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what reasoning would do, but in vain; he grew more groan he answered, No,' and added, God be merciand more angry, and insisted on the burning of the ful to me, for I have been as bad as they who crucified book which was the dearest treasure my poor grand- Christ Jesus. I believe in Him; I repent of all I have mother possessed. She used to say afterwards, that said and done against Him!"" she felt herself tremble, and yet it seemed as if the “Is that all, mother?” exclaimed George ; and then words she uttered were put into her mind directly Mrs. Harding seemed to rouse up to the remembrance from God.
of her children, for she had gone back into a long past “. James,' she said, “it is a terrible thing you ask time, and it was as if she again were hearing the story me, but I will do it, if you will first let me read to at her mother's knee. you a few verses from this book you hate so much.' “All, excepting that it was the day of your great"You will ?' he cried.
grandfather's conversion to God; the day from which “« Yes ; for God's words will remain in my heart if he became a 'new creature in Christ Jesus.' And now, you force me to burn the book which holds them.'
my children, you will prize our old family Bible more “Go on,' he said, suddenly; and turning the leaves than ever, I am sure.' she read to him of the suffering and death of Christ. “ Was that the Bible ?” cried the children, gathering
“When she ceased there was silence, and at first my round the table where it had lain since their usual grandmother durst not look up; when she did so she evening chapter had been read to them; and I think saw that her husband was lying back with closed eyes,
from each heart went up a little prayer that they might but a tear was forcing its way from beneath the lids love and prize the Word of God more and more, which and others trickled down his thin pale cheeks. Shall was able to make men wise unto salvation, pointing I burn my Bible, James?' she asked, and with almost a them to Christ, "the life, the truth, and the way."
THE WAGGON-LOAD OF BREAD,
AND OTHER SKETCHES.
URING the civil war in the United
States a party of soldiers found
themselves one night on a battlefield, in charge of a great many wounded soldiers, who, by reason of the sudden retreat of the army, were left wholly without shelter or supplies. Having done their best for the poor fellows-bringing them water from a distant brook, and searching the haversacks of the dead for rations—they began to say to
themselves, and to one another, “These weak and wounded men must have
food, or they will die. The army is out of reach, and there is no village for many miles : what are we to do ?”
“Pray to God to send us bread,” said one.
That night, in the midst of the dead and dying, they held a little prayer-meeting, telling the Lord all about the case, and begging Him to send them bread immediately; though from whence it could come they had not the
most remote idea. All night long they plied their work of mercy. With the first ray of dawn the sound ofan approach. ing waggon caught their ears ; and presently, through the mists of the morning, appeared a great Dutch farm waggon,
piled to the very top with In the midst of the dead and dying they held a prayer-meeting.
loaves of bread. On their asking the driver where he came from, and night I knew that the army was cone, and I could not who sent him, he replied :-“When I went to bed last | sleep for thinking of the poor fellows who always have to
stay behind. Something seemed to say to me, What The soul would be left in a state of hopeless impeniwill those poor fellows do for something to eat ?' It tence and unbelief. came to me so strong that I waked up my old wife, and By delay you are losing the purest happiness. Perhaps told her what was the matter. We had only a little bread you count decided religion a gloomy thing.
You in the house ; and while my wife was making some more fancy that it is associated with all that is severe and I took my team and went round to all my neighbours, repulsive. You suppose that it calls for the giving up making them get up and give me all the bread in their of everything that conduces to happiness. But this is houses, telling them it was for the wounded soldiers on a great mistake. Never will you know what true peace the battle-field. When I got home my waggon was is till you cordially embrace the Saviour. You feel a full ; my wife piled her baking on the top, and I
want—a deep, constant want in your present condition. started off to bring the bread to the boys, feeling just And what can fill that void but Jesus Christ ? Ask as if the Lord Himself were sending me."
those who have heartily given themselves to Christ And the history of every child of God abounds what they think of His service. With one voice will with instances proving that faithful fervent prayer they reply that they deem such service perfect freedom. availeth much. If the special swer sought is not Matthew Henry, a little before his death, said to a given, yet the promise is fulfilled, “The peace of friend : “ You have been used to take notice of the God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your sayings of dying men ; this is mine, that a life spent in hearts and minds, through Christ Jesus.”
the service of God, and communion with Him, is the most comfortable and happy life that any one can live in this world.”
By delay you are missing the most favourable opporNOW.
tunities of being sared. In times of awakening what
loud calls are given to turn to the Lord ! Solemn “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”—2 CORINTHIANS vi. 2.
warnings and precious invitations without number are addressed to you. Others around are being converted.
There is a great concern about religion among all EADER! Make sure of a saving interest in Christ now. Why
classes of society. Never was there so much anxiety delay? Procrastination is dan
about the soul and eternity. Are you unmoved and
unstirred by this? If so, then the probability is you gerous. In a matter which
will never be moved and stirred at all. It looks as if concerns you so much it is unutterable folly to put off.
you were given over to judicial blindness of mind and
hardness of heart. Surely it is the part of a wise
Death may at any moment cut you down, and the man to have the grand concerns of eternity settled at once.
delay will prove your ruin. Can you count on an hour Delay has a harilening ten
more being given you? To-morrow you may be in
eternity, where no message of mercy is ever heard. deney. Comparatively few are converted when old. The truth
Some, says one, never begin to pray till God has ceased
to hear. Reader ! Are you keeping away from Christ? does not easily penetrate the thick coating of
Are you still unpardoned? Are you not yet prepared worldliness wherewith the souls of such are encrusted. It is when the heart is soft and tender that impres
to meet your God? Along the street By-and-by, one
gets to the house of Never. It has been so with sions are generally made on it. We must not limit
multitudes. How terrible the thought ! it may be so the grace of God. But every one knows that Divine grace commonly acts upon
Hasten, sinner, to be wise, mind.
Stay not for the morrow's sun ; Again. Through delay, God may withdraw His
Longer wisdoin you despise,
Harder is she to be won. Spirit. That Spirit may have been long striving with you. For years you may have felt His drawings. He
Hasten mercy to implore,
Stay not for to-morrow's sun; may have been moring and urging you to turn unto
Lest thy season should be o'er the Lord. You may sometimes have been convinced
Ere to-morrow is begun. of the vast importance of the soul and eternity. You may have resolved and re-resolved to give yourself up
PRECEPT_PROMISE–PRAYER. to a life of decided godliness. You may have gone on your knees and vowed to be the Lord's. All this laas
PRECEPT.-Take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul been through the workings of the Spirit within you.
Deuteronomy iv. 9. But you have resisted the Spirit. Instead of cherishing His influences, you have done your best to quench
PROMISE.—Behold, I am with thee, and will keep
thee in all places whither thou goest. them. And you are still unsaved. What if God should say, “He is joined to idols : let him alone "?
PRAYER.- Preserve me, o God: for in Thee do I put How disastrous would be the issue in such a case !
Genesis xxviii. 15.
Psalm xvi. 1.
minutes were past, be running to some quiet little NO TIME TO PRAY.
nook to open and devour their contents. No time to pray !
“Only think of that, now," Mary would say, as some Oh, who so fraught with earthly care
such thoughts as these passed through her mind, As not to give to humble prayer Some part of day?
only think they're all waiting for me ; that they can't
do without me; that they're all eyes and ears at this No time to pray !
blessed moment for Mary Dally and her donkey.cart.” What heart so clean, so pure within,
What a proud, flattering thought it was. No wonder That needeth not some check from sin
it made Mary look so important. Needs not to pray?
But, then, it had its dark side too. It wasn't all No time to pray !
bright. Hadn't she to drive past certain garden gates, 'Mid each day's dangers, what retreat
and shake her head very often? Hadn't she to disMore needful than the mercy-seat ?
appoint somebody every round she took? Hadn't she Who must not pray?
often and often brought the tears to the eyes of both No time to pray!
young and old ? And wasn't she sometimes bothered Must care or business' urgent call
out of her life by the persistency with which some So press us as to take it all,
folks would insist on Mary's turning out the contents Each passing day?
of her bag and seeing if she hadn't made a mistake in No time to pray !
saying there was no letter. And when the search Then sure your record falleth short;
ended as she knew all along it must, it wasn't at all Excuse will fail you as resort
pleasant to be frowned upon, as though she had left On reckoning day.
the letter behind, or made away with it. Just as What thought more drear
though Mary could help friends not writing, or the Than that our God His face should hide, train breaking down, and the mail being late. Surely And say through all life's swelling tide, there are never such unreasonable beings as disapNo time to hear !
pointed people. Cease not to pray ;
Neither was this all. Mary had often to be the On Jesus as your all rely.
bearer of an envelope with black edges. How her Would you live happy-happy die ?
heart sank within her as she handed to some mother, Take time to pray!
or sister, or father, the news of a death in the family, perhaps of the nearest and dearest who could least be spared, and without whom life would be a dreary
blank. How it went to her heart to give some MARY DALLY'S POST-BAG.
bright young soul, who came tripping out to the road side, her face wreathed with smiles, and a bright
morning greeting upon her lips, the fatal envelope. 7 10 didn't know Mary Dally and her donkey. The vanishing smile, the rosy cheeks so suddenly
cart? Who didn't know Mary's post-bag? paled, the sharp cry of pain, the springing movement
Was there any woman in the whole so quickly changed for the slow, heavy, step, as with country round of greater interest ? Watched for; a crushed spirit she returned to the house, these things recognized half a mile away; eagerly waited for; would cleave to Mary's memory for days. heartily welcomed; crowded around by young and How she used to pray over her post-bag, and espeold ; surely she was a marked woman ;-surely she cially over those black-edged letters. “0 God! help was a notable woman.
'em to bear it. Lord give 'em grace; they 'll want it, There were times when Mary felt exceedingly proud Lord, they 'll want it! Help their poor souls to bear of her position, and when her head became a little bit it.” Little did the poor bereaved souls know how many turned with the attention she received. Seated in her of Mary's prayers were clinging to the letters they donkey-cart, a proud consciousness of power would received. somehow possess her. Didn't she carry in her bag Some people Mary used to feel comfortable about, news that would thrill scores of human hearts ?
knowing that they would pray for themselves, and There was one letter with a foreign post-mark. that, whatever news their letters contained, like HezeWon't old Sally Mitchell's heart leap for joy when her kiah of old, they would spread them out before the soldier-boy's letter is placed in her trembling hands ? Lord. She could read by their faces what sort of
There was another letter with something suspiciously people they were. Eager and yearning their looks like a half-sovereign in it. Poor old Jem Thornton, were, no doubt, but they were trusting looks too. They who wasn't over well off in this world's goods, would seemed to be saying, all the time Mary was foraging be right-down glad of that.
in her bag, “ The Lord's will be done! the Lord's will And there was more than one letter for certain be done !” And whether there was a letter or not, and young ladies she knew, whose hearts were going pit-a- | whether the news seemed good or bad, their faces kept pat even then in expectation, and would, before many calm, and quiet, and restful.
BY THE Rev. CHARLES COUNTexAY.
There was one such lady in particular whom Mary will. “ Has God sent the news to-day ?” she is asking set down in her mind as one of this class. Young and her soul. rich, her naturally striking face was made more beauti- “ Thank God, thank God, there it is at last !” ful by the light of God shining through it. At the How quickly Mary jumps down! How eagerly she time of which I write there was not a morning but she opens her bag! How her head nods with delight as waited for the arrival of the post. She has a brother, she tells her the long wished-for letter has arrived ! a favourite brother, in a far-off land, fighting for his And how long she takes in finding it, because in her country. There have been bloody battles fought, and wonderful pleasure at handing it, she is in too great a officers, as well as men, have fallen. No letter has hurry, and mixes the letters all up together. reached home for some time. The sister's heart above And how they laugh when at last they discover that all is trembling for him. And as morning after the letter which had dropped unnoticed upon the morning she stands in the warm sunshine, waiting for ground was the very letter they had been seeking. the post, shading her eyes that she may see the farther, Seals are sooner broken than made-letters are sooner listening intently for the roll of wheels, though there read than written. is a yearning deep and strong, there is also a calm con- Is it well with her loved one ? viction that “God doeth all things well.”
Better far than she had anticipated. Safe in body, How often has she been disappointed; and how promoted in rank, among the foremost in fight. This often has she gone straight to her room and laid her is well ! disappointment at the feet of her Lord. She knows But, better still, she finds that his soul is safe. not who can calm and comfort if the Lord does not. Long prayed for, long waited for, long pleaded with, a
And now she is at her place again, waiting-waiting heart long withheld has at last been placed in the with prayer, waiting with submission on her Lord's safe keeping of Jesus.