Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Ere long Disease his hand bad laid
On that dear boy, so meet and mild:
His widowed mother wept and prayed
That God would spare her sightless child.

He felt her warm tears on his face,
And said, " Oh, never weep for me!
I'm going to a bright, bright place,
Where, Mary says, God I shall sec.
"And you'll be there, dear Mary, too:
But, mother, when you get up there,
Tell Edward, mother, that 'tis you—
You know I never saw you here."

He spoke no more, but sweetly smiled
XJnfil the final call was given,
When God took up that poor blind child,
And opened first his eyes in heaven.

THE LOST PURSE.

IOB THE TOTING.

OitE cold stormy afternoon in October a little ragged boy, named Willy Wilson, was sitting upon the door-step of an empty house in Castle Street, crouching together, to try and make his poor, thin, tattered clothes keep the wind out. He had been there for a great many hours, watohing patiently for the chance of getting a penny to buy a little loaf of bread for his sick mother; but not one halfpenny had Willy got—the day being too wet to tempt any one to move out of their warm sitting-rooms into the inuddy streets—and poor Willy's tears began to trickle down his cheeks as he saw the clock hands in the church tower pointing to four. Just as he had made up his mind to go into another street, a short, fat old gentleman, carrying a large umbrella, came out of the square and walked quickly down the street. He was a pleasant, rosy-facd old gentleman, but frowned and shook his head when Willy, pulling otf a torn cap, asked him for a penny. And Willy was still running behind, telling his sad story, when a fierce gnat of wind caught the old gentleman's umbrella, and turned it inside out, blowing his hat half across the dirty street. Willie ran after the hat, and brought it back, wiping off the mud with his own poor cap.

"Think you: I've no coppers," said the old gentleman, "but here's a sixpence ;" and pulling a purse out of his coat pocket, lie g>ive Willy a until piec* of money, for wliiolj, clutching it in his halfnumbed hand, Willy hardly took time to

say, "Thank you," such a hurry was lie in to get away to the baker's for the loaf; the delight of having so much money as a whole sixpence making him forget his own hunger and cold, and run faster than he had ever run before. Suddenly he came bump up against something wet and slippery, and felt a great big hand grasp his collar, while a gruff voice asked him what he was running away from.

"The wet, sir," said Willy, wriggling about to get away. "I'm going to my mother."

"Ho, ho!" laughed the policeman, "What's this in your hand?"

"Only sixpence, sir, a kind gentleman has given me."

The policeman squeezed open Willy's hand, and showed, not a sixpence, but half a sovereign, which the old gentleman had given, and Willy had taken, without noticing.

"I thought so, you young rascal!" said the policeman. "You've been picking somebody's pocket; so I'll just lock you up till we find out whose money this is."

Poor Willy, bursting out crying, told the man his story, begging him to keep all the money except only sixpence, and let him go to his mother. But the more anxious Willy was to get away, the more certain did the policeman become that Willy had stolen the money; so he dragged him away, and locked him up.

Meantime the old gentleman got home, and when he took off his coar. missed his puree. He had seen no one except Willy, and remembered in what a hurry the boy ran away after he got the sixpence; so he immediately made up his mind that Willy had robbed him, and Bent off a description of the boy to the very policestation where Willy was sitting, half mad with fear and anxiety about his mother. You may fancy how delighted the policemen who had caught him was, and how proud he seemed when, next day, after being taken before a magistrate, Willy was sentenced to be sent to prison for six weeks, everybody thinking he had stolen and thro »ft away or hid the purse.

Willy s mother heard all the story from her neighbours, and tried all she could to get strong enough to go to the magistrate, to beg to be allowed to ses Willy. Then she went to the old aenlemnn, and told him that Willy had never stolen or told a lie in his life. But nothing could bo done,

Willy was very unhappy among the wicked people he was shut up with; and if it had not been that he met an oldclothes-man, who had lived in the same hne with his mother, I do ncjt know what he would have done. As it was, Willy and the old Jew became great friends, and the old man taught Willy to read from the tracts distributed by good people among the prisoners; so when the Jew left the prison Willy made him promise to go and see his mother, and comfort her as well as he could.

When the Jew got out of prison he went straight to Willy's mother, and made her come and live in his house, to help him to keep the shop, where he sold the old clothes he bought at different houses; going about early in the morning with a large black bag on his back, and letting the people know what he wanted by crying, "Olddo'; oldclo'."

One day, as he was passing the very old gentleman's house whose purse had been the cause of Willy's punishment, the manservant called him in, and showed him a large bundle of his master's old clothes. After a great deal of bargaining, the Jew bought them and carried them home, giving them to Willy's mother to brush iip and sponge to sell again.

Well, she unfolded and looked at the things very carefully, laying aside some to repair, others to hang up in the window. At last she came to a very old, thick great

coat, too old to sell, but Sq large that she thought to herself, "It will just do to make Willy a suit of clothes when he comes home." Accordingly, after she ha.d done her work, she began unripping the coat, to get it cut out and made for Willy.

Suddenly she felt something hard in between the linings, near one of the pockets, and called out to the Jew to come, for she thought she had found a prize; then, together, they pulled out the lining, and out fell a leather purse, the very purse Willy had been accused of stealing. You may bo sure it was not long before they carried the purse to its owner.

The old gentleman was very glad—for he had often thought of poor Willy's cold, thin little face on the day he first saw him—and lost no time in going to the magistrate who had tried the case, and there, before the whole oourt, he told the story.

So Willy was taken out of prison, and a number of gentlemen gave him enough money to set up a little shop for his mother, while he himself went to be a servant in the magistrate's house. And he is now a porter in one of the policecourts.

So, you sec, truth triumphed at last; as it always does, if you only have patience, and trust in God to put everything right at last,

fas front (Men Sines.

THE MISSION 01? SUEEEEERS.

We feel that we do not estimate highly enough the work that is accomplished for the Churoh by the sons and daughters of affliction. Really one of the most important instrumentalities in disseminating the Gospel, is the testimony wrought out bv those who patiently endure Buffering. We may see the importance God attaches to their work, in the fact that he scarcely • aves a community without some one in it that is, like Job, called upon to bear far more than his share of suffering.

The hardest load for such sufferers to bear, usually, is the thought, as they express it, that they are not permitted to do anything for their Master. They seem to themselves like a withered branch, and feel as though they were nought but a cumbrance to the vineyard. But the truth is, that by their patient suffering they are accomplishing, very likely, their most important work. They are bearing testimony. They are preparing ground for the Church to stand upon. They are making instruments for the Church to use in its aggressive warfare with infidelity. One can preaoh with greater assurance and boldness for having beneath him such ground; for he mar feel that none but the hopelessly hardened can have a face to spread clouds of doubt over the immortal hopes of those from whom all temporal good has flown. In the presence of a strong man it is conceivable that an infidel may flaunt his unbelief, and rest somewhat easy in his conscience notwithstanding it. But by the bedside of a poor sufferer, who stays upon the earth, but scarcely can be said to live in it, and whose only source of consolation is the promise of God, that speaks of a blessed immortality, there is scarcely one so bold as to utter his doubts, or any so abandoned as not to feel there that his doubts are wicked as well as revolting.

That community may count itself happy that is worthy to contain one of the Lord's suffering ones. That minister may count his strength well-nigh doubled when ha has to assist him the silent yet convincing voice of a Christian's suffering. We may help these sufferers to bear their burden of affliction. They in turn do certainly help us to bear the burden of convincing sinners that they need a Saviour, and that Christ alone supplies that need. "Surely affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground,"

A PASTOR'S REPUTATION.

A Ministke's character is the lock of his strength ; and if once this is sacrificed, he is like Samson shorn of his hair, a poor, feeble, faltering creature, the pity of his friends and the derision of his enemies. I would not have bad ministers screened, nor would I have good ones maligned. When a preacher of righteousness has stood in the way of sinners and walked in the counsel of the ungodly, he should never again open his'lips in the great congregation until his repentance is as notorious as his sin. But while his character is unsullied his friends should preserve it with as much care against the tongue of the slanderer as they would his life against the hand of the assassin. When I consider the restless malignity of the great enemy of God and holiness, and add to this his subtlety and craft; when I consider how much his malice would be gratified and his schemes promoted by blackening the character of the ministers of the

Gospel; when I consider what multitude of creatures there are who are his vassals, and under his influence—creatures so destitute of moral principle, and so filled with venomous spite against religion, as to be prepared to go any lengths in maligning the righteous, and especially their ministers —I can account for it on no other ground than that of a special interposition of Providence, that the reputation of Christian pastors is not more frequently attacked by slander and destroyed by calumny. But probably we see in this, as in other cases, that wise arrangement of Providence by which thing* of delicacy and consequence are preserved, by calling forth greater solicitude for their safety. Church-members should, therefore, be tremblingly alive to the importance of defending their minister's character. They should neither expect to see him perfect, nor hunt after his imperfections. When they cannot but see his imperfections — imperfections which, after all, may be consistent with not only real but eminent piety—they should not take pleasure in either magnifying or looking at them, bat make all reasonable excuse for them, and endeavour to lose sight of his infirmities in his virtues, as they do the spots of the sun amid the blaze of radiance with which they are surrounded.—John Angell James.

OUR BEHAVIOUR IN GOD'S
HOUSE.

Is it fitting to gaze irreverently, to whisper, to smile, to read, to weave the web of our vain imaginations, or even to slumber, in the presence, and under the gaze, of those blazing eyes, too pure to look upon? Trifle, if you choose, with wealth and character, and worldly education and health, and this bodily life itself, but trifle not with God's house, and day, and worship; for it is to squander your hopes of heaven, and to fritter away the staple of your salvation, and to commit suicide upon your souls. The mere habit of association should teach you such reverence. If we look with interest and respect on the observatory where science has toiled to read the starry pages of the unrolled heavens, where some eminent astronomer, like Herschel, lifting his telescope, has looked off from the edge, as it were, of our solar system, far into the azure depths of space, how much more regard and solemn interest should invest I the Christian sanctuary, the observatory of faith, where, taking her stand, Bhe lias looked beyond the flaming bounds of stars and systems of stars, into the eternal depths of heaven or hell? Here souls have been renewed, and here sealed to perdition. Here, for a time, it has seemed as if the fiery pit had its covering lifted off, and its smoke went up as the smoke of a furnace, and the wail of its unremitting and unmiti_'able anguish arose, piercing all hearts, and shaking all knees—the cry of despair that 3at eternally gnawing the coreof the sinner's heart. Here again, the soul, in communion with its God, has seemed already to discern the glories of the beatific vision, and has caught the reverberating thunder of those Halleluiahs that, with their resounding and incessant anthem, girdle the throne of light. Here the Saviour is seen by glimpses through the lattices of his ordinances; and here is the Pisgah on which we stand and gaze, till the heart is faint with longing, on the land that is afar off, and on the King in his beauty. Is such a place the proper scene for levity and indifference; for the witling's sneer and the trifler's thoughtlessness?— Dr. W. M. Williams.

THE TWO STRONG- ARMS.

A Gbeat scholar in Germany who was anxious to find the right way to heaven, but for all his learning could not succeed, went one day to church. On his way he met a poor old man to whom he wished "Good morning." The poor man thanked him, but added, he did not exactly remember ever having a bad one. "Well, then, I wish you much luck." "I thank you, »vc ; but, to tell the truth, I never yet have had bad luck." The scholar did not know what to make of the man, so he requested him to explain his meaning. "With pleasure," said the poor man. "I have never yet had a sorrowful morning; for if I am hungry, I praise God ; if I am

cold, I praise God; if it rain or snowthunder or lighten—let the weather be what it may, I praise God, and am always joyful. And I have never had a bad week. I resign myself to my dear Lord and Saviour, and am sure he does nothing wrong. What he permits, whether sweet or sour, joy or grief, I know is all for the best, and accept it with thanks and joy. All things must work together for good to them that love God."

The scholar was astonished at the faith of the poor man, and asked what he would do if God should thrust him into hell at last. "Thrust me into hell? that he will never do," answered the poor man ; "but if he should, I have two arms, the arm of faith and the arm of love; with them I would grasp him and hold him so fast that he must go with me; and where my Lord and my God is there is my heaven."— American Messenger.

AFFLICTION.

The way to the crown is by the cross. We must taste the gall if we are to taste the glory. If justified by faith, we must suffer tribulations. When God saves a soul, he tries it. Some believers are much surprised when they are called to suffer. They thought they would do some great thing for God; but all he permits them to do is to suffer for his sake. Go round to every one in glory: each has a different story to tell, yet every one a tale of suffering. But mark, all were brought out of them. It was a dark cloud, but it passed away. The water was deep, but they reached the other side. Not one there blames God for the way he led them thither. "Salvation!" is their only cry. Child of God, murmur not at your lot. You must have a palm, as well as a white robe. Learn to glory in tribulation also.—HVCheyne.

PROSPECTS BRIGHTEN. , The hopes we expressed in our last ii3ue, that the income of the Missionary

isstons.

Society would improve, have been entirely realized. At the end of January the probable deficit was found to have fallen to £4,800, and since February began the returns oontinue to show ft most favourable result.

Some may have supposed that the hearty response reported from so many places would have produced a larger and more immediate effect; but time must bo given to prosecute the proposed canvass, while many congregations have to arrange so that the special effort shall not interfere unnecessarily with their other requirements. Many instances, however, of great liberality have come to our notice. Perhaps the most striking is the one of the church at Inskip, in Lancashire. The pastor is a young minister who offered himself for mission service in Africa, and which offer the committee were compelled reluctantly, for the present, not to entertain. But ho has not failed to imbue the church over which he has for a time assumed the pastoral office, with his own ardent missionary spirit. The members are few, about fifty in number, and poor. On bringing the subject before his people, after seeking first guidance and help irom God in special prayer, the result surpassed all their expectations. To the astonishment of all, the amount promised was £55 19s Id. But he amount actually realized has exceeded the promises, being not less than £64 7s. Id. The following extract from Mr. Thomson's letter will show the spirit in which this has been accomplished:—

"The people are making sacrifices, denying themselves even of what may be termed necessaries, that the churches may see what can be done, even by the poor, for God's cause, when they are willing, and when they put forth their utmost exertions. One farm servant, receiving £10 per annum, has given £1. Another, with a wife and child, has given a like sum. A maid-servant, receiving about £9 yearly, has given £1. A young dressmaker has sacrificed a winter's cloak that she might give a sovereign. One man gives up sugar for a year, that he might save what he has promised to give. A young person, who has no money, but whose parents were about to buy her a new bonnet, resolved to make her old one do, that the money may be given to the Missionary Society. I might go on to multiply 6uch cases, but it is needless."

No wonder that Mr. Thomson should add in the letter transmitting the money,— "The blessing of God is still resting upon the church. In three instances husband

and wife have been led to the Saviour. In one instance, husband and wife and servant, all profess to have found Christ, so that wa have literally a household believing and being baptized."

But while our poor friends arc thus libe rally assisting, the more wealthy are also^ j doing their part. One writes as follows:—t

"Knclosed I have the pleasure to hand yott i my check far £20. We must aim at nothing 'less than an annual income of £50,000) indeed, I see no reason why we should notJ by continued and united effort, increase th» amount to £100,000! I shall be glad, either now or at somo future time, to form one of a committee of gentlemen to furthel the cause in this county, according to yoi valuable suggestion."

From Yorkshire good reports continue to come. The secretary of the local comjl mittoe, the Rev. T. Pottenger, ssys :—"B*af to the present time the returns of the canvas* are rather more than £350 in donation*, and £210 in subscriptions, which will net a^ clear increase of about £150 per annum." This last item is very important, for every effort will bo required to meet tho current expenditure next year as well as this.

Forthe purpose of setting on foot a similar work in other counties, conferences of ministers andotherfriendsof the society have been held in Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, and Gloucestershire. The subject was also fully discussed at the larr<e meeting of delegates of the East Lancashire Union, held at Bacup on the 10th ult. From all these places we learn that the feeling was most unanimous, the determination strong, not only to rescue the society from its present difficulties, but also to render it altogether unnecessary that any of the missionaries should be recalled.

While this busy movement is thus spreading from place to place, let us not forget to commend the great object of our labours to the Head of the Church. Through many lands our missionaries are bearing the good tidings of peace, sowing from day to day the precious seed. But it is not enough to sow broadcast as it were these germs of spiritual life. They need the refreshing, quickening rain from heaven, to stimulate them into life. From God cometh the increase. Let us therefore earnestly entreat that he withhold not the blessing—that our brlthren may not labour in vain.

« AnteriorContinuar »