Page images
PDF
EPUB

hands in silent blessings on the sleeping babe, and quietly retire. The sons of earth are waking, and the merry laugh and the careless jest fall harshly on the ear. Let us away. I would not linger now, for all seems changed.

A FATHER'S PRAYERS. A FEW years ago, when Dr. Judson was in the United States, some one asked his little daughter, who accompanied him, “if she was not afraid when coming over the great ocean to America ?” “Why, no,” said she; “father prayed for us." How sweet the sense of safety and protection that this little girl felt, even amid the dangers of a long voyage, believing so heartily as she did, that God would hear her father's prayers, and take care of them all the way! She felt the blessing of a praying father, and when, recently, she received the sad news of his death, do you not believe that while she mourned the loss of so excellent a parent, she also grieved for the loss 1 of his prayers ?

Let me tell you of a little boy, about eleven years old, whose parents have sought to train him up in the fear of God. For several years his father (the late Rev. H. A. Graves) was an invalid, and was obliged to seek a milder climate, where the air is softer and warmer than it is here. The change was beneficial, and for a time his disease was stayed ; but a few months ago he became more ill: his strength failed, his frame grew weaker day by day, and it was very plain that he would soon die. About midnight, a few Saturdays ago, his wife was reading to him an account of a wicked man who attempted to steal money from a bank, and was shot. As she read she spoke of their own dear Charley, who would soon be left fatherless, and for that reason be | more exposed to those temptations that crowd so thickly the path of the young. The father lifted an earnest prayer for his little son: “Lord, keep him ! Lord, bless him !” and in an hour after, just as the Sabbath dawned on earth, his soul ascended to heaven, and he entered his eternal rest.

[ocr errors]

These earnest petitions were the last words of that dying father, and in the circumstances of that hour, how full of meaning! “ Lord keep him!” From what, think you, chil. 1 dren, did he desire God should “keep" his beloved child ? There are many painful and distressing things which every parent wishes his children should escape ; but is not sin the greatest of all evils ? It was from that, in its thousand forms, that this Christian father, in the last words he had breath to speak, prayed that Charley might be preserved from the sin of his own natural heart; from the corrupting influences of ungodly associates; from the snares and allurements of those deceitful pleasures which the world offers. And that other petition, “Lord, bless him !" O, how full of the tenderest affection was his heart, as he uttered this prayer! How do you think he desired God to "bless" his son ? With wealth, that should bring him luxury and ease, and splendour ? With a noble name, that every lip should praise ? With rare mental gifts, that should have the power to move at will thousands of minds and hearts ? No-not these, but better, purer, richer gifts, by far, did he implore. A heart reconciled to God in Jesus Christ, loving to render him a service of obedience, and faith, and reverence—0, is not this the best of blessings ? And thus did that fond father pray that Charley might be blessed. What richer legacy could he receive than such prayers, uttered just before his father entered that holy, happy home in heaven, that he so loved to anticipate ?- Presbyterian.

EARNEST EFFORT TO OBTAIN INSTRUCTION.

The following case is recorded by the Rev. John Williams in his “ Narrative of Missionary Enterprises in the South Sea Islands” of a native of the island Rarotonga. He says

In passing one evening from Mr. Buzacott's to Mr. Pitman's station, my attention was arrested by seeing a person get off one of the seats by the road side, and walk upon his knees into the centre of the pathway, when he shouted, “Welcome, servant of God, who brought light into this dark island ; to you are we indebted for the word of salvation." The appear

EARNEST EFFORT TO OBTAIN INSTRUCTION. 327 ance of his person first attracted my attention ; his hands and feet being eaten off by a disease which the natives call kokovi, and which obliged him to walk upon his knees; but, notwithstanding this, I found that he was exceedingly industrious, and not only kept his kainga in beautiful order, but raised food enough to support his wife and three children. The substitute he used for a spade in tilling the ground was an instrument called the ko, which is a piece of ironwood, pointed at one end. This he pressed firmly to his side, and leaning the weight of his body upon it, pierced the ground, and then scraping out the earth with the stumps of his hands, he would clasp the banana or taro plant, place it in the hole, and then fill in the earth. The weeds he pulled up in the same way. In | reply to his salutation, I asked him what he knew of the word of salvation. Heanswered.“I know about Jesus Christ, whocame into the world to save sinners !" On enquiring what he knew about Jesus Christ, he replied, “I know that he is the Son of God, and that he died painfully upon the cross to pay for the sins of men, in order that their souls might be saved, and go to happiness in the skies." I enquired of him if all the people went to heaven after death? “ Certainly not,” he replied; "only those who believe in the Lord Jesus, who casi away their sin, and who pray to God.” “You pray, of course ?” I continued. “O, yes,” he said, " I very frequently pray as I weed my ground and plant my food, but always three times a-day ; besides praying with my family every morning and evening." I asked, what he said when he prayed. He said, "I say, 'O Lord, I am a great sinner, may Jesus take away my sins by his good blood; give me the righteousness of Jesus to adorn me, and give me the good Spirit of Jesus to instruct me, and make my heart good, to make me a inan of Jesus, and take me to heaven when I die.'” “Well," I replied, " that, Buteve, is very excellent; but where did you obtain your knowledge ?" “From you, to be sure; who brought us the news of Salvation but yourself?” “ True," I replied, but I do not ever recollect to have seen you at either of the settlements to hear me speak of these things, and how do you obtain your knowledge of them ?" “Why," he said, “as the people return from the services, I take my seat by the wayside, and beg a bit

of the word of them as they pass by; one gives me one piece, another another piece, and I collect them together in my heart, and, by thinking over what I thus obtain, and praying to God to make me know, I understand a little about His word.”

THE DRUNKARD SAVED BY HIS LITTLE BOY.

A LITTLE boy came home from school one day, weeping and sobbing bitterly. What ails you ? eagerly inquired his father. His son answered him, that his schoolmates had called him the son of a drunken father. The parent was at first angry; but on further reflection, he said to himnself, the boys have only uttered what is notoriously true. What ground, then, is there for cherishing resentment towards them ? Thus he was led into a train of thought which completely absorbed his mind. During that day he abstained from his favourite beverage. The succeeding night he found himself unable to sleep. His imagination set before him the terrific evils of a drunkard's onward career. He thought of his ruined health and constitution of a wasted fortune, impoverished wife and children, a character despised by a community that once delighted to do him honour. The prospect also of a drunkard's miserable end-a death in a ditch or the charity hospital, leaving nought but an execrated name and memory, stood like an accursed spirit in the presence of his foreboding and condemning conscience. From the contemplation he shrank back as from a yawning and bottomless abyss. In the strength of God he firmly resolved to begin from that moment to live a new life. Next he acted in harmony with his resolve. He not only abstained from tasting intoxicating drink, but scrupulously avoided those resorts, haunts, amusements, and associates, which might tempt to a violation of his pledge. He filled up his hours with useful engagements. His leisure time was devoted to good company and interesting books. He resumed sweet intercourse with wife and children, went to the house of God on the Sabbath-day, and by sincere prayer, drew down from Heaven those merciful aids, requisite to enable him to tread the upward path of reformation and glory.

THE LORD'S PRAYER. I KNOW that my mother taught me, for linked with each petition is her presence and her love. But I do not remember when I cannot recall the time when I know it not. With my first best memories it has place. My mother and “ Our Father which art in heaven" have watched over me together with protecting care, united in their love. And though I have learned to know, that my Saviour's love availeth more for me than mortal's can, yet still I feel my mother's love as true, as constant to bless, as far as its power extends ; and those dear names are linked together in my memory for ever. And how can any child that has had the love and prayers of a mother, scorn a Saviour's love, so like her’s, all powerful. Thus it would seem that every heart should be given to Christ. But, alas ; great is the anomaly_every dear mother does not teach her child to pray. But those who have a mother who teaches of “Our Father,” can never show enough gratitude and obedience, both to one and the other; for earth, with all its sunshine and flowers, were but a gloomy waste without the hope of heaven.

WHAT WILL THE END BE? WHEN I see a boy angry with his parents, disobedient and obstinate, determined to pursue his own course; to be his own master; setting at nought the experience of age, and disregarding their admonitions and reproofs, unless his course of conduct is changed, I need not inquire, “What will his end be?”

When I notice a little girl quite fond of dress, and thereby her pride is increased, dissatisfied and unpleasant at times if she cannot obtain her desires, and anxious to appear better clothed than circumstances will permit; her thoughts occupied with what others will think of her dress-unless she changes her course of conduct, I need not ask what her end will be.

When I see a boy in the habit of lying, and no confidence

« PreviousContinue »