« ZurückWeiter »
DREAMING AND DOING.
all its pleasure, profit, and honour, has no balm that can heal an aching heart, no joy that can fill the “dismal vacuity" that earthly satiety leaves behind.
“I've sought for bliss in glittering toys,
And ranged the lurid plains of vice;
Until I saw my Saviour's face.” In Him there is permanent satisfaction; the peace that passeth knowledge; the joy that is unspeakable and full of glory. And the saint of God, poor and hungry, and friendless, and crippled, and in rags, wasting with disease in some humble garret, has a contentment and blessedness that palaces of royalty do not afford, that the soul unsaved never knows.
Oh, world-wearied souls, cease from your vain endeavours, your fruitless strivings for something that earth can never give. The fountain of living waters is not in these burning sands; it bursts from the smitten Rock, the Rock of Ages, cleft for a thirsting world. And in the ears of the panting, dying multitudes, Jesus cries, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink.” “ And whosoever will, let him come, and take of the water of life freely."
DREAMING AND DOING.
If a man stretch out his hand, and cause it to be fixed in that position, in time it will grow immovable, so that it can neither be raised nor lowered. And what is true of the hand is true of the foot, or any other member of the body. Use alone gives strength, vitality, efficiency. And the same principle holds in the spiritual world. A Christian man who makes it his practice to visit the sick and afflicted will find his interest in them quickened, while his heart will beat with warm, glowing charity. He who holds back the unkind retort finds it easier to restrain himself on the next occasion. One who engages in Sunday school work, or in mission work, or in Christian work of any kind, will find his fondness for it, his efficiency in it, and his adaptedness to it, increasing with his work.
Every now and then a sleepy and lazy Christian reads of some noble deed of self-sacrifice and heroism, and exclaims, « How I would like to have been there !_what a hero I would have been !" But heroes are not made in this way; you cannot buy heroism at the shops. Heroes never go in search of heroism ; and to him
DREAMING AND DOING.
who has it, it is invisible as thin air. These listless, fanciful dreamers. envy the man who can thrill an audience with the old story of redemption, and they think they only need opportunity and somehow they too would stir up an audience. Mistaken judges! You are all wrong. In order to work, the spirit of work must be in you. And you must have more than that you must make action follow upon inclination. You must work; you must cultivate holiness in life; you must labour in the Sunday school, and the mission school, and among the poor and destitute; and then you cannot be kept from telling what you know of Jesus and His love. The truth is, it is the heroes of the world who are misunderstood; as for its superficial men, it is they who are always estimated beyond their real value. There are plenty to be met with on every hand who would like a martyrdom. They see the stake and the fagots and the crowd ; and they even hear their own defiant utterances as they “stand up for Jesus." O pitiable martyrs ! O weakest of erring brethren, who sigh for the martyr's crown, yet have not enough of the Christ-spirit to give a crust of bread to a hungry brother, to forgive a personal injury, or deny themselves one little garment, so that a destitute brother may be fed !
The world is indeed full of would-be martyrs, but their names are never written such on earth or in heaven. Their crowns are all imaginary, thin as the ether, as unsubstantial as a vision. Christian brother, are you a worker in the vineyard ? Are you doing what you can, little though it seems to you, for the Master? Do you give up one coat that a needy brother
be warm ? Do you go out to discharge one little deed of mercy when a wearied body calls for rest? Then in your own way you are doing a deed of heroism which will be remembered some day. But, instead, do you say, “Soul, take thine ease;" and do weeks and months pass without the record of one deed of sacrifice done for the Master ? Instead of being a worker, are you a drone? And all the while are you dreaming of an imaginary martyrdom? But you are not the stuff of which martyrs are made ; and even could you go to the stake, it is to be feared you would get into one fire only to pass out into another. Still dreaming the dream of the sluggard ?
Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light!"
SPURGEON ON CONFESSION.-Spurgeon, in preaching on “Confession,” said, “Having searched the Bible through, I can only find one man mentioned who ever confessed. That is Judas Iscariot; and you will remember, my brethren, that he immediately went out and hung himself.”
THE carriages you see in the picture are called sleighs, or sledges, and riding in them is called sleighing, which means sliding; it is a very nice and easy way of riding over the snow.
As you may see they have no wheels, which might sink into the snow when they turned fast round; but the carriage rests on two broad pieces of wood which are bent upward a little at each end to keep clear of the snow. In this way they glide along so smoothly that there is no shaking or fear of breaking down. Even if one of the horses should fall and the sledge be upset, those who were in it would not be likely to break their bones, for they would only be rolled among the soft snow, which would afford them more fun than harm.
The people in the northern parts of America and in Canada are very fond of this easy way of winter riding; but Russia, with its long snowtime, is the most famous for its sledges, which are mostly covered over all round except the front. In such a carriage a lady and gentleman, mufiled up in warm furs and bear-skins, will be sheltered from the fierce winds and biting cold. Some of the Russian sledges will have three horses abreast, with a man to drive them, who tries to keep himself warm by beating first one and then another with a heavy whip, calling them by their names, sometimes scolding them, and then coaxing them. But the horses are always glad to have a gallop among the snow.
As we seldom have much snow in England now, we as seldom see such a thing as a sledge. Well: we have many other good things, like good houses, and warm firesides, and snug beds, for which we shall do well to be thankful.
POETRY.-ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
MY FATHER MADE THEM ALL.
“All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was
I REMEMBER in times of my boyhood, But whence these forms of beauty When the world seemed strong and My heart could never tell.
new, And to all the vexing questions I shall bless the loving Spirit That with my boyhood grow,
That taught my heart the truth, There came this soothing answer, A lamp to guide the steps of age, As dews on the flowers fall,
And guide impetuous youth; And I listened as to music ;
For when in the mystic shadows “My Father made them all.”
Of doubt I seemed to stray,
And wandering in this desert land Long years have sealed in silence
I well nigh lost my way, Those lips of tenderest love,
The same sweet voice I seem to hear, And the spirit, worn and weary,
As the silvery echoes call, Hath found its rest above :
It quells each wild, tormenting fear, But now in the hush of evening,
“My Father made them all." And at morning's quiet hour, These words come on the whispering O ye who press the flowery path winds
Where science breathes a sweet perWith all their olden power.
fume, I could see the stars above me, Who wander o'er the inviting fields Upon their field of blue,
In search of flowers of fadeless bloom; And they seemed so fair and golden, Let the soft radiance of this truth, So charming to my view;
On every doubtful vision fall, And the earth was fair and flowery, On stubborn age or fiery youth,And I loved it passing well;
My Heavenly Father made them all.
Jnecdotes and Selections.
A GOOD woman, searching out the children of want, one cold day last winter, tried to open a door in the third story of a wretched house, when she heard a little voice say, “Pull the string up high !" She looked up and saw a string, which, on being pulled, lifted a latch; and she opened the door upon two little, balf-naked children, all alone. Very cold and pitiful they looked.
“Do you take care of yourselves, little ones ?” asked the good woman.
“God takes care of us," said the oldest. Are
very cold? No fire on a day like this !" “O, when we are very cold we creep under the quilt, and I put my arm around Tommy, and Tommy puts his arms around me, and we say, Now I lay ine:' then we get warm," said the little girl.
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
“And what have you to eat, pray ?".
“When granny comes home she fetches us something. Granny says God has got enough. Granny calls us God's sparrows; and we say, 'Our Father' and 'Daily bread' every day. God is our Father.”
Tears came in the good woman's eyes. She had a mistrusting spirit herself; but these two little “ sparrows,” perched in that cold upper chamber, taught her a sweet lesson of faith and trust she will never forget.
The Rich Man's Son.-In the city of Glasgow once lived a worthy merchant, whose children I knew. As God had blessed him in his buying and selling, he became a rich man. Aud having a great love for country life, he took his riches and bought some fields on which he had played and gathered flowers when a child, and also the mansion in which the old laird of the place was wont to live. There was just one thing he forgot to do; he forgot to make his will, and to say to whom the mansion and the fields should go when he died. So by-and-by, when he died, no will could be found. Now he left behind his wife, four daugbters, and an only son. But as no will had been made, the mansion and the fields and a great part of all his riches came to this unly son. He was in London when the news came that his father bad died, and that he was now a rich man. Just at that moment money would have been very useful to him, for be was a young merchant beginning life, and no one would have blamed him if he had said, “The money is welcome, and with it I shall push my new business on.” But God had given him a gentle beart. He left London as soon after he got the news as he could get a train. And although it was late in the day when he arrived at his pative city, the first thing he did was to go to the house of a friend who draws out deeds. And at his request made out a deed by which the mansion and the fields were made over to his mother all her days; and all the rest, both land and money, which his father bad left, was divided share and share alike between her, his sisters, and himself. And when that was all fixed, he went to his home and buried his father. Somebody said to him afterwards, "But why did you go that very night and have your deed made out ?" He said, "I that night saw it was my duty to do it. If I had left it till next day, my duty might not have seemed so clear."-Sunday Magazine.
FALSE EXEGESIS.—While on all accounts it is better to get at the true meaning of a passage of Scripture than to misinterpret it, many a good lesson has been taught by a false exegesis.
We recall the story of a man who was restrained from striking a neighbour in his anger, through a recollection of a text of Scripture, “ Lay hands suddenly on no man.” We once heard a coloured preacher in North Carolina refer to the words of the Messiah, “Lo, I come,” with the comment, “ Hear dat, breddren, 'Low I come;' not high I come.
De Lord Jesus comes to de poor and de lowly." There was truth, if not fitness, in that comment. And now the Home Missionary reports a Wisconsin Sunday school teacher as giving to her class this explanation of the poor widow's two mites cast into the Lord's treasury—“Now, girls, I want