educating and providing for their son, and she hoped he would make good use of the advantages which would be placed within his reach.