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night in early winter, when the missionary of a western district was just closing the usual meeling, a woman, weeping and manifesting considerable agitation of mind, desired he would immediately minister religious consolation to her sick husband. Not accustomed to slight euch calls, the wish was at once complied with, and the visitor found the patient prostrated by fever, but troubled more in mind than body. Seemingly overwhelmed with misery, the man desires that prayer should be offered, and meanwhile confesses, “I have been one of the greatest of sinners; I have sinned against light and knowledge.' Ah! as he lay in the narrow room of a London back street, with brow burning and sick at heart, how fast memory became crowded with scenes of a rural home in Scotland! There were the preceptors of his youth, the parents who prayed for him and instructed him in the path of virtue. This man left Scotland to push his fortune at twenty years of age, and at the date of meeting the missionary he had been running a career of vanity for sixteen years ; and now, as it seemed, was about to be engulfed in the vortex of ruin in London. With the example of the prodigal son in memory, he has yet run a prodigal course, and as a slave of sin and drink, has wasted his life substance. He knew the good way; and now, laid low by fever, it distracts him to remember that instead of enjoying home comforts with a young wife, he squandered time and money in public-houses; and while conscience prescribed his acting a worthy example before dependants, he preferred rioting with low companions. During those melancholy years, .truth learned too well in far away Scotland to be easily forgotten, rose up at times, like an insulted monitor, to assert its authority. Then, one memorable Sabbath evening, he stepped within the precincts of a chapel at service time, and heard what remained fast in the memory. While the teaching of better days rose up to condemn, remorse haunted him like a spectre, refusing to be exorcised. The man grew wretched by day and wakeful by night ; and when he became more. fevered and restless, occurred a still more trying crisis. During the stillness of night he imagined he saw his aged father, long since dead, come, and in a spirit form rebuke the erring wanderer. "O, my son !' said the apparition, 'must I stand at the right hand and hear that awful sentence pronounced against you, “ Depart from me ye cursed," and confess that it is just ?' Awakened by fright, the man more than ever realised his misery—the misery of one who would have praved and yet dare not venture. Then came the dawn of brighter days. The missionary's word was blessed until the late drunkard relinquished evil babits, and returned to the good old way learned at the parental hearth. Gradually darkness and horror departed, and for a look of agonising terror when judgment and repentance were mentioned, he showed a countenance beaming with satisfaction or even with rapture. Physical disease succumbed to the surgeon's art; but how small an affair was convalescence when compared with the spiritual victory won so completely! You have led me to the Saviour, and my future life shall thank you,' he cried out to his friend the evangelist. But the triumph did not end here. The convert would express grati. tude through the medium of a society, which coming to him in the person of its agent, while he lay in a woful condition, had held out a rescuing hand. He founded a ragged-school in St. Giles's, and established a working man's auxiliary in aid of the mission. To crown all, he became the first London City Missionnary selected from the ranks of those who ascribe their conversion to the society's operations."
No one need complain of the dulness of the age if he will set about doing good. If there is nothing in the papers, you will always find something in the streets, lanes, and courts of the poor quarters of the town. Incidents crowd around the philanthropic, some horrifying, and others enchanting; nature among the poor is more in the nude, less artificial, more intense, and hence more interesting, than in the regions of stereotyped respectability. The poet Rogers, while prescribing travelling as a cure for spleen, suddenly pauses, and says: “And yetand yet, is there not, after all, a surer and pleasanter' remedy ?-a remedy for which we have only to cross the threshold.” A Piedmontese nobleman, whom I met at Turin, had not long before experienced its efficacy : and his story, which he told me without reserve, was as follows:
“I was weary of life, and, after a day such as few have known, and none would wish to remember, was hurrying along the street to the river, when I felt a sudden check. I turned, and beheld a little boy, who had caught the skirt of my cloak in his anxiety to solicit my notice. His look and manner were irresistible; not less so was the lesson he had learned. There are six of us, and we are dying for want of food.' • Why should I not,' said I to myself, “relieve this wretched family ? I have the means, and it will not delay me many minutes. But what if it does ?' The scene of misery he conducted me to I cannot describe. I threw them my purse, and their burst of gratitude overcame me ; it filled my eyes --it went as a cordial to my heart. 'I will call again tomorrow? I cried. Fool that I was to think of leaving a world where such pleasure was to be had, and so cheaply !”
May many a reader of these lines find in the true romance of London a relief for all hypochondriacal and dyspeptic sorrows.-C. H. S.
Lesson from the Battle Field.
(EXTREMETS.—No. 3.) THE following episode belongs to the annals of the Crimean war:1 A party of men were one day playing cards when a stray cannon shot instantly killed one of their number. With seeming unconcern, those who remained unhurt carried away the corpse to a little distance, and then proceeded with their pastime as though nothing terrible had occurred. This reminds me that one generation is slow to learn wisdom from the experience of the one preceding it. Ours is a commercial age. Men are engrossed over amassing wealth, and too often their employment excludes from their minds all thoughts about the riches which are eternal. They begin the race in youth; middle life finds them yet more desirous of grasping the prize. Even old age fails to teach them the vanity of adding field to field and house to house. At last death takes them away to give an account of their stewardship. What follows ? Others, left behind, eagerly fill up the ranks, and, like those who have been taken, re-enact the round of follies which they prescribe for themselves who sacrifice the best things of life for the sake of dring rich !
Gilliam Carey and the Lie.*
A CHAPTER FOR BOYS.
A LIE is to you and me what Goliath was to the army of Israel. It is our A enemy. Every lie is opposed to God and truth. And we have got to fight with it for the truth's sake and for God's sake. For if the lie be not killed, the lie will try to kill both God and truth. We are related to truth just as David was to Saul and his army; the truth is God's side, and our side. And we are bound to stand by it, and fight for it, as David did for Israel. It was a great honour David got when he killed Goliath. But it is as great an honour to kill a lie. A lie is a far worse evil in the world than a Goliath. Poor Goliath! He might have drawn a harrow, or driven a plough, or felled a tree, if he had not been killed. But a lie is for ever and everywhere a bad tbing, a thing useless and worse than useless, a thing hurtful, poisonous, and wicked. And he, therefore, who will put to death, in his own heart, or the heart of another, one such lie, shall be in God's sight as great a hero as David was.
Many a boy never tries to win the battle against lies. And many who try to win are beat. But there are some whom God teaches to win by allowing them first to lose. And that was the case with an English boy I am going to tell you about, who was fought and beaten at a shop counter in England, one Christmas time, nearly a hundred years ago.
His name was William, and he was an apprentice to a shoemaker. At Christmas time his master allowed him to go round to the customers for a Christmas-box for himself, and, at the same time, he was to collect some accounts for his master. William went first to an ironmonger. Will you have a shilling or a sixpence ?' the ironmonger said. “() please sir, I will have a shilling.' So the ironmonger handed the boy a bright new shilling, and William thought he had made a good beginning. Other people added to his box, and by-and-by, he had a number of shillings. Then he thought it was time to lay out bis money, and he went to a shop and bought something he needed, and asked what was to pay. He had to pay away almost the whole contents of his Christmas-box. So he took out his money and laid it on the counter. The shopman looked at the bright shilling which the ironmonger had given, and said, “That's a brass shilling.' And just at that moment came up a thought of William's own heart, and said, · William, you have bought the things, and you can't be telling the shopman that you have no more money, or how you got this shilling, just take a shilling of your master's.' That was all the thought said. And that was all William did. He just took a shilling of his master's. But nearly all the battle was at that point, and William had already let go the moment for gaining the victory when bad thoughts came up to him again. The first said: 0 William, what a fine scolding you will get from master. There have you gone and borrowed some money from his, without his leave!' And then spoke up a second thought: Never mind, William, why should you be afraid that way? Just tell your master that you got the brass shilling in payment of his accounts.' And the thought that first spoke to him at the shop counter came back and said: “That is the right thing to do, my boy. Master will never know, and besides, you couldn't help it. William did not know the name of this conduct at the time, but he learned afterwards that it was falsehood and fraud. And, instead of fighting or fleeing from it, William there and then gave in and let the falsehood and the fraud have the victory,
But he had no sooner done this, than his conscience woke up, and said to him: O William, William, William ; you have committed sin, and God will
bring it to light.' At this, a great fear fell upon the lad, and he wished he bad not listened to the bad thoughts; but still more, that that ironmonger hadn't given him the brass shilling. And then the battle began again. "Shall I tell all?' he said. “You will have such a scolding if you do,' said the bad thought. * Tell all, William, and be an honest boy,' said conscience. “No,' said the bail thought, “ you can't be that now, for you see you have given away the shilling.' • Too true--too true,' cried William ; "the thing is done and can't be undone, I must brave it out.'
Then William did a thing that older people sometimes do. But it is a strange thing for all that. William was passing through a lonely field on his way home, and there he prayed to God and said : O God, help me through with this theft, and I will never steal, or do anything bad again. I could not help this once; but I will never, never be guilty again.'
Then William came to his master and told him the lie. And the Lord God, who had heard William's prayer and resolved to answer it, but not in William's way, put into the master's thoughts to suspect the boy and make inquiries. And then it came out, that the ironmouger had offered the lad a good sixpence and a bad shilling. And so William was found out. God in his mercy and love did not help him through. And William was so affronted that for a long time he could hardly lift up his head, or speak, or go out into the streets. But wben he did steal out in the evenings, and go round by unfrequented paths where nobody would see him; and when he got into his bed at night, and hid himself beneath the blankets, he shed many a bitter tear over his sin and his bad heart. And he cried to God to give him a new heart. And this time also God heard bis cry and came to his help, and drew him nearer to himself, and opened tbe gate of righteousness and helped him to enter on that path where, instead of bad thoughts, there are good thoughts, and better than these even, Jesus Christ.
And William became good; and great as well as good. By-and-by he went out to India and fought one of the noblest fights of faith ever fought in India. And when be died, full of years and grace, all England mourned over him and said, “The Great Carey, who has translated the Bible into the languages of India, has gone home to rest.'
I would not like you to think, because I happen to tell you this story of a good fight fonght in boyhood, that it is only when you are young you have to fight it. All life is intended to be a good fight. And the noblest lives are those who fight it to the end. But there are some lives where the battle is more felt than in others : some lives where the force of the battle gathers at successive moments, and the poor fighting one seems always to be contending with giants: and some lives where all the fight seems to be gathered up into a single moment. God only knows how it shall be with you. All I know is that, in one way or other, at one time or other, every one of you will bave to fight this battle. In fighting it, do not for a moment forget on whose side you are bound to be, and with what foes you are called to fight. You are to fight on God's side and on His side only. And you are to fight against badness, and wrong doing, and error, and sin. Wherever you find the evil you are bound to fight with it; but if you would conquer, you must begin with the evil in your own heart.
All your life long you will have to carry on this fight. As David had to do
and against far stronger enemies than Goliath. And as Paul had to do. And I hope it will be with you, as with Paul, when you come near the end of your ives, and that you also will be able to say:
With heavenly weapons I have fought
" Yeare members one of acother.” “Now ye are the body of Christ." - This do in remembrance of me." "THIS language expresses the fellowship which exists among believers
1 springing from union with Cbrist their Head. The body which represents it is called the Church, a collection of persons who are governed by the will of God, taught by the Holy Spirit, and whose excellencies spring from a heavenly principle within the church of God,' which Christ, the fuller accounts of the New Testament go on to say, “ purchased with his own blood,' • that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
It is the household of God,' with spiritual ties and relationships like the natural ties and relationships which bind together the members of a family.
This spiritual household exists visibly in the world, with an organisation to provide for its welfare, look out for its interests, and help on its work.
If you are a child of God, you will wish to be recognised as such by entering his visible fold; you will wish to be seen and found there. It is your first and highest duty, as well as privilege.
*But cannot I be as good out of the Church as in it, and as useful?'
No, emphatically, no. The condition of growth and usefulness consists in separating yourself from the world and entering into covenant and fellowship with Christ and his people. We have no right to live merely as individual Christians, each one walking his own way; we are a whole consisting of many parts, that exist for each other and through each other. Nor have we any right to set up our private judgment against the express will of its Divine Founder. The Acts of the Apostles shows us that those who repented and believed were • added to the Church.' Repentance is not enough; you must own it by joining the people of God. Both rest upon the same authority. Standing aloof' is no way of showing our allegiance and love. To remain an alien is a poor preparation and a worse position for either getting or doing good.
But I am afraid I shall not act up to my profession. I fear I shall be inconsistent, and fall short of what a Christian ought to be.'
Our Lord foresaw that we should not love, obey, and worship the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost as we ought to, and yet he enjoins our covenanting with his people, and enjoins it as a means of bringing our practice into closer correspondence with what it is our aim to reach, and our duty to become. You cannot stand selfishly apart by yourself, and ful6l Christian duty. It is not God's way of educating us for heaven. We must become a part of the body of Christ' in a close, living, visible union.
• Having had our bodies washed with pure water,' says the apostle, let us hold fast tbe profession of our faith without wavering ;' that is, wilhin the fold, our stand taken, we are in a position to make good our obligations to faithful and loving service.
The Holy Supper was instituted and enjoined by our Lord himself, in the upper chamber where he last ate with liis disciples. Your presence at his table declares you from choice and affection a disciple of Christ, and you thus seek to deepen and strengthen the spirit and purposes which mark the disciple.
There are some who seem tū regard a seat at his table as an end attained, a goal reached, after which they may sit down securely, without further occa:ion for watchfulness or fighting. This is a great and, in many cases, a fatal mistake, and accounts for the cold, selfishi, and unfruitful lives of many whose names are indeed on the records of the church, and that is all. No spiritual increase in grace or good works proves them living members of the body of Christ.