Imatges de pÓgina



A MOTHER'S PRAYERS. BOUT thirty-three years ago, one lovely Sabbath morning, eight young law students were strolling along the bank of one of the tributaries of the Potomac river. They were going to a secluded spot in a grove, to murder the precious hours of that holy day by playing “whist” and drinking wine. Each of them was the son of a praying mother. As they were sauntering along and

amusing each other with idle jests, the court-house bell —used for calling the Presbyterians to their house of worshipcommenced to ring. Although fully two miles away, it sounded in the ears of those thoughtless youths as plainly as if it were upon the other shore of that narrow creek. Suddenly one of them stopped, and told him who writes this account thereof, that he would go no farther, but that he would return to town and go to church. Then your correspondent shouted to the other six, who were a short distance ahead : “Boys, boys, come back here ! George is getting religious. Come, we must assist him. We must baptize him by immersion in the water.” Speedily we all surrounded George, and told him that only by going with us could he save himself from a cold bath. To which, in a calm, soft, but earnest tone of voice, he replied,

“I know very well that you have the physical ability to put me into the stream and hold me there till I am drowned, and, if you choose, you can do so without my showing any resistance; but before you do it I have a few words to say, and then I will yield without a struggle.

You all know that I am nearly two hundred miles from home; but you do not know, so I now propose telling you, that my mother is a helpless, bedridden invalid. I cannot remember ever having seen her out of her bed; and I never did see her out of her room. I am the youngest of the family. When my father concluded to send me here to get the benefit of our preceptor's instructions,-he and my father having been life-long personal friends, and he charges nothing for my tuition, he could scarcely prevail upon mother to consent to my leaving her. The struggle almost cost her what little of life she possessed. At length, after many prayers upon the subject, she consented, and the necessary preparations for my departure from home were speedily completed.

“My mother never spoke to me upon the matter till the morning on which I left for the East. Then, after I had eaten breakfast, she sent for me and asked if I had everything ready and properly packed. I told her that all was complete and that I would be off as soon as the stage came for me. Kneeling beside her bed, at her request, with her loving hands upon my head, she prayed for her youngest born. Many and many a night since I have dreamed that whole scene over. It is the happiest recollection in my memory. I believe that to the day of my death I will be able to repeat every word of that prayer.

When she ceased praying, she spoke to me thus :

My precious son, you know not-indeed you never can know -the agony of a mother's heart when parting for ever from her last born, to her still a babe. When you go forth from beneath the home of your nativity, to pursue the study of the profession of your choice, and of your dear father's choosing as well, you will for the last time this side the grave look upon the face of her who loves you as no other mortal does or can. Your father is not able to pay your expenses for making visits home during the two years of your course of studies. I cannot possibly live so long as that. The sands in the hour-glass of my feeble existence have nearly run out. I have therefore had a severe struggle; for I heard your kind indulgent father assuring you that the whole case rested with me--that, although you might never have another such favourable offer, nothing could possibly induce him to act in the matter against my wishes. So I have yielded. In that distant and strange place to which you are going there will be no loving mother to whom you can apply for counsel when assailed by temptations. You must therefore, while a boy, learn to rely upon yourself-learn to say 'No' when urged to do wrong. I cannot be with you, but I will daily commit you to the care of God, who is everywhere present, beholding your evil acts as well as your good deeds. Every Sabbath morning, from ten to eleven o'clock, I will spend the hour in prayer for you.

Wherever you may be during this blessed hour, when you hear the church bell ringing for the assembling of God's people, let your thoughts carry you to this chamber of death, where your dying mother will be agonizing for you in prayer. Commit to memory the eighth, ninth, and tenth verses of the first chapter of Proverbs. I hear the stage coming. Kiss me; farewell!. Now, the last words you will ever hear from my lips are, in the language of Solomon : My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.'"

When he finished he and we were all weeping. Involuntarily we opened the ring which we had formed around him. Unmolested, he passed out and went to church. He had stood up for the right against heavy odds; and each of us admired him for doing that which neither of us had the courage to undertake-break away from wicked companions and go to church. He led off


without a word; and silently we all followed. Without either one knowing that any other had done so too, each of us managed to throw his cards and flask into the creek, so that by the time we reached the church every pocket was emptied of its former contents. Never again did any of that little company play any games on the Sabbath. Six of the number have gone to their long homes, each a Christian. Only two of us are yet living-George, an able lawyer in Iowa, and your correspondent. Both of us have been Church members for many years.

EMEMBERING that probably one-third of most of

our congregations are children, and at least half of
the households of believers are children too, we are

impressed with the truth that, in whatever office or relationship we stand, if we minister only to adults, and for their sakes alone arrange the order of our solemn assemblies, we are unfaithful to the providence of God who has dotted our plantations so profusely with those tender

but pleasant plants. Our preaching and our teaching, our daily walk and our Sabbath talk, should be adapted as much to every age as to every class.

We do not believe it is enough that our school children should have a distinct gallery provided for them, and be allowed to sit in it during three hours on the Lord's-day, when too often the only parts of the service at all fitted to their capacities (at least the younger part of them) are the portions of Scripture read. How often do those of the congregation who are enjoying the ministry themselves, give a thought about its adaptation to the young up aloft, or the others by their side ? Is it right to constrain the attendance of so large a part of our congregation, and only address ourselves to the rest who come voluntarily, never having a separate service for the benefit of young

folk ? The old Welsh system of devoting one portion of the day to catechetical instruction had many advantages; and though its general introduction now would most likely be resisted as an innovation, might not some modification thereof be at least occasionally permitted ? Several wise pastors of the olden time have strongly commended this method. Good John Brown of Haddington wrote, when nearly closing his useful career: “I lament that I have not been more diligent in catechising and exhorting the children in my congregation. I am persuaded that these exercises are some of the best means which ministers can use for the promotion of the welfare of immortal souls; and it would be happy for the Church if the zeal and care of teachers were chiefly manifested about this.” Dr. Doddridge uses expressions of like import; and others might be easily summoned to bear the same testimony.



"IT IS I: BE NOT AFRAID.” OUD was the wind, and wild Thus, when the storm of life is high, the tide ;

Come, Saviour, to my aid ! The ship her course delayed ; | Come, when no other help is nigh, The Lord came to their help, and And say, " Be not afraid."

cried, 66'Tis I: be not afraid.”

Speak, and my griefs no more

heard ; Who walks the waves in wondrous

Speak, and my fears are laid ; guise, By Nature's laws unstaid ?

Speak, and my soul shall bless the “ 'Tis 1,” a well-known voice replies;


66 'Tis 1 : be not afraid." "'Tis I: be not afraid." He mounts the deck : down lulls the When on the bed of death I lie,

And stretch my hands for aid, sea; The tempest is allayed ;

Stand Thou before my glazing eye, The prostrate crew adore ; and He And say,

“ Be not afraid.” Exclaims, “ Be not afraid.”


A LETTER TO A FRIEND. Y DEAR FRIEND,—Tenfold blessings be yours ! Whatever be your circumstances, and however dark and inexplicable may appear the dealings of Divine providence around you in this chequered world, "NEVERTHELESS” there are tenfold blessings open to us all, as recorded in the 73rd Psalm, which I earnestly desire may be yours.

lst. To enjoy, and to cultivate access to the

sanctuary of God in an inquiring and teachable spirit (ver. 17).

And there to obtain, 2nd. True views of God's providential dispensations (ver. 17–20). 3rd. Humbling views of yourself (ver. 21, 22).

4th. Exalting views of God, the Father, Son, and Spirit, as “nevertheless” continually present with you in every place, and you with Him (ver. 23).

5th. As your gracious Upholder in all your past history (ver. 23).

6th. As your uuerring Guide through all your future life. (ver. 24).

7th. As the merciful Receiver of your soul into the heavenly glory (ver. 24).

8th. As your one Possession in heaven, your sole Desire upon earth (ver. 25).

9th. As your all-sustaining Strength for the present (ver. 26); and 10th, As your all-sufficient Portion for ever (ver. 26).

May God, the Father, Son, and Spirit, be—the Rock of your heart on whom alone you lean ; the Fountain of your felicity to

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