THE people of the Sandwich Islands now enjoy the blessings of civilization, and the light and privileges of the gospel; but seventy years ago they were heathen, a savage and cruel people, continually at war with one another. Property, life, everything, was in the hands of the chiefs, who often caused their subjects to be put to death for some slight offense, or as an offering to their idols.

A singular custom, which is said to have prevailed among them, furnished protection against such cruelty. Certain places were appointed, to which those whose lives were in danger might flee for safety. At one of these places are still found the remains of a wall twenty-three feet high, and equally broad, inclosing a large open space. In this space were a temple and altars, at which the priests performed their heathen rites. 

It was believed that the gods protected all who came within these walls, and the most powerful chiefs dared not harm them. In time of war, the women and children of both parties assembled here, and they were safe, whichever side might gain the victory.

This custom reminds us of the provision for cities of refuge among the Israelites; indeed, it may have been borrowed from them. And what a forcible illustration of the refuge, which God has provided for his children! David, though hunted from place to place by cruel foes, could sing, "The Lord is my refuge and my fortress." "Thou art my hiding place and shield."

We, too, need a place of safety. Dangers surround us on every hand; an enemy, strong, cruel, and cunning, is pursuing us; and associated with him are hosts of evil agents, seen and unseen. Christ is the city of refuge to which the helpless ones of earth may flee. "Whosoever will," may now secure a hiding place in him, where no enemy can ever harm. Soon, we know not how soon, it will be too late.

Dear children, will you not seek this "safe and sure retreat," and seek it now!

M. A. D.