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never afterwards got any school-book so good. Some chapters of Solomon contain more wisdom than did all the rest of my school-books put together. I would, therefore, very much recommend to you the frequent reading of the book of Proverbs. Again: in these days-these fine days for young people -there are now great numbers of very nice books which had no existence when I was at school. I have no doubt your teachers have got a number of them for you; and I would very earnestly recommend to you a diligent perusal of them. I will tell you what my practice was when I was a boy: I read everything I could get hold of; I read everywhere; I scarcely ever played at any game with any boys; never attended crowds and plays, dances and merry-makings, of any sort. I did not like these things; I liked nothing but my books; and in that way, before I entered manhood, I had devoted whole years to reading, which many other clever boys threw away and lost from their love of play, and sport, and idle habits. I had always my pockets full of books of some sort; and the habit so grew upon me, that ever after, wherever I went, I generally carried books with me, and at snatches of time, everywhere, and under all circumstances, I was accustomed to read, and thus acquired a good deal of knowledge which I could not otherwise have procured. I have found this to be so important that I rarely fail, in talking to young people, to give them a similar recommendation-viz, always to have a book in their pockets: and so I now advise you.
That book, however, must be a good one; if the pocket is to be filled with trash, far better it be empty. will always be found, that as the pocket is, so is the head; a pocket-full of nonsense was never yet found in the coat of a boy with a head full of wisdom. It is sometimes said, "a man is known by his company: show me your company, and I will tell you what sort of person you are:" now this holds very true concerning men, but it holds still more true concerning books. The influence produced by a book upon one's mind is very strong, indeed; and therefore, as you would guard against bad company, be sure to guard against bad books. Few books, indeed, are safe for young people like you, except those which are recommended to you by your teachers. Much of the trash that is sold in the shops, especially that which has all sorts of pictures, is unworthy of your notice ;-indeed, it is hardly safe for you, and your best plan is, to have nothing to do with it. It never fails to spoil the taste of children for good books: a mind that is filled with tales and rubbish, will have no taste whatever for solid and improving books. Owing to this, great numbers of young persons have been ruined in the morning of life, and have remained empty, foolish people all their days. I hope you, my dear little friends, will profit from their mistake; and, with best wishes, I remain,
BRITISH BANNER Office, 5, Bolt-court, Fleet-street, London.
J— W— fell asleep in Jesus on Thursday, September 14th, 1848, aged thirty-four, after an illness of several months, during which she enjoyed much of that peace which passeth all understanding. Six years ago she was seeking her pleasure in the world; but, being drawn by curiosity to a Congregational chapel, which had recently been opened, the word of salvation was applied to her heart by the power of the Holy Ghost. The preacher's text was, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." While Christ was set forth as the only way to the Father, she felt how different was the path she was treading. Though her outward character was unblemished, she was conscience-struck with being an enemy to God, with minding earthly things. She went home thoughtful, prayerful, penitent. She sought and she found a better way. She chose the good part. Her subsequent 66 conversation was such as becometh the" Gospel." Hers was not a talkative, vain, ostentatious piety. Her outward profession was not, as is the case with too many, the greatest part of her religion. By serious attention to the means of grace, by prayer, and the study of God's word, she sought to grow in grace. The Saviour, in whom she trusted when in health, did not forsake her in sickness and in death. Consumption, long slumbering in her constitution, had evidently seized her as a prey some months ago. She told me, that at the commencement of her illness she was very rebellious, she had so clung to life. She felt as if she must and would recover; and that she could not be
spared. But all was now changed. The fear of death, to which she had long been in bondage, was entirely removed. Instead of anticipating it with dread, she longed to depart and to be with Jesus. She said she was so happy in the prospect of dying, that she should fear it was delusion, were she not conscious, on examination, that she was trusting solely to Christ.
Such cases are a great encouragement to those who are very timid with reference to dying. Some have a greater constitutional shrinking from death than others, without being of weaker faith or inferior piety. But many who have lived timidly have died bravely. Dying grace has come with the dying hour. At another time she said: "I used so to love the world, dances, theatres, and other amusements; but my joy since I gave them up has been so superior, that, though I have often backslidden, I have never wished to go back to the world. There is no comparison between the pleasures of the world and those of religion. No words can tell the superiority of the latter." Oh, that the youthful reader would make the experiment! You have, perhaps, only tried the world, and you fancy religion must be gloomy! Try it, not by a mere external profession, but plunge into the depths of it; give your heart to it; and you will have no desire to go back to the world. It will be no sacrifice to give up its vanities. You will be no loser, but a great gainer in happiness. You will in reality give up nothing; for you will receive far more than an equivalent in exchange.
J. W's great delight was in the contemplation of the grace and work of Christ. She often spoke of the wonderful joy she experienced in communion with him. She said: "Jesus seems personally present. I seem to be acquainted with him-to know him as a friend close at my side." He was fulfilling his promise: "I will manifest myself to them as I do not unto the world. I will come in to them, and sup with them, and they with me." On another occasion she said: "My body is weaker, and therefore my joy is not so exciting. But I have perfect peace; my assurance is strong, and sometimes I have transporting glimpses of his love: it seems to surround me. I would not exchange the weakest hope I have for all the world contains. It seems more mine, more a reality, than anything here."
As her illness increased she became less able to read and pray. "I can do nothing now," she said. "I cannot bear to reflect much; but, oh! the joy that Jesus has done all for me. I am resting on his finished work, and have no need to ask, Have I done enough!'"
She was very thankful for the kind attentions of those around her; and very patient in her affliction, desiring to wait the Lord's time. "I did not expect to linger so long," she said; "but I am in kind hands-a Father's!" She often repeated, as being a great comfort to her, and well expressing her state of mind, the beautiful hymn: "When languor and disease invade
This trembling house of clay,
And long to fly away.
Sweet on His covenant of grace
For all things to depend. "Sweet in the confidence of faith,
To trust His firm decrees; Sweet to lie passive in His hands, And know no will but His!" She frequently reverted to the gracious words of Jesus: "In my Father's house are many mansions"—especially "if it were not so I would the clause, have told you," as so expressing the certainty of the heavenly inheritance. She also dwelt much on the words of the apostle, in prospect of martyrdom: I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded He is able to keep that which I have committed to him against that day!" Her confidence was unshaken to the last. Once, when her friends thought her end approaching, they asked if she had any fear? seemed surprised at the question, and said, "Oh, no! I cannot doubt the promises of my dear Redeemer! I know there is the dark valley to pass through; but my thoughts are not fixed upon that. I fear no evil, for Jesus is with me, and often gives me glimpses of my future inheritance, which make me long to depart and be with him." On reviving a little, she said: "I am to be a sufferer a little longer; my spirit desires to be at rest; yet not my will but Thine be done." She lived two days after this. She then said: "I am just on the brink of the river. Jesus won't keep me long in it; and then to be with him, and like him, is almost more than I can bear to think of." To a friend who called she sent as a message, "I have not gone home yet, but I shall not be long." A short time before her death she said, "Blessed Jesus! he will not leave me now. I stand complete in his righteousness.
What a mercy that I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."" She then said, very seriously, "I am not afraid; but, oh! it is a solemn thing to die!" After this she added, emphatically, "Tell me, my soul, can this be death?" These were the last words which were heard connectedly -and, in a few hours after, she fell
asleep; nay, rather she awoke to new-
The Counsel Chamber.
OUR young readers have frequently heard the word "tact" used, in the course of common conversation. This is a word of great importance, as indicating a something on which success in life very mainly depends. It is, to a great extent, a natural gift; but it is largely under the control of the possessor, inasmuch as it may be cultivated in a very high degree, since it depends on observation, keen, close, and constant, and on practice,-on contrast and comparison of objects, actions, and persons. The following piece, written, we know not by whom, presents an ingenious and striking definition of its character, or rather a delineation of its operations. One thing especially merits notice: the contrast which is here drawn between "tact" and "talent." Tact and talent are not necessarily connected, nor are they necessarily disjoined; but men of the greatest talents often fail of their object through life for want of tact, while men of moderate talents and superior tact carry everything before them. But where tact and talent are combined, and both animated by integrity, then there is that which constitutes the essence of moral greatness.-The next thing presented to-day is a piece of solid counsel from the pen of the Rev. John Allen, of Glasgow, which will highly compensate the careful perusal of the young man; and we commend the whole of that gentleman's "Counsels and Cautions" to such, as a production at once good and useful.
TALENT AND TACT.
TALENT is something; but tact is everything. Talent is serious, sober, grave, and respected; tact is all that, and more too. It is not a sixth sense, but the life of all the five. It is the open eye, the quick ear, the judging taste, the keen smell, and the lively touch. It is the interpreter of all riddles, the surmounter of all difficulties, the re
mover of all obstacles. It is useful in all places, and at all times. It is useful in solitude, for it shows a man his way into the world; it is useful in society, for it shows him his way through the world. Talent is power; tact is skill. Talent is weight; tact is momentum. Talent knows what to do; tact knows how to do it. Talent makes a man respectable; tact will make him respected. Talent is wealth;
tact is ready money. For all the practical purposes of life, tact carries against talent ten to one. Talent is fit for employment; but tact is fitted for,it. It has a knack of slipping into places with a sweet silence and glibness, as a billiard-ball insinuates itself into the pocket, It has served an invisible and extemporaneous apprenticeship. It wants no drilling. It never ranks in the awkward squad. It has no left hand, no deaf ear, no blind side. It puts on no looks of wondrous wisdom. It has no apparent profundity, but it plays with the details of time and place as dexterously as a well-taught hand flourishes over the keys of a pianoforte. It has all the air of commonplace, and all the force and power of genius.
THE PROBABLE INFLUENCE OF YOUNG MEN ON THE FUTURE PROSPERITY OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST, AND THE CONVERSION OF THE WORLD. GREAT events await both, and many good men are looking forward to their speedy accomplishment. Both the "signs of the times," and the spirit of prophecy, appear to encourage such an expectation. Christianity has extended civilization and commerce; the Bible has been translated into some hundreds of languages; and the gospel standard has been planted in each quarter of the globe. Standing upon that elevation, from which we can, as it were, take a view of the whole earth, we can see some luminous spots shining here and there amidst the surrounding darkness, where the Shekinah appears to have taken up a resting-place. These are so many pledges of what will yet be accomplished. The fields are white to the harvest, and invite the labourer to come and gather it in. The various systems of false religion in the world, such as Paganism, Hindooism, Mahomedanism, and Antichrist, are tottering to their fall; all indicating that the time is drawing nigh when there will be a complete overthrow of every system that opposes itself to the government of Christ; a complete subjection of the people to his authority;
and a complete establishment of his kingdom over the earth.
Before the eye of faith, the promises and the prophecies unfold the most glorious prospects. Nothing less than the whole world brought to the feet of the Saviour: "To him every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess to the praise of God the Father." How this great event is to be brought about, must be an interesting inquiry to every Christian mind, and deserves particular consideration. We know that God has usually accomplished his purposes of mercy by the use of human agency; and that, in carrying on his great work, he will originate and sustain an extensive and powerful apparatus of means, by which he will effect so great a moral change in the world: but what particular class of human agency he will choose for this purpose has not been so distinctly understood. It would be worth while tracing out the connec tion which exists between young men and that change.
If we may be guided in our judgment of the future by the past; or if we can draw any conclusions from the adaptation of the means to the end, we shall be justified in believing that God will put great honour upon them in this great work. It is in vain for us to look to those who are more advanced in life for much. They are so bound by domestic relations, absorbed in business, or so much of life has already passed away with them, that they are unfitted for these enterprises which so great a work requires. Whatever may be their desire, their exertions must be in a great degree circumscribed, and assume a local character. Upon young men who are free from these bonds, will devolve the sacred duty of carrying the gospel into every part of the world, which, by the blessing of God, will be the means of turning many to righteousness. One sign of the latterday glory will be the multiplication of those who diffuse knowledge; and we shall regard it as a token for good to our country, and to the world at large, when God is pleased to cause young men to feel an intense interest in the welfare of the world; for just in proportion as they are trained up, and