Page images

not wither, and he grows in beauty as the built of cut stone, and took shape but years pass on.

slowly. An ugly framework of unThere is a large lamp in one of our trimmed planks surrounded it, rising with public squares which shines brilliantly its growth, and hiding much of its beauty. all night long, but it stands so high that But one day I saw that this outer shell one wonders how it can be lighted. There had broken up and vanished, and the fair is a pretty device which covers the diffi- proportions of the building were clearly culty. The burners are so arranged that seen. The house was finished, and the when the great blaze is turned out in scaffolding was required no more. early morning, a tiny flame springs forth, This earthly life of ours is little more so small that it is scarcely visible, and than a scaffolding. Our joys and sorrows, burns all day; and when the shadows our gains and losses, the lessons we learn, fall, at the touch of a spring, it kindles the worries we have to bear, all the surthe great flame again, and instantly dis- roundings and the changes of earth ind appears.

time are but a framework, in the midst of That lamp pictures to my mind what a which, and by means of which the Great human life ought to be, in its relation to Builder seeks to raise for each of us a holy men around. We are all meant to be light- character, a perfect light which shall bearers; it is not safe to let the flame of shine forth with unfading beauty throughkindliness and watchful sympathy ever out eternity. Sometimes the scaffolding go out, for it may be needed at any may vex and incommode us; let us moment. But it is in hours when the remember it is necessary, and will not be darkness of pain or sorrow wraps the kept up a moment too long. Sometimes little world we move in, that our light we are told to look on the scaffolding, as should spring into full brilliance and turn if it were the real building ; let us think night into day. The lamp of human how terrible it would be if when the sympathy and brotherly help, bright framework were removed no building were enough in seasons of prosperity, burns found within in which either God or man often low at the very hour when its rays could find pleasure! Yet is not that the are needed to scatter the darkness of dis- case with many ? Take away the scaffoldappointment and of pain. Christ loved ing of business or pleasure of the comHis apostles always, and His presence panionship of men or books, is there brightened their life ; but it was at the anything remaining that could be spoken darkest hour in their history that His of as either beautiful or good ? No love shone most brightly forth, in those nobility of character; no calm self-conblessed words of consolation, which John trol; no holy enthusiam ; no likeness to records, and which have cheered so many Christ. The whole life wasted; its work thousands of sufferers in every age. I and its sorrow in vain; the building of will try to live so that my light shall be life only fit to be burnt. God help me brightest when most required; and per- to build on the true foundation with haps I may be able thus to turn the night patience, faith, and prayer ! Yea, may of some mourner into day, by leading him God Himself take charge of my life, and to One who is the life and the light of build it after His own good pleasure, so

that, when the scaffolding of earth and A building of considerable size was time is removed, my spirit may shine forth rising lately in one of our streets, and in perfect beauty, fit to be the temple of my walks often led me past it. It was God through all eternity.




“The Lord will interfere with you some Day.”

poor fellow's


Author of " The Oiled Feuther,etc. “LET me alone!” “Mind your own to complain to the neighbours, saying, business !" “What's that to you?” “What does that man want bothering “ Don't bother me !” “'Tis no affair of me for? I wish he would stop away. yours!” “Who asked you to interfere ?” But, “thank God,” said he, when talking « Be off with you!"

about the matter full nine years after, These sayings are common enough in “you did not stop away.” daily life. They are generally spoken Well, when the eye was knocked out, witń temper, generally when people know this bothering man came, and prayed they are in the wrong; or, at any rate, God to preserve the other eye, and morewhen they suspect it, and want to go over to open the eyes of this their own way at any price.

understanding. “After that prayer," said “Let us alone,

," was what the evil he, “I felt so miserable, I didn't know spirit cried in the poor demoniac. Let what to do, I could not rest. I went in us alone was what the silversmiths of and out the next room, and told the man Ephesus wanted, when Paul, by telling there how miserable I was. I went in them about the true God, would have and out of doors, and could get no rest. spoiled their trade in making silver I then made up my mind that, by the shrines for a false God.

help of God, I would lead a different life, But we need not go back to those old and do as you have often wished me; and, times to find folk who do not like to be bless the Lord, I have done so, and He interfered with on any matters connected has pardoned a wretch like me, and I with religion generally, but with their hope and trust I shall never do wrong their own souls particularly. Perhaps any more." you may be one of those folks yourself; It was at the cost of his


that that but at any rate, I know of one of them. man was brought to himself—that was

This man was a drunkard, a blasphemer, God's way of interfering with him-it and a Sabbath-breaker, and only two was the Evil One who raised the passion months before he was brought to know of his son-in-law, and made him strike God had one of his eyes knocked out, out his eye; but God interfered, and while fighting with his own son-in-law. overruled the evil to blessing the man in

A friend who knew this man well saw body and in soul. him scrubbing his table one Sunday You may set it down as a certainty morning, and asked him “why he did it that, every one must be interfered with. on God's day?”

God did not make any man to be inde“Mind your own business,” said the pendent, and run his own way to the end; surly fellow, “and don't you interfere and have his own way at the last. Man's with mine."

own way would be to sin all his life, and My friend,” said the person who had then go to heaven when he died, and spoken to him, “the Lord will interfere could sin no more. We cannot get out of with you some day, perhaps to your God's having to do with us, some way or sorrow.”

other. This sentence stuck in the man's When Conscience pricks, those are inmind, and the man who had made use of terferences of God. When, by hearing, or it often kept saying a word to this poor reading, you have the thought brought fellow about his soul, of which he used before you that you are a sinner, and that



you can only be saved by another, even light,” ? was, "By-and-by-shortly-let Christ the Saviour, that is an interference let me alone a little—these were theof God. Many providences—even many answers of my heart.” He prayed to be which have happened already to you— delivered from a sin ; but he said, "Grant. have been such interferences. The laying not my request immediately.” He did. a man aside by illness, giving him time not like to be interfered with all at once. to think—the motions of God's Holy There was a man who was conspired Spirit making him uneasy about his soul against by a number of people who had - these are all interferences.

banded themselves together to take away God grant that some interference may his life, and a paper was handed to him bring you to Him, if you have not come telling him of it; but, he said "Pleasure to Him already; for the last interference to-day, and business to-morrow.” He did. will be, when He sends for you away from not wish to be interfered with—and on life, and

you must go, whether you like it the morrow he was dead. But you may or not, and it will be a terrible thing for receive God's interferences with you: any man to go unreconciled to God. thoughtfully, and gratefully, and say, "It

There are many different ways in which is my heavenly Father.” David was in-these interferences of God may be taken. terfered with, and he humbled himself.? Some take them impatiently; they are Saul was interfered with, and he said, irritated that they cannot go, and do, and “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do? ”3. be just as they like. And some take and both were forgiven and blessed. them impudently. They have no shame Instead of saying, “ I do not want God' at being checked. And more take them to have anything to say to me,” say, “O defiantly; they dare God to do His my God, do not leave me to myself; inworst; and more just take them neglect- terfere in everything belonging to me; fully, they won't “ bother themselves," advising me, restraining me, helping me, as they say, about such things.

saving me from my sins and from myself; St. Augustine tells us in his Confessions interfere with me now for my safetythat the answer he gave to the words, not hereafter to my sorrow. “Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee Eph. v. 14. 2 2 Samuel xii. 8 Acts ix. 6.



ROSIE'S REST. A TRUE STORY, IF you go among our village children, either in the other, “and you'll learn it there in five work-time or play-time, you will find two words minutes." very often spoken among them-two words that “I am sure you don't play that game fairly, at first seem to our ears to have no special meaning Katie,” cries one tiny maiden to another in the in them—these two words are “Rosie's Rest." playground, in a somewhat sharp, shrill voice. They appear, as we listen, to apply at the same “My way is as good as yours," replies Katie, time to a place and a person, and we are quite at stamping her small foot resolutely.

You always a loss to tell how this can be.

think you know best, Hilda.” “I shall never learn my lesson to-day," says “ I tell you what we will do, Katie,” she says, one curly-headed little lad, leaning across the desk we will both go to Rosie's Rest, and she shall at school, and whispering into the ear of a com- decide for us.” panion, “ the morning is so hot, and I want to go What can this “ Rosie's Rest" be, we wonder ? after that butterfly. I know it's naughty, but I What can it be, and where is it? It must cercan't get my mind into my lesson."

tainly be a place worth going to see, as it can have “Go to Rosie's Rest in the dinner-hour," answers / such varied effects upon those who visit it.

Such thoughts and such questions employed us as we gazed more earnestly at the little one lying busily, as one day we followed a little band of there. girls who had just expressed, with an air of im- Yes, there was rest—rest that would be rest in portance, their intention to go to “Rosie's Rest the midst of a city's loudest din : rest that would to study a complicated new sum which had just be rest in the midst of stormiest trouble. More been set them. We were determined to find out than earthly rest on that serene brow, and in those what “Rosie's Rest” might be, and as we went sweet eyes. we tried to picture to ourselves what it was, but A few years ago Rosie had skipped over the were quite unprepared for what we saw when we fields the merriest and most active child in the reached “ Rosie's Rest."

village, when an accident had stretched her on a It was a cottage kitchen, full of the bustle of bed of pain for life. But she made something that every-day life, and a little figure lying stretched is better than health and strength her own. She on å low couch, covered with a clean but shabby found her way to Jesus, and to the rest that is in rus, on which were folded two small thin hands, Him. while a pale childish face rested on the pillow. Thus it came to pass that all the children who

“But where is ‘Rosie's Rest'?” we asked, look- were in any difficulties came to Rosie to help them, ing blankly round us, our glance straying now and when they came, called it coming to “Rosie's to the mother of the family, hastening hither rest,” for the rest she had found herself made her and thither about her household work, and now able to show others the way to it. to the cradle where a baby was whimpering Dear children, while you are still in the fulness uneasily.

of your youth and happy strength which God has “ Here,” cried the children in chorus, as they given you, try to find your way to the rest which surrounded the couch.

little Rosie found, and then there will be rest and “Here ? ” we repeated incredulously, yet drawing sunshine for you whatever may be the trials and “And this is Rosie ?” we went on to ask, troubles and clouds of your lives.



« Give ye


WHERE SHALL WE WORK ? FOUNDATION text. “Go work to-day in “ The field is the world” (Matt. xiii. 38). my vineyard.” Who gives the call ? 'The

“Go ye into all the world” (Mark master of the vineyard (Matt. xxi. 28).

xvi. 15). To whom does He give it? To all “Go ye into the highways” (Matt. that are “standing idle" (Matt. xx. 3-6). xxii. 9).

He appointeth“ to every man his work” (Mark xiii. 34).

How ARE WE TO WORK ? True service is to do the particular

In obedience and faith. work God gives you to do—that work and them to eat” (Mark vi. 37). no other; as Christ said, "I have finished

In humility and reverence.

“ With the work which Thou gavest Me to do.All true work for Christ proceeds from he did fly” (Isa. vi. 2).

twain he covered his face, and with twain true love to Christ. “Lovest thou Me?” “Feed My sheep; feed My lambs” (John xxi. 15, 16).

WHAT KIND OF WORK ? Work for God presupposes life; full, “Whoso shall give a cup of cold water active, healthy life; for if a man is only because ye belong to Christ,” &c. (Mark barely alive, he may exist, but he cannot ix. 41). work. Therefore, seek first for spiritual "I was an hungred—thirsty, naked, health, for if you are well and strong sick, in prison ... and ye came unto and willing, and standing ready, God Me" (Matt. xxv. 35, 36), will not leave you idle.

“If she have brought up children, Collective prayer.

lodged strangers, washed the saints' feet, Disciples praised (Luke xxiv. 53; Acts relieved the afflicted, diligently followed ii. 47). every good work” (1 Tim. v. 10).

In heaven, elders, &c. praised (Rev. v. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do” 8-14). (Eccles. ix. 10).


“It is the Lord; let Him do what TESTIFYING WORK.

seemeth Him good” (1 Sam. iii. 18). Andrew found Simon and said, “We “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath have found ... the Christ.”

taken away” (Job i. 21). Philip found Nathaniel_“ We have “In afflictions, in necessities,” &c., &c. found Him, of whom Moses in the law, (2 Cor. vi. 4-10). and the prophets did write, Jesus of “I take pleasure in infirmities” (2 Cor. Nazareth " (John i. 41-45).

xii. 7-10). The woman of Samaria said to the “ These are they whích came out of men of her city, “Come, see a man, which great tribulation ” (Rev. vii. 14). told me all things that ever I did : is not

EARNEST WORK. this the Christ? (John iv. 29). The duty of "holding forth the word

“So we laboured in the work” (Neh. of life” was impressed on the Philippians iv. 21). by the Apostle Paul (ii. 16).

“Always abounding in the work of the

Lord" (1 Cor. xv. 58).

“I labour, striving according to His working” (Col. i. 29).

“Real work for God is downright hard, “When they had prayed, the place laborious, though blessed labour. Real was shaken” (Acts iv. 31).

work for God will be modelled after Prayer was made without ceasing for the work of Christ.” Peter(Acts xii. 5).

“I must work the works of Him that. “Pauì kneeled down and prayed with sent me while it is yet day, for the night. them all” (Acts xx. 36).

cometh when no man can work” (John Individual prayer.

ix. 4).

WE MUST WORK FOR GOD GLADLY AND Elias prayed earnestly (James v. 13,

HEARTILY. 17, 18). Christ prayed alone (Luke ix. 18).

“I will very gladly spend and be spent Christ prayed for Peter (Luke xxii. 32). for you.” (2 Cor. xii. 15). Christ prayed for His disciples (John

"With good will doing service ” (Epb. xvii.).

vi. 7). Christ prayed at Gethsemane (Luke

“Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily,&c.. xxii. 41).

(Col. iii. 13). PRAISING WORK.

The Lord give us the power, for His.

name's sake. All the people praised (1 Chron. xvi.

“Thy work is before thee, 36).

Soon, soon shall come o'er thee Four thousand praised (1 Chron.xxiii.5). The gathering shades of the night. Praise before victory (2 Chron. xx. 19

Art thou willing and ready ? 22).

Thy hand strong and steady?

Thine armour all burnished and bright ?" At the building of second temple (Ezra iii. 11).

N.B.-The writer is indebted to an address. The heavenly host praised (Luke ii. 13). given by Mr. ARCHIBALD Brown for most of the Shepherds praised (Luke ii. 20). above remarks.

[ocr errors]


« PreviousContinue »