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Dialogue between Thomas and William.
THE SHIRT TREE. It will perhaps surprise some of our readers to hear that ready-made shirts grow upon trees; but yet a most respectable traveller says," he saw on the slope of a mountain, in South America, shirt-trees fifty feet high ;" and the Roman Catholic missionaries accounted for the idleness of the South Americans, by observing, that every thing was ready to their hands, even their garments growing upon trees. This curious account is thus explained: The Indians cut the stems of the trees quite across, into pieces about the proper length of a shirt; then they contrive to get the bark off without cutting it downwards. This bark is of a very fibrous texture, and is something like a sort of coarse sack-cloth. They then make two holes in the sides for the arms, and this serves very well to protect them in the rainy seasons. Thus, things which appear wonderful at first, often only require a little explanation to make them plain and simple.
To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
SIR, On looking over some old papers in my possession, I find the substance of a conversation wbich took place many years ago between two country neighbours of mine. My friends Thomas and William were about 15 or 16 when this conversation took place.
E. E. DIALOGUE BETWEEN THOMAS AND WILLIAM.
William. Pray, Thomas, what can be the reason why you are so fond of standing in the church porch at the beginning of the service, instead of coming into the inside ?
Thomas. Why as for reason, William, I don't know that I've thought much about that matter. A man can't give a reason for every
may please to do. However, if you must have a reason, you shall. I look upon Sunday as my holiday; and when a man works hard for his bread all the six days of the week, I think it is hard if he mayn't do what he likes and go his own way on the seventh, and that a day of rest too by the laws of God and man.
Will. Well, but now Thomas, I can't understand why you come to church at all, if you love rest so well; why don't
you stay at home out-right? Thos. Why, didn't I tell you, man, 'tis my holiday, and our house at home is a poor lone place, down at the farther end of the lane, almost a mile away from the town; but, if I come to the church porch on a Sunday, I can see all the folks as they come in and go out; and, may-be, some of one's own friends will stay for a bit of chat, and make a party to go somewhere together in the evening. Will
. I'm very sorry to hear you say all this, Thomas : however, I shan't despair but you may change your mind. I know you're not the man to bear ill will to your friends for speaking plainly, and as I do think you've got some great mistakes into your head, I could not forgive myself if I did not try to speak to you about them.
Thos. Well, I'm ready enough to hear you; for though you are such a particular fellow, William, yet I know you've a good will for your friends after all.
Will. Well, then, Thomas, I don't like to hear you say Sunday is your holiday. Not but what it is a holiday, in the best meaning of that word; but then it is God's own Holy-day; and then, Thomas, when you say you've a right to please yourself
, I can't hut think a man will please himself best, in the long run, by trying to do all he can to please
Dialogue between Thomas and William. God. Now, tell me honestly, do you feel much pleased with yourself when you go home on Sunday night, after trying to please yourself all day. : Thos.. Why, I can't say much for that, William, to be sure; but I suppose I'm as well pleased as those that have been at Sermon and Prayers, and such dull sort of work.
Will. To be sure, if people do not think what they go to church for, it will be of no good to them to be there, and the service will seem dull to them ; but it is to be hoped there are many people who go to Sermon and Prayers for good purposes. And I cannot help thinking our Minister was right in what · he said the other day when he called on us, and
tried to comfort' my mother for the loss of her child. He looked at us young ones and said, “ My young friends, never forget while you are young to think of your heavenly Father. Pray to him every day at home :-come to church every Sunday to pray to Him, and to hear his holy word read and explained; read your Bibles at home, and learn all that God has done for you, and then you will learn to think of him and love him more and more. And when you can love God above all things, and desire to please, and serve, and obey him, more than to follow your own will, then you will always feel doubly joyful when you are in health and prosperity, and never more than half unhappy when you are sick and afflicted.”—The words staid on my mind, because he said them in so kind and touching a manner; and when I saw you last Sunday loitering in the church-yard, and that you talked to-day of the dull work of saying prayers, I wished very much to tell you these words.
Thos. Well, William, I thank you heartily for your good will, and I will give it a thought if I can; but I feel all puzzled, and as if I knew but little about the matter ;-but I will come
early to church next Sunday if it be only to please you.
Will. Nay, you must not talk of coming to church to please me. There is a better reason than that, Thomas.
Thos. Well, William, after church next Sunday, you shall tell me more, for you have put me a thinking, and yet I don't well know how to think ; but good evening now; and all I can promise is, you shall not see me idling in the church-yard after prayers have begun.
EXTRACTS FROM DIFFERENT AUTHORS. " It is the Lord,” said the aged Eli, “ let him do what seemeth him good.” It is the Lord whom I have ever found holy, just, and gracious, and he cannot but be himself; let him do what seemeth him good; for whatever seemeth good to him must be good, however it seems to me. Every man can open bis hand to God while he blesses; but to expose ourselves willingly to the afflicting hand of our Maker belongs only to the faithful.
Bishop Hall. Christ became like us by taking our nature ; and we become like him by receiving his grace.
Bishop Horne. It has been well said, “If you wish to make a person rich, the best way is not to increase his stores, but to diminish his desires."
Bean. Let us always be loth to speak disagreeable truths; yet when duty calls us to do it, neither shame nor fear should hinder us from doing it.
Extracts from the Public Newspapers.
EXTRACTS FROM THE PUBLIC NEWSPAPERS, &c.
South American Prisons. It is very gratifying to find that the improvement of prison-discipline is not only going on among ourselves, but in other parts of the world too. In the prisons in South America, till lately, prisoners of all descriptions were mixed together, young and old, men and women, guilty and innocent; and this is the way to make them all bad whatever they were before; and they were often severely punished too, for the sake of producing order, when the whole system was such as to encourage the greatest disorder and confusion. These abuses we trust are in a fair way of being now set aside.-London Paper.
Our streets are watered with sea-water to lay the dust; the heat of the sun evaporates the water, and a pure marine salt remains behind, which glistens under the sun's rays like a hoar frost.- Brighton Paper.
It is surprising to what a distance clouds of small dust may be carried. Mr. Forbes says, that when he was on board the Clyde, East Indiaman, about 600 miles from the coast of Africa, they perceived that their sails were covered with sand of a brownish colour, the particles of which, even when examined with a microscope, appeared extremely small; they had occasion to unbend some of their sails, and clouds of dust escaped from them. The nearest land to windward was the coast of Africa. If this dust really came from the coast of Africa at that great distance, it is truly wonderful. Mr. F. is of opinion that the seeds of plants are carried in this way over the sea to enormous distances. The same.
Meteors of various sorts abound at this time of year, as the Jack-o-lantern which is sometimes seen in marshy ground. This appearance has often led to many vulgar errors and superstitions. It was formerly thought to be a sign of something mournful, such as death or misfortunes. There have been instances recorded of people being decoyed by these fights into marshy places, where they have perished. This light is sometimes call Ignis fatuus, Will-o-the wisp, or Jacko-lantern, and was strangely supposed to be some evil spirit sent to tempt men to their death. There are different opinions as to the real nature of it. Sir Isaac Newton calls it a vapour shining with beat. Mr. Bradley supposes it to be nothing more than a group of small enlightened insects. Many persons consider it as a combination of some different sorts of gas. There are many such different opinions ;—but nobody now believes that it is an evil spirit.-Brighton, Aug. 1.
Lion Fights.-After what we have said in this Number of the lion fights, we are very glad to be able to state that Mr