« AnteriorContinua »
THERE was, not long ago, a poor widow, who tried hard
to provide for her family by her work. She was a pious
V woman, and had taught her children to look to their 5133 9 heavenly Father as their ever-living Friend who sent them day by day their daily bread. One morning, however, her faith was sorely tried. There was only enough food for one meal. She gave her children their breakfast, and said sadly as she sent them to school, “There, now you have had all I can give you, and I don't know where you will get your dinner from." Her little boy, a child of ten years old, looked earnestly in his mother's face, and said, " Mother, are you tired of trusting God ?” The poor widow was quite overcome; her child's gentle reproof went to her heart. She had taught him to believe in his heavenly Father's care, and now he was teaching her. She said nothing, but as soon as her children had left the house, she went to her bedroom, and there asked forgiveness for the faithless thought. Scarcely had she come down when a rap was heard, and a lady entered the house. She had no idea of the circumstances of the family, but unknown to herself she was the means employed by God to answer the widow's prayer, and to show her the truth of that promise, “ While they are yet speaking, I will hear.” She had brought some work to be Vol. V. No. 9.]
done, and laid down the money beforehand, saying she thought they might find it useful to have it at once. When the children returned from school, a comfortable dinner was ready for them, and from that day they never wanted. Several years afterwards, a thoughtless old man said to this poor woman, " As I was going along the street, I heard your son preach, and it made me feel very bad to think that I should have grown old in sin, while such a young man as he is should be trying to draw people away from it." Surely, the good widow remembered with thankfulness the day when she herself had been the subject of her child's first sermon, in the simple words of inquiry, “Mother, are you tired of trusting God ?"
And art thou tired, poor weary one, cumbered with many cares, art thou tired of trusting in God ? “Cast not away thy confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.” He who is " the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever," will yet help thee if thou place all thy trust in Him. Hear another instance of God's answer to prayer.
There was a poor old woman who earned a scanty living by selling rags. She was strictly honest, and used to put by her pence for the rent before taking any for her own use. She became known to a lady who was kind to her and often sent her a little help. This lady went out for some time, and on the evening of her return, she was kneeling down to thank God for His preserving care, and asking Him to show her what she could do to prove her love, when suddenly it seemed as if she heard a voice saying, “Go at once, and take poor Sarah a pound of candles.”
The lady did not like to go at first-she thought it was so strange to take candles; would not a pound of meat or butter be better. But the call seemed so clear, that she put a few things into her basket with the candles, and went at once to the poor attic where Sarah lived. It was so dark that nothing could be clearly seen. The old woman was just rising from her knees, and was astonished to find the lady there. “What can have brought you here, ma'am, at this time?” said Sarah. “First," said the lady, “tell me what you were praying for.” “Why, ma'am, you will think it very odd, but I was asking God to send me a candle, for my neighbour has lent me a large-print Bible, just what I wanted so much, and I cannot see to read it without a light; so I thought it must be according to God's will that I should be able to read His holy book.”
Tears came into the lady's eyes, for she felt that her heavenly Father had indeed condescended to use her as His messenger, and she held the packet of candles to Sarah, saying, “God has sent them to you." The old woman wept, too, and both united in wondering thankfulness to Him who delights to do for His dependent, praying children, “ exceeding abundantly above all they can ask or think.”
where Sarah livewoman was just " What can have said the lady,
But, perhaps, you feel as if you had prayed and not been answered. If your prayer was sincere, you may be quite sure it was heard, although its answer may have been a denial. You may not have had what you asked for, but it will strengthen you under your disappointment to know that it was God's will to refuse your request, and that He did so, because, seeing the future, He wished to give you a higher blessing than the one you would have asked for yourself. Your child cries when you take a dangerous plaything from his hand or deny him some unsuitable pleasure, but he will thank you when he is older for this proof of your love. And we are only children here. We must pray for faith to be enabled sincerely to ask, “Thy will, not mine, be done;" and when we, too, are grown older, and have entered into our heavenly home, that “ purchased possession” for those who belong to Christ, then shall we be able to look back to life's teachings, whether of joy or sorrow, and to say from the fulness of our hearts, “ He hath done all things well.” Therefore “ be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.”
that are grown older hy will, not mineray for faith to be
eachifetime away in Who are the me upon their countryed
"MY MOTHER, MOTHER, MOTHER!" ESE T is said that these were the last words of the great and 2 lamented Henry Clay.
Mothers, learn here a lesson. Look at your sons and
daughters, and realise this important truth, that in the nursery is laid the foundation of your children's future life. Instead of teaching them to play the empty-headed coxcomb, and to tête-à-tête a lifetime away in nonsense, teach them the path of true greatness and usefulness. Who are the men that have adorned their age, and have reflected a halo of glory upon their country ? They are, with few exceptions, those who in infancy have learned to clasp their tiny hands, and kneel at a mother's side, and dedicate their hearts to the Father of spirits. A mother's hallowed influence never dies. The boy never forgets a mother's love. Though he may wander far from home, and engage in many vices, yet that mother's voice, soft and tender, that fell upon his ear in infancy, is borne upon many a passing breeze, and whispers, “ My son, my son, remember a mother's love-how she has taught yoų to pray and reverence the God of mercy."
When thou wilt need some comforts to assuage
CONTINUE TO TRUST,
shall compass him about.” I read it in my youth and
believed; and now I read it in my old age, thank God, S I know it to be true. Oh, it is a blessed thing, in the midst of the sorrows of the world, to trust in the Lord !
These are hard times ; hard for the rich, and harder still for the poor. But let not the poor man be cast down. God's eye is upon him. And now is the time to trust in God and not waver. Many a man has been reduced to want, and at the very time of his greatest necessities the hand of the Lord has been extended to relieve. Henry Venn, the author of “ The Complete Duty of Man," was once, as many of God's people have been, in great want. He owed money, and had none to pay the debt. The creditor was importunate for the payment of the bill. He had no resource left but with earnest supplication to make known his wants to God. And mark the result-while he was upon his knees, a letter was brought inclosing a bank-note of the value of £50. He never found out the donor. But God sent it, sent it in the time of his greatest distress; and his biographer relates, that he was at length enabled to live in continual reliance upon the care of Providence, and his wants were remarkably supplied.
But the difficulty with many persons is, while they can trust in God whenever things look prosperous, yet in times of want they lose their faith; and then, failing to trust, they are apt to do wrong by making use of sinful means of getting along. If these words come before the eyes of one who is hesitating, thinking to live better by doing something his conscience tells him is wrong, let him stop. Oh, shun the first false step. God's arm is not shortened that He cannot help you. Yea, He is pledged to help you. But if you take one false step, beware! You must then take another and another, and so you will be led away from your Father in heaven.
Beware of the first false step! Remember the case of another clergyman, Dr. Dodd, who was condemned to death for committing forgery, and was hung upon the gallows. He made one false step when he was a minister, and this led on to others, until at last he died the death of a felon. He was in the habit of gathering his people in his own house, for the purpose of prayer and family instruction; but this exposed him to the reproach of some of his brethren in the ministry; and in his own house he told the few who came together to be benefited that he was obliged to give up that method of helping their souls, because it exposed him to so much. His conscience told him to go on, fear bade him stop. He yielded, and so lost a good conscience. And then he sank lower and lower, until he committed forgery.
Trust in God. Are your wants many ?-Trust in God. Does your family lack food ?_Trust in God. Continue to trust. Keep a brave heart, and God will help you.
Dr. Johnson used to say that a habit of looking at the best side of every event, is better than a thousand pounds a year. Bishop Hall quaintly remarks, “For every bad there might be a worse; and when a man breaks his leg, let him be thankful it is not his neck.” When Fenelon’s library was on fire, “God be praised,” he exclaimed, “ that it is not the dwelling of some poor man!” This is the true spirit of submission; one of the most beautiful traits that can possess the human heart. Resolve to see this world on its sunny side, and you have almost half won the battle of life at the outset.
of Obte, Johnson and God will be in God." Pont