REV. MR. BELL was always punctual. Whoever might be late at meeting, at the funeral, or anywhere else, they all knew that Mr. Bell would not. If called to attend a wedding, his foot was on the doorstep and his hand on the bell-handle, when the clock was striking the hour. It was, at first, quite annoying to his flock to go, according to their old habits, to a funeral, and meet it on its way to the grave, or to go to a wedding, and find it all over before they thought of getting there. So old Mr. Slow waited on the minister to ask him why he "was always in such a hurry, and so afraid of being too late." 

"Well, my good friend, I will tell you; and if, after hearing me, you do not think I am right in this thing, I will try to alter." 

"That's surely fair," slowly said Mr. Slow, as if afraid to commit himself. 

"When I was a young man, and had been preaching only a few months, I was invited to go to a distant mountain town and preach to a destitute people. I was there for some weeks, and then returned home for a few days, promising to be back, without fail, the next Sabbath. Well, I had a pleasant week among my kind relative's, and was so engaged that I hardly thought of my solemn duties till the day before the Sabbath came, and then my sister and a beautiful friend of hers persuaded me to go out a little while in a small boat, Cinderella, on our beautiful lake. The day was _fine, and the Cinderella spun and darted under my oars as if a thing of life. When we got ashore, I found it two o'clock, and I knew the cars would start in fifteen minutes. 

"I left the ladies, and ran home and caught up my carpet-bag, and ran for the depot. I saw the cars had arrived. I heard the bell ring. With all my strength I ran. I saw them start. I redoubled my efforts, and got within fifteen feet of the cars! Oh, for thirty seconds more! Thirty seconds too late! No more! The next day was a fair, still, sweet Sabbath. My mountain people gathered, coming down from the glens and following the rills, and filled the house of worship. But there was no minister, and the hungry sheep had no shepherd to feed them. He was thirty seconds too late! 

"There was a poor old blind man, who lived four miles from the church, and seldom could get to meeting. That day he ate his breakfast early, and his little granddaughter led him all the way down the mountain to the church. How weary, sad, and disappointed he was! There was no minister to speak to him. He was thirty seconds too late! 

"There was a sick child up one of the glens of the mountain, and she had been inquiring all the week for her minister. She was so anxious to see him and have him" pray with her. How she hailed the day when he would be there! He was thirty seconds too late! 

"That poor old blind man never came to the church again. He was too feeble, and never heard another sermon or prayer. The minister was thirty seconds too late! 

"That little girl was dead before I got back, and I could only shed tears over her corpse. I had been thirty seconds too late! 

"On my bended knees I asked God's forgiveness, and promised him that, if possible, I would never again be thirty seconds too late. 

"And now, Mr. Slow, am I right in my punctuality?" 

"Well, I guess it don't look quite so unreasonable as it might!" 

And if it is not well to put off the things of life, is it safe to put off the preparation for eternity! 

Death will be a punctual visitor, reader.