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But while he slept a sunbeam stole softly into the darkened room, and shone full on the face of the sleeper. The mother rose hastily to shut it out, but the boy awoke. He looked up and smiled, “Do not shut out the sun, mother,” he said, in a quiet calm voice. “ It has done a great service to you and to me. It has awakened me out of a sleep so deep that had I not wakened now I never had wakened on earth again. And I would not willingly leave you, my own, my tender mother, without telling you how bright and beautiful that home is to which I am going. There is no sun there, for the Lamb is the light thereof; and oh! joy beyond all telling, not only shall I see that Lamb who died for me, but I shall at last be able to love him. Often has my heart danced with joy in the brightness and warmth of the sun, and when I am gone, mother dear, you must look at its rays with joy and thankfulness, and remember that I am where its light is as darkness in comparison of the glory that is around the throne. Good bye, mother, darling, the sun and I are going to rest together.” And as he spoke his eyes closed, his breath grew short, and without a struggle his spirit went home, and his weary pained body entered into rest. And the mother's heart was enabled to rejoice that so peacefully and sweetly her darling had left her.
Gerard awoke with the tear of pity in his eye, and he arose and went home a wiser, a more unselfish boy, for the words of the sunbeams rung in his ears, "We are gay and happy, because we are fulfilling the task given us to do, and are working good for others.” He felt though he was but a young weak child, yet he had a task given him to perform ; that there were means of doing good in his power. He remembered that if he could do nothing else, he could at least cheer the hearts of his parents by diligent, faithful attention to his studies, by prompt, cheerful obedience to their commands, and by anxious efforts to save them trouble.
INTERESTING EXCAVATIONS AT POMPEII.
In the street leading from the ancient sea-shore, in the neighbourhood of the theatres, to the so-called crossway of the Fortuna, and thence in a direct line to the northern city wall,
there has been excavated a house that surpasses in richness and elegance all that had been discovered previously.
The space of the court-yard is open, has a Mosaic pavement, and on the walls fantastic pictures in the richest and most tasteful style. At the sides of the atrium, or court-yard, are small sleeping-rooms, with wall-paintings. In the back ground of the atrium, opens a tablinum, the reception-hall, with chequered marble pavement. At the side of the reception-hall is a diningroom, where are seen three large paintings of full-size figures. They represent Hercules and Omphale holding his club, and wrapped in the skin of the Nemæan lion. Next, Bacchus, as a boy, and arm-in-arm with Silenus, on a cart drawn by two oxen, and followed by Bacchantes. Thirdly, a Bacchanal procession of triumph, with a Victoria, who engraves into a shield the exploits of the victorious god. Behind the reception-hall there appears the garden, with a magnificent fountain at the end, adorned with much Mosaic, and a little marble statue of Silenus. In the middle is the water-reservoir, adorned with elegant marble sculptures, such as a small Faunus drawing out a thorn from the foot of a goat, a beardy satyr, a stag, a hare stealing grapes, an amorino upon a dolphin, a youthful field-goddess having on her lap, a new-born goat, whose mother is caressing it standing on her hind legs.
This dwelling joins a second equally open atrium, where the servants lived. Here was found a four-wheeled wagon with iron wheels, and much bronze ornament. The kitchen contained many neat implements of bronze, and the traces of smoke were in many places visible, after the lapse of eighteen centuries. The dwelling had, what is very rare, second and third stories, to which led a wide staircase. Upon a small picture close to the staircase lies a letter with the scarcely-legible name of the owner of the house, in oblique characters, and plainly indicating his rank. It is conjectured to have belonged to one of the Senators of Pompeii. All the walls and rooms of the house are decorated with pictures of comic and tragic scenes, and upon one of them is depicted a young girl with mask and double flute. The house has therefore been named Casa della Sonatrice, ordell'Ercole Ubbriaco. It is the newest excavation of importance. -- Record.
THE POPISH PLOT. The following curious entries are found amongst the minutes of the mayoralty of London, 1686.
“Nov. 18th.—John Knight committed to Bridewell for setting up and lighting a greater number of candles in his house to affront the Government (on the 5th November).
“Dec. 3d.—Abraham Hinde committed to sessions for suffering a candle to be lighted and fixed on the top of his house on the 5th of November.
Such was the jealousy with which the popish government watched the popular feeling in those days, and such the spirit of intolerance, ever inseparable from a sense of wrong-doing.
Enquiries and Correspondence.
Acts of Benevolence. Sir:- Will you oblige me by your opinion on the following subject :
I have frequently heard persons who I believe to be sincere Christians, express a feeling of peculiar peace, consolation, and satisfaction, after the exercise of self-denial, of some sacrifice they may have made to the Lord, or some particular act of charity.
Does not this feeling amount to something like self-righteousness ? Is it right to feel thus ? and should it not rather be a cause of daily abasement that any feeling of pleasure should arise in our hearts from such circumstances ?
For we know that were every hour of our lives occupied in works of charity and self-sacrifice, we should still be unprofitable servants, and in danger of eternal punishment, without the redeeming blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe it is perfectly lawful to feel peace, consolation, and even satisfaction, in a certain sense, from the exercise of such acts as those referred to, provided we cherish nothing of a selfrighteous spirit, which is quite possible. Solomon tells us that the good man is satisfied from himself; and the testimony of a good conscience is recognized in Scripture as a right feeling.
Self-righteousness, as we understand the expression, implies a sense of merit on the part of those who manifest it; and to appropriate to ourselves that praise and glory which belong alone to God, is decidedly wrong.
The true Bread. DEAR SIR :-To what does our Lord refer in John vi. 53-55 ; for the Sacrament was not yet instituted, and it is not likely he would converse to a set of Jews (who, according to his own words, followed him for the loaves and fishes) of an ordinance which, when instituted, would be the peculiar privilege of God's own people ?
Our Saviour did not certainly refer to the sacrament, which was a mere type, but to himself, the Great Reality, so shadowed forth. A christian can no more live without Christ, than without his natural food; the one being as necessary for the sustentation of the spirit, as the other is for the support of the body.
The words are, of course, to be understood figuratively; as none but Romanists or Puseyites believe that the body and blood of Christ can be literally partaken of.
State of the Heathen.
What are we to suppose becomes of those poor creatures upon whom the light of the gospel has never shone; who have lived all their life-time in committing the grossest crimes without any warning : never having heard of a Saviour and not even knowing that their souls will live after death. Are we to believe that they will suffer the same as those who have lived in civilized society ? who have heard of the truth and rejected it? We cannot doubt that God is just, yet does not this seem a contradiction? I am, yours respectfully.
E. C. S.
"When the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.”— Romans ii. 14, 15.
It is quite clear from the preceding passage, that the heathen, or gentiles, sometimes do, or may do, by nature, the things contained in the law; or in other words, conform to God's will as perfectly as those who are blessed with a revelation. By so doing, therefore, they create a standard of rectitude, and become a law unto themselves, to which their conscience will keep them close, if they only follow its dictates.
There cannot, consequently, be the shadow of injustice in judging them by a law of their own making, expounded and enforced, moreover, by that innate sense of right and wrong, which God has implanted in every human bosom.
Death of Peter. Is there any account given, in the Bible, of the death of the apostle Peter ?
Our blessed Saviour predicted some of the circumstances of Peter's death, (John xxi. 18, 19;) but we have no historical account of that event in the Scriptures.
Christ after the Flesh.—Salting with Fire. DEAR SIR :-Permit me to offer my sincere thanks for your kind answer to my last question. The following have occurred to me in the course of my reading; to which, would you favor me with answers, I should feel greatly obliged.
In 2nd Corinthians, v. 16, we read, “ Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more." Will you inform me what it is to “know Christ after the flesh ?”
2. What am I to understand by the extraordinary expression, Mark ix. 49, “Every one shall be salted with fire.”
Yours very sincerely,
“A SEEKER OF KNOWLEDGE."
1. To know Christ after the flesh is to know Him in His human relationships, and as an individual. The Papist falls into this error when he venerates those places or objects with which our Divine Master was associated whilst on earth, or pays peculiar reverence to those persons who were connected with him,