« AnteriorContinuar »
The way to enjoy what you possess is to be willing to give it up if God call for it, saying, "Of Thine own have I given Thee."
He that pursues honour, applause, or worldly reputation is like the foolish schoolboy running after the butterfly, and neglecting his book; both meet with disappointment, dissatisfaction, and reproof.
If you have unreservedly given yourself to Christ, you have no reason to doubt that Christ gave Himself for you.
Christ as a Saviour is the great ordinance of God; and believing in Christ, receiving from Christ, and aiming in all things to honour Christ, is the constant duty and high privilege of every Christian.
In the way of duty, you may expect the Lord to come and work your deliverance: "They shall not be ashamed that wait for Me."
The first great thing in religion is, to receive Christ; the second is, to
live upon Him; the third is, to walk in Him ; the last, to be for
ever with Him.
The more firmly you trust God's word, the more comfort will you find
in His ways, and the more occasion will you find to praise and
bless His name. You may talk of divine things as long as you please, but you must feel
them ; and if you feel them, you will love and practise them:
truth in the heart produces obedience. God is never a moment too late with His mercies ; but He sometimes
comes just at the last moment.
The patience of God is the preservation of the world.
Christ has wrought and suffered, that was in our stead: He has spoken, that is for our instruction and consolation.
God will do all He has promised you, but He will do it in the way He has promised; which always secures all the glory to Himself.
|ho among God's people has not on his heart the burden of some dear one still untouched by the saving love of Christ—and has not felt discouraged when daily supplication, it may be for years, on behalf of such an one seems to have availed nothing? Under such circumstances we are sometimes tempted to think that the resistance in the sinner is more mighty, more real, than the invisible yet almighty power of God's Spirit.
Perhaps the perusal of the following true record of answered prayer will encourage some thus "wearied and faint in their minds," to stay themselves on His faithfulness, who has declared that, "All things are possible to him that believeth;" and that with Him all things are possible—save one: "He cannot deny Himself.
A poor widow named Mary Grant lived in a little hamlet on the Sussex coast. Her husband had been lost at sea, whilst exerting himself, as captain of the Worthing life-boat, to rescue a shipwrecked crew, and had left Mary, and a little son two years of age, quite destitute as to earthly provision. But widow Grant had early chosen the Lord for her portion, and felt rich in His gracious promises. She set herself resignedly, almost cheerfully, to labour for her daily bread, trusting in her heavenly Father's help and blessing: friends gathered round her, and soon all looked bright and promising.
Amidst her toilsome efforts to supply her child's bodily wants, she never lost sight of his higher interests; daily praying that the God of her salvation would draw to Himself the affections of her fatherless child. She tried to interest John, from his earliest years, in the truths of the Bible, and to impress on him the reality of the things unseen and eternal. The son from the age of six years was a regular attendant at the village school, and attracted the attention of both master and visitors by his bright looks and rapid progress. The minister of the parish soon noticed little John with approval; and his eldest son, a thoughtful, promising youth, often spoke to the widow's child in tones of interest and encouragement, and engaged himself to be a friend to him through life.
But a blighting change came over this happy state of things. When John was ten years old, his mother fell ill; a severe cold settled on her lungs, and after some months of suffering she breathed her last . Tidings of this sad event being sent to her only relative—a brother named Gould, who carried on the trade of a shoemaker in Whitechapel—he went down to attend her funeral; and then he took the orphan back with him to London to avert what he considered the disgrace of having a nephew in the workhouse. To the boy's distress, the rector and his family were absent at the time of this occurrence; and he felt, as he left his native place, that he was being cut off from all that had made life happy.
It was a home where love and peace were unknown to which John Grant was now transported; for Gould and his household were an ungodly set. The parents regarded the orphan as an encumbrance, the children as an intruder; and the unkind feeling of the latter was increased by envy when their father, finding John docile and quick, began to teach him his own trade of shoemaking. Often the boy thought, as he smarted under the treatment to which he was exposed, "How poor mother would have grieved to know of this!" But he felt no concern for that which would have grieved his mother far more than his troubles—his forgetfulness of God: for the unholy influences of his uncle's home had wrought with seemingly fatal effect, and throughout these years of his youth there appeared no increase given to the widow's careful planting of the good seed, and watering of prayer.
At the age of twenty, John left his uncle's cheerless roof, and established himself in a little cobbler's stall about half a mile off, where success attended him beyond his expectations. His steadiness and indefatigable industry secured
him a great many regular customers; and before many years had elapsed, he was living in a comfortable home with a wife and three fine children—still, alas! in forgetfulness of Him whose loving hand had bestowed these blessings upon him.
When John had been married about ten years, his wife's health began to fail; her gaiety and cheerfulness, the result of mere animal spirits, forsook her, and with them fled all her attraction for her husband. His home became distasteful to him, and he sought recreation in the society of such men as it would once have appeafred contamination to him to mingle with. His dread of poverty and disgrace kept him constant to his work, whenever there was work to be done; but every leisure hour became a season of danger, every sabbath a desecrated day. He had, with his wife, attended a place of worship with tolerable regularity the first two years of their married life, because it looked respectable to his customers, many of whom he saw there; but as their patronage became certain, the cobbler gladly laid aside this uncongenial observance.
One Sunday morning he was strolling with a merry companion towards Chelsea, just as a large number of people were dispersing from various places of public worship. The young men examined these church-going crowds with idle curiosity, as they would have gazed on a crowd emerging from a theatre. They strolled on to Brompton, thence to Hammersmith, where they partook of refreshment at a publichouse. John's early restraint and God's preventing grace had kept him, amidst great temptation, from the habit of drunkenness; but on this occasion both he and his friend drank freely. On their way home, as they reached Chelsea, the latter proposed entering another house of entertainment. But John, finding his funds low, and knowing moreover that his companion was addicted to intemperance, rejected the proposal. The other, however, expressed himself determined to go no further without a rest; and John, hearing the sound of a church-bell close by, proposed they should rest in church. His companion assenting, they entered heedlessly into the house of prayer, and soon found themselves in a comfortable seat at a short distance from the pulpit.
The prayers and lessons attracted little of their attention; butwhen another clergyman ascended to the pulpit, and began to pray for a blessing on the message of God's truth he was about to utter, a striking change came over the countenance of John Grant. He had recognized the kind friend of his childhood, the son of the rector of the parish in which he had been brought up; and as the sight of one he had once so loved and honoured brought to his remembrance his infant innocence, his childhood's prayers, his mother's piety, his young friend's loving, holy counsels, there suddenly awoke within him, with almost overwhelming force, feelings which had lain dormant for years; desires after God, and holiness and heaven, now mingled with a crushing sense of his obdurate resistance of God's Holy Spirit.
The preacher chose for his text, "What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed?" (Rom. vi. 21.) John did not hear it given out, being at first too much overpowered by his feelings to listen ; but as it was reiterated in the course of the sermon, the solemn words awoke a heart-stirring echo within him. The sword of the Spirit pierced his soul with a wound which seemed to him incurable. But blessed be God! He only wounds thus to heal unto life everlasting.
The sermon over, John awoke his friend from a sound sleep, and they proceeded homewards. To the great relief of the former, their ways soon diverged. At parting, John withdrew a promise he had given to meet his friend at a theatre the next evening; having already fixed that time in his own mind for calling on his former friend.
I need scarcely tell how kindly he was received, nor how joyfully the clergyman assured him concerning the plenteous redemption that is in Jesus Christ; the gladness with which that loving Saviour welcomes the return of the