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position, even by a mental process, sometimes requires trials and struggles of no common order; and without it, it is impossible for faith to exist. But this is not the whole of faith. We need the power of taking God at His word; the capacity of receiving the blessings which our Heavenly Father grants us. It is so precious a possession that all the treasures of earth cannot buy it; yet it is given as a free gift to those who worship at the altars of childhood. Nowhere else is faith displayed in such perfection. The little child that kneels at its mother's knee does not doubt that its prayer is heard.

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When the celebrated D'Aubigne was a young man he was greatly troubled by certain skeptical questions. At last he determined to lay them before the celebrated Claus Harms, who was in those days regarded as the chief defender of orthodox Christianity. Having travelled all the way from Switzerland to Denmark, he had an interview with the great man and told him all his sorrows. He had expected that all his doubts would be swept away like cobwebs; but he was disappointed, for all his questions remained unanswered. "What!" he exclaimed, "will you leave me in this unhappy condition? Will you not remove my difficulties?" "No," replied the great divine, "I will not attempt it.

If I should succeed in removing your present doubts, others would immediately take their place. Go home and pray! Be a child again and confidently ask your Heavenly Father to give you faith. It is only in this way that your difficulties can be permanently removed." The young man heeded the vice, and the result is known to all the world.

The only faith that can overcome the world is the faith of little children. It is fearless because it knows itself supported by the arms of our everlasting Father. As a child never doubts that its father will provide him with food and clothing, so the Christian is in a higher sense, assured that his Heavenly Father will provide him with all things necessary for soul and body. He knows that he may trust his Father's affection, and in every trial he may exclaim with the poet:

"I know not where His islands lift Their fronded palms in air; I only know I cannot drift

Beyond His love and care."

Another of the altars of childhood is the altar of love. Everywhere in Scripture love is lauded as the greatest of the Christian graces, and yet there is no emotion whose true nature is so likely to be misunderstood. "There are,' said a great divine," two kinds of love that lead us heavenward, and two that drag us downward. The celestial loves are the love of God and the love of our neighbor; the infernal loves are the love of self and the love of the world." It is the love of God and of our neighbor that constitutes the supreme law of the religion of Jesus; on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. "As the Constitution of the United States," says a distinguished writer, "is the supreme law of the land, so love is the supreme principle of the Christian faith and worship. Whatever is built up out of this law is solid and firm, and constitutes the golden pillars of eternal life; but whatever is not constructed out of this law is mere paper and patchwork which, when the torch of truth is applied, flares up in a blaze and leaves nothing but worthless ashes."

A young minister once applied to a distinguished nobleman who was at the head of the missionary societies of Gene

for a commission to labor among the heathen. He told him where he had studied, and that he had successfully passed all his examinations. "That is not enough,' was the reply. "You must stand another examination." "I am at your service, sir," responded the young man. Then his examiner looked at him, as though he could see into his inmost soul, and inquired: "Aimez vous notre sieur, Jesus Christ?" that is "Do you love our Lord, Jesus Christ?' The young man trembled, as he modestly replied: "I love Him, but I would like to love Him better." "That is enough," said the examiner, "Your examination is perfectly satisfactory. I will sign your commission with the greatest pleasure."


Love is, indeed, the sum and substance of Christianity, and the reason why men fail to recognize its true character is that they do not worship at the altars of childhood. We must sit down and learn from the little ones if we would know what true love is. Why is it that everybody loves you?" said a teacher to her scholar. "Well, ma'am," was the reply, "I suppose it is because I love everybody." The love of childhood is, indeed, the germ of that sanctified affection which takes up all humanity into its bosom, and manifests its genuineness by deeds of love. Only he who truly worships at the altars of childhood can understand the words of the apostle: "True religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the widows and the fatherless in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world."

Still another of the altars of childhood is the altar of humility. It is apparently so insignificant that men are but rarely willing to worship there. Among all the temptations that beset the soul there is none more specious than the pride of life, which regards every blessing as so much incense to personal vanity, and seeks for earthly success as an end in itself, rather than as a means of serving God. When our Savior had chosen His apostles they at once began to speculate on the question which of them was to be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. How exceedingly natural it was! Who has not seen the same spirit at work even in the


church and Sunday-school. But our Saviour settled the question by taking a little child and placing him in the midst of the disciples. Whosoever, therefore," He said," shall humble himself as a little child, the same is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven."

In teaching this lesson to the disciples the Lord did not intend to ignore the distinctions of rank and station. In the church, no less than in the world, there must be those who lead and those who follow. Yet how often is this fact made the occasion of pride on one hand and of insubordination on the other. How often, even in the Sunday-schoola place where the work is so pure, so holy, that it ought to be entirely beyond the reach of personal ambition-are we compelled to acknowledge the presence of this destructive passion. Teachers pout because they do not like the superintendent, and superintendents sometimes assume airs which, in these days, would hardly be tolerated in a European monarch. It is a lesson which our Saviour would have us learn at the altars of childhood, that in every relation of life we should cultivate humility. The possession of extraordinary talents should make us grateful to Him who gave them, remembering that but for His favor we might as well have been born idiots. If we have influence or power, we should recognize the fact that as our dignities increase our responsibilities grow greater, so that the gathering burden should render us more thoroughly humble. "Therefore," said the Saviour," whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister," or servant.

Like the altar of Carmel, the altars of childhood are sometimes wantonly cast down. The first cause of their downfall is simple neglect. When worshiping assemblies cease to gather around the ancient altar, the stones begin to slip from their places, until at last nothing is left but a shapeless mass. At first there is no positive opposition. The boys who stay away from Sunday-school at the very time when they are most in need of the safeguards which it can throw around them-the men who gradually absent themselves from the church and its activities-are in most instances unconscious of any desire to pull down the altars of childhood. They would



not destroy the church if they could-ceivable way, still authenticates itself to not they; they are like the rich man, of the souls of millions of believers. If you whom I once heard, who when he was set yourself to work to pick flaws you asked to subscribe to the church re- will probably soon convince yourself sponded cheerfully, saying that he that you have found them. The wonder always liked such things kept up," is not that there should be difficulties of and would rather sacrifice twenty- interpretation in books proceeding from five cents of his own hard-earned many authors, and written at vast intermoney than that Christianity should vals of time and space. The wonder is fail." that they should all be filled with the same spirit of inspiration-that they should all speak the self-same word of God. As Christians we are not all called to be controversialists, but we can all bear witness to the faith that is in us. We have felt the transcendent power of Christianity in our hearts, and we can prove the existence of that power by earnest and self-denying labor. There can be no more powerful agument than this. "All the arguments of free-thinkers," said a skeptical writer, recently, "will be of no avail so long as there are individual orthodox churches which do more for genuine philanthropy than all the infidels in the land." Believe me, the strongest argument in behalf of Christianity is child-like obedience on the part of its professors. Let us rebuild the altars of our childhood. If you are harassed by doubts and temptations, get to work doing good to others, and your difficulties will soon disappear. Labor in the church and Sunday-school, become a child in order that you may teach children, and the light of your Father's countenance will beam upon your soul. Leaning in profound humility upon your Saviour's arm, He will keep you safely, so that all the powers of hell will not be able to separate you from His love. O, blessed incense on the altars of childhood-sweeter than the perfumes that blow from the gardens of spices-delighful to man and wellpleasing to God-rise up forever and ever!

No! The great enemy of the cause we represent is not positive opposition; it is a vague, undefined feeling on the part of young and old that they have outgrown these things. Gradually, while they wander away, the altars of their childhood crumble; their faith grows weaker, their love becomes more circumscribed, while their humility disap: pears beneath an exuberant growth of pride and vanity.

It is only after men have wandered some distance from the altars of their childhood, that they learn to bate Jehovah; that in their malignity they are ready to pull down His altars. Their infidelity is an after-thought-an attempt of the soul to excuse its neglect, which is thus changed to hatred.

Never since the creation of the world has this opposition been so intense as it is at the present moment. The enemies of the truth are growing bolder, and in the words of an eminent author, "it sometimes seems as though the faith of our fathers were slipping from beneath our feet." The result is that the world is full of misery and despair. The poor are growing less willing to endure their privations, while the rich confess that their possessions give them no pleasure. These are dark and perilous times, and it sometimes seems as though we were approaching a period like that of the prophet Elijah-when the priests of Baal filled all the high places, and nothing but the visible power of the Almighty could bring men back to the faith of their fathers.

SUCCESS. Believe me, the talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well, and doing well whatever you do, without a thought of fame. If it comes at all, it will come because it is deserved, not because it is sought after. And, moreover, there will be no misgivings, no disappointment, "no hasty, feverish, exhausting excitement."

There is but one hope for the world; it is the rebuilding of the altars of childhood. Jehovah has often shown the world the strength of His arm. Not only at the altar of Carmel was one man strengthened to gain the victory over a host of his enemies, but in all ages He has proved that He is God alone. His word, though attacked in every con--Longfellow.



Life best illustrates life, and bravery is the effectual exponent of bravery. Hence the best way to teach people how to live is to set them a good example, or to tell them the story of an exemplary life. This is what may be called the practical way of teaching. It must not be supposed, however, that doctrine and theory are of no account, and that text-books and other helps of the kind must be dispensed with. There can be no well-rounded life without the guidance of correct ideas, and ideas come not altogether by intuition or example, but they come, grow, and rule, by the power of doctrinal training. Let us see, then, whether it is not possible to teach the lessons of genuine bravery, in this twofold solid, practical


Unst is a remote island of the Shetland group. One day there was a violent storm raging in that quarter. The fishermen of the island had returned in safety, but one boat was still out, and it was seen from the shore that it was wrecked, and that the crew was in great danger of being drowned. The boat had capsized, and the sailors were seen struggling in the water. Helen Petrie, a slender young girl, urged the men to make an effort to save them, but these declared that it would be certain death to any one that would make such a venture. But Helen was not deterred by any considerations of risk; she meant that the crew out at sea should be rescued from the perils of the storm at all hazards. With prompt brave haste she stepped into a small boat, her sisterin-law followed her, and then her father, lame in one hand, went in and took charge of the rudder. But two of the crew of the fishing boat were still clinging to the upturned keel of their craft, the others had been swept away by the fearful surging of the waves. Just as the women reached the wreck, one of the surviving two was washed off, and would have been drowned had not the heroic girl caught him and dragged him into her boat. The other one was also taken in, and then the small craft

was turned towards the haven, which the three brave rescuers had the satisfaction of entering together with the sailors whom they went to save.

If this is not a practical illustration of what bravery is, at least in one of its noble aspects, then there is no power in human language to tell what this quality of the mind really is. What Helen Petrie did must not necessarily pass for the highest kind of heroism. She may have been moved by natural sympathy, without any higher motives than those dictated by natural affection. We know too little about her character and history to pass judgment beyond this one sublime act of her life. Yet her biographer tells us that, after she had done this brave deed, and had proven beyond doubt that she was possessed of a marvelous force of character, she spent her days and years as a domestic servant, and ended her life in humble obscurity. Thus she went to her grave destitute of the honors which men are so apt to confer, from selfish motives, on such as are not half as brave, and by no means as noble as this daring and generous Shetland heroine is now known to have been. Her maiden character was of a rugged kind. Her bravery was of the physical order. She was governed more by womanly instinct and pluck, than by the calm dictates of reason and culture, but instinct and sympathetic enthusiasm came to a noble ascendency in her case. She triumphed magnificently over the dangers of the stormtossed waves, and proved her judgment to be a vast deal better than that of the men she had implored to do the deed, which she only ventured to do when there was no one else willing to undertake it. It was an emergency that tried men's souls. There were the wrecked fishermen, sure to perish if not rescued. To go for them seemed to be simply rushing into the jaws of death, without being able to save those in peril, but the sympathy of the girl-hero did not stop to count the cost in this way. In spite of the winds and the waves she meant rescue, and the story of her attempt, and of her success, comes to us like a beautiful angel in the pleasant dreams of the night.

It is not woman's calling to develop the rougher kind of heroic self-reliance.

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The sex does not seem to be especially north-east coast of Northumberland. designed to battle with the dangers of Her home was among the stern basaltic the sea, or to brave the hardships of rocks of the desolate Farne Islands. physical adventure. The milder graces Here she was surrounded by a dangerof the heart are justly regarded as more ous sea, and in stormy weather was cut becoming to female character. Still off from all communications with the pluck, even at the risk of being some- mainland for days and weeks together. what masculine, especially when cir- The only neighbors that the family had cumstances leave nothing to fall back in this lonely spot, were the gulls and on but pure and simple self-help. is a puffins that screamed among the rocks. mental and moral outfit for which no The lighthouse stood on Longstone true and brave woman needs to make Rock, where it was erected to warn off any apology. Brave men, and gallant ships passing between England and heroes can appreciate this sort of wo- Scotland. Here Grace lived with her manly heroism, and male critics, who parents in 1838, and assisted in keeping feel bound to find fault with all such watch. exhibitions of manly grit in the lives of women, ought to take good care that they do not place themselves in a line with those timid cowering souls, with whom Helen Petrie plead with all the energy of her great soul, but plead in


But leaving emergencies out of view, the ordinary routine of life has enough of hardship in it to make self-helpfulness a very happy quality in woman's character. The training of girls, if it leaves them in a state of hopeless physical dependence, is not at all what jus ice demands that it should be. Our Shetland heroine, being a domestic servant, may have been destitute of the graces of refined culture, still she may be held up as a far better example of true womanhood, than that sort of hotbouse delicacy which is developed so profus ly among the more favored classes. Intellectually and socially the sex is rising, and encroaching very emphatically on the stronger, or male side of the race. If our women should, however, fail to cultivate that physical energy, which is the necessary basis of mental and moral force, they will not only fail to rise higher on the plane of sexual equality, but they must fail to hold firmly the ground which they bave already gained. Let us hope that we will have an increase rather than a decrease of physical pluck among the daughters of this nation, since upon this one thing depends, at least in a measure, the future destiny of this country, and her influence in the destiny of the world.

Grace Darling lived with her parents in Longstone Lighthouse, off the rocky

The steamer Forfarshire, in bad condition, was on its voyage from Hull to Dundee. The boilers were so defective that the fires had to be extinguished, soon after she left Hull. At St. Abb's Head she was driven back by a terrible storm, drifting during the night before the wind. In the early morning she struck Hawker's rocks with tremendous force, and was broken into two pieces. A part of the crew escaped in a boat, were picked up at sea and taken into Shields; but most of the passengers and crew were drowned. The fore part of the vessel stuck on the rock. Nine persons were in it crying for help. Grace Darling heard their cries. It was at sunrise. She saw the passengers clinging to the windlass in the forepart of the vessel, and entreated her father to go to sea and rescue them. He declared it would be rushing upon certain death. Yet he let down the boat, and his daughter was the first to enter it. Her father stepped in after her, and away went the two in dread and awe. By great care, energy, and vigilance, Mr. Darling succeeded in reaching the rock, and making his way to the wreck, while his brave daughter rowed off and among the breakers, keeping the boat from being dashed to pieces. One

one the nine survivors were placed in the boat, and carried to the lighthouse. Here they were received and nursed by the mother, and, when after three days the storm had abated, they were carried to the mainland.

This heroic deed stirred the spirit of the English nation, and Grace Darling received many valuable gifts. Artists came from a distance to paint her por.

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