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rail to Goulburn, where we arrived about four p.m. Here we spent the night, and were taken to see the foundations of the future cathedral Next morning we again made an early start in a hired carriage with post-horses. Our route lay through very ugly country, flat and uninteresting, with uninviting-looking pasture-land, and fields roughly enclosed by rude fences of roots. Such trees as we saw were all shabby eucalyptus, or blue gum, the most untidy of trees, with bark hanging about in loose rags. They are only saved from downright ugliness by their wealth of delicate fluffy yellowish blossoms.

At sunset we reached Queanbeyan, where our host awaited us in a good break with four fine horses, and away we rattled over the last seven miles, till we reached a comfortable home of the Elizabethan type, and there received most hospitable welcome.

In these pleasant quarters a week quickly slipped away, for though we had some bitterly cold snowy days, we kept up cheery fires indoors, and when the weather allowed us we went for beautiful rides and drives in all directions. Our host owns upwards of thirty thousand sheep, five hundred horses, and a thousand head of cattle on this station. I believe he has another station almost as large. The horses seem to require no stabling or special care, but every morning a herd was driven down to the house, and as many as were required for the day were taken in. We started one morning, a party of seventeen riders, besides a large party in the break and a dog-cart, and so we went for eighteen miles across country, till we reached the Ginan-Ginandarra falls, where we enjoyed as cheery a picnic as could be desired.

Another day we drove and rode across country, quite irrespective of roads, over broken ground, and in and out between fallen trees, till we reached Mount Ainslie, where the gentlemen went off into the forest in quest of sport. We remained on the outskirts, where we saw a considerable number of parrots of various sorts; beautiful white cockatoos with yellow, crests, gray cockatoos with touches of softest pink, and some splendid pure black ones; besides which, the gaudy blue and scarlet and green birds looked vulgarly over-dressed.

After some hours the gentlemen returned, having killed three little bush bears, and a tiny one.

These Australian bears are inoffensive little creatures and hide in the trees, so they do not afford exciting sport; but one of our party wished for some skins, and also to obtain a perfect skeleton for a museuni.

So when the skin had been carefully removed (which is a much cleaner and neater process than I had before realized), the poor flayed bear was deposited right in the middle of a great ant-heap, and was there left till the busy ants should have cleaned off every scrap of flesh, leaving the perfect skeleton white as ivory.

Now our friends recommend us to go another expedition up the Illawarra Pass to Woolagong. They tell us the scenery is beautiful, and that in the month of September our route would seem to lie through a garden of rich wild flowers. There are fragrant rock-lilies without number with creamy blossoms, and scarlet lilies like crowns of fire; and above all there are scarlet Waratans, which are the special pride of Australia. They are very odd flowers, something between a scarlet dahlia and a ripe artichoke—just a solid pyramid of pure scarlet. A friend has just brought in an early blossom to show to us. Certainly, at this season the Australian bush is marvellously attractive to all lovers of flowers.

GOD IS LOVE,

BY ANNIE E. HOLDSWORTH.

THE mountains high, the forests dark and sere,
Speak of it ever, and bright sunbeams trace

The golden legend on earth's darksome face;
While the sweet chorus chants, the circling year.
We see it written on night's starry scroll,

We read it in the noontide blaze of day,

The evening croons it ’mid the shadows gray,
It echoes as the morning mists uproll.
The voice of joy, the murmurings of pain,

Alike proclaim it, and its music sweet

Rings out when sorrows with our spirit meet,
And loudest when dark tears around us rain.
It paints a rainbow on life's cloudy cares,

It wipes the dew from eyes o'erfull and dim;

It leads us tenderly to climb to Him
Upon the wrecks of disappointed years.
Earth's dearest loves oft falter and grow strange;

Life's choicest treasures seek heaven's fairer clime ;

This standeth sure 'mid crumbling walls of time,
The Love of God can know, nor bound, nor change.
The love of God, whose circling waters sweep

Around us, while we cannot pierce the deeps,

And vainly strive to gauge the flood which keeps
The secret of our lives in calm, still sleep.
0, when we scale the everlasting hills,

Looking afar our eyes shall clearly see

To mete aright the vast immensity
Of Love which laves man's soul and nature fills.

EARLY CLOSING. A MONGST the many hopeful signs of our times is the readiness with

which the general, and especially the religious public fall in with any scheme for the amelioration of the lot of those who are in any kind of trouble, or subject to any unfair degree of hardship. The Early Closing Movement, however, at first made comparatively slow progress, but in the past year or two it has rapidly gained ground.

The need for a reduction in the hours of labour exacted from shopassistants is sufficiently obvious, especially when it is remembered that a very large proportion of them are young women. It is a monstrous thing that these young people should be kept to work on an average fourteen hours a day. The physical injury-too frequently resulting in premature death—is enormous; but the mental and religious wrong is at least equally great. Who can wonder that young men and women so constantly occupied in the shop have no inclination for mental improvement or religious enterprise—that too often both the public and private means of grace are entirely, or almost entirely neglected ? Christian people, at any rate, ought to learn in their shopping, as in everything else, to “ look not' on their own things, but every man' (and in this case, especially, every woman) “also on the things of othors.'

The programme of the Early Closing Association is thus summarized : I. An Abridgment of the Hours of Labour in all Departments

of Industrial Life, wherever unduly prolonged-especially

on Saturday nights. II. The adoption of a Saturday Half-Holiday where practicable. III. The Rescue of Shopkeepers, their Assistants, and others, from

unnecessary Sunday Labour. IV. The Early Payment of Wages. V. The promotion, as far as possible, of a profitable application of

the leisure time thus to be gained. To all which projects we heartily say, Amen. We are very glad to find that the Association is taking up the question of unnecessary Sunday labour. The whole influence of all wise citizens should be thrown into the scale against this pernicious practice, which is as much a social as a religious evil. The drink-sellers and tobacconists are in this matter the chief offenders; and against their selfish practices and selfish customers it is high time that strong and earnest witness should be borne in the interests of the employés as well as on other grounds.

Now every one may help the Early Closing Movement, and every one ought to. Let each resolve never to shop after seven p.m. any day, and not after five p.m. on Saturday, so that there may be the less excuse for the late hours observed by shop-keepers. Let us also try to induce our friends to adopt similar principles.

It is very important, too, that healthy and useful employment should be found for the leisure hours gained in neighbourhoods where Early Closing has been already adopted. In this matter our Churches should be on the alert, so that the old truth, which seems to have been first propounded in so many words by Dr. Watts, may not find a sad fulfilment in the case of the released young people :'

• Satan finds some mischief still

For idle hands to do.' Full particulars as to how to promote the movement in a neighbourhood will be gladly supplied by the Secretary of the Association, Mr. J. A. Stacey, 100, Fleet-street, London, E.C.

BENGEL'S PRAYER.*

A FACT.
CROUCHED in the chamber of the sage Desiring with intense desire,
A lurking student lay,

The grace his eyes had seen, And watched him turn the sacred A spirit purged in cleansing fire, page

A child-like trust serene. Well nigh to dawn of day.

No shrinking, no remorse was there, He waited for the longing cries

No baffled longings wailed; And ecstasies of prayer,

He strove not wildly with despair, That surely must to heaven arise Nor only half prevailed.

From him who laboured there; Tranquil and brief, the prayer he Whose life was rhythmic as a psalm,

prayed, His words a seraph-song

Ere turning to such rest What passion must attain such calm?

As lulled perchance the happy head

Which knew the Master's breast. What wrestling grow so strong ? At last up rose the labouring saint,

But we-in strife our days are spent, The night's long task was o'er,

We crush our longings down, And, with a tottering footstep faint,

With pilgrim-toils half discontent,

Tho' loth to lose the crown. He sought his chamber door.

So when we name the Father's name But first he spoke, with reverent hands

Hot tears make dim our eyes; Clasped on the weary brow :

And oft we hang the head for shame, Lord Jesus, betn:een us it stands,

And joyless oft we rise; As yesternight, 80 now.'

Who might lie passive in His hands, These only words the listener beard, And with glad hearts avow, Yet, as he turned away,

• Lord Jesus, between us it stands, Like waters by an angel stirred,

As yesternight, so now.' His yearning spirit lay.

The Rev. G. A. Chadwick, D.D. * From As One that Serveth, Sacred Poems. By the Rev. G. A. Chadwick, D.D. Elliot Stock.

"A WORD SPOKEN IN DUE SEASON.'

BY THE REV. J. W. KEYWORTH.

O NE Sabbath morning, some thirty or forty years ago, an old Local

preacher was slowly making his way along a country road to the place where he was appointed to preach. It was a beautiful morning in summer; and, as the old man walked along, his heart was full of love to God and of zeal for his Master's work. Presently the road lay past some cottage-gardens, which were separated from it by a rather thick hedge. As the old preacher approached the place, he saw, in one of the gardens, a man who was well known to him, stripped to the shirt and working hard with a spade. Just then the man happened to look up, and the sight of the preacher threw him into consternation. He thought to himself

He thought to himself—as he frequently says in telling the story : 'Well, I'm wrong; for here's the preacher coming to preach the Gospel, and I'm digging potatoes.' To throw down his spade, and crouch behind the hedge in the hope that he had not been detected, was the work of a moment. But he was too late. The preacher had seen the action; and, approaching the hedge, could just distinguish, through the network of leaves and twigs, the form of the hiding sabbath-breaker on the other side. The old man stood for a moment, peering through the hedge; and then, raising his stick, he managed to make with it an aperture amongst the leaves, large enough to afford a clear view of the crouching form. When this was done, he succeeded after a few moments in catching the eye of the guilty man, and just saying in solemn tones, 'Friend, you're a day too late!' he went on his way.

When he was gone, the gardener arose from his hiding-place, but, could do no more work. The words of the old preacher had sunk into his heart. He saw vividly the sinfulness of his conduct. And this one wrong deed was in keeping with the character of his whole life. His life itself was wrong-utterly wrong, as was proved by the fact that, while the old man who had just left him, and by whom he had been so impressively reproved, was going to the house of God, he was spending the sacred hours of the Sabbath in earthly toil. All this passed through his mind in a few moments. Under the influence of such thoughts he left his garden and went home. His mind had no rest that day, or for many days after. For weeks the words of the old preacher rang in his ears; and he found no peace until, resolving to lead a new life, he sought forgiveness at the feet of Jesus. ' A word spoken in due season, how good is it!'

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