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and you have prepared his supper, and afterwards, when the little ones were in bed, you have brought out the piece of mending, which must be done before you go to rest yourself?
And then perhaps when you have just fallen asleep, the fretful babe awakes and begins to cry, and though weary and heavy with fatigue you have to begin nursing and soothing him.
If woman's work is never done, then she must want continual help. Now it is to this help I would call your attention to-day. The Lord Jesus gives his people help in their daily work. “What!" you exclaim," is that the sort of thing to go to him for ? Surely we cannot trouble him with such things !"
Yes, dear friends, even so; Jesus loves to be troubled with our daily need. There is not one of all the little things which make up your daily work, in which you may not expect his help. Jesus knows what hard work is. Oh, remember this, as you toil about the house, finishing one duty only to take up another, longing all the while for some one to come in and to take the hardest part off your hands; remember that the Lord Jesus knows what toil and weariness are.
When He was on earth in buman nature like our own, sin only excepted, who had a greater work, who led a more tiring life than Jesus ?
Just take your Bible, and think of the Saviour during one of his days on earth, preaching to the crowding multitudes, ministering to their bodily wants, healing the sick, casting out devils, and then at last, when night came on and the day of labour was over, going to the mountain-top alone to pray." Do you remember how, when weary
and exhausted with a long journey, he sat down by the well outside the city of Samaria ? Even then he did not think of resting while there was one poor sinner whom he could help. We all know how hard it is to talk when we are tired. When we are faint with fatigue and want of food, do we not find it almost impossible to enter into conversation, especially with strangers ? At such a time we long to be left to ourselves; and if any one should come in to ask our advice on a difficult subject, we feel as if we could not make an effort to answer.
Now let us see what Jesus did. He was tired and faint; the woman, who just then came up to the well, was not even a Jewess, one of the chosen nation to whom the Lord peculiarly preached his gospel; yet he talks to her, he tells her of her own misery and of his great mercy, and, regardless of his own fatigue, he spends the time, which most would have given to rest, in winning that sinful, unhappy woman to himself.
Cannot you trust such a Saviour with your cares? Do not you feel that he can understand your case since he knows what it is to be weary?
But what is the sort of help we may expect from Christ in our daily work? We may expect him to be near us, strengthening and blessing us.
He is with his own people at all times, and so if you really seek him and ask him to be your friend, you may expect him to aid you with his own loving help as you go about your daily duties.
Did you ever read of poor Mary Holmes? She was a hard-working woman, who led what would be called a toilsome life.
She learned to know and love the Saviour of sinners, and ever after she went to him in all her troubles, great and small, and never found him to fail her. At one time she was exceedingly oppressed. Her husband was out of work, and she had to take in a lodger to eke out their little allowance. Poor Mary toiled from morning to night; it was hard work, and many pitied her and wondered how she could get through it; yet, though sadly wearied, Mary seemed happy all the time.
“ How is it you hold on so well, Mary?” she was asked.
" Why, it is because I ask my Saviour to help me through it,” she answered, with a bright smile. know that if he sends me so many duties, I may expect him to help me through them, -and he does help me !" “ How does he help you, Mary?”
Oh, the help comes in many ways. I think he has inclined
my husband to be more patient than ever before; he is contented now with all I do for him, and this makes my work easier. And then, since James has been out of work, baby has not had a day's illness, so I get my nights quiet; and has not my Saviour sent me that blessing? But best of all, he himself is with me. As I stand at the tub washing, or am scrubbing my little room, I seem to feel him standing by me, telling me of his love, and then I forget my back-ache, and am so happy."
Will you try Mary Holmes's plan in the hour of hard work? Depend upon it, if you do, your expectations will be far more than fulfilled. Jesus can make any hour happier with his own presence.
He will draw near to those who seek him in the midst of their daily work, and will lighten the toil by his own strength and love.
And then remember, if you really desire his help, you must seek it. We must stretch out our hands if we would receive a blessing. Those who belong to the family of God know how to ask, and as they ask they feel sure they shall receive, since he has never disappointed them. Begin your work with prayer. Ask the Lord, since he has given you these duties, to give you the help you need in getting through them. You have no time for that, you say. Surely you have time for a few words, and Jesus will listen even to these. And as you are in the midst of your work, lift up your heart from time to time in a few words of
prayer, and this will keep you from discontent and fretfulness, and will send a sweet calm into your hearts.
Your prayer at such times may be very short, just a word or two. Our Lord rebuked the Pharisees who supposed that they should be heard for their much speaking. Try in the next hour of hard work, when you feel yourself growing discontented and weary, to say in your heart some such prayer as this: “ Lord Jesus, help and comfort me now. Give me thy Holy Spirit to cheer me. Let me feel thee standing by to strengthen me." You will not be disappointed, or offer even such a short and simple prayer as that in vain. Did
hear of George Herbert? He was a Christian minister and poet who lived many years ago. He knew what work was, and he knew also that there was no work so common or so toilsome that we might not ask God's help on it, and no work by which we might not glorify God if we attempted it in the right spirit.
In one of his hymns he expresses this in a very quaint, old-fashioned way, but yet I think you will like to hear it.
All may of thee partake;
Will not grow bright and clean.
Makes that and th' action fine."
our not knowing this grand secret of setting about our work in the right way and in the right spirit.
Why, the Royal Lady on the throne cannot have a higher help in her great work of governing the nation, than the poorest of her subjects may enjoy in her daily labour of providing for her husband and children!
And yet how often we forget this help, and go toiling and sighing about our work as if our lot were all toil and no help. Some of the greatest and the humblest have found out this secret, and the consequence of this has been that they have got through much more work, and all the while enjoyed a lighter heart than their neighbours.
Those who knew nothing of this help, both the richest and the poorest, have failed in their work and carried a heavy heart about them, for want of the strength which God has promised to those who ask for it.
Not long ago a celebrated engineer lived of the name of Telford. He was a very clever man, and built many
valuable bridges and other great works, for which his name will be long remembered. The work which perhaps cost him most labour and for which he is most famous, was a large bridge over a wide piece of water, so wide that no one thought it would be possible to have a bridge across it. Telford remembered the old proverb, “ Try, try, try again," and he also knew the great secret of success, of which we have been speaking to-day, and he did succeed, and grandly too. The beautiful bridge he built is now the wonder and admiration of all who see it. On the day when it was finished, and all his months of hard work had come to an end, crowds of people from all parts assembled to celebrate the event. Every one rejoiced at Telford's success, and admired his wonderful patience and skill. When the
grand ceremony was over by which the bridge was thrown open to the public, all the great men who were present looked for Telford to congratulate him on his success, but Telford was no where to be seen. And where do you think he was found ? In that hour of success, Telford not thinking of the praise and applause of his fellow-creatures; he had gone into a room by himself, and was on his knees thanking God who had enabled him to conquer so many difficulties and to go through so much toil, and at last to bring his great work to a successful end. You will think of this grand secret of success, will
you not, to-morrow morning when you begin your work? and
will you not remember some such short prayer as this: “ Lord Jesus, help me in my work to-day, I beseech thee, and be thyself near me?"
Teach me, my God and King,
In all things thee to see;
To do it as for thee.
E'en servile labours shine;
The meanest work diyine.
OLD LINWOOD. I was strolling, one pleasant summer's evening, through the village of Lindridge talking to the children, who were playing about, gathering wild flowers, when I came to a cottage which stood a little apart from the rest, where I noticed a little window cut out right under the upper
window. It just held one large pane of glass, and through it I could see a venerable old man, and I thought that he saw and smiled at me. As I went on, I asked one of the little girls standing by, “ Who lives there?”
“Old Linwood and his wife, ma'am,” she replied with a courtesy," but he's very bad. He never gets out of bed, and so master Grimley, the carpenter down there, has made him that little window to look out of. As he lies there, can see us all pass as we go to school, and he nods and smiles at us; and every thing that goes by too he sees, ma'am; and he says he knows all that's going on now, and that it is quite as good as company to him.”
I was much taken by the glance I had of the poor sufferer's face, and I hoped to be of some use to the poor man, resolving to go and see him at the first opportunity.
My brother, with whom I was visiting, told me he should be so glad if I would go and see him; and
you be good friends," he added, "if you will sit with him awhile sometimes and read out of his precious Bible to him. Many may go to that sick room and take courage and pattern too, for I have visited old Linwood certainly every week for six years, and never have I heard a murmur. In the midst of much suffering and privation, he never thinks he can want for anything; the Lord provides for him, he says, and there is a sunny smile on the dear old