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leg raised, on an adjoining chimney, looking the picture of disappointed hope, and regarded with evident hate and jealously, the happy pair near him. Melancholy was breeding vengeance-murderous thoughts filled his heart.
"In the nest of the young couple lay four eggs. I saw the mother patiently hatching, and finally with her long bill pecking the shell as the young were prepared to emerge. The hateful, big-headed little ones, clothed in yellow down, and with heavy black bills could already raise their heads and produce a whistling sound as the parents approached Dear or hovered over the nest, or when the watching mother with joyful chatter welcomed the returning father, who now emptied his well filled crop of the load of frogs and lizards into their nest. The splenetic rival, hatred hatching, still sat upon the chimney, casting malicious looks down upon the happy scene.
“On a certain day, while both parents were away, directing my observant glass upon the lively scene in the nest below me, I observed a Stork descending and with relentless strokes sinking his bill into the flesh of the young ones. The blood streamed, the little heads sank, their eyes grew dim, and they lay cold in death.
“I was too far removed to prevent the murderous deed although the scene was, by the aid of my glass, magnified fifty fold to my eye; vainly did I seek to save the little ones, and was about doubting the parental love of the old, when the case became clear to my mind, for, after committing the bloody deed, the murderer flew from the rest and perched himself again upon the solitary chimney. Jealously, insulted dignity, unreciprocated love, were the motives for the crime. Soon the mother was seen to hover over the nest, and observing her little ones dead she uttered a piercing cry of distress and hastened away to seek her lord. In a short time both returned, and sitting upon the edge of the nest, with a most inexpressible mimic of sorrow, commenced stirring the lifeless bodies of their young, as if to satisfy themselves that they were really dead, while a suppressed wailing, strangely contrasting with the usual happy chattering, escaped their breasts. Suddenly rising perpendicularly into the air, I saw them descend with resistless fury upon the guilty murderer. My eyes alone were witness to the bloody deed; they, however, guessed the truth. A dreadful struggle commenced; the powerful bills were used as piercing spears and cutting swords; the long stiltlegs as clutching claws and beating war clubs; the heavy strokes of the long wings sounded far and loud. The feathers flew in all directions ; now the combatants, driven as by the power of a whirlwind, flew through the air, then again they would sink upon the adjacent housetops, until finally the murderer sought safety in flight, and closely pursued by the enraged parents they were soon out of sight.
“The sequel is soon told. Never from that time forth did I see the solitary Stork upon tbe chimney; he must have fallen a guilty sacrifice to the wrath of the parents.
"Many hundreds of persons viewed this battle in the air, from the streets below, but none divined the cause thereof."
THE OLD FOLKS ALONE.
An old wife sat by the bright fireside,
Swaying tho'tfully to and fro,
Told a tale of long ago :
Till the fire of pipe went out;
Rolled and tangled the balls about;
In her eye of faded blue,
Like a single drop of dew;
Of her eye bad weary grown,
So he said in gentle tone :
Was filled to the very brim;
But a single pair for him ;
Whose wraplings were wont to lay
Now wandered so far away;
On the hearth there's an empty seat;
And the patter of many feet;
And over the monntain bold,
Were gemmed with the fairest gold;
And diminished the basket store-
They'll never be warm any more-
Two others have gone towards the setting sun,
And made them a home in its light,
To mend by the fireside bright;
Was taken by the angels away,
In a land of continual day.
THE CHRISTIAN OR CHURCH YEAR.
BY THE EDITOR.
“As prisoners notch their tally-stick,
And wait the far-off day,
To ponder and to pray ;
Her faithful task sublime,
Each portion in its time.” "Some one ought to give us an explanation of the Church-Year," said one of the attentive readers of The Guardian, to us a short time ago. We saw from the twinkle of his eye that he meant we should do it ourself; and we could not but take the general suggestion as a particular request. The subject is interesting in itself, and we hope that the popular exbibition of it, which follows, may be both interesting and instructive to our readers.
There is a NATURAL year. This is made complete by one revolution of the earth round the sun. It has its peculiar reigning periods or seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter; also day and night. These regulate, carry forward, and modify all earthly life, vegetable and animal, and also the human, so far as it is natural and earthly. This natural year, though with some modifications of climate, is the same for all the world.
There is a NATIONAL or civil year. This is formed by every nation for itself. It grows out of its history, and general spirit. Its ruling periods are formed by its anniversaries and gala days, commemorating its great historical events—the birth-day of the nation, times of national dangers and deliverances, inaugurations and coronations of its rulers, the transaction of legislative, judicial, and executive business, the birth and death of its historical men, and its subordinate provincial holidays, connected with local social life, or the arrangements
of business interests in communities. These form a cycle, through which the national life passes every year, engaging the national mind and heart, and characterizing its general spirit in innumerable ways.
For the smaller circle of the family, there is a FAMILY year. It grows out of its own history. Its periods are such as have been marked by ruling events. Its commemoration seasons are such days as are notable in the past history of the family, and the generations from which the family descends; the birth-days of the parents, the anniversary of their marriage, the birth-days of their children, their baptism and confirmation, the anniversaries of their marriage, and such other events as a grateful recollection of past providential dealings with the family may ask to be prominently remembered. Besides these, a cultivated family love will desire, solemnly and silently, to remember and commemorate the anniversaries of any deaths that have occurred in its bosom-the celestial birth-days of its sainted members.
Above all these, including and sanctifying them all, there is, in the world so far as it is Christian, and in every Christian nation and family a CHRISTIAN or CHURCH year.
While the natural year is made by the natural heavens, this is the creation of the spiritual or supernatural heavens; and instead of regulating the natural life of earth, it regulates the spiritual life of man, the head of the natural creation. It is the heavenly in the earthly. It is the eternal, taking up time into its high and glorious cycles. It is the spiritual and divine taking hold of and entering the natural and human for the purposes of redemption, salvation and glorification. It is the kingdom of grace raising all earthly kingdoms and families into its own heavenly life, and power, and light; and thus fulfilling their cycles, with their season, in its own grace and glory. In it, and under the power of its sacred cycles, the Church with its saintly subjects, ever anew apprehends, expresses, and presents its divine faith and heavenly life.
In the same way as the national or family years grows out of the constitution and history of these communions, so does the CHURCH YEAR grow out of the origin and history of the Church and kingdom of God in the earth. The revelation and beginning of the divine in the history of our world, lie as the foundation of its holy seasons. Like the natural, national, and family years, it has its principle and its subordinate seasons ; the less ever growing out of the greater, and dependent on them. Like the natural year, it has its suns that rule as the greater lights, and its satellites that are ruled and illuminated by them. All are necessary to complete one glorious whole, and each important in its place to make up the sublime spiritual firmament overarching the Church, bearing with varied genial influences upon the development of saintly life, and standing for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years.
Though the Church Year is one organic whole, having its unity in the gracious revelation of God to man, and extending the grace of redemption to all man's needs; yet as God is a Trinity in unity, revealing Himself for our salvation, as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the Church Year has three great Festivals, with the holy seasons of which they are the centre : Christmas, Easter and Whitsuntide. The Christmas season is founded in and celebrates the Love of the Father, who as at that time gave to the world the Son, and in Him, hope and life. The Easter
season rests on, and celebrates the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who as at time died for our sins and rose again for our justification. Whitsuntide season commemorates the Communion of the Holy Ghost, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, and by whom, all that believe, are made partakers of all the divine gifts and graces. In and through these seasons the Triune God, in the Church, through its blessed ordi. nances and worship, lifts His hands over us, imparting to us the full benediction of His mercy, saying, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen."
Thus the CHURCH YEAR is one organic whole. It will be noticed, however, that the three great Festivals mentioned, all fall in the first half of the sacred year. On this fact rests a division of the Church Year into two parts. In the first half, are included the commemoration of the great divine facts of redemption—the Advent, Birth, and Circumcision of Christ; the Epiphany, or His revelation to the Gentiles, as foreshadowed in the visit of the Wise Men from the East, and the subsequently fulfilled; the forty days in commemoration of His Fasting and Temptation in the Wilderness; His royal entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday; His Passion on Good Friday; His Resurrection on Easter; His Ascension into Heaven on Ascension-day; and the Advent of the Holy Ghost on Whitsuntide. During the entire half of the sacred year, the Church celebrates God's acts and revelations to man, His coming to man, and His work for man. The second half of the sacred year cel. ebrates God's work in man- the re-production of those divine acts in the fruits of personal piety-man's acts toward God in return, and his returning meeting and coming to God. It begins with Trinity Sunday the first after Whitsuntide. After the full revelation of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and after they have given themselves to man for his salvation, the glory of the Holy Trinity is commemorated, and the work of these three divine Persons is celebrated in the lives of the Saints, bringing forth and completing in them the full-fruits of salvation. This period of the sacred year continues till the return of Advent, completing the cycle of the year, in the whole of which is thus commemorated all God's mercy and grace to us and in us.
Thus the second part of the Church Year is an echo and true answer to the first. As in the first creation God created the powers abovethe light, the firmament, the sun, moon and stars, to rule and bless the earth, and then called upon the earth to respond to the influence of these genial powers, “Let the earth bring forth-let the waters bring forth;": so in this new creation, as set forth in the order of the Church Year, He first meets the earth by heavenly powers of grace, that man may rise and meet the coming mercy.
There is an inward, intimate, and necessary connection between our faith and our worship. The two must live together in us. The acts and teachings of Christ must ever inspire our devotion. Hence the order of the Church Year follows the order of the Creed, in wbich the facts of Christ's life are set forth in their historical order, out of which all teachings must grow, and in living harmony with which they must ever be held. As our faith, so also our worship, and consequently also our religious life must ever lead as after our Saviour through scenes and