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a grain of mustard-seed-s0 tiny, so very weak and small, that at times it seems almost a thing of nought yet remember it is not the amount of faith that saves, but the precious blood of Christ! As the least drop of water is as really that invaluable liquid as the largest ocean in the world, so faith, being the “gift of God," and boasting of a heavenly birth, is still faith, although it be ever so small. But let me softly urge upon those who possess but little faith to seek to have their portion made larger and stronger ! May we, who are God's children, endeavour to keep the eye fixed upon “ Jesus only,” away from ourselves, our cares, and anxieties! Let us live prayerful lives, trusting lives, casting our cares, our greater and lesser ones, upon Him who careth for us, ever looking forward to the time when “there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain;" for the former things shall have passed away, and we shall see Jesus as He is, and enjoy full satisfaction, complete happiness, in His presence throughout all eternity.
[We have much pleasure in again commending the precious leaflets of our old friend and correspondent, E. B. M., to the attention of our readers. We shall be exceedingls glad to hear that they continue to be widely adopted for enclosure.-Ed.)
STRENGTHEN THE WEAK. I SPRINGS OF COMFORT. ARISE! thou feeble trembling saint, When these faint hearts seem cold From weakness and dismay,
and dead, Thy fears are great, thy strength is
| And all our hopes and joys are fled,
Dear Comforter, return! small,
Our sinking spirits still sustain, And thorny is the way;
And let us feel Thy love again, Though trials press, and fears arise, Within our bosoms burn.
Let not thine heart be faint, As sinners in this world of woe, Go to thy Father, tell Him all,
Oh, where for comfort can we go,
But to the Saviour's breast ? And pour out thy complaint.
When waves rise high on every side,
We're toss'd by each tempestuous tide, Unbosom all thy sorrows there,
Until we gain that rest. Each anxious care confess,
But there no danger need we fear, For God, thy God, delights to hear,
| For Jesus wipes away each tear, And will thy griefs redress;
And gives us sweet relief; Oh, bless Him for that constant care. His outstretch'd arm is ever near, That watchful eye of love,
Our fearful trembling hearts to cheer,
For He hath borne our grief. Which overrules each trial here,'
O favour'd people of the Lord, To lead thy heart above.
His wondrous faithfulness record,
| To raise thee from the dust of earth,
In songs of joy and praise;
Tell of His sympathy and love. And from this passing scene, Till all below and all above, And point thee onward to thy rest, One song of rapture raise. Without a veil between.
Glory to God, our cov'nant God, Ob, trust thy Father's love and power, For all the love He sheds abroad, To lead thee safely home,
While desert paths we tread :
| We're journeying on to endless rest, Where all is life and light and joy. And there shall be for ever blest,
And thou no more shalt roam. With our dear cov'nant Head.
E. B. M. To be had post-free of Mrs. Moens, 47, Bath Row, Birmingham, 6d. per doz., or 3s. 6d.
MORE REMINISCENCES OF PREACHING AND TEACHING. "Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed
because of the truth.”—Psalm 1x. 4. It has often been said that those who hold the discriminating doctrines of grace care nothing for the welfare of their fellow-creatures that Arminians are the workers, Calvinists the drones. Now, as far as our experience goes, it is otherwise. The real workers are those who love Jesus, and have become constrained, by mighty grace, to testify of Him. True, they are ashamed of all they do, and therefore often work silently and secretly, feeling that, having done all, they are unprofitable servants; but it will be found that the child of God lives in CHRIST, mystically, vitally, unitedly, and eternally; he lives on CHRIST, for supplies, support, and strength; he lives WITH CHRIST, in fellowship and communion; and he lives FOR CHRIst, in demonstration and testimony. Jesus will be his or her touchstone, and must beget love for precious souls, and a yearning for the salvation of those by whom they are surrounded. I think it was the beloved Whitfield who said, “The saints of God were never so hapry as when they beheld sinners saved."
Now, with such feelings, we propose pursuing our remembrances of preaching and teaching, especially as it has pleased the Lord to have accompanied our former gleanings with a special blessing.
In a subject like this we shall be compelled to use a personal pronoun more than we like, but we shall study to put self in the shade, and uphold a precious Christ; for we do want more and more that in all te should have the glory. And we will bring to mind
1. WORK AMONG THE LITTLE ONES. We cannot be too simple in giving instruction to the young. We have witnessed ministers who preach the doctrines of grace, dispensing freely the good old wine of the kingdom to the aged pilgrims, and strong meat for the young men, but who, forgetting the milk for the babes, have left them to fall asleep, finding nothing suitable for their capacities. We have upon this point derived no little profit from recollecting the remark of an honest farmer. He had been listening to the discourse of a flowery preacher, who took for his text the last command of our Lord, “ Feed my lambs.” Coming out of the church porch together, the farmer said to the preacher, “A very good text that, sir; but you put the hay so high up in the rack that the lambs could not reach it." We should not forget the lambs and little ones.
The young particularly appreciate pictorial illustrations. We were privileged at one time to obtain the use of a very valuable set of dissolving views; the whole apparatus cost upwards of one hundred pounds, and some of the slides, which were paintings on glass, beautifully executed, cost two and three guineas each. Never shall we forget the delight of the young people at one village where it was advertised that we should give an evening lecture upon Bible scenes, illustrated by dissolving views. The young ones, in their Sunday-best, hailed us as we entered the village ; some had climbed up the trees, and looked like crows amidst the branches,
and, as the carriage wound up the hill, with the mysterious apparatus on the roof, we were vociferously cheered by our young friends. The room in which we were to lecture was crowded; indeed, we had no slight difficulty to get space enough for the lantern. We had chosen scriptural subjects, and endeavoured from each to bring the Gospel before them in the most simple and plain language. Preaching the Gospel to ploughboys and carters is not congenial to human nature, but in this way it seems highly appreciated by the young. But we do not know of any work more trying to flesh and blood than teaching in "a ragged school;" it needs great patience and wisdom. Never shall we forget going one Sabbath afternoon to a class of this kind. Thinking to rivet their attention, we had taken with us a book of scriptural illustrations beautifully painted. We had no sooner held it up and pointed to one of them, than a great rough boy made a snatch at the book, with the exclamation, "Oh, let's look at that, governor.” And soon enough there was a general scramble for it, and ere we could get our book again it was defaced and torn. We learnt a lesson ourselves in the matter, namely, always to make the boys sit at a distance from the teacher, and never allow them to crowd around you. Men clothed in soft raiment and living delicately will not do to deal with such materials. And now we will bring to remembrance
II. WORK AMONG SOLDIERS. The gathering of a thousand militiamen for their annual drill gave a rare opportunity for usefulness. But few could, in coming up, sign their own names, and they seemed to be gathered from the lowest of the low. A room was opened, and classes formed for reading and writing; and it was amusing to see a red coat, six feet high, poring over a copy-book and forming therein pothooks. One young man we noticed wrote a good hand; we spoke to him of it, and drew from him that he had been in an upper station of life, but drink and dissipation had ruined his family, and he had sunk in the mire of degradation with them.
Having an eye to their spiritual welfare as being the most important matter, we invited them to a Bible Class; but few availed themselves of the privilege, preferring to stroll about the town in listless indolence. Still those that did come we believe were profited. One young man told us he looked forward to the annual drill, chiefly to attend our meetings. I have no doubt, from his prayers and conversation, that he was a child of God.
In connexion with such work, we have not anything sensational to offer. Some seem to have met with multitudes of conversions and weepings and noise; we never did. We prefer simply sowing the seed and scattering the truth, and letting the Holy Spirit do His own work, which, as far as we have observed, is secret and silent.
We recollect attending the meeting of a stranger who called himself "a revivalist ;" and pleased enough he was to go round afterwards and talk to the weepers.” If he had known as much of many of them as we did, we fear he would have doubted the genuineness of their tears. “By their fruits ye shall know them.”
Another circumstance, in connexion with labours among soldiers, we shall not easily forget. It being proposed, at the close of the drill, to present each man with a copy of the New Testament, arrangements were made to carry this into effect. The men being ordered to form into &
square, and the Colonel having addressed them, a clergyman, a dear man of God, presented each man with the blessed Book. It was a beautiful afternoon, and a pleasing sight to see afterwards groups of the men lying full length on the grass, with one in their midst (possibly a little superior to the others), reading the word of God to them; then to see others tying up the bread of life in a coloured pocket handkerchief, together with the loaf of the bread that perisheth, which is given them ere they leave; and, slinging them over their shoulders, away they went. Who can tell the result? The Lord only. We were much struck to learn also that not a few who had thus received the word of God were Roman Catholics.
Then again, we remember with pleasure some Bible meetings we had in the barracks, chiefly attended by sergeants. These were blessed opportunities. We were much struck with the conversation of one among them who, though strongly tainted with Arminianism, yet had a decided gift for expounding the Scriptures and prayer. This man afterwards obtained his dismissal from the army to become a Wesleyan minister. He told us that he gained a deeper acquaintance with the Scriptures at those meetings at the barracks, than ever he did before. We could have wished he had been led deep enough to see the error of free-will and duty-faith.
Well, these little meetings are memorable in one's experience and leave a sweet savour upon the spirit. Never shall we forget, at one of them, a poor deaf man giving out the verse
“Sweet the thought, exceeding sweet,
We shall soon in glory meet;
We shall ever sing of Him.”
It came from the heart, and went to the heart. And now, passing from sowing the seed of truth among soldiers, we might call to remembrance,
III. WORK AMONG SEAMEN. To our mind there is not a more interesting class of men than "those who do business in great waters,” especially when grace melts their hearts. Oh, it is a gracious sight to behold those hardy men who so constantly risk their lives, subdued and sobered under the mighty hand of God! We have seen big tears roll down the cheeks of many a sturdy British tar, at the mention of the precious name of Jesus.
Having, at one time, promised to use our influence to promote the advancement of a society that seeks the spiritual welfare of the mariner, it gave us the privilege of helping their missionaries at various sea-ports. The plan adopted is to go on board the vessels in the harbours, and, seeking an interview with the captain, gain his permission to hold a meeting on deck. In many cases it is refused, sometimes with courtesy, at other times with rudeness. When permitted, the Bethel flag is immediately hoisted, and it is known among the seamen that the meeting is to be held. They come, and, grouping themselves about the deck, listen attentively while prayer goes up for them to the great Lord of sea and land, followed by the preaching of the Gospel. There is one feature in their conduct particularly observable, namely, their heartiness. We were conducting a meeting of seamen, when there was present an old weathered-beaten tar who could not restrain himself from giving vent to the feelings of his heart. We had not long commenced our address when there came from
his lips an emphatic Amen! But further on we seemed to have uttered something that touched a tender chord in his heart; and the old fellow said loudly, “ I know that's right, mon, for I've felt it.” This was certainly a conclusive way of arguing, at all events, if not logical, yet perfectly satisfactory to one's peace of mind. Being at a prayer-meeting one evening in the following week, this same old seaman was present. We called upon a younger man to engage in prayer, who began by complaining of the cares of the world. Our hearty friend from his favourite corner cried out, "Never mind the woold, mon; leave all that." While, of course, such volubility in the house of God cannot be encouraged, we love a feeling religion, 'tis worth all the cold sentimentalism of the day.
There was a circumstance we met with in one of our visits to the seaside we shall not soon forget; it was a complete exemplification of the passage, “ Cast thy bread upon the waters, and it shall be found after many days." Frequenters of watering-places know well that there are always beachmen who, owning well-trimmed boats, will give any one an hour or two's sail for a small sum. Taking advantage of this privilege one morning we found ourselves in a mixed company for a few hours' sail off Lowestoft. Among the group tossed up and down was a young woman near us with whom we felt drawn into conversation. We did not know why, but now believe it was of the Spirit of God. When off Pakefield church she observed, “ There is a good man coming to preach there next Sunday, sir." We responded, “What do you know about good men ?” She explained that the clergyman who was coming was the means of her conversion to God. He had visited Lowestoft two years before. She had attended his ministrations, which had been greatly blessed to her soul, and now she was looking forward to hearing the same voice again. Strange to say, we knew intimately the clergyman referred to, and, when we returned home, were enabled to communicate how a soul had been blessed through his labours; and, humanly speaking, but for that sail he would never have known anything about it. So it is, the preacher of the Gospel is a seed-bearer and bread-of-life-scatterer. He often knows not where the seed falls. We found afterwards that this young person was a daughter of one of the bathing-machine owners, and was known for her consistent walk and conversation.
There is a singular circumstance in connexion with the foregoing that we cannot withhold; we had written it, when the following met our eye in a daily paper : “Gallant Rescue.-A few days ago a young lady at Lowestoft ventured to try her swimming powers in a very rough sea; she was soon carried out of her depth, and could not return. Her screams were providentially heard. In a moment a slender girl threw off her jacket and hat, rushed fearlessly through the heavy waves, and swam to her rescue, bringing the young lady in, to the admiration of all beholders. This noble act was done by the daughter of Mr. Cook, the proprietor of the bathing machines in front of the Battery Green, and it is the second time that this brave girl has risked her own life to save that of another.” Reader, that brave girl is the same we met with in our sail, and whose conversion to God we have alluded to.
We call to mind also another circumstance we met with in connexion with our seafaring friends.. A Christian lady had said to us, “If you want a boat, you should have a certain man, who is not merely civil and respectful, but, I believe, a changed character.” A day or two after wo sought on the beach for the man in question. "Oh,” said an