« AnteriorContinua »
“ Helping together by prayer." OME ten or twelve years ago new power seemed to
come down on the Church of Christ, causing many of its members to wake up to duties and privileges
they had till then scarcely realized. Friends felt a deeper interest in friends; neighbours thought of neighbours, and sought to influence them for good, in many striking instances with marked success. Brothers and sisters who knew the Lord, brought other brothers and sisters to Him for blessing. The various classes
were moved with sympathy towards each other, the pulse of spiritual life beat higher, and many a humble Christian man or woman convened small meetings where they unitedly pleaded for souls.
Among others who were thus moved, Christian parents took their place, and assembled here and there in fathers' and mothers' prayer-meetings. Mothers alone also grouped themselves into little private gatherings with the same object in view, and pleaded -as only mothers can plead—for the salvation of their children. If space permitted, details might be given of marked answers. One or two of singular interest can hardly be withheld.
The eldest son of a large family, who had for fourteen years been made an especial subject of prayer, who had been abroad seven years and very much cut off from means of grace, was suddenly led to decision in the quiet morning hour while in his own room, and went forth to profess Christ in a public assembly that very day. He has ever since been a consistent Christian.
An only daughter was arrested in a similar manner. Standing beside her bed, she was on a sudden overwhelmed with a deep sense of sin, fell on her knees in agony, and cried for mercy, till Jesus was revealed to her as an all-sufficient Saviour.
In both these cases the Holy Spirit, in answer to prayer, touched hearts which had resisted unusually earnest effort, and in both did His own work effectively, without human instrumentality, and under circumstances adverse to such a result. We may well add, then, blessed be God, this "power" has not diminished, but manifestly increased ; and now we can look on well-known and established, and on well-attended parents' prayer-meetings, in various localities. Who can calculate the amount of gracious answers ?
In the small Mothers' prayer meetings which are held in private houses we take an especial interest. Those forming them know each other, and realize each other's sympathy in each other's needs and anxieties in a very lively way. They usually meet on a fixed day and hour in each month, converse with each other on points of mutual interest and difficulty in reference to their indi
vidual children, for whom they unite in seeking the special blessings they may just then be needing.
We would earnestly counsel every anxious parent to try and form such a meeting in her own locality. It is a simple thing, and can be begun by a timid mother with one friend; for “if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them” (Matt. xviii. 19).
Soon the two will enlist the interest of a third and fourth; for what is so near a yearning mother's heart as the early conversion of her beloved children? Those who meet should determine, by God's help, to take their turn in prayer, not heeding hesitation, pauses, or an abrupt ending; for they are striving to pray, not to be heard by one another, but to be heard and answered by God; and the Holy Spirit is promised to teach us how to pray, and what to ask. “The Spirit helpeth our infirmities,” is an assurance we may rely on without fear of disappointment.
Let us entreat those mothers who read this paper to adopt its suggestions, and to seek one or more with whom to begin a weekly or monthly gathering. Those who have done so can tell how many a deep sorrow, how many a sore trial, has thus been shared with sisters who have felt the privilege of bearing each other's burdens; and they can also tell of glorious results in answers so marvellous that the very mention of them fills the mind with adoring wonder and praise.
"IN THE COVERT OF THY WINGS."
N early railway journey brought me to the sick-bed of a dear friend from whom I had received on that morning an urgent summons.
His case was a hopeless one, and he knew it; but that was not the cause of his present anxiety.
Almost his first word to me on my entering his room was,
- This is death. I feel it, and don't expect to get better; but I am not like you; I am not sure that I am safe."
“Look at that,” he said, and handed me his Bible open at the 61st Psalm. I read it aloud slowly, and when I came to the fourth verse, " I will trust
in the covert of Thy wings," I paused, and asked my friend—“Where is the chicken safe? Under its mother's wing. Does it know it? May it not flutter and be in terror? It may, but nevertheless it is safe. Now, let me ask, to what are you trusting your soul's salvation ?” “To Jesus only; I have no other hope. "Neither have I any other hope,” I said, “In that respect we are both alike—we are both in the covert of His wings. You flutter and tremble and are in doubt, wanting something besides shelter ; I take God at His word, and though, like you, a helpless sinner, yet, trusting in Jesus, I fear not, for
He has said, 'Pear not, for I am with thee; be not afraid, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee ; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
“Now, suppose that you and I are going to America in the same ship. You are constantly apprehending shipwreck : every wave terrifies, every blast affrights; and I am peaceful and contented, trusting in the sea-worthiness of the vessel,--are we not equally safe? Your fears will not sink the ship, nor my confidence keep it afloat; we are both on board, and as the ship is safe, so are we.”
He raised his hand, pressed his finger on his brow, and said quietly, “I see.” Sinking back on his pillow, a look of peace passed over his worn features. “Now," I said, “if we are both under His wings, how are we?” “Safe.” “If we are both in the ship?" "Safe,” he said emphatically. "Is it not grand to think that we are both equally safe, -you, with your doubts and fears ; I, with the full assurance of faith. Now, why should we not be equally happy?" His face beamed out, and the work was done.
From that hour, my friend's heart was overflowing with joy and gratitude; and though suffering acutely for the remaining weeks of his life, his newly-found peace flowed like a river. The natural sorrow at parting from a dearly loved wife and children was soothed by His Saviour's love; and whilst with tearful eyes and broken voice he spoke of that separation, his face would suddenly change, illumined as with a ray of sunshine, and he would rub his hands together for very gladness, and say, “ All is well, and I am going to Jesus. O Lord, I am 'IN THE COVERT OF THY WINGS !
HABITS OF NEATNESS.- Education into habits of neatness is almost entirely in the hands of the mother or of her deputies. She herself, then, must be thoroughly educated into it; and it were well that she remembered, and taught her daughter to remember, that real neatness includes the unseen as well as the seen. Neatness has a moral significance not to be despised; for though it is true that the dress is an index of the character, and that external neatness habitually covering untidy under-clothing is only typical of some moral unsoundness, it is equally true that there is influence in the other direction, from the external inward. The habit of neatness furnishes soil in which the tree of self-respect may begin its growth. Do we not all know that a child behaves better in clean clothes than in soiled ones? And has there not been a perceptible elevation in the real character of the city police since they were dressed in neat uniforms? I know that the fact that they are in uniform touches another point, and yet it is not all. If instead of setting the beggar on horseback, we clothe him in clean garments, we all know that we have given him an impulse in the direction of the good.
THANK GOD FOR THE BIBLE !
The story of Christ and His love
How He came down to earth from His beautiful homo In the mansions of glory above, While He lived on this earth, to the sick and the blind,
And to mourners, His blessings were given ; And He said, “Let the little ones come unto Me,
For of such is the kingdom of heaven.” In the Bible we read of a beautiful land
Where sorrow and pain never come ;
And 'tis there He's prepared us a home.
We'll scatter with bountiful hand;
Till we go to that beautiful land.
WEEDS AND SEEDS.
And in them both there grew so many weeds
So very rank and tall they grew, and wild,
'Mid burning suns and storms of childish tears, To root the weed from out my garden's soil,
Which to the tiller's eye so vile appears.
In despite of my toil still grew the weeds;
Nowhere I found to plant the goodly seeds. A kindly neighbour saw me o'er the wall,
And asked me why I toiled so long for naught; “For thus," he said, “thou wilt not work their fall,
Nor gain the end for which thou long hast wrought. “Put in thy plough, then plant the clover seeds,
And mark me if I speak thee not the truth : The seeds will grow and choke the hateful weeds
To which thy tireless hand hath shown no ruth.” Ah, kindly neighbour, o'er the garden wall,
Thou'st taught me what I had much need to know,To fret not at the weeds which grow so tall,
But haste with liberal hand my seed to sow.
No longer now to rudely pull the weeds ;
In faith and love I thickly sowed the seeds.
From laden boughs I pluck the golden fruit,