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Christian in the Arbour.
UNYAN, in the “Pilgrim's Progress,"
speaks of Christian coming to an arbour, half-way up the hill Difficulty.
He went in and, after a while, fell fast asleep. As he was sleeping there came one to him who awaked him, saying, “ Go to the ant thou sluggard ; consider her ways and be wise." With that, Christian
suddenly started up, and sped him on his way, and went apace till he came to the top of the hill. Soon after he found, to his great grief, that he had lost his roll in the arbour; that is, that owing to indulging in ease, and indolence, he had lost the sense of the smile and favour of God. Certain it is, that our resting days are Satan's busy days. Earth is not the place for rest, our rest is in Heaven. It was while men slept that the enemy sowed the tares. In plain terms, we cannot be remiss or negligent without suffering harm and loss. Let us give all diligence to make our calling and election sure. Our prayer
should ever be :-
The Prisoner and Lina.
HEN we saw Lina last, it was when she
was reading the account of Paul's affliction caused by the “thorn in the flesh," She had some very good thoughts as she read, you will remember, and they came from Him to whom she had prayed with such earnestness.
Lina was never happier in all her life
than after she had finished her prayer and reading the Bible. She arose and walked out in the street, and it seemed to her that everything she saw reminded her of the goodness of God. She felt very confident that her father would become a better man. It seemed to her impossible now for him to continue as bad as he had been.
I must now tell you that she did not give up her design to get some good food into her father's cold and gloomy cell. On going to school three days after her fruitless application to the jailor, she passed close beside the rear of the prison, and, to her great surprise, saw her father's face as he stood at the grated window. But that was the second story of the building, and it would be impossible for her to reach it if she tried, her arms being far too short. She felt greatly rejoiced on seeing her father, and immediately cried out to him,-“O father-my dear father!” The tears came to her eyes and blinded them for a moment, but, after brushing them away, she looked again, expecting to hear him say some kind word on seeing her after an absence of a number of days. Instead of that he uttered bitter words of unkindness, and departed from the window. She stood and wept, and called him to come again to the window,
even if he would not say anything. It was all in vain. She waited half-an-hour, and saw him no more.
That evening, about nine o'clock, she passed along the the street again, having in her hand some food that was nicely prepared, which she hoped to be able to give to her father. She had thought that she knew the distance from where she stood to the window of her father's cell, and that a pole of about eleven feet long would reach it. So she tied the basket containing the food for her father on the end of a pole which she had brought with her, and put it right up against her father's cell window, and let it stand there on the window-sill without saying a word. The pole had been provided with a little hook at the end, so that she mamaged the basket very well indeed. She then drew the pole away, and went off as quietly as possible. The next evening she went there again, having brought more provisions to give to her father. She saw the basket that she had left there on the evening before standing upon the window-sill, and, after taking that down, she handed the other up with her pole and left it standing there. Much to her pleasure, she found that all the food which she had left had been eaten. How happy she felt on reflecting that her father had eaten some food that she had prepared! The next night she went again, and found that he had again eaten what she sad left.
As time passed on, she did not grow weary of this labour of love; but not a night passed without providing her father with a little basket of nice fresh food. He was not aware for a good while that it was his daughter Lina who was doing this. He suspected that it was a kind lady in the city who was known for her care for prisoners. The way he found out it was Lina was this :
He watched one night from his cell-window for the person who was in the habit of leaving a basket. He saw that as she came near the prison, right close under his window, she was concealed by a thick fir-tree which grew there. He grad
One bright moonlight night, however, he succeeded in discovering who it was before she reached the fir, and his heart was overcome with kindness when he saw it was none other than his daughter Lina.
She continued to provide him with a basket of fresh food every night for many weeks, praying and hoping that, by this kindness, he might be made a better man. ually came to himself, and was permitted to see all his past conduct towards his daughter in its true light.
“How wicked I have been! How badly I have treated one who loves me very dearly! How can I stay in this cell away from her any longer ?” he said to himself.
One night Lina found a little slip of paper in the empty basket which she had taken down from the cell window. On it was written these words,
“ Your father loves you, Lina, as he has never loved you before. It is proper that I should stay here and suffer for my bad conduct towards you. I think you will never again hear an unkind word from me, or receive a blow from me as long as I live.”
Lira was happy beyond description when she read his ittle note. She made application to the Mayor the next day for his release, and the Mayor was so pleased with her manner, and so overcome by her affectionate appeal in her father's behalf, that he granted the prisoner release. It was indeed a happy meeting when the prisoner returned the same evening to his house and found Lina preparing his evening meal,
When the Mayor met her in the street, a week after that, he asked her about her father, and she replied that he was a changed man. Then he said, in answer to her,“I have known, through one of the policemen, what
you have been doing in your father's behalf ever since he has been in prison, and though it is against our law to provide any food except the regular fare in the prison, I have permitted no attention to be paid to you, but allowed you to