WHENEVER Alexander, the monarch of the world, came to besiege a city, he would display his white flags or banners, in token of mercy; and so long as these were flying, there was opportunity for securing safety. But after a time those flags would go down, and in their place would go up the red flags, in token of wrath and blood, and then it was too late to be saved."

How the above reminds us of the work of Christ, our great High Priest. He is now in the heavenly sanctuary, extending his white banners, upon which are written, Whosoever will, "let him take the water of life freely;" "him that cometh to me, 

I will in no wise cast out," and many other such inducements to accept pardon while mercy is freely offered.

Christ's position will not always remain the same, for the time will surely come, and we believe quite soon, when he will cease to officiate as priest; his priestly garments will be exchanged for those of the King of kings, when those offers of mercy will cease, and in their place will appear banners of justice and wrath.

Dear reader, dare we waste a moment when upon the verge of such a solemn event as that of Christ leaving the heavenly sanctuary? Let us shut our eyes to the allurements of Satan, and like Bunyan, "stop our ears and cry, Life, eternal life."  We must not squander precious time when such a prize is within our grasp. By the help of God we can enter the eternal city. Who will do it? Will you, and you, dear reader, every one, accept mercy before it is too late? 

M. J. C.

HOLD on to your heart when evil associates seek your company and invite you to join in their mirth, games, and revelry.


IN the series under this heading, I have sought not only to impress upon the young the evils and dangers of idleness, but also to point out some of the most important things, which should occupy their time. 

Having in my last presented the importance of improving school opportunities, I wish now to present more fully the subject of reading as a means of education, and pastime.

Many children employ much time in reading; and, being thus at home, are saved from the dangers and pollutions to which those are exposed whose leisure hours are passed in the street, or in low places of amusement. Hence, a taste for reading is truly fortunate; still it must be properly guarded, lest it become also a source of corruption. The character of the books read becomes a matter of serious consideration. I recently read a paragraph stating that, according to the report of a librarian in Liverpool, there were drawn from the library during the past year three times as many volumes of fiction as of any other kind. Probably this is no exception to libraries in general, and hence is a fair index of the general character of the reading of the masses.

Says the Earl of Shaftesbury: "No greater danger threatens us than that abundant, attractive, idolatrous, poisonous literature of a sensational character which is spreading over the whole surface of society." Another writer says, "The greatest danger of our times is the danger that threatens our youth from pernicious literature." It must be acknowledged, however lamentable the fact, that a large share of our youth are being drawn into the current of fictitious reading. What will be the result?

Some may claim that there can be no harm in reading books and papers abounding in romance, if they also contain some lessons of truth. This is a serious mistake, for all the possible good thus gleaned is far outweighed by the sure effects of evil. It would certainly be very unwise and unsafe to mingle continually in the multitude of the base, hoping to meet occasionally a virtuous example. As truly as one is known by the company he keeps, his habitual thoughts and character may be known by the books he reads.

Why not seek truth where it is unmixed, untarnished by anything that can corrupt the imagination, feed the already perverted appetite for fiction, or destroy the taste for wholesome reading? "A person may be ruined by reading a single volume. Bad books, like ardent spirits, furnish neither aliment nor medicine, they are poison. 

Both intoxicate, one the mind, the other the body. The thirst for each increases by being fed, and is never satisfied; both ruin one the powers of mind, the other the health, and together they destroy the soul. The makers and the venders of each are equally guilty, equally corrupters of the community." Young readers, don't learn to love fiction.