« ZurückWeiter »
Spirit, the “sweet gales of mercy," are blowing. God The missionaries prayed and believed in God. At has done His part; it remains for the sinner to do his. last He heard their prayer. One night there was a He must spread his sails to the breeze. It will not do violent rain-storm, when the wind blew such a tempest for him to sit still, saying, “If I am to be saved, I that one little girl dared not go home, and so stayed at shall be saved ; if I am to be lost, I shall be lost." the missionaries' house, and ate her supper and breakThe vessel would have gone over the Falls, if the fast with them. When she went home the next day, crew had not spread the sails. The sinner will cer- her ignorant parents would not let her stay, and turned tainly be lost, if he does not avail himself of the offers her out of doors. They were angry and frightened of mercy.
because she had disobeyed their idol gods. But, on the other hand, he must not attribute his Not knowing what to do, she at length went back to salvation to his own merits, his own doing. It was the missionaries. They gladly took her in, and clothed the wind that saved that hapless vessel. It is Christ's her and fed her, and loved and comforted her, and righteousness that saves the sinner : “ Not by works of taught her how to be a Christian. She grew up to righteousness which we have done, but according to read her Bible, and early began to serve God, married His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, a Christian man, and is now the happy, honoured and renewing of the Holy Ghost."
mother of Christian sons and daughters. She never This then is the lesson. The merit is all Christ's. has had to suffer any of the hardships that her poor All would be vain without Christ. But, since Christ heathen mother endured. has provided the way of pardon, it is our duty and This was not all the blessing that came of that rainy privilege, it is the only way of salvation, to avail our- night. When parents saw what a good 'home the little selves of it. When the wind is blowing fair, we girl had, and that no harm came to her, they let their should hoist our sails, and stretch off on our course to children go as boarding-scholars to the missionaries' the harbour of eternal peace.
school, and from that little beginning camo a large school of one hundred and sixty scholars. Many of those heathen mothers have become Christians, and the fathers have learned to treat them kindly.
We shall never know in this world how many souls THE RAINY NIGHT.
were saved, how many lives were made happy, how
much joy and bliss in this world and the next came ANY years ago a mis- from that rainy night which forced the little girl
sionary and his wife against her will to stay with the missionaries. Let us
were trying to do good learn to trust our heavenly Father, who can and will among the heathen women hear prayer. The good that came of that rainy night, in India. Everything seemed that may have spoiled many plans, and seemed an against them.
inconvenience and a trial even to the missionaries were living like degraded themselves, will last throughout eternity. animals. It was a disgrace for them to know how to read even their own heathen books. They spent their
time in carrying burdens, THE CALL OF THE DISCIPLES. and doing all the dirty, hard, out-door work, while
READ LUKE V. 1-11. their husbands and sons and brothers lived in idleness. A mother could not sit at the head of THE Lake of Gennesaret is only about fourteen miles her own table, honoured and respected, but must
long, and is sometimes called the Sea of Galilee, cook the meals, and wait till her husband and
and sometimes the Sea of Tiberias. By our sons had finished eating, before she could taste a Saviour's going there the ancient prophecy of Isaiah mouthful.
(ix. 2) was fulfilled. The people of those parts were, The missionaries were full of pity for these poor it seems, peculiarly dark and ignorant; He was the women. They started a school to teach the little girls "great light" which they saw. He is "the true to read the Bible and learn to be Christians. They light” to every heart that receives Him. We are all had some day-scholars; but what they taught them in
dark without Him. the daytime they unlearned in their heathen homes. Now began our Lord's public ministry. John was What they wanted was, to get one little girl to come in prison. He had done his work. Now a greater and live with them to begin a school. None would than John preached in the same words, “ Repent: for consent, because if one should do this, she would lose the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” caste, as they call it, after eating with the missionaries, But now arose a need for other men to do the work and never again be allowed to live at home. Poor and of the Lord in preaching the Gospel; men who should miserable as their homes were, they loved them as well first themselves become disciples, and learn of Jesus, as you do yours.
and then teach others. Whom did our Lord choose ?
“ And now,
Not the great and wise, but the humble and unlearned.
IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH, and both fishermen. The next two were James and
HE disciples were called Christians first John, brothers, and fishermen also. They were called
at Antioch (Acts xi. 26). In the from their fishing to work of another kind. They
beginning of the second century this were to be fishers still, but “fishers of men," seeking
part of Asia Minor was active in to draw men into the net of the Gospel, and to win
work for Christ. The Lord Jesus souls to Christ: the highest work that man can be
had been proclaimed so boldly, that employed in.
“a great number believed;" and when Our Lord is pleased to employ men of all kinds in tidings of these things came unto the ears of the His service : the high and the low, the wise and the Church which was in Jerusalem . .. they sent forth simple Learning and wisdom are most useful in the Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch” ministry. But at the beginning of the Gospel, as if to (Acts xi. 22). show that this was a work depending not on the Ignatius, the Bishop of Antioch, was a true disciple wisdom of men, but on the power of God, it pleased of the despised Nazareno, so true that he was Him to call unlearned men to it.
demned to die for Him. He was sentenced to be They obeyed the call at once. No sooner did He carried to Rome, where he was to be thrown to the say, “Follow Me,” than they left their nets and followed wild beasts. He was weighted with chains, and guarded Him. How was this? We learn from the first by ten soldiers, whom he calls “so many leopards.” chapter of St. John, that Andrew at least had been a. He suffered martyrdom at Rome A.D. 108. disciple of John the Bap
The fear of the cruel tist, and that he and Simon
death which lay before had learnt through him to
the good bishop did not know Jesus, though it was
daunt him. He was a brave not till now that they were
soldier of the cross, and thus called to follow Him.
was able to write thus to But doubtless, when Jesus
the Church at Ephesus called them and the other two, their hearts were led
chains, I learn that I have by a power within to obey
nothing more to desire. I the call. Jesus said, “Fol
have already begun to fight low Me," and by the power
with wild beasts. From of the Spirit the words
Syria to Rome, across sea reached their hearts and
and land, I was chained to influenced their will. The
ten leopards, whom kindoutward call to follow
ness only rendered more Jesus is heard by us con
cruel Their outrages make tinually; may the inward
me only the more the voice of the Spirit speak Ignatius before the Emperor Trajan.
disciple of Him who was to our hearts, and lead us
crucified." to leave all and follow Him, and that immediately, “Watch like a good soldier of God," he wrote to without delay! He calls us all, if not to be “fishers a friend. “The prize is an incorruptible crown of of men," at least to give ourselves up to Him, and to life; be like iron under the anvil. It is the part of serve Him as He appoints.
a good soldier to win, even though wounded. We Then Jesus, accompanied by His disciples, went must be ready to bear all for God, that He Himself about all the country, teaching, preaching, healing the may bear us up." sick, and casting out devils. No wonder that a great The last writings of Ignatius speak of what took stir was made, and that multitudes came to Him from place on that journey to Rome, and tell how the all parts. They brought their sick to Him, whatever soldiers hurried their victim on, so that he might the siekness might be, "and He healed them all." No reach the city before the public games were over. sickness could withstand almighty power, and His Here the curtain drops. “ But the Christians would kindness and compassion were infinite too. He has remember," writes one, “with what joy Ignatius had power also to heal our souls. He came to do so. If entered the arena, the dust of which was to lick up we had been living then in that country, we too the blood of so many martyrs; and above the roaring should have gone to Him for the healing of our of the lions and the imprecations of the crowd, they diseases, and taken our sick friods to Him : shall would hear the joyous tones of the triumphal hymn, we not now go to Him for the pardon of our sins, and Welcome, nails and cross; welcome, broken bones, the healing of our souls ? Shall we not in prayer violence of fierce beasts, wounded limbs and bruised lay before Him both our own wants, and the wants of body; welcome, all torture, if I may but win Jesus those we love?
every great dis-
ROBERT BAIKes's HOUSE.
established at Little Lever, a village four miles from THE EARLY STORY OF SUNDAY
Bolton, Lancashire, by a poor man named James Hey, SCHOOLS.
or, as he was more generally termed, “Old Jemmy o' th' Hey.” “Old Jemmy” employed the working days
of the week in winding bobbins for weavers, and on Sunday Sundays he taught the boys and girls of the neighbourschools hood reading.
His school assembled twice each before Robert Sunday in the cottage of a neighbour, and the time of Raikes, just as commencing was announced by the ringing, not of a there were “Re
bell, but of an excellent substitute—an old brass pestle formers before
and mortar ! After a while, Mr. Adam Compton, the Reforma
a paper manufacturer in the neighbourhood, began tion." Almost
to supply Jemmy with books, and subscriptions in money were given him. He was thus enabled to
form three branch establishments, the teachers of made repeated which were paid one shilling each per Sunday for ly, and let go their services. again, before it
In 1778, a Sunday-school was commenced in has finally laid Macclesfield by the Rev. David Simpson. And in the hold upon the
same year it is said that the Rev. Thomas Stockworld. As early as the sixteenth century, Charles afterwards Raikes's co-worker in Gloucester— had a Borromeo, nephew of Pope Pius V., founded in the Sunday-school at Ashbury, in Berkshire. parishes of his diocese of Milan a number of Sunday- There can be no doubt that Robert Raikes's labours schools, of which many continue to the present day. in the establishment of Sunday-schools were the He died in 1584, at the age of forty-six.
direct outcome of his philanthropic work in the About a hundred years later, the Rev. Joseph Gloucester gaols. Alleine, an eminent Nonconformist of Taunton, and
The streets of that city were full of noise and author of the "Alarm to the Unconverted," adopted disturbance every Sunday, the churches were totally the plan of gathering the young together for instruction
unfrequented by the poorer sort of children, and very on the Lord's day.
ill-attended by their parents : they were nowhere to be In the county of Gloucester, years before Raikes was
seen employed as they ought to be. Had they been born, Mrs. Catherine Boevey, of Flaxley Abbey, had disposed to learn or attend to anything that was good, one of the earliest, and certainly one of the pleasantest, their parents were neither willing nor able to teach or Sunday-schools on record. Her monument in Flaxley to direct them; they were therefore a perpetual nuisance Church, erected after her death in 1726, records her to the sober part of the community. They were riotous, “clothing and feeding her indigent neighbours and impudent, and regardless of all authority whatsoever teaching their children, some of whom every Sunday in their mode of behaviour, disrespectful in the extreme, by turns she entertained at her house and condescended and frequently detected in such petty offences as plainly to examine them herself.” “Six of the poor children," indicated that they were on the high road to ruin, it is elsewhere stated, “by turns dined at her residence on unless something could be done to rescue them. Sundays, and were afterwards heard say the catechism." It occurred to him, and to a worthy clergyman
In America a Sunday-school was founded between (the Rev. Thomas Stock), to whom he complained of 1740 and 1747 by one Ludwig Hacker, at Ephratah, the dissolute state of these poor children, that infinite Pennsylvania, among the German Baptists settled would be the benefit, as well to the community as there. After the battle of Brandywine, fought between themselves, if any method could be contrived of laying the American colonists and the British troops in 1777, them under some proper restraint and instilling some the school-room was used as a hospital, and this event good principles into their minds. occasioned the breaking up of the school.
Mr. Raikes soon began to make known his intentions In 1763-4 a Sunday-school was established at to the parents, and without much difficulty obtained Catterick, Yorkshire, by the Rev. Theophilus Lindsey, their consent that their children should meet him at conjointly with a benevolent lady named Cappe.
the early service performed in the cathedral on a Miss Hannah Ball, a young Methodist lady, living Sunday morning. The numbers at first were small, at High Wycombe, started a Sunday-school in her but their increase was rapid. native town in 1769. Writing to John Wesley in The interest which they soon discovered him to have 1770 she said, “ The children meet twice a week, - in their welfare, which appeared in his minute inquiries every Sunday and Monday. They are a wild little into their conduct, their attainments, their situation, company, but seem willing to be instructed. I labour
and every particular of their lives-all these circumamong them earnestly, desiring to promote the interest stances soon induced them to fly with eagerness to of the Church of Christ."
receive the commands and be edified by the instruction Another school, on a somewhat humble scale, was of their best friend.