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mostly he was flushed with drink, and upon occasion repulsive with blasphemy, his presence was rather feared than desired by the other attendants. On such occasions Miss B. would silence him with some terrible warning passage from the Word of God, publicly rebuking his transgressions and his vileness. Then he would go away, swearing still, but in an undertone, for fear of the faithful rebuker.
Not content with publicly rebuking the sinner, when imperatively called upon to do so, Miss B. visited at Bill's home-for he had a home, such as it was—and talked and prayed with him there. Bill's wife, a thin, worn, wretched woman, shrunk from the violence of her husband; but she hoped and longed to see good result from Miss B.'s efforts for her own good, and that of the poor unfortunate children who owned such a father ; but notwithstanding all the lady's entreaties and efforts at these visits, he still continued hard and scoffing, resisting the gentle strivings of the Spirit, and spurning all the offers of salvation. Many times did Miss B. leave Bill's wretched home in tears, after unavailing prayers with and for him. The Spirit of God works in many ways.
He bloweth where He listeth, and operates according to Divine determination, choosing His own agents. Miss B. sat at work in her parlour one afternoon, pondering over the results of her labours in that unpromising field, when a strong impression came to her—an impression which she could not shake off—that she should go to see Bill. “Go to Bill,” the inward voice said, “and tell him that this is the last time I shall send to him. This is his last offer of mercy.” Thinking that it might be only a passing thought, she strove to put it from her ; but it returned again and again, with such pertinacity that it made her very restless. “Go, go to Bill,” the voice repeated. “Warn him for the last time.” At last, unable to resist longer, she put on her hat and went to Bill's house. His wife was at home, and in answer to the young visitor's eager inquiries, she said that her husband was at work.
A few days later, and Polly Green had finished her work in this world, and had gone to the Saviour whom she had loved so well. But although she was gone, her works remained, and who can say where the results of her loving labour ended ?
She was only a poor working girl, but she did what she could, and perhaps accomplished more good than many others who have greater opportunities of usefulness.
“A word spoken in due season, how good is it?" and yet how many there are who never speak the word. They know the blessedness of trusting in Jesus, and finding peace and safety in Him, but cannot bring themselves to point others to the same happiness. They are afraid of being thought righteous overmuch; they think they will give offence, or are so diffident as to fancy that they are not competent to properly perform the duty of speaking a word of advice or counsel. But is this a right feeling? Is there not work for us all to do, and is it not our duty to do it? If every Christian were but to let his light so shine before men that they might see his good works, and thus be induced to glorify his Father who is in heaven, how much good might be done, how much misery and wretchedness avoided !
Let no one say that he or she is too humble to be able to do good. Every one who is taught of God may do some good. There is work for us all, and the time in which to do it may be very short; knowing this, it behoves us to work while it is called to-day, for the night cometh when no man can work.
Do you say you have no opportunities of usefulness? Look around you, and you will find plenty to do. Is there no sin to be battled with ? no suffering to be alleviated ? Surely you can do some work for Him who has done so much for
you. Even without going from your own home you may find work.
The well-directed efforts of a good man, even in the private walks of life, may produce results hardly to be calculated," says a writer on this subject. “His conduct throughout the successive engagements of
the day may operate powerfully on the different members of his family, and even upon his friends who frequent the house, who make him social visits. He may on these occasions frequently give a suitable direction to conversationmay exchange unprofitable or light converse for that which will instruct and edify, and raise the conviction, that while frivolous and vain subjects leave a painful void, those of higher import refresh and invigorate the mind, and increase its zest for spiritual things.” In other words, we may be constantly working for Christ, and doing good to those about us, by living a sincere and truly Christian life.
One thing is certain, that he who would do any work for his Divine Master must seek that Master's aid: “ of ourselves we can do no good thing." Seeking help from on high, and striving faithfully and earnestly to do good to all about us, we are certain to succeed, and to have the satisfaction of knowing that we are doing our share of the work that God has laid down for us to do. There is work for all ; let us, then, work while it is called to-day, for the night cometh when no man can work.
G. H. S.
The Crippled Miner.
SIMPLE theme—but humbly I
Would offer it to Him
Till suns and stars are dim;
From distant pole to pole,
Thrills the believing soul.
Singing their April psalm,
Whose every look was balm,
Which led into a moor,
Close by the thatcher's door.
Before me was an ill-clothed man
Bent on his crutches low;
His pace was very slow.
His was a piteous case ;
Were on that miner's face.
A hole exploding in his work
Before he could withdraw, Crashed round him with a thunder-roar,
And shattered him like straw : His limbs were broken in the blast,
His manhood bruised away, And life to him was life no more
From that eventful day.
We met-I spoke of birds and flowers,
Which God to man had given, And how the blossoms never fade
On the green hills of heaven; When such a shout from that pale form
Rose the white clouds above, Linked with the Saviour's hallowed name,
As listening angels love.
Oh, could the infidel have seen
His face glow bright with fire,
Swept high his golden lyre,
Upon the lonely moor
He'd doubt His word no more.
The heights with hallelujahs rang ;
Methinks I hear them still,
With freights of good and ill.
Of such a low estate,
Has past the golden gate.
delirium prognosticated intense illness. As he belonged to a benefit society, his wife assumed the responsibility of summoning the usual medical man, who enjoined the strictest quiet and rest, if they would arrest the disease. But the word had gone forth—the word from the throne, from the throne with the rainbow on high ; and by slow and sure degrees Bill passed into the most delirious stage of brain fever. It mattered not that ice was applied to his burning brain, or that his head was shaved, or that the doctor resorted to all his well-known and most approved remedies : nothing took any effect. Yet occasionally lucid intervals came; intervals in which his memory recalled, although disjointedly, the conversation of two or three days before. At such times he would groan, "My last hope ! my last hope !" and then, losing consciousness, he would relapse into insensibility again, or go off into frantic ravings, cursing the memories of his mother and the gentle girl who had so fearlessly carried to him the message of salvation-a message which was half a warning, half a prophecy. She came to see him, too; prayed for him amid his ravings, mingling her tears with those of the terror-stricken wife.
A few days of this terrible suffering went on, and then Bill's spirit filed to the presence of its Maker, there to answer for his rejection of the last message of mercy.
This occurrence produced a very deep and widespread feeling of awe in the neighbourhood. The circumstances were too well known to be laughed away, too terrible to be laughed at. They led others to think more seriously of the future, and to receive the warnings and invitations of the Gospel with greater solemnity, so that many among those rough illiterate miners received the word of reconciliation by the ministry of Miss B.
Some of my readers may have received a last message from God, although knowing it not. Death comes very suddenly sometimes, leaving no opportunity for even one last agonising “God be merciful to me a sinner.” None of us are ensured against death ; none of us can know from