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life, and became a diligent reader of the Bible, and apparently a religious lad. An inscription still marks the spot, and utters its warning voice to every passer by

"Reader, prepare for eternity! A boy was struck dead here, when in the act of swearing."

THE DANDELION.

Every child knows it, and the

native or foreign, that I know of; and this, having faded away, is succeeded by a head of down, which, loosened from its receptacle, and floating in the breeze, comes sailing calmly along before us, freighted with a seed at its base; but so accurately adjusted is its buoyant power to the burden it bears, that steadily passing on its way, it rests at last in some cleft or cranny in the earth,

tion, appearing more like the flight of animated creatures than the seed of a plant.-Journal of a Naturalist.

SELF-COMPLACENCY.

John Fox, author of the Book of Martyrs, once met a woman going to church, and carrying a finely-bound book, which she held out before him, and, with a most self-complacent smile, exclaimed," See, sir, I am going to hear a sermon." "Then, if you will be ruled by me," said Fox, "go home again, for you can do little good at church to day." When, then?" she asked. "When you tell nobody beforehand."

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little village groups which perambu-preparatory to its period of germinalate the hedges for the first offspring of the year, amuse themselves by hanging circlets of its stalks linked like a chain round their necks; yet if we examine this in all the stages of its growth, we shall pronounce it a beautiful production; and its blossom, though often a solitary one, is perhaps the very first that enlivens the sunny bank of the hedge in the opening year, peeping out from withered leaves, dry stalks, and desolation, as a herald, telling us that nature is not dead, but reposing, and will awaken to life again. And some of us, perhaps, can remember the pleasure it afforded us in early days, when we first noticed its golden blossoms under the southern shelter of the cottage hedge, thinking that the "winter was past," and that "the time of the singing of birds was come;" and, yet, possibly, when seen, it may renew some of that childish delight, though the fervour of expectation is cooled by experience and time. The form of this flower, with its ligulate petals many times doubled, is elegant and perfect; the brightness and liveliness of the yellow, like the warm rays of an evening sun, are not exceeded in any blossom,

CHOICE THOUGHTS.

Education is a companion which no misfortune can repress, no clime destroy, no enemy alienate, no disposition enslave; at home a friend, abroad an introduction, in solitude a solace, in society an ornament; it guides to virtue; and it gives at once a grace and ornament to genius.

Always have some worthy end in view, in whatever you undertake; remembering that to fail with good

intentions is more honourable than would be suddenly removed; the

to succeed with evil ones.

The poetry of the Creator, written in beauty and fragrance, raises our thoughts to heaven, and brings down

heaven to earth.

He that knowingly defends the wrong side of a question pays a very bad compliment to all his hearers. It is, in plain English, this: "Falsehood, supported by my talents, is stronger than truth supported by yours."

JOHN WESLEY'S CHARITY. It is probable that there never was a more charitable man than the cele

brated John Wesley; an empty pocket was the only limit to his gifts. Having supplied himself with the barest necessaries, he gave away all the remainder of his income. When he had only £30 a-year, he lived on £28, and gave away forty shillings. The next year he received £62, but he still lived on £28, and gave away £34. The next year he received £120, but he still lived on £28, and gave away £92. During his whole remaining life he lived most carefully, and gave most liberally, so that in a course of fifty years it is believed he gave away full £30,000!

CHANTING WATCH.

In the reign of Catherine II. of Russia, Kulibin, an ingenious Russian peasant, invented what he called a chanting watch. This little machine was about the size of an egg; within it was represented the tomb of our Saviour, with the sentinels on duty. A spring being pressed, the stone

sentinels would then fall down, the angels appear, the women enter the sepulchre, and the same chant be accurately performed which is sung on Easter Eve. This watch is supposed to have suggested the idea of the present musical time-pieces.

S. S. Messenger.

ANCIENT BOOKS

In early times books were generally rolled, not folded as at present, being made of palm leaves, the inner bark of trees, the Egyptian papyrus, (whence comes the name of paper,) and the skin of animals. In the

very earliest times writing seems to have been on stone, wood, lead, iron, linen, and copper. God's law was written on stone; Hesiod's poems on tables of lead; Solomon's laws on planks of wood. The printing of books was invented about 1450.

To eat a book, signifies to digest it well in the mind; Jer. xv. 16; Ezek. iii. 1; Rev. x. 9. This expression may have arisen from the fact that a very common kind of book was formerly made from an eatable plant.

A book written within and without, or on the back side, may signify one containing a vast amount of instruc

tion, as the ancients did not write on the back of the roll, unless when there was a great deal of matter to record. A sealed book is one whose contents were not to be known, until by competent authority the seal was removed. Writings were often hidden in the earth in times of war and confusion, and were consequently enclosed in boxes or jars to preserve them from the dampness.

Miscellaneous Papers.

THE TABERNACLE.-ITS FURNITURE.

We come now to describe the furniture of the "Holiest of all," the chamber within the vail.

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This consisted simply of a chest or coffer, sometimes called "the ark of the covenant." The description of it is given in Exodus xxv. 10-22, from which it appears that it was made of shittim wood, overlaid with gold, and about three feet nine in length, by two feet three in breadth and depth, taking the cubit at eighteen inches. Around the upper edge was a cornice, called a crown," of pure gold, and on each side were fixed rings of gold, through which to pass the staves by which it should be borne. These staves were also of shittim wood, overlaid with gold, and were always left in the rings, even when the ark was at rest. Upon the ark rested what was called "the mercy-seat," which was of pure and solid gold, forming a lid or cover to the ark. This cover is called in Heb. ix. 4, "the propitiatory,” and BIBLE CLASS MAGAZINE.] MARCH, 1849.

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was so denominated, probably, from the blood of the expiatory sacrifice, on the great day of atonement, being sprinkled upon or before it. On the two ends of this cover, and also of solid gold, were figures of cherubim, one at each end, with their faces turned towards each other, and their wings spread out above their heads, overshadowing the mercy-seat, and meeting in the centre. It was here where the Shekinah or Divine Presence rested, both in the tabernacle and the temple, in the form probably of a brilliant cloud, from the midst of which an audible voice, it would appear, occasionally gave responses, whenever Jehovah was consulted in behalf of the people. Hence God is sometimes spoken of as "dwelling" or sitting "between the cherubim." Within this sacred chest were deposited the two tables of the law, Aaron's rod that budded, and a golden pot containing manna.

This piece of furniture was the most sacred portion of all the tabernacle or its contents. None were permitted even to look upon it but the high priest, and that only once a year, and even then not without blood and incense, making atonement for the people's sins. The priests or Levites alone were permitted to bear it; and when removed from place to place, it was most carefully concealed from view by the sacred vail being spread over it, a covering of badger skins, and then a cloth of blue, Numb. iv. 4-6. For the common people to touch it was instant death, as the sudden fate of Uzzah, 2 Sam. vi. 3, proved, where we see that even a well-meant act, if contrary to the divine command, meets with his disapproval.

This ark was distinguished, through wanderings in the wilderness, by various historical associations. It seemed to secure amongst the people the confidence of the presence of Jehovah, and amongst their foes the feeling of constant dread. It guided their steps through the river Jordan, as they passed to their promised land, Josh. iii.; and, by being marched round Jericho, brought about the destruction of its walls, Josh. vi. 6-20. It was carried to Shechem, where Joshua made the memorable covenant with the people, Josh. xxiv. For many years it was deposited with the entire tabernacle at Shiloh, 1 Sam. i. In the days of Eli it was brought into the Israelitish camp, with the superstitious feeling that it would be a means of giving the people the victory, and by that means lost for a time to them altogether. In the sad discomfiture of their army, it was captured by the Philistines, and taken to their heathen temple, when

the plagues it brought upon them, and the destruction which its presence seemed to threaten, so affected the minds of the people that they were glad to send it back, 1 Sam. v. and vi. It remained in Kirjath-jearim, in the house of Abinadab, twenty years, when it was fetched up by David, for the purpose of placing it on mount Zion, but, from the death of Uzzah, was left in the house of Obed-Edom for three months, 2 Sam. vi. 1-11. It was now again removed, and in a joyous procession, headed by David, was finally deposited in the tabernacle on mount. Zion, where it remained till the erection of Solomon's temple, when it was put in the sanctuary. When the temple was destroyed, it, with all the other sacred vessels, became the spoil of Nebuchadnezzar, and was taken to Babylon, from which it appears it was never restored. It would seem, too, that the people never ventured to make an imitation of it, and hence the second temple had nothing in the holiest place. Josephus expressly declares, that when it was taken by Titus, the sanctuary was found to be empty, and hence it does not occur on the arch at Rome, on which the spoils of the temple are depicted.

How much more blessed are Christians than Jews! their ark is

long since lost, but ours- -Jesus-the true ark of the covenant, ever abides, our guide through the wilderness, and our mercyseat for evermore !

QUESTIONS BY BIBLE SCHOLARS

ANSWERED BY REV. DR. HEWLETT.

Query.-Can Matt. xii. 30, be reconciled with Mark ix. 40? "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad."-Matt. xii. 30.

"For he that is not against us is on our part."-Mark ix. 40.

It was one characteristic of our Lord's teaching the people, wisely to use what they did know, as a means of making known to them new and more important truths. His illustrations were ever drawn from sources with which the whole Jewish nation were familiar: and hence "the common people heard him gladly," Mark xii. 37.

Both the passages were proverbs among the Jews, and the propriety of the application of each, in the given circumstances, would be obvious to every hearer: and, instead of any contradiction being imagined, they would be understood as they really are,

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