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I trust a time will come when you will know and feel it to be all true, true of all, true of yourself; when you will be selfarraigned and self-condemned; found guilty of sin, not of the sin of cowardice, falsehood, or any mean and dishonourable act; but at least of this, that you have had conferred upon you great and innumerable favours, and have requited your Benefactor with ingratitude. This will be guilt enough to humble you, and
you will feel and own that you are a sinner.” The difficulties, however, that I had felt from this appreciation of his early character were all cleared up at the deathbed of
friend. On my first seeing him he said, “You witness my most comfortable and happy state. I cannot describe it to you. Now I owe it all to you, though I never told you, and you never knew it.” Shortly after this, when we were alone, he called to me and said, “ Now I will tell you what I never told you or any one. When we first met, and you were a little boy, your good mother had taught you a hymn, which you used to repeat aloud every night on getting into bed. That hymn made a remarkable and deep impression on me, which was never effaced. Without your knowing it, I got it by heart from hearing you repeat it, and from that time to this I have never gone to my rest at night without repeating to myself that hymn, and praying. This had a most salutary effect
life. When at sea, I never, under any circumstances, omitted it; and under the influence produced by it, I remember that when I was once for a short time in command of a small brig we had captured from the French in the Mediterranean, one of the first orders I gave, was for the regular meeting of all hands for reading and prayer, which was well received and had a good effect.' He then repeated the hymn to me, and I took a pencil and wrote it down. I had forgotten every word of it.
Here, then, I saw the true source of all that had so charmed and surprised me in his life. What I had attributed to the impulse of a gentle and noble nature, were the “ fruits of the Spirit," and the excellence that shone forth in his conduct and character was “the beauty of holiness.” This he acknowledged with all thankfulness and with the deepest humility; speaking of it as an infinite and undeserved mercy, which he had not improved as he ought. It now seems strange to me that I had never discovered this, but I was walking in darkness, and therefore perceived not the light by which he was directed.
Surely God has here shown us some of the doings of his
upon me all
wonder-working hand. A pious mother teaches her child a hymn. It makes no impression upon his heart, and is soon effaced from his memory. But its work is done, and its fruits appear
in the heart and life of another. Shall she complain that the seed has been blown away from the soil over which she so carefully cast it, to take root in another? No. “ As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are God's ways higher than our ways, and his thoughts than our thoughts," Isa. lv. 9. “Who will say unto him, What doest thou ?” That seed, thus blown away, produced its rich fruits, and they were then brought back to the spot which her prayers had desired they should bless. Her wayward child had forgotten her instructions, but they had made for him a friend, whose influence, and counsel, and example, restrained and strengthened him in the dangerous paths of youth, whose life had taught him how to live, and whose death hath now taught him how to die.
Well may he bless God, for this " his servant departed this life in faith and fear; ” and ask “his grace so to follow his good example, that with him he may be a partaker of the heavenly kingdom."
SUNSHINE AND SHADE,
WILLIAM MOODY.. Joseph. Well, neighbour Blythe, you were going to give me some account of the lively old gentleman, whose piety and cheerfulness pleased you so much. You can sit down on this bench while you tell me all about it. And you, Master Moody, I see you are there. Come and help your neighbour, for you were near the old gentleman when he spoke. But begin, Master Blythe, begin.
Thomas. You must know then, that, at our market town, I was standing near two old gentlemen, who were talking together. One of them said a great deal to the other, in a way
that led me to listen. I thought, perhaps I shall pick up something worth carrying home; so I hearkened well to his words. Oh, it was a pleasant thing to hear him talk so cheerfully as he did. If I could but remember half of what he said, it would be a comfort to me. You may, perhaps, think that I had no business to listen, but he was talking no secrets, and spoke up loud and clear. “We ought to be ashamed of ourselves,” says he, “ that we are not always rejoicing. Here are we blessed with health of body and peace of mind. By day the sun shines on us, and by night ten thousand stars light up the skies. We have food and raiment, peaceful sabbaths, and the word of God, the means of grace, and the hope of glory. Why, our heads are anointed with oil, and the cup of our consolation runs over.”
William. You are making out a pretty tale, Master Blythe, but you know that I was close by you all the time, and heard every word that was said.
Thomas. And what does that matter? have I said anything that is not true ?
William. I do not say you have, but you have not told all the truth. You are making it out that the old gentleman looked on the world as all sunshine, but it was no such thing.
Do not you remember, he said that his heart ached to see so much ignorance, so little knowledge of heavenly things, and so great a neglect of the sabbath.
Thomas. Yes! and I remember, too, that he said the prospect before him of Sunday schools, and faithful ministers of the gospel, and religious societies, and missionaries, cheered his very
soul. If I make it out that he wås all sunshine, you make it out that he was all shade.
William. Why you know as well as I do that he bemoaned the poverty of the poor, and expressed his pity for those who had such hard work to get the bits and drops necessary to support them.
Thomas. I know he did; but then he rejoiced that so many of the poor were, through God's mercy, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom of heaven. “What is earthly poverty,' said he, “if accompanied with heavenly riches? What are a few poor years of trial here below, if they are followed by ages of happiness above? You seem to have been hunting in dark holes, William, after cobwebs and spiders, instead of looking out for sunny spots, and cheerful prospects.
William. Cheerful prospects! You cannot call that very cheerful which he said about sicknesses, and diseases, and accidents, and such like things.
Thomas. Yes, but I can though; for he made it out as clear as the sun in the firmament that these things do far more good than harm to all that love God. 66 When sorrows are sanctified,” said he, “they bring about more humility, and peace, and comfort, and joy, and thanksgiving, than all our prosperity. Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
William. If I understood him right, he said that the world seemed out of joint, that God dealt hardly with us, and that everything was in disorder.
Thomas. I would not be of your temper for all the world. You seem one that would prefer the hooting of a screech owl, to the singing of a nightingale. You remember everything that is dark, and dismal, and forget everything that is bright and joyful. Sure enough he painted the world as out of joint, and God above as just in his demands, and all around as a scene of disorder, when we, short-sighted and poor purblind mortals, looked through the smoky glass of discontent and unbelief; but when our eyes were spiritually enlightened, and thankfulness and faith filled our hearts, then he said we could not help seeing that God was a God of love, and infinite compassion, and the creation, a creation of beauty, and order and harmony. You and I are as different in our tempers aš sugar and vinegar, we should never do to travel together. You would go poking along looking at the beetles under your feet, while I should be gazing at the butterflies over my head.
William. I will just ask you one question. Can you deny that he said the threatenings in the Bible against sin were enough to sink the stoutest heart down to the dust?
Thomas. No, I cannot, and I do not wish to deny it; but you have got on the dark side again, for he added, “that though the threatenings against sin were so heavy, yet the precious promises to repentant sinners were enough to lighten the spirit, and to make the heart dance for joy. What a disposition you have! It is my opinion that you would hear a raven croaking on the wood, sooner than a lark singing in the air; and if a tree of full blown roses were growing right in your path, you would begin to count the number of its thorns.
William. Thomas ! Why, the old gentleman said that this life was a thorny pilgrimage, and that we must expect to sigh, and to sorrow, while travelling in it.
Thomas. Yes, but he said that it led to a better, where thorns grew not, and where sorrow and sighing would be done away! I never met with your fellow. If you were to turn almanac maker, we should have plenty of foggy weather, and there would be frosts every month in the year. The old gentleman was as cheerful as a summer's day, and you make him out to be as dismal as a winter's night.
William. And if I do, I say nothing but the truth, for these were his very words, “Old age is the winter of life, when growing infirmities bear us onward to the grave.”
Thomas. And why do you stop short in the middle of the sentence? The latter part of it ran thus; “but blessed be God we can rejoice at this; for when death draws near, we are at the very door of our heavenly's Father's house, time will be changed for eternity, earth for heaven, and temporal sorrow for eternal joy.” Do rub your eyes a bit, for now you can see a black crow
a great deal plainer than a white pigeon.
William. Well! I will only make one more remark, but that will be a poser to you, for whether I have been right or wrong in other things, I know well that I am not wrong in this : he said, “Eternity was a dark, cold, cheerless blank, without a beam of joy or a single ray of hope."
Thomas. Ay! to the infidel; and so it is : but what a glorious thing did he represent eternity to be, to the followers of God, the disciples of Jesus Christ! He said it was one glorious and never ending burst of light, life, love, peace, and unutterable joy. I would advise you to look at the bright as well as the dark side of things, and to listen to good news attentively at the same time, and then, perhaps, you will not be so deaf to the precious promises of the gospel and the glad tidings of salvation. I am afraid till you do these things you will never join in the chorus of the new song that the old gentleman spoke of so cheerfully: “Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, goodwill towards men;" “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.”
Joseph. Come ! don't be too hard upon one another. One has given the shady, and the other the sunshiny remarks of the cheerful and pious old gentleman. We may learu something from both, for it seems pretty clear that there is enough of affliction and sorrow in the world to make the merriest heart grave, and
mercy and joy to make the most melancholy burst out into a song of thankfulness.
“Be courteous.”—1 Pet. üi. $. This injunction relates to our whole carriage with others in any condition. And yet, there is a particular regard to be paid to it in communicating good, in supplying the wants,