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“ Ma Promised me"
Ministry of Song (The)
Mothers’ Prayer-meetings ...
School at the Table (The)... 53
Thoughts for a Mothers' Meeting 44
“O Save me for Thy Mercies'
Over my Slumbering Infant 60
Paul in Prison
Prayers of Parents (The)
Prisons do not Exclude God 165
(Gen. xxii, 14.) HE LORD WILL PROVIDE." Take this as a motto for the New Year. Go forward in pious trust that daily bread shall be given you, and daily comforts granted. Difficulties, cares, and trials may await you, but support will be given. The
year may bring wants, but it will also bring supplies. It will bring duties and responsibilities, but it will bring strength and grace to perform them. All times are in the hands of God; all circumstances are under His control. Consider what He has done for you already, what He is now doing, and what He has engaged to do. He who helped yesterday is no less able and willing to help you to-day. He who hath comforted you will continue to comfort. He sees as clearly the future as the past ; what you have to meet, as well as what you have surmounted. “Commit, then, thy way unto the Lord: trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Have faith in God."
To Thee, O gracious Father, my New Year's hymn I raise :
THE BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT.
T was Christmas eve, and the widow Dale sat alone in her poor and scantily-furnished apartment, and as the daylight faded away, she let the work fall from her ever-busy fingers, and sat gazing into the decaying
embers with a heart full of sad, sad memories, and very few hopes in the future this side the grave.
A few years since—a happy home, a kind husband,
little children, many cares, but oh, so many joys and hopes! and now a lonely home, a grass-grown grave in a far-off land, and little graves upon the hill-side, and one only of the merry band of children now living, and he—God help the mother of such a son! -he was a careless, drinking young man, who was bringing his mother's grey hairs in sorrow to the grave.
“ Christmas eve,” she said to herself, " a night on which we all should rejoice; kind wishes are everywhere uttered, and Christmas gifts are distributed by bountiful hands. Oh that I had a Christmas gift for my poor boy ! but, alas !” and she looked around the cheerless apartment, “I have nothing to give him-nothing but my prayers.'
“Why not give him your prayers on this Christmas eve ?” a voice seemed to whisper in her ear; “give your prayers, give him your prayers.'
And there, by that desolate hearthstone, she knelt and gave her prayers—long, earnest, pitiful. She wrestled like Jacob in his vision ; she felt she could not let the Divine presence depart without a blessing.
The hours sped on, the church-clock struck midnight, and Christmas chimes pealed forth upon the wintry air, and still she knelt, still she cried unto the Lord.
At length she rose from her knees; all anguish had passed away from her face; she had been with God. His blessing rested upon her, and in low, sweet tones she began to sing the song of the angels: 'Peace on earth, good-will to men.' She lighted a candle, and as its faint rays dispelled the darkness in the little room, she found she was not alone. Her son was there, sitting with his head bowed upon the table, while sobs shook his manly frame. The mother approached him gently, and laid her hand upon his shoulder; he looked up, and through his tear-dimmed eye he gazed into her face-changed, changed indeed—he too had been with his Maker!
“Mother,” said he in very gentle tones, “I have brought you a Christmas gift, the best I could find,” and he put a slip of paper in her hand. It was a solemn pledge, a temperance pledge, that he would abstain from all intoxicating drinks from that day. “And God helping me, mother, I'll do it. Mr. Graves has been,
oh, so kind to me, and has promised me all the work I can do if I'll stick to the pledge; and we'll be happy, motber. You and I will live together as mother and son should live. O mother, mother!”
He fell upon her neck and wept aloud. Then hastily brushing away the tears, he said in a cheery voice :
“But where is my Christmas present, mother? You have said nothing about a gift for me. “ All the
Christmas gift I had to offer was my prayers, my son, and it seemed a little while ago as if a voice whispered in my ear,
Give him your prayers, give your boy your prayers on this Christmas eve ;' and God was very near me to-night, and my prayers were answered. God has indeed been with us. I could not let Him go without a blessing."
Then the son told the mother that this was no sudden change; he had been resolving to begin the New Year a different man, and he thought he would gladden his mother's heart by making a most acceptable gift of the temperance pledge as the commencement of reform. “But, mother," said the penitent son, “after all, my gift seems small compared with yours. If I had not had a Christian mother, she would not have pleaded for me with such importunity at the throne of grace. Mother, mother, the best of all Christmas gifts is a mother's prayers.”
BEGIN WITH THE YOUNG.--There are three ways by which reform may be effected. The first is by the civil magistrate and the laws; the second is by the minister of the Gospel : but the most effectual means is to begin with the young, and thus eradicate the evil altogether.–ARCHBISHOP TILLOTSON.
INSTRUCTION IN HOUSEKEEPING.-The education of the girl as a housekeeper should be begun by the mother early, continued until the marriage of the daughter, and no other duty of the mother nor study of the daughter should interfere with it. This and the school education should go on simultaneously. If anything is to be postponed, let it be music and drawing and philosophy, which, as experience shows, are usually unattended to and unpractised after the “happy event." The more and higher the education the better. But let us have a real and practical, instead of a sham education.
A WHOLE FAMILY CONVERTED.-A German minister thus writes of the blessed results of a Parents' Prayer-meeting at Zurich. After relating the conversion of a child while attending the meeting, he goes on to observe, “On the evening of the following day my own eldest boy found peace in Jesus, and during the week four of my other children. I was absent in Berne; and when, on my return, one after another made known to me the joyful fact that Jesus had indeed taken away their sins and given them new hearts, I assembled my whole family of eleven children together, we read Psalm ciii., and praised God with full hearts."