Page images
PDF
EPUB

66

[ocr errors]

tion was so taken up with the wonderful machine that she did not hear him. She had brought a piece of calico, and was admiring the neat row of stitches Mr. Gray had quickly placed upon it, and now wanted to try it for herself. She began therefore laboriously to guide the work and turn the handle according to his directions; but, as the material came from under the cloth-presser, there was no trace of sewing, only an irregular line of holes made by the point of the needle. Janet looked at it with disappointment.

"What's wrong?" she asked.

“ You have pulled the thread out of the eye of the needle,” Mr. Gray said, “ so there is no connection between your work and the machine."

James came and looked on with interest. “ Ay, Janet,” he said, "you'll have to look sharp after the thread, or you'll have your labour for your pains, my girl.”

Many times that very thing has taught me a lesson,” Mr. Gray said. “I have seen my wife working away so busily until she came, as she thought, to the end of a seam, and then she found that there was not a single stitch in the whole thing, because she had not noticed that this little link was wanting. And it seems to me that this mistake is often made in something far more important than the sewing of an earthly garment. God gives to every man his work' for eternity, and many go on through life as satisfied that they are doing it well as my wife was whilst she was plodding away with her machine; everything in appearance, both to herself and others, was the same, but the testing-time was when the work was examined."

“ You're going on a little too fast for me, Mr. Gray,” James said, respectfully, but with a shade of discontent in his tone. “It's easy enough to see whether the machine has done its work-anybody can tell that, but it isn't so clear about the other work, for people have such different opinions about it. Now I thought I'd done a considerable spell at it when I took the pledge, etcetera, but, from words you've dropped at different times, I don't believe you're satisfied.”

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“Very thankful, so far as it goes, my friend,” said Mr. Gray heartily," but not satisfied, certainly. Your reformation has put within your reach the possibility of doing good work for the Master, just as the possession of this sewing-machine makes good work for her family possible for your wife. But you must both look well to the connecting-thread. You see," he went on, turning to the machine, “ that the threading of the needle is so necessary because it connects the work with the supply of thread on the reel. And so it is with our union to Christ. He says, “Severed from Me ye can do nothing ;' and we need only try to keep God's law in our own strength to find out that we can no more do it than a dead man could do a day's work."

“Then being honest and sober and steady don't count for anything ?” said James.

They count for all the earthly blessings that are naturally connected with it,” replied Mr. Gray—“respectability, self-respect, and home happiness; but they do not fulfil God's law. He asks for your love, James. Can you not understand how precious that is to the Great Father? You know so well that nothing less would content you in wife and child. And this love, which is impossible while we keep away from God, springs up freely in the heart when we are brought nigh by the blood of Christ, and see how He has loved us in giving up His only Son to shame and death to be our Saviour. Then we understand the force of the words, “This is life eternal, to know Thee, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.' When we know and believe this love, we cannot but yield our love to Him in return. Then He threads the needle for our life-work, connects it with all His resources of grace and strength, that we may live soberly, righteously, and godly; makes us partakers of the Divine nature, and gives us a son's claim on all a Father's riches, and a son's hope of a welcome to the Father's home at last.”

Mr. Gray had warmed with his subject, and now he paused, almost ashamed of the fire with which he had spoken ; but on James's face there was a look of awakened and eager interest, as of a man who suddenly sees the end of a clue that is to lead him out of a labyrinth.

You've done one thing for me, Mr. Gray,” he said ; "you've made me wishful to read the Bible for myself. There's something in what you've said that wants looking into. I think I've been making a mistake in my work. God helping me, I'll get the needle threaded."

M. C. F.

“Onward, Pilgrim, Onward !"

" NWARD, youthful pilgrim,

,
With the joy thou knowest,

With thy hopes so bright.
Onward, but be watchful,

Keep thy arms in hand,
For thy journey leads thee

Through a hostile land.
Onward, manly pilgrim,

Strong of heart and true,
Hardened by the conflict,

Passed triumphant through ;
Onward, press right onward,

Swerve not left nor right,
Bearing high Christ's banner

In the fiercest fight.
Onward, weary pilgrim,

Though thy heart may groan
Burdened, bruised, broken ;

Strength beyond thine own
Shall aid thee and sustain thee,

And bear thee safely on
Till every conflict's ended,

And victory is won.
Once more, dying pilgrim,

Gird thee for the strife ;
This last conflict ended

Comes eternal life.

No more foes assailing

Shall thy peace molest;
No more trial or watching,

But rest-eternal rest.
Oh! the transport, pilgrim,

When thy journey's o'er
And thy feet are resting

On heaven's verdant shore;
When from off thy shoulders

Christ the cross lays down
And thy brow encircles

With His glorious crown.

E. S. H.

600 for us."

A NEW YEAR'S MOTTO.

T was an afternoon early in January, when the

city missionary took his place in the midst of the little company he was wont to meet on the

Sunday in the room of a sick man, long confined to bed. As he used to say pleasantly, “He could not go to the meeting, so the meeting came to him.” The little gathering consisted, for the most part, of those who, like John Fox, were old, or sick, or weak, or, it may be, all three. These claimed the meeting as their own, and looked upon any others rather as intruders.

There was much to sadden as one looked round the poor and dingy room; want and sickness and sorrow were se plainly marked on face and form. Yet, as one looked a little closer and longer, and saw how eagerly all listened to the words of life, and saw how the light of love and hope and joy chased the shadows from many a wan and worn face, one could rather rejoice, and thank God that to the poor the Gospel is preached, the Gospel that never sounded so full of blessing as, when spoken to such sufferers as these, it told of a Father's love, of a Saviour's finished work, of the Good Physician, of rest, and home, and heaven,

a

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

3

[ocr errors]

A warm welcome was always ready for this loved friend; and especially at this, the first meeting in the New Year, very hearty and friendly greetings and good wishes were exchanged.

The meeting opened with earnest and simple prayer for the promised presence of Him who has said, “Where two

“ or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them,”1 and for the teaching of the Holy Spirit, so freely given to them that ask.2 A hymn followed, “Safe in the arms of Jesus," sung with weak and quivering, and not altogether musical voices; yet surely it “ entered into the ears of the Lord God of Sabaoth."

Mr. Andrews gave out his subject,“ God for us.” “ Could there be a more blessed word for us, each and all, to carry through the year with us? Surely we may trustfully echo the whole verse, “ If God be for us, who can be against us," and exclaim with the Psalmist, “ The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? 4 These three little words, ‘God for us,' are like a tiny bud in which a large and beautiful blossom is folded up, for what can we need or wish for that is not contained in them? Let us try and find out what there is here for us, one and all. Most of you are sick and weak, and all are poor as to the things of this world. What is it, then, to have the strong arm of our God for us? He says, “Mine arm also shall strengthen him.'5 That strength is as great now, for ‘His arm is not shortened,' as it was for St. Paul, to whom in his weakness it was said, “My strength is made perfect in weak-' ness,' who proved the truth of the promise, and has left us his testimony, 'When I am weak, then am I strong,' and 'I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.' The very feeblest who lays hold of the strength of God must be stronger than the very strongest on earth who has it not, for. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the

2 Lord (Jehovah) our God to help us, and to fight our i Matt. xviii. 20.

2 Lake xi. 13.

3 Rom. viii. 31. 4 Psa. cxviii. 6 5 Psa. lxxxix. 21. 2 Cor. xii. 9, 10; Phil. iv. 13.

6

6

6

« PreviousContinue »