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II. New Year's gifts of tools, toys, dc., to the boys and girls of heathen lands.—This is the second occasion on which an opportunity has been offered to the boys and girls of the meetings, of sending presents to the young people connected with the foreign mission stations, and it was embraced to a much larger extent this year than last. The letters and journals received from the South Sea Islands having alluded to the value of such little articles as beads, buttons, needles, thimbles, pins, &c., great quantities of these have been contributed ; and in addition to these were hammers, hatchets, saws, chisels, &c.; knives, scissors, tin piates, spoons, china and glass cups, &c.; thread, dyed cloths, and handkerchiefs, pictures, maps, &c.,—making in all a consignment of six boxes, valued at about £40. As these came in from the 33 different meetings of the Society, they were all grouped and exhibited in the Drill Hall, Waterloo Street, during the three days of the New-Year holidays, and were visited by large crowds of the young people and their friends.

III. The Annual Missionary Meeting of the Society was held in the City Hall on Monday evening, 9th January-James Bell, Esq., president, in the chair, when, after a review of the past year's collections, and the allocation of 722 prizes for the repetition of the “Scripture Text Book” of the Society, the Rev. Dr. Turner, from Samoa, told the “Story of the South Sea Island Mission," and the Rev. James Johnston, lately from China, gave the “Story of the Chinese Mission.” The eager attention of the large assemblage of boys and girls to the details of the Missionary cause, during the entire evening, was very admirable, and evidenced a decided interest in the progress of religion among the heathen.

We now propose to sketch briefly the plan of missionary collection followed in all the Society's Sabbath forenoon meetings. The boys and girls attending the meetings always sit in the same pew, (which may be regarded as equivalent to a class,) and are presided over by a monitor, (equal to a teacher in Sabbath school.) Each pew has its own little missionary box, which the monitor obtains from the treasurer on entering the meeting, taking it to the pew, and retaining charge of it till the end of the meeting. The collection is taken just after the opening devotional exercises. But before the boxes are passed along the pews, the treasurer gives a short account of the mission collected for, or a little story about it, so as to interest all in the scheme, even though all may not be able to contribute. After the boxes have been passed along the pews, without much more noise than the pleasant tinkling of the coppers freely and lovingly given—a hymn is sung, and a brief prayer is offered up for the Mission. The meeting then proceeds, undisturbed by halfpennies, &c., falling on the floor, or boys or girls taking up their attention with them. Five minutes suffice for all this, and it is best done when done in a quiet yet sharp business style. This is really no more time than is generally consumed in taking the collection in Sabbath schools, where no story or intimation is ever thought of. And there is nothing in the plan to prevent its adoption in any school next Sabbath, without disturbing any existing arrangements, and, we are sure, with advantages unknown until the plan is carried out. The usual process of collecting money without knowing, or even caring, what for, but striving for a big figure, is silently but surely instilling the poison into young minds that interest in missions means large giving and nothing else. Without ignoring the duty of every one to give, not only what they can spare, but even to make a sacrifice, let us grant a higher place to sincere prayer, and to heart-felt interest for missions. And how easily are young hearts arrested, and their ardent affections enlisted on behalf of missionaries and the perishing heathen! The boys and girls cannot give much, but let us secure their hearts for Christ's cause; let us gather with them at a throne of grace to remember the “people in darkness” and plead for them; let this be done first and chiefly: the giving will surely not cease or diminish.

Some may ask, How shall we get stories about the mission for every Sabbath? This leads to the statement of a further part of the plan. A reference to the table of contributions will shew that the mission scheme is changed monthly. This is done at the monthly meeting of officebearers of all the meetings, and it is then the duty of the general treasurer to prepare and issue a

missionary intimation,” containing a short account or incident referring to the mission for each Sabbath of the month, and occupying about two minutes to read; these monthly intimations being the same in all the meetings. This advantage of a large organization need not, however, deter individual schools from adopting the plan, as any teacher could find interesting stories to take up each Sabbath if the scheme changed monthly. To this it has been frequently objected, —" but our sums would be so small!”—a remark which proves how

very much our hearts are apt to be occupied in having a large sum, and not in fostering a prayerful interest. Let us once and for all set aside this hankering after great statistics, if it is to interfere with more important aims. And let us beware of such unscriptural stimulants as inciting a rivalry between boys and girls, or between class and class, as to largest amounts. What is the use of consuming time in reading the amounts of each class, wben the Bible tells us not even to let our left hand know what our right hand doeth? The teacher and the class should know their own contributions from month to month, and the whole school

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should know the monthly totals, and the progression or falling off from month to month; but further than this, “comparisons are odious.” Nor will they be needed, if we choose the better way,-first of all cherishing a deep interest in missions ourselves, and desiring to implant and foster it in the young people under our charge.

W. M.

COLOUR BLINDNESS.

(By James Napier, F.C.S.) “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness !”—Matt. vi. 22-23. This passage may be thus explained :—The eye is the medium through which light passes to the body, and by which external objects are seen. If the eye be perfect, external objects are, through it, impressed upon the mind in their natural beauty of form and colouring ; but if the eye is in any way defective, the light is less or more decomposed, and we cannot see objects as they really are, nor are we able to appreciate their natural beauty. If, for example, the yellow ray of light should prevail, variety of colour is destroyed, and the person so affected sees objects simply as light and dark, from a grey to a black. The light within, so far as colours are concerned, is darkness. These defects of the eye are termed “colour blindness," a defect found to be so common, that it is said at least one in twenty is less or more colour blind.

If we apply this to the spiritual light which emanates from the revealed Word, of which Jesus Christ is the source and centre, we see the prevalence of colour blindness from imperfections in the medium through which this light often reaches us. One common cause of spiritual colour blindness has been ecclesiastical conventionalism, a very prominent example of which is seen in the state of the Jewish Church when Christ appeared. That Church, from its erroneous reading of the Scriptures, had made for itself a model of what the Messiah was to be; so that, when Christ did come, because His character and mission did not tally with their preconceived idea, He was rejected; the colour blindness produced by prejudice and will-worship prevented the Jews from seeing the beauty and harmony of His character and work. To say that our modern Christian profession always allows the pure spiritual and moral light of the Gospel to pass through it undecomposed, would be to affirm what is not consistent with daily observation. We will confine ourselves to one illustration of a very common class of colour blindness, affecting the moral and religious perceptions of the Christian Church. Many other instances and modifications will suggest themselves to the reader's own mind.

A few years back there was published an excellent book, entitled,

men.

That the grace

'Tis possible to make the best of Both Worlds, and addressed to young

The book was well worth the reading, but its title appeared to me as indicative of a serious and common species of Gospel colour blindness, as it speaks of a Scripture axiom as being something only possible--as if one should say, 'Tis possible the sun shines during the day, &c.—the truth being, that we cannot make the best of any one of the two worlds separately. We must make the best of both or none. of God arrests and saves many who are only seeking the best of one world, we believe; still, as a Gospel precept, the one must be obtained by and through the other. Many men in past ages and the practice still lingers amongst us-sought to secure for themselves the best for the next world by retiring from society to caves, cells, and cloisters; to spend their time in reading, meditation, fasting, and prayer, in the belief that this was serving God. Elijah, heart-sore with the prevailing wickedness of his time, and in despair of doing any good, fell into this error, and retired to a cave, until arrested by the “still small voice” saying,

“ What dost thou here, Elijah ?" His retreat from active duty was a failure and a mistake; and all efforts to make the best of the next by eschewing the duties and discipline of this world, will end in the same manner.

Solomon tried to make the best of this world apart from the next, and no one could try the experiment under more favourable circumstances, or with better hopes of success; yet hear his own account of the result: _“I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees: I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house : also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me: I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces : I gat me men-singers and women-singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts. So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem : also my wisdom remained with me. And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour.

Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun. A miserable failure, indeed, and so will every attempt be that aims at making the best of this world only. This species of colour blindness is very prevalent in our own times, and is manifested both in acts and words, and sometimes even in public teaching. The two worlds are set up as antagonistic to each other. Business and religion are kept apart, as at enmity. Religion is spoken of as too sacred to be taken into the counting-house or factory, neither should the latter be taken into the church or the closet, yet, if the one does not accompany the other everywhere, alas for the soundness of our Christianity ! and thus, throughout every duty, what God has joined together is practically put asunder. Our duties to God and duties to man are held as distinct, as if Cbrist had never, in His wondrous love, come to the earth, and identified himself with His Father and with man, and spoken these never

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to-be-forgotten words for our comfort, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Even the ordinary and innocent pleasures of this life are held up as altogether inimical to the security of happiness in the world to come. I have heard it affirmed from the pulpit, that po thoughtful regenerated man could laugh, and that Christ was never known to laugh, but often to weep; forgetful that the Bible, which is our true guide, speaks of those who live in the fear of the Lord, and, guided by His wisdom, as enjoying all the innocent pleasures of youth and life, and that there is held out as a reward for those who follow heavenly wisdom, riches, and honours, and length of days, and a crown of glory in old age. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,” and all else will be added. No religion can be true, nor from God, if its practice is not consistent with the natural and physical laws of life and health. Christianity has this Divine stamp on every precept, both for the individual man and the community; and, when viewed through the pure light of the Gospel, there is seen a harmonious beauty between the two worlds, emphatically proclaiming, that to live the life of a Christian is to enjoy all that is worth enjoying in this world, with an assurance of an everlasting enjoyment in the orld to come.

ABERDEEN SABBATH SCHOOL UNION.

(From the Aberdeen Free Press.) The annual social meeting of the Aberdeen Sabbath School Union was held in the Ball-room, Music Hall Buildings, on Tuesday evening-W. Henderson, Esq., Devanha House, in the chair. There was a large attendance, and amongst those present were—Mr. A. K. Murray, Glasgow; Revs. H. Cowan, J. Hunter, J. Duncan, W. H. Gualter; ex-Bailie Urquhart; Mr. James Aiken, jun.; Mr. W. Clark, Northfield ; Mr. W. Rattray, teacher, &c., &c. After grace had been said by Rev. J. Hunter, tea was served, and a hymn sung.

Mr. Hector, one of the secretaries, then, in absence of the Treasurer, read an abstract of the accounts for the year, which shewed that the total income had been £30 16s. 11{d., and the expenditure £28 13s. 8d. leaving a balance of £2 3s. 31d. to next year's account. The report fo the year embraced a variety of topics connected with the Sabbath school movement, and shewed that there was now a membership of 747 teachers with fifty-two affiliated schools—the number of scholars at these being 6,974. The Union had had three quarterly meetings, at the first of which Mr. Hunter, of Springhill College, read a paper on Sabbath schools; a the second, Rev. Professor Milligan bad delivered a lecture on “Recen Discoveries in Jerusalem;” and at the third, the delegates to the Sabbati School Convention gave in their report. During last winter a training class for teachers had been taken up by Mr. Rattray, which would b resumed at a favourable opportunity. Model classes had also been hel by Mr. Rattray once a-month; and the success of these meetings had le

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