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PLUMING FOR FLIGHT.

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moment, but pain dogs our footsteps ready to strike us unawares ; disappointment hovers over us like a bird over its prey; friends fall around us, and we see them no more, and we cry in the anguish of our soul, Who shall show us any good ? But all these things should be received as soul lessons, for life is the soui's school, which is being educated for a higher destiny. You are but on the threshold of life, standing face to face with your first great grief.'

"But what is to be the end of it all ?' said the maiden.

“ Purification of soul. Believe me, life is something more than pleasure ; it has noble duties and noble ends, which cannot be achieved or attained but by labour and pain, and much sorrow of spirit. I am not yet ready for flight; my wings require more pluming; but I look up into the sky where lies the unknown country whither I am going. You have an unknown country to look forward to, where dwells your great Master, who is training you to make you fit for your future home. You think His training harsh and cruel, but He knows best, and love is His character. What is the noblest gift He can give you, but the privilege of being sacrificed for the best and greatest end. Perhaps, maiden, He is using you for the best and greatest end.

And if He sends sorrow, He also sends consolation, and for every apparent loss, He has glorious compensation.'

“The dove ceased speaking, relapsing into silence;

AN UNUTTERED PRAYER.

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the maiden questioned, but received no further answer. Surprised, she touched its head and its wings. The life, which to her eyes and touch seemed to animate it, had gone. A cold piece of marble only answered to her touch.

“Pondering in her heart the many words the dove had spoken, she retired to the sanctity of her own room; but her soul was still troubled, and full of grief She felt she required a higher strength than her own to overcome her pain and complaint. Kneeling at her bedside, she stretched out her hands in mute supplication; her silence, more expressive than many words, was her prayer. After a time calmness entered her soul ; her grief, though not lost, was hushed into stillness, for an invisible presence breathed its influence upon her. Rising from her knees, she took her pen, and wrote her unuttered prayer

"If with contrite tears I seek Thee,

Clasp and bathe Thy feet,
Will Thy loving smile forgive me?

And Thy mercy sweet
Be a strength on which to rest ?-
Be a power to make me blest?

“I am weary, oh! my Saviour,

And my heart needs rest;
If I come, in faith believing,

Shall I then be blest ?
Will all storms of passion cease,
And my soul have calm and peace ?

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HE DOETH ALL THINGS WELL.

"If it is so, dearest Saviour,

I will gladly come ;
For I wander here so lonely,

And I long for home.
But my soul is sore distressed,
Heavily with fears oppressed.'

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“My dear boys, I hope I have not been talking about things too hard for you to understand. I fancy they will not prove so if you think over them a little. I want you to know that there are such things as pain and sorrow in the world, that sooner or later it will be your turn to endure them, and great will be your reward if at that hour you know where to turn for help. No pain or sorrow is sent, or inflicted, at hazard ; the good God is too wise; every sorrow is for some wise and pure end. Think, my dear boys, think, and what I have said will not appear too hard."

This was one of the last talks of Lame Felix that I remember to have heard. I hope that some things he has spoken may not only amuse my young friends, but instruct them likewise. Lame Felix has been dead may years now ; strangers live in the cottage he was wont to occupy, while his name is fast becoming a memory only. For several years after his death the boys to whom he had so frequently spoken, took it in turns to keep his grave well supplied with flowers ; but after a time it became neglected, for each one had to go out into life, away from Braintree, to fight his own battles. I do not think, however, that all Lame

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LAST OF ALL.

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Felix said was wasted ; but many and many a time, in seasons of temptation and danger, have his warnings and counsels occurred to my mind ; and if to mine, there is every reason to believe they have been of service to others, and I hope they will prove so to all who read those pages.

M'Farlane & Erskine, Printers, Edinburgh.

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