Imatges de pàgina

the name, the daily history, the special want of each, and see if your heart is not opened to plead for them as you have never done before.

Tears were in the eyes of the young mother as she said with trembling lips, “ I'll try.”

As evening came she had not forgotten her promise, but as she saw that Sarah, her daughter, was unusually peevish, she thought best to take her little son first to her chamber. Willie was a bright and pleasant boy of five years; and when his mother whispered her wish to pray with him, he gladly put his hand in hers, and knelt by her side. As he heard his name mentioned before the Lord, a tender hush fell upon his young spirit, and he clasped his mother's fingers more tightly as each petition for his special need was breathed into the ear of his Father in heaven. And did not the clinging of that little hand warm her heart to new and more fervent desire as she poured forth her supplication to the Hearer and Answerer of prayer ?

When the mother and child rose from their knees, Willie's face was like a rainbow ; smiling through tears. “Mamma, mamma," said he, “ I am glad you told Jesus my name; now He'll know me when I get to heaven. And when the kind angels that carry little children to the Saviour take me and lay me in His arms, Jesus will look at me so pleasant, and say, 'Why, this is Willie Huston ; his mother told me about him : how happy I am to see you, Willie!' Won't that be nice, mamma ?

Mrs. Huston never forgot that scene. And when she was permitted to see not only her dear Willie and Sarah, but the children afterwards added to her family circle each successively consecrating the dew of their youth to God, she did indeed feel that her pastor's plan was the “ more excellent way.” So she resolved to recommend it to praying mothers by telling them this touching incident. When we meet our children at the last great day, may Jesus own as His those whom we have “told Him about” on earth.

E. N. H.

RELIGION IN THE HOME. HOUSE may be full of persons who are very dear to each other, very kind to each other; full of precious things—affections, hopes, living interests ; but if God

is not there as the Ruler and Father of the house, the original and true idea of home will not be realized ; vacancy and need will still be at the heart of all. Good things will grow feebly and uncertainly, like flowers in winter, trying to peep out into sunshine, yet shrinking from the blast. Evil things will grow with strange persistency, notwithstanding protests of the affections and efforts of the will. Mysterious gulfs will open at times where it was thought strong foundations had been laid. Little things will produce great distress. Great things when attained, will shrink to littleness. Flickerings of uncertainty and fear will run along the days. Joys will not satisfy. Sorrow will surprise.

In the very heart of the godless home there will be sickness, arising from need unsatisfied and “hope deferred.” It will be as when a man of ingenuity tries in vain to put together the separated parts of a complicated piece of mechanism. He tries in this way and that, puts the pieces into every conceivable mode of arrangement, then at last stops, and says, There must be a piece wanting.

Home without Divine presence is at best a moral structure with the central element wanting. The other elements may be arranged and rearranged; they will never exactly fit, nor be “compact together," until it is obtained. We have heard of haunted houses. That house will be haunted with the ghost of an unrealized idea. It will seem to its most thoughtful inmates at best but “the shadow of some good thing to come;" and the longing for the substance will be the more intense, because the shadow, as a providential prophecy, is always there.

In many a house there is going on, by means of those quick spiritual signs by which One above can read, what we may call a dialogue of souls, composed chiefly of unspoken questionings, which, if articulate, might be something like the following :-“How is it that we cannot be to each other as we wish, that we cannot do for each other what we try, even when it seems to be quite within the range of possibility ? Why is there such a sorrow in our affection? such a trembling in our joys ? so great a fear of change, and so profound a sense of incompleteness in connection with the very best we can do and be?.

And what is the answer to such mute yet eager questionings ? And who can speak that answer ? That One above who hears the dialogue must take part in it; and all must listen while He speaks, and tells of another fatherhood, under which the parents must become little children, of another brotherhood which, when attained, will make the circle complete. When the members of such a household, who have been looking so much to each other, shall agree to give one earnest look above, and say, “Our Father, which art in heaven!” “our elder Brother, and Advocate with the Father!” then will come back, sweet as music, into the heart of that house, these fulfilling words from the everlasting Father, “ Ye shall be my sons and daughters ;" from the eternal Son, “Behold my mother and sister and brother !” Then the one thing that was lacking will be present. The missing element will be in its place, and ali the other elements will be assembled around it. It is a haunted house no more. The ghost has been chased away. The house is wholesome. Mornings are welcome. Nights are restful. The aching sorrow has passed away now from the heart of that home. The long-sought secret is revealed. Soul whispers to soul, “ Emmanuel, God with us.” Home is home at last.


THE BIBLE IN THE BARN. SOLDIER'S wife, with her three children, was passing through Essex on her way to Chelmsford. It was a fine summer evening, and when she saw a young man

standing at a farmyard gate, she asked him if his master would allow her and her children to sleep in his barn. He said he thought he would, but that he must inquire; and the farmer gave his consent, and desired the young man to unbind two trusses of straw for their beds. The woman asked where she could get a little water, and the young man went to fetch some, and came back with a small can of milk, for which she was very thankful. She then took some bread from her bundle, but before she began to eat, she asked God to bless the bread and milk of which she and and her children were about to partake. The youth felt interested in them, and sitting down on the lift” of the barn-door, he watched them eat their meal. After finishing their humble repast, the soldier's wife took a New Testament from the parcel, and said


sing the first te blessing of the young made the

to the young man, “ We are going to have reading and prayer before retiring to rest, to thank God for the mercies of the past day ; I shall be pleased if you will join us." He did so, and after reading the first ten verses of the 19th chapter of Luke, she prayed earnestly for the blessing of the Lord to rest upon the farmer, his family, his servants, and the young man, for the kindness she had received from them. The simplicity of the prayer impressed the young man, and her words sunk deep into his heart, so that he could not sleep; and he rose early in the morning, to ask the soldier's wife the way of salvation ; but she was gone. He told one of the servant-girls what had passed, and she related it to her young mistress, who was pleased to relate the simple tale to the rest of the family. It led them all to reflect ; they looked for the verses read by the soldier's wife the previous night,-sent for the young man, to have the tale confirmed, who wept as he told the simple story, and closed by saying, “Salvation has come to my heart, if it has not to this house, for I feel as I have never done before.” From that time the farmer, his family, and the young man became constant hearers of the gospel, and a great change was evident in the tenor of their lives.

H, flower, how canst thou be so gay and fragrant when
the leaves of so many of thy brethren are strewed

around thee, and thine own will soon wither and fade

Es before the blast ?” So spake a melancholy man to a little flower that had grown upon a grave he had come to visit.

“And why should I not be happy?” said the flower. “The sun is warm, the daylight beautiful, and the stars, which are the flowers of heaven, softly sing to us, who are the stars of earth, and all things around me are beautiful ; why should I not smile and help to sweeten earth while I may ?”

But thy life is short,” said the man," and not worth enjoying." Nay," said the flower, “short or long is not my business, but to do my part while I am here, and to live so sweetly that one would wish my stay were longer. And my life is not so short as thou deemest it. For when I seem to die I ripen into seed ; and when I seem to die as seed, I sprout afresh, and grow into many flowers. So that for many a year to come I shall bloom upon this bank; only getting richer and fuller of life; and therefore I rejoice."

Hearing this, the man was silent, wherefore the flower asked him, “Why, O man, art thou so sad, why shuttest thou up thy fragrance and thy smile ?”

And the man said, “O flower, I am sick at heart, for the grave on which thou growest. I had a little babe that bloomed like a flower of paradise in my desert, and a cold blast came and

nipped its root, and it died; and I shall soon die myself, and therefore am I sad.”

And the flower said, “ Fie on thee, man, for thy faint heart. The babe shall bloom again in fairer beauty, for the Great Husbandman shall guard thy little plant, and in the spring-time it shall be seen again in glory.

“ Who is that husbandman ?” asked the man, with great eagerness, “ for I should like to know him.”.

" It is He who died Himself, and is alive for evermore," said the flower," and He is now the Resurrection and the Life, and who. soever believeth in Him shall never utterly die.”

“ Sayest thou so ?” said the mourner, smiling through his tears, like the sunlight in the rainbow.

“Yea,” said the flower, “ for He giveth eternal life to all who trust Him; and though they may seem to die, they will, in heaven's spring-time, break forth afresh into richer glory than ever they had before.

SMALL MERCIES. ES WENT the other day to see a very old lady. She was

eighty-eight years old. She lived in a small room all

by herself, and she had a small stove, and small kettle, fine and a small pantry, and a little round table, and a little teapot. Everything was on a small scale, to suit her small strength and her small means. She was very glad to see us. “Are you not lonely sometimes ?” I asked. “Oh, no," she answered, in a cheerful tone, “my Saviour is always with me; and He is the best of society, you know.”

We inquired about her nights : did she sleep well? “ Yes," she said, “but I rise early, at five o'clock, or thereabouts.” We expressed our surprise. “Well, my Saviour, you know, arose a great while before day to pray, and I find it so sweet to follow His example; and when the moon shines, and I don't have to light a light, I have such beautiful times !” and her aged face shone, I thought, something like Moses' did when he came down from talking with God on the mount.

She bustled about, and showed us her old Bible, and the quilts she made about seventy years ago, and related in a lively style the way things used to be in her day. “I suppose you think a great deal of those good old times ?” we said. “Yes,” she replied, "yes; but I think a great deal more of those good times to come.

"You have many mercies ; goodness and mercy seem to crown your days.” “Yes, yes,” she exclaimed, " and I count it one of my great mercies that I can turn over in my bed.

Oh, I thought, how easy it is for the thankful heart to find occasions for thankfulness !

« AnteriorContinua »