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UST a word of advice for the New Year, my friends. It is this: never murmur at any dispensation of Providence which frustrates a dearly-cherished plan of yours. You may be sure that the "end of the Lord is very pitiful," and in that pity stretches far beyond yourself. You know not whom you may be benefiting when with hearty good will and prompt obedience you yield yourself to the ways of the Lord, even though it be to be snowed-in in an unpromising moorland hut! The following true story will explain my meaning.
One day, it may be ten years ago now, we, that is, six bright-hearted expectants, set out to spend New Year's Day with some friends in the country. It snowed a little when we started; but, never mind, it would clear off before noon,
we said; besides, we liked the idea of jaunting it through. huge twelfth-cakes, whose ornaments were living holly-bushes and timid birds too weak to fly from our approach.
Soon, however, the " snowing a little" increased to what is called blinding snow, and the two elders of our party insisted on our putting up at a village inn and despatching a messenger to our friends to say that we must give up the thought of proceeding farther. This messenger, I am ashamed to say, set off amidst many grumbles and black looks, amongst which my own face and voice showed to disadvantage, for, ah, I did not then know, as I do now, the blessedness of casting one's own will aside in even the smallest concerns of life.
The old couple who kept this wayside inn did their utmost to make us comfortable, and assured us that there were no other guests "to mar our enjoyment" of a quiet snowed-in afternoon!
"Are you sure of that, Mrs. T. ?" said a cheery voice from behind a screen which half surrounded the monster fireplace, and then as cheery-looking a gentleman came forward with so genial and "you're welcome" an air, that I am sure if he had possessed twelve hands instead of the orthodox two he stretched towards us, they would all have been pressed into service in bidding us make ourselves at home-poor, shivering, snow-spangled creatures that we
A quickly-spread meal did much towards restoring our equanimity; the more so as the strange gentleman made one of our party.
"I like these unexpected meetings," said he; "they rub the starch of conventionality out of us in a worldly point of view, and in a higher sense they show how impossible it is to frustrate God's designs when He sees fit to work; besides, my friends, one never knows what place these contrarieties (as we should call them) may take in the book of Providence. We may call them accidents, or disappointments, or being snowed-in; but He may call them a fulfilment of His