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The more you use the book, the more valuable will it become to you. If you desire that the “ word of Christ” should " dwell in you richly in all wisdom ;” if you would become “ mighty in the Scriptures,” use your Concordance. Neither that nor any other book, without God's blessing, can do you good; but with it, your Bible and your Concordance will be the most useful books in the world.
CALL ON ONE NEGLIGENT OF HIS DUTIES.
I leave this tract with you, hoping that it will enable you to see more clearly than you now do, how closely your interest and your duty are linked together. When we do what we ought to do, we are sure to do ourselves good; when we do what we ought not to do, we are sure to do ourselves harm. Now, let this remark be remembered; for when fully believed in, it is worth more than a purse of gold. You cannot do your duty to God and man, without doing good to yourself at the same time. For instance: cleanliness will greatly add to your comfort; sobriety tends to health, and often renders the visits of the doctor unnecessary; industry will keep something boiling in the pot, and put by a little for a rainy day ; honesty will give you as many friends as you like to have; and religion
will bestow peace of mind, with the prospect of God's blessing here, and glory hereafter.
Be, then, cleanly and sober in your habits, industrious in your calling, honest in all things; and seek, with a full reliance on Divine assistance, with all your heart, your soul, and your strength, the manifold blessings which attend a life of faith in the Son of God.
CALL ON A CARPENTER. One word with you, James, while you go on with your employment. When I look at your chest of tools, your dry, comfortable shop, and the work that you have in hand, I consider that you ought to be one of the most contented men in the whole street; and yet I always find you ready to repine. We should have no complaining, James, either on our lips or in our hearts; for a repining spirit is a reproach to the breast that it inhabits. We can throw a trifle cheerfully into the old hat of a grateful beggar; but if we know one who remembers to whine over his troubles, and forgets to return thanks for what is given him, we pass him by in disgust as an unthankful vagabond. Now, we are all beggars even for our daily bread, and if we obtain it at the hands of our heavenly Father, the blessing ought to be gratefully acknowledged.
You expect to find everything as smooth and as even as two sawn boards; but it never was so, and it never will be so as long as you are a carpenter. If your work goes on ever so smoothly, now and then your saw will grate against a nail, and the sleekest board will have a knot in it; and so it is with life. Use your tools as you may, your plane will get out of order; and drive your nails ever so carefully, some of them will go awry. You must expect these things, and not be put out of temper by them. You have an industrious wife, good health, and plenty of work, and no man ought to be happier. Many, with less than you get, have a family of half-a-dozen children to support; and you have neither chick nor child. Now, be persuaded to look at things with a more cheerful and a more grateful spirit. It is astonishing what a hopeful, persevering disposition does for a man. It is, with God's favour, the making of him. A man once told me what such a disposition did for him: “I was a poor sawyer,” said he,“ but I kept up my spirits, and felt determined to get on in the world. I at first worked at the bottom of the saw-pit, then at the top, then bought the piece of timber that I stood upon; after that I turned wheelwright, then carpenter, and at last builder, and I am now a thriving man with a wife and twelve children.” Now, there is a man for you! and here are you, with no one in the world to provide for but yourself and your wife, complaining and repining as though no one was so hardly dealt with as yourself. I tell you what, James, if the love and grace of God ruled in your heart, you would be ten times more grateful for his mercies. The whole world cannot satisfy an unthankful spirit. If you regarded God as your heavenly Father, and believed that he gave his Son to die for you on the cross, you would see that the same love that moved God to give us heaven and eternal happiness, also leads him to give us our daily bread; you would trust in him, you would obey him, you would praise him, and be satisfied that he would do all things right concerning you. Think of this, James; think of this! The presence of God will drive away the dark clouds of repinins, and the love of God will cure ten thousand troubles.
CALL ON ONE FOND OF SINGING, Visitor. How are you, Gilbert ? light of heart, I perceive, whatever troubles you may have to contend with. It does me good to hear any one sing at his employment, especially if he be a singer of the songs of Zion. There are many happy seasons in the experience of true Christians; seasons when a sense of God's goodness and unspeakable mercy so melts their hearts, that unable to utter their gratitude to the Father of mercies in common language, they burst out into a hymn of thanksgiving, a song of praise :
** When all thy mercies, O my God,
My rising soul surveys;
In wonder, love, and praise.
The gratitude declare
But Thou canst read it there !" Gilbert. To sing with the spirit and the understanding is indeed a pleasant thing; and there is no reason, when the hands are employed usefully, that the heart should not be employed gratefully. I like singing for two reasons : the one, because it keeps up the tone of my spiritual affections; the other, because it convinces those around me that a follower of the Redeemer may have a cheerful heart.
Visitor. You are right, Gilbert; your singing has drawn me in for a moment, when otherwise I should have passed by. More frequently in my walks do I hear the song of the drunkard than the song of Zion; for the injunction of the apostle is not frequently regarded : “Let the