you can do much to strengthen and help them. I take it for granted, of course, that many of you are unable to take a practical part with them, although I would most gladly see many more of our older members, married men, giving their assistance, however small. And I take the liberty of throwing out the hint to the congregation, whether it might not be possible for some of you who feel that your home duties are not altogether overwhelming, or that other claims have a weight with you over and above, to come forward to give a little of your time to this great work. But surely you can all at least manifest your sympathy with the object of their labours. You can do it to-day by the liberality of your contributions, testifying how you appreciate their work and their love. You can do it every day in your prayers to God, that He would be pleased to help them and bless them."-Newspaper Report.


(From an Article by Selim H. Peabody, in the Bible Class and
Youth's Magazine.)

THERE is in the southern sky, too far south for us to see, a bright star called Alpha Centauri; that is, the brightest star in the group of the Centaur. So far as we know, this star is our nearest neighbour outside of our own immediate relatives in the solar system. How far? Only a trifling matter of-more than twenty-one millions of millions of miles! It is easy to write these words; easy to read them; but neither writer nor reader can comprehend their immensity.

Were a man to walk thirty miles a-day, it would take him 9,500 years to reach the sun; but light travels over that space, from the sun to us, in eight minutes. It requires more than three and a-half years for the light of this, our next neighbour, to come to our eyes.

That brightest star in the firmament, Sirius, whose pale green light shines a little south-east of Orion, sends its light to us in about twentytwo years; that which glitters to-night from the Pole-star has been on its journey nearly fifty years. If the Almighty Will which made that star should blot it from existence to-night, its place in the sky would not be vacant until twenty years of the next century had expired.

If these are the nearest stars, how far away are the most remote? Astronomy hints at those whose light must have been on its way to us for more than 6,000 years before it comes to our eyes.*

Second, we learn that these far distant bodies must be self-luminous. If their light were furnished by any other body we could see that body by its own direct light. They do not shine by reflecting the light of our sun, because its light is not strong enough to go so far and return again with such brilliance. It is not difficult to determine how large the sun

[By way of aiding the imagination to some feeble conception of the enormous distance of the fixed stars, Professor Grant, at a recent meeting of the Philosophical Society of Glasgow, employed the following comparison:-Supposing that six thousand years ago a railway train had left the earth, and travelled through space ever since, day and night, without resting, at the rate of fifty miles an hour, it would not yet have arrived at the nearest of the fixed stars.]

would seem at the distance of Jupiter or Saturn, and what brightness it would have at the distance of Alpha Centauri, or of Sirius. If the sun were as far away as Alpha Centauri, it would appear to be about twofifths as bright as that star. Sirius is believed to be a centre of light and heat nearly four hundred times as powerful as our sun.

The analysis of starlight by the polariscope shews that it is not reflected, but is emitted from bodies which are in active combustion, like the sun. The spectroscope is, if anything, even more positive in its revelations about the stars. The spectrum of Sirius shews a coloured band like that of the sun, but the fine dark lines which cross the band are not always the same. They have been very carefully studied and exactly measured. They tell us that in several of the bightest stars we have very certain evidence of the existence of sodium, magnesium, iron, hydrogen, mercury, and other substances, in Sirius, in Vega, in Pollux, and in other stars. More than sixty stars have been examined; all have some elements which are known in our sun, and in our earth; each has something peculiar to itself, which is probably quite unlike anything we are acquainted with.

The stars, then, are suns. Our sun is a star, and, it must be confessed, not a very large or bright one. The study of astronomy does not flatter our pride. Our earth, grand as it seems to us, is but a little world.

If the stars are suns, they are, probably, like ours, centres of light, and heat, and attraction, surrounded by systems of planets, moons, comets, all the various forms shewn by our solar system, with, perhaps, endless and strange variations. "When I consider thy heavens," Psalmist, "Lord, what is man, that thou art mindful of him?”

says the

A HINT. To the many well-meaning gentlemen who consider it their special vocation to speak on all possible occasions in Sabbath schools, we say in all seriousness—Have the grace sometimes to decline. When you do speak, be sure you have something to say, and say it shortly, especially if you have a large audience of tired, restive children.-The Christian at Work.

LIVING EPISTLES.-Christians are epistles to be read. The world reads them every day. How important that this living gospel, which walks, and trades, and stirs about in public places, should be correctly printed! Yet how many of these living epistles have been printed from battered type, from mixed founts, on spotted paper, and in dim ink. But after all, orthodoxy is safer in the consecrated heart than in the theological library. Evangelism is an upright, open-eyed, warm-handed, advancing thing, not the flat flimsiness of a mere programme, to be written and put away on the shelf for safe keeping; it is always alive, alert, and growing; it is not dead Latin, but vital mother-tongue in this country; it is not steepled in church, cadenced in ritual, or robed at the altar, so much as hearted in living people, and radiated in work-day duties. Clark's Work-day Christianity.


THE Sunday school should be pre-eminently and always a school for Bible study. This idea is fundamental, and should underlie the whole organization. Whenever singing, or speech-making, or catechism, or anything else interferes with the regular systematic teaching of the oracles of God, the true object and interest of the school is subverted.

If the Church of God means to reach and hold the coming generation -her own sons and daughters, and the neglected outside masses of children and youth-let her with one accord lay loving, gentle hands on the children, and teach them, over and above all things else, the living Word-the words of Him who spake as man never spake.

God honours His own truth, whenever in simplicity and purity it is proclaimed from the sacred desk, or brought into direct personal contact with young hearts, by the faithful, living teacher. At the late grand jubilee at the Sandwich Islands, at which was celebrated that completest and most glorious of all successes in modern mission enterprises, there stood up, in the presence of the king, foreign diplomats, and other missionaries, the veteran native missionary Hanwealoba, returned after seventeen years in the Marquesas Islands.

All others had failed; but he alone, by God's blessing, had planted four churches, and won five hundred converts. Holding aloft his Hawaiian Bible, he exclaimed: "Not with powder, and ball, and swords, and cannon, but with this living Word of God, and with His Spirit, do we go forth to conquer." Words noble as they are true.

Let us teach the Word, and let us make the school bright and beautiful, but let all attractions centre and converge around the Cross, and throw a halo of glory on the sacred page; so shall we conquer the coming men and women for Christ.-The Christian at Work.



"The streams of religion run deeper or shallower," says Calcott, the banks of the Sabbath are kept up or neglected." A preacher in Holland called the Sabbath "God's dyke shutting out an ocean of evils."

A GOOD DAUGHTER.-There are other ministers of love more conspicuous than she, but none in which a gentler, lovelier spirit dwells, and none to which the heart's warm requitals more joyfully respond. She is the steady light of her father's house. She is his morning sunlight and his evening star. She is the pride and ornament of his hospitality, and the gentle nurse of his sickness.

“I believe in the communion of saints," is a part of our creed. I not merely believe it, but, thank God! I also see it. May the Lord, however, preserve it; for at the present moment it suffers. Those who are united in Christ fall out with each other because they blindly embrace some school formula as their Saviour instead of Christ, as if they were tired of Him. This is a lamentable circumstance. May the Lord over-rule it, and awaken in the hearts of His children sentiments of real brotherly affection towards each other.-Krummacher.


(By Mrs. M. E. Sangster.)

IF we certainly knew it, brother,

Would the thought to us be sweet,

That the very next sound at the door might be
The sound of the Bridegroom's feet?

Are our lamps all trimmed and burning,

That, clear as beacons bright,

They may cleave their way through the shadows grey,
And make Him a path of light?

If we knew at eve, my brother,
When low we kneel to pray,

That our Lord himself would answer us
Before the dawn of the day;
Would our hearts be full of gladness,
That, leaving earth and sin,
The temple of the King Most High,
Our feet should enter in?

If our eyes were opened, brother,
And thick on every hand

We could see the glorious angel hosts
That round about us stand;

If through and under and over

Our feeble songs, we heard

The thrill of their lofty choral strains,

Would our souls with joy be stirred?

Oh! Heaven is near us, brother,

It is not far away!

And our blessed Lord is coming
Nearer every day!

And swift as a weaver's shuttle

Our working time shall fly,

And we shall dwell in the light of His face,
And rest us by-and-by!

And we may be glad, my brother,

And count it passing sweet,

That sooner perhaps than it seemeth now,
The Bridegroom we may meet;

And we'll keep our lamps all burning,

With ever steady light,

And pray that we may not be found asleep,

When He calleth in the night!

S. S. Times.

MEN NOT CONVERTED BY PHILOSOPHY.-I do not suppose that the fishermen of Galilee, or even the accomplished and erudite Paul, had any distinct philosophical notions as to what they taught. But they were only the better fitted for their work because they had no pronounced philosophy of sacred things; for the capacity of fructifying faith exists in unnumbered minds that have neither the ability, taste, nor culture requisite for this philosophy; and such minds are best reached by the simple statements which plain non-philosophizing men may give of accredited facts, and of truth resting on adequate authority.-Professor Peabody, of Harvard.


THE Sunday School Helper (American) speaks of Infant Class teachers as follows:

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"The teacher of a class of small children must be thoroughly in love with her work-capable of awaking enthusiasm in the pupils. A vast amount of will-power is needed in the teacher who can, at a moment's notice, but without a word spoken, command every mind into co-operation with hers. Be intensely in earnest; do not beg of the pupils to pay attention; conduct yourself so that they cannot be inattentive. I have noticed that those teachers in day-schools who are always pleading for order have noisy schools, while those who go quietly about and say little have a quiet room. Yet the latter mode of governing is harder on the governor; it tires the will. A teacher of the little ones must have this will-power that can organize enthusiasm, even though she feel dull. She must be all animation, vivacity, interest, excitement, and the pupils will catch her spirit very soon. You have seen the difference in people trying to address Sunday schools. One will begin, clearing his throat, 'Children, I am glad to meet with you this morning; and I have been thinking 'and then he will go off into dry analysis of his thoughts for ten minutes, while books will be rattling and whispers heard all over the house. There is no use trying to induce children to consent to be bored; you may succeed with old folks, but not with children. I have seen another speaker, when the whole school was noisy, and the superintendent failed to reduce it to stillness, begin in an undertone, lightly, happily, tell some stories, and withal enforce the healthiest of doctrine, and, without any apparent effort on his part, bring the children all to listen, and keep them all listening until he finished. This is a difficult thing, this enforcing attention, but it can be acquired, if not natural to you. I have put it first, for without it you cannot succeed at all with an infant-class."


"CHRIST'S great end," says Richard Baxter, was to save men from their sins; but He delighted also to save them from their sorrows.'

DO YOU ATTEND CHURCH?-Most of our teachers of course attend church, but very many of our children who go to the Sabbath school do not. They attend the school, and then they go home. Some children, for good reasons, are obliged to do so, but many are not. This is not as it should be. One object in having Sabbath schools is, to teach our children to go to church; to attend public worship on the Sabbath. Our Sabbath schools ought to be the nurseries of our churches. Our children ought to be taught in the Sabbath school to attend church. Going to the school only is not going to church. The one attendance is of as much importance as the other. Who are to be the attendants upon our church services in years to come, if our children are not rightly trained to this duty? Parents and teachers, will you look to this? Is it not in every way worthy of your special attention?—The Myrtle.-[What if scarcely once in a twelvemonth the children attending church hear a sentence they can understand in the sermon, or a petition in the prayers level to their thoughts and sympathies? Is this a rare thing, or the reverse?]

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