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                        PLAIN WORDS FOR CHRIST,



                              BY THE LATE
                        REGINALD G. DUTTON, M.A.

                _Curate of St. Martin’s, in the Fields._

                  "Lord, as to Thy dear cross we flee,
                       And hope to be forgiven--
                    So let Thy life our pattern be,
                    And form our souls for heaven."
                          _John Hampden Gurney._


                    43, QUEEN VICTORIA STREET, E.C.;
                      BRIGHTON: 135, NORTH STREET.
                    NEW YORK: E. & J. B. YOUNG & CO.

                     TO THE WORKING MEN OF ENGLAND:
                       AMONGST WHOM I CAN NUMBER
                           MANY FIRM FRIENDS.


As the following pages are addressed to working men, I have touched only
on those topics upon which I thought they were likely to need advice.
The language throughout is as simple as possible, so that all may
understand it; and, following the example of Holy Scripture, I have,
wherever I have found it possible, illustrated my meaning from the
teachings of nature.

That the book has many imperfections I am well aware; but I humbly trust
that He, Whose guidance I have so often and so earnestly sought in
writing the following pages, will be pleased in His mercy to grant that
the words here written for His cause, and for His people, may "not
return unto Him void," but may "accomplish that which" He shall please,
and may prosper in the thing whereto He sends it.




My Birthday
Idle Words
Out of Work
"I want to better myself"
Masters and Men
Forgiveness of Others
Hard Work
Our Parents
Our Children
Heaven our Home. (Part I.)
Heaven our Home. (Part II.)
Holy Communion. (Part I.)
Holy Communion. (Part II.)
The Bible
The Holy Spirit
God’s Ministers
On being alone
On Setting a Good Example
Helping Others
Our Companions
The Books we Read
True Manliness
Bearing the Cross
The Shortness of Life
The Death of Friends
The Fear of Death
Sorrow and Suffering
Last Words


    "He liveth long who liveth well!
      All other life is short and vain;
    He liveth longest who can tell
      Of living most for heavenly gain."

There are two distinct classes of people who enjoy God’s gift of life,
and who look upon that gift from two utterly different points of view.
The worldly man looks upon life as a time in which to gratify his desire
for pleasure, or in which to pursue his business schemes.  The Christian
looks upon life as a preparation for death, which shall lead him, as it
were, through a gateway to the life to come.  Nay, more than this, so
nearly are these two connected, life and death, that the way in which
men spend the former, mainly depends on the view they take of the
latter.  To the man who believes only in the things of time and sense,
there practically appears no life to come.  Death is the end of all
things; he neither sees, nor cares to see anything beyond it.  But how
different is it with the Christian man!  To him life is a
growing-time--a time for growing in grace.  What the spring-time and
early days of summer are to the corn, what the April showers are to the
tender shoots, so is life to him!  He lives with a consciousness that
death is hovering near, and often nearer perhaps than even he may think;
but so far from making him wretched, or discontented, the thought of his
departure rather causes him joy.  To him life is but a shadow, a vapour,
a short, passing, wintry day; death is but the dark valley--necessarily
dark, for he too is but mortal--but beyond this darkness there is light,
light unearthly, light glorious, which will lighten his eyes in death.

Life has often been compared to a ship, sailing over stormy seas, but
always pointed towards the haven of rest, which is on the heavenly
shore; meeting with many disasters, suffering many losses, till at
length, "with rent cordage and shattered deck," she reaches the port of

There is a story told of an ancient Greek teacher, who was asked what
kind of ship he considered the safest to weather a storm--if he thought
one with a pointed keel, or a flat-bottomed boat the best for resisting
the violence of the waves?  The old man answered, "The only really
_safe_ ship I know of is the one which is drawn up upon the shore."  And
oh! reader, is not this true of life?  Have you never felt as you sailed
across life’s troubled sea, and met with ships of all kinds crossing
towards the same harbour, have you never felt that none could really be
called _safe_--safe amid the changes and chances of life--none safe
until they were drawn up high and dry upon the heavenly shore?  The best
ship ever built may be wrecked in a storm, the most experienced pilot
ever known may miss his way in a fog; and the most God-fearing, upright,
honest Christian may be, nay certainly is, liable to faults, mistakes,
and failings. "The only safe ship I know of is the one which is drawn up
upon the shore!"  There, out of reach of the violence of the waves, far
from their stormy tides, the ship rests safely.  It makes but little
difference whether the ship be flat-bottomed or pointed as to its keel;
it makes no difference at all whether the man be rich or poor, whether
he be bond or free.  It is to the same harbour both are bound, it is to
the same Master each will be accountable for deeds done in the body.
Only be sure that you are living now the life that Christ would have you
live, and that you can say with S. Paul, "the life that I now live in
the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave
Himself for me.[#]"

[#] Gal. ii. 20.

                             *MY BIRTHDAY.*

    "My birthday! ev’ry minute tells
      Me time is passing by,
    And bids me look to One Who dwells
      Beyond the starry sky;
    A frowning past would seem to say:
      ’What moments have been thrown away.’

    Great God! as birthdays come and go,
      And mark each fleeting stage below,
    Be Thou my hope, be Thou my aid--
      The only strength which cannot fade--
    And when the throbs of life have passed,
      O take me to Thyself at last."
        _John Burbidge._

Reader, just think what a birthday is.  Your birthday is the day on
which you were born.  The day on which God sent you into this world,
giving you a free will to fight for Him or against Him. And every year
regularly since that day you have had a birthday.  You have been getting
every year nearer and nearer to the grave, nearer and nearer home.  And
what is the home to which you have been drawing nearer, God’s or
Satan’s? Has every fresh birthday found you growing in grace as well as
in age?  Can it be said of you, as it was of our blessed Lord, He
"increased in _wisdom_ and stature, and in favour with God and man?"
Remember that such wisdom as that mentioned there is not to be got out
of learned books.  It is the same kind of wisdom that Solomon had, the
gift of Almighty God.  Learned men write learned books, and we read
their writings with delight.  But a queen even took a long, a toilsome
journey in person to hear the wisdom of Solomon, for he was the wisest
man on earth.

Just think for a moment how old you were last birthday.  How many of
those years can you truthfully say have been spent in the service of
Christ?  Jesus Christ passed thirty years here on our earth, thirty
weary, sorrowful years, and He can truthfully say that every day of
those thirty years was passed for you and for me! Yes, reader, every day
and every hour!  He bore the mocking laughter of the Jew, and the idle
scoffing of the Gentile, that He might know what ridicule meant, and
might help you to bear it too.  He worked in the carpenter’s shop that
He might know what labour was, and understand what weariness means.  He
saw that foxes had holes, and the birds had their nests, while He had no
place in which to lay His head; and all this He suffered, that He might
know the full bitterness of the cup of misery drunk by the houseless,
homeless poor.  And He knew too that each year, each birthday, brought
Him nearer to death, and what a death it was!  Oh! have you ever thought
of the pain of knowing all this beforehand?  Perhaps now and then, (but
very rarely,) you sit down on your birthday to think of your death-day.
But God has mercifully hidden from your eyes the manner and
circumstances of your death.  It wasn’t so with Christ.  Whenever the
thought of death came into His mind, there would rise up before Him a
vision of three crosses of wood on a hill outside a city.  Crowds of
people would be standing round, and Roman soldiers keeping guard.  On
two of the crosses would be nailed thieves; on the centre one Himself,
the Lord of life and glory.  I remember seeing a picture a few years ago
in London by a well-known artist.  He had painted a boy standing near a
carpenter’s bench in a village workshop.  He had been working hard, and
was now resting, and in the act of stretching Himself. Both arms were
extended at full length, and the head leant slightly on one side.  A
woman, kneeling on the floor behind Him, was looking at some treasures
in a large chest.  The sun falling upon the figure of the boy, cast a
shadow upon the floor, a shadow of a figure stretched as if it were
ready for crucifixion, and the artist had well named his picture "The
Shadow of Death."  Reader, you may be young, as young as that boy in the
picture; but near you too may be standing the shadow of death.  The boy
Jesus, in stretching His weary limbs, strangely cast a shadow on the
ground of the death of the man Christ.  And though you know it not,
death may be standing quite as near to you as it was to Him--or nearer.

Oh then be up and doing, working for the Master Christ, ere the night
cometh.  Rather let each birthday as it comes find you nearer to your
Father in heaven, and more prepared to meet Him.  And then those
beautiful lines shall be true of you, and of your life:--

    "To Thy saints, while here below,
    With new years new mercies come;
    But the happiest year they know,
    Is their last which leads them Home."


    "When wounded sore the stricken heart
      Lies bleeding and unbound,
    One only Hand, a piercèd Hand,
      Can salve the sinner’s wound."
        _Mrs. Alexander._

What is temptation?  A good man was once asked that question, and he
said--"The border-line between sin and holiness.  Not sin itself, but
the surroundings, the outer crust, as it were, of sin."  And that is the
best answer I can give you.

Well did the Master know what temptation was; and in His godly wisdom He
has given us a special petition in His own Prayer against it. "Lead us
not into temptation," we continually pray, and we often say those words
thoughtlessly and carelessly enough, but none of us ever know how many
temptations these words keep us from. God gives us trials, and they are
good for our faith; but it has been well said, that what is a trial in
the hand of God becomes a temptation in the hand of Satan.

You should always try and remember, when tempted, that Jesus is near you
and looking on--that no temptation can befall you, save what He allows.
If you call to Him for help, He will hear you, and answer: not always to
remove the temptation, but to give you His grace and strength to
withstand it.

There is a story told of a young workman in the Black Country, who was
converted to God, and was in consequence subjected to great persecution
from those who were employed with him in the forge.  One day they
stripped him naked, and placed him in front of the furnace fire, while a
number of men and lads stood by using filthy language.  They threatened
to keep him there until he swore, but he remained silent; till at length
one, in whom there was more humanity than the rest, freed him from his
tormentors.  The clergyman happened to hear of it, and sent for him, and
asked how he felt when in that fearful case.  "Sir," was his simple
answer, "I never felt before that Jesus was so near me as then."  Don’t
you think that Christ had given that young man a large portion of His
Spirit?  Don’t you think that he was a martyr--a witness for Christ?  It
was the same, you know, with those three children thousands of years ago
at Babylon.  The great King of Babylon had taken them captive; and he
commanded them to fall down and worship a golden image which he had set
up.  There they were in Babylon--far from the temple, where they used to
worship God, far from their friends and relatives.  They were only three
young men among thousands of strangers.  And after all, would it have
been so very wrong, just for once, to fall down and worship, as the king
commanded? Yes, it would have been wrong, very wrong; and Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abed-nego knew it would have been wrong; and so they
refused. And what was the consequence?  Why, the names of those three
heroes, for heroes they certainly were, have been recorded in the Bible,
and translated into every language under heaven, and to this day we hold
them up as examples for our sons to follow.

Reader, if you and I resist the devil, and overcome temptation, there is
no likelihood of our names being written in the Bible.  No children yet
unborn will read the records of our history; no scholar will translate
the story into other tongues.  But our names, and the account of the
temptation, and how we resisted it, will all be written down in the
Lamb’s great Book of Life. And is it not worth striving against any
temptation in order to obtain such honour?  Is it not worth while
bearing witness for Jesus, if in return we wear the martyr’s crown?  But
I would have you look higher than this.  Jesus Christ died to save us;
and should we not be grateful to Him for that?  It is very little we can
do for Him Who has done all for us.  But we can do this. The weakest,
and the poorest, and the most sinful among us can, when the temptation
comes, put up a prayer to Jesus to ask His gracious help. And I know of
none shorter, and certainly of none better, than the words He Himself
has taught us--"Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

[#] S. Matt. vi. 13.


    "When you see a drunken sot
      From out the tavern reel,
    Be thankful for a better lot,
      And turn not on your heel.
    Go warn him of the dreadful glass,
      And save him, if you can;
    But never scorn him as you pass--
      Remember he’s a man."
        _John Burbidge._

Drink!  Why is it that when we speak that word we instinctively tremble?
Is it not because we feel that it is the great enemy of our country and
our race?  Is it not because we call to mind strong men and women
reeling under its influences?  Neglected homes, ragged children, and
general wants rise up before our eyes at the first mention of that word,
Drink!  Have you ever been in any of our large towns late on a Saturday
night, and watched a woman waiting patiently outside a public house for
the drunken husband, who is spending his time and his wages within?
Perhaps there is a babe at her breast, and a ragged child crying at her
side.  Crying! yes, crying, because it knows that this means no supper,
no comfort, no peace.  It is an awful sight.  I don’t know any sight
more sad; no not even a weeping mother mourning her only son.

Look into the newspapers again, week after week filled with cases of
drunkenness.  A horrible murder is committed; and if it should be
peculiarly brutal in its details, we are almost certain to find that the
murderer was drunk.  Yes, it is drink that fills our prisons to
overflowing; it is drink that fills the mad-houses of the country; and
it is drink which indirectly taxes every single member of the society in
which we live.  Then, again, drunkenness leads to the commission of
countless other sins.  Apart from sins committed under the influence of
drink, there are many sins to which drink leads.  I have known a case in
which a woman, who began life with high motives and honest intentions,
being afflicted with a great and deep sorrow, was advised by her friends
to seek consolation in drink.  The glass which she then took led to
another, and that one to another, and so on, until to-day that woman is
pronounced by those very friends to be a hopeless and confirmed
drunkard.  As I said, before she took to drink her character was good;
now it is far otherwise.  And I am told that so great are her thefts,
that everything in that house has to be kept under lock and key.

Oh, don’t you think that is a terrible picture of the influence of
drink?  Don’t you think that at the Day of Judgment God will blame the
friends, however kindly they may have meant it, who first advised her to
drown her grief in drink? Reader, that is a true story.  It is no
made-up tale.  That poor woman is well known to me; and so far as I can
see, the few years more she may have to live, and they cannot be many,
must be passed in sorrow, in suffering, and in pain. And, unhappily,
this curse of our nation does not end in our own land.  Wherever the
English tongue is spoken, wherever the English foot treads, there the
curse follows.  From the swarthy African, who knows the white man’s
"fire-water," which maddens his brain and dulls his senses, to the red
Indian warrior who changes the skins of wild beasts for English gold and
English spirits on the shores of Lake Ontario, all men know of the
Englishman’s curse: and knowing, learn to dread it.

It is drink which destroys our navy and our army alike.  It is
drunkenness which saps the strength of many of our greatest minds before
they have left the university.  And what can I say of our country
villages,--of our young men, who year by year are growing up and
beginning for themselves the labour of life; of the boys who, almost as
soon as they leave school, learn, in many cases, to follow the example
of their elders, and find the public house a convenient meeting-place?

It is for the young men of England to redeem their country’s honour.  It
is for every individual soul to do battle with this mighty foe.  Let the
work be begun in our villages, in our homes, in ourselves.  Let us be
moderate in our living, in eating and in drinking; and then, by example
rather than by precept, by deed rather than by word, we shall have done
what we could; and when we lie down in death, it will be our comfort to
reflect that little as it was we did, and poor and weak as were the
efforts of our heart, we did it to the Lord and not unto men.

                             *IDLE WORDS.*

    "O, never say a careless word
      Hath not the power to pain,
    The shaft may ope some hidden wound
      That closes not again.
    Weigh well those light-winged messengers;
      God marked thy needless word,
    And with it, too, the falling tear,
      The heart-pang that it stirred."
        _Anna Shipton._

Our Lord, in S. Matthew’s Gospel, tells us "that every idle word that
men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of
judgment[#]."  Now there are so many forms of speech which may be called
"idle words," that I think it would be best to consider each separately.
And so we will divide them under three heads. 1. Needless words.  2.
Impure words. 3. Careless words.

[#] S. Matt. xii. 36.

1. Now all "idle words" are needless.  You may be sure of this, that if
God had made, as He has made, many expressions necessary to our ordinary
conversation or adapted to our daily wants, such could never be "idle
words."  I do not mean to say, nor would I have you think by this, that
any expressions of joy or merriment, that any of the amusing stories we
hear, or any of the ordinary conversation of life, comes under the head
of "idle words."  But what I do mean by "idle words" and needless words
is all that we commonly call gossip.  Now gossip is quite needless.  It
is generally taken up with talk about our neighbours; rarely, very
rarely, is any thing said in their favour--most often are their
characters blackened.  Now you know it is so easy often to say an unkind
thing of a person, and so hard to say a kind one, that men prefer the
easier method, and the character suffers thereby.  But would this be so,
think you, if we always remembered that for these and such like "idle
words" God would bring us into judgment?

2. Then again there are _impure words_ and swearing.  Now I daresay when
you swear you don’t think of what it means.  When you turn round upon a
fellow man and curse him, it does not occur to you that you have
solemnly called upon God to give his soul over to everlasting damnation.
God Almighty alone can tell what effect that curse, so carelessly
spoken, may have. I cannot and do not believe that it will affect the
soul of him _against_ whom it is launched. But I do believe, for God has
told us so, that that word, however carelessly and thoughtlessly spoken,
will one day be brought up against the speaker, and for that and any
other "idle words" he may have spoken, he "shall give an account in the
day of judgment."

And the same is true of impure words.  They may be said thoughtlessly,
but they may yet for all that do as much harm as if you had thought over
them before speaking.  Suppose you throw a stone into a pond, the stone
sinks and you see it no more, and all you can see is a widening circle
spreading ever farther and farther until it ripples at your feet upon
the shore.  And this is true of life.  You speak an impure word, or you
tell an impure tale to some of your friends, and you go away and forget
it.  But the word or the story may have been heard by a little child
perhaps, and that word or story may be the first step on the road to its
ruin.  "For every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an
account in the day of judgment."

3. And what shall I say of careless words, for they are words so often
spoken even by the very best among us?  We speak the words, and often we
regret them as soon as spoken.  But we are too proud to recall them.  It
may be that a word which we have carelessly spoken may be remembered
years after, when we ourselves have passed away.  Besides which,
careless words, needless words, and impure words pass upwards before
God, and He hears them and notes them down against that day when men
shall give an account of every idle word.

    "By God’s eternal dwelling-place,
      Those words went floating by,
    And still the echo wanders on
      Throughout eternity.
    And whispering yet within thy heart,
      ’The still small voice’ is heard,
    And thou shall cry, ’O God! forgive
      My needless bitter word!’"

Yes, reader, God may forgive the words, and will do so, as He has
promised; but, as that verse says, "the echo wanders on throughout
eternity."  And the consequences wander on too.  And though God may have
forgiven the utterance of the word, yet since it was idly spoken, you
will have to "give an account thereof at the day of judgment."

It has been said, that the words spoken here "wander on" through
eternity, and that we shall one day confront again the words which we
have spoken in the flesh.  How careful then ought we to be of every idle
word!  How particular that none escape us!  For think of the torment it
will be to the purified soul to meet in the everlasting city with the
echoes--even though they be but the last dying echoes--of the idle words
which the lips have spoken on earth.


    "Make not vain excuses;
    God gives strength to all,
    Sets His guardian angels
    Round us, lest we fall.

    In the hour of trial
    Call upon thy Lord,
    Fight thy battle bravely,
    Think upon His Word,

    ’I will never leave thee,
    I am ever near,
    In My strength go forward,
    Cast away all fear.’"

How natural it seems to make excuses.  If we are found fault with, we
have an excuse ready to our tongue.  If we have to confess that we have
been in the wrong, we do so with an excuse.  Ever since the day when
Adam and Eve fled from their Maker’s Presence in the Garden of Eden,
ever since Adam spoke those first words of excuse, "The woman whom Thou
gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat," ever
since then man has made one excuse after another, until excuses come so
readily that it is difficult to speak without making one.  We are all of
us very fond of trying to shift the blame from our own shoulders on to
those of others.  If a railway accident takes place, it is most
difficult to find out who is to blame for it.  If an army is cut to
pieces in battle, the blame is generally laid upon the dead.  But if a
praiseworthy action is done, and men talk about it, and it gets reported
in the newspapers, there are always plenty of people quite ready to come
forward and lay claim to having done the brave deed.  And what is true
of our earthly life, the life of the body, is true also of the life of
the soul.  When we fall into sin, when we come on our knees to confess
the sin to Almighty God, how very often the confession is spoilt by
excuses.  Just as Adam laid the blame on Eve, and Eve in her turn blamed
the Serpent, so we lay the blame on somebody else, and expect God will
accept our excuses.

Now there are so many excuses that the devil teaches men, that it would
be quite impossible for me to deal with nearly all of them; but there
are one or two of the commonest, against which I can put you on your

One of the excuses most frequently made for not coming to Christ is, "I
am not good enough."  Reader, which of us would be good enough for
Christ, if He required us to be perfect?  But He wants us to come just
as we are, to come with our sins, and lay them upon Him, Who bore them
long ago "in His own body on the tree."

I have read of an artist who wanted to paint a picture of the Prodigal
Son.  He searched through the mad-houses, and work-houses, and prisons,
to find a man wretched enough to represent the Prodigal, but he could
not find one.  One day he was walking down the street and he met a
beggar; he thought the man would do, and he told him he would pay him
well, if he would come to his room, and sit for his picture.  The day
came, and the man appeared at the artist’s door, and reminded him of his
appointment with him.  But the artist looked at him and said, "No, I
have never seen you before.  I made an appointment with a ragged beggar,
not with you."  But the man persisted, and named the place where they
had first met; so the artist asked him what he had been doing.  "Well,"
answered the beggar, "I thought I would dress myself up a bit before I
got painted."  "Then," said the artist, "I do not want you; I wanted you
_as you were, not as you are now_."  And, reader, Christ wants _you as
you are_, when He first meets you.  Without excuses, poor, sinful, and
miserable; a broken and a contrite heart He will not despise.

    "I came to Jesus as I was,
    Weary, and worn, and sad;
    I found in Him a resting-place,
    And He has made me glad."

Another very common excuse is, "There is no hurry."  Men, and especially
young men, think, "Oh!  I’ve got life before me, why shouldn’t I amuse
myself a bit now? and then, when I’m old, too old for amusement, I’ll
give the days of my life to God."  I have heard a story, that on one
occasion Satan gathered his wicked spirits together, and they took
counsel as to how they could best ruin mankind.  And some said one thing
and some another.  One, for instance, stood up and said, "I’ll go and
tell them that there’s no God."  But Satan said, "No, that won’t do;
it’s too old a story; it has been tried and failed."  And another rose
up and said, "I’ll go and persuade them that the Bible is not true."
And Satan replied again, "No, that won’t do either; you might persuade a
few, but you would not convince many.  But," he added, "I’ll tell you
what to do, go and tell them that there’s no hurry, they’ll all believe
that."  And from that day to this Satan has been telling us that there’s
no hurry, and we all _do believe that_.  Yes, the very best of us and
the very wisest, as well as the worst and most ignorant, still think
that there’s no hurry.  Morning after morning the sun rises, and every
evening he sinks beyond the distant hills.  Year by year, spring follows
winter, and summer follows spring.  Every year we gather in a new
harvest, and then the winter evenings are with us once more; and because
these things come so regularly and so naturally, we are apt to think
that there’s no hurry.

Reader, if you are still persuading yourself that there’s no hurry _for
you_, make the excuse no longer.  Jesus invites you, saying, "Come unto
Me, all ye that labour and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."
God’s ministers invite you, preaching the Gospel of the Blessed God.
The open church and the pealing bells invite you, "the gay green earth"
and the open sky, the birds and beasts, all these invite you to look at
them, in and beyond them, to their Maker’s love.

I wish I had time to say more about these excuses.  They are as numerous
as the grains of sand on the seashore.  But I suppose if I did exhaust
them all, Satan would be quite ready to give you fresh ones.

God "willeth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should turn
from his wickedness and _live_."  Oh! think of that joyful life,
immortal, everlasting, around the throne of Christ. Think of your dear
friends who have gone before; think, it may be, of the pious mother, who
first taught your infant lips to say "Our Father, which art in heaven."
And she, too, is there! And then, reader, think of the punishment of
sin; there’s no escape from that!  Our Lord Himself has told us what
that will be--"Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness;
there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth[#]."

[#] S. Matt. xxv. 30.


    "God sends us poverty or wealth,
      Whichever He thinks best;
    The best for earthly warfare here--
      The best for heavenly rest.
    If God has sent you wealth, it is
      Not yours, but only lent.
    If He has sent you poverty,
      Then learn to be content."

One of the questions, which men have wasted many weary hours in trying
to answer, is the question of the uneven division of wealth in the
world.  Great men and clever men have tried, and all alike have failed;
nay, some have gone further, and have declared that since an unseen
Being has divided wealth so unevenly, it is for them to redistribute it.
And these, too, have failed.  And I suppose as long as the world lasts
we shall never have an answer to the question--How is it that one man in
this world is so rich that he really does not know what to do with his
money: he buys horses and carriages, and stocks his house with lovely
and costly treasures, and with wrought silver and gold?  And how is it,
on the other hand, that a man, living perhaps at the rich man’s very
gates, a man as religious, as honest, as straightforward as he, how is
it that he must needs rise early and go late to rest to gain his daily
bread?  How is it that sometimes even with all his daily toil he feels
an anxiety quite unknown to the other, as to where the next meal is to
come from?  Can you answer that question? I think not!  And, reader, you
are not alone in your ignorance; for I have never heard of anybody yet
who could give any cause for this uneven division of wealth.

No, of all God’s gifts to men, none are so unevenly distributed; and
none cause so much bitterness between men, as His gift of riches.  The
great thing then to remember is, first, that both poverty and wealth
come from Almighty God. If we have riches, God has given them, not to
use them selfishly for our own purposes, but in order to benefit other
people.  While, if we are poor in this world’s goods, we may be rich in
heavenly treasure, and still look upon our poverty as the gift of God.
"But," you may say, "it is all very well for you, with everything you
can want, to talk to us about poverty being a blessed state, and a gift
of God, but you can’t know anything of the troubles of poverty."  Now,
there may be and there are certain troubles which a poor man necessarily
feels, and which a rich man does not, and these of course I don’t
pretend to know. There may be moments in your life, in which you feel
that God has forgotten you, that starvation must be very near!  But do
remember that God never _forgets_ His people.  He never fails to help
and govern those He has brought up in His steadfast fear and love.  The
same kind providence watches the poor man’s humble cottage and the royal
throne.  The same God will mark what is done amiss in both cases, and
will most surely punish it.

Our Lord and His Apostles were poor working men.  He had made all men,
and had only to speak the word, and the kings of the earth would gladly
have flocked in eager to be His disciples; but no, He passes over all
these, and He goes down to the seashore, and He finds some plain
fishermen mending their nets, He bids them follow Him; and, just as if
it was the most natural thing in the world, they get up, and leave
behind them their few earthly possessions (probably little else than
fishing-tackle), and they follow Him without delay.  They know well that
they are going after a poor man, but they never think of the poverty.
They know that theirs will be no bed of down, when the toils of day are
over, for He whom they follow has "not where to lay His head[#]."  They
know that the man they are following has no earthly home, and that when
they leave their father and the ship, they leave all that they have and
all they will ever have on earth.  I wonder, reader, if you have ever
thought of these Apostles of Jesus leaving _all_ to follow Him, and of
their reason for doing so.  And what was the reason--was it hope of
worldly honour?  I think not; if so they would very soon have been
bitterly deceived.  Or was it, think you, to have their names and
history written down in the Bible, that all men might read of their
self-denial?  I hardly think that likely, for when they started to
follow Jesus, they knew but little of Him, and nothing at all of a
Bible, in which their names should appear.  No, what these Apostles had
is what we want so much, rich and poor alike.  God’s great gift of
_faith_.  Faith to believe God, as Abraham believed Him.  Faith to take
Christ at His word, as the Apostles did.  Faith here, which shall guide
us through this world of sin, and land us, whether rich or poor, on the
eternal shore beyond it.  To us, then, poverty or wealth alike would
come as God’s gifts, and we should thankfully accept them as such, and
we should no longer complain of our hard lot and our little grievances,
but should think more of Christ, and less of ourselves--more of His
riches, and less of our poverty.

[#] S. Matt. viii. 20.

                             *OUT OF WORK.*

    "Be it good or ill,
    Be it what you will,
    It must help me on my road,
    My rugged way to Heaven, please God."
      _C. Rossetti._

As this book is written specially for working men, it could hardly be
complete without a few words on the above heading.

Now I am not going to enter into the question of why it is that so many
people are constantly out of work.  In some cases, it may be the fault
of the master: in some cases, that of the men. There may be, again, hard
times in which it is difficult to get work, and for some perhaps quite
impossible.  But what I want to do is to offer a few kindly words of
advice to such as may be out of work.  And, first of all, if you have
ever been so, you must have felt, and I hope have felt keenly, the
blessing of practising habits of saving.  We all know what is meant by
putting aside something against a rainy day; and those of us to whom the
rainy day of wanting work has come, have probably had cause to regret a
good deal of wasted money, spent in the public house, before that evil
day came.  We have felt that if we had kept the money we had wasted in
this way, it would have greatly helped in keeping the wolf away from the

But the great point for Christian men to remember is that whether they
are out of work or not in a worldly sense, they are always, or ought
always to be hard at work in a heavenly sense. If we are out of work, it
may be our master’s fault, or it may be our own.  But if we are out of
work for Christ it is never His fault, and so it must always be ours.
Our work for Jesus begins as soon as we enter this world, and ceases not
till we leave it.  If you were to go to a far-off country, where there
was no other human being near you, you would still have to be working
for Jesus.  There is always the battle with self, the daily
self-denials, the oft-repeated doubts to be silenced; and this we shall
find quite enough work for us to do.  Each Christian has his own
separate work to do for God; and we may be quite sure of this, that God
will not take us out of this world until that work be done.  Some time
ago, in an English dockyard, a great ship was to be launched.  An
immense multitude of people came to see it glide down the slides that
were to carry it into the water.  The blocks and wedges were knocked
away; but the massive hull did not stir.  Just then a little boy ran
forward, and began to push the ship with all his might.  The crowd broke
out into a laugh of ridicule; but it so happened that the vessel was
just ready to move; the little push the boy gave it was all that was
needed to start it, and away it went into the water.

Now we have each of us got some work to do for the Master.  It may be
great, or it may be small; but if we will but look for it, there it is.
It may be our business to speak a word to a friend who is living in sin,
or it may be we may have to speak to multitudes.  It is certain that we
all have to set a good example, and to live a Christian life.  Yes, even
when we are out of work, we can show that we are working for the Master.
We can try and be content with our hard lot, and God only knows how very
hard that lot sometimes is.  We can refrain from speaking against our
employer, or saying anything unjust or untrue of him.  You know it is
always easier to say an unkind word, or to think a hard thought of one
who has done us harm, than to speak or think kindly of him; and because
it is easier we generally do so.  You may say this is but natural. So it
is.  But there are a great many things which come quite naturally to us,
which are wrong, and forbidden in the Bible; and if we would go to
heaven, nay more, if we would please God, we must deny ourselves in some
of these very things which come so naturally to us. And do remember,
reader, that though masters may be, and certainly often are unkind to
their servants, and unfaithful to their trust, it is not for us to judge
them.  God has told us that vengeance is His, and He will repay.
Masters and men alike have hard times: and though the masters may have
more money, they have more calls upon their purse and heavier expenses
than the poor.  For failing crops do make hard times for the farmers,
and loss of wealth means hard times for the merchant, just as hard in
its own way as any the poor have to suffer when they are out of work.


    "Some murmur if their sky is clear
    And wholly bright to view,
    If one small speck of dark appear
    In their bright Heaven of blue;
    And some, with deepest love are filled
    If but one ray of light,
    One star of God’s good mercy gild
    The blackness of their night."

Discontent in any form, and among any class of people, is indeed a
disagreeable, and a wicked thing.  It is disagreeable, because it makes
one’s neighbours uncomfortable.  It is wicked, because it is a sin
against God.  It is bad enough and wrong enough when we find it amongst
the poor.  It is worse than wrong when we meet with it among the rich.
"Godliness with contentment is great gain[#];" and so often do these two
go hand in hand, that they have come to be looked upon as almost
inseparable.  A discontented man is always an unhappy one, and we may
say, too, generally manages to render those about him unhappy.  We have
given us in the Bible, for our warning, an example of discontent in the
person of Jonah.  Jonah, as you will remember, was sent to a city called
Nineveh, to warn its sinful inhabitants of the wrath of God. So he went,
and preached throughout her streets that after forty days the city
should be overthrown. But, contrary to the expectation of Jonah, the
King of Nineveh and his people humbled themselves before God, and
repented of their evil ways. And Almighty God, with that forbearing love
which He is wont to show to His repentant children, heard the prayer of
the people of Nineveh, and they and their city were saved.  But, strange
as it may seem to us, this forbearance "displeased Jonah exceedingly,
and he was very angry[#]."  He was angry because Nineveh was saved, and
because it seemed to him that his was now a false position.  And so this
discontented man went out of the city, and there he made himself a
booth, or tent, to keep off the hot rays of the noonday sun, and he
wished that he might die.  And then Almighty God taught Jonah a
lesson--such a lesson as it would be well for each one of us to learn.
He caused a gourd to grow, to ward off the heat from Jonah; and when
Jonah began to be glad because of this tree, God sent a worm to its
roots, and one after another the leaves fell off, and the tree died; and
discontent again prevailed in Jonah’s heart.  Then God called him, and
said, "Thou hast had pity on the gourd for the which thou hast not
laboured, neither madest it grow; and should not I spare Nineveh,
wherein are more than six score thousand persons, that cannot discern
between their right hand and their left[#]?"  How many houses there are
in England, which would be happy ones were it not for this demon form of
discontent.  How many families have been made wretched, and homes broken
up, all through discontent.  There are people, who enjoy the best of
health, the fruits of the earth in their season, and many other gifts of
God Almighty’s providence, and who yet amongst it all lack His great
gift of contentment.  And there are others who lie upon beds of
sickness, or beds of pain, in our crowded hospitals, or in loathsome
dens in the back streets of our great cities, and these have that gift
of contentment which the world never gave them, and can never take away.
There are little children, who play happily and contentedly in our great
thoroughfares, who have never seen a country lane, a cornfield, or wild
flower.  And there are many grown-up people, to whom these are sights of
every day, and who fail to recognise the hand of the great Giver.

[#] 1 Tim. vi. 6.

[#] Jonah iv. 1.

[#] Jonah iv. 11.

The dew of heaven only falls on those parts of the earth which most need
it--gardens, grasslands, and cornfields.  Little, if any, is wasted on
the barren rocks, or on the unthankful sea.  So, too, is it with
contentment.  God does not lavish it where it will not be gratefully and
thankfully received; but where few of His good things come, in
hospitals, in orphanages, and very often among the poorest of the poor,
there He rains down His great gift in rich abundance, that all men who
see it may wonder, and thank the great Giver of all.

                      *"I WANT TO BETTER MYSELF."*

    "We’ve no abiding city here:
      This may distress the worldling’s mind,
    But should not cost the saint a tear,
      Who hopes a better rest to find."

"I want to better myself!"  How often we hear those words.  A man has a
very comfortable place, he has a kind master, a good home, pleasant
companions, and yet he throws up everything and makes a fresh start in a
new place, and all because he says he wants to better himself. Now I am
not going to say one word against a man’s trying to better himself.  Not
only is there no harm in it, but it is everybody’s duty to try and do so
as far as he can.  But I hope to shew you, before you put down this
book, that there is more than one way of bettering yourself; that it is
quite possible to change your place, and to get more money by the
change, and yet not to better yourself at all.  Do try, first of all, to
get out of your head the idea that money is the great thing.  It is not.
It is, of course, necessary to have money, but it is not good for any
body to have too much.  You generally find that an increase of wages
means fresh disappointment, while if a man has just enough to live on he
learns to be content.  Oh! I know it is the same with all classes.  The
rich are quite as bad as the poor; nobody ever has enough.

Now undoubtedly the first thing we ought to look out for, though very
few do so, when trying to better ourselves, is a greater opportunity of
practising our religion.  Ask yourself the question, "In changing my
village, am I likely to be any nearer to my God?  Shall I read my Bible
more often?  Shall I get more time for prayer?"  Be sure that the time
thus spent in the service and worship of Almighty God will not be
wasted, for He will make it good.

Again, another question to ask is, "Shall I find as comfortable a home,
and as nice companions, as I have here?"  For, I trust, we all know the
influence companions have upon each other.  Man was never made to be
alone always, and therefore it is most necessary that his companions
should be good and pleasant men.  And who can rightly estimate the value
of a good home.  A place to which a man can go at night, instead of the
public-house.  A place to which the angels love to come, and bring down
stores of happiness from the presence of God.

And then there is one way more in which a man may better himself; and
that is what most people put first instead of last on the list; I mean,
by money.

Your wages may not be sufficiently high, and you may know of a place
where they are higher. But don’t be deceived by the pay given for work
being higher, for other things may be higher too. For instance, in some
country places the wages are twelve shillings a week, while in London
they may be one pound.  But in London, clothes are dearer, and you would
want more of them. Lodgings are dearer and harder to get, and, reader,
people are harder too!

But perhaps you will say, "How is it that so many men leave their work
in a place to better themselves, and return without having bettered
themselves at all?"  The answer to that question is plain and simple
enough.  They thought it was only a question of money, and they looked
no further, and so failed.  But if you really wish to better yourself,
ask yourself the questions I have asked above, and don’t be satisfied
until you get an answer.  Ask God to help you to better yourself, and He
certainly will help you to do so.  If He sees it would be good for you,
He will allow you to better yourself in this world; and if not, then He
will take you away, in His own good time, that you may better yourself
in the world to come.

                           *MASTERS AND MEN.*

    "God has given each his station,
      Some have riches and high place,
    Some have lowly homes and labour,
      _All_ may have His precious grace.

    And God loveth all His children,
      Rich and poor, and high and low,
    And they all shall meet in heaven,
      Who have served Him here below."
        _Mrs. Alexander._

Now I want to say a few plain words about the relations of masters and
men to each other. In these days of unhappy differences between them,
days of constant strikes and lock-outs, it is surely not out of place to
say a few words in the interests of peace.  There have no doubt been
faults on the side of the masters, and no doubt faults too on that of
the men.  All alike are human, and as such are open to make mistakes,
and very often the mistakes they make are difficult to correct.  There
is no doubt that the old spirit of familiar intercourse between masters
and men has passed away.  Days when the master was indeed a father to
his people, and when all his workmen loved him, and honoured him as
such. Those days and that spirit have gone from amongst us.  In the
country among the farmers we have a different class of men altogether.
In towns the employers of labour are different too.  The labouring class
have changed and are changing still.  Working men in the country change
their work much oftener than they used to.  But there are certain golden
rules which, if carefully followed in spite of all changes, may still be
of use to masters and men.  And, first, there is the grand old rule of
"give and take" (the bear and forbear of scripture); without this no
society can hold together, no two classes can live together in unity.
Masters must always give their men the benefit of a doubt in all cases,
and the men on their part must always be ready to acknowledge that their
master wishes to act justly and fairly towards them.

Another golden rule is always to be ready to receive and gratefully
acknowledge kindness. And this too applies quite as much to the master
as to his men.  The man who, passing by his master’s hayfield, finds
that cattle have got in and drives them out, does his master service.
And the master who knowing of it does not acknowledge the service,
deserves most richly to lose his crop.  And the man who in time of
sickness receives from his master wine or other necessaries, and does
not gratefully thank him for the same, deserves to lose his place for
his ingratitude.

I have spoken in another chapter of civil speaking.  Nowhere is it more
needful than in the dealings of masters and men.  If a master speaks
uncivilly, or harshly, or unkindly to his men, how dare he expect that
they will care to speak civilly in return?  And if the men do not speak
civilly to their master, it is certain he won’t care to hold much
conversation with them.  But, above all, if you would know the right and
proper relations between masters and men, you can’t find it better put
than in the Bible.  There, either in the dealings of Christ with His
Apostles, or in the epistles of St. Paul and St. James (notably in the
sixth chapter of Ephesians), you will find a fit example for you to copy
in your daily life. St. Paul warns the Ephesians against eye service.
And is there any more necessary caution than that in these days.  Men
are so apt--we are all so apt--to slur over our work, to do it
carelessly, that we need to be cautioned that all work is hallowed, and
is done to the Lord.  And the masters too will find a word for them.
They are warned against threatening their servants, or speaking harshly
to them, for they too have a Master in heaven, Who will one day be their

If you are a master, an employer of labour, then remember that poor
folks have their troubles. They may not be your troubles, and you may
not understand them; but oh, do speak kindly and, if you can, feelingly.
There are some poor fellows working on our English farms and in our
large warehouses who have never known what a kind word meant; whose
earliest recollections carry them back to an ill-tempered mother, or a
drunken father, and to them a kind word would be a comfort indeed.

And if you have to toil, reader, in the sweat of your brow for your
daily bread, remember that your master has his troubles too.  Failing
crops or losses in business tell upon his purse, and sometimes on his
temper, and then perhaps he may speak harshly.  But it will soon be
over; all the work, all the angry words, all the sorrow, and the great
Master Himself shall enter the harvest-field, and the golden sheaves
shall bow before Him, as they did in Joseph’s dream, "for that harvest
is the end of the world, and the reapers are the angels."

                        *FORGIVENESS OF OTHERS.*

    "Oh! never bear malice, ’twill poison the breast,
    The storm is all over, then, there let it rest.
    The hot word of rage has been truly unkind,
    But the sting of deep sorrow may linger behind.
    ’Twere better to yield than for ever be foes,
    One look of compassion strikes harder than blows;
    ’Tis human to injure--to wound--or to threat,
    But oh! ’tis divine to forgive and forget."
      _J. Burbidge._

In that beautiful prayer which our blessed Lord left to His disciples,
we have amongst other petitions, one especially directed to the
forgiveness of sin.  We ask God to forgive us what we have done amiss
against Him, and call Him to witness that we forgive our brother who has
sinned against us.  "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that
trespass against us."  You see it is as much as saying to God, that we
_don’t_ want Him to forgive us, _unless_ He sees that we have freely
forgiven any who may have sinned against us.  Now it is very much
easier, is it not, to speak an angry word, or to think an unkind thought
of anyone who has offended us? It may be they have not even _sinned_
against us. Perhaps they have said something about us which in our
hearts we know to be quite true, only we don’t want the neighbours to
know it, and so we pretend it is false; and we pretend to think we have
been injured, and that we have something to forgive.  And many of us I
fear go farther still and refuse to bestow forgiveness at all.  I have
known forgiveness withheld from people for the smallest reasons.  A
family have not received the pew in church they wanted, or their name
has been omitted by mistake from a dinner list, or they were forgotten
in a Christmas charity, or something of the kind.  And for such trifles
as these they blame the clergyman generally, forgetting that his parish
work may have taken up his time, and so the mistake may have arisen. And
yet these people are nothing loth to kneel before their Father in
Heaven, and with this unforgiven trespass on their hearts they pray,
"Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against

Perhaps you may say, "I don’t see that it matters much to people whether
I forgive them or not.  I am but a poor man, and my love or my hatred
can’t make much difference to them."  But reader, I answer, whether your
friend be rich or poor, if he be a true friend, it will always make the
greatest difference to him, if he have done you hurt, whether he have
your forgiveness or no.  And more than this, it matters very much indeed
to Him who has said, "If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither
will your heavenly Father forgive you your trespasses."  And just think
what an awful feeling it would be for you, if you heard that a person
with whom you had a quarrel, had died suddenly, and carried the sense of
his unforgiven trespass into the world to come.

A short time ago in the South of England there lived two friends.  They
were always together; they loved each other, and could not bear to be
apart.  For a long while, the greater part of a lifetime, this
friendship continued, and as they were both religious men, their
friendship was blessed and strengthened by Almighty God. But after a
while it pleased God to try their love for each other, and like the dead
fly in the ointment, or the worm at the root of Jonah’s gourd, he sent a
slight cause of disagreement between them.  So slight a matter was it
that it was difficult to say which of the two was to blame, but it was
sufficient to come between them. And so little by little a coldness
arose, each being too proud to say he was in the wrong, until the
coldness ripened into anger, and so they separated.  For some years they
lived apart, hearing nothing of each other, until one morning when one
of them was reading the newspaper, he found the report of his friend’s
death.  So sudden and unexpected was it that it took him quite by
surprise, and he never recovered the shock.  Night and day he kept
thinking of years gone by, when they were firm friends, and then he
would remember the evil day when their disagreement took place, and then
came death!

Reader, if you have been living, or are living in enmity with anyone, go
_at once_ and ask their pardon, or if necessary grant it.  So shall you
pray with some hope of acceptance the oft-repeated words, and show not
only with your lips, but in your life, that you really mean what you say
when you pray, "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that
trespass against us."

    "Then forgive and forget!--’tis a rule of such worth,
    That ’twould scatter rich blessings all over the earth;
    Turn deserts to gardens of beauty and peace,
    And bid half the storms of contention to cease.
    As we act to ourselves, we should act to another,
    And look on each man that we meet as a brother,
    In hope that when nature lays claim to her debt,
    Our God will in mercy forgive and forget."

                              *HARD WORK.*

    "Work is sweet, for God hath blest
    Honest work with quiet rest--
    Rest below, and rest above,
    In the mansions of His love,
    When the work of life is done,
    When the battle’s fought and won.

    Working ere the day is gone,
    Working till your work is done:
    Not the work that pain imparts,
    But the work of honest hearts;
    Working till your spirits rest
    With the spirits of the blest."

I have spoken so often in these passages already on the subject of work,
that but little remains to be said.  And yet there are so many kinds of
work, and hard work too, that we can do on earth, that it seems as
though we could never get to the end of them.  There are, for instance,
home work, warfare work, praying work, and a great many other kinds of
work, of which it would take too long to speak now.  Of some of these I
have spoken already in this book, but I want to say a few words about
_warfare work_ in this chapter.

Warfare work is perhaps the hardest kind of work of all, because it is
work of the spirit. It is a work that must be always going on, while we
live here; so long as Satan lives to tempt man to sin, man must war
against it.  In the sixth chapter of S. John we read in the 28th verse,
"Jesus said unto them, this is the work of God that ye believe on Him,
whom He hath sent."  It is no easy thing to believe; nay, it is very
hard to believe simply in Jesus Christ; and yet in the above passage He
Himself speaks of it as the work of all others, which is to be done for
God.  When our hearts get crusted over with sin and selfishness, it is
no easy matter to take again the heart of a little child and simply
believe our Father’s word; and yet this is needful work for His

But besides this inner struggle, there is another that affects more our
outward life.  All have a besetting sin to fight against--drunkenness,
lust, or such like.  Very different, however, are the ways in which this
warfare is waged.  Some struggle because they can’t help it, and are
like "the dumb driven cattle"; others are so feeble that they soon

    "By the roadside fall and perish,
    Weary with the march of life."

Others try to conceal, even from themselves, that they have a conflict
to maintain.  It is the Christian only, who going forth in the strength
of Another, can hope to work joyfully and successfully.

And now having said thus much about warfare work, let me add a few words
about everyday labour, by giving a few hints to those who may be doing
hard work.  First, then, _be punctual_. Time is a gift from God.  And if
we choose to mislay our own portion, we have no right to take that of
those around us.  Just look, for instance, at a case which happens
almost daily.  A man starts to go on a long journey.  Say, if you will,
he is going to Manchester.  His train is so timed, that he reckons it
will arrive in London half-an-hour before the departure of the
Manchester train.  In that half-hour, he will have to collect his
luggage, and cross London.  The train arrives in London ten minutes
late, the man misses the train for Manchester by five minutes.  It may
make a difference to him, all through his life, that he missed that
train.  And so you see the need of punctuality.  Secondly, _be
thorough_.  "Whatsoever thine hand findeth to do, do it _with thy
might_."  Do not try and do more than you are able; but what you do, do
well.  It is better to do one thing well, than half-a-dozen badly.
There is nothing too small to be done thoroughly--no work so
unimportant, that you can say, "It doesn’t matter _how_ I do it."  And
this thorough spirit, you will find, will prevent your delaying doing
your work. You won’t wish to put off till to-morrow what can be done

Thirdly, _be straightforward_; never mind anybody seeing _how_ you work.
Never do evil that good may come.  The devil has so much power over the
mind of man that he will readily suggest the evil, but he will keep back
the good which might follow.  The Christian’s road is the straight road,
where none can lose their way.  Any duty that has to be done secretly is
not duty at all, but a sham!  The truths that must be made pleasant by
worldly methods will lose their truthfulness, and fail of their effect.

Fourthly, _be patient_; God doesn’t care about your success, He looks
upon the unwearied arm, the patient heart.  If you measure your work by
that of others you will grow impatient, for in many cases they may seem
to do much more, and to succeed much better than you.  Be patient when
your employer speaks sharply to you.  It may not be deserved; it may be
he blames you where he should blame someone else; never mind, be
patient.  "If ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have
ye? for sinners also do even the same.  But love ye your enemies, and do
good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be
great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest, for He is kind unto
the unthankful and to the evil[#]."

[#] S. Luke vi. 35.

Lastly, reader, _be spiritually minded_.  Never let work of any kind
interfere with the worship of God.  Remember, He is your Father and your
Friend, as well as "the great Work-master."  If we are to work hard in
our earthly business, it must, if it is to prosper, be softened and
mingled with our heavenly work; that so "passing through things temporal
we finally lose not the things eternal."

And then after work comes rest!  The body, so worn with sickness, so
faint with toil, so weary with fatigue, will enjoy its rest.  Nor will
it rest merely in the green "sleeping-place," which has been beautifully
called "God’s acre," beside the quiet river, or by the ancient church;
but it shall rise to take an active part in the great hereafter of the
sons of God.  And who shall dare describe to us the rest of the troubled
spirit in the Father’s house?  Who shall tell us of its wanderings, its
joys, its occupations?  It is enough for us to know that "there
remaineth a rest to the people of God[#]."  A rest we cannot understand,
we must not seek to know, until that day, when we shall find ourselves
in that heavenly presence, "where the wicked cease from troubling, and
the weary are at rest[#]."

[#] Heb. iv. 9.

[#] Job iii. 17.


    "Still in the pure espousal
    Of Christian man and maid:
    The Holy Three are with us,
    The threefold grace is said.

    For dower of blessed children,
    For love and faith’s sweet sake,
    For high mysterious union,
    Which nought on earth may break."

As this book is intended especially for young men, it would manifestly
be incomplete if I were to avoid any subjects upon which young men were
likely to need assistance.  And so now I propose to say a few plain
words upon courtship.  I know that this is what is called a delicate
subject, and I know too that any words from a stranger upon this subject
must be both carefully and thoughtfully spoken, if they are to find
acceptance.  Now courtship, like almost everything else, is open to
abuse; and, like very nearly everything else too, it very often is
abused.  It is often made a pretext for impure conversation and indecent
liberties.  Have you any right to expect that any marriage, however
suitable the match may be in other ways, if it follows such a courtship
as this, will be blessed by the Almighty, and happy in the end?

Courtship is almost as old as the world.  It is the same in all
countries, wherever man is found there courtship exists, in some form or
other.  But though courtship is a necessary step to married life, yet it
is by no means necessary that it should be made an excuse for indulging
in impure and filthy conversation.  Young men and young women should
remember that wherever they are, and whatever they may be doing, whether
it be work or amusement, they have a duty to perform as Christians which
must come before all other duties whatsoever.  I know it is hard for
young men, living in country villages, and continually indulging in what
is called "free talk," to keep such guard over their lips, as to prevent
anything passing but what is strictly pure and right.  But it must be
done; for, as I said just now, if the marriage is to have God’s
blessing, (and what marriage can be really happy without it?) then the
courtship must be free from sin.

Many young men, again, think it no harm to keep company with a young
woman--to walk with her, as they say--without ever having any serious
thoughts of marrying her at all.  Now, this again, is wrong--all wrong.
It is one of the links in the devil’s chain, with which he seeks to bind
the souls for whom Christ died.  It is one of the many ways by which he
tries to draw souls into his net by teaching them to do wrong, all the
while pretending that there is no harm. Therefore, my advice is, don’t
keep company with any young woman you do not mean to marry in the end.

And now one word upon the choice of a wife, for this is most important.
I do not think a man can be too careful in this respect if he wishes to
have a happy home.  And this is one of the great benefits of
courtship--it enables a man to get an insight into the character of her
whom he intends to make his wife.  Now, of course, there are always many
things which must be left to the man to choose for himself; and
different people will choose very differently.  But there are, I think,
certain qualities which, if they were to be found oftener in wives,
would completely change the tone of many of our English homes.  Such
qualities are good-temper, cleanliness, cheerfulness, patience,
contentment, and love.  I might name many more, but I have no time to
speak of them now. But though at first sight it may seem strange, the
qualities which I have named above are those we most rarely meet with.

But, above all things, it is essential that a man should have a godly
wife, first for his own sake, then for his children’s.  One who will
look upon prosperity as the gift of a kind Father, Who thinks of the
happiness of His children; and upon adversity, if it come, as part of a
necessary discipline, sent by the same loving Friend.  Then the man may
confidently and hopefully take such an one to be his wedded wife, "to
love her, comfort her, honour, and keep her in sickness and in health;
and, forsaking all other[#]," keep himself only unto her, so long as
both shall live.  And then when the weary days of sickness, or the
solemn hour of dying shall come to him, the wife will be there to nurse
the sick, or close the dying eyes, and to whisper words of comfort to
the departing soul.

[#] Marriage Service.


    "Husband dear, ’twas your loving hand
    Showed the way to that better land,
    Oh! how often you cheered me then;
    ’Things will be better, dear wife, again.’

    Hand in hand, when life was May,
    Hand in hand now our hair is grey,
    Shadow and sun for every one,
    As the years roll on.

    Hand in hand, when the long night-tide
    Gently covers us, side by side,
    We will trust, though we know not when,
    God will be with us for ever then!"

Before entering on this great and solemn step in life, every man should
read through the service in the Prayer Book for the solemnization of
matrimony.  Therein you will see with what awe and reverence it is
spoken of, as a thing "not to be undertaken lightly, but reverently,
discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God[#]."

[#] Marriage Service.

You will find that it was ordained for the mutual society, help, and
comfort of the man and woman, that they ought each to receive from each
other both in prosperity and adversity. Each man and woman is solemnly
reminded of "the dreadful day of judgment," when "the secrets of all
hearts will be disclosed[#]."  Could any words be more solemn, or full
of warning? And yet how many enter upon marriage with but little thought
of the solemn vow they then take before God.  And this, I think, is
quite sufficient to account for the unhappy results of so many
marriages; for the bitterness and quarrels between husband and wife, and
the frequent applications for divorce.  I have already spoken of how
careful you ought to be in making choice of a wife during the days of
courtship.  Many men are taken with a pretty face, or a fine dress, or a
bright, cheery manner; but unless there is a good, honest, God-fearing
heart underneath, you may be sure you will not be happy with her when
trials and troubles come, as come they surely must into the lives of
each of us.

[#] Marriage Service.

Now let me earnestly beg of you to think of what you are going to
promise in the Marriage Service.  You take each other, as those words so
beautifully express it, "for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish," _until death parts
you_. Remember this--marriage is not merely a passing engagement you can
enter into for a short time and give up when you like.  It is not like
courtship.  No, it is lifelong.  Some, alas! do not look upon it as
binding.  But never allow yourself to forget how God looks upon such a
sin; and the Bible tells us that the most terrible judgment awaits those
who have broken their marriage vow.  God’s laws are written in the
Bible, and no Act of Parliament can change them.  The Bible must be the
Christian’s rule of life, and its precepts he must follow.

Let yours, then, be _a Christian marriage_--one on which you may trust
God’s blessing will rest. Try throughout your life to fulfil what you
then promise, and to make your wife a good, true, and loving husband.
Be good-tempered and forbearing with her.  When troubles come, try and
share them bravely together; so that she who has helped to bear your
burden, when the troubles are past, may also be "a helper of your joy."
Your wife has often much to put up with--home cares, troubles with the
little ones, delicate health, a hard struggle, perhaps, "to make both
ends meet;" therefore, when you come home after your day’s work, always
have a kind word ready for her. Do not keep an undue share of your wages
for yourself, for amusement, or for drink, but share it with her, giving
her enough to make her home and the children comfortable.  In short,
learn to take your rule of life straight from God’s Holy Word, where it
is written, "Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of

[#] Gal. vi. 2.

But, above all, try and help each other on the way to Heaven, and to
live not for yourselves, but for God and for others.  Then, indeed, you
will be, as the Marriage Service says, "heirs together of the grace of
life;" not merely of the few short years spent together in this life
present, but of that blessed life beyond the grave, where "there is
neither marrying, nor giving in marriage, but they are as the angels of

[#] S. Matt. xxiv. 38.


    "I ask Thee for a thoughtful love,
    Through constant watching wise,
    To meet the glad with joyful smiles,
    And to wipe the weeping eyes:
    And a heart at leisure from itself,
    To soothe and sympathise."
      _A. L. Waring._

A little kindness goes a long way!  There are many people in the world,
nay about our own homes, whom respectable people have given up, as being
hopelessly bad; and who have become what they are because they have
never known what kindness meant.  If you were to go through our prisons,
you would find that there is a vast number of criminals in them who can
trace their first step on the road to ruin to the want of a word kindly
spoken.  They have never known, what you and I, reader, have enjoyed
perhaps from our childhood up, a mother’s tender love.  The word "home"
suggests to their minds thoughts of a drunken father, more a beast than
a man; and of a mother who was so taken up with the cares of this world,
that she had no love to give to her children.  Yes, I have often heard
of cases, in which a word of kindness, spoken at the right moment, might
have gladdened the whole afterlife.  I have known some cases in which
even murder might have been prevented, if only a kind word had taken the
place of an angry one.

Reader, a kind word costs very little, and goes a very long way.  Even a
kind look will do something.  I once knew a deaf and dumb man, whose
look was so kind that little children would run up to him in the street,
though he was quite powerless to speak kindly to them.  I have spoken of
forgiveness of others--kindness and forgiveness are very nearly
connected.  A really kind man is always a forgiving man; and he who
knows how to forgive is always a kind-hearted person.

Kindness shows itself in all the relations of life.  A kind man is kind
to his wife, kind to his children, and kind to his friends.  But nowhere
does real kindness show itself more strongly in a man, than when he is
kind to animals. They quickly understand and are thankful for kindness;
and in their way repay it.  For instance, everybody who has had anything
to do with horses knows how far a little kindness will go with them.
Very often a horse’s temper is upset for a whole day, because he was
unkindly treated at starting.  Then there are numbers of horses whose
tempers have been completely ruined by their having been ill-treated
when they were young.  Oh! yes, a little kindness goes a long way; and
it amply repays the bestower to see how gladly and how thankfully it is

We have, many of us, heard the story of the soldier who was killed in
battle, and whose dog, unknown to him, had followed him, until he fell;
and how when night descended on the battlefield, the faithful creature,
mindful of his dead master’s kindness to him, refused to quit the
corpse, but stayed there to protect it.  We have heard, many of us, the
story of the poor beggar, with no friend on earth but one little dog,
who, in return for his kindness in giving it food, followed him in his
weary walks, until at last, on the cold and snowy high road, when the
poor man lay down to die, it was his only companion. When in the morning
a party of travellers passed along the road, they found them lying dead
together, with a shroud of pure white snow covering them both.  Then
again you may have, seen Landseer’s beautiful picture of "The Shepherd’s
chief mourner."  The room is deserted, and the coffin is alone in the
middle, with the shepherd’s plaid thrown over it; alone, yet not alone,
for there, with his head resting on his master’s coffin, sits "the
shepherd’s chief mourner," the sheep-dog, who had followed him in life,
and will not leave him, even after death. And if kindness, heaven-born
kindness, goes so far with the lower animals, it has an equal, may I not
say even a greater influence upon mankind.  Which of us has not felt
sometimes the benefit of kindness?  It may have been in a time of
sickness, or sorrow, it may have been a kindly word spoken as we passed
away from a new-made grave.  But whatever may have been the
circumstances under which it was spoken, there can be but few whom a
kind word has failed to reach. And if this is so; if _we_ have derived
joy and happiness from a kind word, why not speak a kind word to others,
after the example of our God, "for He is kind, to the unthankful and the

[#] S. Luke vi. 35.

Strive, then, to practise the golden rule of kindness, in whatever
station God has placed you.  Be genial, be kind, be civil to all,
following the Apostolic rule, "Be ye kind one to another,
tender-hearted, forgiving one another: even as God, for Christ’s sake,
hath forgiven you[#]."

[#] Ephesians iv. 32.

                             *OUR PARENTS.*

    "Who sat and watched my infant head,
    When sleeping on my cradle bed?
    And tears of sweet affection shed?
      My Mother!

    Who taught my infant lips to pray,
    And love God’s holy Book, and Day,
    And walk in wisdom’s pleasant way?
      My Mother!

    And God, Who lives above the skies,
    Would look with anger in His eyes,
    If I should ever dare despise
      My Mother!"

Our earliest recollections are of our father and mother!  All through
our childhood they were near us, joining in our play, nursing us in
sickness, comforting in pain or trouble.  All that made us happy, or
that made the world seem bright to us, they gave us.  They were always
ready to reward us when we were good; they were always grieved when we
did wrong.  We never can repay our parents for all their kindness to us
in our infancy.  All the labour which supplied the bread we ate and the
bed we slept on; and shall not we do what we can for them in their old
age?  If your parents, reader, were religious people, they prayed for
you besides, and you will never know on this side the grave how many
early temptations those prayers may have kept off.  You can understand
now why it was that your parents sometimes punished you for doing wrong,
though you might not have seen the wisdom of it then.  And the day will
come, believe me, when you will learn--it may be only "through much
tribulation"--the wisdom of the punishments inflicted by our Father in
heaven. "For _now_ we see through a glass darkly; but _then_ face to
face: now I know in part, but _then_ shall I know even as also I am
known."  And now, in all humility, do let me say a word to those parents
into whose hands this book may chance to fall.  I have spoken of
influence and its wonderful power in the other parts of this book.  I
have repeatedly dwelt on the necessity of setting a good example; let me
do so once again here.  I cannot put what I wish to say into better, or
shorter, or simpler language than it has been put by a recent writer,
who speaks as follows--"Old friends," he says, "fathers, mothers, whose
heads are filled with the snows of age, whose brows are furrowed deep
with the traces of life’s cares and burthens, perhaps with the thorns of
its crown, we look to you to teach us all that God means by death; all
the blessings with which the angel who guides our pilgrimage comes
laden, when he advances to clasp our hand, to be to us a rod and a staff
through the glooms that hang about the threshold of the ever-lasting
home.  We look to see you with something of the brightness of the
heavenly home upon you now; a gleam in the eyes, a tone in the look and
bearing, which have been caught from long communion with the things and
beings, whose full glory awaits you there.  No complaints, no sadness,
no sorrowful looking back to the world which you are leaving, and where
your place, to which you thought yourself all-important, is already

Lastly, let me return for a moment to those to whom this book is
specially addressed.  Young men, it is your duty and your privilege
alike to take care of your parents, and to provide for their wants when
they are too old or infirm to do so for themselves.  Be laying by a
little store of money now against that day, if it be only a few pence a
week that you can save out of your wages, you can’t think what a help it
may be hereafter.  You wouldn’t like your children to leave you to die
in the workhouse; you wouldn’t like, when old age comes, to feel that
you and your wife, who had lived happily together for years, were now to
be taken to live within high walls in a pauper’s dress, and not be free
to go in and out as you pleased.  You wouldn’t like to find that you
were suffering all this want, while your son, who was quite able to keep
you out of it, was drinking away his wages in the nearest public-house.
And if you wouldn’t like this yourself, why should you treat your
parents so?  This, as you know, is not a made-up case; it is happening
every day in almost every village in the country.  God gave us parents,
first, that they might take care of us; and then, if need be, that we
should take care of them.  The earthly parent should be in every way a
pattern of the heavenly, for He is good, "even to the unthankful and the
evil," to the just and to the unjust alike.

Reader, if you have not been doing your duty to your parents hitherto,
go and begin at once. Try and make the old folks comfortable.  Let them
feel that their son is indeed a comfort to them, and a stay in their old
age.  And then, when old age comes upon you, God will repay you.  In the
hour of sickness He will be with you, comforting and blessing you: until
the time come when you too have to lean on your staff for very age,
while the shadows grow darker and darker round you.

                            *OUR CHILDREN.*

    "Oh! there are times when to our sight,
    E’en on this side the grave, is given
    A glimpse revealing in full light
    The triumphs gained on earth by heaven.

    In Him our little ones are great,
    In Him our feeble folk are strong;
    And childhood sits in high estate
    Amid the martyrs’ noble throng."
      _R. Tomlins._

God has committed no more solemn charge to our care than that of our
children.  Over and over again in the Gospels do we find that Jesus
called attention to little children.  On one occasion you will remember
that strife having arisen among the disciples, as to which of them
should be greatest in the kingdom of heaven, Jesus, perceiving it, took
a little child, and set him by His side; and from this simple
circumstance He taught His disciples that in order to enter into that
kingdom, they must receive His message with the same simple, trustful
faith, as would a little child.  And once again, we read that the
parents brought their little ones to Him that He might bless them; and
when His disciples, being vexed that their Master’s time should be taken
up with what they doubtless considered a trifling matter, Jesus, we
read, rebuked them, and said, "Suffer the little children to come unto
Me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God[#]."

[#] S. Mark x. 13.

Reader, the times have not changed so much, since Jesus walked upon our
earth, that we can afford to disregard His words.  Do remember that if
you use bad language, or tell an impure story, or even speak an unkind
word, you may be putting a stumbling-block in the children’s way, and
keeping them from Christ.

And now let me say a word concerning Baptism. I do not believe, and our
Church nowhere teaches her children to believe, that a child who dies
unbaptised is in danger of eternal damnation.  But she does tell us that
_the parents_ who keep their children back from that sacred ordinance,
are in danger of punishment.  She goes straight to the Bible, as her
authority, and points out the blame which our Lord attached to the
disciples, who would have kept the children from Him, teaching us
thereby that the same kind of blame belongs to those parents who keep
their children from holy Baptism now.

And when your children are baptised the great thing to remember is
example.  Parents, set a good example to your children at home.
Children very quickly notice anything that is wrong, and as quickly copy
it.  And then they go out, and teach it to other children, and so by
your bad example at home, you may have destroyed the happiness of many
lives.  Teach your children rather that they may have an interest beyond
the grave, that for them there is laid up a rich reward in our Father’s
kingdom.  "I pity," says a recent writer, "the son, who has never had an
interest beyond the grave; but I pity far more the mother, who has never
told him of the rest that remaineth for the people of God."

There were once two fathers, both of whom God had blessed with children.
One lived on the river Mississippi, in America.  He was a man of great
wealth.  Yet he would have freely given it all to have brought back his
son from an early grave. One day that boy had been borne home
unconscious. They did everything that they could to restore him, but in
vain.  "He will die," said the doctor.  "But doctor," cried the poor
father, "can you do nothing to bring him to consciousness, even for a
moment?"  "That may be," said the doctor, "but he can’t live."  Time
passed, and after awhile the father’s wish was gratified.  "My son," he
whispered, "the doctor tells me you are dying."  "Well," said the boy,
"you never prayed for me, father, won’t you pray for my lost soul now?"
The father wept.  It was too true he had _never prayed_.  He was a
stranger to God.  And in a little while that soul, unprayed for, passed
into eternity.  Young man, the day will come, when you perhaps will be a
father too.  If your boy was dying, and called on you to pray, could you
lift your burdened heart to Heaven?  Have you learned this sweetest
lesson of heaven or earth, to know and hold communion with your God?
And before this evil world shall have marked your dearest treasures for
its prey, oh learn to lead your little ones to a children’s Christ.  But
what a contrast was the other father!  He too had a lovely boy, and one
day he came home to find him at the gates of death.  "A great change has
come over our boy," said the weeping mother; "he has only been ill a
little while, but it seems now as if he were dying fast."  The father
went into the room, and put his hand on his son’s forehead.  He could
see the boy was dying.  He could feel the cold damp of death.  "My son,
do you know you are dying?" he asked.  "No, father, am I?" said the boy.
"Yes, my boy, you can’t live till the evening."  "Well, then, I shall be
with Jesus to-night, shan’t I, father?"  "Yes, my son, you will spend
to-night with the Saviour."  As he turned away, the little fellow saw
tears trickling down his father’s cheeks.  "Don’t weep for me," he said;
"when I get to heaven, I shall go straight to Jesus, and tell Him that
ever since I can remember, you have tried to lead me to Him."  Reader,
if God should give you a son, and should see fit to take him again to
Himself, would you not rather he should carry such testimony as that to
your Master, than have all the wealth of the world rolled at your son’s

Once more, then, let me earnestly pray you to set a good example.  Young
man, set a good example to the boys who work with you on the farm or
elsewhere.  They will be ready to pick up anything good or bad from you.
And if they once learn it, it will be very hard to unlearn it again.

And to all who read this book, whether their work lie in the farm, in
the counting-house, in the barracks, or on board ship, my last words are
the same; the great secret of example is purity of heart and life.
Never do anything or say anything that you would be ashamed for God to
hear. And if you yourself have never thought how little it would profit
you to gain the whole world, and lose your own soul, I beseech you not
to let another sun go down before you think out that great question.


    "Friend,--when in trial and suffering,
      Where dost thou find thy home?
    Where in thy pain canst thou seek relief,
      Where in thy sorrows come?
    Where from the world’s rude conflict
      Canst thou find a calm retreat?
    Where learn afresh with courage
      Thy trials and sorrows to meet?
    Where is thy shield from adversity’s dart?
    Friend, thy _home_ is a loved one’s heart.

    Man,--when thy heart is torn with grief,
      When thy hopes are for ever gone,
    When adversity’s cloud hangs over thy head,
      And earth’s troubles weigh thee down,--
    When those whom thou lovest have turned away,
      And cruelly slighted thee,--
    When thy heart is crushed, and thy joys are gone,--
      For shelter, oh! where canst thou flee?
    Man, though from comfort on earth thou’rt driven,
    Thy home and thy joys are with God in Heaven."
        _L. Jewitt._

Home!  What a word that is.  Is there any word like it?  Any that brings
so much joy, or so much sorrow, into the human breast?  The fisherman
who has toiled all night and caught nothing, looks anxiously for dawn,
because he knows that then he will return home to wife and children. The
sailor, toiling over the endless sea, rejoices as he thinks that each
moment he is nearing home. The labourer in the fields is glad when the
hot sun sinks towards the west, because it is nearly time to go home.
The boy at school longs for the holidays to come because it means home,
and to him home is everything.  The weary traveller, well-nigh dead with
fatigue, who sees his distant home from the top of a neighbouring hill,
gathers fresh strength from the sight to continue his journey.

But the home can only be really home in the truest and best sense of the
word, when the people who live there make it home-like.  It need have no
costly adornments, but every member of the family should have "the
ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of
great price."  There should be no display of angry tempers, or of hard
words.  Kindness should reign there; gentleness and love should be
practised there.  In short, that home can only be a happy one which is a
copy of the home in heaven.  Parents have a very solemn and important
duty to perform here.  It is for them to make their homes not nurseries
of vice and sin, but homes of love and happiness, where Jesus and His
angels will be glad to come.  How many men and women there are who can
trace an evil, misspent, sinful life back to their early home.  It was,
may be, from a father’s lips they first learnt to swear; perhaps from a
mother’s example they first learnt to lie.  And the children, too, have
a solemn duty to perform with regard to home. There are life lessons
which must be learnt at home, if we would learn them at all.  Obedience,
purity, love, and piety, all must be learnt at home; and if these are
indeed to be found there, the home on earth is a fit type of the home in

Reader, are you doing your utmost to make your home on earth like the
home beyond? Perhaps you have never thought much about it. Perhaps you
have never considered that there was any connection between them.  But
there is; there should be.  They should be, as it were, the same home,
separated indeed by a narrow gulf, but joined by a bridge over which all
must pass, even death itself.

Some people look upon death quite wrongly, for this reason.  If one of
their children die, they almost think that when the earth covers it they
will never see it again; but the Bible does not teach that.  Rather
should we feel, in the beautiful words of the hymn, that our little ones
are going home--

    "They are going--only going--
      Jesus called them long ago;
    All the wintry time they’re passing
      Softly as the falling snow.
    When the violets in the spring-time
      Catch the azure of the sky,
    They are carried out to slumber
      Sweetly, where the violets lie.

    All along the mighty ages,
      All adown the solemn time,
    They have taken up their homeward
      March to a serener clime,
    Where the watching, waiting angels
      Lead them from the shadow dim,
    To the brightness of His Presence
      Who has called them unto Him."

Yes, it is even so, "they are going, only going," from the home on earth
to the home in heaven. Going from pain and sorrow and sin to a better
home, where there is no bitter parting, no more sorrow, and no more
death.  And looking at it in this light, would you wish to keep them,
would you even seek to stay their departure for one short hour.  The
home on earth is subject to sickness, to sorrow, and partings.  But the
home in heaven knows none of these.  We cannot always stay at home on
earth, but must needs go out to work for our living among strangers.
But when we once reach the many mansions of our Father’s house, we shall
go no more out.  There will be no more sleepless nights, or sunless
days, for the Sun of righteousness shines on all alike, "and there is no
night there."

Strive then to dwell together in unity on earth; doing _your_ best to
make home what home should be, and God will do the rest.

                      *HEAVEN OUR HOME.  PART I.*

    "There is a blessed Home
      Beyond this land of woe,
    Where trials never come,
      Nor tears of sorrow flow.

    There is a land of peace,
      Good angels know it well:
    Glad songs that never cease
      Within its portals swell."

Our thoughts, as Christians, must needs often turn upon our heavenly
home.  The labourer toiling in the hot harvest-field often thinks of his
distant cottage.  The sailor upon the lonely sea is often thinking of
those at home.  And the Christian, in the midst of his troubles and
temptations here, must often think of his home beyond.  Heaven is the
dwelling-place of God. It matters little how far away it is.  God is
there, and that is enough.  We often feel sad when we think of our dear
ones who have left us.  But if we could look beyond the veil into the
eternal city, we should see the Good Shepherd leading them by the green
pastures, and beside the still waters.  Our friends, who have died in
the fear of God, are not lost to us for ever, only gone before.  They
had a desire "to depart and to be with Christ, which is far
better"--better than the suffering, and the sorrow, and the toil.  And
Christ has given them their wish.  And He has told us that if we would
rejoin them one day, and be with them for ever, we must not lay up
treasure on earth, but in heaven.  Earthly treasure, gold, silver, land,
popularity, and the praise of men, these may be taken from us, and given
to others. But heavenly treasure--purity of life, love to God, helping
travellers on the road to heaven--these we may lay up now, with the
certainty that we shall never lose _them_, either in this world or in
that which is to come.

I read a story the other day of a rich man in America, to whom a person
went to try and interest him in mission work.  The rich man took him up
to the top of his house, and said to him, "Look yonder over that
beautiful rolling plain, that is all mine as far as the eye can reach."
He took him round again to the other side, and showed him thirty miles
of pasture, with horses and cattle feeding.  "They are all mine," he
said, "I have made it all myself."  Then he pointed proudly towards the
town, and showed him streets and warehouses, and a great hall named
after himself, and said once more, "They are all mine; I came into this
country a poor man, but my own industry has done it all."  The other
listened patiently until he had done speaking, and then pointing upward
to the sky, he asked, "And what have you got there?"  "Where?" asked the
rich man.  "In heaven!" said the other.  "I have got nothing there," he
answered bitterly.  Alas, he had lived his three-score years and ten,
and must soon enter eternity, and yet he had no treasure in heaven!

Reader, where is _your_ treasure?  "Where your treasure is there will
your heart be also[#]."  There is no harm whatever in your feeling
pleasure in your cottage, or your garden, or your field.  But when these
things shut out thoughts of God, and thoughts of heaven, from that
moment they become sinful.

    "I’m but a stranger here;
      Heaven is my Home.
    Earth is a desert drear;
      Heaven is my Home.
    Danger and sorrow stand
    Round me on every hand;
    Heaven is my Father-land;
      Heaven is my Home.

    What though the tempest rage!
      Heaven is my Home.
    Short is my pilgrimage;
      Heaven is my Home.
    And time’s wild wintry blast
    Soon will be overpast;
    I shall reach Home at last;
      Heaven is my Home.

    There at my Saviour’s side;
      Heaven is my Home.
    I shall be glorified;
      Heaven is my Home.
    Then with the good and blest,
    Those on earth I love the best,
    I shall for ever rest;
      Heaven is my Home."

[#] S. Matt. vi. 21.

                      *HEAVEN OUR HOME.  PART II.*

    "While I do my duty,
    Pressing through the tide,
    Whisper Thou of beauty
    On the other side.
    Tell who will the story
    Of our now distress--
    Oh! the future glory,
    Oh! the loveliness."
      _J. M. Neale._

I have thought it best in writing on so wide a subject as "Heaven our
home," to divide it into two parts; so that in this chapter I shall
finish with a few practical thoughts on the subject we entered upon in
our last.  I there spoke about laying up treasure in Heaven.  I gave you
the advice our blessed Lord gave when He was upon earth, and pointed out
how very much more valuable to the Christian man would be a little
treasure laid up in Heaven, than all the wealth this world could give
rolled together at his feet.

You know how, when you used to go to school, prizes were sometimes
given.  And you know, if ever you brought home a prize, how your
brothers and sisters would come round you, eager to get the first look.
Well, it is just the same in life!  This life is but a school-time, a
growing-time, a running-time, in which we all set out to win a prize,
and that prize is the home in Heaven.  Try and get the first prize,
reader, in this life-school.  How to be most like Christ, that is the
lesson given you to learn.  "As for the prizes that God has ready, I
cannot tell you about them; for they are more beautiful than anything
you have ever seen, or can fancy.  In that glorious country where our
Father’s home is, you will have such prizes as you never could have
dreamt of."  When the time to receive the prize will come I cannot tell;
that will depend partly upon the way in which the lesson is
learnt--though some there are, alas! who never learn it at all. Never
trouble yourself about the time; "Whenever it is time for you to go
home, our Father will send for you."  I remember a noble boy who gave
promise, if he had lived, to do something good and great; he was
sunshine in the house, and made his parents’ hearts like summer.  In the
morning he was full of health and spirits, ready to enjoy to the full
all the games and sports of the holiday; in the afternoon he was dying
from an accident--not in pain, but calm and quiet.  The next day, when
he had gone home to God, his little sister came to their mother, and
said, "Shall we crown him, mother?"  "Crown him! yes, by all means, for
he is a brave little soldier, who has fought for Christ.  He tried to be
like Jesus--obedient, unselfish, and loving, and now he has gone back to
his Father’s home, where they will make a wreath for him of fadeless
roses and lilies of light.  Yes, crown him with many crowns; you can
find none so beautiful as those which the angels have been weaving for
him in Heaven."

Now I want you to look at "Heaven our home" in two different ways: 1. as
our reward, 2. as our rest.  First, then, as our reward: God rarely
gives man a command without giving him a promise also.  It was so, you
know, with Abraham.  In Genesis xii. 1, we read, "The Lord had said unto
Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy father’s house, unto a
land that I will shew thee"--that was the command.  "And I will make of
thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and
thou shalt be a blessing," and that was the promise.  And I could name a
number of God’s saints in every age, to whom He has given commands, but
seldom or never without a promise.

Reader, God has given you a command, the command to follow Him, and work
for Him, and love Him; and He has given you a promise, that if you serve
Him faithfully here you shall reign with Him eternally hereafter in
Heaven.  And, oh! think of the kindness of our Heavenly Father!  Just
compare the two--a few years of sickness, sorrow, and labour here, and
then an eternity of rest and perfect happiness there.

Secondly, look at Heaven as our rest.  And perhaps there is no way of
looking at it which gives us more thankfulness than this.  Sorrow and
labour we must have here, but there we shall have rest, and our "rest
shall be glorious."  "Everything round us here has a capacity for rest
as well as action.  The stormy winds and restless waters can at times be
calm and still.  The city, with its ceaseless hum and stir of voices and
footsteps, lies hushed and quiet in its nightly rest. The railway, with
its snorting engines, its crowded stations, and lightning speed, seems
as if it knew no rest; yet a moment after the flying train has gone
there is no sign of life or motion along its iron rails."  And so, too,
is it with life.  The most active Christian will one day be at rest.
Like the stormy waves, or the whistling train, he cannot work for ever,
and after his work is over then will come rest.

Oh! reader, Heaven is indeed a home worth working for.  Where is the
home on earth, in which we never hear an angry word, or never see a cold
or passionate look?  But it won’t be so in Heaven!  In our Father’s
kingdom we shall hear no angry words, and we shall have nothing but the
kindest looks.  God is there, and Jesus is there; and there too we shall
meet our friends who are now "absent from the body," but "present with
the Lord."  The mother who first taught you to speak the name of your
Heavenly Father will be there.  The father, whose bright Christian
example you remember as a child, will be there.  Your brothers and
sisters will be there. All, in short, will be there, who by their bright
Christian examples have helped you on the road to Heaven; for all God’s
saints will be there, enjoying their reward and resting from their

Young man, the same Heaven is open to you as to them.  The same
battle-field lies before you; the same cross and the same crown.  The
same heavenly watchers as welcomed them are waiting to receive you into
your heavenly home. It is for you to say whether you will accept their
invitation to come.  It is for you to show by your daily life and
conversation whose side you have chosen in the battle of life, whose
home you will live in hereafter.


    "Oh! pass not hence so swiftly,
      Bright Sabbath hours, we pray;
    None other tell so sweetly
      Of regions far away.

    No breath of flowers at eventide,
      When the rain-cloud’s store is spent;
    No cooling airs so softly glide
      From the sultry firmament;

    No waveless calm along the deep,
      When its fever-pulse is still;
    No visitings of dew-like sleep
      To eyelids worn with ill."
        _F. C. Boyce._

The word "Sabbath" means _rest_.  And such indeed God intended Sunday to
be.  "Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work, but the seventh
day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God[#]."  Our Saviour indeed teaches
us that the stern and strict way in which the Sabbath was kept by the
Jews was an unnecessary and painful discipline.  He told the people it
was quite lawful to do good on the Sabbath day, even though that good
might be misinterpreted and misunderstood.  He taught us that Sunday was
a day sacred to God, and not to man, and that "the Sabbath was made for
man, and not man for the Sabbath[#]."  You know the old words--

    "A Sabbath well spent
    Brings a week of content,"

and if you will try to put that old maxim into force, you will find as
you give up the Sunday to God and His service, so surely will He be with
you during the week.  For now the old Jewish Sabbath has given place to
the Christian Sunday--our Lord chose "the first day of the week" on
which to rise from the grave, and the Church has fitly chosen the first
day of the week as the best on which to meet together to worship her
ascended Lord.

[#] Exod. xx. 8.

[#] S. Mark ii. 7.

Sunday was never meant to be a dreary day, or a wretched day, any more
than it was meant to be a working day, or a drinking day.  And if you
give the day to God, be sure He will give you plenty of amusement, and
plenty of happiness. His is no wearisome service, His is no tiring
Sunday task, but in His worship you will find peace, and His service is
perfect freedom.

Sunday, again, is most valuable to working men as a _day of rest_.
During the great French Revolution, those who were at the head of
affairs determined that they would neither fear God nor regard man; and
so they passed a law to the effect that none should pay any heed to
Sunday, to its services, its lessons, or its rest.  And what was the
consequence?  Why, these ungodly men, looking at it only from a worldly
point of view, found that it was quite impossible for the body or mind
of man to keep on working day after day, and week after week.  And so
the plan failed, and Sunday came to be restored again.  You must have
felt the need of Sunday rest, after the week’s toil sometimes too; you
must have felt ready to cry out, in the words of the Postman’s song,

    "We ask one day in seven,
      ’Twas ours since time began--
    Sent by the love of heaven,
      In pity for toil-worn man."

Look once more on Sunday as _a thinking day_. Men, and especially
working men, need some quiet hours, when they can cease work and let
their thoughts turn to the world to come. And this is one great use of
Sunday.  There is a quiet calm in the air; no sound of the threshing
machine or the ploughman’s voice breaks the stillness; man can feel that
he is _alone with God_. And so wandering out into the fields at
eventide, or sitting in his cottage garden, or by his hearth when the
little ones are in bed, he can think of his prospects and hopes here
below, and still more of those in the world to come.

Lastly, Sunday is _a day of learning_.  On Sunday we go up to church,
and learn from God’s minister’s lips the lessons of His love.  We sit at
home and we read our books, and most of all the Bible, that Book of
books, which is specially fit for working men to read.  We go out
walking in the fields, and see God’s works in nature, and from them too
we learn something; and as we learn these lessons on earth, they serve
to bring us nearer to our Father in heaven.

But do remember this; that Sundays on earth are meant to be as far as
possible copies of that eternal Sabbath rest above.  The service of
prayer and praise with which our churches re-echo on earth, are but
copies of the grand and perfect worship in the courts of heaven.  The
evening hours spent with our family before going to rest, are but a type
and shadow of the eternity we shall spend in that family of which God is
the Head, and Jesus Christ the Elder Brother.  And the comfortable home,
which God has given us on earth, is after all but a faint picture of
those many mansions, "where the sun shines for ever, and the flowers
never die."


    "The Church’s one foundation
    Is Jesus Christ her Lord;
    She is His new Creation
    By water and the Word:
    From Heaven He came and sought her
    To be His holy Bride,
    With His own Blood He bought her,
    And for her life He died."
      _S. J. Stone._

How very often it happens, when the subject of religion is mentioned,
that we hear people say, "I go regularly to church."  And this is thrown
in the teeth of the clergy, as if the very fact of church attendance was
quite enough in itself to save the soul.  But do you think that Jesus
Christ would have left His Father’s throne in heaven, and lived those
thirty troubled years, and died that terrible death, if salvation was so
easy?  Do you think that if men could be saved by merely going to
church, our blessed Lord would have made use of such expressions as
"_Strive_" (that is, toil, labour hard) "to enter in at the strait
gate," or again, "Many shall seek to enter in, and shall not be able"?
I hardly think He would.  Religion was made for man, and not man for
religion. It was given him as the means whereby he might speak to God,
and hold frequent communion with his Maker.  It is quite possible to be
a most regular attendant at church, and yet to go away without receiving
the slightest benefit.

Some time ago I heard of an old woman who regularly went to a place of
amusement, where she had been accustomed to go as a child.  And though
she became at last quite deaf, and nearly blind, she still persisted in
going.  And, reader, there is such a thing as deafness of the soul.  The
beautiful words of Scripture, the grand soul-stirring music, the
touching words of our Church’s prayers, may all pass by unheeded, unless
the soul is waiting upon that God Who is her helper and deliverer.  But
there is quite another class of persons, who receive no benefit from our
Church’s services.  I mean those who never go to church at all.
Sometimes when the clergyman goes to see them they find it convenient to
tell a lie, and say they are chapel people; but they never go to chapel.
They live from day to day, and from year to year, as if there was no
God, no church, no minister, no Bible.  And when they come to die, what
then?  They go down into that dark hereafter of uncertainty; uncertain
indeed to them, for they have neglected during their life everything
that kindles and keeps alive the hope of a better world.

Reader, if this is your case, if you have neglected church-going, let me
implore you to do so no longer.  The day will come when you will have to
confess your sins, not to man but to God. There will be no concealment
then; no shirking, or hiding your real motives under cover of a lie. The
eyes of Almighty God will look you through and through; and if you take
any excuses to Him, be sure they will not avail you.

Some people, again, there are who stay away from church for the
following reason.  They feel that they believe the Word of God, and all
the great truths written in the Bible; but they also feel that they love
the world very much, more indeed than they love Christ, and if they
become Christians they think they will have to give up all pleasure and
go through the world with a long face, and never smile or laugh again.
But, believe me, no greater lie was ever forged than that.  The devil
started it thousands of years ago in sunny Eden; but there is not one
word of truth in it; it has been well called "a libel on Christianity."
It does not make a man gloomy to become a child of God. Do you think
that if a man is dying of thirst and you give him a drink of water, that
the _drink_ makes him gloomy?  Do you think that when the Queen’s
gracious message of pardon comes to a condemned murderer, that the
_pardon_ makes him a gloomy man for the rest of his days?  Oh, no.  And
that is what Christ and Christianity are to the soul of man.  What the
water is in the one case, what the Queen’s free pardon is in the other,
so is religion, so is church-going, so is Bible-reading, so is Christ to
the soul.  Oh, then, come to church, the church of your baptism, the
church of your fathers.  Come to it as God’s own blessed appointed means
of salvation.  Join in the prayers and praises.  Listen to the lessons
and the sermon, and ask that your heavenly Father may send His blessing
upon your hard and stony heart.  And don’t forget this most important
duty, without which all church-going, all prayer, and all sacraments
will be worse than useless,--don’t forget to practise in the week the
lessons you have learnt in church on Sunday.  You will learn there the
lessons of life, the lessons of holiness, therefore act up to what you
hear, and "let your light so shine before men, that they may see your
good works, and glorify"--_not you_, but--"your Father which is in

[#] S. Matt. v. 16.

                       *HOLY COMMUNION.  PART I.*

    "Once, only once, and once for all,
      His precious life He gave;
    Before the Cross our spirits fall,
      And own it strong to save."
        _Canon Bright._

It is such a very sad sight Sunday after Sunday to see so many people,
and especially young men, go out of church when the Holy Communion is
going to be administered.  In so many churches, even in those where the
congregations are large, we see the great bulk of the congregation
getting up, as soon as the sermon is over, and leaving church.  You may
perhaps often have been among the departing guests, you may have sung
the words,--

    "My God, and is Thy Table spread?
    And doth Thy Cup with Love o’erflow?
    Thither be all Thy children led,
    And let them all Thy sweetness know."

Yes, you may often have sung those words, and yet left the church with
the rest, directly after singing them.  You had been asking Him that
_all_ His children might be led to His Table, and yet you yourself
walked out of church among the first.  And yet you say, perhaps, many
people do it.  My friend, is that any reason why _you_ should do it?
When God comes to judge you, He will not ask you what _many_ people did,
neither will He ask you what your friends and neighbours did, but He
will ask you what _you_ did.

Our Saviour told His disciples of a certain broad way, and of a great
company who were walking along it.  He told them moreover of a wide gate
by which the multitude entered, but which opened on destruction.  And
again He told them of a certain narrow way, and of a straight gate,
leading unto life, and of this gate He added, "few there be that find

[#] S. Matt. vii. 13, 14.

Now one of the great helps to travellers on the latter road is this
Communion Feast.  To the worthy partaker, to the travel-stained and
weary wayfarer there come "times of refreshing from the presence of
Jehovah[#];" times when he may turn aside from the rugged way, and rest
awhile before resuming his march heavenward.  God has provided many
helps for Christian soldiers, but I know of none so mighty, so
comforting, so refreshing as that of the Holy Communion of His Body and
His Blood.

[#] Acts iii. 19.

Now we often hear objections raised to coming to Holy Communion.  And
one of those most often given is, "I am not good enough to come."
Reader, which of us is _good enough_ for that sacred feast?  If you are
waiting until you are "good enough," I fear you will have to wait until
your hair grows white with age, and even then you will not be "good
enough."  It is like a man who has never been into the water, standing
on the river brink, and saying he wishes to bathe. And I go to him, and
say, "Why don’t you go in? there is the river, there are numbers of
bathers already in the water, you can see what it is like, why not go
in?"  And he answers me, "I won’t go into the water until I can swim."
What could you say to such a person as that?  Would you not tell him
that the only way for him to learn to swim was by going into the water?
And that is just the mistake people make about Holy Communion.  They
think it is intended for saints, not for sinners.  But this is not so;
Holy Communion is for the sinner, who feels his sin and feels his need
of a Saviour.  If you feel that you are a sinner, and that you want to
get the better of your sin, and to lead a new life; if you really hate
your sin, and really love Christ, then come to Holy Communion: for
Christ has appointed it for you especially.  He will not ask you to give
Him any promise that you cannot keep. All he requires is that you should
try and do your duty, your duty to God, and your duty to man, and to do
it lovingly and cheerfully, "as to the Lord, and not unto men[#]."

[#] Col. iii. 23.

                      *HOLY COMMUNION.  PART II.*

    "O agony of wavering thought,
    When sinners first so near are brought!
    ’It is my Maker--dare I stay?
    My Saviour--dare I turn away?’"

I felt that in one short chapter it was quite impossible to grasp all,
or nearly all the objections to coming to Holy Communion; and so I
propose in this chapter to speak of one more objection, commonly brought
forward, before closing this subject.

You will remember that in the last chapter we considered the objection
of not being good enough.  Now another very common objection, and one
very often heard, is, "I am afraid of being laughed at!"  Perhaps you
will say, "I never have said that."  No, reader, you may never have
_said_ it with your lips, but have you never _thought_ it in your heart?
This power of laughter, or ridicule as it is called, is a terrible one
indeed.  There is hardly a weapon in Satan’s armoury which he uses with
such deadly effect upon the souls of men.  Very many a young man goes up
to the Bishop for Confirmation, and the Bishop lays his hands upon his
head, and then as those grand old words, which have been spoken over the
heads of so many, are said over him, "Defend, O Lord, this Thy child
with Thy heavenly grace," the Holy Ghost enters into his soul, and for
the moment he feels that he can go out and conquer.  But his good
resolves--and they are really good--are too often like the seeds which
fell in stony places, which "had no deepness of earth: and when the sun
was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered
away."  And then the young man leaves the church, with his good resolves
fresh made; and from that moment there begins within him the struggle,
which is to end in Heaven or in Hell.  He goes and joins his companions,
and if he says anything about religion he gets laughed at, and in too
many cases he forgets his Confirmation vows, and the good in him quickly
dies.  I cannot help thinking that the reason why so many young men fall
away after Confirmation, is because they neglect to go _at once_ to the
Holy Communion of Christ’s Body and Blood.  Oh! yes, ridicule is indeed
hard to bear, even for the best amongst us.  "Almost any man," says
Canon Farrar, "will confront peril with a multitude; scarcely one in a
thousand will stand alone against a multitude when they are bent on
wrong ... for martyrdom (or bearing witness for Christ) is not one, but
manifold; it is often a battle-field where no clash of earthly
combatants is heard; it is often a theatre no wider than a single,
nameless home."

But just think for a moment of this laughter of your friends.  How long
is it likely to last? and when it is over (for it must end some day),
what is there to follow?  Think of that when you are tempted by ridicule
to turn aside from doing what is right.  It would be hard indeed if you
could not bear a laugh for Christ, Who could bear death for you!

Some time ago a very young boy went to school for the first time.  He
was a mere child, only eight years old, and he had never seen so many
boys together before.  The boys slept in large rooms, about fifteen boys
in each room, and when he came, he was put into one of these, without
knowing a single boy in the room.  Now this child had been carefully and
religiously brought up, and before the little fellow left home his
mother had talked to him about the school to which he was going.
Amongst other things she had told him never to forget to say his
prayers. So, accordingly, the first night the boy got to school he knelt
down to pray.  No sooner, however, was he on his knees than the whole
room was in an uproar.  Some of the boys threw their slippers at him,
some laughed, some shouted, or hissed, but still he kept on his knees.
At last he rose and the tears stood in his eyes, for remember he was
only a child.  The next night he knelt down again, with the same result;
boots and slippers were thrown at him, but still he persevered.  For
many nights this went on, until at length one night a little fellow came
and knelt beside him, and said, "Mother told me to say my prayers too,
but I was afraid."  And so for some nights the two knelt side by side,
and got an equal share of the slippers and the laughter. But at length a
change came over the room.  The good example had borne fruit, and one
after another the boys in that room knelt down regularly and said their

I have read of the greatest victories by land and by sea.  I have read
accounts of the Duke of Wellington’s campaigns, and of Nelson’s battles;
but nowhere have I read of a greater victory, won under more trying
circumstances, than that child’s victory over his companions’ laughter.
And will you be beaten by him? Will you, a strong man, give in, where a
weak child of eight years old would not?  Will you deny Christ, and
break your Confirmation and Baptismal vows, because you can’t stand the
laughter of a few?  Just look on a few years ahead--it may be only a few
hours.  You will be standing before a great white throne, while on it
will be sitting your Judge.  Around that throne stands the noble army of
martyrs--men who laid down their lives in torture and pain for the sake
of Christ crucified.  The charges against you are read out, charges of
carelessness and neglect of God and of His Sacraments; and then the
Judge turns to you, and asks you if you have any excuse to make.  And
you answer Him, "Yes."  And then God turns to you again, and He looks at
the martyr band, and thinks of all that they have suffered, as He asks
you--"What?"  And then I fancy I can hear you saying that you made good
resolutions, and that you intended to keep straight, but your companions
laughed at you, and you fell away.  Do you think Almighty God would be
satisfied with such an excuse.  I think not.  Do you think that you
would deserve a place in the same kingdom as that in which the martyrs
of Jesus rest?

Reader, go to Christ when the world laughs at you, and ask Him to
strengthen you against temptation.  He is well able to do so, for when
He was on earth, men "laughed Him to scorn."  He suffered the rebukes of
many, for "He bare the sin of many.  He was wounded for our
transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of
our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed[#]."

[#] Isaiah liii. 5.

                              *THE BIBLE.*

    "There is a Book, who runs may read,
      Which heavenly truth imparts;
    And all the lore its scholars need,
      Pure eyes and Christian hearts."

There is no book that is so frequently given as a present as the Bible.
It has been translated into every tongue, and carried to every shore.
In the king’s palace, and in the lonely hut, from one end of the world
to the other, wherever Christianity is preached, the Bible is read.  I
have often seen a picture of a lady reading a book intently.  She is
represented as sitting near a table, with a shawl thrown loosely round
her, and a widow’s cap upon her head.  That lady is the Queen of
England, the greatest woman in the world; and the book she is reading is
the Bible, the Word of a greater than she.  Underneath is written, "The
Secret of England’s greatness."  Yes, the Holy Bible, or rather the
study of the Bible, is indeed the secret of England’s greatness, just as
drunkenness is the secret of England’s weakness.  It is not because the
Queen of England alone reads the Bible, but it is because the Bible is
read in so many English homes.

Now there are several ways of reading the Bible.  It is quite possible
for a very clever man to read the Bible, and not understand it; and it
is quite possible, too, for a poor unlettered man, if he have faith, to
read, and understand. Some people read the Bible as a history, and a
very good history it is, and so they get what they want.  Some, again,
read it to try to find fault with what they read.  Some read it to try
and draw out words in support of their own peculiar views, and if they
can get only a few words, which they can so twist as to satisfy their
easy consciences, then they are quite content that their religion is
right, and all else wrong.  But some there are, quite different from any
of these, who read the Bible, not to make out some new doctrine, or plan
of salvation, but as the Word of the Living God.  To these, every word
they read is as the voice of God, and every text a guide on the way
which ends in Christ.  Instead of picking put texts and founding a new
sect upon them, and so adding to the already too numerous divisions
amongst us, they diligently "search the Scriptures[#]," and by them they
make proof of their religion.  Love to Christ as their Head, and
obedience to His laws, these are their two great doctrines; and these
shall inherit the promises, and "sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
in the kingdom of heaven[#]."

[#] S. John v. 39.

[#] S. Matt viii. 11.

Yes, depend upon it, there is no book to take the place of the Bible.
It has brought comfort to the souls of many, who could find no comfort
elsewhere.  It has soothed the pillow of the dying, and its holy words
are repeated over the dead to comfort the mourner.  It is read and
accepted by men, who cannot agree on many other points.  Its plain
homely truths are suitable for all, rich and poor alike.  But it is
eminently the working man’s book.  "It is chiefly the inspired sayings
and doings of working men; from David the shepherd, and Amos the
herdsman, Peter and John the poor fishermen, up to One chosen out of the
people, of Whom it was said in contempt, "Is not this the carpenter?"

Reader, you will find as you go on in life many books and other things
to interest you. You will find companions gather round you, and make
much of you, and some perchance may try to turn your heart away from
Christ and His Word; but the day will come when you will grow tired of
the books, delightful though they may appear now; and the day will come
when the companions will drop off or die, and you will find that the
only companion you have left will be the old Book; the Book out of which
in early childhood you first learnt the lessons of life--lessons of a
warfare with evil, lessons of a Saviour’s love.  And oh! what a comfort
is the Bible in the long weary hours of sickness and of sorrow.  I have
known men who have lived godless lives, and never opened their Bible, or
thought of their Saviour; I have known such, at the very first touch of
sickness, send for a person to read to them something from the Bible.
The Christ they had neglected all their lives through, was only sought
for on the bed of death, and the unopened Bible plainly bore witness how
little they cared while in health for their Saviour’s words.  We should
think but little of a child who was in the habit of receiving money and
clothes and frequent presents from his father, and who, when that father
wrote to him, put his letters regularly by unopened.  Reader, you are
ready to blame the child; are you quite as ready to blame yourself for
neglecting to read the letters of your heavenly Father, which He has
written in His holy Word?

                           *THE HOLY SPIRIT.*

    "Our blest Redeemer, ere He breathed
      His tender last farewell,
    A Guide, a Comforter bequeathed,
      With us to dwell.

    And every virtue we possess,
      And every victory won,
    And every thought of holiness,
      Are His alone."
        _Harriet Auber._

We say in the Belief, "I believe in the Holy Ghost."  And we need to
think often of what these words mean, for many hardly stop to think who
He is, in Whom they here profess to believe. People know of God the
Father, and His love to sinners.  They can speak of Jesus as the Saviour
of a lost world.  But the name of the Holy Spirit rarely enters their
thoughts, and seldom perhaps occurs in their prayers.  But is this
right? Is not the Holy Spirit quite as much God as Jesus Christ is?  It
is His special office and pleasure to help mankind.  With what loving
care He does this the lives of individual men can shew.  When a sinner
is converted to Christ, a lost sheep restored to the Fold, it is the
work of God’s Holy Spirit.  When we feel that we want to lead better or
holier lives, when we feel grateful to Christ for all He has done for
us, when we seek to please God, or to deny self, this again is the work
of the Holy Spirit.  At Holy Baptism He is present at the font; He
washes away sins in the Blood of Jesus; He gives a new heart, and a
right spirit to the repentant sinner, and leads our feet into the way of
peace. Sometimes we see a man who has been leading a life of sin
suddenly turn from his evil ways and become a consistent, God-fearing
Christian, and we wonder at the change, and say how extraordinary it is;
and we ask each other if it will last--and if it does last we wonder
still more, never thinking for a moment that it is only an instance of
the power of the Holy Spirit of God.

I have spoken of how very near the Holy Spirit is to us at Holy Baptism.
He is near us always; He hears every word we speak, and notes down every
thought of our heart; but there are special occasions on which He is
specially near us: Holy Baptism is one of them, Confirmation is another.
He is present when a young man or young woman kneels before the Bishop
to be confirmed.  He loves to hear and answer the prayer, "Defend, O
Lord, this Thy child, with Thy heavenly grace, that he may continue
Thine for ever, and daily increase in Thy Holy Spirit more and more,
until he come unto Thine everlasting kingdom."  Yes, young man, He was
with you at your Confirmation, and heard and noted down the promises
made by you then--promises to give up "the devil and all his works, the
carnal desires of the flesh," not to "follow or be led by them;"
promises to "keep God’s holy will and commandments, and walk in the same
all the days" of your life.  And though you may have forgotten that you
made those promises, He has not.  And He, too, promised something in
return.  He promised that God’s "Fatherly Hand should ever be over you,"
and that He Himself would ever be in you, as you travelled onward on the
road to heaven.  In Holy Matrimony, again, the same Holy Spirit is ever
near.  He joins the man and woman in an unseen union, as a great and
good poet has it--

    "A high mysterious union
    Which nought on earth may break."

And when at Ordination the white-robed priests and deacons of our Church
pass up to kneel before the Bishop, the Holy Ghost is there.  And,
lastly, at the bedside of the dying Christian, while weeping friends
stand round, the Holy Ghost is there. He is above all things _the
Comforter_, and He loves to comfort those that mourn.  With His gracious
influence He cheers the dying spirit, pointing away from earthly things
and earthly dwellings to a "Paradise of God," where "there is no more
death, neither sorrow, nor crying," and where "the former things," that
is the things of earth, "are passed away, and all things have become

                           *GOD’S MINISTERS.*

    "Lord, pour Thy Spirit from on high,
      And Thine ordained servants bless;
    Graces and gifts to each supply,
      And clothe Thy Priests with righteousness.

    So, when their work is finished here
      They may in hope their charge resign,
    So, when their Master shall appear
      They may with crowns of glory shine."
        _James Montgomery._

What is a Minister?  The word "_Minister_" means "_a Servant_"--and the
ministers of God are God’s servants.  Now, of course every Christian man
and woman is a servant of God.  But ministers are men who are specially
set apart, by His Holy Spirit, for their high and holy work.

Just as in the days of the Apostles, the Holy Spirit told the Church to
separate Barnabas and Saul for the work of the ministry, so now the
principal question in the Ordination Service is that of the Bishop, who
asks the candidate--"Do you trust that you are _inwardly moved by the
Holy Ghost_, to take upon you this office?"  And that is only another
way of asking--"Do you think you have really received a call from the
Holy Spirit?"

There is no work on earth so noble as the minister’s work--the work of
taking care of souls. Just as a doctor cures the body, by giving proper
medicine to the patient at the right moment, so it is the duty and
privilege of the Christian minister to give the right medicine to the

Now if you will take your Prayer Book, and turn to the Service for the
Ordering of Priests, you will find that the first words spoken by the
Bishop to the Archdeacon, who presents the candidates, are these, "Take
heed that the persons, whom ye present unto us, be apt and meet" (that
is to say, well fitted) "for their learning and godly conversation to
exercise their ministry."  So you see that two things are required of
those who come up for ordination,--1. that they should be
well-instructed; 2. that they should be godly men.

Of the first of these it might be and has been objected--"What is the
use of having a learned clergy, so long as they have the love of God in
their hearts?"  To this objection, I would simply answer, that while
doubtless it is far more important to have a godly than a learned
Ministry; still the Bible has given us two special instances of great
learning among the servants of God.  In the Old Testament, "Moses was
learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and
in deeds[#]."  While in the New Testament S. Paul was "brought up at the
feet of Gamaliel[#]," a doctor of the Law.  And surely I need not
attempt to prove from Scripture that God’s ministers must be godly men.
Experience and common sense alike teach us that unless they are godly,
their learning can profit them but little. For if God’s ministers are to
do God’s work, the work of doing good to others, it is most important
that they should set a good example in their daily life.  A man may
preach the very best of sermons; he may draw together immense
congregations; his services may be reverent, beautiful, impressive; but
unless his daily life aims at strict accordance with his Sunday
teaching, that man’s religion is vain.

[#] Acts vii. 22.

[#] Acts xxii. 3.

And now, having spoken on the duty of God’s ministers, let me say a few
words as to the duty of the flock towards their clergyman.  First to
respect and reverence him as "the Servant of the living God[#]."  We do
not indeed respect the man himself more than he deserves, but we respect
God’s minister, on account of his office, and for the reverence we feel
for the Master at whose hands he holds it.  Secondly, if we really
respect the office, we shall readily obey the advice God’s minister
gives; we shall gladly and frequently go to church, and frequent the
Holy Communion--we shall listen with care to his sermons, and act upon
the advice contained in them; and thus we shall find ourselves daily
growing more and more fit for joining the Church in Heaven.  Thirdly, we
shall do all in our power to help him in his work.  Everybody can do
something.  Some no doubt can do more than others, but all can do a
little.  If you hear things said of him, which you know to be untrue,
say so.  When God’s minister stops to speak to you, shew that you are
glad of the opportunity of speaking to him; for if we will, we can
always get some good from the words of a good man. And then if you get
into any trouble or difficulty, go and ask his advice.  There can be no
doubt as to this being the right and proper course. God’s minister has
been set over your parish, as a person found "meet for his _learning_
and godly conversation" to exercise his ministry.  In some parishes the
Vicar is the only person of education, and by going to him for advice in
a difficulty, instead of to the publican or the nearest neighbour, a
great deal of trouble might be saved.

[#] Dan. vi. 20.

But perhaps you will ask, "How is it that we see some of the clergy
leading evil, or even immoral lives?"  Reader, I understand your
difficulty; it is one I have often felt myself.  But just ask yourself
this question.  Is there any profession on earth, of which it can be
said, that _every single member_ is living up to what he professes?  I
do not for one moment defend immorality or evil-living among the clergy.
It is terrible indeed to think that they to whom we might most
reasonably look for example should be setting a bad example, and
poisoning instead of curing the souls that Jesus died to redeem.  But
these men are few and far between.  And thank God, there is another side
to the picture.  The greater number of the clergy of the Church of
England, are men leading high, noble Christian lives; many of them men
who have given up wealth, comfort, and a happy home, to serve Christ and
His poor in our crowded cities, or in our country villages; men who have
learnt Christ as "the truth is in Jesus[#]," and whose one desire is to
give that precious truth to others also.

[#] Eph. iv. 21.

As to the others, it is not for us to pronounce their doom; we may
safely leave them in the hands of that God Who has said, "Woe be to the
shepherds that do feed themselves!  Should not the shepherds feed the

[#] Ezekiel xxxiv. 2.

And I am quite certain that if we do not help God’s ministers in this
work, God will require a reason from us for this.  How many of us I
wonder ever pray for our ministers, and yet the prayers of the people
are one of the greatest helps the ministers of God can have.  Then again
we can help him in his choir, and in many other ways besides.  The young
men of a parish especially can help the parson.  He looks to them as
having been trained in his schools (baptized it may be by him), to fill
up the gaps in his church, and above all to set a good, manly, Christian
example when they are out of his sight.

There are a great many people, especially in country villages, who are
always speaking against God’s ministers, and do all they can to hinder
their work.  But the day of sickness comes, and they are laid by for a
time, and money and victuals get scarce, the very first place they send
to is the Vicarage, and the man from whom they ask help is the minister
they have abused.  And very rarely is this help refused.  For though it
is often given with a heart, heavy at the thought of the little thanks
he is likely to get, and the little good it is likely to do his Master’s
cause, it is yet given ungrudgingly, for he remembers his Lord’s words,
"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren,
ye have done it unto Me[#]."

[#] S. Matt. xxv. 40.

Oh! then think kindly of God’s minister whom He has set over your
parish.  He thinks of you and of your wants, and of your troubles, more
often than you suppose.  He is more frequently at the Throne of Grace,
asking God to bless His people, than you may think; and in that day when
the secrets of all hearts shall be revealed, it will be known how many
souls owe salvation to the prayers, frequent and earnest, of the
ministers of God, and how many jewels by their means will shine for ever
in the Master’s crown.


    "Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire,
    Uttered or unexpressed,
    The motion of a hidden fire
    That kindles in the breast."

What is prayer?  Prayer is the uplifting of the soul of man to heaven,
in silent communion with its God.  Prayer is the telling out of our
wants, of our weaknesses, our temptations, and failings to our Father in
heaven.  It has been known ere now to bring down marvellous and
unexpected answers to the children of men.  Homes have been saved from
destruction; armies delivered from slaughter; sinners converted to
Christ--by the power of prayer.  As John Keble has taught us, in his
beautiful morning hymn--

    "New mercies each returning day,
    Hover around us while we pray;
    New perils past, new sins forgiven,
    New thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven."

You remember the answers to prayer recorded in the Bible.  Elijah prayed
that it might not rain; and God withheld the showers.  On another
occasion, he prayed that fire might come down on his sacrifice, and fire
came down.  Hezekiah prayed for an increase of days; and we are told
that "there was added unto his life fifteen years."  In the New
Testament again, our blessed Lord, we are told, spent whole nights in
prayer to God. In the history of the Early Church too, there are many
instances of answers to prayer.  There is the beautiful story of St.
Augustine, who after leading a wicked and immoral life, was brought to
Christ through the prayers of his mother.  But why quote more?  You and
I, reader, I trust know and value this power of prayer.  To be able, in
the midst of the most pressing business, or the hardest toil, to retire
into the secret chamber of our heart, as it were, and there tell to God
our most urgent needs in prayer is one of the greatest comforts of our

And God often answers prayer in a way we little expect; so little,
indeed, that we are apt hardly to realize it as an answer at all.  A few
years ago, there was an awful storm on the east coast of England, and a
ship was seen to be in peril about a mile from the shore.  The life-boat
was launched, but owing to some delay, it seemed likely to be of but
little use.  As the boat was nearing a dangerous spot, one of the men
cried, "Boys, shall we turn back, it is almost certain death to go on?
The ship seems to have gone down, and, no doubt, all hands have
perished."  But one of his mates answered, "As I ran along the cliff, I
saw behind a hedge two ladies praying. I am a wild chap, yet I do
believe God hears prayer; we shall save some lives."  Then on went the
life-boat, with her gallant crew, ploughing her way through the
dangerous breakers.  The ship had gone down when the boat reached the
spot, and no sign could be seen of her crew.  The life-boat drifted four
miles.  In those four miles the sailors picked up first one poor fellow,
then another, until eight lives had been saved.  The shipwrecked sailors
often told the tale afterwards, how that in answer to those ladies’
prayer, the life-boat held on its way, and the little crew were saved.
Yes, and I could tell you of more wonderful answers to prayer than that,
but my object is not to tell you interesting stories, but to strive to
leave a lasting impression, by God’s grace, upon the heart.  I have told
you how God answers prayer, in a way which, though kind and loving, was
quite unexpected.  Sometimes God’s answers may not seem to us kind and
loving, but may at first appear to be harsh.  We find in the end,
however, that He knows best what is good for us. Oh! it is impossible to
pass through life without feeling the power of prayer.  The life of
every separate person must testify to its power; the death of every
Christian is an exhibition of it. "Pray without ceasing," then.
Whenever you feel inclined to speak an _idle word_, say a few words to
God instead.  You can speak quite easily to your father on earth, why
not speak as easily to your Father in Heaven?  Nothing is too small, or
too common, to tell Him about.  The little daily troubles; the
differences between masters and men; the question of your wages; the
home troubles, the field troubles; the wet season, or the summer heat;
the insects which destroy your garden, or the sins which are destroying
your soul--these and such as these are not too small, or too simple to
take up the attention of our Father in Heaven, "Who feedeth the young
ravens that cry unto Him," and without Whose knowledge not even a
sparrow falls to the ground, and dies.

                           *ON BEING ALONE.*

    "Call it not solitude to be alone,
      Call it not solitude, for God is nigh:
    And holy angels from His heavenly throne
      Breathe round us love, and comfort from on high.

    Then go we forth to work and struggle on,
      Onwards our steps, and upwards still our hearts;
    Let all men see the strength, the power supreme,
      One precious hour of solitude imparts.

    Oh! never, never let us turn away
      From one such blessed hour that God has given,
    One moment when we can in silence pray
      And raise our hearts unto our home in heaven."

There are but few people, I suppose, who care to be alone.  Man, you
will say, was made for society; he was made to be of use to others, and
not to dwell alone.  True, it is not good for man to be always alone;
and yet there are times when it is well to withdraw ourselves from the
busy world, and to go into some solitary place, and be alone.  It is a
want that we all feel more or less. David felt it, "Oh that I had wings
like a dove," he cried, "for then would I flee away and be at rest[#]."
The Master felt it, for He continued whole nights alone in prayer to
God.  And God’s saints in every age have felt it.  In this busy life of
ours we must often feel rest and solitude acceptable. How glad we are,
for instance, when the evening comes, and we know that the day’s toil is
over, and that we can be alone.  And when Saturday night comes we are
more glad still, for we know that it means not merely a night’s rest,
but a day’s rest too.  Now I want you to think of being alone in three
separate and distinct senses, 1. Solitude. 2. Loneliness.  3. Isolation.
And first, solitude.  A recent writer, speaking of our blessed Lord’s
frequent nights spent alone on the Mount of Olives, says,--"There is
something affecting beyond measure in the thought of these lonely hours;
the absolute stillness and silence, broken by no sounds of human life,
but only by the hooting of the night-jar, or the howl of the jackal; the
stars of an eastern heaven raining their large lustre out of the depth;
the figure of the Man of Sorrows kneeling upon the dewy grass, and
gaining strength for His labours from the purer air, the more open
heaven, of that intense and silent communing with His Father and His

[#] Ps. lv. 6.

Yes, there is something wonderfully solemn and grand in that kind of
solitude, the solitude of prayer.  The intense silence of the world
sleeping below Him, the cold night air upon His brow, the kneeling
figure and earnest words; these all we can picture to ourselves, and say
such _solitude_ is good!

Then, again, there is loneliness.  Who has not felt lonely?  It may have
been that as we stood round an open grave and listened to the beautiful
words spoken by our Church over the departed, we first learnt what
loneliness meant.  I have been told that nowhere is the sense of
loneliness stronger than on hearing the service for the Burial of the
Dead at sea.  I have been told that there comes over the spirit an
untold sense of loneliness when one of a vessel’s crew is committed to
the deep, far from land, in the midst of the ocean, "looking for the
resurrection of the body, when the sea shall give up her dead;" and the
living comrades stand around the corpse and see the cold waves close
over their mate’s remains. But solitude is no mere feeling of the mind,
it is a stern reality.  It comes as a necessary part in the life of all
men, and so it must be met.

Lastly, there is isolation.  And this to men is the hardest trial of
all.  To be obliged to mix with people with whom we have nothing in
common, to go about and live with those who have no fear of God before
their eyes, to work with the blasphemer, to toil for the vicious, to mix
with the depraved; oh! sit needs a Christian spirit indeed to bear up
under such a trial. But Christ knew well what it was to do this. He was
as much alone in the crowded street as ever He was on the cold hillside.
He was as truly alone when He sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house as He
was while walking on the sea of Gennesaret.  Oh yes, isolation is the
portion of all true Christians as it was of the Master. We can talk to
men of the world, we can mix with men of the world, and we can do good
to men of the world, and yet all the while we are alone.  Oh! don’t you
know what it is to long to ask advice, and yet have none of whom to ask
it? Don’t you know how easy it is to make hundreds of acquaintances, but
how very hard it is to have one true friend?  And this is what Jesus
felt, and felt for us.  He went through it all, all the solitude, all
the loneliness, all the bitter isolation for you and for me, that when
the time came that we should be alone, we might remember His loneliness
and take courage.  Reader, the day will come when you too will have to
be alone.  You may surround yourself with friends now, you may take
pleasure in counting the number of those who are proud to know you; but,
believe me, it won’t be so always.  Alone you will have to pass through
the dark valley of the shadow of death, alone you will have to stand
before the judgment-seat of Christ.  Alone you will have to give "that
strict and solemn account" of the way in which you have used your time,
your influence, and your power on earth.  But there is One, One who
knows what loneliness is, Who has promised to be with you, if you ask
Him; promised to take care of you over the dark valley, for the darkness
is no darkness with Him, and He has passed over that way before.  Go
then to Jesus, the lonely Man of sorrows.  Make a friend of Him, and
tell Him that you want His help in your solitude, His guidance in your
loneliness, His presence in your isolation; ask Him to come to you as He
came of old to His toiling, weary, lonely disciples on the Galilean sea;
ask Him to come and guide your ship into quiet harbours, and safe
resting-places, and to bring you into a better country, even an
heavenly, where none are sad, or sick, or lonely, for all are filled
with the Presence of God.

                      *ON SETTING A GOOD EXAMPLE.*

    "Poor indeed thou must be, if around thee
      Thou no ray of light and joy canst throw,
    If no silken cord of love hath bound thee
      To some little world through weal and woe.

    If no eyes thy tender love can brighten,
      No fond voices answer to thine own,
    If no brother’s sorrow thou canst lighten
      By daily sympathy and gentle tone.

    Daily struggling, though enclosed and lonely,
      Every day a rich reward will give;
    Thou wilt find, by hearty striving only
      And truly loving, thou canst truly live."
        _Harriet Winslow._

There is no subject of those on which I have written as yet in this
book, or of those on which I shall write, that I believe to be of
greater importance than that of setting a good example to others.
Amongst other things our influence on one another has been compared to
the action of the sea.  And indeed the comparison is a good one.  The
sea is a mighty power, stronger perhaps than any other natural force.
It is constantly and silently at work.  We stand on a rock in the midst
of the ocean; a rock that looks so firm, and seems so hard that it
blunts the sharpest tools to work it.  And yet, quite silently, the
restless sea is eating into its very heart with its ceaseless beatings.
And so is it with influence, or example. Silently, but none the less
surely, do we make our influence felt upon each other.  The influence
may be bad or good; it may be a bad or good example we are setting, or a
bad or good word that we speak, still there are always plenty of people
ready to take it up and copy it.  Probably for every person we can see
to be influenced by our example, there are at least ten of whom we know
nothing.  Reader, these are solemn thoughts. The idle word you spoke
yesterday has gone beyond recall; but God heard it and noted both it and
its effect upon those who stood by.  And you may one day find that that
word has caused a world of sorrow to spring up around it.  Yes, we
cannot unspeak a word carelessly spoken, or unthink one evil thought.
How often we hear it said, "Alas!  I possess no influence, what can I
do?"  Now it is true that many have no wealth, no beauty, no rank, no
intellect, no learning; but there never has been a heart created since
the world began, that has not received and exerted the precious, though
much-abused gift of influence. How is this?  Just because every heart
has the power of loving!  There is a story told of Cecil’s little
daughter, who was asked by her father how it was that everybody loved
her so much.  "I think, dear father," replied the child, "it must be
because I love everybody."  Here, then, is a work we all can do, and we
all have to do. "Love is power."  The sunshine has to do its work; it
penetrates the darkest places, the dirtiest streets, the most dismal
prisons; it brings light and heat to the chilled and cold; it gives
colour to the flower, and ripeness to the fruit.  And so it is with good
influence.  The influence of one loving heart may do a world of good.
It may not be a powerful heart; it need not be the heart of a learned
man; still less need it be the heart of a rich one; so long as it is a
loving heart it will go about cheering and lighting up, warming and
colouring and ripening all things like the sun.

Many good people seem to think it a duty to keep their hearts locked up
tight from their fellow men.  Have you ever thought seriously of the sin
of doing this?  Have you ever thought that such a course makes the
religion of your gentle, kindly, warm-hearted Master appear in a cold
and disagreeable form?  Have you ever thought that as the Lord Jesus
looks upon the cup of cold water bestowed on a neighbour as given to
Him, so He will look upon the wounded feeling, the repulsed confidence,
the bruised spirit, you have occasioned as given to Him too?  Oh! it is
a sad thing to fold up in a napkin the talent of _manner_; to lose, as
it were, the key of the door which opens the hearts of men.

But if you are using your influence, don’t be afraid to use it for
Christ; to be an out-and-out Christian!  Those are the sort He always
blesses in the end, and their works follow them long after they have
passed onward to their reward.

Not long ago, in a Sussex village, there lived a young man, a
farm-labourer.  He had often wished to stay in church for Holy
Communion, which he knew well would help him, beyond all else, in the
good and earnest life he was trying to lead.  Still the fear of his
companions’ laughter held him back.  One Sunday morning, however, after
praying much for God’s help to aid him to do what was right, he knelt
on, when the others had left the church, and went up to receive the Holy
Communion.  On coming out of church his friends began to laugh at him
for staying, but he said nothing, and walked quietly home. Sunday after
Sunday he persevered, though it was hard work, and he was often tempted
to give way.  Months passed, and one Sunday another boy came and knelt
down beside him, instead of leaving church, and he too received the Holy
Communion.  A few Sundays after they were joined by another, and after
that more and more of the young men of that parish began to follow their
example.  Nor did the good resulting from this end there.  These young
men are now banded together in that parish, working together for the
same great Master Christ, each in his own occupation, and leading others
to the knowledge of the Saviour.  And all this came from the courage of
that one brave soldier of Christ, who used his influence in his
Captain’s cause.  Reader, will not you go and do likewise?

Hitherto I have spoken only of the good influence we may exercise upon
our companions and on strangers.  What shall I say of the influence we
may exercise on our home?  Ere this, one Christian man has been known to
change the whole manner of life of a household.  St. Paul tells us in
his Epistle to Timothy to "shew piety at home;" and after all it is _in
our own homes_ that we must bear witness for Jesus Christ. Speak up for
Christ when occasion demands it, above all live a Christian life, and
then the lives of those around you will be brought more under the
influence of religion.  But to young men particularly is the call to
influence others loudest and clearest, and to set a good example their
plain duty--

    "Young men be strong for Jesus,
    To toil for Him is gain--
    And Jesus wrought for Joseph
    With chisel, saw, and plane."

                           *HELPING OTHERS.*

    "The cowslip and the spreading vine,
      The daisy in the grass,
    The snow-drop and the eglantine,
      Preach sermons as we pass.
    The ant within its cavern deep
      Would bid us labour too,
    And writes upon its tiny heap--
      ’There’s work enough to do.’

    To have a heart for those who weep,
      The sottish drunkard win;
    To rescue all the children deep
      In ignorance and sin;
    To help the poor, the hungry feed;
      To give him coat and shoe;
    To see that all can write and read--
      Is ’work enough to do.’"
        _John Burbidge._

Of all the different kinds of work that God has given us to do here on
earth, there is none more important, none more satisfactory, than this
work of helping others.  Ever since Jesus Christ stood upon the shore of
the sea of Galilee, watching two fishermen mending their nets; ever
since He spoke to those two, saying, "Follow Me, and I will make you
fishers of men[#]," the command has been binding upon all Christians. To
go out upon the grand field of philanthropy, of love of men, is the
noblest occupation that our poor life can have.  To spend and be spent
in the service of our fellow-men is a work that is so specially blest by
Christ, that I hardly think that a chapter on "helping others" will be
in any sense out of place here.

[#] S. Matt. iv. 19.

But perhaps you will say, "How can I, I who am so poor, help others?"
Reader, you have only to look for such work, and God will give it you.
It may be you can help others by giving them your time.  For instance,
if you have an aged or infirm neighbour, too feeble to dig his own
garden, it would no doubt be a great help to him if you were to go and
offer to do it for him.  Some time ago, in a country village, there was
a young man, who wished to try and help others in some practical way,
for the Master’s sake.  For a long time he could not find anything to
do; but at last one of his neighbours, an old man, became very ill, and
bedridden.  He was very poor, and his old wife almost too infirm to
attend to him properly.  For the last two years this young fellow has
gone in in the morning, before going to his work, and done all he could
for him in the house; and every night on returning home, he goes again,
settles him for the night, and reads the Bible to him before leaving.
One day, when he was praised for doing this, he said, quite simply, "I
do like to do it, it seems like helping Christ: whenever I go there, I
say to myself, ’I was sick, and ye visited _Me_.’"

That young man understands the true meaning of the words "Inasmuch as ye
have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it
unto Me[#]."

[#] S. Matt. xxv. 40.

Reader, there may be no sick neighbour for you to help, but there is no
doubt you can find work to do if you will only try.  Oh! don’t stand
idle all the blessed hours of youth, that God has given you to work for
others.  Stand up like men, ready to go and fight for Jesus, the Great
Captain of the Lord’s host.  Ask God to give you strength and victory,
and to fulfil the promise He once gave to His chosen people, by the
mouth of the prophet Isaiah, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew
their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall
run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint[#]."

[#] Isaiah xl. 31.

    "Come labour on!
    Who dares stand idle on the harvest plain,
    While all around him waves the golden grain?
    And to each servant does the Master say,
      ’Go, work to-day.’

    Come labour on!
    The toil is pleasant, the reward is sure,
    Blessed are those who to the end endure;
    How full their joy, how deep their rest shall be,
      Oh!  Lord, with Thee."

Yes, the end of helping others lies in the Master’s kingdom.  The reward
of serving Christ in the person of His poor, awaits you in the many
mansions.  You may meet with coldness, and hard words, from those you
would seek to help; but generally, you will find them only too glad of
it.  And what matters it what men say and think of your work, if the
Lord approves of it?  What will it matter whether your friends did not
help you, if Christ helps you here, and gives you your reward in heaven?

It is especially a young man’s calling to help others.  He need not give
up the least bit of his ordinary daily work or daily pleasure to do so.
All he needs is a ready will to undertake the work as soon as Christ
gives it him to do.

I cannot close this chapter better than by quoting some remarks, made
some years ago by one of the London clergy.  Preaching to young men upon
the words, "Young man, I say unto thee arise!" the preacher said--"We
need young men, fired with the thought that they are called by Christ to
be the saviours of society from the sins that are wasting it, to render
to their country and to humanity the noblest service, by fighting with
voice and hand against those deadly foes that menace our very life; and
will, if they are allowed to run riot, certainly drag us down to hell.
Young men, rise up to stand against it and destroy it.  Lift up against
it the Standard of the Cross.  Be known as Christ’s soldiers, banded and
pledged to overthrow it.  Let your conversation be pure from all taint
of uncleanness; and never let the glass rob you of your power to stand
up for Christ against sensual sin.  Rebuke and frown down the young
man’s talk, and the habit of life it engenders; you know what I mean.
Say to those who love it, it is just this that is destroying us as a
people.  Unless our young men rise up together, as one man, and make
drunkenness and harlotry shameful and hateful, I see no hope for our
country, but a hope of growing decay."

Those are wise words, carefully and thoughtfully spoken.  God grant,
reader, that you and I may lay them seriously to heart.

                           *OUR COMPANIONS.*

    "A friend I had, long, long ago,
      And one I learnt to prize,
    He taught a truth that all should know--
      In work true honour lies.
    A frank and cheerful face had he,
    And a heart as light as heart could be.
      *      *      *      *      *
    He has found his rest in Heaven above,
      But has left a golden fame;
    For the neighbours tell his deeds of love,
      And the children bless his name;
    And comrades too for many a day
    Shall roughly wipe their tears away."
        _John Burbidge._

There are, perhaps, few things so important to a young man as to make a
right choice of companions.  How much depends on this.  How much of our
present and future happiness; nay, more, how much of our eternal welfare
depends upon those with whom we mix on earth.  Very many a young man has
begun life with the best intentions and the holiest desires; and all
these have been dashed to the ground by his having made an unwise choice
in selecting his companions.

Now there are several things to be thought of in making this choice.
And I shall try to put a few of these before you.  First, it is most
important that your companions should be God-fearing men.  I don’t think
any friendship can be really happy, or even lasting, unless this is the
case.  For remember that there are friendships which do not end with
life; that true friendship, blessed by Almighty God, is only begun here
below, and is carried on in that distant spirit-land beyond the grave.

Secondly, don’t think that because your companions should be godly men,
they must needs be gloomy or dull.  A man may be godly, and at the same
time quite able to laugh with others, and make as good jokes as they;
but his laughter will never be turned against religion, nor his jokes
made at the expense of the people of God.  A man who is a drunkard, for
instance, will never be a good or even pleasant companion for you. His
conversation in his sober moments is rarely interesting, and when he is
in liquor he is worse than a beast.  And as to his example, what can I
say of that?  It will be an example which God grant, reader, you may
never follow; but it is an example which it is better you should not
even see.  In a word, as a recent writer has put it, my advice to you
is, "Make friends with sober men, who can talk and laugh without
incessant liquor."

Now it may be you think you are quite strong enough to resist
temptation.  It may be you think that as you pass through this world
yours will be a life of temptation, and you feel that if you can’t
resist it now, you never will.  It was said of Sophronius, a wise
teacher in Ancient Greece, that one day when his daughter Eulalia came
to ask permission to visit a worldly friend, Lucinda, Sophronius forbade
her.  And when Eulalia, trusting in her own power to overcome the
temptations of her evil companion, replied, "Dear father, you must think
me childish if you imagine I should be exposed to danger by going."
Sophronius took, in silence, a dead coal from the hearth, and gave it to
his daughter.  "It will not burn you, my child: take it," said he.
Eulalia did so, and behold! her hand was blackened, and, as it chanced,
her white dress too.  "We cannot be too careful in handling coals," said
Eulalia in vexation. "Yes, truly!" replied her father; "You see, my
child, the coals, even if they do not burn, blacken."

And so, too, is it with companions.  The coals may not burn, but only
blacken; and companions may not leave any lasting impression for evil on
the heart.  Their example may not even appear to the conscience as being
black and evil, but they blacken the character, at any rate for the
time, none the less, if not in the sight of men, undoubtedly in the
sight of God.

And there is one point more.  Do remember, that even the worst of us,
the most degraded, are being constantly watched by people above us in
society.  And very often they don’t care to have anything to do with us,
_because of our companions_. I once heard a foreman, who employed a
great number of hands on a certain work, say of a young man, whose name
had been recommended for employment, "He keeps such bad company."  And
though I knew the young man in question well, and knew that whatever his
companions might be, he himself was pure and good, still it was of no
use my speaking to the foreman, because he _was_ keeping bad company.
Depend upon it, reader, there is truth in words written down in our
Father’s Book, "Godliness is profitable unto all things, baring _promise
of the life that now is_, and of that which is to come[#]."

[#] Tim. iv. 8.

                          *THE BOOKS WE READ.*

    "There is a Book, who runs may read,
      Which heavenly truth imparts,
    And all the lore its scholars need
      Pure eyes and Christian hearts.

    The works of God, above, below,
      Within us and around,
    Are pages in that Book to show
      How God Himself is found."
        _John Keble._

There are few things which have so mighty a power for good or evil, on
the lives of most of us, as the books we read.  Nor is it easy for us to
read nothing but what is profitable and good. From the Bible, of course,
we can always get wholesome reading, and always gain fresh stores of
knowledge; but we cannot always be reading the Bible.  And there are in
these days many books and papers which a young man may come across,
which can hardly fail to do him harm; books with perfectly innocent
titles, and apparently quite harmless, and yet the reading they contain
is as poison to the human soul.  But there are plenty of good books too,
thank God; and almost every village has its library, and every cottage
home its books.

But even if you are ever so careful as to what you read, it is almost
certain the devil will put something into your hands that you should not
read. He does so to us all.  Rich and poor, young and old, all alike
read a good deal that they should not--for rich people have their
temptations too, and very hard they are tried sometimes.  Well, the only
safeguard I know of is, whenever you read anything you know to be bad
shut up the book at once, and read no further.  And whenever you read
anything that you are doubtful about, take down your Bible and ask God
to shew you, out of His Word, whether what you have been reading is
right or wrong.  You know, I daresay, that all along a part of the south
coast of England there are a number of round towers, built at certain
distances from each other.  And the object of these towers was this.
Many years ago we expected a foreign foe to land on our shores, and we
built these watch-towers to guard against surprise.  And it is just the
same with the Bible.  God has said, I won’t prevent the devil trying to
persuade you to read these bad books, and I won’t prevent your reading
them; but I give you the Bible, which, if you compare its words with the
words of the books you read, they will, like the men in the
watch-towers, give you warning of the enemy’s approach. Reader, if you
require plainer words than those written in God’s Bible, I fear you will
never read them on earth, and you certainly will never read them in
heaven.  How often we hear men say, "I’m no scholar."  And this is given
as an excuse for not coming to church, and for not reading the Bible,
and a lot of other things too.  But there’s many a man who will tell you
he’s no scholar, if you ask him to read the Bible; but if you give him a
newspaper and tell him there’s an account of a horrible murder in it,
he’ll take that gladly, and he won’t tell you he’s no scholar then!
He’ll very soon find that either his wife or his children can read to
him about the murder of a fellow creature, but he won’t take the trouble
to ask them to read to him about the death of God’s only Son.

Oh, reader, be honest with God.  He is honest, and means what He says.
Man may not see through your excuses.  He may go away and pity you for
your want of learning, and you may be sitting at home thinking how
cleverly you have deceived him.  But all the while, though you little
think it, God is holding up your character, and He sees through you, and
every bit of what He sees, is written down in His great book to be
brought up against you at the last day.  Some people give as an excuse
for reading bad and immoral books, that they can understand them. They
say they _can’t understand_ the Bible.  No doubt that is true.  God says
the carnal man--that is the man who loves this world and things of the
flesh--cannot understand spiritual things; and the Bible is a spiritual
book.  How can the unwashed heart understand the Bible?  Well, you say
if it is a sealed book, how am I to understand it?  The word of God, I
answer, may be and is darkened to the worldly man, but the way of
salvation is written so plainly, that a little child of six years old
can read it, if he will.  And oh! if you come across any impure or
sinful book, do be careful what you do with it.  Don’t let it lie about.
A little child may take it up and read it, and it may be, through your
carelessness, its first step on the road to ruin.  Don’t say, that’s not
my look out!  Reader, it is your look out; and God will lay it to your
charge.  If you stop under a hayrick to light your pipe, and you
carelessly throw the lighted match away among the hay, so that the rick
catches fire, isn’t that your fault? You didn’t mean, I daresay, to set
fire to the rick; you didn’t leave home, and go to that particular place
in order to set that rick on fire, but I think that any magistrate in
the kingdom would make you suffer for your carelessness.  And so it is
with God.  He looks at results as well as at intentions.  And if you
carelessly leave a bad book about, and it happens to do harm, the
punishment of that harm, be it little or be it much, will rest upon your
soul in the life to come.

                           *TRUE MANLINESS.*

    "There are other battles to fight, my boy,
    Than the battle of which you speak;
    There are battles which none can win, my boy,
    But the lowly in heart and meek;
    There are battles in which earth’s mightiest fail,
    And the strong ones are the weak.

    There’s a battle, my boy, with the world’s rude laugh
    At the lessons our Saviour taught,
    And many a battle with self, before
    We can do the things we ought;
    A battle which, not for the praise of men,
    Is in secret and silence fought.

    If in the battle of life, my boy,
    Thou would’st stand on thy Captain’s side,
    With the white-robed hosts that follow the Lamb,
    The called, and chosen, and tried,
    Thou must take up thy cross, denying thyself,
    And follow the Crucified."
      _From_ "_The Child’s Book of Ballads._"

There is nothing a young man desires more than to be thought manly.  At
school he is constantly told to be manly.  And indeed true manliness is
a grand thing.  How often we hear our young men say that they want to be
more independent.  You may have said so yourself, reader; what harm if
you have?  Isn’t it a fine thing, and a noble thing, and a right thing
to be independent?  Certainly it is; and I hope before the end of this
chapter to have shewn you the difference between true and false
independence, and true and false manliness.

Now let us deal with manliness first.  What is it to be manly?  To be
manly means to be man-like--like a man.  And He Who was our great
pattern man, the only perfect pattern that ever lived, has shewn us in
His own life what true manliness means.  He knew well how fond young men
in all ages would be of trying to be manly, and so He gave them His
advice how to be so.  Listen to it.  He said, "Except ye be converted,
and become _as little children_, ye shall in nowise enter into the
kingdom of Heaven."  As little children!  Young man, do you hear that?
you must become as submissive, as obedient, as trustful and believing as
a little child, if you would be manly.

And one of the greatest marks of true manliness is respect paid to
women.  A true man is ever courteous, and careful of his words and acts
in the presence of a woman.  He indulges in no thoughts of impurity or
lust; but if they arise he drives them out.  Like Joseph, when he is
tempted to sin against his master’s law of purity, he says to himself,
"How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?"  I know no
surer test of manliness than that.  To be careful of woman’s virtue, and
to be mindful of God’s commands.  To help the weak and those who cannot
help themselves, to think for those who will not think for themselves,
is manliness indeed; and he who will do these things in the midst of a
mocking crowd, shews that he is truly manly.

And next, let me say a word about independence. So many young men
nowadays seem to think that independence consists in being rude to every
one they meet.  But if this is your idea of independence you may be sure
you are on the wrong road, and the sooner you get right the better.
Real independence is, as I said, a fine and noble thing.  An independent
man can walk through the world with his head up, and give every one a
civil answer, for he is as good as they. Oh! learn, reader, to be more
truly independent. Learn to withdraw your dependence from man, and put
it all on God.  It is quite possible to be too dependent on man; it is
quite impossible to be too dependent on God.  Whether you wish it or
not, you must depend on Him.  He sends you life and health, food and
raiment, all that you have, and all that you hope for.  If you have
saved enough money you can take a cottage, and live comfortably and
independently in your old age; but if you have saved ever so much money,
you can never lose your dependence on God.

Lastly, let me in all earnestness say a kindly word to young men.  You
are just beginning life; everything is before you; and perhaps you feel,
as indeed you ought to feel, that as you grow in years you wish to grow
in true manliness and independence.  Very well; take a kindly word of
advice from a stranger; it is this, always be civil to everybody.  A
little civility goes a long way, farther often than you think.  Be civil
to your superiors, and they will think the more highly of you for it.
Be civil to your equals, and they will respect you for it.  Be civil to
your inferiors, and they will look up to you for it.  It costs very
little to give a civil answer, and we often have reason afterwards to
regret an uncivil word, uncivilly spoken.  I do believe that this is a
most important thing in going through life.  We so constantly hear whole
masses of men classed together and unfairly judged because of the
conduct of one of their number who may chance to have been met.  I have
so often heard railway porters, for instance, described as a most civil
class, and no doubt they find their civility paying.  Above all, reader,
to look at it from a higher ground, civility is pleasing to God.  Of
Christ it was said, "When He was reviled, He reviled not again[#];" and
if He set us this example of civility it was to shew us that we can be
truly manly, and truly independent, and at the same time truly civil,
and truly Christian in heart.

[#] 1 Pet. ii. 23.


    "’Tis but a flash that spans the sky,
    A few short hours of joy to wreathe:
    Reader! this moment you and I
      Might cease to breathe!

    Then, live more worthy of a soul
    Implanted by a Hand Divine!
    Press onward to a richer goal!
      While yet there’s time!

    He who can so secure his fame,
    Has nobly filled his narrow span,
    And future times shall write his name,
      _An honest man!_"
        _John Burbidge._

"Honesty is the best policy" is a saying we frequently hear.  And we may
have said, "Ah! that’s all very well for thieves and such like, but it
doesn’t apply to me."  Reader, you may be honest, strictly honest in the
sight of man, but are you strictly honest in the sight of God?  You may
never have taken so much as a pin that did not rightly belong to you,
but are you quite certain that you have never taken of the things of

Now let us just consider this for a few moments. To-day, we will say, is
Sunday, God’s holy day! To-day, of all days in the week, God has chosen
to be set apart for His worship.  He has given you time to be so
employed.  He has given you an open church to go to.  He has given you
health and power to go, and yet perhaps you reject all, and never go at
all.  Don’t you see that you have taken of things of God, that you have
taken His gift of health, and His gift of Sunday rest--things given that
they might be spent in His service, and in worshipping Him in His
church.  And yet you accept these gifts, you take them as the most
natural things in the world, and use the gifts of Almighty God for your
own selfish purposes.  And is this honest? Certainly not.

But we will take another and a commoner case, if you like.  God has
perhaps given you influence among your fellows, and as you go about
among them, you hear some person spoken against in terms which you know
are not true. And yet you allow the matter to pass, because you are
afraid that if you spoke, you might lose your influence.  You forget
that even if you lost it for the time, God, for Whose sake you spoke,
would surely give it back, if He thought it good for you; and besides
this, you would have the consciousness of having done an honest deed,
and of having done it in an honest fearless way.

And so you see that it is quite possible to be a strictly honest man in
the sight of men, and a very dishonest man in the sight of God.  And
which, think you, is the best?  Which will stand you in good stead at
the day of judgment, your character as it has appeared to men, or as it
appears to God? I think the latter.  For in the Bible we are taught that
the sight of God and that of men are two utterly different things, "for
the Lord seeth not as man seeth, for man looketh on the outward
appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."

Some time ago in Edinburgh two gentlemen were standing at the door of an
hotel one very cold day, when a little boy with a poor thin blue face,
his bare feet red with cold, and with nothing to cover him but a bundle
of rags, came and said, "Please, sir, buy some matches."  "No, don’t
want any," the gentleman said.  "But they are only a penny a box," the
poor little fellow pleaded. "Yes, but you see we don’t want a box," the
gentleman said again.  "Then I’ll give you two for a penny," the boy
said at last.  And so to get rid of him the gentleman who tells the
story says, I bought a box of him.  But then I found I had no change,
and so I said I would buy a box tomorrow.  "Oh do buy them to-night, if
you please," the boy again pleaded, "I will run and get you the change,
for I’m very hungry."  So I gave him the shilling, and off he started.
I waited for him, but no boy came.  Then I thought I had lost my
shilling; still there was that in the boy’s face I trusted, and I did
not like to think ill of him.  Late in the evening I was told a boy
wanted to see me.  When he was brought in, I found it was a smaller
brother of the boy that had got my shilling, but if possible still more
ragged and poor and thin.  He stood for a moment diving into his rags,
and then said, "Are you the gentleman that bought the matches from
Sandie?"  "Yes."  "Well, then, here’s fourpence out of your shilling;
Sandie can’t come, he’s very ill; a cart ran over him, and knocked him
down, and he lost his cap and his matches and your sevenpence, and both
his legs are broken, and the doctor says he’ll die, and that’s all."
And then, putting the fourpence on the table, the poor child broke out
into great sobs.  So I fed the little man, and went with him to see
Sandie.  The two poor little things lived alone, father and mother both
dead.  Poor Sandie lay on a bundle of shavings; he knew me as soon as I
came in, and having told me how his legs were broken, he added, as his
eyes fell on his little brother, "Oh Reuby, little Reuby!  I’m sure I’m
dying, and who’ll take care of you when I am gone?"  Then I took his
hand and said, I would always take care of Reuby.  He understood me, and
had just strength enough left to look up at me, as if to thank me; the
light went out of his blue eyes. And in a moment--

    "He lay within the light of God
    Like a babe upon the breast,
    Where the wicked cease from troubling
    And the weary are at rest."

That story was told in the noblest church of our great city.  It was
reported in the papers the following day.  And I have no hesitation in
saying that beautiful as are the words in which it is told, and
wonderful as the effect may have been on the hearts of those who heard
it, it was a sight far more wonderful than any we can imagine, when that
story was told in the courts of the kingdom of heaven.

Reader, think of little Sandie when you are tempted to say you are
honest, and ask yourself the question, "Can I lay my hand upon my heart
and say, My God, I am honest indeed, honest as that poor child was,
honest before my neighbours, honest before Thee."

                          *BEARING THE CROSS.*

    "’Take up thy cross,’ the Saviour said,
    If thou would’st My disciple be;
    Deny thyself, the world forsake,
    And humbly follow after Me.

    ’Take up thy cross,’ nor heed the shame,
    Nor let thy foolish pride rebel:
    Thy Lord for thee the Cross endured,
    To save thy soul from death and hell!

    ’Take up thy cross,’ and follow Christ--
    Nor think till death to lay it down;
    For only he who bears the cross,
    May hope to wear the glorious crown!"
      _C. W. Everest._

Bearing the cross, or self-denial, as it is sometimes called, forms a
necessary part of the daily life of every Christian man.  Every one of
us can give up something for the good of others. A rich man is called
upon to give up one thing, a poor man another.  But let none think that
his riches or his poverty, as the case may be, will excuse him from
bearing the cross of Christ.  And indeed in the heart of any true
servant of God, there will be no wish to shirk the hard and disagreeable
part of His service.  His heart will be so filled with love and devotion
to Christ, that he will gladly bear the cross, "despising the shame."
It may be we are called upon to give up our time to go and see a sick
neighbour, or it may be we are asked to do a neighbour a good turn by
going on an errand for them when we wish to go elsewhere.  But whatever
it may be, it is certain that opportunities for practising self-denial
occur in the lives of us all.  "If any man will come after Me"--Christ
has told us--"let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow
Me[#]."  There is the command, now hear the promise made to such as
fulfil the command,--"and where I am, there shall also My servant

[#] S. Matt. xvi. 24.

[#] S. John xii. 26.

Self-denial may be in very simplest matters, and yet be quite as
acceptable to Christ as would be the most costly gifts bestowed by the
rich upon His service.  You remember when Jesus was on earth, how one
day He was sitting over against the Treasury, and as He sat there He
kept taking notice of all the pieces of money that were cast into the
Treasury.  Now there happened to come by some very rich people, and they
put large sums into the box, and passed on their way.  And again others
came, and they too being rich, "cast in much."  But after awhile there
came by one who is described as "a certain poor widow;" and "she cast in
all she had, even all her living."  How much it cost her to give that
one farthing Jesus Christ knew well.  Instead of keeping it to spend
upon her own needs, she brought it up to the temple Treasury and gave it
back to God. And that is just what you must do.  I do not say it is
necessary, or even right, that people should in these days give
everything they possess to God. In one sense indeed we ought to give up
_all we have_ to the service of Christ; I mean by this that we ought at
all times to be ready to part with things earthly, if they interfere
with the cross we are called upon to bear.  And I do say that we ought
to deny ourselves some little comfort or pleasure, and make a rule of
giving the money that we should thus have spent upon ourselves to the
service of Almighty God.

It is told of a great and good man who lived many years ago at
Cambridge, that on one occasion, being disheartened by the wickedness of
many of those with whom he came in daily contact, he retired to his
rooms, and taking his Bible he asked God to give him such help from its
pages as would serve him in his trouble.  He opened the Bible at the
twenty-seventh chapter of S. Matthew’s gospel, and his eye quickly fell
on the thirty-second verse, "And as they went out they found a man of
Cyrene, Simon by name; him they compelled to bear His Cross."  Charles
Simeon, for it was he, rose from his knees comforted and strengthened.
The likeness between his own name of Simeon and the Cyrenian’s name of
Simon, struck him forcibly; and he came to the conclusion that it was
the will of his Father in heaven that he should bear the cross under
which he was labouring.

Reader, yours, like his, may be the cross of ridicule, of your friend’s
laughter at the things of God; and a bitter cross it is to bear!  But
try and look upon it as a cross laid upon you by your Saviour, a cross
which He has borne before you up that bitter hillside of Calvary.
Remember it is not merely that you are called upon to bear the cross,
but, like Simon of Cyrene, that you should "bear it _after_ Jesus."
Therefore ask Him to give you strength to take up your cross daily,
cheerfully and lovingly, and bear it after Him. Then self-denial will be
less hard for you to practise than it is now.  I do not say it will be
pleasant, for that it can never be, but the sting of it will be taken
away; indeed for the Christian, it long ago was taken away and laid on
Him Who bore the burden of our sins on Calvary.  So let yours be a life
of obedience here, a living for others, a pleasing of others, not of
yourself; "For even Christ pleased not Himself[#]," but "was made sin
for us, Who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God
through Him[#]."

[#] Rom. xv. 3.

[#] 2 Cor. v. 21.


    "Fain would I my Lord pursue,
      Be all my Saviour taught;
    Do as Jesus bids me do,
      And think as Jesus thought:
    But ’tis Thou must change the heart,
      The perfect gift must come from Thee:
    Meek Redeemer, now impart
      Thine own humility.

    Let Thy Cross my will control,
      Conform me to my Guide;
    In Thine Image mould my soul,
      And crucify my pride;
    Give me, Lord, a broken heart,
      A heart that always looks to Thee:
    Meek Redeemer, now impart
      Thine own humility."

Reader, do you know what humility is?  It is quite possible to be very
proud indeed, and yet seem quite humble.  Indeed, humility is often made
the cloak of pride.  And yet nothing can be more different than these
two.  Pride enters so much into the hearts, even of the very best of us,
that there is but small place left for humility. We often hear it said
of a person, "Oh! he feels _proper pride_ about such and such a matter."
But is there any such thing as _proper pride_?  I can’t find it in the
Bible.  I do find, indeed, written there a great deal about pride and
proud people.  "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the
humble[#]," for instance.  I turn again to my Church’s Prayer Book, and
I find nothing there about _proper pride_; but I read there that the
Church teaches her children to ask God to deliver, or save, them "from
all pride, vain glory, and hypocrisy."  I find that in the prayer, to be
used in time of war, we ask God to abate our enemies’ pride.  But
neither here, nor anywhere else, can I find _any sort_ of pride
commended to Christians. And so I have come to think that we have got
hold of the wrong word, and that the word we ought to use is _delight_.
It is quite right that a man should be delighted with his children, or
his garden, or his goods.  It is quite wrong that he should be proud of

[#] S. James iv. 6.

Now humility is just the very opposite to all this. Pride makes a man
put forward his own opinions, and hold to them, good or bad.  It makes
him think all his possessions better than those of other people.
Humility, on the other hand, makes a man ever ready to listen to the
opinions of others, and to take advice.  And humility teaches him that
the best possessions earth can give, are but poor compared to those of
Heaven.  Just as in a cornfield the lightest ears of corn stand up
straight and attract attention, while those which carry most grain hang
down and are kept concealed by their weight, behind the others; so, too,
is it with humble-minded men.  They shrink back from the gaze of men,
behind their comrades; and because they are quiet, and seldom speak
much, men think but little of them.

I have somewhere read a story of Benjamin Franklin, who once went to
call at a friend’s house. On his leaving, his friend told him he would
shew him a shorter way out.  They passed down a narrow passage, talking
to each other, when Franklin’s friend suddenly cried out, "Stoop,
stoop."  "I did not know," says Franklin, "what he meant, until I felt
my head hit against the beam."  His friend, seeing what had happened,
said, "You are young, and have to go through the world.  Stoop as you go
through it, and you will miss many hard knocks."

Reader, that was good advice.  It is as suitable to you as to Franklin.
Will you not take it? Never be ashamed of doing anything that humility
calls upon you to do, and "you will avoid many hard knocks."  Try and
look upon all work, however distasteful and unpleasant, as work for God.
If Jesus Christ had been proud, do you think He would have borne all the
taunts of those thirty bitter years?  If S. Paul had been a proud man,
do you think he could ever have written down that glorious list of
troubles and hardships, suffered by land and by water, in the eleventh
chapter of 2nd Corinthians?  How often we hear it said of a man, "He’s a
nice man, he’s got _no pride about him_."  And if pride in others
doesn’t please you, do you think if you shew pride it will be likely to
please God?  It was He who gave you that hatred of pride in others; but
He gave it that you might correct it in yourself.

And the day will come when pride will be destroyed.  It is one of the
greatest sins.  Other great sins are covetousness, lust, envy, gluttony,
anger, sloth.  And the virtues which are contrary to these are humility,
liberality, chastity, gentleness, temperance, patience, diligence.  Ask
yourself to-night before you lie down to rest this question, "How many
of these last virtues can I say I am practising?  Am I humble?  Do I
give, as I am able, of my time, or my money, or my sympathy to help any
of my neighbours?  Am I thoroughly pure in thought, word, and deed?  Am
I gentle and kind to all around me?  Am I moderate in eating and
drinking, and temperate in my habits of life?  Am I patient under
suffering, sorrow, or misfortune?  Do I do my best to serve God and man,
working hard in that position of life to which Almighty God has called

Reader, if you can say _yes!_ to all those questions when your
conscience asks them, you need not have much fear of God’s reckoning
day.  "In quietness and confidence shall be your strength."  Trusting in
Jesus for complete salvation, living in love and charity with your
neighbours, you will pass the waves of this troublesome world, and land
upon the everlasting shore, out of reach of the ocean waves.  And down
from the gates of the heavenly city will come to meet you, Jesus Christ
our Lord, with the words which He has graciously promised to speak to
all that humbly follow after Him here, "Well done, thou good and
faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord[#]."

[#] S. Matt. xxv. 21.


    "Not by the martyr’s death alone
    The saint his crown in heaven has won;
    There is a triumph robe on high
    For bloodless fields of victory.

    What though he was not called to feel
    The cross of flame, or torturing wheel:
    Yet daily to the world he died,
    His flesh, through grace, he crucified."
      _John Keble._

What is martyrdom?  We sing every Sunday morning in Church the words,
"the noble army of martyrs praise Thee;" we bless God every
Christmastide for his martyr S. Stephen, and yet I suppose there are
many people who regularly attend Church who have no idea of what a
martyr is.  Now I will tell you.  A martyr is a witness!  Any man,
woman, or child, (for there have been children martyrs,) who bears
witness to the truth, and suffers for it, is a martyr.  If you or I,
reader, bear ridicule; if our friends laugh at us for going to Church,
or for staying for Holy Communion, then we are martyrs. The man who
lives in an ungodly society, and by his life and example bears witness
to the truth of Jesus, and suffers for so doing, he is a martyr.  As I
write these words I can recall a vast number of martyrs’ names; for the
martyrs, like the saints, are of every age and of every Church.  Just as
every cornfield has its poppies; just as every poor man’s garden has its
little plot set apart for flowers, so every Church has its martyrs.  I
can recall the name of Xavier, the great Indian missionary, dying alone
upon the seashore, with the cruel blasts of a Chinese winter freezing
his very bones.  Or I think of Bishop Patteson, already mentioned in
these pages, dying by the clubs of the natives, far off amid the
Southern seas.  I could tell you the now well-known story of David
Livingstone, of his wonderful power over the African mind, of his noble
conflict with slavery, and his patient death in his lonely hut at Ulala.
But I will tell you one story of martyrdom which happened quite lately,
nearer home than any of these, a story of how a boy, scarcely ten years
old, gained the martyr’s crown.  About a year ago, a boat with seven
young boys went out on the coast of Scotland. The boys rowed out from
the shore some little way, until suddenly seeing something in the sea,
they all rushed together to the side of the boat to look over into the
water.  The boat was upset, and they all went over into the sea.  One
boy alone could swim, and, one after another, that boy saved five of his
companions; in trying to save the sixth, he himself became exhausted,
and sank to rise no more.  That night there was joy, the joy of
recovery, in five happy homes; and I dare say the parents, in their joy
at getting their boys safe back, hardly gave a thought to the brave
little swimmer who had given his life for theirs.  But I can imagine
that his Saviour gave him a warm welcome in Paradise that night, and in
return for his bravery, gave him the martyr’s crown. For that child was
a martyr!  God had given him a brave spirit, and on a sudden He called
upon him to shew it, and he bore witness for Christ.

Reader, your witness and mine may be very different to that.  But it may
nevertheless be as truly called martyrdom.  If we are ready to confess
Christ before men, He will not forget our names before His Father’s
throne.  But if we are cowardly here below, and deny Him now, He will
certainly not recognise us in His Father’s kingdom.

Even little children can be martyrs.  As the hymn says:--

    "When deep within our swelling hearts
    The thoughts of pride and anger rise,
    When bitter words are on our tongues,
    And tears of passion in our eyes;
    Then we may stay the angry blow,
    Then we may check the hasty word,
    Give gentle answers back again
    And fight a battle for our Lord."

Under the Emperor Diocletian (A.D. 304) a great number of children
suffered martyrdom. They were brought up and condemned to die, not for
any sin they had committed, but because their parents had taught them to
worship God.

A child called Hilarion was one of those who suffered.  He was brought
up before the Roman Consul, (a person with somewhat similar power to our
magistrates,) and the Consul threatened to have him flogged; but the
child only laughed at him.  "I will cut off your nose and your ears,"
said the governor; but Hilarion answered, "I am a Christian still."  And
so he was led away to prison and to death.

Reader, do not the accounts of these brave and noble lives and glorious
deaths make our own lives seem poor and selfish and wretched? Do they
not make us feel how very much grander and nobler these kind of lives
were than anything we can shew nowadays?  I remember seeing a book once,
called, "Is life worth living?"  I never looked further than the
title-page, but the title struck me.  Look round at your neighbours,
look at our country villages, look at the overflowing public-house, and
at the empty church, and then ask yourself, "Is life worth living?"  And
the answer must be, No!  But look once more at your own life, look at
those good people who are labouring among Christ’s poor in our crowded
cities, look at the holy lives of many of our clergy, and then ask
again, "Is life worth living?" and the answer must be, Yes!

You may not be able to live among the poor in our large towns, it may
not be your calling to be a minister of Christ, but still it is quite
possible to be a martyr, to bear witness for Christ in the station in
which He has placed you.  The clerk at his desk, the mechanic in his
workshop, the labourer in the field, the sailor in his ship, the servant
in his situation, all can shew that they are martyrs.  The greatest
battles are not those fought on the battle-fields of earth, but in the
secret chambers of the human heart.  There is many a brave man who will
face a horde of savage foes on the field of battle and die bravely like
a soldier, but who dare not and will not face his own evil heart; and
there is many a poor creature, with a suffering body and a feeble mind,
who cannot bear a harsh voice or an unkind word, and yet who has gained
the greatest possible victory, the victory over self.


    "There was a soul one eve autumnal sailing
      Beyond the earth’s dark bars,
    Towards the land of sunsets never paling,
      Towards Heaven’s sea of stars.

    And as that soul went onward, sweetly speeding
      Unto its home and Light,
    Repentance made it sorrowful exceeding,
      Faith made it wondrous bright."
        _Mrs. Alexander._

What is repentance?  The word which in our New Testaments is so often
translated "Repentance," means "a change of heart."  Yes, that is what
repentance really is, and not merely a desire to serve God; not an
anxious longing to lead a new life, but actually leading that new life,
and treading new ways by the help of God’s Holy Spirit.  Many people
believe and teach the doctrine of instantaneous conversion, as it is
called. And by this is meant that the heart of man is changed in a
moment from a state of sin to a state of holiness; that all the old
desires pass suddenly away, and new affections take their place.  Thus
some men will tell you that they can name the day and hour of their
conversion, and that whatever they may do in the future, they will
eventually be found in Christ.  We do not by any means deny that there
are such things as instantaneous conversions; but we say that they are
few, and that what seem to be such are often neither lasting nor real.
True repentance is no easy road to tread.  Very often it takes a man his
whole lifetime, and even then his repentance may not be complete.

I have spoken of what repentance is not, now let me say a few words as
to what true repentance is.  First, then, you will feel, if you have
truly repented of your sins, a true desire to give up the whole of your
heart to Christ.  I cannot dwell too strongly on the necessity of giving
up _the whole_ heart.  Christ will not take less.  He never will reign
there, while Satan holds a part of it; He will have _all_, or none.  In
your own strength you cannot do this; the world, the flesh, and the
devil will try hard to prevent you.  Of himself the Ethiopian cannot
change his skin, nor the leopard his spots, "neither can ye do good
which are accustomed to do evil."  But if your repentance is real, the
desire to give the whole heart to Christ will be so strong as to shut
out all other claims.  Another sign of true repentance will be a
distrust of self.  There will be an increasing desire for guidance other
than your own, the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Need I add that this
guidance, without which it is impossible to go right, is never kept back
from those who ask it of God in prayer, for His dear Son’s sake.

One more sign of a real repentance is perseverance in the face of
failure and backsliding. If your repentance is real, the new life will
seem so far better to you than the old, that you will persevere in it,
in spite of failure.  "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and
looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God[#]."  And no sinner, who has
once repented of his sin, and then is frightened at his failures, or
discouraged by his difficulties, can call his repentance real.

[#] S. Luke ix. 62.

And the last sign of true repentance that I shall give you is trust in
God’s love for Christ’s sake.  Your perseverance will depend entirely on
your faith or trust in God.  In common life we know that as we put a
greater distance between ourselves and any object at which we may be
looking, it becomes less and less distinct; whereas, the nearer the eye
approaches any object, the more distinct that object becomes.  So is it
with man in his relation to God.  The further he wanders from God by
sin, and the greater distance he puts between himself and his Maker in
this way, the less he knows about Him, and the less he is able to trust
Him.  But the nearer man comes to God in true repentance, the more he
learns of that great Being, and the more he learns to trust God’s love
to him for Christ’s sake.

Reader, may you and I learn such true repentance as this, and having
learnt it, may we "bring forth fruits meet for repentance."  May we
cultivate a sense of our own nothingness, and of God’s greatness; and
may we put a generous trust in our good Lord, Who has done so much for
us.  "May we never indulge unworthy thoughts, measuring our Lord’s
tender mercies by ours; but let us in every trial and temptation, nay,
even in the hour of surprise or sudden fall, yet cling the closer to
Him, Who is the true Refuge of sinners, and Who is ever willing to
receive those who in sincerity return to Him."


    "Faith is the Spirit’s sweet control,
      From which assurance springs;
    Faith is the pencil of the soul,
      That pictures Heavenly things.

    Faith is the lamp that burns to guide
      Our bark when tempest-driven;
    Faith is the key that opens wide
      The distant gates of Heaven."
        _John Burbidge._

I spoke in the last chapter of faith being one of the signs of true
repentance.  Repentance, as I then showed, was that grace whereby we
forsake sin; faith, on the other hand, is the grace whereby we believe
and trust in the promises of God, made to us in the Gospel of Jesus
Christ. Now it is not always an easy matter to exercise faith in God.
Many people believe in God’s judgments, and when these are in mercy sent
upon them, they are quite ready, like Ahab of old, to humble themselves
before their offended Master.  But take away the punishment, stay the
uplifted rod, and let them receive instead of judgments, mercies, and
then where is their faith?  It is no easy thing to believe in God! to
believe, that is, that prosperity and adversity are alike gifts of the
same Father.  To believe Him as Abraham believed Him, whose faith "was
counted unto him for righteousness."  To believe Him as Job did, so that
not even the loss of worldly goods, or terrible pain inflicted on the
body, or even the advice of her he trusted and loved more than all other
on earth, could cause him to blaspheme.  To have such faith in Christ as
the Apostles had, who "left all and followed" Him; nay, more, such faith
that one of their number could exclaim, "I count all things but loss for
the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for Whom I have
suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may
win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, ...
but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which
is of God by faith[#]."

[#] Phil. iii. 8.

Yes, reader, that is the kind of faith you and I shall need when sorrow
and troubles come upon us; that is the only kind of faith which can
carry a man peacefully through life, and bear him up in death, till his
eyes rest upon the everlasting city.

But there are many people who have faith, but only a very little.  Their
faith is like S. Peter’s. It is strong enough to make them desire to be
with Jesus, but not strong enough to carry them to Him.  Just as St.
Peter tried to walk over the dark waters of the sea of Galilee to go to
his Lord, so these try, and often try hard, to walk over the waters of
sin to go to Christ.  But when temptations arise, or doubts arise, they
begin to sink, as it were, that is to say, their faith begins to fail,
and they cease to please God.  St. Peter’s fault was not that he had no
faith, but that he had _too little_.  That he had some, who can doubt,
for if he had not, he surely would never have left the ship, and his
companions, to walk upon the water to Christ.  And so it is with us.
Many of us have God’s great gift of faith: sufficient faith to leave the
world, and start to go to Christ, but we find that our failures are
frequent, that when we would do good, evil is present with us, and so,
like St. Peter, we begin to sink, it may be just as we are nearing
Christ.  What we want, then, is more faith, and we must ask God for
this, for He alone can give it.

But what shall I say of those who have no faith at all; those who never
start on the journey whose end is Christ?  Are they not, think you, in a
dangerous state?  True, they may be living happily enough _now_, but the
end must come one day, and _what an end that will be_!  Think of that,
reader.  Think if it be not better to suffer the Master’s rebuke for
having _little faith_, than to receive no rebuke at all, because you
have _no faith_.  Once more, faith is necessary to those who would live
godly lives, because there are certain mysteries in religion which are
left to faith, and which we must accept as facts, though we cannot
understand them.  For instance, we are told that there are three Persons
in the Blessed Trinity--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost--and yet
though there are three distinct Persons, there is but one God.  We
cannot understand that, but we must believe that it is so.  Just as in
nature there are many things we cannot understand, but which we accept
as true; and if we do so in matters relating to man, are we not equally
bound to do so in such as bear reference to God?  It is such a common
thing nowadays to hear silly people, who wish to be thought clever, say,
"I won’t believe anything I cannot understand!"  But there are many
things which these very people accept as true, but which they in no way
understand.  For instance, I suppose they all believe that the grass
which is eaten by geese, by cows, or sheep, will by a process of
digestion turn to feathers on the geese, to hair on the cows, and to
wool on the sheep.  But do they understand how this happens?  No, they
do not; but though they cannot understand it, they nevertheless believe

And, reader, there are many who cannot understand many things in God’s
world of nature, and they do not want to, for they accept them as
matters of faith.  But if there is anything in religion they cannot
understand, they must needs disbelieve it at once, or else be guilty of
seeking to pry into "the deep things of God."

Learn, then, this one lesson from these few words on faith; namely, that
there are things which Almighty God has purposely hidden from the sons
of men, both in the Church and in the world; many things of which it is
written, "What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know

[#] S. John xiii. 7.

                        *THE SHORTNESS OF LIFE.*

    "Brief life is here our portion;
    Brief sorrow, short-lived care:
    The life that knows no ending,
    The tearless life, is _there_.
    The morning shall awaken,
    The shadows shall decay,
    And each true-hearted servant
    Shall shine as doth the day."
      _S. Bernard._

The ancients had a saying, "Whom the gods love, die young."  By which, I
suppose, they meant that the best men, and those whose lives were of the
greatest promise, died in early youth. Whether this is true or not, I
cannot pretend to say.  Certain it is that many die in early youth, long
before we have had a chance of seeing what they were likely to turn out.
And indeed the shortness of life is evident to us all.  From the child
who dies in infancy, to the old man whose grey hairs are brought down to
the grave in sorrow, all have experience of the shortness of life.

And what is life?  What does the Bible say of it?  "It is even a vapour,
that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away[#]."
"Vanisheth away;" yes, reader, just like the steam which issues from
boiling water; just like the mists which cling for a while to the
hillsides, before they melt into nothingness, so is life.  We see it for
awhile, a little while, and then like a morning mist, life vanishes

[#] S. James iv. 14.

Life has often been compared to the sea.  At times the sea is ruffled by
the winds which pass over its surface; and then again, the wind drops,
and the sea is calm and still again.  And so is it with life.  The winds
of passion or of discontent pass over it, and angry temper ruffles the
calm of life, and then by degrees the peace of God comes down upon us,
and life is once more happy. But true happiness, in life or in death, is
only to be found in Jesus.  He is the only sure haven of rest, the only
hiding-place from the storm, and in Him alone can we find rest until we
pass the waves of this troublesome world.

Some years ago a young man went out, full of hope and energy, to take
charge of a mission which we had planted among the Southern seas. He
could not tell when he left our shores whether his life was to be long
or short, whether it would be rough or smooth; but he went forth
trusting in his God, and he went forth to die.  He reached his diocese
in safety, and for some years Bishop Patteson, for it was he, preached
the gospel, and baptised, and planted missions among those wild people,
for whom he had given up his English home.  But at length one day the
bishop went to an island where the people did not know him, and where at
the time they happened to be angry with white men.  And so when the good
bishop came ashore, they pressed round him, and he soon saw that all was
not right.  At length one, bolder than the rest, drew near and knocked
the bishop down with his club, and then the others closed round him, and
so he died. "And they put the young martyr bishop in an open boat," says
one, "to float away across the bright blue water, with his hands crossed
as if in prayer, and a palm branch on his breast."

That life was not a long one, but who will dare to tell us that it was
not a useful life, and a glorious death.  It may not be given to you to
win the martyr’s crown, or to die for Jesus Christ. But it is given to
you to live for Christ; and remember there is a living death, a killing
of self, which you may do, a death of which St. Paul speaks, when he
says, "I die daily[#]."

[#] 1 Cor. xv. 31.

For, after all, what think you was life given to us for?  Was it to
amuse ourselves, or to enjoy ourselves in?  Was it not rather to do good
to others, and to work for Jesus Christ?  Surely the best lives, and the
noblest lives, and the happiest lives are those spent in the service of
others. And the Master has told us that He will reward such: "Inasmuch
as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have
done it unto Me[#]."  And who are Christ’s brethren? In every cottage
home, in the lonely hut, wherever man is found, whether he be rich or
poor, king or beggar, nay the worst specimens of humanity, the murderer
and the drunkard, these all are the brethren of Jesus.  It is for these
He has bid us work, and toil, and pray.  It is for these He has
commanded us to live and, if need be, to die.

[#] S. Matt xxv. 40.

And no life is too short for this kind of work. The youngest child can
do something in the Master’s vineyard.  It may be only given us to speak
a kind word to a companion.  But very often a kind word, spoken in the
nick of time, has saved a soul from condemnation.  Live your life here,
then, as Jesus lived His, Who went about doing good; Who sat at meat
with the Pharisee and the sinner alike; and Who even allowed a sinful
woman to approach Him, and did not turn her away.

                        *THE DEATH OF FRIENDS.*

    "Whene’er the Christian’s eyelid droops and closes
      In nature’s parting strife,
    A friendly angel stands where he reposes,
      To wake him up to life.

    The mourners throng the way, and from the steeple
      The funeral bell tolls slow;
    But in the golden streets the holy people
      Are passing to and fro;

    And saying as they meet, ’Rejoice! another,
      Long waited for, is come;’
    The Saviour’s heart is glad, a younger brother
      Hath reached the Father’s home!"
        _J. D. Burns._

There is nothing so sad as parting.  There comes over the heart such a
feeling of utter loneliness that we know not where to turn for relief.
It may be the mother who has lost her darling child, and sits counting
the weary hours, and missing its baby prattle.  It may be the wife of
the sailor who sits alone in her cottage with the cruel letter in her
lap, which tells of how her husband sank, and died.  Or it may be the
severing of heart and heart; the parting of two friends who have lived
together, and loved each other with a friendship stronger than death.
But in whatever way it comes, it is ever the same; the same bitter
feeling of loneliness, casting its shadow over the life.

And there is but one way that I know of in which we can get rid of this
feeling of loneliness; only one Person to Whom we can apply for relief
with any certainty of success.  The Man of sorrows, Who could weep tears
of human sorrow at the grave of Lazarus, and speak words of sympathy to
that troubled multitude who stood around his grave; He alone can
sympathise with us in our bereavement, and comfort us in the death of
our friends.

The Bible is full of beautiful passages on this important subject.  Who,
for instance, can read those beautiful words in the seventh chapter of
the Revelation, and not receive comfort?  "I beheld, and lo! a great
multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and
people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb,
clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a
loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne,
and unto the Lamb.  And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What
are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?  And I
said unto him, Sir, thou knowest.  And he said unto me, These are they
which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and
made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  They shall hunger no more,
neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any
heat.  For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them,
and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe
away all tears from their eyes."

Reader, if any of your relations or friends have gone before you to
Paradise, if they have died in God’s holy faith and fear, and if, after
reading such beautiful words concerning their heavenly state as those
above quoted, you still wish them back on earth, then your heart must
indeed be of the earth, earthy.  Oh, think for one moment of the
troubles and trials of this present life, and then turn your thoughts to
the state of the blessed dead.  No more sickness or sorrow for them; no
more care, no more trial; no more sleepless nights or anxious days, for
they are as the angels of God.  "Blessed are the dead which die in the
Lord: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may _rest from their

[#] Rev. xiv. 13.

There are times in the life of every man, when God comes specially near
to him; when He says as it were to the soul of man, "Look unto Me, _I_
am thy salvation[#]."  One of such times is when we are standing by the
death-bed of our loved ones. It may be we have given them the love which
rightly belonged to God, and so He has seen fit to take them.  Or it may
be that we have loved them too little, and lightly valued them here, and
so to teach us the value of friends, God has taken them to live with Him
above.  It may seem to you and to me a hard method of dealing with the
human soul, but remember that the dealings of Almighty God are clothed
with mystery, "and His ways past finding out[#]."

[#] Ps. xxxv. 3.

[#] Rom. xi. 33.

Lastly, there is one thought more, which may give comfort to those who
are mourning the loss of their dear ones.  The day will come when we
shall meet them again, on "the far eternal shore."  But if we would meet
them there we must live as they lived; we must serve Christ as they
served Him; and love God as they loved Him.  And then He will bring us
together again on the ever-lasting morning, "when the day breaks and the
shadows flee away[#]."  "When we are to leave this present state," says
Alford, "is a matter hidden from our eyes, and not dependent on
ourselves; but how we will leave it, whether as the Lord’s blessed ones,
or with no part in Him, this is left for ourselves to determine.  There
is set before us life and death.  May we choose life, that it may be
well with us, and that we may wake from the bed of death to find
ourselves for ever with the Lord."

[#] Cant. ii. 17.

"Therefore let us be of good cheer concerning them that have fallen
asleep in Jesus; and let us be of good cheer concerning ourselves.  Good
as it is to obey and serve God here, it has been far better for them to
depart, and to be with Christ, and it will be far better for us, if we
hold fast our faith and our confidence in Him firm unto the end."

                          *THE FEAR OF DEATH.*

    "There is no death! the stars go down,
    To rise upon some fairer shore;
    And bright in Heaven’s jewelled crown,
    They shine for evermore.

    There is no death! an angel form
    Walks o’er the earth with silent tread,
    And bears our best loved things away,
    And then we call them dead."
      _Lord Lytton._

I have spoken in the earlier part of this book on the general subject of
death; I now want to add a few words on that which so many, even of the
best of us, feel, the fear of death.

I suppose there have been times in the lives even of the best and
bravest men when this fear rose up before them.  Times when the dark
valley looked darker than usual, and life seemed sweeter than it really
was.  It is but human to fear what we can in no way understand, and
certainly none of us can understand death.  His is a message which comes
to all alike; to rich and to poor, to young and to old; the soldier on
the battle-field, who lays down his life for his country; the sailor,
who sinks into a watery grave, and whom the dark wave covers; the
missionary, who dies for his Master’s sake; to these and many more the
angel of death comes, and, whether they are ready or no, they have to
yield to his bidding.  But of this we may be sure, that God never takes
any one away from this world until his work is done.  We all of us have
some special work to do, either good or evil, and until that work is
done we shall be kept from danger and from death.  The right way then to
look upon death is as the gate that leads us to a better world, the
pathway leading to Christ.  And the prayer of our heart should be this--

    "Let me be with Thee where Thou art,
      Where spotless saints Thy Name adore;
    Then only will this sinful heart
      Be evil and defiled no more.

    Let me be with Thee where Thou art,
      Where none can die, where none remove;
    Where neither life nor death can part
      Me from Thy Presence and Thy Love."

And if that is the feeling that you have with regard to the life to
come, death can have no terrors for you.  "The sting of death is _sin_,"
but Jesus died long ago to wash your sins away.  If then you are free
from sin, that is from wilful sin, you will have but little fear of
death.  It is Satan who gives us this fear; it is Christ who takes the
fear away.

But in order not to fear death, we must be prepared for it.  If a man
_really_ loves God he is prepared to die anywhere and at any moment, and
so he does not fear death.  "Unto the godly," says David, "there ariseth
up a light in the darkness."  And so we may say now that to the
Christian there ariseth up a light greater and brighter than any David
knew of in the darkness of death, even that light which came "to lighten
the Gentiles, and to be the glory of His people Israel."

I came across a story the other day of a courtier who had passed his
life in the service of his prince.  He had fallen dangerously ill, and
now lay dying.  The prince went to see his faithful servant, and was
touched with the sad spectacle of suffering.  "Is there anything," he
asked, "that I can do for you?  Ask it, and you shall not be refused."
"Prince," said the dying man, "give me a quarter of an hour of life."
"Alas," said the prince, "what you have asked is not in my power to
give; ask something else if you wish me to help you."  And the story
runs that the dying man cried out in the agony of his soul, "I have
served you for fifty years, and you cannot give me one quarter of an
hour of life!  Ah! if I had served the Lord thus faithfully, he would
have given me not a quarter of an hour of life, but an eternity of
happiness."  Very soon after he died. Happy for him if he himself
profited by the lesson which he gave to others on the nothingness of
human life, and the need of working out one’s own salvation.

Reader, the day perhaps will come when you too will wish to ask for a
quarter of an hour’s life.  It may be you will rise to-morrow morning,
and God’s sun will be shining bright, and everything will look peaceful
and happy as you leave home, but the angel of death may have started on
his errand; and instead of your walking in, gaily whistling, in the
evening when your work is over, there may come down the village a
mournful company bearing a wounded man upon a hurdle.  That man may be
yourself; and as you reach your own door the films of death may be
gathering over your eyes, and the one request you would like to make
would be, "Oh! that I might have but a quarter of an hour to make my
peace with God."  It has been the prayer, ere now, of many a one more
hardened in sin than yourself.  The richest men have felt the longing,
and they would have given half of all their hard-earned gold to get that
quarter of an hour.  The poorest men have felt it too; and if they could
begin life again they felt that they would live very differently, and
Christ and not Satan should be Master of their hearts.

"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God[#]."  It
is a fearful thing to live a life of wickedness, and to die with
unforgiven sin upon the soul.  But the remedy is in your own hands.  The
Lord Jesus waits to be gracious; He loves you, He toils for you, He
weeps for you, as He wept for Jerusalem of old, and all He asks of you
is to give Him your heart now, and then there will be no such thing as
fear in death; for the perfect love wherewith He will teach you to love
Him, will cast out all fear and all terror, and in your case there will
be no pain in death, but the spirit will pass away from earth to meet
Him at last on the shore of heaven.

[#] Heb. x. 31.

                        *SORROW AND SUFFERING.*

    "’Nobody knows but Jesus!’
      Is it not better so,
    That no one else but Jesus,
      My own dear Lord, should know?

    When the sorrow is a secret
      Between my Lord and me,
    I learn the fuller measure
      Of His quick sympathy."
        _F. R. Havergal._

"Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward[#]" is a very true
saying.  And I suppose there will be few people, if any, of those who
read this book, who will not know something about sorrow.  Yes, we all
feel sorrow, more or less.  Some people feel it more acutely than
others.  To some it is a real burthen.  From the little child who cries
over its broken toy to the old man who weeps over his lost wealth, all
are partakers of sorrow.

[#] Job v. 7.

Suffering, again, might be "sorrow’s own sister," so closely are the two
connected here below. For instance, God sends a great and crushing
sorrow; say, for instance, the death of a dear friend, or the sickness
of one we love; and to us the news of this sorrow brings intense pain,
deep suffering.  And you may ask, why is this suffering necessary?  You
tell us it is sent by God, and that all He sends is for our good, what
is the need of suffering?  I will tell you. A friend of mine who had
been in Eastern lands, told me he once saw a shepherd who wanted his
flock to cross a stream.  The shepherd went into the water himself and
called them, but no, they would not follow him into the water.  What did
he do?  Why, he went in among the flock, and lifting a little lamb under
each arm, plunged right into the stream, and crossed it without even
looking back.  When he lifted the lambs, my friend said, the old sheep
looked up into his face, and began to bleat for them; but when he
plunged into the water, the dams plunged in after him, and then the
whole flock followed. When they reached the other side he put down the
lambs, and they were quickly joined by their mothers, and there was a
happy meeting.  My friend told me, too, that he noticed that the
pastures on the other side of the stream were much better, and the
fields greener, and on this account the shepherd was leading them
across. And in like manner does the good Shepherd, even Jesus Christ,
having found his oft-repeated call to men to look up to heaven vain, so
also does He often take from His flock a little lamb, and crossing with
it the stream of death, places it down amid the green pastures and still
waters of Paradise.  And by this means he often causes the parents to
look up to the same place, for right well He knows the truth of His own
words, that "Where the treasure is, there will the heart be also.[#]"

[#] Matt. vi. 21.

And so, perhaps, you begin to see that suffering used by Almighty God
has its uses.  It very often is the means, in cases where other means
have failed, of weaning a soul away from earth, and fixing its hopes on
the things of heaven.  It very often is the first warning given to the
soul of man, that here has he no continuing city, but must seek one to
come.  Reader, it may be as you have walked along life’s troubled way,
you have as yet had but little taste of suffering. But it will come one
day.  It comes to us all; and very often, the best men, and the holiest
men are the greatest sufferers, under the chastening hand of God.  You
remember the case of Job in the Bible, what a sufferer he was!  And yet
Job was a good man; for when the temptation came to him to curse God and
die, he recognised it as the voice of Satan, even though the words were
spoken by the one nearest to him on earth.

The great thing for us all to recognise in the day of suffering and the
time of sorrow alike, is the good hand of our God upon us.  To
understand that there is such a thing as being "perfect through
suffering," and that we, even as the Master Himself did, may learn
obedience by the things which we suffer.  That a smooth existence
without sorrow and without suffering may be a life of mental anguish,
while a life of sorrow and suffering may be a life of joy, of hope, and
of triumph, are doubtless lessons hard to learn; but for all that we
must needs learn them.  And if we cannot learn this lesson from the
lives of those around us, it may be God’s good pleasure to teach it in
our own.


    "There is a Reaper whose name is Death,
      And with his sickle keen,
    He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,
      And the flowers that grow between."

So solemn a subject is that of death, and so near have many of us been
brought to it, either in our own homes or in those of others, that we
cannot but approach it with a feeling of awe.  To the worldly man death
can never be a pleasant prospect.  At best it means to him the cessation
of all hope and of all action.  All worldly pleasure is then at an end,
and for him there remains no such rest as is the hope and stay of the
people of God.

Another class there is that looks upon death in another way.  These do
not really enjoy life here below, still less do they enjoy any hope of
life to come.  For such persons death is but a leap in the dark; a
bridge across the dark valley from the mists of earth into a far more
misty future; a passage from the darkness here into the deeper and
blacker darkness beyond.

But how different all this is in the case of the Christian man.  He has
been preparing, all his life through, for the world to come.  His
conversation--his "citizenship--is in Heaven[#];" and in death he
recognises the method by which his dear Lord calls him home.  There is
no sting, no agony, in the Christian’s death; Jesus, his Saviour, took
that away long ago.  There have been death-beds, on which men lay with
bodies racked with aching pains, or horribly mutilated, and yet the look
on their faces was perfectly happy. The body indeed was suffering agony,
but the mind was feasting on visions of a far-off land. and a kindly
Saviour ready to receive the redeemed one home.  Oh, yes, there is
something grand and striking about the Christian’s death. The invisible
spirits of God ascending and descending, as of old they did to the
sleeping Jacob at Bethel, keep bringing stores of comfort to his soul.

[#] Phil. iii. 20.

Among the many grand and noble deaths which history records, I know of
none grander in its simplicity or more precious in its lessons, than
that of Commodore Goodenough in our own day. He had gone ashore with a
boat’s crew, on one of the South Sea Islands; when he was surrounded,
and attacked by the natives, who were exasperated at the cursed
man-stealing trade which has brought discredit on the English name.  The
Commodore was wounded by an arrow, which chanced to be poisoned; but
this he did not know.  Nor was it till his ship was nearing Adelaide,
that he discovered that his wound was mortal.  And then beneath the open
sky, far from his English home, on the deck of his vessel in which he
had sailed over those summer seas, he called his men around him; and as
the rough seamen, one after another, gathered quickly round their dying
chief, he looked upon them, with the films of death already settling on
his glazing eyes, and said, "My men, I want you to serve God."  These
were the last words he ever spoke to them, and then his spirit passed
away to join the vast multitude before the throne of that God he had
loved and served so well.

The death of a Christian is indeed precious from the lessons we learn
from it.  But in order to die a Christian’s death, remember you must
live a Christian’s life, and then you may say with Balaam--"Let me die
the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his[#]."

[#] Num. xxiii. 10.

                             *LAST WORDS.*

    "On what has now been sown
      Thy blessing, Lord, bestow;
    The power is Thine alone
      To make it spring and grow."

We have now reached the last chapter of these readings, and the last
words must be spoken.

We have thought together upon life and death; upon humility and
self-denial, those "two graces peculiarly Christian."  I have spoken of
our duties to our parents and to our children respectively; of work of
various kinds on earth, and of rest in our Father’s kingdom.  And now,
reader, that it is almost time for us to part, let us "gather up the
fragments that remain, that nothing be lost[#]."

[#] S. John vi. 12.

Have you learnt anything, do you think, that you didn’t know before,
from the words of this book?  Are you any nearer to your Father’s house
than you were when first you opened it?  Has the Bible seemed in any
degree more precious to you, or has it in any way increased your regard
for the things of the Spirit, and the peace that passeth understanding?
If these, or any of them, have been attained, I have gained my object.
If this book has in any way put before you the old, old story in a new
light, then my purpose has been accomplished, my work is done.  But if
there is any one who rises from reading this book, feeling still
careless about God, or holiness; if there be any who, like Felix of old,
intends to put off repentance to a more convenient season, which season
may never come, let me earnestly beg of him in these last words to
repent, ere it is too late.

The present time is yours--the future is God’s. And remember that you
must give up sin _entirely_ if you would be a follower of Christ.  Don’t
rest content, as I well know too many do, with being no worse than
others.  Don’t go with the multitude to do evil.  Christ wants you to
try and be better than others, and not as good or bad as they.

Set a high standard before you, even the standard of the God-man
Himself.  Rise higher than the low standard aimed at by those around
you.  "Rise higher--learn from Christ, Who was lifted up, how to draw
all men unto you, learn to think for them, to feel for them, to work for
them, to suffer for them."  And oh! don’t think such occupations as
these will make you a gloomy man, or a dull companion.  "Rejoice, O
young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy
youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine
eyes: but know thou that for all these things God will bring thee into

[#] Eccles. xi. 9.

Arise then, young men, in the strength which your God has given you.  Go
forth and shew the world and your fellows what true manliness and
self-control will do for a man; enjoy life, but use it and don’t abuse
it, and so "be faithful unto death," and you too shall receive "a crown
of life[#]."

[#] Rev. ii. 10.

There in the heavenly home your sins will never be mentioned again.
Jesus Christ waits to bear them for you.  The angels wait to welcome
you.  The Holy Ghost waits to take possession of your heart, and make
His dwelling there.  And will you disappoint all these?  Take your
Bible, and turn to the beautiful story of the lost sheep in the
fifteenth chapter of St. Luke, and there read how "there is joy in the
presence of the angels of God, over _one_ sinner that repenteth."  As
one has beautifully put it--

    "And all through the mountains thunder-riven,
      And up from the rocky steep,
    There arose a cry to the gate of Heaven--
      ’Rejoice, I have found My sheep.’
    And the angels echoed around the throne
    Rejoice! for the Lord brings back His own."

Go to Him just as you are, poor and wretched and sinful, and He will
wash you from your sins, and clothe you in His own righteousness.  And
when you have found Him, tell others about Him too.  Philip was not
satisfied to follow Christ alone, but he went and told Nathanael.  The
woman of Samaria was not content to stand and listen to the Saviour’s
gracious message, but she went and called her friends and her
neighbours, saying, "Come, see a man which told me all that ever I did."
And so it will be with you.  "When thou art converted strengthen thy
brethren."  Speak to them often privately about the love of Jesus, as
you have opportunity, and neither in this world, nor in the world to
come, shall you in any wise lose your reward.

One word more.  Don’t be down-hearted.  If you find the devil strong, if
you find the flesh weak, don’t be down-hearted.  Those conversions are
seldom lasting which are the work of a single day.  You will have much
sorrow and much trouble as long as you are in the world, but be of good
courage, for Christ has "overcome the world[#]."

[#] S. John xvi. 33.

Young men stand up for Christ, and He will stand up for you, when you
most need His help. Don’t be ashamed of _being called_ Christians, or of
_being_ Christians.  Be more _truly_ manly, and you will be more truly
humble; be more independent of men, of their praise or blame; and then
you will be more dependent upon God.  In a word, don’t mind sharing your
Master’s shame here, if you wish to share His glory hereafter.

And my last word of farewell advice to all who may read this book, is
this--"Be not thou ashamed of the testimony of our Lord[#]."

[#] 2 Tim. i. 8.

                                THE END

               _Printed at the University Press, Oxford_
             _By_ HORACE HART, _Printer to the University_

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              *Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.*

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Christianity Judged by its Fruits.
       By the Rev. C. CROSLEGH, D.D.

The Great Passion-Prophecy Vindicated.
       By the Rev. BROWNLOW MAITLAND, M.A.

Natural Theology of Natural Beauty (The).
       By the Rev. R. ST. JOHN TYRWHITT, M.A.

Steps to Faith.
       Addresses on some points in the Controversy with Unbelief.
       By the Rev. BROWNLOW MAITLAND, M.A.

Scepticism and Faith.
       By the Rev. BROWNLOW MAITLAND, M.A.

Theism or Agnosticism.
       An Essay on the grounds of Belief in God.  By the

Argument from Prophecy (The).
       By the Rev. BROWNLOW MAITLAND, M.A., Author of
       "Scepticism and Faith," &c.

Some Modern Religious Difficulties.
       Six Sermons preached, by the request of the Christian
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Some Witnesses for the Faith.
       Six Sermons preached, by the request of the Christian
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Theism and Christianity.
       Six Sermons preached, by the request of the Christian
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Being of God.  Six Addresses on the
       By C. J. ELLICOTT, D.D., Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol.

Modern Unbelief: its Principles and Characteristics.
       By the Right Rev. the LORD BISHOP of GLOUCESTER AND BRISTOL.

When was the Pentateuch Written?
       By GEORGE WARINGTON, B.A., Author of "Can we Believe
       in Miracles?" &c.

The Analogy of Religion.
       Dialogues founded upon Butler’s "Analogy of Religion."
       By the late Rev. H. R. HUCKIN, D.D., Head Master of
       Repton School.

       By the Rev. E. A. LITTON, M.A., Examining Chaplain of
       the Bishop of Durham.

Moral Difficulties connected with the Bible.
       Being the Boyle Lectures for 1871.  By the Ven. Archdeacon
       HESSEY, D.C.L., Preacher to the Hon. Society of Gray’s
       Inn, &c.

Moral Difficulties connected with the Bible.
       Being the Boyle Lectures for 1872.  By the Ven. Archdeacon

Prayer and Recent Difficulties about it.
       The Boyle Lectures for 1873, being the THIRD SERIES of
       "Moral Difficulties connected with the Bible."  By the
       Ven. Archdeacon HESSEY, D.C.L.

                   The above Three Series in a volume

Historical Illustrations of the Old Testament.
       By the Rev. G. RAWLINSON, M.A., Camden Professor of
       Ancient History, Oxford.

Can we believe in Miracles?
       By G. WARINGTON, B.A., of Caius College, Cambridge.

The Moral Teaching of the New Testament viewed
       Rev. C. A. Row, M.A.

Scripture Doctrine of Creation.
       By the Rev. T. R. BIRKS, M.A., Professor of Moral
       Philosophy at Cambridge.

The Witness of the Heart to Christ.
       Being the Hulsean Lectures for 1878.  By the Right
       Rev. W. BOYD CARPENTER, Bishop of Ripon.

Thoughts on the First Principles of the Positive
       MIND.  By the late BENJAMIN SHAW, M.A., late Fellow of
       Trinity College, Cambridge.

Thoughts on the Bible.
       By the late Rev. W. GRESLEY, M.A., Prebendary of Lichfield.

The Reasonableness of Prayer.
       By the Rev. P. ONSLOW, M.A.

Paley’s Evidences of Christianity.
       A New Edition, with Notes, Appendix, and Preface.  By
       the Rev. E. A. LITTON, M.A.

Paley’s Natural Theology.
       Revised to harmonize with Modern Science.  By Mr. F. LE
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       Surgeons of England, &c.

Paley’s Horæ Paulinæ.
       With Notes, Appendix, and Preface, by J. S. HOWSON,
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Religion and Morality.
       By the Rev. RICHARD T. SMITH, B.D., Canon of
       St. Patrick’s, Dublin.

The Story of Creation as told by Theology and
       SCIENCE.  By the Rev. T. S. ACKLAND, M.A.

Man’s Accountableness for his Religious Belief.
       A Lecture delivered at the Hall of Science.  By the
       Rev. DANIEL MOORE, M.A., Holy Trinity, Paddington.

The Theory of Prayer; with Special Reference to
       MODERN THOUGHT.  By the Rev. W. H. KARSLAKE, M.A.

The Credibility of Mysteries.
       A Lecture delivered at St. George’s Hall, Langham Place.
       By the Rev. DANIEL MOORE, M.A.

The Gospels of the New Testament: their Genuineness
       AND AUTHORITY.  By the Rev. R. J. CROSTHWAITE, M.A.

Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed, to the
       added, Two Brief Dissertations.  By BISHOP BUTLER.  NEW

Christian Evidences.
       Intended chiefly for the young.  By the Most Reverend

The Efficacy of Prayer.
       By the Rev. W. H. KARSLAKE, M.A., Assistant Preacher
       at Lincoln’s Inn, &c., &c.

Science and the Bible.
       A Lecture by the Right Rev. BISHOP PERRY, D.D.

A Lecture on the Bible.
       By the Very Rev. E. M. GOULBURN, D.D., Dean of Norwich.

The Bible: its Evidences, Characteristics, and
       EFFECTS.  A Lecture by the Right Rev. BISHOP PERRY, D.D.

The Origin of the World according to Revelation
       Bishop of Carlisle.

How I passed through Scepticism into Faith.
       A Story told in an Almshouse.

On the Origin of the Laws of Nature.
       By Sir EDMUND BECKETT, Bart.

What is Natural Theology?
       Being the Boyle Lectures for 1876.  By the Rev. ALFRED
       BARRY, D.D., Bishop of Sydney.

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