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Teach us to pray, O God, that we mock Thee not with words, nor come formally, nor because custom has taught us to come, but rather with the up-springing of the glad feelings that are in the heart. Help us to pray with the spirit, even though no voice is heard. In the hush and silence prayer is being made. The spirit is praying to its God: I am hungry, feed me; I am confused, lead me out into the light; I am troubled, give me peace. So prayer is being made unconsciously by us and for us, and each one, though the lips move not, and the heart may not be conscious of expressing its thought, is putting up a prayer to God. Let even the little hearts feel in this hush and silence that God is here. Not simply because this house is a house named with his name, and this a day set apart from other days, but because wheresoever there is seeking there is the answering spirit. Now let us draw near to Thee; we do not need to ask Thee to draw near to us. We do not need to ask that the sun may shine or the rain fall; it is for us to take these things that are provided in the wise and tender and all-thoughtful providence of God. The great thoughts that circulate through the world, the deep feelings which bathe every soul like a tide that washes every shore, say: God is here. We ought to be still and know that Thou art God. Our Heavenly Father, help us to value the things that are next to us which we overlook. Let us not make long journeyings to the tomb of Christ, but short and easy pilgrimages to the homes of suffering. Not tedious memorizing of long passages from this, Thy Word, but hiding in the heart some text which is a comfort in sorrow and a strength in weakness; not the long bending of the knees in prayer, but the lifting up
of the spirit in gratitude with its petition to Thee, is the service which is pleasing to Thee. Bless every young man, O God, and make him strong and true. Bless every young woman, and give an earnestness to her life with all its sweetness, for the time will come when just this is what she will be called upon to possess in the seriousness of life. Bless the little children, too; we pray that their feet may be led in pleasant ways and that friends may be raised up for them. We patiently and resolutely go on even in the dark; Thou wilt lead the blind in ways they know not and the sorrowing into perfect peace. Comfort those that mourn; restore those that wander, and forgive those that sin, through Jesus Christ.
. SEALED ORDERS.
Our life is like a ship that sails some day
Birth, love, and death are ports we leave behind,
It may not be. But ever and anon
Where lies our course in vain we seek to know.
But still not knowing, still with orders sealed,
The sea is His. He made it, and His grace
J. W. Chadwick.
"Jesus answered and said unto Peter: What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter."
JOHN xiii, 7.
READ the other day that the United States revenue cutter, Russia, which sails in the Behring Sea in order to take up the sealing vessels there, was at Port Townsend with sealed orders. Now, the phrase "sealed orders," is not nearly as common as it used to be before the days of steam and the telegraph. What it means in this case is, that the Secretary of the Navy has sent to the commander of the revenue cutter, Russia, a sealed packet which he is not to open until he is at sea. That packet, when it is opened, will tell him exactly where to go and what to do. It is not proper to open it before, because the information, which is important, might get into the newspapers-somebody might tell it, and the ends desired could not be accomplished. Suppose a fleet of English war vessels were going out on a cruise, sealed orders would be given by the Lords of the Admiralty to the Admiral or Captain, which, say, he was to open at Cadiz, in Spain. When he gets to Cadiz, he opens these orders; there he finds that he is to go to the East Indies. There he opens another packet, and he follows out the lines of direction that are given there, and so a succession of sealed orders directs him to go, wherever, in their wisdom, the Lords of