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you promise me, before I mention it, that you will? It is my dying request.” Had it been at any other time, the yonth might have refused to answer, till he knew what it was. But, full of grief at the prospect of losing his father, he exclaimed, “Tell me what it is you wish, and I will do it." The father said, “I shall soon breathe my last: now, on the evening of the day in which I am buried, you will retire alone, for at least a quarter of an hour, and you will spend that little space in answering to yourself two questions; the first, —WHAT IS ETERNITY? the second,—WHERE SHALL I SPEND MY ETERNITY? And not only is this to be done that evening, but also every evening for a year after I am buried. You are, my son, to be quite alone at these seasons. You are to have no book to divert your thoughts, nor, in a word, any one subject before your mind, but the momentous one now set before you, during these short appointed periods.

do it?" "I will,” exclaimed the weeping son. The father died; and the night after he was buried the son retired to ask himself solemnly, What is eternity? and Where shall I spend my eternity? The quarter of an hour appeared to him like an hour or two, so slowly did it pass. Day after day he retired to fulfil his father's dying charge. But soon he felt it so painfully irksome, so gloomy, that he was again and again tempted to break his promise. But a principle of honour determined him to persevere, however harassing to his feelings.

In the course of a few weeks a new interest was excited in his mind; the quarter of an hour, insensibly to himself, became doubled, -ere long increased to an hour, then hours,

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till at last the great inquiry became the all-absorbing subject of his thoughts—What is eternity ? and, Where shall I spend my eternity ? What, under God, was the result? That his father had not been many months in the world of spirits, ere his son had become, under the grace of God, a decided christian, treading in his father's footsteps, and living for eternal glory.

Such, then, dear young reader, were the questions urged, not merely fitfully and occasionally, but daily on the mind, which once decided an immortal being to flee to the only Saviour for the lost—the only refuge from the wrath to come. And for this great end you are now most affectionately entreated to ask again and again the momentous question, Where shall I spend my eternity ?—and that with all the urgency, earnestness, and ceaseless importunity, which its stupendous importance demands.


ETERNITY | can reason stretch

Through all its ample space,
Or to its utmost limits reach,

Or its duration trace ?
ETERNITY! that ocean deep,

Where streaming time is lost;
And yet, how stupid mortals sleep,

And of to-morrow boast.
ETERNITY! 'tis heaven or hell,

The height of bliss or woe;
O, who will in its torments dwell?

Who share its endless joy ?
O vast ETERNITY! how near

It now approaches me!
Jesus, my youthful soul prepare

For blessedness with thee!


J. B.

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AMONG the lovely scenes which this earth presents none are more lovely than lakes of water, surrounded as they usually are by high hills or higher mountains. Seen from the top of one of these, when all is calm and clear, they appear like a vast looking glass, on whose bosom the trees and hills which surround them are clearly reflected.

The largest lakes in the world are in North America ; but they are so large that they might be called seas. In the land of Judea there are also some large lakes, which are sometimes called seas in the New Testament. Switzerland, ; Scotland, and England, have some of the most beautiful.

On the top of a ridge of mountains in Portugal, called Estrella, there are two lakes of great extent and depth, especially one of them, which is said to be unfathomable. What is chiefly remarkable in them is, that they are calm when the sea is so, and rough when that is stormy, which makes it probable that they have a subterraneous communication with the ocean, and this seems to be confirmed by the pieces of ships they occasionally throw up, though almost forty miles distant from the sea. There is another extraordinary lake in this country, which before a storm, is said to make a frightful rumbling noise, that may be heard at the distance of several miles. And we are also told of a pool called Fervanças, about twenty-four miles from Coimbra, that absorbs not only wood, but even the lightest bodies thrown into it, such as cork, straws, and feathers, which sink to the bottom and are seen no more.

The English lakes are chiefly those of Cumberland and Westmoreland; and they are much admired by all who visit them. There are many handsome houses built in various positions along the banks, and on the sides of the hills which encircle the lakes; and these add to the beauty of the scene. The whole of the region being mountainous, it is more quiet than other parts of the country, and hence it is many have chosen the neighbourhood of the lakes as a calm retreat from the noise and bustle of the towns and cities. Two of our greatest poets lived for many years on the banks of these lakes, where they could think and write undisturbed by the

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“ busy ways of men.” And certainly this was desirable. Indeed if we wish to think on any subject, especially on the solemn realities of Eternity, it is desirable to find seclusion. · Isaac," we are told, “ went out to meditate in the field at eventide." How well does our favourite poet describe the advantages of pious retirement.

Far from the world, O Lord, I flee,

From strife and tumult far;
From scenes where satan wages still

His most successful war.

The calm retreat, the silent shade,

With prayer and praise agree;
And seem by thy sweet bounty made,

For those who follow thee.

There, if thy Spirit touch the soul,

And grace her mean abode,
Oh, with what peace, and joy, and love,

She communes with her God!

There, like the nightingale, she pours

Her solitary lays;
Nor ask a witness of her song,

Nor thirsts for human praise.

Author and Guardian of my life,

Sweet source of life divine;
And (all harmonious names in one)

My Saviour, thou art mine!

What thanks I owe thee, and what love,

A boundless endless store,
Shall echo through the realms above,

When time shall be no more.

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