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SHRISTFJVLHS A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ! HYMN BEFORE CHRISTMAS. K > 3 | O thoul who onco on earth wast born. When shepherds on the plain Beheld the midnight turn to morn , When wilt thou como again 1 Come to thy world , astray and sad , That groans with want and pain ; Come , make its dese't places glad ! O , Christ , bo bora again ! Como to thy church. who e weeds of woe The sons of men disdain ; Thy face before thine altar show. Our master , come again 1 Come to our darkness and our death , Whose homesick hearts complain ; Renew their faith , Creative World ! Jmmanuel , como again 1 What gifts of Rood , what sontre of cheer , What wreithsto duck thy lame Are worth thy gracious presence here ? O , Savior , come again ! Not to the manger and the cross , To death , and shame , and pain. To faithless friends , to grief and loss ; O , King , return to reign 1 MOSES'S HAPPY THOUGHT. A CHRISTMAS TALE , BV ERNEST GILMORE. There were lour children in our log cabin ; Epb and I , the twins , twelve years old ; Mose , who was not bright , just ten , and last but not least , Mehitable. The latter was only eight months old , but she ruled the family and we all loved her sweet tyranny. No queen upon her throne could have been more beloved or admired. We considered her the most beautiful baby in the world , with her dimpled cheeks as delicate in hue as the fair est rose petal , with eyes as blue as the love liest summer skies , and little short rings of gold , covering her round head. No one manifested more love for the baby than poor Mose. Mother trusted him with the care of her with perfect confidence. For poor Mose , who went about with a perpet ual smile on his thin , homely face , was in- variablv gentle , and cared for the "little queen" "as tenderly as if she were some bit of rare bric-a-brac that a rough shake would utterly demolish. Those were troublesome times , then , away back over a hundred years ago , and though we had as much fun then in our way as boys do nowadays we had more excitement of a certain kind ; an anxious , blood-curdling kind , that often made our hearts beat like trip-hammers while our hands grasped our muskets. . The day before Christmas was a busy one in our log cabin. The big fire-place glowed , and the huge iron kettles sputtered away as they cooked savorv messes for the morrow's dinner. Eph and I picked chickens and ducks , while mother baked huge loaves of white and brown bread , doughnuts and pumpkin pies , Mose meanwhile , watching dear little Mehit able. The little witch would persist in creep- in" toward the andirons on an exploring ex pedition , to get a nearer view of the sizzling of hot water in tea-kettle , or of our pails which we dipped our ducks , or in attempt ing other ventursome journeys. Poor Mose , how patient he was. how untiring ! In the middle of the afternoon mother said "Now. boys , take the basket of provis ions to old Eben Barter's. You must hurry , too , so that you can get back before night. " We did hurrv , but such a basket , packed lull to the brim with bread , cakes , roast and who knows what else ! chicken , spare-rib , Didn't our arms ache when , at last , after wading through snow drifts and climbing over ice barriers , we reached the little hut of Eben Harter and delivered up our burden ! Eben Harter was an old man , so helpless that it was with difficulty that he could hob ble around his one small cabin room. The other members of the family were his feeble , aged wife and a young granddaughter. "You folks are so kind , and you boys so eood to come to us through the stinging cold , that 'twould be selfish to ask more , " 'What is it , Mrs. Harter ? " asked Eph , quickly. "If there's anything we can do lor you , we'll do it. " "Bless your dear heart ! " was the fervent response , "I feel dreadful fearsome to-night , somehow : s'pose on account ol the dom s ol them savages at the Corners. 'Twould be BomellnV to be forever grateful for if we could have one of you stout lads here all "We'll get mother's consent , then , " Eph said , and in another minute we were on our way homeward. Mother willingly pave per mission , BO we trudged back to the Harters , carrying apples and corn which we roasted and popped while the old man told us stones of his childhood. In the morning we burned homeward , wondering if there were any gifts for UH ; but when we reached the place where there had been a little unused hut , half wny between the Harters' and our house , nil thought of gifts was lost in fear , for only the aslirs remained of the hut. "Oh. Eph , the Indians must have been here. S'posing they've been to our house ? " Epli's face blanched , but he said reassur ingly , "If they've been there father's man aged them. " We raced on toward home , upon reaching which , ' lather said , in a voice heavy with emotion , "Mehitable's gone. " "My baby's killed , " sobbed mothei. Mose lifted his terrified eyes to our faces , his hands working convulsively. "Tell us , quick , what do you mean ? " begged Eph , dropping on his knees beside mother. In broken words mother told us the harrowing tale , how she and father had been called away in the night to go to Unqle Hiram's , whom they thought dying. There was no other uaybut to leave Mehitable in Mose's care , and so they did , with many injunctions to ' 'let no harm come to the pre cious baby. " At 4 o'clock , Uncle Hiram being considered out of danger , our folks had returned. When they saw the ruins of the old en bin , they were greatly disti eased , and upon reaching homo they found that nn at tempt had been made to fire that. Moses's greeting to them was , "They never touched the bread-tray never even looked at it , oh , goodygoody ! ! " "Where is the baby ! " mother asked ; but there was no answer , only the same silly jar gon , ' "They never touched the bread-tray never even looked at it ; oh , goody ! goody ! " "Where is the baby , Mose ? " mother asked again , "Never touched the bread-tray ; oh , goody ! goody ! " "I thought until this morning that the boy had some feeling , if he had no sense , " said father , hotly. "Oh , if the Indians had only taken him instead of Mehitable ! " Over Moses's terrified face there crept a look of unutterable grief , and Eph looked at father , with a world of reproof in his dear , brave eyes , as he rushed over to his weak- minded brother and put his arms about him. "Poor little Mose , dear fellow ! Tell us all about Mehitable. Where is the darling that we all love that you love so much ? Where is she , dear little Mose ? " Eph asked tenderly. "Tell me , please do , " he begged , still with his arms around Mose. "I will , I will , " shouted Mose , rising to his teet. "They never touched the bread-tray never even looked at it ; oh , goody ! goody ! Eph , get thebread-tray. Mehitableis in it. " A minute later the bread-truy was at mother's feet. In it a little head nestled on its pillow , a little hand rubbed a sleepy face , and then two blue eyes opened and a rosy mouth smiled up into our longing , loving , relieved faces. Mother caught her up in a transport of joy , kissed her rapturously and then passed her to fnther. She then took Mose in her arms , kitted him over and over , laughing und crying over him until he smiled not the old tiresome , stereotyped s.nilo , either , but one with intelligence in it. Of course you want to know how Mehit- nble got into the bread-tray ; poor , dear Mose told us brokenly , but. with great earn estness. The baby had been crying pitifully , although he had walked with IHT until ready to drop with fatigue. Going outside the door a mhiute to see if mother and fnther were coining , he had heard an Indian war whoop. He was tenibly frightened , but soon recalled what mother had told him about God al ways watching His children and listening to their prayers. He prayed then as he ran in and barred tile door , and God must have an swered his prayer , giving him some wise thoughts. First , he gave the baby some quieting drops as he had seen mother do at certain necessary times. Then he walked around with her until she wns asleep , pray ing to know where to hide her narely should the Indians come. He thought of the empty bread-tray ; and. though it was so heavy that it required great effort to lift it up to the top cupboard nhelf , he finally put't there , fixed it soft and nice inside , and laid the baby in it. -Then , " said Mose , "I thought of that verse mother taught me , 'God is our refuse. ' He must be my lefuge , 'c.inse I'm a poor lit tle know-nothing boj % and somehow , some one it must have been God whispered , 'Fix up the victuals your mother's been baking for Christinas , and unbar the door and hide somewhere , then il the savages come , they'll think the folks is gone and they'll carry off all the good things and won't touch Mehitable. So I put all the loaves of bread on an undershelf , and the pies above them , and the chickens above them. My ! what a show they did make ; and then I heard a yelling not far off , and I hid in the old hair trunk that has that big hole in it. I wasn't a minute too quick. Was I white as snow ? Was I stiff as marble ? I thought so when those shrieking , horrible In dians , three of them , came bounding in the door. They had knives and tomahawks , and brandished them wildly , but all of a sudden one of them said , with a grunt , 'Fam' be all gone ! ' Then another said , spying the good things , 'Kis'mas dinner , Kis'nms din ner , hi ! hi ! ' and they filled a bagful to the brim with our Christinas provisions. Then they went out and made a great noise around the house and all , by-and-by was still. I smelled smoke and crept out of the trunk. I knew Mehitable was safe , 'cause I had seen through the hole of the trunk that no one disturbed her ; so I opened the door softly and crept out. There wasn't an In dian in sight , but the cabin had been fired and the flames were slowly setting fire to the lower logs. I put 'em out. though , I put 'em out , " cried Mose , delightedly. Our Christmas dinner was only some fried bacon and roasted potatoes with hot pan cakes and baked apples , but the rich sauce of joy and gratitude that went with it made it a delicious banquet. THE NATIVITY. It is the world's gla < i morn ; The royal child is born- First born of Heaven of the mother maid. No palnoe walla surround Him who the angels crowned , Kng in the cradle of the manger laid. The skies are dark and dim ; One star comes down to Him The star all glorious in truth arrayed Stiir from a brighter sky , Light that shall never die. Points to the manger where the King is laid. Say not that thou hast found Him whom the angel's crowned. Firstborn of Heaven of the mother maid. Till from the sky afar The smrifs morning star. Points to the glory of thy Lord displayed. It is thy Christmas morn When in the heart is horn The child of Heaven and the mother maid ; Dark though the sky may be , 'TJs thy nativity. Then in the glory of the Lord displayed. THOLUCK'S CHRISTMAS TREE. The Christmas tree is sometimes called Christ's tree by the Germans. Their child ren usually speak of it as the sugar tree. For , in their eyes , its attractiveness is due to the candies and sweetmeats which it brings. The tree has taken root in our land. But its growth will be promoted , if we surround it with the simple tastes and quiet "amuse- "ableness" which have made it grow so lux uriantly in its native soil. An English clergyman , while a student at HIT OR MISS. * t the University of Halle , was invited to cele brate Christmas e\e at the house of that eminent Christian scholar , the late Prof. Tholuck. His description exhibits the sim plicity and childlikeness of mind with which the Germans enjoy their Christinas tree. He says : "Down each side of the room into which we entered there were sixty students in vited was a long table. In the middle of each table was placed a large Chris I mas tree , profusely lighted up with little wax tapers and decorated with colored and gilt papers. "On each side of the two tables were ar ranged plates filled with small cakes and sweetmeats. Before each plate lay a book or books. "This room opened into the professor's study , in which there was also a table. On it were a.Christmas tree , a miniature repre sentation of the shepherds tending their flocks , of the appearance of the angels , and of the manger , with its heavenly child , with Mary and Joseph standing near. There also were plates and cakes , books and small ar ticles of dress. ' 'As soon as the visitors had greeted their host and hostess , four students struck up a choral. "When they ceased. Prof. Tholuck re minded his guests of the great gift which the festival commemorated , and begged them to accept the little gifts he laid by their plates. "Each one was then requested to look for his plate and book , which was Indicated by a slip bearing his name. On every slip Tho luck had also written an aphorism , such as : " 'Thou. O God , hast made us for Thyself , and our heart is restless , until it rests in Thee ; ' 'We can only know God by living a divine ife ; ' 'First receive the kingdom of God as a little child , then press into it as a man. ' "Tea wns then handed around , and the company separated into small groups for conversation. After they had thus spent the hours , Tholuck read a few verses in the New Testament , commenting on them , and closed the evening with a brief prayer. "The guests then gathered their cakes , loaves , sweetmeats , and books , and bidding their host and hostess good-night , departed , filled with a quiet delight. " AS TO CHRISTMAS GIVING. "I am coming to dread the holidays , " said one a day or two ago , w ho was , I know , the soul of generosity and dearly loves her friends. "Why so ? " I asked. "It always seems to m a ? if that should be the brightest , gayest f\ - .V V v . f.K _ - Kt ja , f PREPARING THE CHRISTMAS FEAST. \ time of the year , because it brings so many pleasant thoughts of those one cares for. Cluistmas present giving has come to be just as it is in the case of wei'dings. Now to remember and be remembered by one's friends by some pretty little gift , conceit or odd fancy is delightful , but the day of small things is passing , and presents are growing more and mom costly , so that the custom is becoming an absolute but den. 'There is something wrong , " ! answered , "and it is just here. We have , not any of us. independence enough to do just what we know ue oiulit , but try to fulfill what we imagine are other people's expectations. If e.ich one would nhow our Christmas thought of those we love by some simple gifts , which , in the aggregate , would be no but den , there could be no dreading > f * ht > beautiful holiday time by anybody. And then if one did not feel able to afford even a little thing , there are always pleasant words and warm wishes to offer. " "I know it , " she said with a sigh , and then with a bright look sheadded , "but I wnnt to do something more , and I'm going to if I live on bread and water for four weeks after ward. The bother is , though , that Fred don't take to the bread and water diet kindly. Men never do , you know. Senti ment don't count beside a good dinner. " It seems to me that therf is something very beautiful in this custom of putting heart thoughts in gome little gift , that all over the land each one is trying to give pleasure to others , to make 'lire a little brighter by these tokens of friendly regard. Even if it has been done at a little self-sac rifice , it is well , for the effort has driven self in the background , and made the world a brighter place for somebody to live in. There is one thing , however , to be kept in mind , and in a forgetfulnessof this lies the trouble. It is not the value of what is given that is to be considered. It is the friendly thoughts which counts. Never , therefore , be betniyed into the folly of giving what you cannot af ford , because you may think it is expected , or you imagine that the recipients have so much that a simple thing will be mi cared for. I shall never forget the remarks I heard once by a rich woman who had received a present from an acquaintance in limited circumstan ces. The gift was beautiful , and was evi dently costly. I spoke of its beauty. "Yes , " she said , "but how inappropriate. I know , and everybody knows , that she cannot af ford that sort of thing. I would rather have had a single ro&ebud , for I would have been sure then that she need not pinch herself for weeks to make up for giving it to me. " Give , for it is a pleasant thing to do , but give justly. Lay aside w hat you can spend without embarrassment to youn-elf , and then do the best you can with it. If you can spare no money , and have no leisure to make pretty and inexpensive things , give pleasant words and wishes. Have faith enough in your friends to believe they will understand you. Peace and good will ! That is whaf the season means. Christmas and ( he Children. The golden gates that will soon swing open for the festive season will gladden many hearts as the myriads of favors are received. The children nowadays value their gifts nu merically. Last Christmas one little girl re ceived over twenty presents. Now the ques tion arises does the child so richlv supplied value the gifts so easily obtained ? The hoarding and storing away of such things in drawers and repositories to refresh the eye with now and then , may lead to selfishness , whereas the little one who divides with her less favored schoolmates is doing the good that lies in her power , and , by making an other happy , is bringing happinesn to her self. There are hundreds of children to whom a pretty little toy or little gift of some sort would mark a golden epoch in their young lives. A pilgrimage through the lanes and alleys , with a view of entering the homes where some children are compelled to live , would call forth benevolent feelings into ex ercise , and the annual visit would soon be come periodical , for when the sympathies are thoroughly enlisted in behalf of the suf fering ones , they reach through some avenue or other for the amelioration of their condi tion. It is worth a. trial. The fashionable racket now is for ladies to embroider suspenders for gentlemen. The young clergyman will be covered with sus penders at Christmas. They will keen up his trousers so that the slippers worked for him last year can be seen. If a meek and long-suffering wife finds a heavy rolling pin in her stocking on Christ mas morning she will think Santa Clans gave her something which her husband's head stands the most in need of. On Christmas eve a stocking on the mantel piece is worth two on the feet.