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as a penny in the house to buy us food. We were in fact wholly unprovided for. But we had a Father in heaven, and He did not forget us in our affliction.
Our last loaf was on the table, and my mother, weeping, read aloud from the Bible; “ Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God ?'' when we were interrupted by a knock at the door. I ran and opened it. On the threshold stood a fisherman and his wife each bearing a large fish. These they placed in my hands, tears coursing down their rugged cheeks the while. My father had attended their little daughter free of charge, during a long and dangerous illness, and the simple-hearted affectionate creatures having learned our sad bereavementfor tidings of the melancholy event had sped like lightning through the island—took this means of testifying their grateful remembrance of his kindness, and their sympathy for our loss and destitute condition.
“We will bring you more to-morrow, and may God watch over you alį,” whispered the man as they turned to go away. Unable to speak, I could only press their hands and look my thanks for their thoughtful kindness.
These good Samaritans were speedily followed by others; men and women, cotters and servants, each bearing in his or her hand some little offering furnished cheerfully out of their poverty. These were given me with timid deprecating looks, and amid tears and touching expressions of love and regret for the kind friend they had lost. Ob, how dear to me were these grateful heartfelt tributes to the memory of
dead father! The sight of these little gifts deeply affected my mother. “There are kind hearts in the world,” she faltered, “ and God will yet raise us up friends. He will not desert us in our misery. Let us cast our care upon Him."
She had scarcely finished speaking when the door opened and our clergyman entered. After sorrowful greetings bad been exchanged and words of spiritual consolation spoken, “He had been commissioned,” he said, “ by a friend, who wished his name preserved a secret, to inform my mother, that he would defray all my father's funeral expenses; and in the meantime she was to accept a little token of sympathy from one who had esteemed and loved her husband as a brother.” One and all of us eagerly crowded round my mother as she opened with trembling hands the envelope given her by the clergyman; and words fail to
picture our feelings when it was found to contain a banknote. My mother was the first to speak.
"Oh, sir,” she faltered, “my dear, dear husband; how true were his words! The Lord is a rich provider; and I, unworthy creature that I am, sinfully doubted His protecting care. What am I that He should thus provide for me ?"
“He that giveth to the poor lendeth to the Lord ;' and the poor were your husband's chief care," said the good man, pressing her hands in his.
In midst of our tearful gratitude for this unexpected benefaction, a cart stopped before the door, and immediately afterwards two large bags, the one containing flour and the other meal, were placed on the kitchen floor. Soon there came another of equal size filled with potatoes. This was followed by a supply of butcher meat. We were indeed amply provided for! Remembrance of my father's worth and active benevolence stirred up all hearts in this the hour of our sorrow; and rich and poor came to the relief of the widow and the fatherless, bountifully giving of their wealth and of their poverty, and rejoicing inasmuch that they had it to bestow.
Nor did their kindness end here. Immediately after the funeral a subscription was set afloat by an influential proprietor in the neighbourhood; and so lovingly was the call responded to, that soon they collected, not only in our own but in adjacent islands where my father's many virtues had gained him numerous and sincere friends, a sum sufficient to maintain my mother in comparative comfort for the remainder of her days. To add to this a wealthy farmer charged himself with my brother's education and future establishment in life. We girls were also educated at the expense of kind friends, and were cared for and provided with homes until we got married and had homes of our own. Thus my dear father's words were strangely verified—“The Lord did provide.” From the day of his death until now we have wanted for nothing.
“Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment ?"
“Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they gather into barns: yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they ?”
“BRING THEM HITHER TO ME."
MATT. XIV. 18.
souls, but in the world around us. How utterly
nfluences, our prayers seem! What hope have we of success ? So the disciples reasoned. Five thousand men and only five loaves! And Jesus says, “ Bring them hither to me." Wondering, they obey. Doubtingly they take the broken bread from his hands and distribute to the multitude. Then indeed do they begin to learn the power and sufficiency of Jesus.
Has not their experience been ours? Have not we too most unexpectedly received of his fulness? The serpent in the wilderness was a type of the power of Jesus to heal. He multiplied the loaves and the fishes, not merely to satisfy the wants of the hungering multitude, but to encourage us to bring to him our smallest offerings.
Bring to him your prayers. They may be but broken petitions, sighs, and moans. You may not know what to pray for as you ought. You may be compassed about with weakness and infirmity. Yet bring these petitions to Jesus. He will help your infirmities. He understands far better than you your meaning, and he too knows “the mind of the Spirit.” “ In the name of Jesus rise up and walk." Without that name he who was daily laid at the Beautiful gate of the temple would always have remained a cripple. Prayer without the name of Jesus rises not to heaven, brings no blessing, gives no peace. But
prayer in the name of Jesus is all-powerful. Yes, he has entered, not the holy of holies of the Jewish tabernacle, but heaven itself, and that for this very purpose, that he might present our supplications and prevail. Bring to him, then, your prayers. He will make them effectual to secure for you, for those you love, for the world, more than you ask or think.
Your charity is a mite, too little in your view to give, too little to be of any use. Yet bring it to Jesus. He can multiply it a thousand fold and make it reach thousands of hearts. The widow's mite he has made a stream of blessing that will roll on through the whole course of time. The asylum that Francke founded in his deep poverty
not only still shelters the orphan and scatters abroad the word of life, but every year witnesses an increase of its power for good. Men undertake enterprises in their own name, often with great expense and great magnificence, but they end in utter failure. But he who commences however humbly in the name of Jesus shall never be put to shame.
Your thoughts and your plans for usefulness seem insignificant and vain. Were you only a man of influence you would have some hope of benefiting the world and some encouragement to effort. But you are too obscure to be of any weight among men, you have too little influence to procure the adoption of any plan. Yet bring your desires, your aims, your purposes to Jesus. It is wonderful how thoughts and plans will grow under his hand till they compass the earth in their grasp, and exert their influence over generation after generation of men. Carey and his companions, oppressed with a sense of the woes and the dark prospects of the heathen, brought their thoughts and their plans to Jesus. Well might they exclaim, “What are these among so many?" for, while their aim was to reach the world, they were inexperienced, poor, and without influence. Yet, now, the tree which they planted fills the whole land, and distant nations of heathen sit under the shadow thereof.
“I CAN DO ALL THINGS." PRISONER in chains in the capital of an empire which ruled the world, himself hated and despised, Paul cries out in confident tones : “I can do all
things through Christ.” Was this madness, or was it faith? Madness, if he looked at his own strength; the folly of madness, if he considered the circumstances in which he was placed; but faith, if he relied upon an almighty arm pledged to his support.
Faith it was ; and Paul lived" to see his boast in the process of rapid fulfilment. That despised religion, whose Founder had been crucified and buried, soon shook the empire of the world, and its ruler lay prostrate before the cross. Paul's faith in the hearts of Christians now would soon subdue the world. They can do all things through Christ strengthening them.
I CLING TO THEE.
HOLY Saviour, Friend unseen,
The faint, the weak on Thee may lean;
By faith to cling to thee.
My soul may cling to thee?
While she can cling to thee.
Each hour to cling to thee.
Still would I cling to thee.
Whispers, “Still cling to me."
The souls that cling to thee!
Because they cling to thee.