The New Zealand Evangelist
Tea, versus, Ghosts and Fairies.—
It has been long alleged that there existed a close connexion between the more ghostly spirits of the country and its distilled ones. “How do you account,” said a north country minister of the last age (the late Rev. Mr. M'Bean, of Alves,) to a sagacious old elder of his session, “for the almost total disappearance of the ghosts and fairies that used to be so common in your younger days?” “Take my word fort minister,” replied the old man, “it's a owing to the tea; when the tea cam in, the ghaists and fairies gaed out. Weel do I mind when at a’ our neebourly meetings—bridals, christenings, lykewakes and the like—we entertained one anither wi’ rich, nappy ale; and when the verra douiest o' us used to get warm i' the nappy tho’ a little confused in the head, an' weel fit to see amaist ony thing when on the moors on our way home. But the tea has put out the nappy: an’ I have remarked, that by losing the nappy we lost baith ghosts and fairies.”
Boys! Never put a foot in a public house. It is the resort of idlers, blackguards, bad fathers, and wicked children. In such a place who is safe? Never enter it. Shun it as the way to hell! Hear the fable of the rats:—
“The rats once assembled in a large cellar, to devise some method of safely getting the bait from a small steel trap which lay near, having seen numbers of their friends and relations snatched from them by its merciless jaws. After many long speeches, and the proposal of many elaborate but fruitless plans, a happy wit, atanding erect, said, ‘It is my opinion that, if with one paw we keep down the spring, we can safely take the food from the trap with the other.’ All the rats present loudly squealed assent, and slapped their tails in applause. The meeting adjourned, and the rats retired to their homes: but the devastations of the trap being by no means diminished, the rats were forced to call another ‘convention,’ The elders had just assembled, and had commenced the deliberations, when all were startled by a faint voice, and a poor rat with only three legs, limping into the ring, stood up to speak. All were instantly silent, when, stretching out the remains of his leg, he said, ‘My friends, I have tried the method you proposed, and you see the result! Now let me suggest a plan to escape the trap—Do not touch it!
A friend of ours, while dressing a very young child, a few days ago, said, in rather an impatient tone, “You are such a lump of a shape, it is impossible to make anything fit you.” The lips of the child quivered, and looking up, it said, in a deprecating tone, “God made me.” Our friend was rebuked, and the little “lump” was kissed a dozen times—“God made me.” Had the wise men of the world pondered on a fitting answer to such a careless remark for a century, they could not have found a better than flowed naturally and spontaneously from the wounded heart of the child. “God made me, mother—it is not my fault that I am what you thus seem not to like, such a ‘little lump'”—“God made me!” Blessings on thy innocent heart, sweet child—“of such are the kingdom of heaven.”
I'm too Busy.—
A merchant sat at his office desk; various letters were spread before him; his whole being was absorbed in the intricacies of his business. A zealous friend of mankind entered the office. “I want to interest you a little in a new effort for the temperance cause,” said the good man. The merchant cut him off by replying, “Sir, you must excuse me, but really I'm too busy to attend to that subject now.” “But Sir, intemperance is on the increase among us,” said his friend. “It is? I'm sorry, but I'm too busy at present to do anything.” “When shall I call again, Sir?” “I cannot tell. I'm am very busy. I'm busy every day. Excuse Sir, I wish you a good morning.” Then bowing the page 55 intruder out of the office, he resumed the study of his papers. The merchant had frequently repulsed the friends of humanity in this manner. No matter what was the object, he was too busy to listen to their claims. He had even told his minister he was too busy for anything but to make money. But one morning a disagreeable stranger stepped very softly to his side, laying a cold moist hand upon his brow, and saying, “Go home with me.” The merchant laid down his pen; his head grew dizzy; his stomach felt faint and sick; he left the counting-room, went home and retired to his bed-chamber. His unwelcome visitor had followed him, and now took his place by the bed side, whispering ever and anon, “You must go with me.” A cold chill settled on the merchant's heart; dim spectres of ships, notes, houses, and lands, flitted before his excited mind. Still his pulse beat slower, his heart heaved heavily, thick films gathered over his eyes, his tongue refused to speak. Then the merchant knew that the name of his visitor was Death! All other claimants on his attention, except the friends of Mammon, had always found a quick dismissal in the magic phrase, “I'm too busy.” Humanity, mercy, religion had alike begged his influence, means, and attention, in vain. But when Death came the excuse was powerless; he was compelled to have leisure to die. Let us beware how to make ourselves too busy to secure life's great end. When the excuse rises to our lips, and we are about to say that we are too busy to do good, let us remember we cannot be too busy to die.