ONE morning on going into the breakfast room, I was surprised to see that the old family clock, which stood in one corner was pointing to seven. 

I had been out late the evening before at the bedside of a sick friend, and as I had been very weary, I fancied I had overslept, and should not have been surprised if the clock had marked eight instead of seven. However, I supposed it was right, and without thinking to consult my watch, I seated myself at the table, dismissing at once the uneasy feeling that perhaps I had done wrong in sleeping so late.

“Tick-tick, tick-tick," said the clock; but my back was turned to it now, and I did not see that the hands still pointed to seven. I finished my breakfast and took up the newspaper, thinking I had plenty of time before going to my business. Then I leisurely put on my coat, and was about leaving the house as the children ran in from their play.

"How is this?" I said. "You ought to be on your way to school."

"Oh no," said Johnny; " it is only seven o'clock."

"You must be mistaken," I said in amazement.

"We have had a very long morning to play," said Mary, thoughtfully.

But Johnny ran into the dining room and triumphantly exclaimed that the clock said seven.

"It must have stopped," said I. But still it went on, "Tick-tick, tick-tick."

In a few minutes, however, we were convinced that the hands were caught, in spite of its ticking, and on looking at my watch I saw it was already nine o'clock. The children were late at school, I was late at my business, the servants were behindhand in all their work, and my wife missed entirely a missionary meeting at which it was very important she should be present. 

And all this in consequence of a clock, which made professions without carrying them out!

"It would have been better if it had stopped altogether," said my wife; 

"Then we should not have been deceived by it into thinking we were secure."

"I am sorry," said grandma, who is blind; " I have enjoyed hearing it tick so much. I should not like to have a silent clock."

"Ah," I thought, "is not this a lesson to Christians? Profession and practice must go together, or the best results cannot be achieved. It would not be right to be silent in the prayer meeting or conference-room, for such a course would prevent us from encouraging and assisting others. We want, as grandma says, the cheerful ticking. But, on the other hand, how dreadful to continue to talk as before, and yet by our lives to point continually in the wrong direction, as the clock pointed at seven, and, as my wife said, to give people a feeling of fancied security, which in the end should prove their destruction!"