« AnteriorContinuar »
"After Thy loving-kindness, Lord,
I heard him muttering words of prayer
Far on into the night;
Amid the morning light,
Asking for mercy of the Lord,
And pardon of his sin;
The Lord would take him in.
For days 'twas thus with him, and oft
He seemed to cherish but one thought—
He bade me teach him hymns and psalms,
And then all day he sung;
As he again were young.
The season passed, we were to part;
I found that he was bent
The Indian settlement.
"I wish to go," the old man said,
"Our paths are different upon earth,
He raised his voice and cried "Farewell,"
And then I heard him sing,
That made the forest ring.
'Twas of Jerusalem his home,
I listened till the music died
Still seemed there echo of his words,
Although the man was gone:
The path to heaven is one.
I know it now—that way is Christ;
I hardly knew it then,
The words of other men.
O, friend, who hath my story read,
Believe this word is true,—
Can save and ransom you.
Pray unto Him the sinner's prayer
And He your soul will bless,
Of his pure righteousness.
Ask Him for pardon of your sin,
Ask for the Spirit's aid,
And do not be afraid.
For He will lead you in the way
Where all the ransom'd go,
R. R. THOM.
ito Spending $$0i«£.
\Oor John Brunton had always been in the habit of looking at the dark side of things, and he was now in great trouble.
After forty years' faithful service with the same master, he had been thrown out of work. Mr. Pollard, whom he had served so long, was an upholsterer, and John had been his foreman.
This is how it happened that John was out of employment. Mr. Pollard had retired from business. Before retiring, however, he had given John the first offer of it, but John couldn't find the needful capital. He had had so much trouble in his family as to be unable to save even the twentieth part of what was required to enter on such a large concern, and he could find nobody to help him. The business was therefore sold to two young men from a distance.
Mr. Pollard strongly recommended John to his successors, but they had formed their own plans. One of themselves was to act as foreman, whilst the other was to take charge of the front shop and the accounts.
Nor did they care to keep John in any lower capacity. He was fifty-five years of age, and he looked even older; so, though it might have been thought his knowledge of the business would have been of some advantage to them, they thought there was so little work left in him that it would not pay them to retain him. They had made up their minds to have about them none but young and vigorous men.
When a working man has to seek another place at fiftyfive, his chances of getting such a one as he would like are commonly very small: and so John found it. At length he came to the conclusion that there was nothing else to be done than to take a little place of his own, and to begin for himself in a small sort of way.
But John, though a good and careful workman, was one of those men who are better fitted to be servants than masters; and he did not get on very well.
Let it be stated that John was a true Christian.
One evening George Rylands, an old friend of his, called to see him, and he found him sadly downcast . Everything was going wrong; work was scarce; he could not get his money in; he was getting older and feebler, and so was his wife. They had two sons and two daughters; but the daughters had married working men, and had families of their own, and so were unable to help them; and the sons were in Australia. They would come to the Union, he said, before long.
* 3 IOJ
George Rylands was far poorer than his friend, for he was only a cobbler; but in another way he was as rich as a prince, for he had a bright, hopeful spirit, and an undoubting trust in God.
George heard what John had to say, and told him how sorry he was; but as soon as he could he went off on quite a different tack. He knew, however, what he was doing.
"John," he said, "that was a grand sermon we had from Mr. Flower on Sunday morning."
Mr. Flower's text had been those words of the apostle Peter: "An inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away."
"Yes," replied John, "it was. Ah! if it were not for a hope like that, I sometimes think there would be no bearing life. Every now and then I wish it were all over, and I were there."
"Well, well," said George, "we shall get there when God pleases. We've a loving Saviour who won't forsake us, and who is able to save us to the uttermost; and we may say, like Paul, 'I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.'"
In this way they talked on, George contriving as they talked to bring out from John the expression of a strong hope of everlasting life in heaven through the Lord Jesus Christ.
"John," said George at length, "do you remember Little Faith, in the 'Pilgrim's Progress'?"
"Yes," replied John; "what about him?"
"Well, this," said George: "I sometimes think you are a little bit like him."
"How so ?" asked John.
"This way," replied George: "Bunyan says that, as Little Faith went on his journey, three sturdy rogues, Faintheart, Mistrust, and Guilt, set on him and robbed him, and took from him nearly all the money he had, leaving him only some odd bits, not nearly enough to take him to the end of his journey, so that he had to beg to keep himself alive. But, says Bunyan, he had some jewels, which the thieves never found, because they never ransacked the place where he kept them."
"But what, in all the world," asked John, " has that to do with me?"
"Little Faith's chief jewel," replied George, "was his certificate—his good hope—of everlasting life, and he had kept that, though he had hardly any spending money for his present needs. Now I think you have that jewel safe. You can trust the Lord Jesus to take you to heaven, but you have not faith enough to trust Him for the present life. You've got no spending money. Bless you, John! if He is able and willing to do all that for us in the world to come, do you not think He is able—and willing too—to give us the little things we need for the short time we have to stop here? Ought we not to trust Him for these as well as for heaven? That's a Testament, is it not?"
"Yes," said John, handing it to him.
"May I read a verse or two?" asked George.
John assented, and George read out of the sixth chapter of the gospel by Matthew, the Lord Jesus Christ's words about the loving Providence of our Heavenly Father: and then he read those words of the apostle Paul: ''' He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" And these also: "My God shall supply all your need, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
"Ah!" said John, "if one could only believe all that!"
"And why should we not?" asked his friend. "If they are God's promises, He expects us to believe them just the same as His promises of heaven. By the way, John, how many times is it that you have been to the parish?"
"' Been to the parish !'" said John, rather warmly; "never once in all my life."
"Well, well," said George, with a merry twinkle in his