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"But," added Mr. Andrews, solemnly, "is there anyone who will venture to face the future, to live in the present, without this assurance? Think what it must be to have all this power, all this goodness, all this wisdom, not for us, but against us. To lie down and rise up, to go in and out, to wake and sleep, with the awful burden of God's wrath abiding on us.1 To be 'none of His,'2 to live 'without God,' to die 'without hope ;' to rise again only to hear the tremendous words, 'Depart from Me,' from His lips, whose tender and beseeching and oft-repeated, 'Come unto Me/ you have again and again rejected.
"Oh, if there be one such here with us to-night, one who thinks there is time enough, one who has never said, 'Yes, Lord, I come; I, a lost sinner; I come, just as I am, to Thee, the only Saviour; to Thee whom, in His great love, God hath sent, 'that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life'3—come now, come for life, for pardon, for peace, for heaven, for all that is contained in this 'God for us,' for ' God was in. Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.'"
"Wfat tlmt | am afraifcr."
When all within is grief and fear,
To Thee I'll flee in sorrow's hour,
By faith to cling to Thee.
When anguish is too deep for speech,
To lean, by faith, on Thee.
1 John iii. 36. * Rom. viii. 9. 'John iii. 16.
When impious thoughts disturb my rest,
M. E. a.
"$t ixrill ht all % srmu rn a piwnirnir gears'
jJT will be all the same in a hundred years' time,"
said John Cooper to his neighbour Harry Bond,
when the latter remonstrated with him for having
committed what seemed to him a foolish act . "' It
is no use crying over spilt milk,' and as I said before, 'It
will be all the same in a hundred years' time.'"
"Wait a minute, John; will it be all the same? Are you quite sure that what you have done will not have an influence on some one or other even a hundred years hence?"
It was not Harry Bond that asked these questions, but Mr. Shaw, the minister, who knew both the men and had overheard John Cooper's remark.
"I didn't know you were there, sir," said Cooper, looking just a little confused, for the minister had taken him by surprise. "No, sir; what I was talking about will make no difference to the world in a hundred years' time. It was only »
"Well, well," said Mr. Shaw, " I don't want to pry into your secrets, nor to ask what you were talking about, but, whatever it was, I think you are wrong in saying it will make no difference to anyone in another century; there is hardly a word one speaks or action one performs but has its influence on others; and no one knows where that influence may end."
"Well, sir," answered Cooper, " I must say I didn't think of that."
"I don't suppose you did, John; and I doubt very much whether most persons who make use of that saying do think of it. If they were to say,' I shall not be here to see the result of what I am doing,' it would be a different thing; but to say that'it will be all the same in a hundred years' time' is generally a mistake."
"But do you really think, sir, that our actions will make a difference to those that come after us?"
"Yes, I do, indeed, John. We meet with plenty of proofs of that every day of our lives, and if we could only know more than we do of the past we should be able to trace some very large results to small beginnings. You know the gentleman who passed us in his carriage just now, don't you?"
"What, Mr. Gould! Oh, yes, I know him well enough by sight, sir."
"And you know what people say about him, I dare say?"
"I have heard them say that he is the richest man in the neighbourhood, if that is what you mean."
"Yes. And I think they are about right; at any rate, Mr. Gould is very rich; but how did he become so, do .you think?"
"Why, sir, his father left him a very large fortune."
"Yes, but how was it that his father had it to leave?"
"Oh, he had inherited a great deal from his own father, who came to this town years ago a very poor man, with only a few shillings in his pocket. I know that is true, sir, because Mr. Gould told us so, not long ago, when he gave an address to the members of our club."
"Yes, I was thinking of that when I asked you the question, and that is just the point I wanted to bring you to. Now, suppose Mr. Gould's grandfather, when he came here a poor man, instead of husbanding his slender resources, had spent the few shillings he had improvidently, and said, 'It will be all the same in a hundred years' time,' should we have seen the present Mr. Gould riding in a fine carriage to-day, do you think?"
"Not at all likely, sir," answered both Cooper and Bond. "But that is a different sort of thing from what we were talking about," Cooper continued.
"So it may be; and perhaps what you were speaking of really will make very little difference; but that does not alter my opinion that 'it will be all the same in a hundred years' time' is, generally speaking, a foolish and erroneous saying."
"Perhaps it is, sir; and I will think of what you have said before I use the expression again."
"There is another thing I should like to point out to you, John, and I think you will agree with me in what I am about to say, which is, that none of us ought to be content to say and feel that our actions will make no difference to the future of others. We cannot pass through life without influencing some about us either for good or for evil, so we ought to be very careful that our actions be good, and such as will bear the closest scrutiny, and then we ought to perform them in the manner most likely to influence those around us; doing this, we should be continually scattering good seed, the full fruit of which may not be gathered in until the great day when the Lord of the harvest shall send His labourers into the harvest, and when the works of every man shall be made manifest."
"Well, sir, I really never looked upon my actions in such a serious light," said Cooper.
"No, nor I neither," responded Bond. "I somehow seemed to fancy that it was only great men and ministers like you, sir, that had much influence with others."
"Ah ! then you were much mistaken. All men do some good or harm during their lifetime, though, of course, some have greater influence than others.
"Now, just look here," continued Mr. Shaw, as he stooped down and picked up two stones from the road, "you see these stones; one is much larger than the other."
"Yes," said the men, wondering what next the minister would do.
"Well, I am going to throw them into the stream : just notice the effect they have. Here goes the large one." Splash went the stone into the middle of the stream and disappeared, but though the stone was out of sight the effect of the splash lasted some moments. Around the spot where it fell there appeared a number of tiny rings, which quickly widened out and increased in size until they spent themselves one after another on the banks on either side of the stream.
"There," said Mr. Shaw, "that was the great man, and his influence was great and reached right on till it could go no farther, and was to be distinguished up to the end of time—for I will liken the sides of the stream to the end of all things. Now for the smaller stone, which we will suppose to represent a more obscure individual. See, there are the rings coming," he continued, as the stone fell into the water.
"Not so large, though, sir, this time," said Cooper.
"No, nor won't last so long ; they won't reach the bank," cried Bond, as he eagerly watched the widening circles, which seemed to be racing each other to the edges of the brook, but before they reached their goals they had disappeared, and the quiet stream looked as placid as before.
"That little one didn't do so much as the other," said Bond. "I suppose that was something like you and me, John—hadn't got so much influence as the larger one; perhaps the large one was Mr. Shaw," he added, smiling slily.
"Well," said the minister, smiling in return at the implied compliment, "you noticed that the smaller stone, or the more obscure man, to keep up the simile, did not have so much influence as the other, the ripples raised on the surface of the water were not so high as from the other."
"No, sir, nor didn't reach so far," Bond put in; for he didn't want to give up that point.
"There you are wrong, Bond," said Mr. Shaw, "for although we couldn't see the rings come right up to the bank, the fault was in our want of sight keen enough to discern