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'A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU.' 'A HAPPY New Year to you,' said

Bób Bright to Johnnie , Smart at the gate leading to the old church, from the square tower of which the bell was beginning to invite the children of Strathvale to their New Year Service. • And many returns of the same happy season to you, Bob,' was the quick reply of the bigger of the two.

It was a fine New Year's morning when this pleasant greeting took place. In honour of the occasion, Bob hád put on his bonnet, variegated with cairngorm and feathers. Omitting his great coat, as it was not very cold, he sallied forth in great glee, his Bible under his arm. Putting a hymn book into the left pocket of his jacket, and having nothing extra on but the scarf round his neck, Johnnie sauntered away in good time, hoping to meet Bob. And meet they did, and exchanged hearty greetings, and looked like friends, as they really were. Just as they stood before the entrance to the church, holding each other by the hand, and looking into each other's faces, the Strathvale minister was about to cross over from the manse, to make the last arrangements for the morning service. His quick eye saw the two boys; the picture photographed itself in his mind, and he said to himself, "An artist might make something of this, it may even help me to some thoughts for my address to-day. After Bob and Johnnie, who were the first arrivals, the rest of the village children came trooping up the hill in twos and threes. It was a new thing, this New Year Service for children, and as the distribution of rewards for good attendance was to be given at the dismissal, there was a great muster. Bye and bye the centre area of the church was filled with bright young faces. When the New Year hymn was being read by the minister, all were very attentive; but when he came to the last stanza,-"Soon life's lamp, that now burns brightly,

Flicker shall, and fade away,' his voice quivered with emotion, and every

heart in the little assembly was hushed and solemnised. When the hymn had been sung, prayer was offered in very few and simple words. At the close of the prayer, old Rabbie Young whispered across his pew to another village patriarch, “A fine bairn's prayer;' and the patriarch, who was wiping his eyes at the moment, said, Grand, Rabbie, grand! what's guid for the

young is guid for the auld.' Opening the Bible, the minister read, TO THE TWELVE TRIBES THAT ARE SCATTERED ABROAD GREETING. My text is that one word, " greeting." His sermon began as follows: "Crossing over to the church this morning, I saw two boys shaking hands with each other. I have no doubt they were wishing each other a happy New Year. I trust they were doing it not merely with their hands and lips, but with their hearts also. This was their New Year greeting. They were wishing each other well. Wishing each other well is the meaning of the word in the text.'

At the close of the first paragraph, Bob's eye caught Johnnie's, and a twinkle of light, brighter than any that the cairngorm flashed out in the morning sun, irradiated the two faces. Turning once more to the minister, they settled themselves to listen attentively.

One of the greetings in the New Testament is, “ Peace be with you.” This is the Salaam in the east at the present day. When an Arab meets another, he does not say, 6. Good day to you ;


6 Peace be to you." This was the greeting of Jesus to His disciples. You remember that after His resurrection, when He appeared to them, He said, “ Peace be unto you.” This is His greeting to you, my children. Like Himself, His greeting is the same yesterday, to-day, and for

He does not merely wish the peace, He bestows the peace as well. Not as the world gives does He give. The world can only wish it to you. Jesus can give it."

Åt the close of the second paragraph, there was a little disturbance in a back seat. After the minister had acted the Salaam, to give the children a better idea



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of it, little Tom Finn kept bringing his hand up to his brow, majestically waving his hand, and then making a low bow. The elder sister, however, got her eye on Tom, and putting her arm round him, prevented him salaaming any more.

• My greeting to you this morning is,' continued the minister, “a good New Year to you all. I don't say a happy New Year, but I say a good New Year. There is something better than happiness, it is goodness. And if you strive for the goodness first, the happiness will come of itself. So I wish you all a good New Year; a year of good thoughts in your heart about God, about the Saviour, about your souls ; a year of good desires that you may wish to be good, and grow like Christ; a year of good work in the school, that you may learn much of what is contained in the Bible, and have it stored in your memories and in your hearts; a year of good conduct in the family and in society, so that your parents shall be pleased with you, and your friends have no cause to be ashamed of you ; a year in which you may receive much good, health and food, clothes and friends; a year in which you shall get the chief good. And what is the chief good ? It is to have an interest in Christ, to know Him as your own and only Saviour, to trust Him, to love Him, to serve Him.'

Jimmy Green thought the minister must be referring to him in the part about good conduct. For his uncle had told him he was a disgrace to them all, for having broken a pane of glass in the school window. Feeling his cheeks get a little warm, he drew his hand over his face.

• There are greetings and there partings,' continued the minister. Goodbye is one. Good-bye means, God be with you. Think of that when you say, Good-bye. It is a prayer for your friend; and the prayer is that God may be with him. Good-bye I say to you, my children of Strathvale ; you are going away into this New Year, may God be with you. Some of you are going away into the city, God be with you, to keep you from temptation. One of you is going to sea ;

God be with him, to keep him from danger. Some of you may this year be appointed to die,'God be with you to cheer you, and to take you to Himself.'

Here the minister looked over his little flock. And as he said, “The young may die,' he turned to where the two village patriarchs were sitting, and added, but the old must.' But if aged Simeon has his arms round the Saviour, he can say, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace. God be with the young, God be with the old. To one and all, good-bye. Here the two old men

were much affected. They bowed their heads on the book board. In their hearts they were trying to say, “Lord, now let Thy servants depart in peace. If it is to be this year, let it be in peace.'

• There's another parting word-Farewell. The two boys at the church gate were shaking cach other by the hand. A time will come when they are shaking each other by the hand for the last time. Then it will be farewell. Fare ye well. May you all fare well. May you fare well for this world, and be good and prosperous. May you fare well for the next world, and have a good hope through Christ. May you fare well in every journey in time, whether by land or by water. And in the last journey, in the valley and shadow of death, may you still fare well.

666 Au revoir.” That is a French parting word, and it means to meet again. We are about to part to-day, but it is sau revoir,” we are to meet again. We hope often to meet together during this new year. But some were with us last New Year's day who are not here to-day. Little Willie Stewart is not here, and Nellie Hart is not here. They are gone; we shall see them no more on earth. But it is "au revoir;" we shall meet again. Love the Saviour Nellie loved. Say

Just as I am, without one plea,” as Willie said it, that is, from the heart; and then, beyond all separations, it will be au revoir,” to meet again.' There were two families in mourning.



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A. G. F.



They were in tears when these words were

HOME LESSONS ON THE OLD PATHS. spoken. And the children were crying too. But. Willie's mother, was comforted,

PERFECTION. and Nellie's father was cheered, when, at IS any man able perfectly to keep the night, they reflected that the separation

commandments of God? No mere man was not for ever. And their last thought since the fåll is able in this life perfectly to as they fell asleep, and the first word'

on keep the commandments of God; but dộth daily their lips as they awoke next morning was break them in thought,

word, and deed. au revoir, to meet again.

Mamma, what is the meaning of No mere man? asked Charley, when he had read these words. Read the answer,

leaving out the word

mere, (which means such, and nothing A NEW YEAR HYMN.

more), and perhaps you will understand it better.'

Charley read, No man since the fall, &c., 'MY song shall be a cluster adding, Thất is quite plain, mamma; but Of Eschöl grăpes to-day,

why is it No mere man in the catechism?' Of promises to cheer me

Because there is one person who lived On the yet untrodden way.

and died in this world without ever

breaking any of the commandments either Am I guilty, and sin-laden ? He blotteth out my sin;

in thought, in word, or in deed.' The blood of Christ, most precions,

• That was Jesus,' said little Alice. Can cleanse and keep me clean.

• Yes; the man Christ Jesus kępt all

God's commandments perfectly. He alone Am I full of care and weary ?

did no sin. But is He a mere man? He bids me come for rest;

Charley.' And perfect peace, He promises,

Jesus is God. I know now what No In leaning on His breast.

It is no one but Jesus.' • That

exactly what it means. Jesus Do I fear my utter weakness,

is man, but not a mere man. He is someAnd the mighty power of sin ? His strength is all-suficient,

thing more. He is both* God and man in And He will make it mino.

one person.

If we wish to know what it is

to keep the commandments perfectly, we Do I think my work for. Jesus

must study the life of Jesus and listen to All fruitless and in vain ?

His words. Read John viii. 29.' He tells me those shall" reap in joy,

666 And He that sent Me is with Me: Who here have sown in pain.

the Father hath not left Me alone; for I He says He'll never leave me,

do always those things that please Him."' He loves me to the end;

• You kņow the first spoken words of Oh, have I not all blessings,

Jesus which are written in the Bible?' When Jesus is my Friend ?

That was when His parents found Him

in the temple with the doctors.' For all my need He promises

• I have found the plãce, mamma,' said Most fully to supply : {

Charley 666 And He said unto them, How My prayer He'll answer; and my tears is it thăt ye sought me? wist

ye not that I The Lord Himself will dry.

must be about My Father's business.”

Luke ii. 49.
Oh, if so sweet the foretaste,
Í in the desert know;

• Long before Jesus was born at BethWhat, what will be the fulness,

lehein, it was written of Him in the Psalms, In the land to which I'go!

“I delight to do Thy will: yea, Thy law is

mere man means.

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