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The Baldwin ibrary
B6G Flor id a
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- /; 7 1
REV. RICHARD NEWTON, D.D.,
AUTHOR OF 1 THE BEST THINGS,' THE KING'S HIGHWAY,'
' THE SAFE COMPASS,' ETC
WILLIAM P. NIMMO.
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HEN the children of Israel had reached the
borders of the land of Canaan, Moses sent
some men to go up and see what kind of a
land it was, and to bring back some specimens
of its fruit. Among other things which those men
brought were some bunches of grapes, so large and fine
that they had td be carried on a pole borne on the
shoulders of two of their number. What noble samples
those were of the rich fruit that grew in 'that good
land,' which God had promised to give to the children
In preparing this little volume, I feel as if I had been
doing very much the same thing that was done by those
spies. I have been walking, as it were, through the
pleasant fields of the Bible, and gathering specimens of
its blessings. The Bible is a book of blessings. It is
intended to make people happy in this life, as well as in
the life to come. It would take, not one book merely,
but a whole library of books, to tell of all the blessings
spoken of in the Bible. If the few samples of them
here presented shall lead any one who reads this book
to love the Bible more, and to seek a larger share in
the rich store of its blessings, I shall feel abundantly
rewarded for the labour bestowed upon it.
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9 Hz Nheos aIse of mxag ~te SPAt.
Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound,'
ctu t rzsszx& nof ~p, s Us Ibiae QG spel.
'Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound,'
lze ^Irsuuezbs of Cnmsibring foe 4il.
'Blessed is he that considereth the poor,'
H$f ~u ~hssts Alm.
Men shall be blessed in Him,'
4The leNe bnt of abaing Oeioirn.
'Thou shalt be blessed above all people,'
lI Ijt zlea sueig of bing a I;rij.firtrn.
'Thou shalt be blessed above all people,' 74
*4 hab sinsS of gr&uhle.
'Blessed is the man whom Thou chastenest,' 89
dI It lessbtZ1ss of Gtrnsfirg 6Db.
'Whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he,'. 10
lIt lhioslbrgs of 'Juelwuss.
'Blessed are the meek,'. . 119
'gle ssdj iebe XZ Of (t ibTutingtnlptafiolt.
'Blessed is the man that endureth temptation,' 137
Of i ssfetinss -of ]triag ff ptl..
' Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound.'
OW pleasant it is to go through a garden, full
of flowers As you walk quietly along, you
can pluck a flower here and another there,
till you have gathered a beautiful bouquet.
And then how pleasant it is to stop and look at them,
and admire the beauty of their form and colour, and
enjoy the sweet fragrance which they yield!
We may compare the Bible to such a garden. Each
chapter in this blessed book is like a bed in the garden.
The precious promises of the Bible are like the flowers
which bloom and the fruits which ripen in this garden.
These flowers and fruits are very numerous, anid very
different from each other, but all very beautiful. When
we are reading and studying the Bible, we are, as it were,
walking up and down in God's flower-garden. -And
when we stop to examine one verse after another, we
are plucking the flowers and gathering the fruit: tft
grow there. We are going to take a walk through God's
garden in this little volume, and talk about BIBLE BLESS-
INGS. I mean by this the blessings which the Bible
brings to us. And while we are doing this, I hope all
my readers may find a great deal of pleasure and profit
from the ramble through God's beautiful garden.
' Blessed. are the people that know the joyful sound.'
The Bible is here spoken of as if it were a trumpet,
and those who-hear its sound are said to be blessed.
Let us see, before going any further, if we understand
what this means.
Now you know that the Jews used to have what they
called 'the year of Jubilee.' This came once in every
fifty years. Suppose that a Jew, in old times, had be-
come so poor that he had to sell his home, his house,
and.lands; or suppose he had even to sell himself as a
servant or slave, which they did sometimes. Well, when
the year of Jubilee came, the man who had sold his
house would get it back again without paying anything
for it. And the man who had sold himself into bond-
age would cease to be a slave: he would get his liberty
again for nothing. And as soon as the first day of the
year of Jubilee came in, trumpets were sounded through
all the land. When the sound of them was heard, the
people knew that the year of Jubilee was come. -Then.
all the people who had been obliged to sell their homes
went back to them again, and all those who had been
sold as slaves became free. We can easily understand,
therefore, what a joyful thing the sound of that trumpet
must have been to many among the Jews, and how
blessed those were who heard it.
Now heaven is our Father's house, which we have lost
by sin. And sin has not only lost us that house, but
has sold us to Satan as his slaves. But tLh, Bible brings
to us a year of Jubilee. It comes to tell us how we may
escape from being the slaves of Satan, and get back to
heaven, our Father's house, again.
We begin our reflections on 'Bible Blessings' by
speaking of the blessedness of having the Bible. It is a
IIEAING THE GOSPEL.
blessed thing to have the Bible because of the evils from
which it saves us.
'Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound.'
It is a blessed thing to have the Bible because of the
evils from which it saves us.
I wish to speak of four different kinds of evils from
which the Bible saves us. And we shall see that each
of these evils furnishes us with a good reason why it may
be said, 'Blessed are the people that know the joyful
Thefirst evil from which the Bible saves us is IGNO-
Ignorance is to our minds just what darkness is to
our bodies. It prevents us from seeing the things around
us. When the sun is shining brightly, how pleasant it
is to look out on a beautiful landscape We can see
the green fields and the waving grain,-the trees, the
hills, the streams, and everything. But suppose the
sun should suddenly be taken away. Could we see any-
thing then? No. All would b' dark around us. We
could see nothing. Now the Bible is like a sun to us.
It sheds light on a great many things. If it were not
for the Bible, we should be left in the dark on all these
things. The Bible drives away this darkness. It saves
us from ignorance. But we are so accustomed to the
Bible, and the blessed light which shines from it, that
we hardly know how to prize it enough, or what our
condition would be if we had never had it. If we want
to know what a blessed thing it is to hear its'joyful
sound, we must look at the ignorance of some of the
people who have never had the Bible.
Sometimes when the missionaries of the gospel go to
the heathen, to teach them about Jesus and his religion,
they have to begin first to teach them the 'English lan
guage, because many of the languages of the heathen
have no words to express some of the most important
things of which the missionaries wish to speak. Some
of those languages have no word to stand for the 'soul,'
or 'life,' or home,' or mercy,' -or heaven,' or eter-
nity.' Now, suppose we lived among a people who
knew nothing about home-sweet home.' That is,
suppose none of us had any home. Suppose that we
did not know that there was such a thing as mercy,
or such a place as heaven. Suppose that we did not
know that we had a soul, and that we are to live after
death, how sad our state would be We would be in
the dark indeed I How dreadful such ignorance would
be! And yet, if it were not for the Bible, we should be
ignorant about these things, or left in the dark about
But, 'Blessed are the people that know the joyful
sound.' It is a blessed thing to have the Bible, because
of the evils from which it saves us. The first of these
evils is Ignorance.
The second of these evils is OPPRESSION.
I suppose you all know what oppression means. For
instance: here is a little boy going out into the fields
to fit-a kite which he has just made. A big boy meets
him, and threatens to beat him, unless he gives him the
kite. There is no one near to help the little boy. He
is obliged to give up his kite, and let the big boy take
it. That would be oppression. You might well say
that that big boy was oppressing the little boy. And
wherever anything like this is done by one man to-
wards an6ther, that is oppression.
In this country we have laws to protect those who
are poor and weak, so that those who are richer and
stronger than they cannot injure or oppress them. I
IIEARING TIIE GOSPEL.
may be one of the poorest men in this city; yet no
man, however rich or great he'is, has any right to come
into my house and take away anything that belongs to
me, without my consent. If any one should attempt to
do this, the law would protect me. I could have the
man put in prison.
But in many heathen countries, where they have never
had the Bible, they have no laws to protect the people.
The chiefs and great men can oppress the poor people,
and take away their property, and even their lives, and
there is nothing to stop them. In New Zealand, and in
the Fiji Islands, the chief of a tribe or district could
enter the dwellings of the people, and if he saw any-
thing that he wanted, no matter how much the owner
valued it, he would quietly take it himself, or send
one of his servants to take it, and no one durst say a
Now it is very sad to think of wicked men having
such power over the property of others; but it is still
more dreadful to think of their having the same power
over the lives of others. Yet this is the case in many
heathen countries. In China a father can do what he
likes with the lives of his children, and there is no law
to punish or prevent him. A missionary knew of a
Chinese father who said to his wife, 'What shall we
do with our young son? He won't mind what we say.
Let us put him to death.' The mother consented.
They tied a rope round the poor boy's neck. The
father took hold of one end, and the mother the other,
and they pulled away till they strangled the child. The
dreadful deed was well known in the neighbourhood,
but no one took any notice of it.
There was another man who also lived in China, who
had two sons. One of them did something which dis-
pleased his father. He resolved to get rid of him, The
next day he ordered his two sons to follow him to the river.
Then they all got into a boat and rowed into the middle
of the stream. Then the father tied a large stone round
the son's neck, and made his brother assist, while he
threw the wretched boy into the water, where he sank
to rise n6 more. How sad to think of such things !
But though boys are sometimes treated in this way in
China, the girls are served much worse. None can tell
what numbers of them are killed while they are infants.
In the' city of Amoy there is a large place, full of water,
which is called 'the Girl's Ditch.' Into this as many as
a dozen female infants are sometimes thrown alive at
one time, and no one takes any more notice of them
than if they were so many kittens or mice.
Some years ago, an English merchant was lodging
for a night in the house of a chief in New Zealand. A
servant girl belonging to the chief came in. She had
been away somewhere for two days. Without waiting
to ask where she had been,' or why she had been away,
her mistress told one of the men standing by to kill her.
With one blow of his axe he struck her dead. In the
evening of the same day a large party of friends feasted
on her body, and her head was given to the children for
One day, several years ago, a chief in this same country
ordered one of his female servants to heat a large oven,
as he was-going to have a feast for his friends in the
evening. She did so. When the oven was made very
hot, to her great horror, her master ordered her to
throw herself into it. Poor creature! she begged and
cried for mercy, she threw herself on the ground, and
clasped her cruel master's knees, and prayed him to
pity and spare her; but it was all of no use.. He was:
not angry with her. She had not done anything to
displease him, only he wanted to have a feast of human
HEARING TIIE GOSPEL.
flesh. So he seized the poor girl, tied her hands and
feet, and flung her alive into the heated oven! And
there was no law to punish that wicked man.
But they have the Bible in New Zealand now. The
Bible has given them laws which stop this oppression.
The people there have heard the joyful sound of the
gospel. They can understand, much better than we can,
what a blessed thing it is to hear that sound. It is a
blessed thing to hear this joyful sound, because of the
evils from which it saves us. The second of these evils
The tlird evil from which the Bible saves us is
Wherever the Bible is not known, cruelty prevails, in
many forms. We read in the Bible, that 'the dark
places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.'
These dark places mean heathen lands. Wherever you
go in heathen lands, you meet with cruelty Tn one form
or other. I know that this is not a pleasant subject to
dwell upon. But we cannot tell how much we owe to
the Bible, or what a blessed thing it is to hear this joy-
ful sound, unless we do, in this way, look at the dreadful
evils from which we are saved by having the Bible. And
one of the worst of these evils is the cruelty which pre-
vails in lands where the Bible is not known.
One of these forms of cruelty is the offering of luman
Not long since there was war on the west coast of
Africa. One of the tribes, before going to battle, re-
solved to offer a sacrifice to their god, in order to secure
success. They selected a little boy, about eight years
old, as their victim. They dressed him in the finest
clothes they had. They decorated his fingers and toes
with gold'rings, and hung around hs neck greegrees, or
charms. They then placed him in a deep hole, with his
head just above the ground. The poor little fellow
cried and screamed, but nobody heeded him. A great
crowd of men and women stood round, and watched
what was done. They filled up the hole with earth and
stones. They piled it up over his head till a great
mound was raised above him, and then they left him, in
his living grave, to die a miserable death. All through
Africa such dreadful sacrifices are offered from time to
In the Fiji Islands, when the parents of a family get
old, the children will tell them that it's time for them
to be going.' Then they will give them the choice ot
the way in which they may prefer to die. The usual
ways are either by strangling or burying alive. When
the choice is made, the family and friends come together
to assist in getting them out of the way. And when it
is all over, they have a feast together in honour of the
In India, instead of burying their parents alive, they
carry them to the banks of the river Ganges, and leave
them there to die.
Some time ago the aged father of a Hindoo family-was
taken sick. His sons wanted to get him out of the way,
that they might share his property between themselves.
They carried him to the Ganges, and placing him with
his feet in the water, they left him there to die, without
any one to help or pity him. But instead of dying, he
got better, and managed, after a while, to get back to his
home. Instead, however, of welcoming him back, and
treating him kindly, his cruel sons ridiculed and cursed
him; they abused him, and drove him away from his
home. The poor old man, broken-hearted at the con-
duct of his unnatural sons, went sorrowing back to the
river, and threw himself in, and was drowned,
HIEARING THE GOSPEL.
And sQ we might go on to speaktj. cannibllism, or
The eatihg of human flesh, and a great many other forms
of cruelty which are found in heathen lands; but from
all these evils we are delivered, because we are blessed
in hearing the joyful sound of the gospel. CrueltyU the
third evil from which the Bible saves us.
The fourth and last evil of which I would speak, from
which the Bible saves us, is IDOLATRY.
I might speak of many things which show t how
dreadful it is to be an idolater, but I will only speak of
two. One of these is the character of the idol gods; the
other is the kind of sacrifices offered to them.
The heathen have a great multitude of gods. I will
only take two as specimens. The rest are all very much
likg them. The two that I refer to are the god Siva,
and Kalee, his wife.- Siva is one of the millions of false
gods worshipped in India. In a picture which I have of
him, he is represented as having twenty-five heads, rising
up one above the other, in the form of a pyramid, and
.thirty-two arms and hands. Each of these thirty-two
hands holds some weapon for punishing or destroying.
In one there is a bow, in another an arrow, in another
a sword, a knife, a knotted rope, a spear, a club, a sling,
a red-hot iron, or some such deadly weapon. What a
strange figure this is I I suppose the twenty-five h s
are put upon this god to show how much knowledge he
has, and the thirty-two arms and hands to showhow
much power he has. But then it seems that all Iis
knowledge and all this power are only employed for
the purpose of punishing and destroying men. The
heads are intended to guide the hands in using the
weapons of destruction which they hold. There is
nothing in such a god that people can love, but every-
thing for-them to fear. Among all his many heads'and
hands, npt one eothem is employed in helping or com-
forting those who worship him; they are all intended to
alarm, and terrify, and punish.
"And Kalee, the wife of Siva, is just what we might
expegt the wife of such a monster to be. She is repre-
sented as having four arms. In one is a sword, in another
is the head of a giant, and so on. Around her neck she
wears a long necklace of human skulls,'while everything
about her tells of cruelty and bloodshed.
What a dreadful thing.it must be to have to worship
such horrible beings as these I When we kneel down
to worship our God and Saviour, we think how pure,
how holy, how kind and good He is, and the very
thought of Him helps to make us better. But to think
of such a god as Siva or Kalee, would never make any-
body feel better, but only worse.
The character of these gods shows what a dreadful
thing idolatry is. And then the kind of sacrifices offered
to them shows the same thing.
Some years ago a missionary in India went with some
friends to the temple of Siva, the' god whom'we have
just mentioned, to see the people offering sacrifices. A
great crowd of people were in the temple. One of the
priests stood before the idol, with a sharp knife in his
hand. He was helping the people to offer their sacri-
fices. And what were they? One man came up. The
priest told him to open his mouth and put his tongue
out. He did so. The priest seized hold of his tongue,
and cut a slit in it with his knife. That was his offering.
Another man came. The priest told him to uncover the
side of his body. He did. so. The priest pinched up
the flesh with his thumb and finger, ran his knife into
the flesh, and thrust a stick through the opening. That
was his offering. And so they went on..
Some time ago, a rich merchant in India had been
HEARING TIE GOSPEL.
unfortunate in business, and lost af his money. He
thought his god was angry with him, and that he must
offer some great sacrifice to secure his favour. He went
to consult a priest. The priest told him that all persons
who would offer themselves, and what they loved best,
to their god, on a particular day, would be sure to
please him. The poor ignorant man believed the wicked
priest. He resolved to offer the greatest sacrifice in his
power. When the day came, he heaped a great pile of
wood in his house. He cut the throats of his three
children, threw their bodies on tie Vile, and set it on
fire. Then he plunged the knife into his own body, and
flung himself upon the blazing pile.
Such are the sacrifices offered by the heathen to their
gods. What a dreadful thing idolatry is, when we think
of the character of the idol gods, and the kind of sacri-
fices offered to them I
'Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound'
of the gospel. It is a blessed thing to hear this sound,
because of the evils from which it saves us.
We have spoken of four of these evils. The first is
IGNORANCE, the second OPPRESSION, the third CRUELTY, and
the fourth IDOLATRY.
How-thankful we should be to Jesus for bringing his
gospel to us! Blessed are our eyes for the things which
they see, and our ears for the things which they hear.
How many kings, and prophets, and righteous men in
old times desired to see the things which we see, but
' died without the sight I' If it were not for the blessed
gospel of Jesus, we might, even now, be suffering from
the ignorance, the oppression, the cruelty, and the
idolatry of which we have been speaking. How much
do we owe to Jesus for saving us from all these evils !
Shall we not make Him an offering ? But what is the
most acceptable oring we can make ? Oh, nothing like
those cruel, bloody ones which the heathen offer to their
gods. No. Jesus says, Give me thine heart.' This is
the best offering we can make. To love Him,-to serve
Him, and try to become like Him,-this is the offering
He desires. Let us all make this offering.
And then there is one other thing we can do. We
can try to send the gospel to others. Let us resolve to
take a fresh interest in the missionary cause. Let us
do more, and give more, and pray more for it. This
will show that we understand the meaning, and feel the
truth of the text, which says-
ltSstg atn it ptoph fit htatfo It joyfal S1nit.'
Iefsmsig r hxroif to bits h ftle6 spld.
' Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound.'
N talking about these words in the last chapter,
I tried to show you that it is a blessed things
i to hear the joyful sound of the gospel, because
of the evils from which it saves us. I spoke
of four evils from which the gospel saves us. These
were ignorance, oppression, cruelty, and idolatry. I wish
now to show that it is a blessed thing to hear the
joyful sound of the gospel because of the benefits which it
brings to us.
But who can tell all the benefits which the gospel
brings to us? Suppose, some one should take you to
the sea-shore, and ask you to count all the grains of
sand that are lying there, could you do it? No. You
might take up a handful- of the sand and count a few
hundreds or thousands of grains, but you would soon give
it up, and find it impossible to count them all. And
we shall find it very much the same when we try to
count up all the blessings that we owe to Jesus, or all
the benefits that his gospel brings to us. Some people
think that all that Jesus does for his people is to pirdon
their sins, and take them to heaven when they die. But
this is a mistake. It is true indeed that to get our sins
pardQod is a very great blessing. And to be sure of
going ^'heaven, when we die, is so great a blessing, that
if the whole world were ours, and we-should give the
world, with all that is in it, for this privilege, it would
be a cheap price to pay for such a blessing. But these
are not 'all the benefits that the- gospel brings to us.
Jesus has brought us blessings for our bodies as wrell as
for our souls. He has brought blessings for us in this
world, as well as in the w'orld to come. The fact is,
that all the blessings' we have here we owe to Jesus.
It was said of Jesus before' He was born, that all the
people in the world should be blessed in Him.' And
this is true. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden
of Eden, if Jesus had not promised to die for their sins,
they would have been destroyed, and then you and I
never would have lived at all. Sb you see we owe 'our
lives to Jesus. All the men and women_ and children
in the world, yes, and all the animals too, the birds in
the air, the beasts on the earth, and the fishes in the sea,
owe their lives to Jesus. If Jesus had not promised to
die for us, this great globe on which we live would have
been destroyed. Jesus died to save the world itself from
destruction, as well as the people that live in it.- A
great many people never think of this. But it is true.
We owe the bright sunshine that lights up the world to
Jesus. Thetrees and flowers that make the earth look
so-beautiful, we owe to Jesus. The air we breathe, the
strength we feel, the health we enjoy, the food 'we eat,
the water we drink, the clothes we wear, the homes in
which we live, and the friends we love, and whose e-
sence makes our homes so sweet and pleasant,-all these
we owe to Jesus.- But some of these are benefits or
blessings which Jesus gives even to the heathen, who
have never heard the joyful sound of the gospel.
There are other blessings, however, which Jesus brings
only to those who do hear the sound of thipspel.
These are 'the Bible Blessings' of which I especially
HEARING THE GOSPEL.
desire to speak. I might speak of a great many benefits
or blessings which the gospel brings to us, but I will
only mention three.
It is a blessed thing to hear the joyful sound of the
gospel, because of the benefits which it brings to us.
The first of these benefits of which I would speak is
In the last chapter I said that the first of the evils
from which the gospel saves us is ignorance. And now,.
in talking about the benefits which the gospel brings
us, it is proper to begin by speaking of the wonderful
knowledge which it gives us. Knowledge is like light.
It helps us to see things clearly, and to understand all
about them; but if we were left without knowledge,
these things would seem to us just as if they were in
There are a great many things about which we can
find out all the knowledge we want without the Bible.
If I want to get a knowledge of geography, for example,
I need not go to the Bible for this. -And so, if I want
to get a knowledge of arithmetic, or history, or botany,
there are other books besides the Bible which will tell
me all I wish to know on these subjects. If a physician
wants to get a knowledge of some particular kind of
disease, and how it may be cured, he can find out all
about it without going to the Bible. If a sailor wants
to find out how to navigate a ship,-or a farmer how
to plough his field, and cultivate his farm, he can get
this kind of knowledge without the help of the Bible.
If I want to learn how to build a house, or a ship, how
to make a coat, or a pair of shoes, it is not necessary
for me to go to the Bible for light or knowledge on
these subjects. The Bible was not intended to teach us
anything about.such matters. We can acquire all such
kind of knowledge without the Bible. But there are a-
great many other things which we should never have
known at all, and about which nobody in the world
could give us the least light or knowledge, if it were
not for the Bible. Suppose-you want to know how to
worship and serve God; if there were no Bible, who
could tell you ? Suppose you feel the wickedness of your
heart, and want to know how you can get it changed, so
as to be made happy in this world; let the Bible be
taken away, and who can tell you ? Suppose you want
to know what is to become of you when you die, and
how you can be sure of being happy for ever; if.we had
no Bible, where could you get this knowledge ? You
might read all the books in the world, and ask all the
wisest men that ever lived, and you would not get the
least knowledge on these important subjects. We should
be in the dark about them. Nobody would be able to
throw a ray of light upon them. But we open the
Bible, and, like the sun in the heavens, it sheds at once
a flood of light upon them all. It tells us how the world
was made, and what it was made for. It tells us how
sin got into our hearts, and how we may get it out
again. It tells us who Jesus our Saviour is,, and how
we may serve and please Him, and enjoy his favour
here. It tells us what must become of us when we die,
and points out to us the path in which we must walk if
we wish to get to heaven at last, and be happy with God
for ever. And therefore we may well say, 'Happy
are the people that know the joyful sound.' It is a
blessed thing to hear the gospel, because of the benefits
which it brings to us. The first of these benefits is
The second benefit which the gospel brings t, those
who hear its joyful sound is PARDON.
HEARING THE GOSPEL.
The greatest evil under which anybody in the world
ever suffered is sin. And the greatest blessing or
benefit anybody can receive is to get rid of sin. To get
rid of sin, is to have it pardoned. The pardon of sin is
a blessing worth more than all the gold and silver in the
world put together. But perhaps' some of you may be
ready to ask, Well, if the pardon of sin is really such-a
very great blessing, why do not people try more to .get
it? This is a very proper question to ask just here.
The answer'to it is this: People do'not value the pardon
which Jesus brings, because they .do not see and- feel
what a dreadful evil sin is. If they could only see this
in its proper light, as God sees it, they would never
rest, and never have any peace or comfort, till they were
sure-of a pardon. When God speaks of sin, He calls
it 'the abominable thing that He hates.' Now there
are two things that we must do if we wish to know
what sort of an evil sin is, and how great a blessing
the pardon is that Jesus gives to his people. One of'
these things is, to look at what the Bible says about sin.
The other is, to see what dreadful things men are some-
times willing to suffer in the hope of getting their sins
Now let nssee what the Bible says about sin. Let
us look at one or two of the-things to which it-is com-
pared in the Bible. Sin is compared to a burden. David
speaks of it in this way when he says, Mine iniquities
are as a heavy burden, too heavy for me.' And Jesus him-
self uses this comparison when He'says, Come unto me
all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give
you rest.' Sin is a burden to the soul, not-to the body.
But we all know what it is for the body to have to carry
a heavy burden. Suppose you had such a burden bound
upon your shoulders so heavy as to bow you down;
that it was fastened to you in such a way that you never
could take it off for a moment. You have to lie down
with it at night when you go to bed. You have to
carry it with you wherever you go. At home, in the'
street, in school, at church, wherever-you are, you are
obliged to go bending, and staggering, and groaning
under this burden. How dreadful this would be I And
if this were the case with you, what would be the one
thing, which, above all others, you would consider a
blessing, and desire to have ? To get rid of this burden.
That is true. And the pardon which Jesus gives is
getting rid of the burden of sin. And when we feel sin
to be a burden, the pardon of it will appear to us as the
greatest blessing that we can receive.
But there is another view of sin in the Bible. The
sin which belongs to our fallen nature is compared to a
dead body; and we are represented as chained to this
dead body, and obliged to drag it about with us wher-
ever we go. This is what St Paul means when he says,
' Owretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from
the body of this death ?'-or, from this dead body. To
chain a person to a dead body, was one of the modes of
punishment used by ancient tyrants. Only think of
being chained to a dead body, a ghastly, putrefying
corpse, and never being able to get away from it for a
moment I How horrible I Why, the very thought of
it makes one's blood run cold. Now, if this were your
condition, what would you consider, the greatest bless-
ing or benefit that could possibly be conferred upon
you? You would say, in a moment, 'Oh take away
this dreadful thing I Break the chain that binds me to
it; and let me get away, where I shall never see it again.'
And suppose that some one should come and offer to
give you the finest house in the country, or even to
make you a king, and secure you a crowni and apalace,
would you be willing to accept the offer, if it was neces-
HEARING THE GOSPEL.
sary that you should always remain chained to that
dreadful corpse? Certainly.not. Well, sin is just like
such a dead, decaying body. We are'bound or chained
toit. No-one can break the chain which binds us to
it, and set us free, but Jesus. He does this when He
pardons us. And if this is so, then it must be true that
the pardon of our sins is the greatest benefit that we
But there is another thing which shows us what a great
blessing this pardon is, and that is the dreadful things
that people who have never heard the joyful sound of
the' gospel are willing to suffer, in the hope of getting
their sins-pardoned. We see this illustrated by some of
,he cruelties practised by the heathen in the worship of
their false gods. The people who have never had the
Bible cannot fully understand how dreadful a thing sin
is. Still they know enough about it to make them afraid
of it, and lead them earnestly to desire to have it par-
doned. They know nothing of the precious blood of
Jesus which cleanses from all sin. Their religion points
out no certain way to obtain pardon. And so, when
those people are troubled about their sins, the priests
tell them to do a great many painful things, not as a
sure way to obtain pardon, but only in:the bare hope
that these things may please their gods, and then, per-
haps, they may pardon their sins.
Sometimes they will make the people walk round the
temples of their gods in shoes which have the points of
nails sticking through the soles, so that their feet will
be severely pricked at every step. Sometimes they will
tell them that they must lie, for days and weeks, on beds
covered over with blunted iron spikes. Sometimes they
will cause, them to have a hole bored through their
tongues, and a small stick thrust through the hole, while
they make au offering to their god. Sometimes they
will have a scaffolding erected before the temple, two or
three stories high. At the foot of the scaffoldcwill be
placed sacks of wool, flattened out, with spikes of iron
sticking through them. Then the people, who wish to
please their god, and secure a pardon for their sins, are
directed to go up on the scaffolding, stand at the edge
of it, spread out their'hands, and throw themselves off,
so as to fall on the spikes below. Great crowds of people
will be watching them, who will clap their hands, and
fill the air with shouts, as they see the poor creatures fall
on those- horrible spikes.
Some years ago there was a rich man in India who
was troubled about his sins, and wished to get them par-
doned. The priest told him that in' order to secure this,
it was necessary for him to make a rolling journey, to a
particular temple, in a distant part of India. When he
arrived there, he was to set out a plantain tree, and wait
till the fruit was ripe, make an offering of the fruit to his
god, and then roll back again, and then he might hope
that his sins would be pardoned. He resolved to do it.
So he took his wife and children in a carriage, that they
might ride while he was rolling. He used to wrap a
strong cloth round his head to protect it from being
cut or bruised. Then he would roll himself along the
road like a log of wood. Three or four miles a day was
as much as he could proceed. Then he would rest with
his family, and start afresh the next day. His son
would walk by him and fan him as he rolled along.
When he was approaching a village, the people would
come out in crowds to meet him, and the musicians
would walk before him to the temple in that village.
He would roll up to the foot of the idol, and worship
Vim. Then he would spend- a few days to rest, and so
go rolling on in his long journey. An English mission-
ary met this man- when he was still a long way from the
.U-r,,11?1,G TR-k- GOPEL.
temple to which he was going. He had then been more
than seven years on his journey. Yet he was willing to
go rolling on till he reached the temple, and then to
roll all the way back again, with the mere hope that at
last he mightf perhaps succeed in getting a pardon for
But the Bible tells us that Jesus is exalted to God's
right hand, to give, pardon.' The pardon that He gives
is free. He asks nothing for it. He gives it 'without
money and without price.' It is a full pardon. It
takes away all our sins, and blots them out entirely, so'
that God has nothing against us, and we have nothing
to fear; either while we live or when we die, either
ir this world or in the world to come. What a blessed
thing it is then to hear the joyful sound of the gospel I
It is bessed because of the benefits.which it brings. The
second of these benefits is Pardon.
We shall only speak of one more of the benefits which
the gospel brings, and this is HELP.
There is nothing in the world that needs help more
than a little infant, It is one of the m6st helpless of all
things. The little duck can plunge into the water and
swim as soon as it comes out of the shell. The little
chicken, too, can run about at once and pick up its food.
But the little infant can't do anything. It can't feed itself
It can't dress itself. It can't stand or walk by itself. It
needs help for everything. And when we first begin to
serve God, or when we become Christians, the Bible com-
pares it to our being born again. Then we are spiritual
infants. It is the babyhood of our souls then. And we
need help for our souls then, just as we do for our bodies
when they are in their babyhood. We need the help or
,Jesus for everything we try to do. This was what Jesus
meant when He said, Without me ye can do nothing.
The great difference between Jesus and other teachers
is, that they can only tell us what to do, without helping
us to do-it; but He can do both. He can point out the
way. we ought to walk in, and then give us the help we
need to enable us to walk in it. And this is the most
important of all things. Of what use would it be to set
a beautiful picture down before a blind man, and begin
to talk to him about it, unless we could open his eyes
and help him to see? Of what use would it be to play
on the most perfect musical instrurhent that ever was,
in the presence of a company of deaf men? What would
be the use of setting food before a sick man, who had
no appetite, unless we could remove his sickness, and
help him, to get an appetite? And just so I may ask,
what use-would it be for me to tell you what you ought
not to do, and-what you ought to do, and what kind of
persons God expects you to be, unless at the same time
I could tell you where to get the help you need, to enable
you to do- what God expects of you? Why, I might
as well go out to the cemetery, and preach to the dead.
You have no more power of your own to change your
wicked hearts, and subdue your evil tempers, and love
and serve God, than thWe who are dead and buried
have to come out from their graves and return to the
homes where they once lived. You need help to do
this; and not such help as your parents and teachers
and. friends can give you. You need help from God.
And it is a blessed thing to hear the sound of the gos-
pel, because it tells of Jesus, who can give us just such
help as we need in trying to serve God. There is one
promise in the Bible about this very view of the cha-
racter of Christ, which is very sweet and precious. It
tells us that- He is a very present help in every time of
need.' It does not matter when or where you need;
help, or what you need it for, Jesus can give it you.
HEARING THE GOSPEL.
Let us look at some examples of persons needing, help,
and finding it in Jesus.
I was reading the other day of a little girl who was
sick. She had to take some very disagreeable medicine.
'Mother, is it bitter, and bad to take?' asked the
child, whose name was Amy.
' Yes, my child, it is bitter,' said her mother, but not
very bad to take, if you make up your mind to take it,
like a good girl.'
Her mother took her in her arms, and held the glass.
She did not coax, or threaten, or promise her pretty
things; she wanted her child to be willing to take it for
the sake of getting well.
'Wait, a minute,' said Amy; and clasping her little
hands together, she shut her eyes and said, '0 my
Saviour, will you help a poor little child to take her
medicine and be well? Amen.' -
Then she opened her soft blue eyes,-and stretching
out her hand, she took the glass, and swallowed the
A lady had charge of a class of little boys in a Sun-
day school. Every Sunday she used to give the class
some subject to think about, and which they/were to
find texts in the Bible to prove by the next Sunday.
One day she gave them this sentence, 'Jesus Chrft
loved little children.' The scholars were to-write down
on a paper all the passages they could find to prove this.'
The next Sunday came; she met her class. There was
a little boy in it named Harry. He was very poor; but
a shap little fellow, always very attentive, and his
teacher loved him very much.
'Well, Harry,' said the teacher, 'have you found the
'Yes, ma'am,' said Harry, as he handed up his paper.
Then he turned to the places- which he had marked
down in his Bible, and read them. His teacher was
surprised to find how very suitable the passages were to
prove what had been given to the class. She thought
that if the minister of the parish had selected them,
they could not have been better chosen. Then she
began to think that he must have had somebody to
help him, so she said-
'Harry, -did any one help you to find these texts?'
Yes, ma'am,' said Harry. His teacher was pleased
to find him so ready to acknowledge this, and not want
to take the credit to himself. Then she asked herself,
Who could have helped him? She knew that his
mother was dead, that his father was a wicked, drunken
man, and that he had no brother or sister old enough to
help him. Then she said to him,
'Harry, dear, who helped you?'
The little fellow looked right up in her face, and said
in a moment, 'God helped me, ma'am. Before he
began to study his lesson, he had kneeled down and
prayed to Jesus to help him, and his prayer had been
heard and answered.
When we read about the martyrs who were tortured
and burnt and- put to cruel deaths because they would
not deny their Saviour, we often wonder to ourselves
h]. it was that they could be so cheerful and happy
even while their bodies were burning in the fire. If
we just put our finger in the fire for a moment, we
know very well how badly it pains us. Then how
dreadful it must' have been to be burnt to death! Yet
some of the martyrs went to meet this fearful ,de* as
pleasantly as if they had been going to a feast. Some-
times they would hold out their hands in the flames,
and sing praises to God while they were burning. How
could they do it? God helped them. And if He can
help men to sing while they are burning, as if the fire
HEARING THE GOSPEL.
did not hurt, them at all, then what is there that He
cannot help his people to do? Oh, when you wan'
help for anything, ask Jesus to give it to you. If you
want to overcome sins; if you want to resist tempta-
tions;. if you want to get wicked tempers changed; if
you want to be patient in trial and suffering, as Jesus
was; if you want to live so as to serve and please God
here in this life, and go to heaven when you die,-you
must pray-to Jesus to help you. He has promised to
do this. He says in the Bible, 'I will help thee.' But
if we want his help, we must pray earnestly for it, and
try to-help ourselves.
We have spoken of three great benefits which the
gospel brings to us, and on account of which it is a
blessed thing to hear its joyful sound. What is the first
of these benefits? Knowledge. What is the second?
Pardon. What is the third ? Help.
My dear young friends, let us try to improve this
knowledge, and to get this pardon and help for ourselves,
and then we shall be truly happy. We shall understand
what our text means when it says- -
' glossrsr s ttbz opk lt kI ft hknb ie jofal arnmb.'
re tlfasiomss of CmnsBtst ni fte FIor.
' Blessed rs he that considereth the poor.'
ID you ever go into a gymnnsium ? No doubt
many of you have been. A gymnasium is a
place for taking exercise in. There are a great
many different things there to help people who
want to take exercise. There are dumb-bells, and clubs
-for swinging round, so as to stretch out the arms.
There are ropes and ladders to climb up, and parallel
bars, and springing boards.to help persons in jumping.
There are pullies with heavy weights attached to them,
for opening and enlarging the chest; besides a great
many other things. Now if we should go' into a gym-
nasium, without ever having seen one before, we should
know, from just looking at it, that the person who
pl ned it intended it for exercising the limbs, and pro-
moting the health and- strength of those who should
Now the world in which we live is like a great
gymnasium. It is a place which God has planned and
* fitted up with everything that is necessary to eecise
the hearts or souls of his people, and to bring into play
the right sort of feelings. There are a good many things
in the world that God has put here for this very purl
pose. One of these things is the fact that there are so
many poor people in the world. Jesus told his disciples
CONSIDERING THE POOR. 85
that there would always be poor people on the earth.
Many people wonder why it is so. If you knew a man
worth fifty thousand pounds, whose children were
allowed to go in ragged clothing, and to live in a very
poor, shabby-looking house, you would think it very
strange. Now all the gold and silver, all the precious
things, all the property in the world, belong to God.
Yes, and millions of times more than al this world con-
tains. Oh how rich our'Father in heaven is And yjt
how very poor many of his children are I Why, if our
heavenly Father pleased, He could easily give to you
and to me, and to every one of his children, ten, or
twenty, or fifty thousand pounds a year. And -He
would do it in a minute, if He saw that it would be best
for us. God lets his people be poor, not because He
can't make them rich, for this would be a very easy
thing for Him to do, but because He has good and wise
reasons why He wants them to be poor while they live
in this world. One of these reasons David taught us
when he wrote the words of our text: 'Blessed is he
that considereth the' poor.' There are some things
which are a great deal better than money. God's
blessing is one of these things. This blessing is con-
nected with considering the poor, that is, with thinking
about them, being kind to them, and trying to do them
good. This is particularly a Bible blessing. There are
no hospitals, no asylums, or homes for the poor, in
Now I wish to speak of three reasons why it is a blessed
think to consider the poor.
The first reason is, that IT Is tIKE GOD.
David says, 'Thou, 0 God, hast of thy goodness
prepared for the poor.', What wonderful preparation
God makes for the poor I He not only provides for poor
people, but poor animals too. It says in the Bible that
' the lions, roaring'after their prey, seek their meat from
God. He feedeth the young ravens when they cry.' All
the beasts of the earth, the birds of the air, and the fishes
of the sea, are fed by God. How large a family this is!
What different kinds of food they require!- But God
'considers' what they want, and gets it ready for them.
Some travellrs lately went up-a' high mountain,
fourteen thousand feet high. It is covered with ice and
snow at the top all the year. No men could live up
there. Even if they could stand the cold, they could
find nothing to eat. But the travellers found some
insects living there. God had made the mountain-top
a home for them, and He had-provided thenmwith food
just such as they needed.
In preparing to lay the wires for the magnetic tele-
graph to America some time since, it became necessary
to find out how deep the water in the ocean was, up
towards the coast of Greenland. The men who were
sounding for this purpose measured in one place where
the water was seven thousand feet deep. And yet, even
at that great depth they found live shell-fish at the bottom
of the ocean. And God had not forgotten them. Away
down, under all that depth of water, God has prepared
them the food they need. God is always considering
the poor. When He makes the sun to shine, and the
rains to descend, and the dews to distil, He does it,
among other reasons, that the grain may grow, and the
fruits of the earth may ripen, on which both the rich
and poor are dependent for their food.
But God does more than all this. He considers the
poor in a special way, and when He knows that those
who love Him are suffering for the want of anything,
He takes particular pains to send them what they need.
Let me' show how He sometimes does this.
CONSIDERING THE POOR..
A poor minister, with a large family dependent upon
him, was suddenly left without employment in the midst
of a severe winter. The last penny had been spent.for
food, and the last morsel was put upon the table, making a
scanty supper for the hungry children. The poor mother
went to bed with a sorrowful heart, when she thought
that there was not a-mouthful of food in the house to
give the children when they should wake in the morn-
ing. The father kneeled down and prayed earnestly to
God, telling Him their wants, and asking Him to supply
But when the morning came, there was nothing in the
house. The hungry children cried for food, and their
parents could only tell them they had nothing to give.
' Put on the kettle, my dear,' said the minister to his
wife, 'and spread the cloth as usual, and let us trust
that God will send us something yet.'
She did so. Soon the kettle was boiling; but still
there was nothing to eat. The poor distressed father
stood by the fire, and looked on his hungry children,
while his heart was almost ready to break.
Presently there came a knock at the door. The eldest
child opened it, and a gentleman handed him a letter,
telling him to give it' to his father. It was opened, and
found to contain several bank notes, with a few lines
telling him to use them as he pleased. Very soon a
nice breakfast was prepared, and that happy family ate
heartily of the good-things before them, while their
hearts were filled with gratitude, to God, who considers
the poor,' and who had-heard their prayers, and sent
them just what they needed.
They found out afterwards that the gentleman who
left the letter was going out to take a walk before break-
fast. Just as he was leaving his house, it came into his
mind,- all at once, to leave some money at the house of
this good minister, and he did so. God had sent his
angel to whisper this thought to him. God considered
this poor family in their distress, and then He prepared
them a supply. And God is doing this, in one way or
another, all the time. He never stops giving for a
moment. He gives to angels. He gives to men. He
gives to all his creatures 'life, and breath, and all
things.' And this is one reason why we should con-
sider the poor,' and try to relieve them all we can; be-
cause it is like God.
The second reason why we should consider the poor,
is because WE CAN MAKE THEM HAPPY IN THIS WAY.
And this is what God sent us into the world for. God
is doing all He can to make people happy. The Bible
tells us that God sent his Son Jesus into the world on
purpose to bless us, and to make us happy. And when
we learn to love Jesus, and try to' do those things that
please Him, we shall not only be happy ourselves, but
we shall be trying to make others happy. And one of
the best ways of doing this is by considering the poor;'
by trying to be kind to them, and to help them in their
troubles and sorrows.
One day a poor man was going into the counting-
house of a very wealthy merchant. As he went in he
saw great sums of gold and silver which the clerks were
busy in counting. It was in the midst of winter. The
poor man thought of -his desolate home, and the wants
of his family, and, almost without thinking, he said to
himself, 'Ah! how happy a very little of that money
would make me!' The merchant overheard him. What
is that you say, my friend?' he asked. The poor man
was confused, and begged to be excused, as he did not
intend to say anything. But the kind-hearted merchant
would not excuse him, and so the man was obliged to
CONSIDERING THE POOR.
repeat what he had said. Well, my good fellow,' said
the merchant, 'and how much would it take to make
yout happy?' 'Oh, I don't know sir,' said he, but the
weather is very cold, and I have no fire; my wife and
children are poorly clad, for I have been sick. But we
don't want much. I think, sir, five pounds would get
us all we need.' John,' said the merchant to his clerk,
'count this man out five pounds.'
The man's-heart was made glad,,and he went back to
a home that was made glad too.
At the close of the day, the clerk asked the merchant
how he should enter in his books the money given to
the poor man. He answered: 'Say, "For making a
man happy, five pounds."'
Perhaps that merchant never spent money better in
A great many years ago, a benevolent-looking gentle-
man, dressed in black, and wearing a three-cornered hat,
was walking along one of the streets in this city. As
he went on, he saw a little boy, poorly clothed, who
seemed pinched with hunger. The little fellow seemed
as if he -wanted to beg, and yet was unwilling to do it.
And that was the fact. His poor sick mother had been
obliged, for the first time in her life, to send her son out
into the streets to beg. The gentleman spoke kindly to
the child. He took him gently by the hand, and walked
on with him. The little fellow told him the sad story of
their sorrows,--he told him his father's name,-how he
had died not long before; how hard his mother had
worked to get them bread; how she had been taken
sick; and what they had suffered since then.
The gentleman told the child to lead him to their
home. On his way there, he stopped at a shop, and
ordered a supply of things. On entering the house, he
saw in a noment that it was food the poor woman
needed, more than medicine, to make her well. He told
her that he was not a regular physician, but he thought
he could do something for her that would cure her. He
said he would write a prescription, which, if she would
send and get, he felt pretty sure would do her good.
So he wrote the prescription, and left it on the table.
Then he shook hands kindly with the poor woman, spoke
a few cheerful words to her, and said he would come
and see her again in a few days, and give her another
prescription, if she needed it.
When he was gone, the poor widow looked at the
paper, and you may try to imagine what her feelings
were when she found that it was an order for twenty
The second reason why we should consider the poor
is, that we can make them happy by doing this.
The third reason why we should do this, is BECAUSE
WE- DO GOOD TO OURSELVES BY IT.
We may be very sure of this, because God has pro-
mised it See what He says in the verse in which our
text is found: Blessed is he that considereth the poor:
the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.' And then
there is another promise in the Bible which reads
thus: 'He that hath pity upon the poor, lendeth unto the
Lord; and that which he hath given, will He pay him
again.' If we lend our money to any one else, we never
can be sure of getting it back again; but if we lend it
to the Lord, we may be perfectly sure that He will pay
us back, and always with good interest.
There is a story told of a good bishop who was very
charitable. Once, when he was travelling, some poor
people met him, and begged for help. The bishop asked
his servant how much money they had with them. H
said, 'Three crowns, sir.' 'Give them tothese poo0 -
*:^ I "
CONSIDERING THE POOR.
people,' said the bishop. But the servant thought his
master was too liberal. So he gave two crowns to the
poor people, and kept one to pay for their lodging at
Not long after, a certain rich nobleman met the
bishop. Knowing how charitable he was to the poor,
he ordered his steward to pay two hundred crowns to
the bishop's servant for his master's use. The servant
was overjoyed, and hastened to tell his master what had
happened. Ah,' said the bishop, if you had only had
more faith in God, and given the three crowns to the
poor, as I told you, you would have had three hundred
crowns now, instead of two hundred.'
Thus you see how the bishop was blessed for consi-
dering the poor. 'That which he paid away, God paid
him again.' le did good to himself by considering the
Twa boys applied for a situation. One was older
than the other, and had some experience in the business.
He was a gentleman's son, and well dressed. The other
was the only son of a poor widow. His clothes were
well mended, but perfectly clean, and his face had quite
an honest expression, which was like a letter of recom-
mendation. It seemed most likely that the gentlenian's
son would get the situation, yet the merchant gave it to
the poor widow's son in preference. Now let me tell
you what led him to do this.
The two boys came together at the hour appointed,
and the merchant was on his door-step at the time. Just
then a poor little shivering child crossed the street, and
as she stepped on the path, her foot slipped on the icy
stones, and she fell in the half-melted snow. The elder
boy laughed at her sorry appearance, with the water
:-1ripping from her thin, ragged clothes; but the child
: :i:egan to.cry bitterly as she searched for some pence
which she had lost. Willie, the younger boy, hastened
to her side, and helped her to search for the money.
Some were found in the snow, the others were probably
in the little icy pool beside the curb-stone. Willie
bravely rolled up his sleeve, and plunged his hand
down into the water, groping about till one of the
missing pennies was found; the other seemed hopelessly
'I'm afraid that can't be found, little girl,' said he
' Then I Can't get the bread,' sobbed the child, 'and
mamma and the children wilf have no supper.'
'Here is a penny,' said 'Willie, taking one from his
pocket. Then he made haste to wash his hands in the
snow, and dry them on his coarse white handkerchief.
The other boy looked on with contempt, and said, 'You
are a greenhorn in the city, mister.'
But the gentleman who saw it thought differently.
He determined to take Willie in spite of his patched
clothes. Thus Willie was 'blessed for considering the
poor.' He did good to himself byit. He lent a penny
to the Lord, when he gave it to that poor child, and God
paid it back to him again.
Nearly half a century ago, before the time of railways,
when people travelled in stage-coaches, a coach used to
run daily between Glasgow and Greenock. One after-
noon, as this coach was going by a place called Bishopton,
a lady in the coach saw a little boy walking barefoot
along the road. He seemed tired, and suffering with
his feet. She asked the driver to take him up and give
him a seat, and she would pay for it. When they
arrived at the inn in Greenock, she inquired ofthe boy
what he had come there for. He said he wished to be
a sailor, and hoped some of the captains would take him
as a cabin boy. The lady gave him half-a-crown, and
CONSIDERING THE POOR. 43
spoke some kind words to him, wishing him success, and
charging him not to learn to swear or drink.
Twenty years passed away. The coach was returning
to Glasgow one afternoon on the same road. Among
the passengers in the stage was a sea captain; and when
they came near Bishopton, the very spot where the kind
lady took up the little boy, the captain saw an old lady
on the road, walking slowly, and looking very tired and
weary. He asked the coachman to put her in the coach,
as there was an empty seat, and he would pay her fare.
Soon after, while changing horses, all the passengers got
out except the sea captain and the old lady. The lady
thanked the captain for his kindness to her, as she was
unable to pay for a seat. He said he always felt bound
to help weary travellers whenever he could, because
when he was a boy, twenty years ago, near this very
place, a kind-hearted lady ordered the coachman to take
him up, and paid for his seat. 'Ah!' said the lady, I
remember that day very well. I am that lady, sir; but
my lot in life has greatly changed. Then I was very
well off; but now I am left quite poor, through the bad
conduct of my intemperate son.'
' Oh, I am so glad to meet you again, my good friend,'
said the captain, shaking her warmly by the hand. I
have been very successful in business, and am going
home to live on my fortune; and from this day I shall
bind myself and my heirs to pay you twenty pounds a
year as long as you live.'
This lady considered the poor, and you see how she
was blessed for it. She did good to herself at the same
time that she made that poor boy happy. She lent her
half-crown to the Lord, and He paid it to her again.
Let me tell you one more story to show how God
blesses those who consider the poor, by making their
kiili actions do good to themselves.
Some time ago, three boys set out to walk from a vil-
lage in Holland to the town of Arnheim, which was
about nine miles from where they lived. The king of
Holland was expected to arrive at Arnheim, and there
was to be a grand procession in honour of his arrival,
and the boys had resolved to go and see it.
They had not gone very far before they found a little
girl, about three years old, sitting under a tree in a field,
and crying bitterly. Her dress showed that she belonged
to a wealthy family. They asked her to tell them where
she lived, but in reply to their questions, she only called
on her mamma, and kept on crying. They saw that the
poor child was lost. They talked to her, and tried to
comfort her a little while. Then two of the boys, whose
names were Hans and Gussy, were not willing to stay
any longer. They wanted to hurry on to the town, and
see the king.
' But we can't leave this child here alone,' said Fritz,
the other boy.
'Nonsense,' said Hans, 'she'll find her way home
somehow, I dare say. Providence will take care of her.'
' But I think Providence has sent us here to take care
of her,' said Fritz.
'If you stay here much-longer,' said Gussy, 'you'll be
too late to see the king.'
' Iing or no king,' said Fritz, I'm not going till I see
this child safe.'
' Good luck to you then,' said the other boys, 'we are
off.' And off they went towards Arnheim.
As soon as they were gone, Fritz began to think what
he had better do. He looked all round, and presently
he saw a gentleman's house a little way off. 'Good,'
said he, 'I'll carry her there, and ask them to take care
'Come away, my little dear,' said he, 'and I'lltake'yoB
CONSIDERING -THE POOR. 45
to your mamma.' Then he lifted her up in his arms,
and carried her a little way. But though he was a
pretty stout boy, he soon found that she was too heavy
for this. So he set her down, and took her on his back,
with her arms round his neck, after the style that boys
In this way he found he could get on very easily, and
the little girl seemed pleased,' and began to smile and
As soon as Fritz drew near the gentleman's house, a
beautifully dressed lady who was coming up the lane,
gave a loud cry. Then she ran up to Fritz, and took
the child from his back. It was her own child. She
kissed it again and again, while tears of joy ran down
her cheeks. The child, too, laughed and'cried for glad-
ness, and nestled down in her mother's bosom, and
clasped her little arms round her neck, as if she was
never going to let go of her again.
While this was going on, a gentleman, elegantly
dressed, came tip from another lane, where he had been
hunting for the child; behind him was a farmer; while
from a third lane came the farmer's wife, and the maid-
servant, and the man-servant, and the cat and the little
dog, all seeming to be excited at the loss of the little
girl. They all gathered round the happy mother, and
nothing was heard but expressions of gratitude and joy.
Pussy'purred as loud as she could, and the little dog
jumped about and wagged his tail to show how glad he
All this time Fritz stood with his cap in one hand
and his handkerchief in the other, with which he was
wiping off the perspiration from his face. Presently the
gentleman took him by the hand and said-
Ah my good fellow, what joy you have caused usl
Where did you find her?'
'Over yonder,' said Fritz, pointing to the place.
'And did you carry her all that way?' asked her
mother. She was a heavy burden to you, I'm sure, my
'I often carry a bag of rye to the mill,' said Fritz,
' and that's heavier, ma'am.'
'Take this and buy something for yourself,' said the
gentleman, offering him a silver coin.
' No, thank you,' said Fritz, I'd rather not take any-
'Why not?' asked the gentleman.
'Wasn't it my duty, sir, to carry the child home?
I'm glad I've found you so soon. I think I can still get
to Arnheim in time.'
' So you want to go to Arnheim to see the king?' said
the gentleman. 'Very good. We are just going there
ourselves. Will you sit on the box with the coachman?'
Of course, Fritz had no objection to'this. While the
horses were getting harnessed, the gentleman took Fritz
into the house, and gave him cake and wine.
Soon the carriage was ready. The gentleman and
his lady, with the nurse and baby, got in, and Fritz
mounted up on to the box with the driver. What a
pleasure it was to him! lie had never sat so high in
his life. And what speed! The horses seemed almost
to fly along the road. In about an hour after starting,
they overtook the two boys, just before entering Arn-
heim. They looked dusty and tired.
' Hallo! boys, how do you do ? Hurrah !' cried Fritz,
swinging round his cap as the carriage flew past. It
drove straight on under all the flags and wreaths that
hung over the streets.
The evening of that day, the three boys were walking
home by moonlight. 'Did you see anything, Gussy?'
said Hans. 'Not a thing,' said Gussy. 'There was
CONSIDERING IH POOR.
such a crowd I couldn't even see the king's carriage;
and I'm so hungry, I can hardly keep from biting my
'So am I,' said Hans. I was obliged to stand all the
time behind a big fat farmer, who was about a yard
above me. Did you see anything, Fritz?'
' Didn't I, though ?' said Fritz. I sat on the top of
the box of that gentleman's carriage, whose little child I
carried home in the morning. I saw the king and the
guard of honour. I saw all the soldiers, and the royal
carriages, and-everything. And every now and then' the
gentleman handed me up some nice cake, and before I
left he made me take this,' said Fritz, holding up a
handsome silver watch.
You may imagine how the' boys felt. Wheh Fritz
'went home that night he understood what David meant
when he said, Blessed is he that considereth the poor.'
He found it was a blessed thing because it had done
good to himself,
Thus we have spoken of three reasons why it is a
blessed thing to consider the poor. The first reason is,
that it is like God; the second-is, it makes them happy;
the third is, it does good to ouiselves.
This chapter is about something which we can all
begin to do. It is not for the rich only, but for the poor
too; not for the old only, but for the young also.
A gentleman, near London, once went to visit a poor
woman who was sick. When he entered the room he
saw a little girl kneeling at her bedside, who immediately
went out. He asked the sick woman who the child was.
' Oh I sir,' said she, it is a little angel who often comes
in to read the Bible to me, to my great comfort, and
who has just left sixpence with me.' On inquiring
furter, he found that the little girl was poor herself,
andthat :he sixpence left with the sick woman had been
- E *i^
given to the child for a reward. She began to practise
on -the text with only sixpence. How very few there are
but what have that much I
But considering the poor doesn't always mean giving
them money. It often means, speaking kindly to them,
and showing that we feel sympathy for them.
One day a young lady had gone. out to take a walk.
She forgot to take her purse with her, and had no money
in her pocket. Presently she met a little girl with a
basket on her arm. Please, miss, will you buy some-
thing from my basket?' said the little girl, showing a
variety of book-marks, watch-cases, heedle-books, etc.
' I'm sorry I can't buy anything to-day,' said the
young lady, I haven't-got any money with me. Your
things look very. pretty.' She stopped a moment, and
spoke a few kind words to the little pedlar. And then,
as she passed on, she said again, 'I'm very sorry I can't
buy anything from you to-day.'
'Oh! miss,' said the little girl, 'you've done me just
as much good as ifyou had. Most persons that I meet,
say, Get away with you." But you have spoken kindly
to me, and I feel much better.'
That was considering the poor. How little it costs to
do that! Let us learn to speak kindly and gently to
the poor and the suffering. If we have nothing else to
give, let us at least give them our sympathy.
Speak gently, kindly, to the poor,
Let no harsh tone be heard;
They have enough they must endure,
Without an unkind word.
Speak gently, for 'tis lie the Lord,
Whose accents meek and mild,
Bespoke Him as the Son of God,
The gracious, holy Child,'
ffidy Jsan N^lesots Mar.
Men shall be blessed in Him.'
I-TAT an interesting thing it is to see a little
infant! How helpless it is I It looks so
innocent, so sweet, that we can't help loving
it. And when we stand by its cradle and
gaze on it, we are ready to say, Well, this is the be-
ginning of another life.' Before that child lived as an
infant it had never lived at all. This is true-of all the
infants ever born except one. 1866 years ago an infant
was born in Bethlehem, who was different from all other
infants in this respect. He had a manger for his cradle.
But when He began, to live as an infant, that was
not the beginning of his life. He had lived before He
was born into this world. He had lived, not-as a man,
not as an angel, but as God in heaven. He had
lived, not fifty years, not a hundred years, but thou-
sands and millions of years. He had lived before there
was a single star in yonder sky,-before there was an
angel in heaven. He had always lived. There never
was a beginning to his life.
But when He was born into this world as an infant,
He began to live in a new way. Before that, as I said,
He had lived as God. But when that remarkable baby
was born in Bethlehem, He began to live as man. What
a wonderful thing this was I It was the most wonde]il
thing that ever happened in this world. The great God
of heaven was born as a little infant! -Iow could this
be? I don't know. I can't tell you how it was. But
it is just as true as that you are alive. Suppose that all
the water in the ocean were pressed together so that it
could be put into the hollow of my hand. How won-
derful that would be I But still it wouldn't be half so
wonderful as that God, who made all things, should
become a little child. We never can get through won-
dering over this. It is not surprising that the prophet
Isaiah, when speaking about it, should have said that
'his name should be called Wonderful.' A great many
things were said about Him before He was born. One
of these is spoken of in our text: Men shall be blessed
in Ilim.' King David spoke these words more than a
thousand years before the birth of Jesus. It tells us in
the New Testament that God sent his Son into the world
to bless men.
Everybodyin the world receives some blessing from
Jesus. The blessings He obtained for us are so numerous
that even the poor heathen, who have never heard of his
name, have received some of his blessings. But I wish
to speak of what Jesus does for his own people,-for those
who love and serve Him,-to make them blessed. I will
mention three things which Jesus does to bless them.
The first thing He does for them is to MAKE THEM WISE.
It is a great thing to be wise. People may be wise
in many different ways. Some men are wise to make
money, and others are wise to get honour. Some men
are wise to build houses, and others are wise to build
ships. Some are wise to cure diseases, and others are
wise to make interesting books, or to invent curious
machines that no one else ever thought of, Some are
wise as generals to win battles, and others are wise as
1IO1 JESUS BLESSES MEN.
rulers to govern nations. Some are wise to do good,
and others are wise to do evil. But I do not mean any
of these ways, when I speak of Jesus making people
wise. The way in which He blesses people is by making
them wise to serve God-wise to save their souls-wise
to getto heaven. This is the only true wisdom. The
Bible says this 'wisdom is the principal thing;' 'it is
more precious than rubies;' and 'he that findeth this
wisdom is happy, or blessed.'
Suppose that you and I had to go on a voyage round
the world. It will take us three years to make the
voyage. We can get no supply of provisions after we
have once started. The vessel is to sail in ten days.
That is all the time alloved us to lay up the provisions
and clothing, and other things necessary for the voyage.
But suppose, that instead of beginning at once to get a
good supply of fresh water, and flour, and rice, and
potatoes, and bread, and meat, and tea, and coffee, and
sugar, and such things as we should want, we spend
those ten days-in chasing butterflies, and flying kites, or
in dancing and singing and going into company. At
last the ten days are gone.' The captain sends us a sum-
mons to come on board the ship. We are obliged to, go.
The anchor is raised. The sails are unfurled. The ship
has started on her long voyage. But we have made no
preparation for it. Would it be wise for us to act so ?
Oh no; it would be very foolish. But suppose, that
instead of flying kites and chasing butterflies, we had
spent those ten days in sleeping or in reading, or in
looking after our trade or business, would that have
made it any better?. No, not a bit. The only wise
thing for us to have done, would have been to prepare
for that long voyage. Whatever else we might have
done till we were ready for that voyage would have
been folly. If anybody had wanted to bless us, as per-
sons who had a long voyage before us, the only way of
doing it would have been by making us wise to get
And this is just our situation. We have a long voyage
before us. We start upon this voyage when we die.
When once started we never can come back to get what.
we want. And there is no place where we can get sup-
plies after starting. God has sent us here to get ready.
Jesus has come to bless us in making us wise to prepare
for this voyage. He says to all people, Seek first the
kingdom of heaven.' This means, get ready for heaven
before you do anything else. But when we see people
attending to their business, to amusements, or to plea-
sure, while their hearts are not changed, their sins are
not pardoned, while they do not love Jesus, and they
have no preparation for that long long vqyage on vhich
they are soon to start, we need not wonder to find that
the Bible calls them fools. They are flying kites and
chasing butterflies, instead of preparing for their voyage.
They forget their souls, and think only about their
Not long ago, a mother was putting her little girl to
bed. The child was about three years old. Her mother
had been kneeling down by her bedside, and teaching
her to repeat the Lord's prayer. After finishing it she
rose up and was going out'of the door, when the little
girl cried out,
'Oh, mother, you have forgotten my soul 1'
'What do you mean, my child?' asked the mother.
"Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
And if I die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take."'
She only meant to say that her mother had omitted
H10W JESUS BLESSES _IE'N.
one of her prayers. But her words seemed to mean a
great deal more than this. 'You have forgotten my soul!'
Oh, how many boys and girls, and men and women, are
just doing this-forgetting their souls But Jesus teaches
his people to think about their souls, and get them
saved. The first'way in which He blesses them is by
makcing them wise. He makes them wise about their
The second way in which He blesses them, is by making
I said a little while ago, that there are different ways
of being wise, and so now I may say there are different
ways of being strong. Sometimes people are strong in
body. Samson was strong in this way. What wonderful
power he had! He could take hold of a lion and tear
its jaws asunder with his own hands. He could pull up
the huge gates of a city with the posts and bars, and
carry them all away on his shoulders. He' could kill a
thousand men with the jaw-bone of an ass. He could
take hold of the pillars of a great temple, and bend them
like young twigs, and tumble the whole building down,
just as easily as a child can knock down a house of
Some people are strong in 7mind. They can do a
wonderful deal of thinking with great ease. Napoleon
Bonaparte was so strong in mind, was such a great
thinker, that he could keep six persons writing, and could
think for them all just as fast as they could write.
And then some persons are strong in soul. I mean
by this that they have power or strength to do what is
right, and to resist what is wrong. This is the strength
that Jesus gives to his people. I do not mean to say
that He doesn't give the other kinds of strength too, for
all the strength of any kind that people have comes from
Iim. But I mean that strength of soul is the best kind
of strength, and Jesus blesses his people by giving them
this. And this strength is very important, because there
is so much wickedness in the world, that unless we are
made strong in this way, we cannot keep from sinning.
Without this strength we shall be just like wax in the
hands of bad people, and they will twist us into any
shape they please. How much of strength Daniel had,
when he wouldn't stop praying, even though the king
threatened to put him into the den of lions I And how
much of this strength Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-
nego had, when they would rather be thrown into the
fiery furnace than worship the idol of the king of
Babylon I A soul without strength is like a body with-
out a back-bone. The back-bone runs through the
body, like a pillar, or column, and supports it. If we
had no back-bones, our bodies would all fall in a heap,
like an empty bag. We couldn't stand, or walk, or
work without them; but with them, we can stand, and
lift, and do what we please. It is a good thing to have
a strong body, but it is a great deal better to have a
' Mother,' said a little boy, as he came home from
school one day, I'm sure you would like Tom Ashton,
in our school.'
'Why so, Willie?' asked his mother.
' Because, when the boys want him to play truant, or
swear, or tell lies, or do anything that is wrong, he gives
them such a strong No !'
Tom Ashton had back-bone in his soul. Jesus had
made him strong. It is a great blessing to be able
to give 'a strong no' when we are tempted to do
The second way in which He blesses people is by
making them strong.
11OW JESUS BLESSES MEN.
The third way in which Jesus blesses his people, is
BY MAKING TIIE GOOD.
No persons in this world can be good lntil Jesus
makes them so. Sometimes we hear parents and teachers,
and even ministers, when talking to children, tell them,
' that Jesus won't love them unless they are good; that
Jesus only loves good children.' But this is all wrong.
It is not what the Bible teaches us. We read in the
Bible that Jesus Christ came into the world to save'
-not good people, but-' sinners.' Jesus said himself,
while He was on earth, 'I came not to call. the right-
eous,'-that is, good people,-' but sinners to repentance.'
He said again, Him that cometh unto me I will in no
wise cast out.' He didn't say, I won't cast him out if he
is good, but I won't cast him out however bad he may
be: though his sins be as scarlet, and though they be
as red as crimson,' I won't cast him out. Paul said that
he was the chief of sinners;' and yet as soon as he came
to Jesus, he was pardoned, and saved. Paul did not try
to make himself.good and then come to Jesus, but he
came to Jesus while he was the chief of sinners,' that
Iie might make him good. We can't make ourselves
good. -No one else can make us good. Jesus alone can
do this for us. He blesses- men and women and chil-
dren, whose hearts are full of sin, by taking their sins
away, and making them good.
A little girl, whose name was May Davis, came bound-
ing into her father's library one day. She threw her
arms round his neck, and said-
' My dear papa, I'm so very glad that I am your little
girl For to-day I walked home with Fanny Vale, to
see her little kitten, and her father was so cross to her,
he scolded her for being late, when indeed she couldn't
help it, and said it was a shame for a girl ten years old
to play with a cat. I know I am often very naughty,
56 BIBLE BLESSINGS.
papa, but I should be ten times worse if Mr Vale were
my father. Oh I'm so very glad that I am your little
'How did your friend Fanny behave?' asked Mr Davis,
as. he kissed his little daughter. 'Did she answer back
' No indeed,' said May. Fanny behaved beautifully
-a thousand times better than I should have done.
She told her father she was very sorry to be so late,
and then putting down the pretty little kitten, she asked
if there was anything she could do for him. I don't see
how she could be so good; do you, papa?'
'Yes, my dear,' said Mr Davis, 'for I know whose
little girl Fanny is, and I only wish my little girl was
a child of the same Father.'
'Indeed! I wouldn't like to have Fanny's father for
mine,' said May; 'and I don't see why you should wish
such a thing either.'
'About a year ago, Fanny gave her heart to Jesus,
and now she is God's little girl; and that iswhat I mean,'
said Mr Davis.
'God's little girl?' said May thoughtfully; and does
He keep her from being oftener naughty, and is that
why she is. always so happy?'
'Yes, darling, that is it,' said Mr Davis.
' Then, papa,' whispered May, leaning her head on his
shoulder, 'I wish-I wish that I was God's little girl
'He would love to have' you for his child,' replied
her father, 'and will make you his now, if you will
only ask Him.'
' But I don't know how,' said May, looking up sadly,
'and besides, I am not half good enough to be- God's
' Jesus says, Suffer little cilddren to come unto *me,'
IOW JESUS BLESSES MEN.
said her father; He does not say suffer good little chil-
dren, but all children, no matter how naughty, if they
only wish to be good. He will take my little daughter's
sinful heart away, and make her holy and good, if she
will only ask Him.'
'But is Fanny really God's little girl?' asked May.
'Why, she loves to laugh and play just like other chil-
dren, and always seems somerry. Now I thought that
when little girls became so very religious, they always
looked grave, and didn't care to play, as I do. I knew
they would be happier when they came to die, but I
never thought they would be happier now.'
' My dear May, do you remember the time last sum-
raer when you were lost in the woods?' asked her father.
' Yes, indeed, said the child; I never can forget that
day, nor how I cried till you came and found me.'
' Well, my dear, did you enjoy the beautiful flowers,
and the birds that sang so sweetly in the trees, better
when you were lost and wandering all alone, or when I
had found you, and we were walking home together
hand in hand?'
' Oh! after you found me, to be sure,' cried May,
'for then I felt so safe and happy, that the flowers and
birds seemed a thousand times more beautiful than ever
'And just so it is with little Fanny,' said Mr Davis.
'Once she was lost, and wandering far away from the
path which leads to heaven; but now she has an al-
mighty Father, who is always near, who is keeping her
from harm, and guiding her to a bright home in heaven.
Would you expect such a little girl to be always grave
and sad ?'
'No, indeed; I should expect her to be just like
Fanny,-very very happy. And, papa, I mean to ask
God, before I go to sleep, if He won't make me his
58 BIBLE BLESSINGS.
little girl for Jesus' sake. It will make me so happy to
think that I- belong to Him I'
Now, if little May kept her promise, and prayed
earnestly to Jesus to make her his little girl, we may be
sure that He heard her, and made her to know and feel
that He blesses people by making them good.
' Mamma,' said a little girl to her mother one day,
'won't you tell me how I can be good inside ?'
'What do you mean?' asked her mother.
' Why, I mean that I don't have right feelings in my
heart. Papa calls me a good girl, and so does auntie,
and almost everybody; but I'm not good at all.'
'I'nm very sorry,' said the mother.
'And so am I,' said Kitty. But I know my heart is
very wicked. Why, mother, when I was dressed to
ride yesterday, and the carriage came to the door, you
remember papa said there was no room for me. Well,
I went into the house; and when you came back, auntie
told you I had been very good about it. But she didn't
know. I didn't saying anything to her, but I went
upstairs, and though I didn't cry, I thought very wicked
things. I kicked the cushion about because I was so
vexed, and I wished the carriage would upset, and the
horse would run away!'
And Kitty ended, as she had begun, by saying, Oh,
mamma, won't you tell me how can I be good inside ?'
Now, there are a great many children, and grown
people too, who are like Kitty. They keep their lips
from saying bad things, but they can't keep their hearts
from thinking and feeling what is bad. They can be
good outside, but they can't be good inside. They can
stop the stream from running on, but they can't stop
the fountain from flowing out.
If we want to have the fountain stopped,-if we want
to be good inside,-we must get our hearts changed. And
HOW JESUS BLESSES MEN. 59
Jesus only can do this. He says in the Bible, A new
heart will I give them, and a new spirit will I put
within them.' When Jesus undertakes to make people
good,- He always begins with the heart. When that is
made good, then we are good inside. If you can make
a fountain pure, then you may be very sure that the
streams which flow out'from it will be pure also.
Some time ago I went to the docks to see one of the
great ships lying there. The friend who was showing
me about asked me if I knew where they first went to
work in building a ship. I said, No. Well,' says he,
'the first piece of timber that is laid is the middle of
the keel, and all the rest is built upon that.' Now, the
centre of the keel is the very middle of the ship. Ah !'
I thought to myself when I heard this, that is just what
Jesus does when He is going to build a Christian. He
begins at the heart. He makes that good first, and then,
by degrees, He makes all the rest good too. He makes
his people "good inside" first, and then He makes them
good outside afterwards.'
' Men shall be blessed in Him.'
We have spoken of three things that Jesus does to
his people to make them blessed. What is the first?
He makes them WISE. What is the second? He makes
them STRONG. What is the third? He makes them
How thankful we should be that Jesus has been into
our world !
He came to bless us all. If He had not come, we
never should have had any true wisdom or strength or
goodness. All these blessings we owe to Him. What
reason, then, we have to be glad that Jesus came into
our world I The birth of Jesus made the angels glad in
heaven, although He did not come to bless them. But
'He did come to bless us. Then let us be glad, and
60 BIBLE BLESSINGS.
rejoice on account of his birth. But the best way of
showing our thankfulness, is to ask Him to bless us by
making us wise and strong and good. What a very
happy thing it will be for us, if, like little May, we pray
to Jesus to make us his children! That will make us
happy not only at Christmas, but all through the year.
Jesus came from heaven to bless us. We are blessed
in Him.. Let us try all we can to send the same bless-
ings to others.
Thoue eshebss ef abemg a Beistapeopl
'Thou shalt be blessed above all people.'
HIS was spoken to the Jews. They are in many
,S respects the most wonderful nation that ever
existed. When we think of all that God has
done for them, we see how true it is that they
have been 'blessed above all people.' How wonderful
their deliverance from Egypt was They were a nation
of slaves. God sent Moses to Pharaoh, king of Egypt,
to tell him to set the people free, and let them go.
Pharaoh said he wouldn't do it. God said He would
make hiin do it. And so He did. He sent the most
dreadful plagues upon Egypt, one after another, that
ever visited any people. The water in their wells and
streams was all turned into blood; the land was filled
with swarms of flies, frogs, and lice, that came into their
houses, and covered their beds, and chairs, and tables, and
everything. An army of locusts invaded the land, and
ate up every green thing in it. Then there was a fear-
ful- disease that destroyed all their cattle;-there were
dreadful lightnings and thunders and hail-storms, such
as had never been known before. And at last,pone awful
'night, just in the middle of the night, all at once, the
oldest child in every family died. There was not a
house through all the land in which. there was not one
person dead. There never was such a night as that in
Egypt. The people thought they were all going to die
at once. Pharaoh was frightened almost out of his
senses. He let the people go that very night. And
then how wonderful the things were that God did for
the Israelites in the wilderness I He opened up a way
for them right through the sea; He spread out a cloud
to cover them from the great heat of the sun; He sent
a wonderful, fiery, cloudy pillar to go before them, all
through the wilderness, where there were ,no roads to
show them the right way; He rained them down bread
from heaven every morning for forty years; He made
a stream of water gush out from a rock, and follow them
all through that 'sandy desert wherever they went.
How wonderful all this was I
And then when God brought them to the land of
Canaan, what wonderful things He did for them there!
He had a tabernacle or temple among them. There He
used to come and speak to them, and tell them what He
wanted them to do. He was their King; He governed
and protected them; He sent his prophets among them
to preach to them, and tell them all about Jesus, the
great Saviour, who was 'going to come among'them.
While all the other nations in the world were worship-
ping idols, they were worshipping the true God. They
knew the way to heaven when no other people knew it.
And thus, you see, how well it might be said of them
that they were blessed above all people.'
But some of you may say, 'Well, we are not Jews,,
and if the promise of the text only applies to them, what
good will it do us to talk about it ?' Very true, but this
promise does not refer only to the Jews. It refers to
Christians as well. It refers to all the friends of Jesust
It is true of all who love and serve our glorious Saviour,
that they are 'blessed above all people.' The subject
of this chapter is, The blessedness of being a Christian.
BEING A CHRISTIAN.
There are so many things to say on this subject that
there won't be time to say them all in one chapter, so
we must have another one on this text. But I wish now
to speak of four things in which it is true of real Chris-
tians that they are blessed above all people.'
In the first place, they are so in THEIR NAMES.
If we look into the Bible we shall find a wonderful
difference between the names or titles of those who are
not Christians, and of those who are. Where God
speaks of those who are not Christians, He calls them
' fools,' wicked ones,' children of wrath,' cursed
children,' 'enemies of God,' 'a perverse and crooked
generation,' serpents, a generation of vipers.' What a
dreadful thing it is to think of the great and good Lord
of heaven calling any persons by such names as these !
And then, after looking at these, how pleasant it is to
turn and look at the names which God gives, in the
Bible, to his own people-to all who love and serve
Jesus I He calls them 'his beloved,' his dear children,'
' the excellent of the earth,' his chosen ones in whom
his soul delighteth,' his lambs,' his 'treasure,' his
'jewels,' 'the sons and.. daughters of the Lord Almighty.'
Jesus calls,his people by all these sweet' names now.
But hereafter, He says, they shall be called by a name
better than of sons and daughters; even by a new name,
which the mouth of the Lord shall name.' If I am
really a Christian, I cannot tell what the name is by
which I shall be called in heaven. But I know it will
be a new name. It will be a beautiful name, fit for that
glorious place, and the holy, happy company that will
be there. And when we think of the precious names by
which Jesus calls his pebple 'now, and the still more
precious names by which He will call them here-
after, we may well say of Christians that they are
'blessed above all people.' In their names they are thus
But secondly, they are 'blessed above all people' IN
I don't mean the dress of their bodies, but the dress
of their souls. Christian people wear the same kind of
dress for their bodies that others do, but they wear a
very different kind of dress for their souls. We don't
know what the soul is. We only know that it is that
strange thing in us, which thinks, and loves, and which
will live for ever. When our body dies, we know that
the soul leaves the body, and goes out from it. We
can't see it when it goes. We don't know how the soul
looks, or what the form or shape of the soul is. Per-
haps it looks just like the body. Perhaps it has the
same form and appearance as the body, only it is not
heavy or solid like the body. If this is so, then, if we
could see the soul of some dear friend, who has died and
gone to heaven, we should know it in a moment, just as
easily as we should know the body of that friend. And
there is a particular kind of dress for the soul, just as
there is for the body. We read in the Bible that St
John saw the souls of some of the people of Christ-who
had died. They were in heaven when he saw them,
standing before the throne of God. And when he saw
those souls, they were all' clothed. Yes, and their cloth-
ing was all alike. They were clothed in garments that
had been washed and made white for. them by Jesus
their Saviour. The Bible tells us of a robe or garment
or dress that Jesus puts on the souls of his people when
they become Christians, that is, when their hearts are
changed, when they repent of their sins, and believe in
Him. This is spoken of as a white dress or robe. It
is like that which Jesus himself wore when He was on
BEING A CHRISTIAN.
the Mount of Transfiguration. Three of his disciples
were with Him then. They saw Him while He was
transfigured, and they have told us how He looked.
His face was shining like the sun, and his garments
were white as snow, so as nobody on earth could whiten
them. What a blessed thing it is to have this dress onl
There are only two kinds of dresses for the souls of
people spoken of in the Bible. One of these is this
beautiful white dress which Jesus gives to his people.
The other is one which everybody who is not a Chris-
tian must wear. It is spoken of in the Bible as made
of 'filthy rags.' It is stained and polluted, and. dread-
ful to look at. If we are Christians, if we really love
Jesus, we shall wear the white garment which He gives
to his people. If we are not Christians, this garment of
' filthy rags' is the only one our souls will ever have to
wear. When we die, and our souls go into the presence
cf God, they will have nothing upon them but those
'filthy rags.' Oh, how much ashamed we shall feel!
How totally unfit we shall be to go among the
white-robed company in heaven And yet we shall
never be able to get rid of those rags there. We shall
never be able to get any other dress for our souls to
But if we are Christians, if we really love and serve
Jesus, then our souls will wear the same robe that Jesus
wears himself. This is the most beautiful dress that
ever was. Jesus made it himself for his people to wear.
Nobody else will wear it but them.- It will be more
beautiful than the dress of the angels. The Bible says
it will be 'of wrought gold, all glorious within.' This
dress is so beautiful that even God loves to look at it.
It will never grow old. It will never wear out. It will
never get soiled or torn. It will be always new, and
How true it is that real Christians are blessed above
all people I' They are so in their Dress.
Thirdly, they are so in THEIR RELATIONS.
I was reading lately of a very good answer made by a
little boy in England, who afterwards became a very
distinguished minister of the gospel. One of his school-
mates was boasting one day about the number of rich
and noble relations that he had. Then he asked the
future minister if there were any lords in his family.'
' Yes,' said the little fellow, I know there is one at least,
for I have often heard my mother say, that the Lord
Jesus Christ is our elder brother.'
And when we are in trouble, or distress, what a real
comfort it is to have a relation who is able and willing
to help us I
Some years ago, a poor Austrian officer, who was very
sick, arrived at a town in Germany which was celebrated
for its baths; and crowds of sick people were constantly
coming there, with the hope of being cured of their
The officer seemed very feeble, and it was not likely
that he would live very long. He applied for lodging
at several of the hotels, but they would not take him in,
because they were afraid he might die in the house.
Presently he came to the last hotel where he could hope
to get a room, but he was told again that there was
none vacant. The poor soldier was greatly distressed.
He knew not what to do.- But just then a gentleman
who was living in the hotel, and who had heard the
answer given by the landlord, stepped forward and
'This officer is a relation of mine, and I will share
my room with him. He may have my bed, and I can
sleep on the sofa,'
BEING A CHRISTIAN .
The landlord could not make any objection to this,
and the poor sick soldier was carried to the room of the
gentleman who had claimed him as a relation. When
he had rested a few moments, and recovered his strength
a little, his first question was-
' May I ask your name, my kind friend ? How ,are
you related to me? On which sjde ?-through my
father, or my mother?'
'I am related to you,' said the gentleman, 'through
our Lord Jesus Christ, who has taught me that every
suffering man is my brother, and that I should do to
him as I would like to have him do to me.'
How kind and pleasant that was This is just the
way in which Jesus would have us all act. And this is
just the way in which He is acting all the time to his
people, who are his poor relations. He tells us all to
'call on Him in the day of trouble, and He will hear
us.' He is celed in the Bible the brother born for
adversity,' 'Bie friend that sticketh closer than a bro-
And the best thing about the Christian's relations is,
that he can never lose them. The Bible tells us that
'nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.'
Jesus says to his relations that He 'will never leave
them, nor forsake them.' The dearest relations that we
have in this world are sure to be separated from us by
death. And sometimes this separation comes very sud-
denly and unexpectedly.
Some years ago there was a family by the name of
Winslow living on the Isle of Wight. The family con-
sisted of Mr and Mrs Winslow, and one little girl called
Lilly. Mr Winslow had gone to America to buy a
farm, intending, when he had got it all in nice order, to
come- back and bring his family over to live on the farm.
He had written to his wife that everything was ready,
and that he hoped to be at home about Christmas. But
Christmas came and 'went without his coming. Day
after day and week after week passed by, but still he
did not come. His family became very anxious about
him, till at last the sad sad tidings reached them one
day that the vessel had been wrecked, and all on board,
except three sailors, were drowned. What a dreadful
blow that was to Mrs Winslow and her little daughter r
That day was the saddest day they had ever known.
We can imagine what their sorrow was over their great
Well, at the close of the first day of their affliction,
little Lilly kneeled down by her mother's side to say her
prayers, as she was accustomed to do. Her mother was
weeping, and the tears were streaming down Lilly's own
cheeks, as she tried, between her sobs, to say the words
she had been used to say from the time she had learned
to speak. Presently, almost before she knew it, she
found herself saying, God bless my dear father.' Her
poor mother uttered a loud cry. Oh, Lilly, my dar-
ling,' she said, don't say that any more. You have no
father now!' This stopped the poor child. She didn't
know what to say next. But, as she had always been
in the habit of finishing with the Lord's prayer, she
thought she would use that. So she began with those
sweet and tenddr words: Our Father who art in heaven.' ,
How beautiful those words seemed to Lilly then She
thought she had never, understood their meaning, or felt
how sacred they were, as she did that night. She stop-
ped awhile. Then she said them over again. She said
them the third time: Our Father who art in heaven.'
Then she looked up into her mother's sorrowing face,
and said, 'Oh mother, we have a Father yet. God is
our Father. Jesus said so. He told us to pray to "Our
Father in heaven."' Then she said these precious words
BEING A CHRISTIAN.
over once more. She couldn't say any more of the
prayer. This was enough., What comfort that poor
sorrowing child and her widowed mother found in the
thought that they had a Father in heaven who couldn't
be drowned, who never would die,-a dear, kind rela-
tive who never could be taken away from theml And
-as Lilly fell asleep that night, these sweet words were
lingering on her lips: '-Our Father, who art in heaven.'
The people of Christ are blessed aboveall people,' in
The fourth thing in which they are blessed above all
people, is in their RICHES.
It is said of Jesus our Saviour, that though He was
rich' before He came into this world, yet for our sakes
He became poor, that we,' his people, 'through his
poverty might be rich.' Jesus came into this world on
purpose to make' his people rich. He says in one place
in the New Testament, that He will give his people
'gold, fine gold, gold tried in the fire, that they may'be
rich.' But it is not the gold and silver of this world
that Jesus promises to give his people. It is the gold
and silver of heaven that Jesus makes his people rich
with. This heavenly gold and silver means the grace
and blessing of God. Those who have this kind of
riches are blessed above all people for two reasons: one
is, their riches can always make them happy i the other
is, they will last for ever.
The people of Christ are blessed above all people in
having riches that can always make them happy. The riches
that people get in this world cannot make them happy.
When Stephen Girard was alive, he was the richest man
in the city of New York. But you may judge how happy
he was, from what he wrote to a friend one day:-
"'As for myself,' said he, 'I live like a slave. I
am constantly occupied- through the day, and often
pass the whole night without being able to sleep. I am
worn out with the care of my property. If I can only
keep busy all day, and sleep all night, this is my highest
happiness.' Certainly that was a-very poor kind of
How often we hear a person say, OA, I wish I was
rich! If I were only rich, I should be so happy!' This
is a great mistake. The richest person in the world now,
it is said, is Mr Rothschild, the great Jewish banker of
London. All the kings in Europe borrow money from
him. One day a person said to him, 'You must be a
happy man, Mr Rothschild I'
'Happyl' said'he, 'Ihappyl Why, the other day, when
I was sitting down to dinner, I received a note from
some person, telling me that if I didn't lend him five
hundred pounds, he would blow my brains out. And I
am afraid to go to sleep at night without having loaded
pistols under my pillow' Hvw car I be happy under
Here you see from two of the richest men that ever
lived, that the riches of this world and happiness do not
Now let me show you one who had none of the riches
of this-world, but whom Jesus had made rich with his-
grace or blessing, and that made him happy.
One windy afternoon, a gentleman went with a friend
to visit -the almshouse, in his neighbourhood. There,
sitting before a little fire, was a very aged man; he was
almost deaf. His clothes were very poor, and he was so
afflicted with the palsy, that his limbs were shaking all
the time, and one of his wooden shoes kept a constant
pattering on the brick floor. But poor, and deaf, and
sick, and almost helpless as he was, it turned out that he
BEING A CHRISTIA'T.
'What are you doing, Wisby P' said the gentleman to
him. in a loud voice.
'I am waiting, sir,' was the reply.
'And what are you waiting for?'
'I am waiting for the appearing qf my Lord and
Saviour,' said he.
'And what makes you wish for his appearing?' asked
'-Because,' said he, 'I expect great riches then.'
To see if he understood what. he.was speaking about,
the gentleman said,
'What do you expect then, Wisby, and why do you
expect it?' The old man, by degrees, put on his spec-
tacles, and opening the big Bible on the table near him,
and turning to 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8, he read: The time of
my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I
have finished my course, I have kept the faith: hence-
forth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness,
which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me at
that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that
love his appearing.'
Here- was an old man with none of the riches of this
world,-poor and deaf, shaket with the palsy, with no
home of his own, living in aii almshouse, and yet made
entirely happy by the riches which Jesus gives. The
people of Christ are blessed above all people in having
riches that can always make them happy.
And they are blessed above all people, too, in having
riches that will lastfor ever.
A man maybe rich in the things of this world to-day,
and poor to-morrow. The Bible says, Riches take to
themselves wings and flee away.' This is like compar-
ing riches to a flock of ,birds, which light on a man's farm
to-day, and-to-morrow they are gone.
When I see a spider, it often reminds me of rich men.
BIBLE BLESSINGS. .
Look at that spider! Solomon says, The spider taketh
hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces.' How
earnestly she works in spinning her web; how nimbly
she flies up and down How straight she makes all her
lines How exact and true all her angles are What
a curious piece of work she makes I How it glitters and
shines like silver as the sunbeams fall upon it! What
pains she takes with it.! How curiously she spins it out
of her own body, and uses up her very life in making it!
When it is done, she stretches out one line here and
another there to make it as secure as possible. And we
can fancy this spider talking to herself, and saying,
' Well, now I've got a very snug, comfortable home.
Here I can catch as many flies as I want, and have a
jolly time in eating them. I can stay here and enjoy
myself as long as I live.' But just as she is saying this
to herself, along comes the chambermaid. With -one
stroke of her broom, she sweeps that web all away.
And it is just so with the men who spend their time
in gaining the riches of this world. They wear out their
very lives in getting them, and then they have no more
power to keep them than the spider has to protect her
web from being swept away. They are like the rich
man that Jesus spoke about when He was on earth. He
said he would pull down his barns and build greater
ones, and then he could stow away his goods, and say to
himself, Now I've got everything that I want: I'll take
my ease-I'll eat and drink, arid be merry. But that
very night death came, and took him away from all his
goods. And so it always is with the riches of this
world. We never can' be sure of them while we live;
and when we die, we must leave them all behind. But
the riches which Jesus gives to his people are laid up for
them in heaven. There they are perfectly safe, there
they will last for ever. If our riches are in this world,
BEING A CHRISTIAN.
death will take us away from them. If our riches are
in heaven, death will take us away to them.
A rich man who was not a Christian was lying on his
deathbed. He told his servants to bring him his bags of
money. He took a bag of gold and clasped it to his
heart. Presently he said, 'Take them away. It won't
do! It won't do I I must leave them.' And so he
Now see a different case. A Christian lady had been
very well off. But by some means or, other she lost all
her property. She was obliged at last to go into the
poorhouse. She was old and near her end. One day,
while a friend was by her side talking to her, she saw
her smile, and look very happy. He asked her what
she was thinking about that seemed so pleasant. Oh!'
she said, I was just thinking what a blessed change it
will be when I go from the poorhouse to heaven. My
earthly riches are all gone, but my heavenly riches are
all safe. Nobody can take them away from me. They
will last for ever.'
The people of Christ are blessed above all people in
their riches, because they can always make them happy,
and because they will last for ever.
We have spoken of four things in which Christians
are 'blessed above all people.' The first is in their
Names; the second is in their Dress; the third is in their
Relations; the fourth is in their Riches.
Let me entreat you to pray earnestly to Jesus to
make you his children, and then indeed you will be
' Sltseb abet asil pewle.'
tC Xfsth nws of hng, a dC sftia.
'Thou shalt be blessed above all people.
OMETIMES we see a precious stone that has
been very carefully polished, and has a great
number of sides or faces. The upper side of
it has a large flat surface. The under side
will perhaps rise 'to a point. Now there will be, perhaps,
ten or a dozen different sides or faces.' It is a very inte-
resting thing to take a large stone of this kind, and
examine it carefully. You look into it, of look through
it, first from-the front. Then you turn it over, and look
at one after another of its different sides. They are all
beautiful, but each one seems to present some new
beauty. As the light falls first on one side and then on
another, the shades of colour are changing all the time,
and the more you look, the more you feel inclined to
look. It seems as if it were really growing more beau-
tiful all the time. And a good many texts of Scripture
are just like such a jewel. They seem to have a great
many sides. There are ever so many points from which
you can look at them, and they present a different ap-
pearance from each. Here, for instance, is the one we
are now speaking about. This is like a many-sided
jewel. We looked at four sides in our last chapter.
We are going to look at four more of them now. In
BEING A CHRISTIAN.
talking about the blessedness of being Christians, we said
that they are blessed above all people in their names,
their dress, their relations, and their riches. And when we
have had four reasons for anything, the next reason will
be number what? Five. Yes. Well then, the fifth
way in which Christians are blessed above all people is
in their JoYs.
It is a very common thing, when we are speaking
about the joy or pleasure that persons have, to compare
it to a spring or fountain from which we drink. And
when we thus compare it, we may as well say that the
fountain of the Christian's joy is better than any other
fountain. Suppose that two fountains were offered us
from which to draw all the water that we are to drink.
And suppose that one of these fountains was on a beau-
tiful Swiss mountain, supplied by the everlasting ice and
snow upon the top of 'the mountain, and the other far
down on a sandy plain. The lower fountain is muddy,
and the water in it thick and dirty. It often gets
choked up with decaying leaves, and poisonous sub-
stances. And then, when the hot summer weather
comes, it dries up altogether, so that at the very time
the water is most needed there is none in it.
The joy which worldly people have is just like such a
fountain on a sandy plain. But the joy which a Chris-
tian has is like a spring on a snow-capped mountain.
The water which flows from it is pure water. It gushes
out clear, cold, and sparkling. And it is flowing out all
the time. The heat of summer has no effect upon it. It
never stops running.
Some time ago a lady who was travelling, stopped for
a few days at a little village among the beautiful moun-
tains in Wales. The people in that village had to bring
all their water from a well in the middle of the village.
At all hours of the day, but especially before breakfast
and supper, the people of the village, both old and
young, might be seen passing backwards and forwards
with every kind of pitcher, pail, and can, along the lane
that led to the well.
One day this lady met a little girl returning from the
well with a pail of water in her hand. She said to her-
'I see a great many people going to that well for
water, my little girl; does the well ever run dry ?'
' Oh yes, ma'am; very often in hot weather.'
'And where do you go for water then?'
'We go to the spring a little way out of town.'
'But what -do you do if that dries up?'
'Then we go to the spring far up on the side of the
mountain-that is the best water of all.'
'And what do you do if that dries up ?'
'Oh, ma'am, that spring is the same winter and sum-
mer. It never dries up !'
The lady went up to see this spring. She found the
water there gushing out from under a great rock. Then
it glided away in a clear, sparkling rivulet, not with a
torrent leap and a wild dash, but with a steady flow,
and a soft, sweet, gentle murmur. It flowed down the
side of the mountain. It was within the reach of every
child's little pitcher. There was enough of it to fill all
the empty vessels brought to it. The little birds came
down there to drink. The sheep and the lambs had
trodden down a smooth pat for themselves to.the brink
of the stream; and all the people in the village depended
upon that spring when their other supplies failed. And
as she stood there looking at it, she said to herself, Ah !
this spring is like the joy that Jesus gives to his people.
It is better than all other joys. The joys we find in other
things are like yonder well down in the village, that
dries up in warm weather; but the joy that Jesus gives
is like this mountain spring. Its water is clearer and
Bible Blessings--P(g 70.
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BLING A CHRIISTIAN.
cooler and fresher than any other, and it is a spring that
n'ver dries up.'
Not long ago, a Bible visitor in London was going
through her district, which was in one of the poorest
parts of that great city. Among other places that she
called at one day, was the home of a poor widow woman,
who was a Christian, but just as poor as she could be.
She lived in a back kitchen, which had once been used
as a-wash-house. The pavement of the back-yard came
nearly to the top of the little window, the only one in
the room, and shut out almost all the light from it. The
room was so dark, that when the lady entered she could
see nothing but a little speck of fire in one corner of the
room. When her eye got a little accustomed to the
darkness, she looked round, and saw the room was so
damp that the moisture was standing in drops, or trick-
ling in crooked lines down the walls. The only bed-
stead in the little room filled it so, that the lady could
hardly turn round, or find a place to sit down in. The
poor woman who lived there was bent up with rheuma-
tism, and had such a bad cough that she could hardly
get a chance to speak to the-kind friend who had come
to see her.
When the lady asked her how she was, she said,
'Thank you, Mrs Jones, for coming to see me. I have
just been praying God to send some good friend to me.
I am pretty well, thank you, fi me. The cough troubles
me some, and so does the rheumatism. But I have still
a little fire left from yesterday. I had a penny this
morning to get a few tea leaves with, and that seems to
ease my cough some. And Sally'-meaning her little
girl, about nine years old-' is helping to nurse a baby,
and her mistress likes her so much that she had taken
her into her house altogether; and Johnny'-a little
boy, a year younger than Sally-' is gone to a grocer's
to run errands, and they have heard of my situation,
and give him his meals. So, you see, God is very good
to me, and I feel that I am leaping from joy to joy.'
Ahl if that poor woman had known no joy but
such as the world can give, in this time of her trial
from poverty- and pain, her joy would have been like
the well in the village that dried up in the hot weather.
But she had the joy whichl Jesus gives, and this is like the
good spring of the mountain-a spring' that never dries up.
I remember once reading about a spring of fresh
water that was found far out at sea. That spring was
so full and so strong, as it came out of the ground at the
bottom of the sea, that it could send a stream of fresh
water rising up through all the depths of the briny
* ocean, and pouring itself out in freshness on the surface.
And the joy which Jesus gives is just like such a spring.
Its pure water can rise up even through a sea of troubles
like those in which this poor woman was plunged, and
make her happy in the very midst of these troubles.
The fifth thing in which the Christian is blessed above
all people, is in his Joy.
The sixth thing in which he is so blessed, is in nms
Men think a great deal of honour. They will make
any effort, run any risk, and face any danger in order
to gain it. And yet there is no honour in the world
like that which Jesus gives his people. The Bible calls
it the honour which cometh from God.'
Now, suppose that you and I were living in London.
And suppose that we were jewellers by trade, and had a
large shop in one of the fashionable parts of the West
End. And suppose that one day the queen should
come into our shop. She buys the most splendid set of
jewels that we have, and tells us that she intends here-
BEING A CHRISTIAN.
after to buy all her jewels from us, and that when she
wants any gold or silver things she will send to, us to
make them for her. How much honoured we should
feell How soon we should get a new sign, and have
painted on it, in big round letters-
NEWTON AND CO.,
JEWELLERS TO HER MAJESTY.
What a rush we should have to our store of the nobi-
lity of England, and how rich we should get in a little
while I We should feel it a great honour to make
jewels for the king or queen. But Jesus is the King of
his people. -He is the King of heaven. The Bible calls
Him 'The Great King'-' the King of kings.' Oh,
there is no king like Jesus, and no honour like that.
of working for Him! But when we become Christians,
Jesus engages us to be his servants, and to work for Him.
One reason why I so much love to preach is, that in doing
it I feel I am preaching for Jesus. All that a Christian
does, he does for Jesus, and all that he suffers, he suffers
for Jesus. If we are real Christians, we are working for
Jesus now, and when we die we shall be brought very
near to Jesus. We shall be even nearer than the angels
are. Jesus .never became an angel, but He did once be-
come a man. He has not got an angel's nature now, but
He has got a man's nature. He has the same nature
that you and I have. He is not the brother of the
angels, but He is our brother. He is bone of our bone,
and flesh of our flesh. We are his nearest relatives.
We shall stand the closest to Him in heaven of all his
creatures. How wonderful this is I What an honour
we have here Yes; and not only shall we be brought
near to this King, but He will make us kings ourselves !
Jesus will make all his people kings, and give them all
crowns which they shall wear for ever.
There was a nobleman in Scotland, known as the
Duke of Hamilton. This duke had two sons. When
a man dies, who is a nobleman, a duke or a lord, his
oldest son takes his name or title, and becomes duke or
lord after him, and also takes his property. But if
the oldest son dies before his father, then the next son
takes his place and his title and his property. The
oldest son of the Duke of Hamilton, of whom I am now
speaking, was a very pious youth, but he fell into con-
sumption and died before he became of age. One day a
short time before his death, the minister of the church
to which the family belonged, came to see him. He
prayed with him, and after prayer the youth took his
Bible from under his pillow, and turning to 2 Tim. iv. 7,
he read these words: 'I-have fought a good fight, I
have finished my course, I have kept the faith: hence-
forth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.'
Turning to his father, who stood by, he said, 'Father,
this is all my comfort.' Then calling his younger
brother to him, who was to take the title and property
after his father's death, he spoke very affectionately to
him, and ended with these words: And now, Douglas,
in a-little while you shall be a duke, and I shall be a
king.' What honour can the earth give like this ? The
Christian is blessed above all people in his Honour.
The seventh thing in which the Christian is thus
blessed above all others, is in inI CARE.
I mean by this the care which God takes of him.
What a wonderful thing it is that the great God, who
sitteth in the heavens, and governs all things, should
stoop so low as to take care of poor, sinful creatures
BEING A CHRISTIAN.
like you and me! And yet le does so. If I take a
jewel or precious stone, and shut it up in my hand,
and hold it tight, how safe it is, just so long as I hold
it-so. And yet the Bible tells us that this is the very
way in which God holds his people. They are kept
' in the hollow bf his hand' all the time. He watches
over them night and day. He puts -his everlasting arms
underneath them. He spreads his everlasting wings
over them. When Satan wants to injure them, God
won't let him, and he can't do anything till God gives
him leave. We read in the Bible about how Satan
tried to injure Job. He thought if he could only get
at him, and destroy his property, and kill his children,
and take away his health, then Job would give up his
trust in God, and become a wicked man. God wouldn't
let him do this at first. But at last He told him he
might do it 'And as soon as he got permission he did
it pretty quickly. In a little while poor Job was
stripped of his property, his family, and his health.
He lay in the ashes, covered with boils from head to
foot. Now, if we could have seen Job in the midst of
all this poverty, suffering, and sorrow, we should, per-
haps, have been tempted to think that God had forgotten
him, and wasn't taking care of him at all. But He was.
He was never taking better care of him than when He
let Satan bring all this trouble upon him. God made it
'all work together for good' to Job, as He has promised
to do, in the Bible, for all his people. These troubles
didn't make Job give up his religion, as Satan said they
would. On the contrary, he clung to it closer than ever.
In the midst of all his trials he looked up to God and
said, 'Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.'
And then God delivered him from his troubles. He
healed his boils, and made him well. He gave him as
many children as he had before, and twice as much
property. So that the thing by which Satan thought he
was going to ruin Job, was the very thing which God
used to make him a better and a richer and a happier
man than ever he was before. Job had reason to feel
very much obliged to Satan for bringing all that trouble
upon him. It was the best thing that ever happened
And it was just the same with Joseph. His brethren
thought they would be sure to prevent his dreams from
being fulfilled, by taking him away from his father, and
selling him as a slave into Egypt. But God took such
care of Joseph that He made that the very means of
bringing his-dreams to pass. No doubt Joseph thought
it was very hard, when he was lowered down into that
pit, and when he was kept so long in prison in Egypt.
And yet these were the best things that ever happened
to him. God took such care of him that He made all
these things work for good to Joseph. And so He did
for Daniel, when his enemies cast him into the lions'
den. And so He did for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-
nego, when the king threw them into the burning fiery
furnace.- And so He does for his people always. God
takes such care of every Christian, that nothing can ever
happen to him that is not allfor the best.
There is a beautiful illustration of this in an eastern
story told of a pious Jew. His name was Rabbi Akibo.
He had been persecuted by the enemies of his religion,
and driven away from his home. He was obliged to
travel about the country, from place to place, so as to
keep out of the way of his enemies. In his journeys he
used to carry with him a lamp, which he could light at
night to read the Bible, which was his constant study.
He also carried with him a chicken cock, to wake him
up early in the morning, by crowing, and a donkey, or
jackass, on which he rode.
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One day he had been travelling all day, and felt pretty
tired. When it came towards sunset, he began to look
round for a place to rest in for the night. Presently he
saw before him a nice-looking village, and drove up to
it, thinking, no doubt, that he would soon find an inn
or some friendly house that would give him a night's
lodging. But in this he was mistaken.- There was no
inn in the village, and none of the villagers would give
him shelter in their houses. He was, therefore, obliged
to drive through the village and look for the best resting-
place he could find in the first woods that he came to.
Then he sought out a sheltered spot, under a thick tree,
and as he sat down upon the grass, he said to himselfr
'It's very hard not to have a house to shelter one from
the cold, night air. But God is good; it is all for the
Then he seated himself under the tree, and lighted his
lamp, and thought lie would have a pleasant time in
studying his Bible. But before he had read many
verses, a storm arose. The wind blew out his lamp, and
the rain prevented'him from lighting it again. What
a pity,' said he, that I cannot even enjoy the pleasure of
reading my precious Bible I But God is good, and it is
all for the best.'
Then he covered himself up, and lay down upon the
grass to get a few hours' sleep. He had hardly closed
his eyes, however, before a wolf came by, and seized the
cock from the low branch of a tree on which it was
resting, and quietly made a meal of it.
' rm very sorry for this new loss,' said poor Rabbi;
my watchful companion is gone. Now I have none to
make me in the mornings to study my Bible. But God
-is good, and it's all for the best.'
He- had scarcely finished these words before he was
alarmed by the roar of a lion. The next moment the
savage beast sprang upon his trusty donkey, and' de-
This was the heaviest blow of all. 'What shall I
-do now?' exclaimed the poor traveller. 'My lamp is
gone. My bird is gone. My poor donkey, too, is gone.
Everything is gone. But God is good; it's all for the
After all this, he passed, of course, a troubled night.
He had very little sleep. Early in the morning he
went back to the village to see if he could buy a horse,
or another donkey, to carry him and his things as he
went on his journey. But what was his surprise, on en-
tering the village, to find not a single person there alive!
It seems that during the night a band of robbers had
entered the village, murdered all the inhabitants, and
robbed their houses of all the valuable things found in
them. You can imagine how great was the surprise of
the pious Rabbi at the wonderful care God had taken of
him. As soon as he had recovered a little from his
surprise, he lifted up his voice, and said-
'0 God, Thou God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
how wonderful Thou art Now I see how blind and
ignorant we poor mortals are, when we look upon those
things as evils which are meant for our good. Thou
only art wise, and kind, and merciful. If those hard-
hearted people had not driven me away from their vil-
lage, I should have 'perished with them. If the storm
had not put out my lamp, its light would have drawn
the robbers to my resting-place, and I should have been
killed. And if the wild beasts had not devoured my
two companions, the crowing of the cock or the braying
of the ass would have told the robbers of my presence,
and they would have murdered me. Praised be thy
name for ever. Thou art good, and all that happens is'
for the best.'
BEING A CHRISTIAN.
Christians are blessed above all people in the care
that is taken of them, or in their Care.
The last thing that I shall speak of as that -in which
Christians are blessed above all people is, in THEIR TREA-
Our treasures are what we love the most, ot what we
set our hearts on. Jesus said to his people when He
was on earth: Where your treasure is, there will your
heart be also.' People of the world have their treasures
here on the earth. Christian people have their trea-
sures laid up in heaven. One man's treasure is the
splendid house which he has built. And perhaps as
soon as it is finished it catches fire, and is burned down.
Another man's treasure is his wife or child. But how
soon sickness may seize on these, and death may carry
them away! Another man's treasure is some high office.
He sets his heart on gaining that office. He tries very
hard and long to gain it. He gains it at last, but he
finds it is not what he expected it to be. It does not
make him happy.
I remember hearing of a little boy, once, who saw a
bird's nest in the top of a high tree, on the edge of a
wood, near the road along which he played every day
on his way to school. He often stopped to look up at it.
He thought of the pretty blue eggs in it, beautifully
speckled all over. He wished he could get the nest.
If he only had it, he would take a pin and make a little
hole at each end of the eggs, and blow the contents out,
and then string them like beads on a thread, and hang
them up in his room by the side-of his bed. They
would look so pretty there. The more he thought of
it, the more he wanted to have it. He set his heart on
getting that nest. He thought it would be such a trea-
sure. Sometimes, when he stopped to look at the tree,
and saw how high the nest was, and how slender the
branches of the tree were near it, he thought he 'might
fall in trying to get it, and break his limbs or his neck,
and then he almost gave it up. But again, when he
got thinking about the pretty eggs in it, he felt as if he
must have that nest.
At last, one Saturday afternoon, he made up his mind
that he would go to the tree by himself, and try to
secure the treasure on which his heart was set. So he
went. When he came to the tree, he buttoned up his
jacket, and put off his shoes, so that he might cling to
the tree better with his feet. And then he began to
climb up the tree. At first -he got on pretty well, for
the branches were low, and rather close together. After
awhile it became much harder. Still he kept on. lie
tore his clothes. He scratched his hands and his face.
The branches began to bend under him, yet he wouldn't
give it up. Higher and higher he went. At last he
seized the treasure which he had longed for so much.
lie looked eagerly into the nest, but there were no eggs
in it! It was empty. He had run all that risk and
taken all that trouble for nothing I
How many of the treasures which the people of this
world try to get are just like this empty bird nest! But
it is very different with the Christian's treasures. These
never disappoint those who gain them. However much
we may think and talk about them, and long to have
them, they will be a thousand times better than all our
thoughts or expectations.
Not long ago a young lady called at the house of her
minister. When she entered the parlour,. she found his
two little boys, Arthur and Willie, seated on the floor,
surrounded by beautiful toys -and pictures, which, had
been sent them as presents, and with which they seemed
highly pleased. There was a dissected map, a magic
BEING A CHRISTIAN.
lantern, a humming-top, and other pretty and amusing
things. The young lady was much pleased with what
she saw, and said, Why, boys, are all these your trea-
Arthur, who was about eight years old, said, 'No,
ma'am, these are not our treasures. These are only our
playthings-our treasures are not here.'
'Where are they?' asked the lady.
'They are in heaven,' said the little boy.
'And what treasures have you in heaven ?' she asked.
'We have a harp and a crown,' said Arthur.
This was the right feeling to have. And this is just the
feeling that true Christians have. They are bright and
happy, as those boys were. They enjoy the good things
that God gives them, the money and the property they
have here, as those boys enjoyed their presents. But
then, like those boys, they feel that these are only their
playthings, not their treasures. Their treasures are the
harp and crown which Jesus has prepared for them in
heaven. These are the treasures on which their hearts
are set. They are worth more than anybody can tell
The crown which the queen wears is very beautiful, and
very valuable. But it is very easy to tell just how
much it is worth. We could weigh it, and find out how
many ounces of gold are in it. We know how much
gold is worth an ounce, and so we could tell the value
of the gold in that crown. Then we could find out the
value of the jewels that are in it, and so, by adding these
together, we could tell exactly what that crown is worth.
But nobody can tell how much the crown is worth that
Jesus is preparing for you and me, if we really love
Him. All the gold and the silver and the jewels in
the world, a thousand times over, could not buy it. Oh!
there is no treasure like this. Christians are blessed
above all people in their Treasure.
We have mentioned four things in this chapter inr
which Christians are blessed above all people. These
are, their joy, their honour, their care, their treasure.
And, taking both chapters together, there are eight
things in which Christians are more blessed than others,
viz., in their names, their'dress, their relations, their
riches, their joy, their honour, their care, and their treasure.
Now you can talk about this blessedness, and tell
what if consists of; but if you want to be able to feel it,
as well as talk about it, if you want to have it for your
own, you must pray earnestly to Jesus to change your
hearts, and make you his loving children. Then you
will know what a blessed thing it is to be a Christian,
not because you have heard a sermon on the subject,
but because you feel it in your hearts.
Lord Jesus Christ make us all thy dear children,
that we may be blessed above all people in our names,
in our dress, in our relations, in our riches, in our joy,
in our honour, in our care, and in our treasures, and we
will give Thee all the praise and the glory for ever.
t 't Its igffs off rantbi1t.
'Blessed is the man whom Thou chastenest.'
I' --HASTENEST' is a hard word. Let us see
what it means before we go any further.
The meaning is the same as that of th% word
chastise. Suppose that two boys from the
school play truant one day. The teacher hears of it.
He says, Never mind; when they come back to school
I'll chastise them.' What would he mean by that?
He would mean that he intended to punish them. It
would be right for the teacher to punish those boys.
And the reason why he would do it would be, not be-
cause it was any pleasure to him to hear them cry, and
see them suffering pain, but because he wished to keep
them from doing wrong. When he took those boys,
each in turn by the hand, and took his rod to whip
them, he was teaching them. And if he succeeded in
making them feel that it was wrong to play truant, and
if the boys made up their minds never to play truant
again, then that chastisement or punishment was a bless-
ing to them. And whatever teaches us a lesson that
does us good is a blessing. It was a heavy trial, a severe
chastisement to old Jacob when God took away Joseph
from him. But God saw that he was loving Joseph too
much. He saw that unless he stopped loving him so
much, it would do him a great deal of harm. So he
took Joseph away. It almost broke Jacob's heart; but
it taught him to love God more, and to love Joseph less;
and in -this way chastening or trial was a blessing to
And so, -when David said, Blessed is the man whom
Thou chastenest,' he meant to say that when God sends
any trouble or trial or affliction on a Christian, He
always intends it to-:do him good, or prove a blessing to
him, in one way or another. If sickness comes upon
him, it comes to bless him. If he loves his property,
God makes the loss a blessing. If his parents or rela-
tions or friends die, some may be ready to say, 'Oh
what a dreadful thing that is!' but God turns even that
into a blessing. 'Blessed is the man whom. Thou
chastenest.' Now since this is the case, what a happy
thing it is to be a Christian !
I dare say a good many of you have heard of a certain
stone that used to be talked about a great deal, called
'the philosopher's stone.' Very learned men, who are
not always very wise men, used to suppose that there
was such a stone, and that it had the power of turning
everything it touched to gold. Now just let us suppose
that there was such a great stone, and that you and I
had found it. What a grand time we would have!
When we were short of money we could get a lot of
pebbles, and touch them with this wonderful stone, and
lo I they- would all be lumps of gold. We could drop it
into a pail of water, and we should have that pail full of
melted gold. We could go into our mother's chinacloset,
and touch the cups -and saucers, the plates and dishes,
and in an instant they would all be turned to gold. We
shouldn't care about the mines of California, or the dig-
gings of Australia, for we should have as much gold as
we wanted without any trouble.
But the words of David, in our text, show us that a
TROUBLES TURNED TO BLESSINGS. 91
true Christian is better off than the man would be who
had the philosopher's stone, and could turn everything
to gold. The Christian has something which turns
everything to good. This is better than gold. Too
much gold is one of the worst things we can have. It
has ruined many people both in body and soul; and it
might ruin us if we had it. It is a great deal better to
have everything that touches us, or happens to us, turn
to good, than turn to gold. And if we are Christians,
this will be so with us. Even the chastenings, that is,
the sorrows or trials or afflictions that happen to us,
will turn to blessings; for God has promised to make
all things work together for good to those who love Him.'
Romans viii. 20.
You know there are places called insurance offices.
Some of these are called fire insurance offices.' They
insure buildings against loss from fire. Suppose your
house should take fire some night and be burned down.
That would be a great loss to you. It would be a loss
from fire. But if the house was insured. Your father
had been to one of those offices and paid them some
money to insure his house against loss from fire. This
doesn't mean that the people in that office will prevent
the house from being burnt; but it does mean that if it
ever should be burnt, they will pay us money enough to
build it up again, just as it was before the fire.
Some of those offices are for insuring lives. A man
pays a certain sum of money in one of these offices to
insure his life. This doesn't mean that they can prevent
him from getting sick or dying; but it does mean that
if he should die, they will pay money to his family to
help in supporting them. And this is called a life insur-
And then some of these offices are for what are called
marine insurances. This means that they insure pro-
perty against loss from the dangers of the-sea. For
instance, suppose that you and I were merchants down
on the wharf. We are going to send a vessel loaded
with flour to South America. That vessel will have
many dangers to meet. She may spring a leak, and
sink at sea; or she may be wrecked by storms, and
never reach port. Then all our property would be lost.
So we insure the vessel and her cargo. We pay a
certain amount of money to one of those offices, and
they insure the vessel and her cargo. This doesn't mean
that they will prevent any storm from overtaking our
vessel, or that they will keep her from being wrecked;
but it does mean that in case she should be wrecked,
they will pay us as much money as the vessel and her
cargo were worth. And so we feel safe about our vessel
because she is insured.
Now something like this takes place when we become
Christians. Our blessed Saviour may be said to keep a
general insurance office. He insures the souls of his
people against all harm. He does not engage to keep
his people from ever being sick, or ever having any
sorrow or trouble. But whenever sickness or sorrow
comes upon them, He engages to make it all work for
good to them. He will turn it all into blessing. And
this'is what David means when he says, 'Blessed is the
man whom Thou chastenest.'
Everything about a Christian is insured. Nobody can
do him any harm. Jesus will turn every trial that
comes upon him into a blessing.
I wish to speak of three ways in which Jesus makes
trouble or chastisement a blessing to his people.
The first way in which Jesus makes trouble a blessing
to his people, is by SAVING THIIE FROM DANGER BY IT.
One reason why we find it so hard to believe, when
TROUBLES TURNED TO BLESSINGS. 93
trouble comes upon us, that God intends it to do us
good, and be a blessing, is that we can't see how it is to
be so. We almost always have to wait awhile, before
this can be seen; but as soon as we find out what God
intends any trial to do for us, we see that it was a real
A merchant was one day returning from market on
horseback. His saddle-bags were filled with money
which he had got for what he had been selling. Soon
after he started, it began to rain. It rained very hard,
and he soon got wet through. This vexed him very
much, and he went on murmuring to.himself that God
had sent him such bad weather for his journey. Pretty
soon he reached the border of a thick piece of woods.
Just as he was going into the woods, he was very much
alarmed to see a robber standing by the side of the road
with a gun in his hand. As soon as he came up to him,
the robber levelled his gun, took aim, and pulled the
trigger, but it didn't go off. The same rain which had
wet him through had made the robber's powder so damp
that it:wouldn't fire. And-before he could prime his gun
again, the merchant had put spurs to his horse, and
escaped. As soon as he found that he was safe, he said
to himself, How wrong it was for me to murmur against
the rain! I thought it was a great trouble to have it;
but now I see God sent it to be a blessing. If it had
not been for that rain, I should have lost my life and
Some years ago, an American man-of-war was lying
at anchor in the Bay of Naples. The commander had
his son with him on board. He was a little fellow of
eight or nine years old; a very bright, smart boy, and
a great pet with all the officers and crew. He was very
fond of climbing up the rigging, and would sometimes
venture farther than it was safe for him to go. One
day, while his father was in the cabin, taking a nap after
dinner, he was playing on deck. No one seemed to be
noticing him, and he thought he would go up the rigging
of the main-mast, and see how far he could climb. He
got up to the cross-trees. Then he went to the top-
gallant-mast; and then to the royal yards. That was
the highest yard or cross-piece belonging to-the main-
mast. There he rested awhile. Then he swarmed up
the mast, and got-on to what the sailors call the main-
truck.' This is the circular piece of wood that is at the
very top of the mast. How he did it, I cannot imagine;
but by some means or other he managed to get up,
and stand erect, on that little piece of wood, at that
giddy, dangerous height. He enjoyed his lofty position
for a while; but when he thought of getting down, he
began to feel troubled. And now the officers and sailors
on deck saw him, and were greatly distressed. They
trembled to think of the danger their favourite was in.
They ran about the deck in, great excitement. No one
knew what to do. If he stooped to get down, he would
be sure to fall. If they attempted to go to him, their
weight would sway the trembling mast, and shake him
off, and he would be dashed'to pieces. In the midst of
this excitement, his father came on deck. He saw at a
glance the peril of his darling boy. He knew there was
but one thing to save him. He rushed into the cabin
and seized a loaded gun in one hand, and a speaking-
trumpet in the other. The little fellow was trembling,
and losing his presence of mind. Every one feared each
moment to see his mangled body fall to the deck. But
now the commander has returned. He stands on the
quarter-deck. He lifts the speaking-trumpet to his
mouth, and in a clear, ringing voice, cries out, Jump
into the water, or I'll shoot you The little fellow
stoops down to gather up his strength. He gives a