Page images
PDF
EPUB

66

[ocr errors]

“ But now

And have not you found that too? I don't know “Do I believe in God?” replied John; “of course how many times you've told me everything was I do: I should not be a Christian if I didn't.” going to wreck and ruin ; and yet you've never “ And do you believe that He knows all about Jost either wife or child, and you've always paid us, and that He is able to supply all our need, and twenty shillings in the pound.”

that he loves us and cares for us? May be,” replied John, “but there's no know- Yes,” replied John, but in scarcely the firm, ing how long I may be able to do it."

decided way in which he had replied to the pre“Thank God, my lad," said Thomson, “that vious question. you have done it up till now, and that you can do And do you believe that they are His promises it to-day; and don't fret and worry about to which are written in the Bible, and that they are morrow. Isn't it quite enough to bear to-day's all true, and true for you and me, and that not one troubles—that is if we are in trouble to-day-f of them can fail ?” without thinking of to-morrow's and vexing our- “Yes, replied John again, but slowly and with selves about them before they come? You know hesitation ; "anyhow we've no right to doubt it; that's what our Lord says: "Sufficient unto the but one's faith gets very weak sometimes.” day is the evil thereof. By the way, don't you “Aye, that it does,” said Thomson. remember a sermon Mr. Vickerson preached from I'll tell you what I've been thinking—that you that text a month or two ago ?”.

would never have got flat like this if you had not John shook his head : he did not remember. lost sight of God and His promises and His love.

· Ah, I recollect,” said Thomson, “ you were Don't you think you've left Him out of the reckonnot there that morning; and right sorry I was that ing almost entirely?” you were not. Well, there was one thing Mr. “Well, may be, I have," replied John; “anyVickerson said in that sermon which I thought how more than I ought to have done. But what very wise. It wasn't his own, however. I think can I do?” he said it was good John Newton's. As nearly as “I'll tell you what I do when I get a bit downI can tell this was it: Our troubles are like a large hearted,” replied Thomson," and I have done that bundle of sticks which' a man gives his servant to more than once in my time. I just take my Bible, carry, but which he tells him to carry not all at and I turn to some of God's most precious promises, once, but one to-day, and another to-morrow, and such as I find in the Psalms and in the words of

on. In that way, he would be able to carry them the Lord Jesus, and of the Apostie Paul; and as I easily; but if he tried to carry the whole bundle read them one by one, I say to myself, 'Now, in a single load, he would be very likely to break George Thomson, thou believes that doesn't thou ?' down. Now that he said, is how God deals with It's thy Heavenly Father's Word, and thou art not us. He sends us our trials one by one, but many going to make Him'a liar, art thou?' And then I a time, as if that were not enough for us, we look pray, 'Lord, increase my faith. Bless the Lord ! a-head and take up to-morrow's troubles and the I'm never down-hearted long when I do that. Just day after to-morrow's troubles as well; and we find try it for yourself, John.". them too many for us.

John looked as though he felt the force of what John could not help feeling that he had done his friend said to him, but he made no reply. something very like that; but he did not say so. “ There's another thing I do," said Thomson.

“There's another thing," said Thomson. “Don't “ When things are dark and trouble seems to be you think that when we think about coming coming that I don't know how to meet, troubles we nearly, always picture them ever so myself, 'Look back, George, and see what God has much bigger and ever so much worse than they done for thee. He has given thee all sorts of merreally are that is, if they happen to us at all? cies, and supplied all thy wants, and given thee I've heard more than one say so, and I've found it health and comfort in all thy troubles, and He has myself. It's just like what happened to me one never forsaken thee; and dost thou think He is day, when I was coming across the moors from going to forsake thee now?' Nay, lad, He'll Brightside. A thick mist came on; and you know never leave nor forsake us, if we only trust Him." how much bigger things sometimes look in a mist Just at this point Mrs. Wilby, who had been than they do in the sunshine. Just as I was going visiting a poor sick neighbour, entered the room, up one of the hills I saw a great big thing coming and that put an end to the talk of the two friends. down, and I could not imagine what it was. My Thomson had not said all he had in his mind to heart went pit-a-pat, but I stood still. As I waited say; but perhaps he had said enough for once. and looked, it got less and less; and then what John Wilby did not tell his wife just then what should it be but a man- 2-Willie Thompson, the had passed, but he told her something about it pedlar?”

afterwards. This she found out, however, at once, John laughed at his friend's story; and this time that her husband was “a great deal better to do Thomson did not need to point out its lesson. with,” and far more hopeful, and she had no doubt

“But, now, John," said Thomson, “I want to in her own mind that John's talk with George ask you a question, and it is this, Do you believe Thomson that Sunday evening was one great in God?”

cause of the change.

say to

often and carefully read; whilst Wilby hardly ever your shoulders and another a-top of it; and, inopened a book except his Bible. Still they were stead of casting your burden on the Lord, as Mr. warm friends. They had this in common, that Vickerson was telling us to do, you thought you they respected and loved one another; and they would bear it all yourself. Now where was the were both true Christians. Wilby clung to Thom- sense of doing that? And that was why you son because his sunny, nature comforted and stopped away to-night instead of going to church cheered him ; whilst on the other hand Thomson —was not it?was drawn to Wilby by his wish to do him good. John could not deny that it was so; but he

He is a happy man who has a friend like George added that he had no heart to go. Thomson.

Well, now, John,” asked Thomson, “where was Thomson and Wilby went to the same church, the good of that? My notion is that when a man and it so happened that they sat where they could is downhearted and wants comfort, there is no place see one another. Now though Thomson was by where he is so likely to find it as in the house of God. no means one of those people who hear for others Anyhow, that has always been my experience.” instead of hearing for themselves, he did some- Ah, but,” replied John, “you see you hardly times hear for his friend Wilby as well as for him- understand things. You've never been in business, self, and he had done so that morning. He thought and lost money, and suffered from bad trade, and the sermon a very good one, and he thought too such like.” that it was likely to be especially helpful to his That's true enough,” said Thomson. “I would friend John; but when he looked at him on the have liked well enough to have been a master, but other side of the gallery he was disappointed to I never could get to be one. But have not I had find that he was taking no interest in it. His my own troubles for all that? Why, I'm only thoughts were evidently far away; and he seemed time-keeper now, and I get five-and-twenty_shilsadly downcast.

lings a week, instead of two pounds, which I had “ John's down in the dumps about something or when I was foreman: but, bless the Lord, I thank other," he said to himself. “I must find out Him for what I have, instead of crying over what what's the matter."

I haven't.” He could not go in the afternoon, because he had “ Yes,” said John, slowly, “but you see I have a class of young men in the Sunday School. He not told you everything. I am afraid there are hoped, however, to see him at church in the worse troubles coming on. Trade is bad enough evening, and he would walk home with him. now, but they say it will be a good deal worse

But John was not there, and so George went to before it is any better. You know Murgatroyds his house as soon as the service was over. John are running short time; but I hear they are very himself opened the door, and bade him come in. likely to close entirely, and I have a lot of cusAs it happened, he was alone.

tomers among their hands. Then that new shop “Well," he said, in reply to George's kind in- can scarcely fail to run away with ever so much of quiries, “I was not first-rate; and to-night, as the trade that may be left. Besides, you know somebody had to stop in the house, I thought I Mary's in a poor sort of way, and I wish I may not would stop."

lose her.” Thomson was not the sort of man to beat about “ You remember how dark it came on when we the bush, when he had anything to say; and so, were at church this morning, don't you?” asked looking his friend straight in the face with a keen, Thomson. searching sort of look, he said to him, “Now tell Ah, it was dark,” replied John. " I felt certain me honestly, John, was it your body that was there was a heavy storm coming on, and that we not first-rate,' or your mind ? ”

should be wet to the skin before we got home.” John hesitated and for a minute or two he hung “ That was just what I thought,” said Thomson; down his head in silence. At length he replied, “and I dare say everybody else in the church slowly, “Well, may be, it was my mind, at any rate thought the same; but for all that the storm did it was partly that. The fact is, I had a lot of not come—that is, it did not come to us. It passed things to bother me last week.”

away along the tops of the hills, and though we He then went on to say that a man who owed beard the thunder rolling in the distance, we only him a good big account had gone down, and that he got the tail end of a shower, which did nobody any did not think he should get more than half-a-harm; and we had a fine afternoon and evening." crown in the pound; that several families who “ Yes,” said John, a little bewildered, and as yet were in his debt had left the place in search of not seeing what his friend meant. work; and that only the day before he had heard Well,” replied Thomson, “ that's just how it that a new shop was going to be opened in the often is with troubles that seem as if they were village in his own line of business.

certain to come to us, a lot of them don't come at Thomson listened kindly and patiently to all all. I have had my troubles now and then, and this, and then said,“ Aye, it is just how I thought, some of them were bad enough to bear; but I when I saw you at church this morning. You remember now some things that never happened looked as though you had got the whole world on troubled me a vast deal more than things that did.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

morrow.

way, don't

" But now

ܪ

And have not you found that too? I don't know “Do I believe in God?” replied John; “of course how many times you've told me everything was I do: I should not be a Christian if I didn't.” going to wreck and ruin ; and yet you've never “And do you believe that He knows all about Jost either wife or child, and you've always paid us, and that He is able to supply all our need, and twenty shillings in the pound.”

that he loves us and cares for us?May be,” replied John, 66 but there's no know- Yes,” replied John, but in scarcely the firm, ing how long I may be able to do it.”

decided way in which he had replied to the pre"Thank God, my lad," said Thomson, “that vious question. you have done it up till now, and that you can do “ And do you believe that they are His promises it to-day; and don't fret and worry about to which are written in the Bible, and that they are

Isn't it quite enough, to bear to-day's all true, and true for you and me, and that not one troubles—that is if we are in trouble to-day-of them can fail ?”. without thinking of to-morrow's and vexing our- “Yes, replied John again, but slowly and with selves about them before they come? You know hesitation ; "anyhow we've no right to doubt it; that's what our Lord says: Sufficient unto the but one's faith gets very weak sometimes." day is the evil thereof.' By the

you “Aye, that it does," said Thomson. remember a sermon Mr. Vickerson preached from I'll tell you what I've been thinking—that you that text a month or two ago ?”

would never have got flat like this if you had not John shook his head : he did not remember. lost sight of God and His promises and His love.

“Ah, I recollect,” said Thomson, "you were Don't you think you've left Him out of the reckonnot there that morning; and right sorry I was that ing almost entirely?” you were not. Well, there was one thing Mr. “Well, may be, I have,” replied John; anyVickerson said in that sermon which I thought how more than I ought to have done. But what very wise. It wasn't his own, however. I think can I do?" he said it was good John Newton's. As nearly as “ I'll tell you what I do when I get a bit downI can tell this was it: Our troubles are like a large hearted,” replied Thomson, "and I have done that bundle of sticks which a man gives his servant to more than once in my time. I just take my Bible, carry, but which he tells him to carry not all at and I turn to some of God's most precious promises, once, but one to-day, and another to-morrow, and such as I find in the Psalms and in the words of so on. In that way he would be able to carry them the Lord Jesus, and of the Apostie Paul; and as I easily; but if he tried to carry the whole bundle read them one by one, I say to myself, “Now, in a single load, he would be very likely to break George Thomson, thou believes that doesn't thou ?' down. Now that he said, is how God deals with It's thy Heavenly Father's Word, and thou art not

He sends us our trials one by one, but many going to make Him'a liar, art thou?' And then I a time, as if that were not enough for us, we look pray, 'Lord, increase my faith.' Bless the Lord ! a-head and take up to-morrow's troubles and the I'm never down-hearted long when I do that. Just day after to-morrow's troubles as well; and we find try it for yourself, John." them too many for us."

John looked as though he felt the force of what John could not help feeling that he had done his friend said to him, but he made no reply. something very like that; but he did not say so. “There's another thing I do," said Thomson.

“ There's another thing," said Thomson. “Don't “ When things are dark and trouble seems to be you think that when we think about coming coming that I don't know how to meet, I say to troubles we nearly always picture them ever so myself, Look back, George, and see what God has much bigger and ever so much worse than they done for thee. He has given thee all sorts of merreally are—that is, if they happen to us at all?cies, and supplied all thy wants, and given thee

I've heard more than one say so, and I've found it health and comfort in all thy troubles, and He has myself. It's just like what happened to me one never forsaken thee; and dost thou think He is day, when I was coming across the moors from going to forsake thee now?' Nay, lad, He'll Brightside. A thick mist came on; and you know never leave nor forsake us, if we only trust Him." how much bigger things sometimes look in a mist Just at this point Mrs. Wilby, who had been than they do in the sunshine. Just as I was going visiting a poor sick neighbour, entered the room, up one of the hills I saw a great big thing coming and that put an end to the talk of the two friends. down, and I could not imagine what it was. My Thomson had not said all he had in his mind to heart went pit-a-pat, but I stood still. As I waited say; but perhaps he had said enough for once. and looked, it got less and less; and then what John Wilby did not tell his wife just then what should it be but a man-Willie Thompson, the had passed, but he told her something about it pedlar?”

afterwards. This she found out, however, at once, John laughed at his friend's story; and this time that her husband was “a great deal better to do Thomson did not need to point out its lesson. with,” and far more hopeful, and she had no doubt

“But, now, John," said Thomson, “I want to in her own mind that John's talk with George ask you a question, and it is this, Do you believe Thomson that Sunday evening was one great in God?"

cause of the change.

us.

The Eagle at the "Rapids.

Seek

ye

the Lord while He may be found.”—Isaiah lv. 6.

[graphic]

WANDERED where the rapids

With ever-rushing flow, Roll on above Niagara,

And then dash down below:

But soon I was arrested,

By a shrill bitter cryNot drown'd by roar of

waters—
A scream of agony.

But vain his ev'ry effort

To mount up to the skiesHis claws were fastly frozen,

And hence his piteous cries. While he was calmly sleeping,

Too late, alas ! he found His talons to the carcase

The frost had firmly bound. Nearer the current bore him,

And nearer still to death; It bore him o'er the cataract

Into the depths beneath. The sinner in that eagle

A picture true may see, Of what it is to loiter,

And fail from sin to flee!

on the

It seemed to come from

something That floated

breast Of those swift flowing rapids,

From object sore distressed.
When nearer it approached me,

I saw a bird was there,
The king of birds—an eagle-

The picture of despair.
When soaring in the heavens,

Above the ice and snow, That eagle saw a carcase

Upon the stream below. Then from his place so lofty,

High in the cloudless sky, He darted on his quarry,

And clutched it eagerly.
And when upon the carrion

He'd feasted greedily,
And gorged his hungry gullet

Beyond satiety-
He yielded to the longing

Of rest, and idly kept
His place upon the carcase,

And there unwisely slept. Sometimes he calmly rested,

Then suddenly awoke; The weather's icy coldness

His heavy slumber broke. Ah! then he saw the folly

Of slumbering that day, While the fast-flowing rapids

Were bearing him away.
He spread his downy pinions,

And strove aloft to soar ;
The falls, he knew, were near him,

By the tremendous roar.

The stream of time keeps rushing

With never-ceasing flow,
And bears him on its bosom

From everything below.
To death and to the judgment

It brings him on with haste
To answer for the moments

He doth in folly waste. And sin keeps binding firmer

Around his feet its chains, While to burst through its fetters

Diminished hope remains.
The frost of icy coldness

Doth o'er his spirits steal,
His heart, increased in hardness,

No more can keenly feel.
While he doth vainly promise

To-morrow to beginDeath bears him to eternity,

To reap the fruit of sin. Then listen to no voices

Which would your progress stay, But now from Satan's fetters

Determined break away.
Be not beguiled to fancy

You'll profit by delay,
There is no future time to turn,

Șo easy as to-day.
The Saviour stands all ready,

The vilest to receive,
You've not a want or trouble

That He cannot relieve.

Your sins of deepest crimson

He'll whiter wash than snow,
And o’er your imperfections

His robe all righteous throw.

The graces of His Spirit

He will upon you send,
To help you to be faithful

And true unto the end.

He'll cause you by His power

A conqueror to stand;
No enemy shall pluck you

From His Almighty hand.
Then seek at once these blessings,

So rich, so choice, so free,
And He will surely give them,
O sinner unto thee.

R. E. HARRISON.

* W N W."

W

1

2

8

5

ALKING in darkness, and often per- Knowing the grace of our Lord, how He came, plexed,

Leaving His riches for sorrow and shame; Doubtful which duty we ought to do Knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, next,

Reigneth in heaven, our glorified Head.? Fearful and fainting, discouraged we go, Almost forgetting so much that we know. We shall be like Him when He shall appear,

Knowing in part while we're tarrying here,* What if some secrets are only the Lord's, Knowing that we shall receive the reward, Rich revelation He fully affords,

Absent from earth, and at home with the Lord. Into the mysteries shown in His book Questioning angels are longing to look.

Knowing our labour shall not be in vain,?

Patience through dark tribulation we gain; Master! in sin and in shadow we know Knowing He lives, by His Spirit inspired, All Thy creation is groaning below,

And that we have the petitions desired.10
Dimly we know Thee, like Thomas of old,
Needing the way and the truth to be told.

When is dissolving this dwelling of clay,

A building we have that ne'er can decay, “What I am doing thou knowest not now, We shall be clothed in our house without hands, Not till hereafter” —we patiently bow,

A temple eternal in heaven it stands.11
Knowing that often, when misunderstood,
All things are working together for good.

Love, which it passeth our knowledge to know,

Christ in His fulness on us shall bestow, 12 Knowing the Lord if we follow Him still,?

Though we may know not the day nor the hour Learning His doctrine if doing His will,

When He returns in His glory and power.is
Knowing the Scriptures from childhood and youth,
We are set free by their message of truth.10

Count up the records of glory revealed,
Often we do not the things that we would, Rev’rently leaving the mysteries sealed,
In us there dwelleth no thing that is good, And, while in twilight we journey below,
But know that in blood have our names been Let us be thankful for all that «

we know." enroll’d,

L. TAYLOR. Nor are we ransomed with silver and gold.12

2 Cor. viii, 9.

2 Rom. vi. 9.
1 Deut. xxix, 29.
2 1 Pet. i. 12.

3 1 John, iii, 2.

41 Cor. xiii. 12. 3 Rom. viii, 22. 4 John xiv. 5.

3 Col. iii. 24.

6 2 Cor. v. 8.
5 John xiii. 7.
6 Rom. viii. 28.

1 Cor. xv. 58.

8 Rom. v. 3.
7 Hosea vi. 3.
8 John vii, 17.

1 John iii. 24.

10 1 John v. 15.
9 2 Tim. iii. 15,
10 John viii. 32.

11 2 Cor. v. 1.

12 Eph. iii. 19.
11 Rom, vii, 18.
Pet. i. 18, 19.

13 Matt, xxv. 13.

11

1

12

« PreviousContinue »