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BUDDHIST PRIESTS IN CHINA.

clan. Each emperor has had several wives. All his families by each have been provided for, and all members of the imperial can wear a yellow sash round the waist. Many of them are rich, but some become very poor. The rich can escape summer heat and refresh themselves by an occasional visit to temples built in mountain clefts, and shaded by groves planted near.

THE THIRTY-TWO METAMORPHOSES OF KWAN YIN.

In one of these temples I looked over the picturebooks in the guest-room. There was a splendid biography of Buddha, with very elaborate illustrations exhibiting his life as a prince when he was very young. What led him to resolve on the ascetic life was the scenes of distress he witnessed in the city where his father lived as king. He observed the sufferings of the infant, the aged, the sick, and the dying. If this be human life, he thought, of what value is it? It is mere sorrow. He fell into the same track of thought as Job when he said, "Man is of few, days and full of trouble," and as Eliphaz when he said, "Man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward." The identity of the thought shows that Buddhism is born out of the realities of man's life on the earth. Another picture-book had representations of thirty-two metamorphoses of the goddess Kwan Yin. This was a large quarto. The twenty-ninth was a quite unexpected figure. It was a drawing of Lord Falkland, or some other high personage of the time of Charles the First. How came it there? The martial knight of old times in England was here represented as a tranformation of a Buddhist goddess. This the priests could not explain. It had been in the monastery many years before their time. The details of armour and clothing were very minute and exact. Many illustrated books must have reached Peking during the last two centuries, because so many embassies have been received there. The Roman Catholic priests who painted for the emperors during last century, would also make such presents. The book of pictures in the same temple was a large collective quarto in several volumes, bound in the richest embroidered satin of a yellow colour. The volumes were en

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It was given

closed in a carved hard-wood case. by the emperor Chia Ching at the beginning of this century.

BURIAL RITES.

When he dies the Buddhist priest is burnt according to the old Indian custom. Fire is a sacred element which drives out the impure parts of the human body that are there through the agency of the evil spirit. Fire tends to rise upward and carries the soul to the abode of the Supreme Ruler. This was the old doctrine, and Zoroaster disapproved of it. He decided that the body of the good Parsi shall be neither burnt nor buried, but exposed. A tower on an eminence is built, and bodies are left to birds and beasts of prey. The Indian custom was also that of the Greeks and Romans. In Rome, the city where the Vestal Virgins guarded the sacred fire, the same idea of the sacredness of fire prevailed. The religious traditions embodied by Virgil in the Eneid, point to the east as the source of the Roman religion. Cremation began in Persia probably before Zoroaster, and it sprang out of the early Babylonian philosophy of the elements. It had nothing to do with sanitation. It was simply a religious idea that originated it. When the body is dissolved at death, fire conveys the pure parts to the celestial paradise. It was this custom in India that the Buddhists followed in burning their dead. The ashes were gathered and deposited safely in a circular, globular, or square structure, which is called a stupa, tope-Tapos. A relic of Buddha, or of a Buddhist saint, may be buried under a pagoda. To erect a pagoda is to honour a relic concealed there. After the burning, the ashes of the dead are collected, and a monument raised over them-the priest's tomb.

The Nirvana, or return to extinction, is the end of the world's delusions. The priest is said to enter the Nirvana when he dies, and the act of burning is an outward sign of it, and euphemistically, they give it this name on the principle -de mortuis nil nisi bonum. Many an indifferently good priest is said in the epitaph to have entered the Nirvana, who ought rather to have gone through very many purifying changes first in the wheel of the metempsychosis. Epitaphs are not so truthful as they ought to be.

Things New and Old.

LEPERS AT ROBBEN ISLAND.

Many years have passed since the Moravian missionaries began their work among the lepers in Robben Island. The whole aspect of things has since changed. In order to prevent the spread of leprosy in the Cape Colony, the law which requires all lepers to leave their homes and reside on the island is being strictly enforced. During the last eighteen months the numbers under oversight have greatly increased; there are now more than seven hundred, and it is expected that there will be a thousand before the end of

the year. The Orange Free State has agreed to send its lepers to Robben Island, and of course it pays so much a head for every patient. Lepers who have the means can rent private rooms where their meals are served. Large suitable ranges of buildings have been erected for them. Provision is made not only for medical treatment, but for their comfort. From the answers given to questions in the Cape Parliament it appears that there is no reasonable request forwarded by the physicians in attendance that is refused. Relatives are not merely allowed to visit them, but when poor, Government supplies them with a free

passage on the railway and in the steamboat. The food is good, and fitting clothing is given to the patients. Their spiritual wants are also now well provided for. The English Church has always had a chaplain on the island; and the bishop has baptized and confirmed a considerable number of them. A Roman Catholic priest visits the Island from week to week; and a missionary belonging to the Dutch Reformed Church has done the same for the last two years -these are paid by the Government. Since the law of segregation has been passed, the Dutch Church has arranged for a minister to reside on the Island. The Government gives him a parsonage and 2001. per annum. The Church must build the places of worship, of which two are necessary, one for the males and another for the females, for their wards are at least half a mile apart, and the poor people are not able to walk so far: as it is, they have in many cases to be carried to church. It was estimated that the two churches would cost about 10007.: but the congregations answered nobly to the appeal made to them, and have contributed upwards of 14001. A Sufferers' Aid Society has been instituted in Cape Town, whose chief work lies in Robben Island. At its last annual meeting it was stated that during the past six months two ladies had visited the island regularly every week, when the weather was fine, and one lady who spoke Dutch had gone once a month. The visitors carry such comforts as the Government cannot be expected to give,-fruits and flowers, sweetmeats, tobacco, tracts and illustrated newspapers; and in every way strive to cheer and console the afflicted. It is a touching evidence of their sense of isolation that the women have begged for dolls. One of them being asked why she wanted a doll as she was a woman and not a child, answered with tears in her eyes, "Oh, missus, I do not feel so heart-sore when I have a doll to nurse." When it was realised that many of these women had left their children to come to the island, the sadness of the reply could be understood. Eight dozen dolls were brought and dressed by different ladies, and distributed to the women, but these had soon to be supplemented by two dozen more. The ladies pass through the wards of men and women: a kind enquiry, an assurance of sympathy-although it may not be coupled with news of fathers, mothers, or children-the exhibition of love, reaches the hearts of these poor ones shut up till death releases them. Such visits comfort and console them. The way is easily opened to tell them of Jesus and His love. Often are the rooms filled with the sick and sorrowful listening to the words of Him who said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me." And often is the simple prayer at the bedside followed by a hymn of praise. Every year a Christmas treat is given. Although public sympathy never fails these unfortunate sufferers, the local funds do not always suffice for all that is required. If any of our readers would like to contribute their mite towards brightening the days of these forlorn inhabitants of Robben Island, we will gladly take charge of their contribution, and sce that it is safely forwarded, if addressed to the Editor of the SUNDAY AT HOME.

EXACTNESS OF SPEECH.-The following wise suggestion, with regard to habits of speech, is from the late Canon Butler's first address to his boys at Liverpool:

"And first of Truth. Let us endeavour to be faithful in our words and actions; true to God, and true to ourselves. Let nothing tempt us to speak an untrue word; and that we may attain to habits of truth, let us practise ourselves in the intellectual habit of speaking just so as to hit the mark, neither more nor less. We must avoid both extremes; exaggeration on the one hand, and understating the truth

on the other, which is dissimulation. And, above all, let us try to act truthfully; not to contradict our professions and resolutions by our deeds, but to live true lives, as in the sight of God, and with a constant sense of His presence." -Recollections of George Butler. By Josephine E Butler. (Arrowsmith, Bristol)

SO TIRED.-A lady was told the sorrowful tidings by the doctor, that there was no hope for the life of her lovely little child. The heart-broken mother sat beside the bcd where her treasure lay. The fond parent was trying to keep back the tears, and not to let the little one see her cry. She said, "My darling, you will soon be in heaven, and you will enter the pearly gates and walk the golden streets." The child looked at her, and said, "Mamma, it would only tire me." "But, love," the mother said, "you will see all the saints and angels, and hear the lovely music and singing." "Ah! mamma, I am too tired, I could not look at them, or listen to the music, it would only weary me." The mother lifted the little one out of bed, and took her in her arms and said, "My darling child, soon the Lord Jesus will come, and take you in His arms and carry you to His beautiful home, and you will rest your head on His shoulder, as you are resting it on mine now." She opened her eyes and smiled sweetly, saying, "Oh, mamma, that is just what I want-the Lord Jesus to come and to take me Himself, and then I will lay my head down on His shoulder, and He will give me rest." These were her last words; a few minutes afterwards she closed her eyes, and was in His arms, resting, for the Good Shepherd had come and carried the lamb in His bosom to the beautiful home above, where none shall say "I am tired," and where the weary shall find rest.

PROFESSION AND PRACTICE.-Let us try to be true. We have a true God, a true Saviour, and we are all going quickly to a true judgment. A great actor was once asked by a clergyman, how it was that he acted fiction, and that his audience were moved to tears, "while I," said the divine, "preach truth, and my congregation hardly listen to me; some fall asleep, and others long for me to have done"? "Ah," replied the actor, "I act fiction as if it were truth, and you preach truth as if it were fiction, and you don't let the people see that you are in earnest." What a man feels himself, his hearers are generally made to feel also. A gentleman said to his friend, "If I believed what you profess to believe, that there is really a place of eternal joy and happiness called heaven, and a place of eternal misery and shame called hell, why, I would stand at the corner of the street, and warn every one of his danger. Of course, people would say I was mad, but they are mad who profess what they believe about eternal things, and take them and their friends so easily." This gentleman made no profession of religion, but surely what he said was a sad reminder to Christians of their slowness in speaking of the love of Christ to a lost world, which He redeemed by His precious blood. Mr. Moody asked a man why he was not a 'Well," he said, "I don't like hypocrites, and

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I see a lot of them calling themselves Christians, but you could not believe them, for they don't live like Christiansthey are not truthful, for instance, and they will take an advantage of you when they can, and I try to be an honest man." "My friend," said Mr. Moody, "there are hypocrites everywhere, in every church, and in every place, but remember, there will be none in heaven, and don't you let the devil give you this poor excuse, that because So-and-so was not what he professed to be, you lost your soul." If you are true to God, He will be true to you, and you will be true to yourself, and be happy for time and for eternity.M. C. D. MacNeill.

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A BUNCH OF SEALS.

CHAPTER I.

ANTED, a sharp, steady lad as errand boy. Apply within."

There it was, on a card in the largest window in Trealey Street, and the "Wanted," arrested little Wilfred Lee's attention at once.

"Oh, I wish I could get it," he said to himself. "Mother said I must leave school now I have passed the fifth, and she's spoken to master about me, I know."

"I'm not sure about the 'sharp,' but I do think I'm steady,' and I'll try for it anyhow."

And with a twitch at his necktie, and a furtive brush up of his brown curls by way of preparation, he walked into the busy grocer's shop and tried to make himself believe that he was only a customer.

"What's for you, my lad?" said a voice at his elbow.

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Oh, come about the place? I don't fancy you'll do, but you may come and see."

And Wilfred was ushered into a little office at the back of the shop where a stern-looking man was seated at the desk.

"Errand-boy; I'm sick of the very word," he said crossly. "You want the place; why the basket is bigger than you."

"Oh, but please, sir, I'm very strong, and I'm used to work. I can carry a good load; I can, indeed."

The grocer frowned and hesitated, and then said: "Well, we had no end of worry with the last three, and they were big enough. But, mind you, boy, if you come here, you must expect to rough it; and, above all, you'll have to be honest. If I catch you taking the least thing, off you go to gaol there and then, mind."

"I shall never go there, sir," said Wilfred resolutely. He did not much like the thought of having this stern man for his master, but he was a brave boy, and very, very anxious to help his widowed mother, and so before he left the shop he was engaged as errand-boy at the magnificent wage of half-a-crown a week. How his feet danced along as he hurried home to tell the news!

His mother was hard at work at her sewing-machine as usual, but the busy wheels were stopped as she listened to his story.

He told her all about it, only keeping back the fact that his master was a suspicious man, who would probably be very difficult to please.

"I wish I could have kept you at school another year, laddie," said his mother, stifling a sigh.

"But I believe you'll get on; my man-of-all-work won't mind roughing it, and, as to being honest, he'll soon find that you can be trusted. Only be true in everything, small things and great, and never steal even five minutes of time, for that is your master's money, go straight to the places you are sent to, and look out for every chance of pleasing those you serve."

"Yes, mother, I will, and you'll see it won't be half-acrown a week always! When I'm a man I'll earn enough to buy you a black silk dress, and we'll have a cosy house

of our own, and not a sewing-machine anywhere in it. You'll see!"

Wilfred spoke with the bright confidence of eleven years old, and his mother smiled in response to these glowing visions, in which, however, her tired heart refused to share. How could she hope to see Wilfred's manhood when the incessant stitching was wearing away her strength so fast? But she knew where to take her cares, and how to trust her boy to the Great Father in heaven, and that night she prayed long and earnestly, thinking of the new life that lay before Wilfred.

"What is my text to-day, mother?" asked Wilfred at breakfast-time. It was Sunday morning, and ever since he could remember his mother had given him a verse to learn before church time. To-day it was very short, only five words, but over and over again they rang through his memory in the days that followed.

"Ye serve the Lord Christ."

It was difficult sometimes to believe it, for some things he had to do were so hard and disagreeable, and all the young men behind the counter seemed to take their tone from his master in ordering him about.

"Perhaps if I could make myself into ten boys, I might be able to please them all," he said ruefully to himself one busy afternoon, when he was putting the warehouse tidy in a pause between the countless errands. For a wonder he was quite alone, and he felt sorely tempted to lay down the heavy broom and rest. But the thought that another load would be ready for him in ten minutes spurred him on, and, as he plied his broom among the packing-cases, the thought of the comfort his weekly half-crown brought to his mother was very sweet.

"She can have a cup of tea mostly now," he said, "and something better than a herring for Sundays."

Just then in moving aside some loose picces of brown paper, he saw a gleam of silver on the ground, and his heart beat quickly as he stooped to pick up a shining half-crown that lay half hidden in dust and rubbish.

For one moment he held it tightly as if the treasure had been his own, the next he had thrown down his brooin and turned to the door.

"Here, not so fast, half shares," said a mocking voice behind him, and, turning, he saw Jem Wills, the porter whose business it was to see to the heavy goods standing there. "You'll have to stand a drink out of that, youngster," said the man, with a wink that made his face more disagreeable even than before.

Now Wilfred had received many ill words from this man, and in secret felt dread as well as distrust of him. But he did not hesitate now.

"I shall not," he said firmly, "it is not mine to spend. I am going straight to Mr. Shirley with it."

The man muttered an oath and immediately slammed the door and set his back against it.

"None of your cheek now," he blustered, "if you're going to do the honesty dodge here, I'll soon make this place too hot for you!"

His face was almost purple with anger, and his breath, as Wilfred tried to slip past him, told only too plainly of other drinks indulged in that day, but just then a voice calling "Wills" loudly was heard, and the man, still muttering threats of vengeance, had to go.

"He didn't like me before, and now I'm afraid I've made

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he laid the money on the table and told where he had found it. His master pocketed it without a "thank you," unless a grunt could be so interpreted, but as Wilfred turned away he said: "Honest for once, mind you are always, or it will be the worse for you."

It was a hard life for the boy, hard work and harder words from morning to night, and many a time the brave young heart was ready to give up and try for something else. But the slack season was coming on, and places were not so plentiful, and Wilfred knew that a good character could not be earned in a day. Yet slowly and surely he was winning his way. After a while the shopmen were not so arrogant, and the master, if he did not praise him, certainly gave him less blame than any boy had received before. "Does his errands well, and no mistake," he muttered to himself, "he'll be worth keeping one of these days."

But the suspicious habits of years were not easily laid aside, and another half-crown was placed in Wilfred's way-left this time on the counter which he had to dust every morning.

Again it was restored to the owner, but Mis. Lee, when she heard the story, began to suspect that the coins were lost on purpose.

"It is too bad," she said indignantly to herself, "to doubt him so; a good man could see honesty in his face. He should not stay where temptations are made for him a day longer, if I could help it."

But deliverance was nearer than she expected, and Wilfred was soon to prove, as so many have done, that the servant found faithful in a few things shall be made ruler over many.

SCRIPTURE ENIGMA.

ΝΟ. Ι.

Who said of David, Go, I pray, and see
His lurking-place, and come again to me?
Where first did David wear a royal crown,
When all his enemies were smitten down?
Who said to David, Why come here to-day.
And leave those sheep of thine to go astray?
To whom said David, Come thou now with me,
And I at home will feed and care for thee?
Of what great man did weeping David say,
Know that a prince in Israel falls to-day?
With these initials give a rebel's name,
Who to a town of Beth-maachah came;
But David's captain to the people said,
Deliver him;-and they cut off his head.

And

SCRIPTURE ELLIPSIS EXERCISE. NO. I.

L. T.

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having examined him before you, have

found no fault in this man.

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QUESTIONS ON THE PROPHETS.

AMOS.-NO. I.

1. Did Amos belong to the kingdom of Israel or Judah? What other prophets belonged to it?

2. Which was before the other, Amos or Isaiah?

3. From what city did he come? In what other book is it mentioned ?

4. In whose reign did the earthquake happen that is mentioned in chapter i. verse 1, and where else is it mentioned?

5. What was his occupation?

6. Could we have found this out from what he says in his prophecy?

7. Who was king of Israel at this time, and what complaint was made to him against Amos?

8. How many times is Bethel mentioned, either as the

king's residence, or a place for worship?

9. Is any other place for worship mentioned?

10. How does Amos rebuke those who put business before religion?

11. What offence against the Nazarites does he rebuke? 12. Who were the Anakims? Does Amos allude to them?

13. What building erected by a king of Israel does he mention ?

14. Find the expression-Prepare to meet thy God. 15. What does he say of God as Creator of the heavens? Find a similar passage of Scripture.

16. Point out two prophecies, which are quoted in the New Testament, and note the words in one of them in which there is any difference.

PRIZE COMPETITION.

HOME LIFE IN PALESTINE

IN THE TIME OF CHRIST.

The illustrations may be taken from the New Testament or any recognized authority.

We shall be glad to receive Papers from our younger rcalers on this subject. Competitors will be divided into two classes: a junior division under fifteen years of age, and a senior under twenty-one.

Papers should not exceed in length two pages of the SUNDAY AT HOME, or about two thousand words.

The writing must be on one side of the paper only, and in our hands by the 1st of January, addressed to the EDITOR OF THE "SUNDAY AT HOME," 56, PATERNOSTER Row, LONDON, E C. The words PRIZE COMPETITION to be on the outside of the cover.

Each Paper must bear the full name and address of the writer, with the age, distinctly written. A copy should be kept, as none can be returned, even if stamps be sent for the purpose.

One guinea will be given for the best Paper, half-a-guinea for the second in merit, and books of the value of five shillings for other Papers, according to merit, in each division.

The result of the examination will be announced as soon as is practicable.

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