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gravely concerned and distressed, not so with my father. His life and and my mother wept silently. I his prayers went together; and every was sorry for this, for I really loved word he uttered made itself felt be. them both; but was vexed, too, that cause there could be no well-grounded the last evening should be made suspicion that it did not come from gloomy.
the heart. “What can I say, mother?” I Well, my father prayed for me asked, somewhat impatiently; "you with many groans and tears; he would not have me be a hypocrite, seemed to be wrestling with God for and pretend to what I don't feel, me, and continued praying long, as would you?”
if he would have said, “I will not let "No, George, no," she answered; Thee
unless Thou bless me!” He "anything rather than that ; but, || prayed much for my soul, that it George, you know the guilt and might taste and drink deep into danger of rejecting the Saviour; and Christ's precious salvation; that I that He is ready and waiting to be | might no longer delay, nor halt beyours, and to make you His. Why tween two opinions as to whom I do you keep back from giving your
would serye; that in the voyage on heart to Him?”
which I was entering I might be Much more passed than I can or kept from following the evil exneed set down. On my part, it was ample of the careless, profligate, and putting off with promises that I profane. He prayed that I might would think more about religion be kept from danger, be prospered than I had lately done, and with in all my ways, and be returned hopes that some day I should be all home in God's own good time, in that they wished. On theirs, it safety :-that God would bless me was urging me not to delay, while indeed. in health and safety, seeking my
There was not much more said soul's salvation.
that night: we soon separated; and At last my father said, “We can- none of us went to bed, I think, with not do what we would for you, dry eyes or thoughtless minds. George; but we can pray for
you.' I was to start early next morning. “Yes, father,” I said--and I felt The Portsmouth coach left the inn melted a little with seeing his evident at eight o'clock; and I had some sorrow_" and I wish you to pray distance to pass through the streets
before reaching it. We were all up, “ Well," he said, “I should like to therefore, long before it was pray for you, and with you, now." for it was winter. It was a silent
We had knelt together an hour breakfast-time, as such times often before, at family prayer; but we are, when there seems to be the most knelt again; and my father prayed to
but no one ventures to speak. very, earnestly and very touchingly
It might be that I was going away for his “ dear sailor-boy,” as he for ever; or if I returned, should I spoke of me to his God.
find them all living? More than a Now I have sometimes heard year, at any rate, would pass away persons in family prayer, and in before I could return; and what public as well, who have been very changes a year often brings about in much excited and very eloquent, and a family! perhaps very sincere at the time, “I cannot say much to you, who yet have not made much im- George,” said my father, who had pression on my mind-partly, I be- been trying to keep up all our spirits lieve, because I knew their lives without much success; “let were not consistent with the ex- pray together once more before we pressions they have uttered. It was
His prayer that morning was a I had escaped with life. I had been short one; it was principally that I thrown from the coach-top on to the might have a safe journey that day, hard frosty ground, and fell on my and a safe voyage out and home; head. The violence of the fall was or rather, that God would take me partially broken by a thick fur cap under His care and keeping, and which I wore that day; but for this I deal with me as seemed good in His should probably have been killed on sight, so that all might be well in the spot. My collar-bone was also the end-well for eternity.
broken, and my whole system reI have reason to remember this ceived a shock from which I was my father's prayer.
long in recovering. Strange to say, It was
a fine frosty morning, I, of all the passengers, was the only though scarcely light, when I took one who received any severe injury. my place on the outside of the coach, I need not say that this accident and shook hands with my father and at once put a stop to my voyage. brother for the last time; but the The Burhampooter sailed without gloom soon cleared away, and when me; and my prospects seemed irrewe were fairly on the road, the sun trievably marred. shone out cheerily and my spirits For some weeks I felt indifferent began to rise again.
about this, as about all things else; The journey was more than half- I was incapable of much thought, way over, and we were going gently and was only thankful that the accidown a hill, when I felt a sudden cent had occurred within the reach lurch, and, without any other warn- of my father's house. But as I slowly ing, felt myself violently thrown recovered health and strength, sad, forwards in the air. The axletree, murmuring feelings were uppermost as I afterwards learnt, had snapped in my heart, and sometimes I gave asunder, and the coach, which was them utterance. Instead of being heavily laden, was overturned with grateful that my life was spared, I great force.
groaned with impatience at the disI was ignorant of this at the time, appointment which my hopes had however, and of all things else. undergone. When I came to myself, I was lying “Mother,” I said one day, “I canon a bed, at a roadside inn, in great not make it out at all." pain. I tried to move, but could “What cannot you make out, not; and the agony caused by the George ?” asked my mother, who attempt was so great that I shrieked, was sitting beside me, as I lay on and again sunk into insensibility. the sofa.
This did not last long, however; How is it I got this hurt? You and when I once more recovered, I believe that God hears prayer, I found myself under the hands of a know, mother.” surgeon, who was fomenting my “Yes, I am sure He does. He head. I had barely sense enough to does more than hear prayer, George : answer a few questions this gentle. He hears and answers. man put to me; but I gave him my “ Always, mother?” I asked; and, father's name and direction, and the if I spoke as I felt, it was in a tone next day both he and my mother of scorn and unbelief. came to the inn.
Always, I firmly believe," said It was some days before I was my mother, with energy, “when the pronounced out of danger, and able prayer is fervent and goeth not out to be moved; and then, by short of feigned lips; always, in God's own stages and in an easy carriage, I good time, and in His own best way." was taken back to my home. By “Father prayed for a safe and this time I understood how narrowly prosperous journey for me," I said
bitterly; "and see what came of it; Many months passed away before I was the only one on the coach who I was sufficiently restored to be fit did not have it."
for sea; and then I had to wait a, "How do you know that p" my long time before another good mother asked quietly; "I mean, opening could be found for me. said she, “how do
know that all At last I obtained a berth, though the other passengers had a safe and not so promising as that I had lost prosperous journey ?"
in the Burhampooter, and was once “I know that they escaped, and I more making preparations for the did not,” I said ; "and all events, voyage. you cannot say that mine was either A few days before going on board, safe or prosperous.”
I was in a coffee-room in the city, My mother was a meek and gentle and took up the day's Times; more woman; she did not like argument; from habit than design, my eyes she used to say that she could not rested on the shipping intelligence, argue about religion, but she could and the first words I read were these trust, and pray, and believe. She -"LOSS OF THE BURHAMPOOTER." looked mournfully in my face when I With dazzled eyes and reeling said that, and I could see that her brain I read on, that on her homeeyes were filled with tears. I re- ward voyage, the Burhampooter had peated my words : “ Now, can you foundered in a heavy gale; that the say, mother, that my journey was catastrophe was witnessed without safe or prosperous ?”.
power of relief; and that all on board We shall tell better about that had perished. by-and-by, George," she answered, My story is told. You may say in her mild, submissive way. “We that my accident was a stroke of cannot see yet what the end will be; good fortune; others have said so perhaps we shall not see the answer when they have heard my story; to that prayer till we reach another and they smile when I say it was an world; but I am sure we shall see it answer to my
not to be daunted by a smile!
A POOR SPECULATION. ROBBING God never did pay in times past, and it is doubtful if it can ever be made to pay in a business point of view. We should like to attend an “experience meeting," where people who have robbed God would bring in their books, and tell the honest truth about the profit and loss of these operations.
A writer in an American periodical gives the following account, which
may be set down as one of many instances where men have found robbing God to be a poor speculation.
“One of the most enterprising and successful Methodist laymen in Indiana says, when he began life for himself, he worked three years for ninety-five dollars, and gave one-tenth of it to the Lord. He continued to do so for many years, finding but little difficulty when making but little. At last the war came on, and he found himself a partner in a hominy-mill, which was run day and night to supply the army. His income was between two and three hundred dollars per day. Now came a terrible conflict: Shall I give away between
twenty and thirty dollars a day?' The sum seemed to appal him; and one night, after a severe struggle, in which covetousness gained the mastery, he sank into a troubled sleep, but soon awoke to see the hominy-mill in a thousand flames! He has never had any trouble to give one-tenth since!
“This brother at that time estimated that the same rule of giving in his own denomination would realize one thousand dollars per year for the support of each pastor, pay all the connectional demands then made on the people, and leave a surplus of nineteen millions of dollars annually!' One-tenth was sacred to the Lord from the earliest
ages. not a Jewish provision merely; but when the gospel was “preached to Abraham," he recognised the justness of the rule, and on his return from the defeat of the kings who had captured Lot, we are told that “Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine : and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: and blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him TITHES [tenths] of all” (Gen. xiv. 18-20).
So also when Jacob, the wandering fugitive, saw heaven opened above him at Bethel, and the Lord revealed Himself to him in words of grace and promise, “ Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: and this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house : and of all that Thou shalt give me I will surely give the TENTH unto Thee" (Gen. xxviii. 20-22).
The law given by Moses simply re-affirmed this ancient duty; and not only tithes, but also offerings and first-fruits, and days and weeks of sacred time, were demanded by the law, and devoted to the Lord under the Jewish dispensation.
No one collected these tithes. No officer or tax-gatherer compelled their payment; all was voluntary : but notwithstanding all this, robbing God in tithes and in offerings always proved to be one of the poorest speculations that a backslidden Israelite engaged in. The rain would not fall on their fields, the worms and bugs would eat up their produce, and blight and blasting would consume that which greedy apostates sought to withhold from the Lord.
It is so now. The curse of God is on the covetousness of the age. A continual whine of poverty and hard times goes up from these Godrobbers on every hand. They are poor, and they ought to be. They are wretched, and they always will be. The liberal soul shall be made fat; and the stingy soul may expect to cry, “My leanness, my lean
Drought, blight, and insect-pests, are just as much at God's command to-day as they were three thousand years ago; and a man with eyes to see can perceive the results of robbing God on every side.
With all the extravagance of modern sectarianism, an honest tithe of the wealth of Christendom would pay every bill, and leave millions of surplus to carry the glad tidings into heathen lands. But instead of this, church-members rob God, and then pass
" and "saucers” around the congregation to beg halfpence of the Devil's children, to sustain religious worship, and then get up fairs and fandangoes, soirées and sociables, selling trinkets and nicknacks, and arranging feastings and riotings, to obtain money for the service of God. And all this that tight-fisted old skin-flints may rob God and hoard up wealth, while young people waste money in speculations, extravagance, luxury, and pride.
“Will a man rob God?” Verily he will find it a poor speculation. “There is that scattereth and yet increaseth.” Floods and flames, blights and whirlwinds, stand ready to rebuke our greed and punish our covetousness; while to His obedient children the Lord says, as He did of old : “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there
may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your
vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed : for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts" (Mal. iii. 10–12).
THE MINISTER'S WIFE. THERE are many saints
vhose of them ever made more real sacri. names have a fair place in the book fice for the heathen than she made of life who make very little stir in for the dull, immovable, and unthe world. They seem to the care- appreciative people of that remote less observer to move on very swim- town, where there seemed everymingly over the sea of life, neither thing to be done in the way.of redoing nor enduring enough to give fining and elevating, and yet where them a right to the name of saints. little could apparently be done, beBut there is a sacrifice keener far cause the people were full and wanted than that involved in hard labour, nothing. There was no great, new in coarse and scanty fare, or even in field to strike into with Christian outward persecution; it is that zeal and hope ; but old ground ordeal through which a delicate worked over and over, the very and refined spirit passes in yielding stones of which seemed satisfied. up taste, as well as ease and com- The people, with the exception of fort, for the good of others.
a few “righteous," who saved them The minister's wife at Eastwood from moral paralysis, were a dull, was a heroine whose record at last heavy, dog-trotting community, who will shine as bright and pure as that wanted no impetus, and were very of any woman who ever crossed the jealous of ministers or any one else sea with the light of life to those who believed improvements possible who sit in darkness; perhaps few there.