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Mr. Raikes very soon saw himself surrounded by should call a “ragged school,” made up of boys and girls such a set of little ragamuffins as would have disgusted of the very lowest class in the community, out of other men less zealous to do good and less earnest to homes of squalor and of vice along the river-banks in spread comfort, exhortation, and benefit to all around one of the poorer quarters of that city. It was not an him than the founder of the Sunday-schools. The easy matter to catch and hold the attention of that children now began to look up to him with such a motley assemblage. There was rarely a visitor who mixture of respect and attention as endeared them to was equal to the emergency. But Dr. Beadle won the him and interested him still more and more in their eyes and ears of all who were there when first he came welfare.
to that school. Standing in front of the superinTo prevent their running about in wild disorder tendent's desk, before the school closed for the day, through the streets during the rest of the day was the he held up a common fresh-water clam-shell and called great purpose which he had in view, and to place them out, “Boys, what is that ?” under the care of proper persons to instruct them in "A clam-shell,” cried a hundred voices. their Christian duty was the prevailing object of his "Yes, it's a clam-shell-a rough, coarse, clam-shell; wishes.
just such a shell as you could pick up any day by the He lost no time in communicating his ideas to those bank of the river, or back in the country by a brook of his friends who were as sensible of the need of some in the wood.” reform in this respect as himself, and a sufficient sum Then turning the shell quickly in his hand, he of money was speedily raised to procure masters and
showed the other valve, beautifully polished, its mistresses for a large number of children of both sexes iridescent colours reflecting the light attractively. to be educated in the principles of Christianity. The “ And what is that, boys ?” he said. city of Gloucester soon began to wear a very different “That's a clan-shell, too,” was the answer. aspect on the Lord's Day. Instead of loitering about “ Yes; but see how much prettier this side is. the streets in a state of indolence as painful to the What makes the difference ?" observer as it was to themselves, they were now seen “It's been rubbed down,” said one. in decent regularity frequenting the places of public “It's been smoothed off,” said another. worship, evidently much happier in themselves than “It's been polished up,” says a third. in their former state of irreligious idleness.
“Yes, that's it. And, boys, do you know that's The labours of the teachers were much assisted, just what we are trying to do with you in this and their success was promoted, by the unwearied Sunday-school? We've brought some.of you in here attention of Mr. Raikes to these children on every as rough as the other side of this clam-shell ; and Sunday morning.
now we are trying to rub you down, to smooth you When the early service was ended, it was his off, to polish you up, so that you'll shine like this constant practice to inquire minutely into their side of the shell. This polishing business is hard conduct, and even to inspect their persons, to reprove work, boys, and it takes time; but it pays.” such as came dirty and slovenly, and to commend those
Then he pressed home the need of soul-polishing that were neat and decent, however homely, in their in words which were never forgotten by his young apparel. The distribution of little rewards, and the hearers in that humble room. slightest expression of displeasure from the man they
Dr. Beadle was thenceforth known by those boys loved, had each its proper effect; and even the external the clam-shell man;" and they always gave him appearance of the children demonstrated their advance
a hearty welcome in their school-room, or as they ment not less in civilisation than morality.
met him from time to time in the street. Many of them were more willing to be rubbed down and smoothed off in consequence of his soul-stirring words,
and some of them came finally to have a character THE CLAM-SHELL PREACHER.
which reflected beautifully the rays of the Sun of
was not only eminent as a preacher,
PRECEPT.-Repent ye, and believe the Gospel.
PROMISE.-As Moses lifted up the serpent in the city of Hartford shows how he could find sermons in
wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted shells as appropriate as any that men find in “stones”
up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not elsewhere.
perish, but have eternal life.
John iii. 14, 15 There was a mission-school in Hartford, in a garret room of a rickety building, in the earlier days of such PRAYER. -Lord, believe; help Thou mine unbelief. schools in America, It was what in England we
Mark i. 15.
Mark ix. 24.
says, “Now, Susie dear, you have done enough for today; put up your work;" and then he seizes bright little Charlie with a shower of kisses ; and we often sit side by side and chat in the cool evening breezes. What woman in the world wouldn't make such a husband a good wife ?
JESUS 18 VERY PRECIOUS.
OME weeks since I watched by the bedside of
an old friend who had long been a consistent
Christian. He was a man highly respected and of unblemished character, and much beloved in the village where he lived. But as the “ death shadow” was rapidly closing over a long life, and the suffering consequent on a painful disease gave him little rest or quiet, the faith of this aged and devoted Christian grew brighter and stronger.
“Repeat to me,” he would say, “a hymn or psalm when the pain is severe, and I can think of my Saviour and bear it.”
“Have you,” I asked, “no doubts or fears to trouble
“Doubts !” he exclaimed, “I have trusted my Saviour for twenty years; do you think I would
doubt Him now? He is my comfort, my support ! A WIFE'S SERMON.
I die trusting all with Him.”
At another time he said, “In looking back over my OFTEN see articles about the good wife, and what she must do to make her
life, though I have been always called a moral man husband happy, but rarely anything and a good citizen, yet it is like an old attic, the about a good husband, and what he
sins hang about it like cobwebs from every beam and corner ;
but Thanks be to God for His unspeakable must do to please his wife. I have been a wife and mother for nearly gift,' the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth twenty years, and I believe have done
us from all sin.'» all in my power to make my husband and children
A friend brought some flowers from the garden in
which he had loved to work. “How beautiful !” he happy, and I must say that nothing so much adds to my happiness as a kind word from my husband, a kind look, a kind act.
Oh, how cheering, after a hard day's toil at the wash-tub, or the wheel, or the loom, or the hot fire cooking for harvest hands, or a sleepless night with a sick babe-how cheering is a kind word and a sweet kiss and a smile from the husband and father. But to think of bitterness, angry looks, enraged temper, scolding, and complaints of everything around him, makes my very blood run cold.
Now, gentlemen, if you see defects in your good wives, try kindness, and see if it won't do them more good than all the unkind words and cross looks you ever gave them.
I often think I have the best husband in the world. He is good and kind to me in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow. We are happier than when we were married nearly twenty years ago.
He never scolds me or brings a long catalogue of complaints; but he comes in from his daily labour in good humour,
exclaimed; "but think of the glory waiting for me : better than my feeble words can the hope and faith eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of which support me in this dying hour;" and he added, man conceived the glory God has laid up for me ; for “Of all who have had this faith in the Redeemer, me Jesus died. I will be patient to wait my Father's not one was ever known to regret it on a dying bed ; time, but I long to be with my Saviour.”
and oh, how many have felt the need of a hope in As his weakness increased, and his sufferings Christ !” became more severe, he said, “This is my great Thus, with the “everlasting Arms" beneath him, comfort : 'I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.' and the comfort of a “present Saviour” while he Jesus is very precious to my soul. Tell my friends passed through the cold waters, this aged saint wbo inquire for me, the hymn, Rock of Ages, tells entered upon his rest.
Watch her to-night for me, Thou dear Redeemer;
Give her Thine own best gift of sweet repose ; Let angel-guards surround the little dreamer
With folded wings, and eyes that never close.
Then when the last grey shadows have descended.
Over the lonely valley, still and deep,
learned something of Him lately. When down with HOME, SWEET HOME.
the yellow fever in a West Indian hospital, and well ou may be far away, nigh given up, it was wonderful how the truths I was
taught in childhood came back to me—the truths my and thousands of mother used to teach me with such infinite pains. miles between, but you
Little did I think, as I slunk away by night, with my cannot separate yourself little bundle under my arm, and a few shillings in my from the thought of pocket, that I was carrying away with me deep and home.
solemn truths which thirty years afterwards would Your memory may be spring up into life and lead me to the feet of my weak, a vast portion of Saviour. Yes, the little texts and hymns came back the past may have slipped to my soul with such wonderful clearness as I lay from your recollection, stricken, as I then thought, by the hand of death, that but in spite of time and I am fully convinced God's own Spirit did it all. distance you cannot for- I tried at first to forget them, but they would get your home. You come back again, until at last I let them have their may deem yourself to way and fill up my thoughts as they would. have been hardly dealt “My sins ! my sins !" was my cry, and loud and within your child
bitter it was. But by God's goodness it soon gave hood, your wishes place to the joyful shout, " My Saviour ! my Saviour !" thwarted, your inclina- And now there stole over me a strange longing for tions checked ; and as
home. I had never forgotten it in all my wanderings, you think of what hap- and could never overcome the tender thoughts which pened years ago, hard it invariably awakened. and bitter thoughts may “Home! I must go home; I must see the old place steal into the heart, but again.
again. There is a tomb in the old graveyard where the very mention of
two loved forms are lying. I must see it ere I die.” home will bring a tenderness over you, and perhaps Before long my yearning was gratified in the midst force a tear from the eye.
of the old familiar spots. How sweet, as the vessel rocks idly upon the glassy
Driven between the well-known hedgerows, past the sea, or in the midst of the raging storm when all is little cottages by the roadside, I alighted at the old taut and trim, to dream of home. How swiftly the homestead ; the same, and yet not the same ; like, and time passes ! And what a rude awakening when from yet unlike.
yet unlike. There had been improvements which had the thoughts of home the stern, perhaps desolating, deprived it of all its charms for me. It was not the present forces itself upon your consciousness.
home I had fled from when a lad. Home : what changes have taken place since as a Was it for this I left the spot so quickly, and drove boy I left it. Marriages, births, and alas ! deaths. back within less than an hour? Or was there some
What a fool I was ever to have left it; I, who might other and stronger cause? Let me draw the picture as have done so well in my native land.
it is written upon my brain, never more to be erased, And I was wanted there, too. They could ill spare I think; the picture of my home-coming. The only lad, the only hope of my parents in
A sister's hands outstretched in warmest greeting, a their old age, how much I was counted, I have realised sister's face upturned for the brother's kiss! I love to bitterly since. What could the old man do single dream of this. But I love not to think of the gloomy, handed? And what wonder the neglect of the farm sullen man leaning against the door-post from whose brought poverty into the old homestead? Had I been lips no word of welcome fell. What he said and looked at home my strong arm would at least have warded I care not to recall. I try, by God's help, to banish it off something of their misery.
from my memory. Why should I dwell on things My poor father ! My poor mother! How it pains which can only ombitter my soul, and impel it to my heart to recall what they suffered in their last days ! | anger and sin? And when after visiting the grave in
My sisters could not do much. They did what they the old churchyard, I drove away, shall I tell you what could. “Married well,” the world said. But what my thoughts were ? availed the money when it was only permitted to be Thank God, I have a home still, a sweet homelavished on themselves ? True, the old people had “where the wicked cease from troubling, and the house room extended to them and their food supplied, weary be at rest.” And now that my hopes of an but it was grudgingly done, and served up with the earthly home are shattered, I will think the more of bitter sauce of complaint and accusation. Oh! it makes the home that is above. my blood boil at the hardness of those so-called sons. What a welcome I shall have there from my Saviour !
It was a happy release for the poor old folks when He is now making it ready for me. He died that it they were called away to be with the Lord in glory. might be mine. What a welcome I shall have from
Yes, I can speak of the Lord now, because I have the dear ones gone before! They could not welcome
me on my return to the old home, for they had receive." Every day you must believe; and every exchanged homes before then.
But they will greet day that you believe you will pray. their son up yonder.
You must lead a holy life. If you truly believe, And then I thought that, perhaps, God planted in you cannot help hating your sins : they will be so man's bosom such a yearning for home that it might hateful to you that you will try to conquer them. If suggest thoughts of the better home in heaven.
you truly believe in Christ you will wish to be like Home, sweet home! A few more rough blows from Him, and to imitate Him. This you cannot do of earthly hands; a few more fierce storms to weather ; yourself; Christ only can make you holy. Believe on and then, home at last !
Him : you cannot lead a holy life without faith.
Being sorry for sin will not save you. Reading
the Bible will not save you. Praying will not save CEASE WORKING-TRY BELIEVING. you. Good works will not save you. These are only
marks or proofs of faith in Christ. Christ alone can THAT must I do to be saved ? "
“ Believe on
“God so loved the world, that He gave His the ord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be
only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him saved.” Christ Jesus can do all for you,
should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God Is the burden of sin heavy? You cannot sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; make it lighter; but Christ has borne your griefs and but that the world through Him might be saved.” carried your sorrows.
Only believe in Him. Lay Believe this, cast your perishing soul on Christ, and down the load of your sins; you need carry it no you will know what faith is. longer. Christ will give you rest.
Believe on Him, Faith will open your eyes to understand the Bible; and He will save you. Cease working for salvation- faith will make prayer sweet; faith will make it easy try believing
to serve Christ; faith will give you strength to resist Do you say
that you are not good enough to sin. Then cease working for salvation-try believing. come to Christ? He says to you, “I came not to call
Faith will take the things of God and heaven, and the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” God is just, show them unto us,
we all, with open face beholdand sin must be punished; but the holy Son of Goding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into has suffered for your sins. If you will only believe on the same image from glory to glory." Him, “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as
Try believing now, before it is for ever too late. white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they God's Spirit speaks to you; wait no longer, but obey shall be as wool.” These words are for you.
His kind voice. to Christ now, all weak and guilty as you are. Fall down before Him, and ask Him to receive you just as you are. He will hear your prayer. Christ will clothe
THE CHRISTIAN'S REST. you with His robe of righteousness, and your sins will be forgiven. Believe this—that will be faith. Cease
Y rest is in heaven, my rest is not here; working for salvation--try believing.
Then why should I murmur when trials But you say, Must not I do anything? must not I
are near? read the Bible ? must not I pray? must not I lead a Be hushed, my dark spirit—the worst that can come holy life?
But shortens my journey, and hastens me home. Yes, you have much to do. You must read the
It is not for me to be seeking my bliss, Bible to find out what a strict law you have broken, And building my hopes in a region like this ; what great danger you are in, what a great Saviour the I look for a city which hands have not piled, Lord Jesus Christ is, and what wonderful things God I pant for a country by sin undefiled. is willing to do for you. It is the only book that can The thorn and the thistle around me may grow, tell how to be saved ; and if you wish to be saved I would not lie down upon roses below; you will study it carefully. But reading the Bible I ask not my portion, I seek not my rest, cannot save you ; learning it all by heart cannot save Till I find them for ever on Christ's loving breast. you. You must believe what it tells you, and act as if
Aflictions may damp me, they cannot destroy ; you believed it. Do not wait to read the whole Bible
One glimpse of His love turns them all into joy ; before you begin to believe. If you know only this And the bitterest tears, if He smile but on them,
“ Christ died for our sins," and ask Christ Like dew in the sunshine, grow diamond and gem. to save you, and give yourself up to Him; He will Let trial and danger my progress oppose, save you. Faith in Jesus Christ is all. Cease work
They only make heaven more sweet at the close ; ing for salvation—try believing.
Come joy or come sorrow, whate'er may befall, If you wish to be saved, you must pray.
A home with my God will make up for it all. not help it; you will cry out to God for mercy. But
A serip on my back, and a staff in my hand, the words of prayer are nothing without faith; prayer I march on in haste through an enemy's land; is the voice of faith speaking to God.
The road may be rough, but it cannot be long, “Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall And I smooth it with hope, and I cheer it with song.