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season I will call for thee;" but let us earnestly pray that our lamps may be lighted with everlasting oil; that we may see our way clearly, and feeling Him to be our


light, who is both the truth and the life," may find that He is also the Way.'

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GEORGE. Mamma, it is said, the foolish virgins cried, Lord, open to us: now if in this life they repented, would not God hear them? He says, "knock and it shall be

opened unto you."'

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MRS. M. Yes surely; the cry of heartfelt repentance will be heard even at the eleventh hour; but observe these virgins had acquired no oil; and while they went to buy, the door was shut: death surprises them while they are relying on fallacious means of salvation. Perhaps at the moment when they feel its approach they may cry, "Lord, open to us," " Lord, be merciful to us; but it is the cry of terror, not of faith it is the fear of punishment that awakens conscience, not the Love of Christ constraining them." Therefore is the cry unheard; the door of

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mercy shut for ever. Oh! my children, let us remember that "Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation." Let us

turn to Christ with all the energies of our mind, in penitence, in self-abasement ;-let

no one say, I am young and strong; I shall

have time enough to repent and turn to God: ' but let us remember, we know not the moment when the cry may reach us, that the bridegroom cometh; and let us endeavour to be so united with Him here in faith, that we shall be ready to meet Him hereafter with joy and gladness and to enter in with Him into the kingdom of his Father. Let us ever bear in mind the awful state of the foolish virgins, hearing the approach of the bridegroom, but unprepared to enter in with him to the marriage; the doors shut against them and the Bridegroom's voice answering to their entreaties, "Verily I say unto you I know you not." Remember the injunction of our Lord at the conclusion of the parable, "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of Man


cometh." And observe, how He immediately illustrates that injunction by another parable: but this however we must leave for another evening. Now let us pray that we may be like the wise virgins ready to meet the bridegroom whensoever He shall come. May our faith be lively and sincere, and though we are engaged in the necessary business of this life, oh! may our hearts be devoted to the service of Him who "Never slumbereth or sleepeth; and when He summons us into his presence, may we enter it not as a trembling condemned criminal, but as a child chosen and beloved, redeemed and sanctified, through Him who is " a lamp to our feet and a light to our path," and who "ever liveth to make intercession for us."'


THE TALENTS.-Matt. xxv. 14-30.


'Oh mamma, I am so sleepy this evening, I am afraid I shall not have any sense at all.'

MRS. M.I am sorry for it, George, for the holidays are nearly over, and I am afraid if we miss a night at our parables, we shall not get through them before you go.' GEORGE. I will try to waken myself, dear mamma, and listen to you.'

MRS. M. " But what have you been doing all day, that has fatigued you so much?"

GEORGE. Very little indeed, mother. I spent half the day I believe watching the crows, and playing with the dogs, and when I went to ask papa to let me walk with him, I found he had gone out half an hour before.' MRS. M. I am sorry, my child, you

spent this day in such an idle manner; by so doing you missed the opportunity of a walk with your father, which would probably have been both agreeable and improving, as a walk with him always is; and besides he went to visit a gentleman who has lately returned from India and who told him a great many entertaining things, and shewed him some curious plants and other articles which he had brought home with him. He waited a long time expecting you would come in; but as you did not, he went without you.'

GEORGE. 'Oh! I am so sorry that was the very man I wanted to see. I heard that he had so many queer things that one might never see again.’

MRS. M. 6 Well George, that is the consequence of loitering away your time, as I am sorry to say you too often do, which is a very foolish habit and grows upon us insensibly; and my dear child, it is more than foolish,-it is sinful; it is wasting one of the "talents "" which our heavenly Master has given us to be used for better purposes.'

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