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Is it not True ? O CAN'T think how it is Mrs. Burton keeps up her 3) spirits so wonderfully," said a smartly-dressed,
quick-tempered lady, to a friend who was con
versing with her. “I called yesterday, found her at home, seated near her work-table, and she was putting into her elegant vases some lovely flowers she had gathered, and greeted me with a smile. I must say I was astonished; for it is well known now that her husband has lost the greater part of his property, and will, as they say, have to begin the world again. I expected to find her depressed, and suppose I looked a little confused; for, in a gentle manner, she said, 'I hope nothing has happened to harm you since we last met ?'—' Harm me?' I replied ; 'oh, no! I was only thinking how little you feel your sorrow.'—'You have heard, then, how my husband has been deprived of his property, through the unfortunate speculating propensity of an old and trusted friend, and how comparatively poor we shall be. This is a trial, but not a sorrow: our true riches are beyond the reach of man to touch; and if our home here be lowly, we have a mansion prepared for us in the skies. Is it not true ?' she said, her face beaming with a conscious joy. “Our children are spared to us,' she continued ; ‘God is the same as ever-our Father in heaven, our guide on earth; and there must be some need for this dispensation of His providence, or He would not have allowed it to come.' Finding she so little needed my sympathy, I soon left her, and wended my way home, more thoughtfully than was my wont, and these words rang in my ears—Is it not true?' What true? I found myself saying. Why, “ All things working together for good to those who love God.' I had not, I confessed to the person I was telling this to, the same spirit as my friend. The thought haunted me—why should my faith be dim? She saw God's hand, and bowed with lowly reverence to His will. Should such a calamity befall me as to lose my earthly treasure, the religion I
professed would, I feared, comfort me little. “Is it not true ?' I asked myself.”
The words of my friend were never forgotten, and her earthly loss became my eternal gain. I read my Bible with more childlike trust, and, by God's grace, gave up my time, property, and energies to my best of Masters; was never so happy before ; and though often laughed at by my former worldly friends for my peculiar notions, as they termed them, I remembered those words that, by God's blessing, had wrought such a change ; and “Is it not true ?” became to me a question which settled at once and for ever all my difficulties and doubts. My sins were forgiven; God loved me, and when I was weak, He promised to be my strength. My journey here was to a better land, and, when my work was done, I knew that there I should for ever praise Him.
My dear reader, if this is true of heaven—the abode of all who trusted in Jesus as their Saviour-one naturally thinks of the dark region of unutterable woe, where lost souls will for ever regret that they questioned not themselves with regard to these all-important facts, and embraced with a living faith that loving One, who ever waits to receive weary, sin-sick souls. Is it not true? Life is the time in which to be saved. To work for God in many ways, some very quietly but surely, others going out of the usual path, and by an intense love for souls drawing many from the road which leads to everlasting unhappiness, into the narrow and safe one, doing as their Pattern did, taking the outcast by the hand, and not being like one Jesus despised, who thanked God he was not like the poor publican.
Religion alone brings peace, and death a glorious eternity of happiness, such as we little dream of.
“Is that a death-bed where the Christian lies ?
H. W. P.
I Sunday among the Hop-Pickers.
country town in Kent. We had just breakfasted,
several interesting drives and excursions in the neighbourhood, when a gentle tap at the door was soon followed by the appearance of our landlord, who had been a
zealous Scripture-reader and missionary labourer for twentyone years among the poor.
“Good morning to you, sir. I trust you have slept well, and found everything comfortable.”
“Perfectly so," I replied, “ with one exception: that large Newfoundland dog that I see in the street below disturbed us a good deal at an early hour this morning.”
“Yes," added my wife, “I heard the church clock strike five when that dog woke us with his furious barking, and we had not a wink of sleep afterwards. I wonder to whom he belongs ; the owner should be spoken to."
“Oh, you mean my dog Charlie, madam,” replied the Scripture-reader. “I am sorry he has disturbed you. He has a nasty trick now and then of barking at unseasonable hours, and I intend to break him of it. The fact is, Charlie is a little spoilt; everybody makes such a pet of him. But do you know, madam, strictly speaking, that dog is entitled to a medal from the Royal Humane Society 28
“Indeed !" exclaimed my wife; “and pray how is that, Mr. F- py
“Well, madam, it happened thus. Last year I was on my annual preaching mission to the poor hop-pickers in a village near. I had already given them a service in a barn, and we were to have had another later in the afternoon at a village a few miles farther on. The day had been an oppressively hot one. Accompanied by an aged friend and my dog Charlie, I had strolled in the direction of a shady avenue of beech-trees near a large deep pond, not far from the barn where I had been preaching. We were sitting comfortably at the foot of an old tree, enjoying its cool shade, and attentively watching the movements of a young man swimming in the pond, who was showing off his powers, much to the admiration of two or three small boys standing at the brink of the water. He at length came out, looking rather pale and exhausted, and was going to put on his clothes, when one of the small boys made some remark which induced him to plunge once more into the pond ; and he was soon in the centre and deepest