The Baldwin Library
LEU1,TIL7P3 TO C 1-11 1 [LEN,
LECTURES TO CHILDREN,
ILLUSTRATING IMPORTANT TRUTH.
REV. JOHN TODD, D.D.,
"THE STUDENT'S MANUAL," QUESTIONN S ON TEE PATRIARCHS," ETO.
"I will fetch my knowledge from afar,
And will ascribe'righteousness to my Maker."
JoB xxxvi. 3.
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS,
BROADWAY, LUDGATE HILL;
AND 416, BROOME STREET, NEW YORK.
AUTHOR OF "THE WIDE WIDE WORLD."
PRICE ONE SHILLING EACH,
With Coloured Illustration.
THE TWO SCHOOL GIRLS.
THE WIDOW AND HER DAUGHTER.
GERTRUDE AND HER BIBLE.
THE ROSE IN THE DESERT.
THE LITTLE BLACK HEN.
MARTHA AND RACHEL.
THE CARPENTER'S DAUGHTER.
THE PRINCE IN DISGUISE.
LONDON: GEORGE ROUTLEDGE & SONS,
THE BROADWAT, LUDGATE HILL.
TO THE ENGLISH EDITION.
THE first series of Lectures by Dr. Todd has
been no small favourite in the nursery and in
the school-room. Published in the year 1834,
it has maintained an undiminished hold upon
the youthful mind, and is still sought after with
eagerness as a welcome addition to juvenile
libraries. It has been translated into French,
German, Greek, and many other languages, has
been adopted as a school-book for the liberated
slaves at Sierra Leone, and has been printed in
raised letters for the blind. In America, it has
reached its twenty-first thousand. In this coun-
try, it has passed through many editions, the
total sale of which has exceeded one hundred
Under these circumstances, the public are
doubtless prepared to hail the advent of a
Second Series. Competent parties in America,
who read the new Lectures in manuscript, did
not hesitate to pronounce them equal to their
predecessors. In the confident hope that a
similar judgment will be formed on this side of
the Atlantic, they have been carefully revised
for re-publication, and are now presented to the
rising generation of our own land. The young
will find much to interest their fancy, to instruct
their minds, and to profit their souls, in these
cheerful yet truthful pages.
THERE are, perhaps, loftier walks than the paths
in which the feet of childhood tread. But when
we remember how earnestly Moses commanded
his people to instruct their little ones; how
beautifully David spoke to them, and of them;
how wisely and fully Solomon taught them in
his Proverbs; how tenderly Christ embraced
them, and charged His ministers (in charging
Peter) to feed His lambs; how great is the
number now under the care of the Church of
Christ for instruction; and how great a propor-
tion of all who are, at this day, converted to
God, come from among these lambs,-we can
hardly over-estimate the importance of this de-
partment of spiritual labour.
Many. years ago, I made the attempt to speak
to children by the pen. The effort was far more
successful than I had any right to hope. Whe-
ther the harp has since become so worn by tine
that its notes will be no longer recognized,
will be determined by the issuing of this little
volume. Should it, like some unpretending
bird, light upon as many bright and sunny
places, and with its notes cheer as many listen-
ing children, as the First Series has, I can
hardly think of a higher earthly recompense.
We read, in our blessed Bible, of a temple in
which the very snuffers were of pure gold; but
more beautiful far is the heart of the child in
which the Holy Ghost dwells as His temple.
To this end,-I trust with something of the
child's humility,-I send forth this humble
volume, and commend it to the blessing of the
I. THE LOWLY CRADLE .... .... 1
II. THE LOST CHILD. ... . . . 12
III. THE CHILD FOUND . . . 23
IV. GATHERED LIIES . . . . . 34
V. THE LITTLE SHIP . . . . . 49
VI. THE GREAT KING . . . . .. 61
VII. THE BROKEN STAFF MENDED . . .. .78
VIII. THE FLOWERS . . . . . .. 94
IX. THE ANGEL'S ERRAND. ..... . 107
X. GOD REJOICING . . . . .. .119
XI. THE OLDEST RIDDLE . . ..... .128
XII. THE GREAT CHANGE . . . .. .140
LECTURES TO CHILDREN,
I.-THE LOWLY CRADLE.
" Ye shall find the Babe, wrapped in swaddling-clotbes, lying
in a manger."-LuKE ii. 12.
CHILDREN, you know that if you were to try to
make a mill, or a carriage, you would go to
work very differentlyfrom the way in which a man
would; and you know, too, that while the man
might finish his mill or carriage, you could not
finish yours. The man would go to work very
differently from the child, because he is older and
THE LOWLY CRADLE.
Suppose there were a large island far off in the
ocean, full of people; and suppose these people
had all become thieves, so as to rob ships, and
kill all in the ships; and suppose that they
were liars and drunkards, and were just as
wicked as they could be! Now how would
some men deal with them ? Why, they would
send war-ships with cannon and powder and
great balls, and guns and swords to fight them.
The great ships might shoot down their houses
and cities, and kill a great many people; and
they might scare them, and make them promise
to do better,-but this would not make the
wicked people feel any better; they would still
want to be thieves and to rob ships, and would
do it, if they only dared.
Suppose, now, that some day, just at night,
these people on the island should find a man
floated on their shores, almost drowned,-because,
in trying to get to them, his little boat had struck
upon a rock, and been broken in pieces. They
pick up the poor man, and find that he has no
watch, no jewels, and no money which they can
steal. He tells them that he has heard they are
wicked, and he has come to teach them, and to
tell them about God, and heaven and hell.
They laugh at him, scorn him, refuse to give
him food or a bed; sometimes they throw stones
at him,-sometimes tell lies about him; but the
stranger never gets out of temper. He bears it
THE LOWLY CRADLE.
all meekly, and watches with the sick, makes
crutches for the lame, leads the blind, and takes
the very poorest children, and teaches them in
his school. When not in school, he is going
about doing good, carrying medicines to the
sick, comforting the sorrowful, and speaking
words of kindness to all. By and by some of his
scholars catch his spirit, and do just as he does;
and they go and open new schools, and teach the
same good teaching.
After a while, some of the islanders get very
much out of patience to see these good things
done, and so they get together and kill the
stranger who has tried to do them so much good.
But after he is dead and gone, it is found that
those whom he instructed still have his spirit:
and thus more schools are opened, till the poor
islanders are all taught, and all see how wrong
it was to be thieves and murderers, and how
wrong it was to be cruel, and so they all become
better people. They learn to work and earn
their living, and they are sorry and ashamed
when they think how they used to live and act.
Now this poor stranger had no cannon and
no swords; yet he did what the war-ship never
could do: he made the people feel sorry for their
sins. He made them leave off being thieves
because they feared God, and not because they
were afraid of being shot. Which of these two
ways do you think was the best ?
THE LOWLY CRADLE.
When God does anything, He does not do it
as men do. The people in old times knew,-for
the Bible had told them so,-a long time before
Christ came to this world, that He would come.
Sometimes the Bible called Him a "Star," some-
times a "Fountain," a "Sun," a "King," a
"Prince," and sometimes a "Child," or a "Son."
They knew that, as all the prophets spoke of
Him, He must be greater than any other pro-
phet. They knew He was to do some great work
-for His kingdom was to be an everlasting
kingdom, and all kings and people were to bow
down to Him and serve Him. And they thought
that one of whom this was foretold, and who was
to do so great a work, must be a great character.
And how did they think He would come?
Why, they supposed that having His choice as
to how He would come, He would want to do as
other men love to do. Men love pomp and
notice. An ambassador who goes to another
country has a great war-ship go on purpose to
carry him. He has flags on the ship, and guns
are fired, and it seems to be a great affair.
We know that, if we build a bridge, we must
have a great deal of timber, and a great many
men to hew, and bore, and put it together; if we
build a house, we must have men to dig the cel-
lar, masons and carpenters, painters and window-
makers, and a multitude of trades, to help in it.
If we know that a man has a great weight to lift
THE LOWLY CRADLE.
or a great work to do, we expect to see a very
strong man. If we know that a man has done
some great work, or is selected to do some great
work, as Washington was, we expect to see a
very uncommon man. So the people thought
that Christ would come in a very new way.
Some, perhaps, thought He would come on the
clouds of heaven, attended by angels, as He will
come at the Judgment-Day. Some, perhaps,
thought that He would come with chariots and
horses of fire, as Elijah went up to heaven.
Some thought that He would come as a great
king, with an army, and live in a palace, and
have officers, and gold, and riches, and fine
clothes. Some thought He would come as a
general, and make war, and conquer armies, and
thus make all people serve Him. They knew of
no way by which to raise up His kingdom, except
to fight and make people afraid of His sword.
So they used to think and talk about Himbefore
He came to this world. How little were their
plans like God's plans!
On the wild hills of Judsa, there were some
poor men watching over their flocks of sheep by
night. They built little watch-fires, it may be,
to warm themselves and to scare off the wolves.
They were good men, and knew, most likely, that
a Saviour was coming to this world. It may be
they were talking about it and praying about it
together that very night, when suddenly the
THE LOWLY RIADLE.
heavens seemed to open, and out of them flew a
multitude of holy angels, singing Glory to God
in the highest, and on earth peace and good-will
toward men." The shepherds were afraid, but
the angels told them not to fear, fbr a Saviour
was born,-Christ the Lord,-good tidings of
great joy which should be to all people!
Ha! the Saviour is born!-a thing of great
joy to all people! Well, He must be in some
palace,-where they have officers and guards,
and silver and gold in great plenty! But no!
they must go,-not to Jerusalem, the great city,
-but to little Bethlehem; not to the palace of
royalty, but to the stable! And there is the
lowly cradle, a manger, for the greatest King and
the most wonderful character that ever was born.
There were no silk curtains, no marble floors, no
beautiful pillars, no great officers of state, no
long train of servants, no treasures of gold,-
there was only a manger with a little babe in it,
and his mother bending over Him! The shep-
herds tell their story of having seen the angels;
they believe this is the Saviour of the world, and
that in that lowly cradle is the "Son that should
be given," "the Child that should be born," and
they fall down and worship Him. How they
gaze at the manger! at the child wrapped in
swaddling-clothes !-How they weep for joy,
and then go back to the hill-side, and rekindle
their fires, and give thanks to God!
THE LOWLY CRADLE.
Did you ever think, children, how many things
took place even while Christ was a babe, which
would draw men to think about Him ? There
was the story of the shepherds, which they
would spread far and wide among the people in
the country. Then the wise men came from
the east, guided by a new star, and the star
would be seen and talked about far and near.
They came to Jerusalem, and went to the palace
of King Herod to find the babe, and thus they
made it known to all the rulers and to all the
city. This made it known still more widely.
Then, when His parents brought the babe into
the Temple, the wonderful speech made by old
Simeon would be told all over the country.
The good old man had waited and lived to see
this babe, and he was now ready to die. Next
we have a king who tried to kill the babe of the
lowly cradle, and sent soldiers to Bethlehem
where the child was born, and slew all the little
ones under two years old, so as to be sure and
kill the child Jesus; and this would be known
all over the land. But Christ-the little child-
was carried by night down into Egypt, and finally
brought back again, and carried to Nazareth, a
little place so small and so poor, they thought
the king would not look for Him there.
Thus the babe, the child that was born, though
cradled in a manger, moved heaven and earth;-
the angels, to sing and shout for joy; the shep-
THE LOWLY CRADLE.
herds, to hasten and worship Him; the wise
men, to follow the new star till it came and
stood over where the young child was; the king
and all Jerusalem, to be moved and troubled;
the children, to be slain on His account; and
even old age, to feel gladdened and joyful. Was
there ever such a child ? was there ever such a
cradle? He might have come the child of a
king, and have been rocked in a golden cradle,
had He seen fit. He might have had the nobles
of an empire to welcome Him; but no! He
came and occupied the lowly cradle! And why
did He do so ? 1 will tell you.
1. That we might all look at His real character.
Had Christ come as a king, or a general, or a
rich man, men would have looked at Him as
they do at a beautifully bound book. It is not
the reading, the real value of the book, which
they notice, but the gilding and the ornaments.
So when men have great titles, and great offices,
and great wealth, we are apt to feel that these
things are very desirable. Had Christ come as
such a one, we should all have tried to be like
Him, and so His followers would all have tried
to be kings, or generals, or great or rich men;
but now, he who is most like Christ, may be a
poor man, and have no worldly glory. We
have not to look at Christ through a gold cloak,
nor to see the dazzle of epaulettes or swords;
we have not to wait till He has put off the
THE LOWLY CRADLE.
robes of state, before we see Him. There is
nothing between us and His beautiful character
We have not to ask whether it is the pure
water that is so sweet, or the cup out of which
we are drinking it, that makes it taste so good.
How little did Christ borrow of earth in order
to make men love and admire Him! We do
not know whether He was tall or short. We
do not know the colour of His hair, the dress
that He wore, the expression of His face; we
do not know anything about Him, except that
He came here and was found in a manger, with
no heart but that of Mary to thrill at His birth.
He would be loved,-not for what He had of
earth, not for the glory of a throne, nor the
honours which He bestowed on others,-but
loved for His own sake; for what He was, and
is, and ever will be.
2. He came by the way of the lowly cradle, to
show the poor what they can be and do.
The parents of Christ were very poor. The
pictures all make Joseph to be walking beside
Mary on an ass with the babe in her arms, as
they fled to go down into Egypt; but I am not
sure that it was so. I do not know but that
they walked, and carried the infant in their arms.
They were poor,-and when they brought their
little son into the Temple, they brought the poor
man's offering,-a pair of doves; thus showing
us that the poor man may bring his little child
THE LOWLY CRADLE.
to God and dedicate it to Him,-and that he
will be just as acceptable as the man who has
uncounted gold. Sometimes poor people say
they cannot go and worship God on the Sabbath,
because they have no clothes; and poor children
sometimes say that they cannot go to the Sun-
day-school, because they have not clothes good
enough. This is not a right feeling. This is
not like Christ. The clothes in which He was
wrapped in the manger were, perhaps, of a very
common kind; and when He was brought to
the temple to be dedicated to God, He was not
dressed in gay clothing. Nothing of this kind
was needed to recommend Him to God. And
let me assure my little reader, that, if he has
fine clothes and a beautiful home, and nobody
trying to kill him, he is better off than Christ
was, but he has no reason to feel proud. If
he is poor, and has poor clothing and lives in a
poor home, let him remember that it was just so
with Christ,-and yet his parents gave Him to
God, and from his very birth they held Him
as something consecrated to God.
3. Christ came to us by the way of the lowly
cradle, to show us that we need be ashamed of
nothing but sin.
Christ was a poor man's child; and He was
not ashamed of that. Joseph was a mechanic,
and that was no disgrace. Christ was born in
a stable and cradled in a manger, and that was
THE LOWLY CRADLE.
no disgrace. He was persecuted in infancy,-
driven away from home; He had to flee out of
His country, was hunted by the king and his
soldiers, and that was no disgrace to Him.
There is no disgrace in poverty, or in trouble,
or in anything but sin. "He knew no sin."
How differently do we sometimes feel! We
think that it is a disgrace to be poor-to have no
home,-no friends! It may be so, if it was sin
that made us poor, if it was sin that made us
lose our friends; we ought to feel ashamed of
sin and crime; but not of anything else. Those
who will be clothed with shame and everlasting
contempt are the wicked. Those of whom Christ
will be ashamed are the wicked. Those who
will be shut out from His presence and glory
for ever are those who are wicked. Now, my
little children, you may know whether you
ought to feel ashamed. If you use bad, low,
wicked words; if you are rude, unkind, cruel,
and headstrong; if you are proud, vain, and
overbearing; if you are selfish, covetous, envious
or jealous of others; if you are profane or vulgar
in manners or. behaviour; if you are unkind
to your brothers or sisters, or disobedient to
your parents,--thn you have something to be
ashamed of. Sin, in every shape and degree, is
shameful; and it is the only thing that is so.
Children, will you not learn a lesson from the
11.-THE LOST CHILD.
"And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the
child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem, and Joseph and
his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to
have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they
sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And
when they found him not, they turned back again to Jeru-
salem, seeking him."-LUKE ii. 43-45.
SOME sixty or seventy miles north of Jerusalem
is a long, beautiful hill. Before the hill is a
small, but quiet and most charming valley. Let
us go up to the top of that hill. Now, children,
let us look around us. On the side of the hill
is a village, and a little on one side of that, a
fountain of water gushes out, and drops into a
marble basin. To this fountain all the women
of the village come to get water. Let us look
beyond the village. Yonder, between the moun-
tains, and beyond the little valley which lies just
at the foot of the hill, on the left hand, is a great,
beautiful plain,-the most beautiful in all the
land. It used to be called the Plain of Esdraelon.
_ That round-topped mountain at the left is Mount
Tabor; and there, over the hills, you can just
see the heads of Little Hermon and Gilboa.
And that beautiful mountain, stretching along
THE LOST OHILD.
till it dips its feet in yonder distant waters, is
Mount Carmel. Look now directly west, and
those waters so brightly gleaming in the sun are
the Mediterranean Sea. You can see them on
both the right and left of Mount Carmel. On
the north is another beautiful plain; and away
on, on beyond, seems to be a sea of mountains,
with one mountain rising up higher than all,
with his head covered with ice. That is Old
Hermon! What a beautiful prospect from this
hill! Where are we ?
This hill is the hill of Nazareth, and that
village on its west side is Nazareth. He-e once
lived a little boy. I suppose he often-drank at
that running fountain. I suppose his feet often
trod this hill. I suppose his eyes often gazed
upon these hills and mountains and valleys. His
name was Jesus.
His parents lived in that village, and they
were poor, but humble and pious people. Every
year they all went up to the great city Jeru-
salem, where the Temple was, that they might
worship God according as He had commanded.
On the return of the feast of the Passover,
-so called, because, when the angel of God
killed so many of the Egyptians, (Exodus xii.
27,) he passed over the Israelites and did not
kill one of them,-this family all went up to
Jerusalem. When the feast was over, they, and
all the villagers who had gone with them, set
THE LOST CHILD.
out to return home to Nazareth. They probably
went on foot,-unless there were some who were
too old or too feeble, and they would ride on
As the large company wound along the foot-
path, among the hills where the vineyards
were hanging their ripe fruits, where the flowers
were breathing out their sweetness, where the
fields were waving with grain,-where the beau-
tiful oleander gleamed with its load of richest
blossoms, and the roses of Sharon tempted the
children to stop and pluck them,-where the
dove sat on the boughs of the trees that hung
over the path, and poured out her low song,-
oh, how glad were the hearts of these people!
How they talked of the city of David where they
had been, of the glorious temple in which they
had worshipped, of the High-Priest in his rich
garments, of the robes of white, of the music
which made the courts ring with joy,-the trum-
pet and cymbal and harp,-of the good people
whom they had seen, of the old friends whom
they had met, of the loved ones who went
up with them the last year, but are dead now!
How they spoke of the children whose silvery
voices united in the songs of Zion, or the inquiries
they had made about a Saviour who was expected
in these years! And then, some of them sang
over again the songs they had heard in the
Temple, old men and old women and maidens
THE LOST CHILD.
and children all uniting to sing as they went to-
wards their home.
It is now almost night, and the red sun begins
to go behind the hills, and to touch the moun-
tain-tops with his light, and the western clouds
look bright, as if covered with dust shakenfrom
angels' wings. The company have all stopped
under a cluster of tall palm-trees, where there is
a spring of water, and they are getting rciAdy for
their evening meal. Hark what cry is that!
"A child lost!" "A child lost!" And there
comes the mother, passing from neighbour to
neighbour, and from group to group, inquiring
most earnestly for her lost child. She supposed
he must be among some of her relatives; but
no! they have not seen him! How pale she
looks! They try to comfort her. They want
her to eat. Eat! she has no desire for food.
Her child is lost! Has he been carried off by
wandering robbers ? Has he fallen by the way,
and been left sick and alone by the road-side ?
Has he gone in an unknown path through mis-
take P Poor mother None can tell thy
sorrows! None can know the thoughts of thy
She must turn back! She is already weary
with the long day's walk, but as the moon rises
over the hills, her shadow is seen as she hurries
back, and every now and then stops and calls
for her child. The hills echo back the sweet
THE LOST CHILD.
name of" Jesus!" Jesus !"-but that is all!
Sometimes she thinks she sees his form resting
under a tree,-but it is only a dark shadow.
Sometimes she listens and thinks she hears his
voice,-but it is the distant call of the shepherd.
All night long the mother keeps on her way,-
distressed for her lost child !
Children, you sometimes, it may be, feel
unkind towards your mother. It may be that
you are disrespectful in your language to her.
Oh, let me say to you, that you have no friend,
and you never ca have, in this world, a friend
like her! Should you die while a child, you
will Iever be forgotten by your mother. She
will remember how you looked; she will recall
the tones of your voice; and long after others
have done mentioning your name, she will think
of it, and in the silence and darkness of night
she will think of her child, and weep that he is
dead. Or should you live to grow up, there
never will be a day, if there is an hour, when she
will not remember you, and wish she could do
something for you. If you are in sickness or in
trouble, she will ever be ready to come to you
and try to do all she can for you. Others may
forget you, other hearts may grow cold towards
you, others may blame you; but she-your
mother-will always take your part and try to
defend you. Even should she live to be old, and
blind or feeble, she will have her heart, warm
THE LOST CHILD.
towards her child. She will forget all that you
have said that wounded her feelings, all that
you have done that was wrong; and till the
grave closes over her, she will have a mother's
heart towards you.
The child was lost! And Mary, his mother,
weary and ready to sink to the ground, kept on
towards Jerusalem. What was it to her that
the soft moonlight lay on the hills, and shadows
and light mingled in the valleys ? What was it
to her that the vine gave out its fragrant smell,
and the blossoms of the fig-tree and the orange-
tree filled all the air with their sweetness ? The
song of the nightingale would have sounded like
the wail of her lost child !
When the morning light was again spread
over the hills, she had retraced her weary steps
so far that she could again see the towers and
pinnacles of the great Temple in Jerusalem.
The morning sun seemed to throw a silver veil
over them all. But how different things look
when we are sad from what they do when we are
happy! How different does silver look on the
coffin-plate from what it does in the shape of a
cup! When she saw those towers a few days
since, her heart leaped for joy; for she was then
going up to worship with her child. Now he
was lost !
How could itbe ? She had never known him
get into bad company; she had never known
THE LOST CIILD.
him do wrong, play truant, or do anything to
pain his mother's heart. That made it the more
strange. If he had been undutiful, or wicked,
she might have thought he had run away. But
he had always loved his poor home at Nazareth,
and had never been undutiful. How strange
that he should be lost!
When the gates of the city are opened, the
mother rushes into the streets. She goes to the
house where they had stopped during the Pass-
over. He has not been seen there. She goes
to the few acquaintances' that she had in the
city, but they have not seen him. She goes to
the market, and then to the pools, and inquires
for her lost son; but nobody can tell her any-
thing about him. The watchmen meet her in
the streets at night, and are moved at her sor-
rows; the sick man in his chamber hears her
sad calls, and lifts up his head and inquires who
it is. Through every street in the city, for three
days, does the poor mother wander, seeking her
lost child Has he been stolen and carried off
to some distant land and sold, like Joseph of old?
Has he been murdered in the streets, and secretly
buried out of sight ? Is he in some dark corner,
lying upon the bed of pain, vainly asking for his
Ah, Mary thou hast lost thy child, and thou
art teaching these children several lessons; such
THE LOST CHILD.
1. That our troubles come upon us in ways not
When in the bright morning Joseph and
Mary set out to return to their home, they ex-
pected that the day would be hot, and the way
would be long, and the fatigue would be great,
but they did not expect that at night their child
would be lost, and all wrapped in mystery and
sorrow. We are like the little ants that set out
to run in their little paths, but if an acorn drops
in the path, or a stick drops across it, they are
amazed, and stop, and turn back, or work their
way around it. I have known many a child
setting the heart upon a ride or a walk into the
fields, when suddenly a storm, a shower, or the
coming of visitors spoiled all. I have sometimes
seen a family of children so happy in their
sweet home, with their swing, their waggons,
their doves and chickens, their dolls and doll-
houses, that it seemed as if they must always be
thus happy with their parents and with one
another! But in a few weeks I have passed that
beautiful house, and it was all shut up,-the
doors and the windows were all closed. The
parents were in the grave, and the poor children
scattered from one another, never to live together
again. 'Ah! the briers that tear our skin, and
the nails that we tread on and that wound our
feet, are not in the places where we looked for
them. It seems as if, did we only know when
THE LOST CHILD.
and how our troubles would come, we could get
ready to meet them. So we could. But our
Heavenly Father does not intend to let us know
this. It is a part of our trouble to have it come
when and how we did not expect it. He does
this to make us feel that we cannot guard our-
selves, cannot take care of ourselves. The
little child takes hold of his father's hand to
pass through a wood; he does not know when
and where he will meet with logs and stones to be
climbed over, ditches and holes into which he
may fall, and serpents which may bite him; but
his father's hand holds him and guides him, and
will not let him receive hurt.
Mary is sorrowing and seeking her lost child,
-and she is thus teaching,-
2. That children need some one greater than
parents to take care of them.
Perhaps no mother ever loved her child more
than Mary loved the child Jesus. She had
great expectations concerning him. The angel
Gabriel gave him his name before he was born,
So did Isaiah call him "Immanuel,"-God with
us. From the visit of the shepherds and the
wise men, and the prophecy of old Simeon, and
the thanksgiving of the aged Anna, she hoped
great things. But now her child of so many
hopes was lost! He might be sick, he might
be starving, he might be dying, he might never
be found again! Who could take care of him ?
THE LOST CHILD.
And who can take care of little children?
Their parents cannot keep them in health,-
cannot cure them when sick,-cannot keep
them when death calls for them! Who can?
They need some one who can keep them and
guide them at home and abroad, on the land and
on the water. And God is that greater Friend,
-greater than father or mother, and greater than
the greatest man that ever lived. The child may
be lost, but God knows where he is. The child
may be sick, but He can heal him. The child
may die and be taken away from the arms of his
mother, and go into that world where she cannot
follow him,-but He will take care of him. How
I love to feel that every child is under the care
of One who can do all things, and who will never
forget what is committed to His hands! Some-
times I have been called to see a mother lie on
her death-bed, and leave her dear little children
behind her; and I have noticed that she commits
them to our Heavenly Father, who is faithful to
His promises. She must die, but she feels sure
that God will live, and that He will take care of
her little ones. And sometimes I have seen the
mother hang over the little bed on which her
dear child lay dying, or bending over the coffin
in which its beautiful little body lay,-and I
have seen that, amid all her tears, she could feel
that her babe was safe. Oh, there is One who
is so great, that nothing can be lost from His
22 THE LOST CHILD.
sight, nothing so far off that He cannot reach it,
nothing so lowly that He cannot raise it up.
The little coffins in which we place the precious
dust of little children will soon decay and be no
more; but the eye of God will keep it all safe.
They may be out of our sight, but He will always
O Mary! blessed above women! thy feet are
weary in walking the streets of Jerusalem seek-
mg for the lost child, and thy tears fall fast and
thick, and thy head throbs with pain, and thy
heart-aches with sorrow! But cheer up, weep-
ing one! thy child is safe! God will take care
III.-THE CHILD FOUND.
" And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found him
in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both
hearing them and asking them questions. And all that
heard him were astonished at his understanding and
answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed:
and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus
dealt with us? Behold, thy father and I have sought thee
sorrowing!"-LUKE ii. 46-48.
WE have very few blessings which do not come
to us through suffering. In proportion as the
horse is well trained and gentle, he had to suffer
in being broken in, and learning to be so gentle,
and to have no will of his own. The white,
beautiful teeth of a little child, that look so
much like ivory, caused much pain before they
grew up in that regular row.
There was once a poor little girl who had no
Bible, and so she had to walk miles every week
to read a Bible and get her Sabbath-school
lesson. Her little bare feet ached, and her
body was weary, and she was one day found
shedding tears over her lot,-in not having
a Bible nearer. Many a long, weary walk she
took, through much suffering. At last a good
minister of Jesus found her, and not only got
THE CHILD FOUND.
her the book, but the story moved many good
men till they came together and formed the
British and Foreign Bible Society,-the greatest
Bible Society in the world. And so that great
Society came into being by the tears and suffer-
ings of a little girl!
Some years ago a gentleman in Hartford had
a beautiful little daughter. But oh! how the
parents grieved when they found that she was
deaf and dumb, and could never speak or hear!
She was bright and lovely, and no child among
them all nestled so near the father's heart as
little Alice! And so anxious was he for her,
that he had no rest till the Deaf and Dumb
Asylum was established, at which hundreds and
hundreds of such unfortunate children have since
been educated. So all this great good seemed
to grow out of the sufferings of little Alice!
The child cannot learn to walk without many
a fall. Our blessings come to us through suffer-
ing. The physician who is so wise and so skilful
when we are ill,-knowing just what to do,-
had to see many a sick person before he learned
all this. The surgeon who can cut off a broken
limb, or cut out a terrible tumour, must go
into the hospital many, many times before he
can become so skilful. He must see many a
limb cut off, and many an operation performed,
before he can know how to do such things.
He must grow to be a surgeon through much
THE CHILD FOUND.
suffering. Somebody must suffer, or he would
not have the skill.
There would have been no such great and
good man as Moses, had there not been great
sufferings among the children of Israel in Egypt.
There would have been no such man as
Martin Luther, had there not been a dreadful
state of things among the people.
There would have been no such great and
good man as Washington, had not the troubles
of his country raised him up. He grew up in
the midst of suffering.
Just so the beautiful story of Christ's being
lost and found when a little boy, which so many
thousands and millions will read over with
admiration, was connected with the sufferings of
his mother. How many tears she shed! how
many sleepless hours she spent! how little food
she took! how she wandered all over the city
inquiring for her child! What had become of
him ? Had he gone up on the walls of the city,
and, leaning over, fallen off? Had he gone up
to the pinnacle of the Temple and fallen from
there ? Had any of the wild men of the desert
caught him and carried him off, to sell him into
slavery in Egypt,-as Joseph was sold ? Would
she find him dead? Or would she never see
his face again ? Ah, Mary! it was told thee
that a sword should be thrust through thee;
and this is the point of the sword, and its first
THE CHILD FOUND.
prickings! At night she dreams of him, and
starts up from her sleep, thinking she hears his
voice calling her name.
Towards the close of the third day, when
the multitude are hastening up to the Temple,
at the hour of sacrifice, the anxious, pale, and
care-worn mother is seen mingling with the
crowd. Her eye pierces among them, and rests
upon every child. But he is not in their midst.
At last, weary and sad, the mother leans against
a pillar that separates between the court where
the people stop, and the great council-chamber
where the teachers and learned men are met.
The door stands ajar, and she hears their voices.
Now she starts!-for she hears a voice that
she knows! Is it possible! She rushes in!
The council are so much taken up, that they do
not notice that a woman-a thing never per-
mitted-is among them! Now she stops sud-
denly, and stands still! Is it because she is
awed at the sight of that great room, with its
huge pillars all round it, the splendid ceilings,
the carved chairs and seats, the rich tapestry
and curtains, the marble floor all laid out in
different colours like a rich carpet ? Is it be-
cause she is afraid of the sound of her own foot-
steps upon the marble ? How still she stands!
She hardly breathes! and now she turns paler
still! Now the tears come rolling down her
cheeks! How she trembles! What ails her?
THE CHILD FOUND.
Ah! she sees her child,--her lost one,-alive
and well. He is in the very middle of the room,
surrounded by the great doctors and teachers.
His eye is calm, his voice is natural,-he is not
thinking of himself. He is asking those learned
teachers deep questions. They are all looking
at him, astonished at his knowledge of Divine
things,-his knowledge of the Scriptures, and of
the plans and the ways of God. They feel that
he can teach them. They wonder at the boy.
Just then he catches the eye of his mother, and,
partly in reproof and partly in amazement, she
cries: My son, why hast thou thus dealt with
us ? We have been in great distress, fearing
thou wert lost. We have searched and mourned
with deep sorrow." She says but little, and that
in gentle tones, for she is awed by what she
hears and sees. She receives no reproof from
the great men into whose presence she has
come, for they see that she is the anxious mother
of that wonderful child.
It is God's way to bring out His plans by
degrees. When He intends to make an oak,
He does not touch the ground and cause the
great tree to tower up and spread out its wide
branches in a moment. The little acorn must
be first made. Perhaps a child's foot treads it
into the ground. It lies there in the cold, dark
ground a long time. Then it swells, and bursts
open; then sends up the little shoot; and so it
THE CHILD FOUND.
grows from year to year, till it slowly, and after
a long time, becomes an oak.
When God intends to create a bright, beau-
tiful day, He does not cause the sun to rush
up instantly, leaping out of dark midnight into
full day; but He opens the eye of day very
slowly. First the faint glimmer; then the soft
gray; tl into yellow tints; then the light,
like a th v he e, falling over everything.
So, when u-od is about to make a great and
good man, He does not let him leap up from
the cradle into the strong man in a moment,
but slowly he must pass along,-the infant, the
child, the youth, the young man, and the mature
man of strength. This is God's way in every-
Just so, in sending his own Son to redeem
this world. He did not send him wrapped in a
cloud, as when He gave the ten commandments
on Sinai; He did not send him in the bright
form of an angel coming on the clouds as his
chariot; no, nor even as a full-grown man. He
sent him here as a child,-so that he might
know how children feel,-because he was to be
the Saviour of children. "He learned obedi-
ence," to teach us how to honour and obey our
parents. He was revealed by degrees. The
great council of the nation had the opportunity
twice of knowing him in his very childhood;
once when he was born, and the wise men came
THE CHILD FOUND.
from the east and asked about him,-and now,
by meeting him in the Temple, and seeing and
hearing him. He himself teaches us that His
kingdom-though it is to be an everlasting
kingdom-is to grow up, like the mustard-plant,
from a little seed.
Suppose, now, a man could dig up from under
the ruins of the old Temple at Jerusalem a true
and exact picture of the boy Jesus as he sat in
the midst of these doctors, hearing and asking
them questions, and it could be proved to every-
body that this was a true picture of the scene,
and an exact portrait of him,-how much money
would men give for that picture! It would sell
for a kingdom. And yet it would not be very
valuable. It would be only a curiosity. It
would not show us how Christ looked, on the
morning of His death, nor how He looks now.
The picture would not give us so good an idea
of Him as this beautiful story does. This shows
Him-His soul-His spirit-to us just as we
want to see it. We cannot think of a more
beautiful situation in which He could have been
placed. If we had a picture of Christ,-if God
had so ordered it that we had an exact picture
of Christ,-we might have worshipped it; or
His people might have thought that they were
imitating Him, and being like Him, if they wore
their hair as He did, or dressed as He did, or
wore their beard as He did. But now we know
THE CHILD FOUND.
we are not like Him unless we feel like Him,
act like Him, and think like Him.
He was about his Father's business. And
yet what was he doing ? He was going to the
Temple and learning about God and His king-
dom. He went to learn. He went to fit him-
self for doing good hereafter. And he has left
us not a picture of himself as he then looked,
-not the coat or the sandals that he wore,-
not a lock of hair,-but something more precious.
He has left us his example,-his beautiful ex-
ample, when but twelve years old.
Gently the mother took him by the hand, and
led him towards their humble home. She was
filled with awe and wonder, and silently pon-
dered these things in her heart. Meekly and
quietly he walked by her side,-perhaps now
and then dropping a word about the lofty things
he had been talking about in the presence of
Will a child love to go up to the house of
God and listen to the teachings of His word,
and hear about the great kingdom and glory of
God ? Yes; if he is like Jesus.
Will a child who knows more about some
things than even his mother, be ready to obey
her, and honour and love her ? Yes; if he is
Will a child who can converse with great and
learned men, and even astonish them, be willing
THE CHILD FOUND.
to be subject to his mother, and be to her a
kind and dutiful child? Yes; if he is like
Jesus Christ, our pattern,-he will.
When the day closed, and the gladdened but
weary mother came to seek the pillow on which
she had found no rest for the last three nights,
do you doubt that she knelt down and gave
God thanks for the recovery of her lost child ?
And as she went into his room once more,
to look again upon the face that was never
flushed by anger, that was never clouded by
impatience, that never frowned or scowled in
moroseness, and saw him wrapped in the soft
slumbers of innocence, did not her eyes fill with
tears, and did she not thank God again and
again ? The lost child was found, and was before
And will not the mother who has been hang-
ing over the couch of her sick child, and seen
it droop like a flower, and fade like a rose, and
come down near the grave,-so near that she
thought it was gone, and she must lose it,-oh,
if God gives her to find the lost child again,
and to have it restored to her,-will she not
thank God again and again, and ponder these
things in her heart ?
This story of the young Prophet of Nazareth
would never have been written, if he had gone
up to the Temple merely to see it, as boys often
go to some show; or if he had gone up to the
THE CHILD FOUND.
Temple to show how much he knew and how
learned he was; or if he had gone that he might
ask puzzling questions. But no! he went up
that he might be about his Father's business!
0 od looketh on the heart, and them that honour
Him He will honour. Those learned men
thought that they were great men, and should
be greatly missed when they died, and have
rich and costly funerals and splendid tombs, and
have their names go down to posterity. But
who knows where they were buried, or even
what their names were ?-while the child that
stood before them, and who was about his
Father's business, shall be known, honoured,
loved, and obeyed,-not only while the sun and
the moon endure, but even for ever and ever.
Oh, how many a mother has thought her
child, so cherished and so dear, was lost, lost
for ever, as it dropped from her arms, and an
unseen messenger carried its soul away out of
her sight! How she has mourned as she turned
back from the graveyard to her desolate home,
to meet his form, to hear his voice, no more!
How she has felt that she has lost him, as she
looked over his drawer, and saw all his playthings
just as he left them,-the books that he read,
the knife that he used, the slate on which he
drew figures! How his form came back and
lived in the chambers of her memory and how
she dreamed about him in the night, and felt
THE CHTLD FOUND.
his warm breath upon her cheek, and then awoke
and felt that he was lost! Lost! Oh, no! when
she meets that child again, he may be-not in
the Temple sitting among the doctors, and ask-
ing them questions-but he may be in the midst
of the shining angels in heaven; and thus her
sorrow may be turned into "joy unspeakable
and full of glory."
"The child is found." Thus the tidings ran
through all the circle of kindred and friends
at Nazareth,-and thus they all rejoiced with
Joseph and Mary when they heard the story.
Thus, too, when a sinful child returns to his
Heavenly Father, and repents of sin, and be-
comes a Christian, the tidings are known in
heaven. I say unto you there is joy in heaven
in the presence of the angels over one sinner
that repenteth." Then the lost one is found!
Then the dead one returns to life! Then the
sick one recovers! Then, anxiety about him
is all over! "The lost child is found" is the
joy of heaven, when one soul comes to Christ
for salvation. Do you think there has ever
been any such joy over you, my dear children?
Do you think you shall ever be found, all safe
and good in heaven, as the child Jesus was in
the Temple at Jerusalem? PMay God grant it!
"My beloved is gone down into his garden, ..... to gather
lilies."-SoNG oF SOLOMON vi. 2.
IN our American gardens, in some shady, retired
corner, you may find a modest lowly flower, with
large deep-green leaves, and a profusion of blos-
soms of the purest white and of the sweetest per-
fume. It is the Lily of the valley." Our daugh-
ters place the flower in the hair of the young
bride; and many a little hand of an infant in his
coffin have I seen clasped around this beautiful
flower. The fair brow of the bride, and fairer brow
of the little one sleeping in death,-like alabaster,
brighter the nearer you bring it to the light,-
is adorned by the presence of this lily.
Christ sometimes calls His church a vineyard,
in which He raises the choicest fruit of the vine.
Sometimes a garden, in which are planted trees
and shrubs, spices, trees of frankincense, myrrh,
aloes, cinnamon, pomegranates, lilies, and many
other flowers. And among all these there is
none more beautiful than the lily. It is this that
He gathers the most frequently. When I stand
over the little coffin containing the babe so fair,
so like marble, so unlike anything earthly, with
a beauty which death could not efface,-the lily
with the dew still fresh on it,-no more to
bloom here, but with the dust shaken from it,
and gently transplanted to the garden above
in which to bloom for ever,--I always recall
the words of our text, and feel that Christ has
indeed come down into His garden to gather
We do not know what the little one would
have been here. We do not know through what
dangers or sorrows or pains it would have passed;
but we know that it has gone to God to be edu-
cated, and will never remember any other home
but heaven. It will not remember the few days
of its wailing here, nor the sobs of its mother as
she saw it dressed for the grave. The lily was
gathered before the cold storms beat on it, or
the burning sun had taken away its beauty.
Death lifted it up so gently, that he left no mark
of his hands upon it, except his seal which closed
the ear and the eye, and stilled the beatings of
the little heart.
But it is not about transplanted flowers that
I am wishing at this time to speak; though if I
were to try to describe something beautiful as a
diamond and sublime enough for a picture which
an angel might paint, I should select some little
child who very early began to seek after Jesus,
who lisped His praises here, and in the sublimity
of simple faith went over the river of death,
without a fear or a terror. We have seen such
lilies gathered. I am thinking at this moment
of a sweet child who stood at the grave of her
mother and young sister, and with her little hand
pointed out the spot between them where she
begged her father to let her be buried. What
an illness that child went through! And with
what confidence in her Saviour, as she struggled
on towards Him through suffering, and was
finally gathered to Him with a faith that a Moses
might admire Such pictures never fade from
There is no part of His garden which Christ
loves more to visit than the flowers,-the lilies.
Let us see what the great Redeemer has done to
gather in the lilies of His garden,-the children
of His church.
1. He gathers them under the care and love of
God plants the seeds of love in the heart of all
creatures, so that as soon as they have their
young committed to them, they love them with
a very strong love. The most savage beast will
fight for her young, die for her young, and, if
need be, will starve herself to give it food.
Wounded, bleeding, dying, they will think only
of their young. What child has not shed tears
over that affecting story of the white polar bear ?
It is old, but so to the point that I feel that I
must tell it.'
A ship of war, the Carcase, was sent to make
discoveries towards the North Pole. While
frozen and locked in the ice, the man at the mast-
head gave notice early one morning, that three
white bears were directing their course towards
the ship. They had no doubt been invited by
the scent of the blubber of a sea-horse, killed by
the crew a few days before, and which had been
set on fire and was burning on the ice at the
time of their approach.
They proved to be an old bear with her two
cubs; but the cubs were nearly as large as the
dam. They ran eagerly to the fire, and snatched
from the flames portions that remained uncon-
sumed, and ate as if they were very hungry. The
crew threw upon the ice some great lumps of
flesh also, which they had still on hand. These
the old bear fetched away singly, laid them before
her cubs, and, dividing them, gave to each a share,
reserving but a small portion for herself.
As she was fetching away the last piece, the
sailors levelled their muskets at the cubs, and
shot them dead; and in her retreat they wounded
the dam, but not mortally. It would have
drawn tears of pity from any but the most un-
feeling to have seen the affectionate concern ex-
pressed by this animal.
Though she was herself dreadfully wounded,
she still retained the piece of flesh in her mouth,
carried it back to her cubs, tore it in pieces, and
laid it before them. When she saw that they
refused to eat, she laid her paws upon one, and
then upon the other, and endeavoured to raise
them up, all the while moaning most piteously.
When she found that she could not stir them,
she went away, and when she had got to some
distance, looked back and moaned. When that
did not entice them away, she returned, and,
smelling around them,began to lick their wounds.
She went away a second time, as -before; and,
having crawled a few paces, looked again behind
her, and for some time stood moaning. But her
cubs still not rising to follow her, she returned
to them again; and, with signs of inexpressible
fondness, went round pawing them, still moaning.
Finding at last that they were cold and lifeless,
she raised her head towards the ship, and uttered
a growl of despair, which the crew returned with
a volley of musket-balls. She fell between her
cubs, and died licking their wounds.
Who does not know that after her drunken
husband has stripped his home of everything
that he can sell with which to buy drink, the
poor mother will gather her babes around her ?
and, while the cold storm is raging out of doors,
will give them the last mouthful of food she has,
going without herself; and then, taking off the
poor remnants of her shawl, will wrap them in
it, and bend over them as they murmur for food
in their slumbers,-praying that she may not
die, because nobody else will take care of these
No child can ever know how many times his
parents have risen in the night for him, watched
over his cradle, trembled for his safety; or how
many times the praying parent has commended
him to the Infinite Redeemer. Who teaches the
child to speak, to walk, to know its letters, to
take care of himself? Who teaches him the
name of God and the first words of prayer ?
A Christian home is a garden. There earnest
prayer goes up for the child every day. There
he is trained. There he hears Christ spoken of,
and spoken to, with reverence and affection.
There he hears God's word read every day, so
that he cannot remember when these things were
new to him. There he sees the world laid aside,
and the Sabbath welcomed. There he hears of
the mercy of Christ shown in the conversion of
men, in the death of the righteous, and in the
hopes of the living. The most sacred thing in
the dwelling is the family-altar.
Sometimes the little child has no home and no
parents to train him thus. But God has made
special promises to such, and God takes peculiar
care of him. I once knew a good minister and
his wife both carried to the grave nearly at the
same time, leaving a family of children. I was
amazed to see how quickly loving hearts were
raised up, and kind homes opened for them.
Among them was a sweet little boy about a year
old. On my mentioning the case at an evening-
meeting, a gentleman and his wife at once said
they would adopt him, and make him their own.
But before they could get him, he was sent for
to go up where his father and mother were, and
the frail lily was gathered there. It was affect-
ing to see how the new parents, who wanted to
adopt him, were disappointed, and how they
grieved. And many an orphan on whose head
the hand of a dying father or mother has been
laid, has found other hearts to love him, other
hands to feed him, and others to train him up in
the way of the Lord. The family is the school-
house of the Church of Jesus Christ.
2. He gathers the lilies in the Sabbath-school.
There are but few men now who cannot look
back to the time when they went to the *Sab-
[In America, the children of the rich are found in the
Sunday-school as well as the children of the poor,-ED.]
bath-school. Perhaps there is a man now sitting
down alone in China, and sending his thoughts
all the way back to his country. He seems to
see the home where he used to live when a child,
the old gate on which he swung, the deep well
from which he used to drink, the kind friends
who took care of him. And now he seems to
hear the -old church-bell ring, and to see the
people gathering for worship; and he seems to
see the little boys and girls gathering with him
in the Sabbath-school. He sees the very pew in
which he sat; and now the face and the form of
that good, faithful teacher rise up before him!
He remembers how kind and gentle he was, how
patient and meek he was, and how he used to
speak of Christ with tears. He remembers how
his own heart was affected; and how in that
school he first felt that he was a sinner, and
needed a Saviour; and how there he first felt
the love of Christ in his heart. He was gathered
into the Sabbath-school, and then gathered into
the school of Christ. There he learned to be a
missionary of the cross; and such a missionary
he is in China to-day. And were men to come
together from the east and the west, the north
and the south, and tell when, and where, and
how they were brought to Christ, one would
say, "I am a missionary of Christ, and was
gathered to Him in the Sabbath-school." An-
other would say, "I am a pastor of a church of
Jesus, and in the Sabbath-school I was first led
to Him." Another would say," I am a Christian
lawyer, and I bless God for the Sabbath-school."
"So do I," says the Christian physician; I was
never taught to go to the Great Physician, till I
went to the Sabbath-school." "And there,"
says the Christian merchant, "I learned to buy
the pearl of great price, and to be a merchant for
There are thousands of children who have no
parents, and God is their Father. There .are
thousands more whose parents do not instruct
them in the family, and so God touches the
hearts of the good, and puts into their hearts a
desire to do good, and to become teachers. The
minister is told to feed the lambs of his flock,
and there is no way in which he can do it so
well as by training up good teachers for the
Sabbath-school. The Bible is like a great lake
on the top of the mountain; ministers are the
great pipes which draw out the water, and these
teachers are like the many pipes which carry it
to every house. Or, to use the figure in our
text, the church is the garden, and the children
are the flowers,-the lilies which grow in the
garden; and the teachers are the gardeners, who
go among them to keep out the weeds, and to
give each one water and air and sunlight, and to
seek to make them beautiful for the owner of the
garden, Jesus Christ.
3. He gathers the lilies by converting children's
Some think the little child cannot be con-
verted because he is too young to understand
religion. They might just as well say he cannot
live on food, because he cannot tell how the grass
that feeds the ox is turned into meat, and then
nourishes him. They might as well say he can-
not be warmed with his clothes, because he can-
not tell how the grass which the sheep eats is
turned into wool, and how the wool is made into
cloth. The greatest man that ever lived cannot
tell how the grass is turned into flesh or into
wool, and thus made to.nourish or to warm us.
The little child can eat the food and live. The
philosopher can do no more. The little child
can put on his garments and be warm. The
great and learned man can do no more.
A poor blind beggar was in the street, when
Christ passed by and had mercy on him. What
did he want? That his eyes might be opened.
Could he tell how Christ opened his eyes?
What answer could he give, when he was asked,
How opened He thine eyes ?" One thing I
know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see."
Could the greatest man that ever lived say more ?
Every child knows what it is to love his mo-
ther; but can he tell you anything more about
this love than that he feels it ? Could any man
say more ?
Every child can take hold of his father's hand,
and go with him in the dark, and this is having
faith in his father; but he cannot tell you what
A little child once got lost in the woods, and
night came on, and it grew dark, and they could
not find him for a long time. At last he lay
down under a log, cold and afraid, and cried as
loud as he dared. At length he heard some one
calling. He was afraid at first that it was a
wild beast. Then he thought he heard his own
name. Still he did not stir. But when the
voice came nearer, and he plainly heard his own
name called, he left off crying, and jumped up,
and went towards the voice. He could not see
anything, but he heard i., father's voice, and
ran to him. Thus he could have faith, thoughhe
could not tell what faith was.
So the little child can believe in Christ and
love Christ, though he cannot know all the deep
things in religion. He can live upon the sincere
milk of the word, and grow thereby, and that is all
that is necessary for his being gathered to Christ.
The beautiful rose does not know how the
dews of the night refresh and revive it; but they
do refresh it. The modest lily, that peeps up
and catches a few of the bright sunbeams, does
not know how they make it white and pure; but
they do make it so. The valley, that lies at the
foot of the mountain, does not know how the
gentle rills that run down from the sides of the
mountain, bursting out from hundreds of little
springs, make it bright and fertile; but they do
thus clothe it with beauty. So the little one
does not know how he believes in Christ, and
how he lives by faith; but he does thus believe
and thus live. The tall tree of the forest, and
the giant-oak on the hill, can no more tell how
they are nourished by the rain and the sunshine
than can the little violet that grows in the crack
of a rock ; and the lofty tree in the garden, and
the frail lily, are alike fed, they know not how.
When the child has said that he feels love to
Christ in his heart, could a Newton, with his
great mind, say any more ?
4. Christ gathers the lilies into the garden of
Suppose you were to go into a beautiful gar-
den, and as you stooped down to admire a sweet
lily, it were to droop its leaves, and shut up its
flowers, and say to you, "I am a mourner! I
had a beautiful child by my side, which grew from
my root. It opened its flowers, and mingled its
leaves with mine, and waved its head, and seemed
daily to smile upon me. It seemed to me as if
there never was a lily so wnite, and pure, and
beautiful! But one day there came a man with
a spade, and he rudely dug up my child, and tore
its roots from mine, and then crowded it into a
small pot, and carried it off. He said not a word
to me. He gave not a word of explanation.
But he silently carried away my child."
What would you say to that mourning lily F
You would say, Do not grieve. The man who
seemed so rude was the owner of the garden,
and he put the young lily in the flower-pot, and
has carried it into his own parlour, where, under
his own eye, it will be sheltered from the storms
and cold winds and snows of winter, and where
it will bloom in its beauty continually. He came
himself, and gathered his lily, and gently removed
it to the warm place where he himself lives."
Do you not understand this, children ? Does
not Christ thus come to His garden, and gather
lilies, and remove them to His own beautiful
home in the heavens ? No storms come there.
No crying is heard there. No tears are shed
there. It is called the Paradise, or garden of
Here, a garden is a beautiful place; but it was
in a garden that Adam sinned; and it was in a
garden that Jesus was exceeding sorrowful, even
unto death; and it was in a garden that He found
a tomb. But in the Paradise above, there shall
be nothing of sin, of sorrow, or of death. The
serpent shall not draw his trail over the flowers ;
tears shall not fall among them; and death shall
leave no footprints there.
By this subject, as I hope, you are prepared to
1. One beautiful trait in our blessed Saviour's
He can teach senators wisdom. Kings reign
by His aid, and princes decree justice by His
teaching. The wisest man that ever lived, grows
wiser if Christ teaches him. The greatest man
that ever lived, is greater for sitting at Christ's
feet. The poet sings more sweetly, if the Spirit
of Jesus touches his harp. The palace of the
king is more beautiful for having Christ in it;
and the hall of legislation is more honoured, if He
presides in it. He walks among the stately build-
ings of the great city, and makes the rich people
better; but He also goes to the cottage, and
sows by the side of the door a plant called Con-
tentment, and it grows and covers the poor man's
cottage, and makes all within happy. He comes
to the bed of the sick, and leaves an angel there,
whose name is Submission, and the feeble one
weeps no more. He comes to the little child,
and becomes his companion. He comes into the
garden, and there gathers the lilies which He
places in His garden above for ever. He is just
as well fitted to be the child's friend, as if
He thought only of him, and planned only for
2. We all see duties that rest upon us.
Ministers must not neglect the lambs of the
flock. They must think much of the children,
and pray for them, and see that they are faith-
fully instructed, because these are the lilies
which Christ comes to gather.
Parents must not grieve too much, or think
the little ones are lost whom Christ takes from
their arms; for they are gathered lilies. They
must not fail to train up their families faithfully
and prayerfully, because from these He will yet
gather His lilies.
Sabbath-school teachers! consider the lilies.
They are for you to water, and nurture, and cul-
tivate. No fairer flowers grow in all the garden
of God,-none that Christ thinks more of,-
none whom He loves more! I hear Him say to
you, Suffer the little children to come unto me,
and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom
Children! there is not one among you all of
whom Christ does not think. Consider the lily.
How easily soiled How worthless when ruined!
So does sin look in a child You must not use
wicked words, nor do wicked deeds, nor have
wicked thoughts, if you are Christ's lilies.
V.-THE LITTLE SHIP,
"And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait
on him."--MARK iii. 9.
MY dear children, I once went into a gentle-
man's grounds, on which he had all kinds of
forest-trees that would grow in this climate, all
kinds of shrubs and flowers, and all kinds of
fruit-trees. And he had a great yard, in which
were deer, and curious animals, peacocks and
fowls, and all kinds of doves. Some of these he
kept because they made such singular noises;
some, because they were so beautiful in form or
color; some, because they were so strange in
shape. Then he had horses, great ones and
little ones, beside many other animals.
Now you say, this must be a very rich man.
THE LITTLE SHIP.
And so I have no doubt he is. God has given
him a great deal of money. Whether he ought
to spend it in this way, when there are so many
poor children who need homes and schools and
books, is a question you may think of. But
would you not like to have all these things for
your own? So many playthings ?
But suppose that this rich man had the
power to make these creatures all do just as he
pleased; so that, when he wanted, the horses
would come up to the door of themselves; and
when he wanted, the hens would run and lay
their eggs, and the doves coo, and the birds sing,
and the fish leap about, and the trees rustle
their leaves, and the flowers open and smile on
him, and the fruit-tree drop its ripe fruit just at
the nmment he wanted it; and the duck lead off
just as many little ducklings as he wanted; and
the birds fly at his command, and the deer leap
before him, and the peacock spread his tail just
when he wanted him to do it,-as if these
creatures were his servants to wait on him, and
to do just what he wanted, and just when he
wanted it. Would he not be a very great and
a very rich man ? Would he not have what we
call a great deal of power ?
In the four Gospels which have been written
by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we have an
account of the life of Jesus Christ. It was said
of Him, that all things should be put under His
THE LITTLE SHIP.
feet; that all things should be His servants.
Now let us see how this was.
At a certain time Christ wanted to teach his
disciples not to be over-anxious about what they
should eat, or what they should drink, or how
they should'be clothed. (Matthew vi. 25-34.)
Just then He wanted some birds from which He
could instruct them, and, behold! the birds are
there! He points to them near at handr--con-
tented, happy, and free from care. Behold the
fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do
they reap, nor gather into barns, yet your
Heavenly Father feedeth them! Are ye not
much better than they?" The storms may
come, and the cold winds may blow, and the
snow and ice may fall. They have no wheat
laid up in the storehouse. They have no warm
home provided. What will they do? Ah! the
same Great Power that brought them to the
spot just at the moment when He wanted them
to preach from, will take care of them! They
do not know how to plough, or sow, or reap.
They 11ave not mind enough, nor strength
enough, to sow or reap; but God will take care
of them. He has already made the tree to grow
in which they shall be sheltered. He knows
just where every worm and every seed will be
found for them when they are hungry.
So when Christ wants flowers to preach about,
behold, the lilies stand in the field close by, and
52 THE LITTLE SHIP.
He points to them! What a multitude! How
they hang, all painted, and dotted, and striped,
and ':-..t lhi Are His friends afraid that they
will want for clothing ? Consider the lilies of
the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither
do they spin; and yet I say unt8 you, that
Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like
one of these i" What a lesson does He teach!
But think how the lilies were there, standing
silent and still, like servants, before their Master,
just at the time and place that Christ wanted
them. They were all His servants.
At another time, men came to Christ to collect
a tax. He had no money. He had not been
anxious about it. But now when it is wanted,
where shall He get it? He tells Peter, one of
His friends, to go down to the lake and i bLi-.
in his fish-hook, and the first fish that he catches
shall have in its mouth just the piece of i .-.,,_-
which is wanted. How beautiful! Whe dropped
that money into the lake? How long had it
been lying at the bottom of the lake? What
made the fish pick it up ? And when the fish
found that it was not food, why did he not
reject it? How came he to bite at Peter's
hook, when he had that money in his mouth ?
Who can answer these questions? But we
know that the fish was a servant of Christ, to
wait on Him, just as really as a man would be,
whom He might tell to go and get the money
out of a drawer. All the fish of the great sea
belong to ~'i! ,i;:, and there is not one of them
THE LITTLE SHIP. 03
which He does not feed, and not one that is not
His servant to wait on Him.
At another time, when a great multitude of
people were crowding around Christ, there was
no place for Him to stand and preach, and no
place to which He could go to pray. So he
spake to His disciples that a little ship should
wait on Him. Now this little boat waited on
Christ to be His servant. But see how many
things had to be done to get the servant ready!
The tree out of which it was made had to be
planted and watched over for many, many years,
so that no worm should kill it at the roots, so
that no wind should break it at the top, so that
no lightning should crush it into splinters. It
had to grow into a great tree, and then it had to
be made into boards, and a boat-builder had to
be ready; and the iron for the nails had to be
dug out of the earth and all made ready; and
the knees which made the boat hold together
had to grow, and everything got ready to build
her. And when made, she must be there ready;
and the disciples must be fishermen, so as to
know how to manage a boat; and when Christ
spoke to them to have the little ship wait on
Him, they had to be ready and willing to obey
Him! Thus, you see, it took a long time to
get this servant ready to wait on Christ; but
when He was ready to use it, the little ship was
all ready for Him!
You remember the beautiful account of our
Saviour's riding into Jerusalem. One of the
THE LITTLE SHIP.
Prophets had foretold, a long, long time before
Christ was born, that He should ride upon an
ass's colt. When the time came, He had no
ass. He was too poor to own one. So He
sent His disciples to borrow one. They found
it tied, where two roads came together. They
took it, and the owner made no difficulty. It
had no saddle, and never had anybody sat on its
back before. It was a young, wild, unbroken
creature. But Christ wanted it, and it was
ready. It wanted a saddle, and His disciples take
off their garments and put them on the colt's
back. And now a great multitude go before and
behind, and they sing and shout very loud; they
cut down branches, and throw them all around
the ass, but it does not feel afraid. Thus He can
make the wild ass obey Him, and wait on Him to
carry Him, just as He could make it speak and
rebuke the madness of a prophet. You will
remember, too, that, at this very time when the
ass waited on Him, there were others also to do
it. The multitude shouted, Blessed is he that
cometh in the name of the Lord!" and when
He got to the Temple, there was a great company
of little ,:li.1.dc n, and they were able to sing,
"Hosannah in the highest!" Thus you see
that the most stupid creature in the world, the
ass-and the most beautiful thing in the world,
the little child-can both wait on Christ, and be
His servants. He has only to say the word,
and these shall all wait on Him !
Do you remember how His disciples once
THE LITTLE SHIP.
came around Christ, and asked him about the
;Temple, and Jerusalem, and the end of the
world? He wanted a place in which to sit
down, in full view of the Temple and of the
city, where He and they could see it all. Where
should He go ? There was no gentleman's
country-seat, where He would be invited to go
up into the piazza and view the scene! There
was no beautiful carriage to take them round,
and show them all the city. And yet there
was a place prepared. A little to the east of
the city rose up the Mount of Olivet; and
there, under the spreading branches of the olive-
tree, the Saviour sat down and looked down
directly on the Temple and on the city. A
thousand men could not have built so good a
platform for Him to sit on. No lofty building
could have been raised so convenient. This
mountain was the servant of Jesus Christ. It
waited for Him as really as the little ship; and
when of old He laid (see first chapter of the
Epistle to the Colossians) the foundations of
this mountain, He knew when and how He
would sit down upon it, and describe the ruin of
Jerusalem and the end of the world. He always
found just such servants to wait on Him as He
needed. Did He want to show that He was
Lord of the Sabbath and could heal diseases,-
even such as nobody else could cure ? Why,
there was the Pool of Bethesda, and there was
the great multitude of sick folks, and there was
the man who had been sick thirty-eight years.
56 THE LITTLE SHIP.
And these seemed all to be waiting for Him to
come and show His great power and mercy.
He wanted to be baptized and "fulfil all
righteousness ;" and all things waited for Him.
There was the river Jordan, and its waters were
waiting for Him. There was John the Baptist,
wondering why Jesus should come to him. These
all waited on Christ!
There were two places and two occasions
when Christ needed help from the angels. One
was when He had been out in the desert a.,i....
the wild beasts, fasting and getting His soul
ready to begin His work. It was before He
began to preach. After being worn out with
fasting forty days and forty nights, and tempted
till He was very feeble,-probably too feeble to
walk,-and when He had nothing to eat,-then
the angels came to Him and brought Him food.
They ministered unto Him."
The other time and place was the night before
His death. He knew that on the morrow He
must die. So He went out into a garden,
where were trees and shadows, and there knelt
down in prayer. He wanted a retired place,
and this garden was ready for Him. He was
m great agony of soul, and wrestled with God
in prayer, till bloody sweat rolled from His face
and fell in great drops upon the ground. Then
His strength was gone. Then He was fainting.
His disciples were asleep, and there was no one
to hold up the head of the Saviour, and so an
angel came and strengthened Him." Perhaps
THE LITTLE SHIP.
he whispered some sweet texts out of the Bible
in His ear. Perhaps he brought some message
of comfort from the Eternal Father. Perhaps
he told Him that His prayer, so earnest and so
tearful, had been answered. We know not
whether he helped Him by holding up His
weary head, by giving Him a cup of cold water,
or by whispering comfort to His soul. We
only know that He needed the help of angels,
and that they waited on Him like the little
ship, to do what He might wish.
Once, when on earth, Christ wanted 'to show
a specimen of the people who live in heaven.
So He took James and John and Peter, and
went with them up a very high mountain. And
there, away from men, with only these witnesses,
He himself put on the garments of heaven.
How His face shone! How His garments hung
like melted silver upon Him! How light seemed
to pour out and flash out from His whole person!
Then two men, Moses and Elijah the prophet,
come to meet Him. They also come in the robes
of heaven! How glad they are to meet Him!
How honoured above all in heaven, in having
this opportunity of meeting Him! They do not
talk about banks, or ships, or factories, or stores,
or business, or gains, or money; they do not
talk about places of honour ;-but they talk
about His "death," which He was to die at
Jerusalem! He wanted to talk with somebody
about it; for He could not talk about it with
His disciples. They could not understand it.
THE LITTLE SHIP.
They could not believe He would-so good and
so holy a man-be put to death by wicked men !
But Moses and Elijah understood it; and when
He wanted to talk about it, they were there,
all ready. He knew just where to find them,
and just when they would come. They were
like the little ship that waited upon Him.
And when He came to die, He needed a tomb.
He wanted to borrow one,-not as we want
ours, till the resurrection day,-but for only
three days. Where will His friends find one ?
They have taken down His body, and are in
haste to put it somewhere. Just then a rich
man recollects that he has been hewing a new
tomb out of a solid rock, and that it is in his
garden near at hand. A new tomb, and in a
solid rock No man had ever been buried in it.
Christ had never needed it before ; but now, at
the very moment when needed, the tomb is all
ready! It is finished, and it is waiting for Him !
The rock was created, and kept, and got ready,
for this very purpose! Like the little ship, it
waited upon Him!
How strange it is! Christ was so poor that
He had not where to lay His head, and yet you
see how His servants were around Him just when
He needed them! It was as if He spake that
they should wait on Him, and they obeyed!
He had His servants in the air, in the sea, in
the fields, by the wayside, in the river, in the
mountains, in the solitary garden, in the great
city, in the grave, and everywhere. They came
THE LITTLE SHIP. 59
around Him,-the lilies, the birds, the wild ass,
the fish, the boat, the men, and the angels, just
when He wanted them. The waters would bear
Him up, so that He cculd walk on them, to go
to His friends, and out of raging storm He could
call the sweet calm, and it came!
It is a great thing to have a Saviour so great
that He can feed us every day of our life, clothe
us all our days, teach us in our ignorance, be
with us when we are sick, and get all ready for
us when we die! Yet this is but a small part
of what Christ can do for every little boy and
every little girl. He has angels that He can
send, when you die, to carry your soul to Him far
up in the heaven of heavens. He has a place
there,-a beautiful home there, for every one
who loves Him. The gates of heaven are His
servants, and wait upon Him, and open to let
His friends come in when they die. He has the
grave of every one prepared, where he puts the
body to wait till He comes back to earth; and
He has an angel whose trumpet, at the resurrec-
tion, will wake up every sleeper in the grave;
and He has many angels besides, whom He will
send out as the farmer sends to gather in his
harvest, and who will bring His own people all to
heaven. These all wait on Him like the little ship.
The great trees wait on Him, and shelter His
birds, and give shade to His flocks, and fruit to
men, and timber for their houses, or for their
ships, and fuel for their fires. The mighty
rivers are His, and they run in the channels He
iU THE LITTLE SHIP.
has made for them, and they water all the lands
where they 'flow. The rocks are all His, and
He uses one to make Him a tomb, or others to
make Him a church. The silver and the gold are
His, and Hd gives it and takes it away just as
He pleases,-uses it to print His word, to send
out His ministers, or to teach the little child in
the Sabbath-school. The Sabbath is His servant,
sent to speak in a soft, solemn voice, and call
men to Him. The Bible is His servant,-sent
out to instruct all the world, and lead men to
Christ. All the angels in heaven, and all the
r-~Fro of white there, and all the crowns of life
there, and all the harps of gold there, are His
servants. They all wait on Him. And so will
the ages of eternity all pass before Him, for He
"holds the keys of di.arh ':i.l .f I' l.-11, He
openeth and no man h.bhttcth, ; i.l slhtt..-th and
no man openeth."
0 children! He speaks to you, that every
little child should wait on Him, and be His
friend and servant. And if that little ship that
waited on Him was honoured, how much more
will that little boy or that little girl be honoured,
who obeys Him and loves Him Who of you
will be thus honoured,-to have Him bless you
now, and bless you for ever in heaven ?
VI.-THE GREAT KING.
For I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts."
MAL. i. 14.
CHILDREN, when we say we have stood on a
rock, that is not saying whether the rock was
large or small, round or square, of marble or of
something else. When we say that we have
admired a tree, that is not telling .whether the
tree was great or small, high or low, straight or
crooked, ash or maple. Human language is so
poor, that one word cannot describe a thing,
and so we use adjectives, and use two or more
words. When we speak of a king, that is not
saying whether he is old or young, wise or fool-
ish, strong or weak, honoured or despised. But
when we sieak of a great king, there is much
THE GREAT KING.
meaning in our words. He need not be great
in stature, or great in size. But to be a great
1. He must have a great kingdom.
2. He must have great power.
3. He must have great wisdom to manage
4. He must have what is an old kingdom.
Let us see now if God has all these, so that
He may well say, "I am a great King."
1. Has God a great kingdom to reign over?
Sometimes we read of a poor, ignorant Afri-
can, who in his own country is called a king,
though he has not a suit of clothes to wear, a
decent house to live in, or a meal of food fit to
Sometimes men have the title of king when
their dominion is small and poor,-a mere hand-
ful of half-starved people. But to be a great
king, a man must have a large territory. It
must stretch over rivers and mountains, and
contain forests of wood, mines of iron, rocks and
marble, clay and sand; it must have cities and
villages, land for wheat and grain, and cattle
and wool; it must have harbours and lakes,
canals and roads. A great kingdom, too, must
have a great multitude of people to cut down
the forests; to dig out the ore, and make it into
iron; to cut the rocks and marble into stones
shaped for building; to turn the clay into brick,
THE GREAT KING.
and the sand into glass; to till the land, and
make it yield food and clothing; to build the
cities, and factories, and ships, and manage them
all; to dig the canals, and carry things on them
through the country. It must have men to sail
the ships, to manage the navy, to make armies
that may watch and protect all these lives and all
this property. A great king, too, has colonies
where a part of his subjects may live and trade.
He will also have a treasury which is never ex-
hausted. And then, as the representative of all
this multitude of people and of all this property,
he will have a splendid palace, and a magnificent
court, and will be the centre of all honours and
offices, and power and glory.
A great king reigns over one nation only.
God reigns over all nations, and languages, and
tongues. No matter whether they are white or
black, on islands or continents, savage or civil-
ized; no matter what language they speak, whe-
ther they live in cities or in caves of the earth,
whether on the land or on the water,--He is
King over all. Other kings have but a small part
of the earth for their kingdom, but God is over
all;-all that live on the earth are His. So are
the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and all
the bright worlds that sparkle in the sky. If
you could fly as fast as the light, and go from
star to star, and from world to world, till you
had travelled thousands of years, and if you
THE GREAT KING.
should find all these worlds filled with people,
multitudes and multitudes which no man could
number, they would all belong to the great King!
Perhaps all the stars that the greatest telescope
has ever yet revealed, are no more to what lie
beyond them, than one leaf plucked from the
unmeasured forest would be to all the rest,-no
more 'than one grain of sand picked up on the
sea-shore would be to all the rest. Angels
there are; principalities, and powers, and do-
minions there are; men and devils there are;
and God is over all, and governs all. But that
is not all. The suns and the stars that move in
the heavens, the oceans that swell and roar, the
mountains that rise up high towards heaven,
the rivers that flow, the brooks that murmur,
the cattle that feed on the ground, the birds
that move on the wing, the fish that move with
the fin, and every wind that shakes the leaf,
every atom that is anywhere found,--all are
governed by Him. He reigns over all, and
therefore are all his works called on to praise
Him. What a shout would fill the universe, if
all the works of creation should thus rise up
and worship their King! "Praise ye the Lord
from the heavens: praise Him in the heights.
Praise ye Him, all His angels: praise ye Him,
all His hosts. Praise ye Him, sun and moon :
praise Him, all ye stars of light. Praise Him,
ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that are
THE GREAT KING.
above the heavens. Praise the Lord from the
earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: fire, and hail;
snow, and vapours; stormy wind, fulfilling His
word: mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees,
and all cedars: beasts, and all cattle; creeping
things, and flying fowl: kings of the earth, and
all people; princes, and all judges of the earth:
both young men, and maidens;. old men, and
children: let them praise the name of the
Lord: for His name alone is excellent; His
glory is above the earth and heaven!" God
not only has all these creatures and things unler
Him, but He governs them; so that the stars
which move and shine, the ocean which rolls,
the winds that blow, the seasons that change,
diseases and deaths that come and go, and the
storm that rages, and the worm that blights the
tree or eats the root, and the insect that opens
its wing, and the mote that gets into your eye,-
everything is His servant. Is He not a great
2. A great king must have great power.
It often happens -(it was so when the great
Persian king boasted of his one hundred and
twenty-seven provinces,-it was so, when old
Rome boasted that she had one military road
above four thousand miles long)--I say, it often
happens, that the larger a kingdom becomes,
the weaker it is. The arms of the king are not
long enough to reach it all. His eye cannot
THE GREAT KING.
see it all. His power cannot control it all;
and so it falls in pieces by its own extension.
The span of the bridge must not be too long, or
it falls by its own weight. A tree must not
grow too tall, or it is crushed by its own weight.
It is said that Frederick of Prussia used to
read all his letters-about three bushels daily-
himself. But it wearied and worried him, and
his one mind could not do what was best for all
under his power. A king sometimes loses a
battle for want of money, or because he has too
few soldiers, or because his officers are not
suitable. Sometimes a famine comes, and over-
turns his plans; sometimes the plague cuts off
his army. Sometimes his agents are unfaithful
or indolent. He has to depend upon others.
He cannot create men, nor food; nor can he
make the thunder and the lightning fall on his
Not so with God. He well knows, that if
food were to be cut off for one fortnight, all that
live would be dead, and every creature that
moves would be dead, and the earth would be
turned into one mighty graveyard. You awoke
this morning, and came to your breakfast-table,
spread with good, wholesome food. The wheat
in your bread was created in the field. The
fish on your plate was created in a river. The
tea that you drank was reared at the foot of a
hill in the interior of China. The salt came
THE GREAT KINXG.
from the ocean's bed, evaporated by the sun.
The butter was the grass of our hills turned
into that delicious substance; and the sugar in
your cup came from the cane that grew a long,
long way off.
All this was provided by God for one meal,-
for one person. But remember that one thousand
millions of hungry people awoke this morning,
and had to be fed. If all these people could be
made to sit down together, they would fill five
tables, on both sides, running round the earth
at her widest place! And these tables are to
be spread with food two or three times every
day, and from week to week, from year to year,
and from age to age! Then all the animals,
and the fowls of heaven, and the fish of the
sea, are thus to be daily fed; and God must
take the clods of the earth and the clouds of
heaven, and create all the food, and have it
within the reach of all. The old, worn-out man
must have somebody to take care of him. So
must the helpless babe. So must the young
bird, and so must the worm in the dark ground.
The food must be created, and all must be
guided to it.
God does not give his creatures checks upon
banks that may fail, or drafts upon men which
may not be paid; but He creates for all. He
asks no aid, because He does not need any.
Other kings may be proud, and put on airs;
THE GREAT KING.
yet they cannot create one drop of water, hang
one flower on its stem, make one kernel of
wheat, nor one leaf that grows in the forest,
seven millions of which have been counted
hanging on a single tree! But God is every-
where, creating His empire, upholding it, feeding.
it, clothing it, and providing for it. And this
kingdom all cries to Him. He hears the young
raven, and understands its language. And so
He understands the scream of the eagle, the call
of the sea-bird, the chirp of the squirrel, the
mute language of the fish, and the hum of the
Then think that this world is but one of the
smallest that hang in the outskirts of His
dominion, like a single little leaf that hangs
over your garden-fence, and that what He is
doing here, He is doing in all worlds, in all
places, through all His vast dominions,-and say,
Is He not a great King ? Surely," says the
Psalmist, God is a great God, and a great
King, high above all the earth! What power
is like unto His power? and who among the
sons of the mighty can be likened unto the
3. A king, to be great, must have great wisdom
to manage his kingdom.
When the cold sets in, we notice the birds
coming from the north, in a straight line, which
they follow day and night, going to the far
THE GREAT KIN~G.
south for the winter. In the spring, they wing
their way back again. They have no map of
their travels, they find no guide-board on the
way,they make no inquiries. Without compass
or chart, they move on. It is God who guides
them, by an instinct, as we call it, which is true,
and never errs. So He governs all His creatures
which have not reason. They are all guided by
instinct to find their food, and to rear their
young, and to protect their lives.
He governs men, not by instinct, but by two
higher gifts,-reason and conscience. The bee
provides for the winter, she knows not why.
The squirrel feels avaricious, and lays up for the
winter, though he knows not why. But men
know that the winter will come, and so they
lay up fuel and hay, and things which will be
needed. They know they will be old and feeble
hereafter, and so they lay up for the time of
old age. They are guided in all this by their
But there is another power with which God
governs men,-far more wonderful. I mean
the conscience. Far up among our forests there
are little lakes, each a few miles long, with here
and there a wooded island in it, and a long line
of sandy shore; while all around the lake, the
high, wood-covered mountains rise up, as if set
to guard the beautiful sheet of water. All
around, the forests rise up, and stand in silence.
THE GREAT KING.
Just as the sun goes down, he brushes the tops
of the trees and the heads of these mountains
with his warm tints, and pours down from the
reflecting sky a light so soft and mellow that the
lake looks like molten gold. You shoot out in
your little boat, and the silence is so deep, and
the waters are so still, that you are almost afraid
to dip your paddle in the lake. It seems as if
every mountain and tree were watching you,
and as if the very fish leaped up to see what
you are doing. Then it is that you raise your
voice, loud or low, and there comes back an
echo,-if possible, more distinct than your words.
Every tone and inflection is returned, and the
very woods and mountains imitate your voice.
You start at the clear, loud echoes. So it is,-
I have often thought while listening thus,-so
it is with the human conscience! God speaks
and says, "Thou shalt not !" and the conscience
echoes it back. Everything that He commands
or forbids finds an echo in the conscience. The
voice from Him is answered by the voice within
us. The echo is clear and full, so that when He
speaks, it is going against our conscience to
disobey. Thus God governs by conscience.
The great Xerxes once gathered an army of
a million of men, with which to conquer; but
he had not wisdom enough to carry the plan
through, and so his army was shivered and
destroyed. Buonaparte once gathered an army
THE GREAT KING.
of four hundred thousand young men, and
thought that, with all his skill and wisdom and
experience, he could conquer Russia; but it
was all a mistake, and of all that multitude who
followed him, but a few ever returned. He had
not wisdom enough to carry out the plan! But
God, the great King, never makes a mistake.
He never turns back disappointed. He never
has to alter or mend His plans. The wisdom
which the wisest man has, which all men have,
and which all angels have, comes from Him.
If, to bring about His plans, He sometimes
takes a path that seems strange to us, it is
because His eye sees further than ours, and He
walks in a path which we cannot trace. He
who buries the seed in the ground in order
to create the harvest,-who wraps the worm up
in the leaf in order to keep it through the long,
cold winter,-who led His own Son to the high
throne of heaven through suffering and shame,
-who leads His disciples up to their Master
through the dark grave, that the light of heaven
may be more beautiful,-He is wise of heart!
On the leaf that hangs on the topmost bough
of the tree which stands alone on the little
island, with the wide ocean rolling around it,
there creeps a little insect. It has no voice that
you could hear. Its feet are too small for you
to see. Yet God has that little creature as
much under His safe care, as if it were the only
THE GREAT KING.
living thing that He has to plan for in all His
4. A king, to be great, must rule an old king-
A great tree must be a great while in growing.
A great building must be a great while in rising
up. So must a great ship be a great while in
being built. No king, however wise or skil-
ful, could make a nation or create a kingdom.
It takes many generations of men, and ages of
time, to do it. When a king comes to his throne,
if he be called great, he must find all things pre-
pared,-the palace, the treasury, the officers, the
army,-the roads and bridges made, the cities
built, the factories in operation, the farms culti-
vated, and the multitude of people all there.
The older a kingdom is, usually, it is the richer,
and the stronger. Wars have not been able to
ruin it, revolutions have not destroyed it, time
has not brought it to decay.
Now the kingdom of God is older than all
others. Before there were any foundations of
the earth laid, before a single star was hung in
the heavens, before a single sun was lighted up,
the kingdom of God began. The morning stars
sang before His throne, before a single thing
lived or moved in this lower world. There are
old walls and towers and temples, crumbling and
in ruins, built by men ages ago, we know not by
whom; but the kingdom of God is older than
THE GREAT KING.
these. There are rocks so old that they look as
if they were made in eternity; but they are not
old compared with God. If we could take away
a thousand years from His reign, it would be
like taking a single drop from the great ocean.
And if the hills and the mountains were to
crumble down, grain by grain, till they are level
with the plain; and if the sea were to be worn
out by its motion and by its dashing against the
shore; if the heavens were to have grown old like
a curtain, and the sun and the moon and the
stars had no more light to give, and every grave
were dug, and every coffin made, and the universe
all come to an end,-then the kingdom of God
would be in its full strength, His armies of angels
and saints all before Him, and the bright crown
of His dominion on His head for ever,-" the
blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings
and Lord of lords, who only hath immortality,
dwelling in light which no man can approach
unto, which no man hath seen or can see, to
whom be honour and power everlasting."
We see by the light of this subject, that, if
God is a great King, then,-
1. He will always take care of His people.
It is for the sake of His own people that He
made all things, and keeps all things alive; for
them He governs all things; and they can never
be cast down, so that He cannot lift them up;
can never be so feeble, that He cannot make them
THE GREAT 'KIG.
strong; can never be so far off, that He cannot
find them; can never be so distressed, that He
cannot relieve them. A gold piece may be carried
to the ends of the earth; it may be lost in the
dust of the road; it may be brought up from the
bottom of the sea; but it is a gold coin where-
ever it may be. It has the stamp of the die on
it. So the people of God have His image and
superscription on them; and the great King
will take care of them. It may be the babe laid
in the ark of bulrushes on the banks of the river;
it may be the prophet seated in the chariot of
fire; it may be Daniel among hungry lions in
the den; it may be His children in the fiery fur-
nace;-but He will take care of them. And
when the saint comes to die, when the face be-
comes distorted, and the cheeks sunken, and the
chin dropped, and the eye glazed, and the shudder
of death is passing over the countenance, oh!
then, He says, He will not forsake: Precious
in the sight of the Lord is the death of His
saints !" What a song they sing !--" Though I
walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;-thy rod and thy staff they
If God is a great King, then we ought to
2. That there will be much in His government
that we cannot understand.
Suppose the councillors of a nation were as-
THE GREAT KING.
sembled, and were trying to devise the wisest
plans for the good of the kingdom; should a boy
stand outside, and throw stones at the house,
because he cannot understand their plans?
Should a new soldier refuse to do his duty, be-
cause he cannot understand why his general does
this or that ? Should the small insect, that hangs
in the air on his wings, find fault with the man
who is building a great ship, because he cannot
understand all about it ? No. Nor must we
say that, because the wheels of God's government
are sometimes high and dreadful, and because He
drives His chariot where we could not, therefore
we may complain, because we cannot understand
it all! His deep wisdom is moving where we
cannot follow. His great power is going where
we may not tread. The great plans of the great
King are high above our thoughts, as the hea-
vens are higher than the earth. It seems as if
I could see David, as he went up the Mount of
Olivet weeping! His councillor turned against
him, his own son a traitor, his people turned
away from him, the city in danger of being
burned, his own life every moment in danger,
Shimei cursing him, and everything looking dark
and fearful! Hear him put confidence in the
great King! The floods have lifted up, O Lord,
the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods
lift up their waves!" but "the Lord on high is
mightier than the noise of many waters, yea,
THE GREAT KING.
than the mighty waves of the sea; the Lord
sitteth upon the flood, yea, the Lord sitteth King
for ever !" And how will all come to nothing,
who try to contend with this great King!
As the traveller passes over one of the beau-
tiful lakes of Switzerland, his eye falls upon a
streak of ruin which hangs like a scarf upon the
shoulders of one of the mighty Alps. It looks
small to the eye, though it is close at hand ; but
it is really larger than the ground occupied by all
the city of Paris. It is about three miles wide,
and five long. Years ago, the rains were heavy
and soaked into the mountain, and a loud, crack-
ing noise was first heard. Then the tall forests
that covered the mountain began to nod and
reel, and the birds to fly screaming away. Then
the rocks began to roll, and the whole side of
the mountain began to tremble, and then to slide,
-thousands of acres with all their forests began
to slide-and then to rush,-and a thundering
noise mingled with the crash of trees and the
echo among the mountains, as all came pouring
down, filling the air with dust, so that nothing
could be seen, and causing the earth to tremble
as if her very foundations were giving way! In
five minutes it was all done! Nearly a million
of property, one hundred and eleven houses,
more than two hundred barns, more than four
iimndred and fifty human beings, and whole herds
ot' cattle were swept away, and buried several
THE GREAT KING.
hundred feet beneath the mass! Three whole
villages were blotted out for ever! No trace
remained, save a single bell that was carried from
the church a long distance. The little lake at
the foot of the mountain received a part of the
descending mass which caused the waters to rise
and sweep over an island seventy feet above the
level of the lake, carrying all to ruin! To this
hour you can see where
Mountains have fallen,
Leaving a gap in the clouds, and with the shock
Rocking their Alpine brethren; filling up
The ripe, green valleys with destruction's splinters,
Damming the rivers with a sudden dash,
Which crushed the waters into mist, and made
Their fountains find another channel."
Oh! had a little child with a feather in his hand
stood there, and seen this ruin coming, could he,
by stretching out his little arm, have stopped it ?
Could he have turned it back ? Yes, a thousand
times more easily than all created men could
turn back or hinder God from doing what He
thinks best to do or to have done! "I am a
great King, saith the Lord of Hosts."
VII.-THE BROKEN STAFF MENDED.
"He went into a city called Nain," etc.-LUKE vii. 11-16.
THEY tell us there is a poisonous valley which
has been visited by many travellers. It is small,
and is surrounded by hills. As you look off'from
these hills, you see a level, circular basin, that
looks smooth and fair,-except that there is not
a living tree or bush, not a wayside flower, nor
even a single green blade of grass to be seen.
No wind blows in it, nor is there a living thing
that moves. All over it lie the bleaching bones
of the dead. The bones of the huge elephant
and of the strong lion, of the timid hare and of
te fleet deer, lie scattered around; while here
and there lie the bones of some traveller who
THE BROKEN STAFF MENDED.
went into it in his ignorance, and there died,
and found no grave. Nothing that ever goes
down there, comes up again!
Now suppose that on the brow of one of these
surrounding hills were gathered a company of
young men. They gaze, silent and awe-struck
into the valley. While they look, a cry of
terror bursts from them; for just at the foot of
the rock on which they stand they see a poor
traveller, writhing in distress, and gasping for
breath! He is too far gone to shout, or to utter
another cry for help. In an instant, one of the
young men slips the end of a cord which he has
in his hand over the point of a rock, and slides
down on the rope to the perishing stranger. He
has just time enough to tie the rope round the
dying man, and beckon to his comrades to pull
him up, before he himself falls by the poisonous
air. They draw up the half-dead stranger, and
save him; but their companion and friend is
down there dying! No one can go to him! No
one can save him! He must die, and be left
there to bleach with the dead! And they now
find, too, that the man whom they have saved
was the bitter enemy of their friend. And their
friend knew it too, and knew it when he put the
rope round him, instead of putting it round his
own body, after he got to him! How they now
speak of the nobleness, the generosity, and the
goodness of their friend! How that man who
80 THE BROKEN STAFF MENDED.
was his enemy feels when he thinks that he
hated such a character!
Ah, children you and I were in a poisonous
valley like that, and we were dying and unable
to help ourselves, and Christ came and looked,
and there was none to save, and He wondered
that there was none to help He died that we
might live. He tasted death for every man."
"While we were enemies, Christ died for us."
Oh! if it were not that we have seen it so
long and so often, how beautiful in our eyes
would be the light of the clear summer morning!
If we had not seen it so often, how charming
would be to us the bush that hangs loaded with
roses! If we had not heard the account so often,
we should weep and exult at the story of Jesus
Christ, and of His dying for men He had to
descend even into the grave, in order to bring us
up out of the poisoned valley.
The story from which we take our text this
afternoon is a wonderful one. In the days when
Christ was on earth, they had no cannon or
powder, or such terrible weapons of war as we
now have; but they fought with swords and
spears, for the most part. Hence almost any
' kind of wall built up round a town would be a
e defence. These walled towns were full of peo-
p ale, who crept out in the morning, and went off
to e till the ground or to watch their cattle. No
lepe-r was permitted to live in a town, and no
THE BROKEN STAFF MENDED.
dead were allowed to be buried within the walls.
Our Saviour had one day been preaching to a
great multitude, and working miracles, after
which He set out to enter one of these walled
towns. A great multitude of people followed
Him. Some went, because they wanted to hear
Him preach again; some, because they wanted
to see Him do some great miracle; some, because
they wanted to know why He went into that
walled town; and some followed Him because
Just before they reach the gates of the town,
they meet a funeral. It is a large funeral, though
there is only one mourner. It is the mother of
the dead,-a poor widow,-who has lost her
only son, the staff of her age. It is towards
evening, the hour of the day when they usually
bury their dead. Christ looks weary, for it is
supposed that He has walked about twelve miles
to-day. When the two processions meet, they
both stop. The weeping mother follows the bier.
She is just thinking how her son used to look,
how his voice used to sound, how he was dutiful
and kind to her! She is recalling his childhood,
and the many hopes she has had concerning
him. She is thinking how lonely her home will
now be, how little she has to live for, how gladly
she would die with him. She is closely veiled,
and sees nothing but the dust on which she
treads. She wonders why they have stopped.
82 THE BROKEN STAFF MENDED.
But their stopping will keep the dust of her
child with her just so much longer How she
weeps! What makes her start so at the voice
of a stranger, who kindly says, Weep not ?"
What makes her thrill at the sound ? She
never heard that voice before! She never heard
such tones before! She draws aside her veil,
and there stands before her One fairer than the
sons of men! She trembles, and is ready to fall
down at His feet, though she hardly knows why.
By a mysterious power, all are hushed and silent.
In those countries they do not have coffins as we
do. They place the corpse on a kind of bier, with a
covering over it made of cloth, with a light frame,
so that the dead man seems lying under a sort
of canopy, with the narrow curtain at the head
lifted up to show his pale face. He is wrapped
in white linen, completely covered, except the
face. That mysterious stranger looks in upon
the face of the dead, with one hand resting on
the bier. How hushed are all the multitude!
The silence is such that the rustling of the high
palm-leaf might be heard. Now he speaks:
" Young man, I say unto thee, Arise!" How
quickly the warm blood rushes through his veins!
How quickly his cheek flushes! How quickly
his pulse beats,-his bosom heaves! And now
he sits up and speaks. How gracefully the
Saviour takes him by the hand, and delivers him
to his mother! Her stafj that was broken is
THE BROKEN STAFF MENDED.
restored to her Her child is brought back from
the dead! Oh, it is so like a dream that the
mother cannot speak! Her amazement is so
great, that she cannot fall down at His feet. She
sees nothing but her boy, who was lost and is
found, who was dead and is alive again! It is
like being brought back from death to life
Among the great Alps-awful beyond what
any one can imagine-there are huge rivers of
ice, solid ice, that come creeping down between
the high peaks, sometimes two miles wide, and
very deep. They are all ice, but they crowd
and grind so hard against the mountains that
they break up into cakes, which lie side by side,
like pieces of slate standing on their edges.
Between these great cakes of ice are openings,
called crevices, down which you can look far,
and down which, as you throw a stone, you hear
it roll and bound and thunder a long, long while,
before it reaches the bottom. Sometimes it
would take a rope more than an eighth of a
mile long to reach the bottom! In crossing
over these glaciers, as they are called, you are
obliged to get a guide, and also to have a long,
smooth staff, with a sharp iron at one end of it
to stick into the ice. This is called an Alpen-
stock, i. e. mountain-staff. In a certain place,
one of these frozen rivers comes between two
awful peaks, one called the Peak of the Tempests.
84 THE BROKEN STAFF MENDED.
and the other the Peak of Terror. Some years
ago, a clergyman was on this glacier with his
guide. As he came to a round opening,-the
crevice,-he leaned on his Alpenstock, and bent
over to look at the awful chasm. Sudden as
thought, his staff broke, and down, down he
went, out of sight in an instant! His name was
Mouron. After twelve days' labour, they let
down a guide with a lantern tied round his neck,
at the peril of his life. Twice they drew him up
to breathe, nearly exhausted. The third time, he
found the mangled and bruised body, seven hun-
dred feet from the top of the glacier, and he was
drawn up with the dead man in his arms. Some-
times the people of the Alps have to cross these
glaciers in the night, or else freeze to death.
A single slip of the foot, or a single false step, is
certain death. When they cross in the night,
they have the Alpenstock and the lantern.
Now imagine that you are on the brink of one
of these glaciers in the night. You are alone;
and you must cross it and find a shelter, or you
perish. The winds howl, and the great avalanches
of ice thunder and echo among these awful soli-
tudes, and the storm-notes come booming up
from far below. You cautiously creep along on
the edge of the ice-cake, and you see an awful
chasm running along, one on each side of your
narrow path. As you thrust down the sharp
point of your staff into the ice, you move very
slowly. And now you have got out a mile into
the middle of the glacier; and just as you have
THE BROKEN STAFF MENDED.
got between two fearful openings, your staff
breaks and is useless, and that moment a gust of
wind, fierce as a tiger, puts out your light!
Ah, now what will you do ? To move back-
ward, or forward, is certain destruction! To
stop there is to be frozen as solid as the ice
beneath your feet! What will you do ? You
shout, and the swelling winds carry your voice
away, and it is lost in the storm. Just then you
see, on the far-off land, a little twinkling light.
In a few minutes more, you would have given
up and sunk down into the opening ice, where
you would never have been heard of again till
the resurrection-morning. But now the light
seems to creep nearer and nearer to you. It
comes up, and a man stands close to you,-only
that deep chasm is between you and him. He
hangs the little lantern on the end of his Alpen-
stock, and reaches it to you. You take it off
very carefully. He then reaches again to give
you the needed staff. You seize it eagerly, and
give it a jerk; and by that jerk he loses his
balance, falls in, and down, down he falls, and
lies bleeding and mangled far down under the
deep ice! You had no time to ask his name,
or learn who he was. You only know that he
perilled and lost his life for you! With that
staff and that lantern you reach the land, find a
dwelling, and are saved. Ah, yes and you learn
that the man who thus lost his life for you was
one who knew you would be lost unless he went
to you, and who expected it would cost him his
86 THE BROKEN STAFF MENDED.
lie ; and the one whom, of all men in the world,
you had treated the most unkindly, and who
had reason to despise you and hate you, and to
be willing to have you perish in the dark, cold
night, under the deep, awful glacier And now
suppose that after this you are never heard to
speak of the kindness of that man, never to
mention how you were delivered, never to think
over your unkindness to him, and his nobleness
and kindness in forgetting it all and coming to
save you!-is this being grateful ?
So was it with us. God us a lamp to
our feet,-His holy word; and a staff to lean
upon,- the l.:. I .i i.L' *.. '. of the Bible!
The poor widow who was told to dry her tears,
and who had her son restored to her, was only
one among our race to whom Christ has done
good. She was only one to whom He brought
a staff in the place of the one that was broken,
and a lantern in the place of the one that sin
had put out!
This was not the first child that had been
raised from death to life. L i..; raised one,
-the child of a poor widow who fed him in the
famine; and Elisha raised one,--ihe son of the
woman who was so kind to him; but how differ-
ently they did it! They knelt long in prayer;
they lay down upon the child inl both cases;
they prayed God to do it. They had no power
to do it themselves. They could not .', and
cause the dead to hear and awake. .- were
not masters of the grave, and had not the keys
THE BROKEN STAFF MENDED.
of death and of ii, they were mere servants.
But when i.... the Son came, He did whatso-
ever the Father did. He spake, and it was
done; He commanded, and it stood fast;" He
opened, and no man shut." He had not to stop
to pray; but in His-own name, and by His own
power, He awaked the dead!
You may wonder why I '.,. does not meet
every funeral and raise the dead, and
why He does not always remember the poor
widow who mourns the loss of an .', son.
Why should this widow of Nain be selected to
receive this mercy, while thousands of such
.. -,_ mothers have followed an only son to
the grave, and heard no voice saying, "T .L
man, I say unto thee, Arise ?" And this leads
me to speak of the reasons which led Christ to
perform this wonderful act. It was not alto-
gether for the sake of that mother, though he
had, we are told, compassion on her. But it
1. To show all men that ever read the story,
that Christ is yood.
He wants men to trust their lives, and their
children, and their friends, and their souls, to
Him; but they cannot and .. I not do this,
unless they believe that He is good. We can-
not love or trust one who is not good. We do
not want a bad man to come into our families;
we do not want to commit our children, and all
that we have, to a bad man. But Christ knew
that many a dying mother would want to com-