« AnteriorContinua »
MOTHER-CARE OF THE CHILD.
were young I thought the very best thing I could
vating their hearts' best affections, that I could not adorn their bodies in fine clothes, though I kept them neat and comfortable at all times. I have my reward now. My sons are ministers of the Gospel, my grown-up daughter a lovely Christian woman. I have plenty of time to sit down now and rest, plenty of time to keep my house in perfect order, plenty of time to indulge myself in many ways, besides going about my Master's business' whenever He has need of me. I have a thousand beautiful memories of their childhood to comfort me. Now that they have gone out into the world, I have the sweet consciousness of having done all I could to make them ready for whatever work God calls them to do. I gave them the best I could-myself.”
Ah, dear mothers ! you who have little children in your arms and about your knees, remember this—the best thing you can do for your children is to give them yourselves. There are countless calls upon your time and strength, heavy burdens of care and labour are laid upon you, perhaps ; still I entreat you to put the claims of your little ones first of all. They have a right to your love and sympathy, your constant care and companionship. They instinctively run to you with all their little troubles and joys, unless by your careless indifference to little things,—which are nothing to you but everything to them,-you drive them from you. You mean to do the best you can for them. You mean they shall become Christians by-and-by. Look about you and see how many other mothers are weeping tears of bitterness and anguish; are besieging the throne of grace day and night for their
grown-up, wayward, unconverted children. Do you know why? Because they were too busy to attend to the little ones. Because the enemy had found plenty of time to sow tares in their young hearts, and they sprang up and were bearing bitter fruit before the mother had thought to sow the good seed.
I entreat you to remember that the moment you become conscious that a new life is throbbing under your heart is the moment to commence the work for that child's salvation. Consecrate it then to God. Pray daily for help to be yourself what you Wish your children to become. Strive to overcome every fault of temper, everything that is not true, and pure, and Christ-like.
When the dear babe is laid in your arms, consecrate it anew to God, and remember that you are responsible for the priceless gem which He has entrusted to your care. Step by step lead the little feet to Jesus, keeping vigilant watch and guard against sin by night and by day, keeping home a very heaven of delight and love to them, and you will surely have your reward. You will never have to mourn over wayward sons and daughters, you will keep them for God, for grand work in the world, for an eternity of blessedness. O mothers ! take care of the little ones !
AN INCIDENT IN THE GREAT AWAKENING. A LETTER FROM A YOUNG MIDSHIPMAN.
Monday. ARLING Mother, I must write you the good news, the best news I could give. My soul has been awakened, and last night I took Christ as my Saviour, and felt He was sufficient for me. O mother, I am so happy to-day! There was a gladness about everything I did; the very dockyard rounds, which used to seem so tiresome, were enjoyed.
The way of it was this :-Yesterday I went to Mrs. to lunch, and went out for a short walk with her afterwards. Gradually the conversation turned to the worldly way of living in this place. She suddenly said to me,
“I have often wondered whether you are a Christian or not. Are you ?”
I said, “No; I am not.” To which she replied,
“Why don't you take the everlasting life that God holds out to you?
I said, “I can't; I have prayed for it, but can't take it."
She answered, “Don't pray; take it. What is the need of praying for a gift you can at once have for the accepting? You would not ask for a sum of money some relation had already said you might have for the taking ; so why pray to God for that which He has been holding out to you since you were born, and only waiting for you to take it? I used to be like you; I used to go on praying and praying for eternal life, till at last I found what I had to do was not to pray, but just to say, 'I take the everlasting life which the death of Jesus Christ gives me.' I got peace then, and have kept it ever since."
We went into the house, and she talked to me until it was time to go on board to dine; but I could not see it. When I came on board, I knelt down in my cabin, and said,
“I TAKE THE EVERLASTING LIFE WHICH THOU
GIVEST ME," believing on Christ, that He was sufficient for my sins; and I got it so easily, that I could hardly believe I had passed from death unto life. The verse that struck me most was John v. 24:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.” So I knew I had eternal life, and had passed from death unto life. I am so happy, mother. Whatever befals me, I am safe.
Your loving Son,
CONVERSION OF CHILDREN.
the importance of direct effort in this direction. If it is true that children can be converted and give con
vincing evidence of a change of heart, then are we bound by overwhelming reasons to labour, pray for, and expect their conversion. Let us remember God uses the means in saving children as well as in saving men and women. The lambs are to be brought into the fold; they will not find the way themselves.
Is it not our privilege to teach our little ones to kneel and ask a Saviour's forgiveness whenever they feel that they have displeased Him; to go to Him with childish troubles just as they would go to a mother, and to trust in Him fully for their safety and salvation? Can they not bring into constant exercise that all-constraining motive which so sanctifies human conduct, namely, the pleasure of Christ? If a child can understand what is meant by trying to please a mother, can it not also understand what is meant by trying to please the Saviour ?
The writer holds a weekly meeting for the children of his flock. The short, simple prayers heard in this meeting must be music in the ears of angels.
I want to suggest the holding of children's meetings in every community. Pastors may hold them in the study; teachers may hold them in the homes of their scholars. Let him who leads have the confidence of the children ; and in a quiet tender way
he may call forth the prayers of the little ones. The readiness with which children pray in such little meetings is often a matter of surprise to those who have had no experience in leading children to Christ. Let us bring the lambs into the Saviour's warm fold.
A CHILD'S INFLUENCE.
" A LITTLE CHILD SHALL LEAD THEM.” OME years ago it was announced one morning by post,
to a wealthy family residing at a watering-place on the eastern coast, that the eldest daughter had been suddenly taken with a most dangerous illness. It was added that, if her parents wished to see her alive, they must,
without delay, go up to London. The mother could not
take so long a journey in her delicate state of health ; the father, therefore, who was a fashionable man of the world, was compelled to travel alone, and a few hours brought him to the bedside of his beloved Mary. She was at school at Kensington, where, through the grace of God, she had received the love of Jesus into her heart.
The anxious father soon saw, with deep concern, how rapidly the precious life was passing away; and Mary felt how important it was to improve her few remaining moments by endeavouring to draw her dear father from the world to her Saviour. Putting her arms affectionately round his neck, after some inquiries about the home circle, she said, “ You see, dear father, I am dying. I have one earnest request to make before I depart. Will you, dear father, for my sake, try to pray for God's great mercy and His loving help to serve Him all the rest of your life?”
“Mary,” he said, with tears, "I cannot pray ; I do not know how ; I never prayed in my life.
teach me?” "If you will but try,” she replied—“ if you will but come to God, in the name of Jesus, and ask the Holy Spirit to teach youif you will but come to Jesus, just as you are, you may be sure of a sweet welcome; you will be forgiven and comforted.” With these words, the child, twelve years of age, breathed her last in her father's arms.
Immediately after his bitter loss the father sought retirement, and on his bended knees endeavoured to fulfil the last wish of his lost child. With many tears he earnestly and sincerely, and with newly-awakened faith, sought for mercy in Christ. He prayed that he might know how to pray; he asked the Holy Spirit to teach him; he made a solemn resolution to struggle against sin and to lead a new life, if God would only help him. God did help him, the Holy Spirit did teach him, Christ did receive him as a penitent sinner; and he began at once to fight the Lord's battle against sin, the world, and the devil.
On his return home he related all that had passed, and gathering the servants together, he said, “You know that I have been to London, and the sorrow that has come upon us all; I wish to beg pardon of you all for the evil example I have set you. We have lived to the world; we have neglected God and our own souls ; we have never had a prayer offered, nor a chapter read in this
family. I am ashamed of all this now. Let us lead a new life from this day. And let us begin at once, and commend one another to the blessing and mercy of God.”
From that day there was a visible change over the whole bouse; and the head of the family, whom the writer personally knew, became a consistent, earnest, active Christian ; and in all his public life, as a magistrate or the director of a railway, his light shone, and by his good works he glorified his Father in heaven. He regarded it as a privilege to take the chair at the meetings of the Bible, Missionary, Tract, and London City Mission Societies. He felt a great interest in the conversion of the Jews. He loved all who loved Christ, but his special mission was among the sailors and fishermen; and frequently, at the request of the missionary, he addressed them with manly and earnest eloquence at the Bethel on a Sunday evening. At length his health failed, aud, after a lingering illness, he was taken to his rest. On the day of his funeral the shops were closed in the town, and the flags waved half-mast high in the harbour. The towns-people, and especially the seafaring folk, felt that they had lost a father, a brother, and a friend.
PRAYING MOTHERS.-At a meeting where eleven persons voluntarily rose and related their Christian experience, all of them declared that they were brought to the knowledge of Christ through the prayers and counsels of pious mothers; and one of them, herself the mother of eleven children, added, with many grateful tears, that all her own children were also in the right way.
VICIOUS NURSERY LESSONS.- We have sometimes wondered to see a helpless kitten or puppy given up to be tortured in a nursery, without even an attempt to explain to the children the pain they are inflicting, and the duties they owe to the helpless. Thus what might form the most beautiful trait in the child's character is changed to a deformity. Instead of learning from the kitten a generous consideration for weakness and helplessness, the little one receives in the nursery the lesson of brutal tyranny. No parent ought to allow a child the possession of any living creature with whose comfort and welfare they do not charge themselves. Children are not naturally cruel, they are only ignorant and inconsiderate. They have no conception of the pain they often inflict, even by their loving caresses. A boy, too, has in him a sort of wild, uncultured love of domination and sense of power, which are no sins, but may be made the foundations of great virtue, if he be early taught that his strength and power of control are given him for the protection of weakness, and not for the oppression of it. A boy can use the same faculties in defending and helping poor animals that he can in oppressing them; and the pets of the nursery are valuable for teaching that very lesson.-Mrs. H. B. Stowe.