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2 I)e tines, New Btoomficfo, Jou
TIIE DEACON'S CLOCK. A Lover In a Fix. a HIE OLD clock in the kitchen had . just struck nine. It was no gildod toy, no trifle of bronze, orjalabastcr, but a tall, square, solid rclio of tho olden time looking not unliko a coffin case sot on end, in the corner a clock that had last ed through one generation, and, to judge from all appearance, was quito likely to last through another. Deacon Mcrritt cherished that old time piece with a sort of pride which ho himself would scarcely have confessed to. There was a great ruddy fire of chest nut logs in the wido red brick-paved fire place, and the candles in the polished brass stick were winking merrily from tho high wooden mantle, where they shared the post of honor with a broken sea shell and a plaster basket of improba bly colored fruit. At the windows a curtain of gaudy chintz shut out the million stars of the frosty autumnal night, and on tho cozy rug of parti-colored rags, a fat tortoise-shell cat purred away the slowly lapsing minutes. But the tortoise-shell cat was not the only inhabitant of the snug farm-house kitchen. " John !" said Mehitablo Mcrrit, deci dedly, " if you don't behave yourself, I'll" What she would do Hetty Mcrrit did not say the sentence was terminated by a laugh that set the dimples round her mouth in motion, just as a beam of Juno sunshine play3 athwart a cluster of red ripe cherries. Hetty Mcrrit was just seventeen a plump, rosy girl, with jet-black hair, brushed back from her forehead, and perfectly arched eyebrows that gave a bewitching 'expresison of surprise to a pair of melting hazel eyes: She was rather dark, but the severest critic would hardly have found fault with the peach like bloom upon her her cheeks, and the dewy red of her full, dainty-curved lips. Evidently, Mr. Aylmer was quite sat isfied with Hetty's peculiar stylo of beauty. "Come, Hetty," said John, moving his chair where ho could best watch tho firelight upon her face, and picking up the thread of conversation where he had dropped it, when it became necessary for Hetty to bid him behave himself. " You might promise. It's nine o'clock, and your father will soon be home." "Promise what, John?" said Hetty, demurely, fitting a square of Turkey-red patch-work to a white one, and intently observing tho effect. "Nonsense, Hatty; you know what Tory well. Promise to marry me before Christmas ! I tell you what, Hetty it's all very well for you to keep putting off, but I can't stand it, what with your fath er's forbidding me tho house, and Caleb Truman's coming here every Saturday night" Hetty gave her pretty head a toss. " As if Caleb Truman's coming here makes any difference in my feelings, John!" " No, but, Hetty, it isn't pleasant, you know. I'm as good a man as Caleb Tru man, if I don't own railroad shares, and keep an account at Brighain Dank, and I love you, Hetty, from the very bottom of my heart 1 Hetty, this matter lies between me and you only no other pcr Bon in the world has a right to interfere between us. Come, promise me !" He held both her hands in his, and looked into her liquid brown eyes. " Do you love mo, Hetty ?" " You know I love you, John." " Then wo may juft as well Hush ! what's that ?" There was a portentious sound of draw ing bolts and rattling latches in tho porch room beyond a stamp of nailed boots shaking off the dust of country roads Hetty rose to her feet with sudden scar let suffusing brow and cheeks. "Oh, John, it's father." " Suppose it is !" " But ho mustn't find you here, John ! Hide yourself somewhere, do !" " What nonsense, Hetty !" paid tho young man,resolutcly standing his ground. "I have not come here to steal his spoons why should I steal away like a detected burglar?" "Tor my sake, John. Oh, John, if you have ever loved me, do as I say ! Not in that closet it is too close to his bedroom; not through that window it's nailed down tight. He's coming ! he's coming ! Here, John, quick !" - . . And in tho drawing of a breath, sho lad pushed John Aylmer into the square pendulum caso of the clock, and turned tho key upon bim. It was not a very pleasant place of ref uge, inasmuch as liis shoulders were squeezed in ou cither sido, and his head flattened against tho. springs and wheels above, and tho air was unpleasantly close but honest John made the best of mat ters, and shook with suppressed laughter in his solitary prison cell. " Phew 1 a jolly scrapo to be in," John thought, "and no knowing when I'll be out of it 1 Hetty's a shrewd little puss, however, and I cau't do better than leave matters in her hands." " So you havn't gone to bed, Hetty ?" said Deacon Mcrrit, slowly unwinding the two yards of woollen comforter in which ho generally encased his throat of an evening. " Not yet, father," said Hetty, picking up her scattered bits of patchwork with a glowing cheek. "Did you have a pleas ant meeting ?" " Well, yes," quoth the deacon, reflect ively, sitting down before the fire, great ly to Hetty's consternation sho had hoped he would have gone quietly to bed, according to his usual custom; " tol'bly pleasant. Elder Jones was there, and Elder Backstrecher, and well, all tho church folks pretty much. Why, how red your checks are, Hetty ! Tired, ain't you? Well, you needn't set up for me, dear ; it must be getting late." " The deacon glanced mechanically around to the clock. Hetty felt the blood grow cold in her veins. " Twenty minutes past nine why, it must be later than that ! Why, land o' Goshen! The old clock's stopped!" The old clock had stopped ; nor was it wonderful, considering all the circum stances. " I wound it up this mornin', I'm sar tin," said the deacon pcrturbedly. " It never served me such a trick before, all the ycar3 it stood. Your Aunt Kcsiah used to say that whenever that clock stopped it was a sign of a death or a mar riago in the family before the year was out." There was a suppressed sound like a chuckle behind the clock caso as Deacon Mcrrit fumbled on the shelf for the clock key. " These springs must be out of order somehow," said the deacon decisively " How scared you look, child ! There is no cause for bein' scared. I don' put no faith in your Annt Kcziah's old-time superstition. Where in the name of all possessed i3 tho key ? I could ha' de clared I left it in the case." " Isn't it ou the shelf, father ?" asked Hetty, guiltily conscious that it was snug ly reposing in tho pocket of her checked gingham dress. " No ; nor 'taint on the set-off, nei ther." And down went the deacon, stiffly enough, on his knees, to examine the floor, lest, perchance, the missing key might have slipped off and fallen down there. " Well, I never knowed anything so strange," said the deacon. " It is strange," faltered hypocritical Hetty. " I'll have a reg'lar sarch to-morrow," said Deacon Mcrrit. "It must besome whero around." " Yes, it must," said Hetty, tremu lously. " Only," went on the dcacon slowly resuming his place before the cheery blaze, " I kind o' don't like to have tho clock stand still a single night. When I wake up, you know it seems like if it was talk ing to me in tho stillness." Tho deacon looked thoughtfully at tho fiery back-log. Hetty fidgetted uneasily about the room, straightening table cov ers and setting back chairs oh, if he would only go to bed ! As ho sat there, lys eye-lids began to droop, and his head to nod, somnolently. Hetty's eyes lighted up with a sparkle of something like hope. " Child," ho suddenly said, straighten ing himself up in the stiff-backed chair, " you'd better go to bed. I'll sit up awhile longer, till the logs burn out." " But father I'm not sleepy." " Go to bed, my child,' reiterated tho deacon, with good-humored authority, that brooked no opposition, and Hetty crept out of tho room, ready to cry with anxie ty and vexation. " If John will only keep quiet a little longer," sho thought, sitting on tho stairs where the autumn moonlight streamed in chilly splendor. " Father sleeps so sound ly and ho is sure to go to sleep in his chair. I could just steal in and release him just as easily as possible !" Sho sat there, her plump fingers inter laced, and her eyes fixed dreamily on tho floor, while, all tho time, her ears were strained to catch every sound in tho kitchen beyond. Hark ! was that the wail of the wind, or was it something,to her literally near er and dearer ? Yes she could not bo mistaken now it was actually a snore ! Hetty rose softly to her feet with re newed hope. Surely, now was the ac cepted time. " Noislcssly as a floating shadow she crossed the hall, opened the kitchen door, and stole across tho creaking floor. The shiftiug lustre of the fire-light re vealed to her Deacon Merrit nodding be fore tho fire with closed eyes, and hands hanging at his sides. " He is certainly asleep," thought Hetty. With a heart that beat quick and fast, like the stroke of a minature hammer, she drew the key from her dress pocket and procecded,Jin spite of the; nervous trembling of her fingers, to fit it into tho lock. So absorbed was 6he in her task that she never noted the sudden cessation of the heavy breathing never saw the deacon startfcsuddenly into wake fulness, and look around towards her. Ah, Hetty, love is blind, they say, and it is equally true that love is sometimes deaf! Tho deacon rose quietly up with a shrewd twinkle in his eyes, and Hetty gave a little frightened shriek as a hand fell softly on her arm, possessing itself quietly of the key. " Let me help you," said Deacon Mcr rit. " Father, I I found the key," falter ed Hetty, "and" " Found the key, eh ?!! returned the deacon. " Well, that's lucky and now you can find out what's tho matter with the old clock !" Hetty's heart throbbing so wildly a moment before, seemed to stand absolute ly still as Deacon Mcrrit turned tho key and opened tho tall door of the clock case. " Hallo!,' ejaculated Deacon Merrit, as Mr. John Aylmer tumbled laughingly into the room. " So you was the matter with tho old clock, eh ?" " Yesl sir," said Mr. Aylmer, compos edly. " I hope I havn't seriously inter fered with the works o the clock ?" " You've seriously interfered with me, though !" said the deacon, waxing indig nant. " What do you mean, sir, by hid ing in my house like a thief?" " Indeed, indeed, father," cried Hetty, bursting into tears, " it wasn't his fault. He didu't want to hide, but I put him in there." " You did, eh ? And may I ask what for?" " Father," faltered Hetty, rather lrrcv ently, l I love him and ho loves me ?" " Is that any reason he should hide in a clock-case, miss ?" No but father ! 0, father, I can never marrry Caleb Truman ! lie is old, and cross, and withered, and " Hetty's eyes finished the sentence for her. The deacon looked down, not un kindly, on her bowed head, and tho ten der arms that supported it. Apparently tho eourso of true love, roughly though it ran, was overwhelming all his worldly wise arrangements in its tido. " And so you young folks really think you lovo each other ?" said the deacon, mcdiativcly. " I lovo her with all my heart and soul, sir," said John Aylmer, earnestly. " I'm not rich, I know, but I can work for her." " And 1 can work myself, too, father," said Hetty, with eyes that Ehoue like soft ened stars. " And you said yourself, sir," went on Aylmer, " that the stopping of the clock meant either a death or a niarriago. Of course wo don't want any deaths, so don't you think the most sensible thing to do is to help ou a marriage as soon as possi ble?" Tho deacon laughed in spite of him self. " It is late," said tho deacon. " Come round to-morrow morning, and we'll talk about it. I suppose young folks will be young folks, and there's no uso in trying to stop 'em." And as the deacon hung tho pendulum and set tho iron tongue of tho old clock talking again, John Aylmer paused on tho door-step to whisper to Hetty : My darling, it's worth passing a life time behind tho clock-case to feel as hap py as I do now !" tW Tho interpretation in English of the namo of the German commanders is curi ous. For instance, Steinmetz means a stonecutter ; Falkensteiu, tho falcon rock ; and hence Vogol von Falkonstoin the bird of the falcon rock ; Manteuful, mau dovil, and Eulcnburg, the castlo of owls. These names are Gothic enough for the dark ages. The Three Treachcrs. IT is well known that some of tho Judges in Missouri are very reluct ant to enforce tho law ogainst ministers of the gospel for exercising their profes sion without having taken tho test oath, and avail themselves of every pretonce to discharge those who are accused. We tell the following tale as it is told to us, vouching for nothing : Three ministers, charged with the crime of preaching " the glorious gospel of tho son of God," were arraigned be fore a certain judge: They were regu larly indicted, and it was understood that the proof against them was very clear. " Aro you a preacher ?" said the Judge to one of them. " Yes sir," replied the culprit. ' To what denomination do you be long?" "I am a Christian, sir." (With dig nity.) " A Christian ! What do you mean by that? Arc not all preachers Chris tians ?" "I belong to the sect usually called but wrongly called Campbellites." (Not so much dignity.) " Ah ! Then you believe in baptizing people, in order that they may bo born again, do you?" "I do, sir." Defiantly. " Mr. Sheriff, discharge that man ! He is an innocent man ! He is indicted for preaching the gospel, and there is not a word of gospel in the stuff he preaches ! It is only some of Alexander Campbell's nonsense. Discharge the man !" Exit Campbellite, greatly rejoicing. " Are you a preacher ?" said the J udge, addressing the second criminal. " I am, sir," said the miscreant. "Of what denomination are you?" " I am a Methodist, sir." His looks showed it. " Do you believe in falling from grace, sir?" "I do sir." Without hesitation. " Do you believe in sprinkling people, instead of baptizing them ?" " I believe that people can be baptized by sprinkling." Much offended. " Do you believe in baptizing babies ?" " It is my opinion, sir, that infants ought to be baptized. Indignantly. " Not a word of S cripture fur any thing of tho kind, sir '." shouted his hon or. " Mr. Sheriff, turn that man loose ! He is no preacher of tho gospel. The gospel is truth, and there is not a word of truth in what that man teaches I Turn him loose! It is ridiculous to indict men on such frioulous pretences 1 Turn him loose !" Methodist disappears, not at all hurt in his feelings by the judicial abuse he had received. " What are you, sir?" said the Judge, to third felon. "Some people call me a preacher, sir." Meekly. " What is your denomination ?" " I am a Baptist." Head up. His Honor's countenance fell, and ho looked sober and sad. After a pause he said : "Do you believe in salvation by grace?" " I do." Firmly. " Do you teach that immersion only, is baptism '(" " That is my doctrine, sir." Ear nestly. " And you baptize nono but those who believe in Jesus Christ ?" " That is my faith and practice." With emphasis. " My friend, I fear it will go hard with you. I see you arc indicted for preaching the gospel, and it appears to me that by your own confession you aro t;uilty." Baptist looked pretty blue. " May it pleaso your Honor," said the Baptist's counsel, springing to his feet, " That man never preached tho gospel. I have heard him say a hundred times that ho only tried. I have heard him try myself." " Mr. Sheriff, discharge this man ! Ho is not indicted for trying 1 There is nothing said about the mere effort ! Let him go, sir ! I am astonished that tho State's attorney should annoy tho court with frivolous indictments. Exit Baptist, determined to " try" again. Court adjourned. " God save tho State and this honora ble court !" exclaimed tho Sheriff. "Amen!" said tho threo preachers. o A young lady, recently married to a farmer, one day visited tho cow-house, when sho thus interrogated the milk maid : " By-tho-by, Mary, which of these cows gives the butter-milk ?" SUNDAY READING. Redeeming the Time. Time abates not its speed, but rather seems to fly with increasing swiftness as we grow older. Nor is this to be regret ted if our years are bearing us in the right direction, for then, wo shall bo the sooner in heaven with the Lord Jesus, in whom we trust, and after whom we arc sighing ; but if, on the other hand, every instant is drifting us onward to eternal misery, it should cause us the deepest alarm. Like the dove's wing, with silk en sound, time passes us ; but when once departed, if our spirits be condemn ed by tho Great Judge of all, it will have the talons of a vulture with which to tear our inmost hearts. Within the next hour, dear reader, you may have enter ed upon eternity, and what if that eter nity should bo dark with sin's unending night, and bitter with its ceaseless pun ishment ? Time is your hour of escape from condemnation ; throw it away and your fetters are riveted forever. It wero better and moro wise to throw empires away, than to wasto the hours of this precious life. Heaven is on the wing of moments ; seizo them, for all the wealth of worlds will one day be too little to buy so much as one of them. Death cannot be avoided ; he has laid, sicgo to us, and from the beleaguered city of Manhood none can escape. You must soon leave all earthly things, to meet your God in judgment. Dear reader, if still unconverted, per mit me to remind you that you aro by na'ure a lost sinner. Have you consid ered this ? Has your mind been fitly impressed with a sense of your danger ous condition ? If not, how is it that you can be so inconsiderate ? You look to the health of your body, how can you neglect that part of your nature which is so much more noble, namely, your im mortal soul ! Be wise and think. Oh, that you would consider your state with seriousness and candor, until you feel compelled trembling to cry, " What must I do to be saved ?" It is not too late to ask that question, nor to receive a com fortable reply. There is salvation for all those who trust Him, and so suffered that none of their offences can ever be laid to their charge. He has discharged tho debts of His people, so that they are clear before tho judgment seat of God. 0, reader, if you can but trust tho Lord Jesus,, it will go well with you, for you shall have tho joy of present peace and the hope of future bliss. He whoso pen now traces these lines, beseeches you to lay hold on eternal life, and more, he beseeches the Lord Jesus to lay hold on you. To be safely sheltered in the wounds of Jesus is blessedness beyond concep tion ; try the clefts of this rock, and your heart shall bo at rest. 0. II. Spur (eon. Tho Lost Jewels. Suppose you had a beautiful necklace of pearls and diamonds, and some day, while you were walking tho streets, a thread of it should become loosened, and one by one your precious gems should fall to the ground and bo lost amidst the dust of the street. How you would grieve over tho los3 ! How unkind you would think it of any one who saw your misfortune and did not tell you of it in season to save your jewels ! Every day, you are losing a jewel more Erecious than any gem from the mine. Tnless you are in Christ's fold, you have lost another golden day in which you might have turned to Him. You arc lying down to sleep unpardoned, and oh ! what if you should not awake again ! Would you not think a person worse than foolish, who should pettishly turn away when warned of losing a costlj necklace, even growing angry with tht friend who warned her ? Yet those v,hc do not lovo Jesus, hate to be warned c their danger. They often turn awav with a flushed and an angry brow, frou the kind friend who urges them to seek for safety, where alone they can find it. It is not much to lose fine jewels. They can be replaced again, or the ownc: can be just as happy and useful withou them. But oh, to lose tho soul ! Thcr is no repairing that loss ! And when th soul is lost, all is lost ! All the fine thinp that tho eyes have taken such a deligL in, must also be left. Oh, hasten to the open arms of Jesu:; Ho loves to gather the little lambs int His bosom. He loves to have them com willingly and cluster about His fect. llo is never tired of their presence. A all aro welcome. flgyA little learning often breed scepticism. Profound knowledge lea'1 back to Jesus.