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jHE pastor was in
A is to
guide him rightly for many a day he'd
And there was not a single volume on the
Shelves above or below
That could throw any light on the problem
that puzzled and vexed him so.
For the harvest season was over, and Christ
mas was close at hand.
And the glow of the rising splendor already il
lumed the land
And there on the desk before him, in orderly
The sermon he meant to deliver to his people
on Christmas day.
So'twas not tbis that disturbed him, nor was
he a moment vexed
By any doubt or delusion in regard to his
For he preached but a simple gospel, in lan
guage as terse and plain
As the smooth, round pebbles that David took
when the mlglity giant was slain.
The pastor thought of his little flocU, the chil
dren great and small.
And great was the loving-kindness with which
he regarded all
And yet a wave of trouble ran over his heart,
They thought much less of Jesus Christ than
they did of Santa Claus.
For one and another whispered—their words
hud an eager ring,—
"What shall I get on Christmas? What will
Santa Claus bring?"
And as everywhere and ever the thirst for
The charm of a kindly presence was missed
from the royal feast.
The pastor sat in his study, when his good
wife opened the door,
And together they held communion and talked
the trouble o'er
And she, being quick of fancy, in a moment or
two had planned
A better way for keeping the day that was now
so close at ban.I.
The pastor gave the notice from the pulpit,
next Sabbath morn,
And to brain and heart, like a swift-winged
dart, was the startling message borne.
For he spoke in words of Are the truth they
must all believe:
"The Master has said: 'It is far more blessed
to give than to receive
And if at the Christmas season you'd be richly
and truly blest.
Bring hither your votive offering,—and let it
be of your best,—
And give to tlie poor around you with generous
heart and hand.
That peace and good-will to men may fill t^e
length and breadth of the land."
'Twas early in bleak December the barrels
came roiling in.
The farmers sending tliolr choicest from well
stored barn and bin:
There were apples and pears In plenty, and
pumpkins, yellow as gold.
And nuts and potatoes, together enough for a
And bags on bugs of flour and of coffee, and
chests of tea,
And strings of onions and peppers, —oh! 'twas a
goodly sight to see.
And the work of nimble Angers to such an
amount was there.
It seemed as if the collection outrivaled the
There were dolls of assorted sizes, and some
that had been much used.
For the little folks had nought else to give and
not a gift was refused
For the pastor wou.d teach the lesson to chil
dren of tender years.
That the gift that secures a blessing must be
consecrated with tears.
Oh, crisp and cesr Christmas dawned that
year the church was with holly drest,
And the bells rang out a merry chime that
echoed from cast to west
And around the altar and down the aisles were
baskets and barrels stowed,
Whi'.e up on the pulpit and into the pews the
gifts had overflowed.
IB FAR MORE BFTKSSBD TO GIVE THAN TO
Oh, happy were pastor and people as they gath
ered from new and far.
Their hearu revived and illumined by the
light of Bethlehem's star
And happy the poor and needy to whom were
toe good things given
Saviour's feet they knelt.
Away to the
Tore open the shu
up the sash.
The moon on the breast
Cave a luster of midday to
When what to my
But a miniature slei
With a little old driver
I knew in a moment it mm,
be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagle* hi,
And he whistled and shout
called them by name—
Now. Dasher! now. Dancer
Prancer and Vixen!
On. Comet1 on. Cupid1 on. Doaner
To the top of the porch, to the top
of the wall!
Now. dash away, dash away
dash away all!"
dry leaves that before the
That carried a blessing with them and lifted
their souls to Heaven:
For out of this rich abundance the hungry were
The naked were clothed, and the sick and sor
rowful cheered and comforted
And so great was the joy of giving, that pastor
and people felt
As if with the wise men of the east at the
Oh, never a brighter Christmas had dawned on
tbe dull old town.
Never had richer blessings been scattered so
And taught by the Holy Spirit their selfish
greed to subdue,
All hearts rejoiced—and on Christmas day was
the Christ child born anew.
—Josephine Pollard, in Demorest's Monthly.
HAPPY NEW YEAR.
To One and All, the Young, the Old, the
High, the Low.
A happy new year to you, child of
to-day! May you know more of sun
shine than of cloud, and more of glee
than of sorrow may your tumbles and
bumps be few, your laughter be fre
quent and long, your play be unre-
Twas the night before Christmas.
when all throagh the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even
The stockings were hung by
chimney with care.
In hopes that St. Nicholas
would be .there.
The children were nestled all
in their beds.
While visions of sugar plum:
in their heads.
And mamma in her kerchi
in my cap,
Had just settled our
When out on the
such a clatter
I sprang from my
was the m*i
When they meet with an obstacle
mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top t&ft
coursers they flew.
With the sleigh full of Coys—autf.
St Nicholas, too.
strained, your sleep refreshing, your
A happy new year to you, bright
youth of our city and country—all hap
piness in the ambition, the joy, the
friendships, the competitions and the
rewards of school life. Success to you
in the endeavor whereby the firm, en
during basis of true manhood and of no
ble womanhood are laid with what suc
cess comes two-fold happiness—happi
ness to others and happiness to your
selves. Go forth gayly and confidently
into the new year, O, you who are
beautiful in the fresh vigor of your
A happy new year to you, young
man! We know your secret! Your fal
tering speech, your diverted -glances,
your smart attire—these and other tell
tale signs have betrayed you, and there
is uncommon sympathy in our hearts
as we bid you a happy new year. But
to be happy you must be brave. Go,
like a man, and speak your mind to
her pour out into her willing ear the
full measure of your soul she has a
gentle heart and she will requite you.
It is not well for yon twain to live
apart but your happiness is within your
comprehension. Fate is propitious, the
time is ripe and the girl is willing.
"OLORY TO OOP IN THE HIGHEST, AND ON EARTH PEACE, GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN."
And why do you blush, coy maiden,
as we address to you the compliments
of this happy season? Can it be that
a qualm oppresses your tender con
science? Have you been playing the
coquette—O! monster of ruthlessness
have you been leveling in the anguish
which your bright eyes and pretty face
have entailed? We cannot bid you be
happy when we know that you, unde
serving, should not and cannot be
blessed with happiness until you have
made reparation. Hasten to pluck the
brand from the burning save the cal
low but honest William ere he alto
gether perish in the delightful torments
which your charms inspire.
To you, whose lives are hallowed
with the grace of maternity, not one
but many, many years of happiness!
Live long, wives and mothers of this land,
to see the little lives you have cherished
so tenderly expand into beauty and use
fulness live long to know and feel the
sweet rewards of gratitude, of venera
tion and of love. Survive those hours
-***& I KNEW IN A MOMENT IT MUST BE ST. NICK."
of pain, of cruelty, of watching and of
sacrifice—live through it all, dear, pa
tient martyrs, to share the peace, the
repose, the contentment, the compensa
tions of the future that surely wait for
such as you.
We wish a happy new year to him
whose life is inspired by honorable pur
pose and whose strength is expended in
honorable endeavor. Whatsoever his
condition, whatsoever his environment,
long life to him, we say, and may this
new year, if it do not find him already
advanced in the way to success and hap
piness, point and conduct him thereunto.
A happy new year, too, to you, grand
mothers and grandfathers everywhere!
Look out upon all around you and see
how passing fair the evening is and all
that is to be heard invites contentment
and repose. You hear voices, too, that
we do not hear—they have never been
quite forgotten, and they speak to you
in the sweetly solemn twilight of the
morning that followeth the evening,
and of the waking that cometh after
the folding of the hands to sleep.
Yes, to all—the young, the old, the
high, the low—a happy new year, a
happiness arising from and tempered
with wisdom, faith, hope and charity,—
Eugene Held, in Chicago News.
A Little School Roy's Christmas Speech.
I want a horn for Christmas
That makes a lot of noise
1 want a drum,
And a top to hum,
And wagon loads of toys.
1 want a sled with runners,
1 want a chair that rocks
I want a ball
The most of all.
And lots of building blocks.
I want a little table,
1 want a pig that hollers,
A gun that shoots,
And rubber boots,
And a bank chuck full of dollars.
I want a bag of marbles,
I want a chest of tools
A woolly goat,
SANTA CLAUS' VISIT.
And a painted boat.
And a wagon hitched to mules.
1 want a game of checkers,
I want a bell to ring
A dog that bark
And Noah's arks,
And, oh!—'most everything!
—Eva Best, in Detroit Free Press.
Hark! the bells are ringing sweet,
Answering up and down the street,
Paasersby each other greet.
Paying courtly compliment,
Young and old on pleasure bent.
Now these wishes, old and new,
Every one 1 wish for you,
With a loving heart and true.
Yours be every-blessing bright,
Every blossom of delight,
All good angels guide you, dear,
Round the sunny, circling year!
A Few Words in Behalf of the Children
in the Holiday Season.
Be patient with children's racket
these holidays. We feel sorry for
boys, because they are not exempt from
troubles, and one of the worst is sup
pressed hilarity. To want to laugh
still maintain gravity to see the min
ister's wig getting twisted and yet look
devotional to discover a mouse in
prayer-time and yet not titter to see
the yonng bride and groom in church
try to look like old married people to
have the deacon drop the contribution
plate and spill the pennies, and yet look
sony for the misfortune in a word, to
be a boy with fun from the top hair on
the crown of the head to the tip end of
the great toe, and yet .make no demon
stration, is a trial with which we are
deeply sympathetic. To sit on a long
bench at school with eight or ten
other boys, all able to keep quiet only
by utmost force of resolution, and some
thing happen that makes all the rest
snicker, while you abstain, requires
an amount of heroic endurance
we never reached. I remember well
how a rattan feels when it arrives in
the open palm at the rate of sixty miles
an hour. In my first ten years I sup
pressed enough giggles* smiles, chuckles
and yells to have ruined me for all
time. I so often retired from the sit
ting-room when we had company to
the wood-shed, where my mirth would
be no disturbance to anything but the
ash-barrels, that I have all allowance
to make for that age of life which is apt
to be struck through the titter. I still
feel the boy in my nature when ludi
crous things happen, as when a city ex
quisite came into the prayer-meeting,
And then, in twinkling, I heard
on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each
drew in my bead and was
chimney St. Nicholas
^*ith a bound
*as dressed all in furs from his
£iead to his foot.
clothes were all tarnished
ashes and soot—
l^toys he had hang on
Ted litJe a peddler just
eye*r hof^mey twinkled hi*
like roses, his
he Meld in
hen I him ia
in. ere h*
to all and to
whisk-cane in hand, and fanciful eye
glass on, looked sublimely around on
the audience as much as to say: "I sup
pose you all see that I am here," and
then sat down where a chair had just
before stood, but from which place the
usher had inadvertently removed it. Had
it not been for an extemporized cough
and sneeze and active use of the pocket
handkerchief on my part I should have
been hopelessly ruined.—Talmage, in
N. Y. Observer.
—Two Ladies Shopping.—"What shall
we buy George for Christmas?" "I
don't know something useful, how
ever." "That's just what I think."
And then, after three or four hours' hard
work (for the salesman) they purchased
a penwiper done in moire antique with
lace trimmings and a mother-of-pearl
—He Looked Up the Address.—"Can
I see Santa Claus?" asked the small boy,
entering Fogg's toy store. "He's not
here, sonny," returned the old man,
kindly. "Why do you look for him in
my place?" "Well, I saw your name on
the wagon he sent me, and I thought I
might get him to trade it for a pair of
A N E W
YEAR, and anew
For hands that
and steps that
New time for toil and new space for winning
Tbe guerdon of happiness free to all.
New hope for the souls long clouded over
With possible sorrows and actual pain
New joys for comrade, and friend, and lover,
The year is bringing them all again.
New days and hours for the patient building
Of noble character, pure and true
For faith and love, with their radiant gilding
To make the temple of life anew.
A Happy New Year, and a truce to sadness,
Its every moment by God is planned
Whatever may come, whether grief or glad
Must come aright from a Father's hand.
He blessed the old in its dawning—thenceforth
His love was true to us all the way.
And now in tbe hitherto shines the henceforth.
And out of the yesterdays smiles to-day.
We would have power in this year to brighten
Each lot less blessed and fair than ours
The woe to heal and the load to lighten,
The waste soul-garden to plant with flowers.
May every day be a royal possession
To high-born purpose and steadfast aim,
And every hour in its swift progression
Make life more worthy than when it came.
—Mary Bowles, in Golden Days.
ALL A MISTAKE.
Aud So the Poor Fellow Lost His Christ
On Christmas morning three or four
years ago I started out for a hunt with
a Mississippi planter, aud when we had
gone about half a mile from the house
we came full upon a colored man who
had killed a pig weighing about one
hundred pounds and was dressing it.
lie had no warning of our approach,
but exercised wonderful nerve. As
soon as we came up he removed his
hat, bowed very low and said:
"Ktirnel, I war jist comin' up to de
house to restore you m.v thanks. "Low
me, sail, to say dat I nebberdun depreci
ated anything like dis present o* yours."
"What present, boy?"
"Dis yere pig, salt. I was dun outer
meat an' I can't tell you how much'''
obleegcd I ar\"
is "Look yere, boy!"
"I don't know you. You are a stranger
in this neighborhood. You ran that
"Why, kurnel, how you talk! Doan'
you member dat day las' July when you
was down to Biloxi?"
"No, sir, I wasn't down there in July
"Ar' it possible! An'you didn't tell me
to come heah an' get a shoatChris'mas?"
"Nebber dun tole me nuffin'?"'
"An' dis ar' your pig?"
"Wall! Wall! It's mighty quare dat
I made sich a mistake. Mebbe it's on
'count of dat tree which fell on my head
las' winter. Did you want de pig car'ed
up to de house, kurnel?"
"I do. Take it direct to the house
and then make tracks!"
"Suah, kurnel, suah? I'll take it
right up an' den hurry right away.
Sakes alive, but when dat tree cracked
my head all de sense mus her run right
WALL! WALL! IT'S MIGHTY QUABE."
out! Good-by, kurnel. I'll leab de pig
right at de house an' walk right off. No
harm, kurnel. All a mistake on my
part. Nice pig, kurnel, an' I wish you
many returns ob de same!"—Detroit