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Title: What can I do? and, when shall I do it?
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00056837/00001
 Material Information
Title: What can I do? and, when shall I do it?
Series Title: What can I do? and, when shall I do it?
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: Religious Tract Society
Place of Publication: London
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00056837
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - AMF3049
alephbibnum - 002447789

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
        Page 1
    Frontispiece
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Main
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
    Poem
        Page 18
Full Text







































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WHAT CAN I DO?


AND.


WHEN SHALL I DO IT?















LONDON:
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY,
Instituted 1799.
DEPOITOnxI,56, 5A. ATERNOSTan-IOW; 65, BT. P.AULI
CHURVCYARD : AND 164, PICCADILLY ; AND SOLD
BY THI BUOObBLLEBB






WHAT CAN I DOP
AND
WHEN SHALL I DO IT?



PERHAPS the first of these ques-
tions has often crossed your mind.
When you have thought of Jesus;
how his work on earth was to do
good to men's souls, and how he
said, "If any man serve me, let
him follow me," you have wished to
follow his example, to do something
for the souls of others. Or you have
so felt when you have heard how
some of God's servants have left their
country and their homes, and gone
to spend their lives in preaching
the gospel to the heathen, and
that many, through the blessing of
God upon their labours, have been
brought to the knowledge of Jesus,





6 WHAT CAN I DO?
and made happy for ever; or,
again, how others who could not
themselves go out as missionaries,
have helped forward the same
blessed work, by stirring up those
around them to take an interest in
it, and by practising self-denial,
that they might be able to give
their money for the service of God.
Above all, when you have thought
of that great day when we must
all give an account of the talents
which God has entrusted to us,
you have wished so to use yours,
that you may then hear those joy-
ful words, "Well done, good and
faithful servant." When such
thoughts have filled your mind,
you have said to yourself, What
can I do?"
Example is said to be the best
teacher; let us therefore answer
our first question, "What can I
do ?" by telling what was done by





AND, WHEN SHALL I DO IT? 7
one who had an earnest desire to
do something for God. In a little
village in Kent, there lived some
years ago an aged man, who
worked as a day labourer in the
fields. He had to rise early, and
often to work late; but those
who are obliged to work the hard-
est, have also times for rest and
refreshment. The old man loved
to spend his leisure hours in read-
ing. As he was a true Christian,
you will at once tell what book he
liked best-it was the Bible. He
read the word of God, meditated
upon it, and found it to be the
rejoicing of his heart. The long,
and lonely hours which he passed
at his daily labour were not weari-
some; they were cheered by the
thoughts which he gathered from
his morning reading. He also
took great delight in reading books
of history.





8 WHAT CAN I DO?
He loved to trace how all the
changes in empires and kingdoms
were overruled by God for the
accomplishment of his purposes,
and the advancement of his king-
dom; how Cyrus was raised up
at the end of the seventy years'
captivity, to cast down the proud
empire of Assyria, and restore the
people of God to their own land;
how, by the spread of the great
Roman empire over the then known
world, so many of the prophecies
relating to our Lord's birth and
death were accomplished.
But there was one thing which
often puzzled him. Why was it
that God had permitted this little
island of England to become so
powerful. When he read the
history of the conquest of India in
particular, that vast country, so
many times larger than England;
how in the space of a few years,





AND, WHEN SHALL I DO IT? 9
with but a few soldiers, in a very
wonderful manner, it was added to
the dominions of the British mo-
narch, he said to himself, "Why
has God permitted this?" At last
a missionary society was formed
near the village in which he lived.
Some of the missionary books
were given him, and he read them
with great interest. He was es-
pecially delighted with the ac-
counts from India. "Now," said
he, "I understand why God has
permitted the king of England to
conquer India." Other thoughts
also now began to fill his mind,
such as had never arisen while he
read of the famous battles won by
the British armies, and of all their
conquests; he had never wished
that he had marched with them,
and shared in their perils, and in
their glory. But now, when he
read of the soldiers of Christ going


--RPM,





10 WHAT CAN I DO?
to fight in His cause against sin
and Satan, armed with the sword
of the Spirit--the word of God,
breathing not blood and slaughter,
but the good tidings of the gospel
of peace; when he read of those
wide fields, white to the harvest,
and how much they needed la-
bourers there, then he longed to
go and serve his Master. Ah !"
he used often to say, "if I were
young, and God would let me go,
I would not stay in England; but
I am too old, he must go instead,"
alluding to his little grandson,
whom he had brought up from
infancy, and whom he tenderly
loved. He early taught this little
child to love missionary societies,
and endeavoured to cherish in his
mind the desire to serve God as a
missionary, if his life were spared.
For his own part, he could not rest
satisfied with wishing to do some-





AND, WHEN SHALL I DO IT? 11
thing; he must be active and work-
ing, as far as his strength would
allow.
He thought he might interest
his poor neighbours in the great
work on which his own heart was
set. Perhaps, too, he might col-
lect a little money to help in sup-
porting those who were able to go;
at any rate, he could pray the Lord
of the harvest to send forth labour-
ers, and to bless their labours.
The long, dark winter evenings
were coming on. When his day's
work was done, and he had had
his supper, he did not, as he had
been used to do, sit down by his
snug fireside, with his book in his
hand, to pass a quiet evening; not
regarding cold and fatigue, he went
out, taking some missionary books
with him, and his little grand-
son by his side. They stopped at
a neighbour's door, and knocked.





12 WHAT CAN I DO?
A friendly voice soon invited them
in, and gave them a hearty wel-
come. The old man sat down,
and having conversed a little while
on other subjects, he said, with a
silent prayer, that God would bless
this his first attempt, Would
you like to hear something about
the Missionary Society? I have
brought some accounts of what
the missionaries have been doing in
India; shall I read a little to you
this evening ?" The cottagers very
gladly consented, and he began to
read. Soon every ear was atten-
tive-every face full of interest.
To use his own simple words when
speaking of these evening readings
"sometimes they cry, and I cry
too." A second evening, and a
third, and many following, he was
to be found employed in the same
manner. He was generally gladly
received, and listened to with plea-




AND, WHEN SHALL I DO IT? 13
sure; nor was the interest which
he excited without its good fruits.
The old man, who became a col-
lector, brought yearly six or seven
pounds, which he had received in
small sums from his poor neigh
bours.
Thus this aged Christian found
that he could do something for
the preaching of the gospel abroad.
He persevered in his labour of
love as long as his health and
strength would allow. At length
it pleased the Lord to call his
servant home. He was laid upon
his dying bed. But what news
do you think reached his ears,
gladdened his heart, and filled his
mouth with praise, as he lay there?
It was this: his beloved grandson,
who had been accepted as a mis-
sionary, had crossed the ocean in
safety, and had entered upon his
labours in a distant land.




14 WHAT CAN I DO?
The second question above-
mentioned is one which we are
too apt to put from us. We are
too ready to rest satisfied with
having good desires, without en-
deavouring to bring the same to
good effect; with forming good
resolutions, and laying good plans,
and then putting off the perform-
ance of them to some future time.
One little word will answer our
second question, "When shall I
do it?" Now. Now is the best
time for doing what we can in the
service of God. But we will answer
this question also, by giving you
an example, which we shall all do
well to follow.
A place of worship was to be
built in Berbice. "In calling over
the names, to ascertain how much
the negroes could give, I called,"
says the missionary who relates
the fact, "the name of Fitzgerald




AND, WHEN SHALL I DO IT? 15
Matthew. 'I am here, sir,' he
instantly replied, and at the same
time I saw him hobbling, with his
wooden leg, out of the crowd, to
come up where I was standing. I
wondered what he meant, for the
others answered to their names
without moving from their places.
I was, however, much struck with
his earnestness. On coming up, he
put his hand into one pocket, took
out a handful of silver wrapped
in paper, and said, 'That's for
me, massa.' 'Oh,' I said, 'keep
your money at present; I don't
want it now; I only wanted to
know how much you could afford
to give; I will come for the money
another time.' Ah, massa!' he
replied, 'God's work must be
done, and I may be dead;' and
with that he plunged his hand
into another pocket, took out
another handful of silver, and said,




16 WHAT CAN I DO? ETC.
'That's for my wife, massa.'! Then
he put his hand into a ftlrd
pocket, took out a somewhat
smaller parcel, and said, 'That's
for my child, massa;' at the same
time giving me a slip of paper,
which somebody had written for
him, to say how much the whole
was. It was altogether nearly
three pounds sterling, a large sum
for a poor field negro, with a
wooden leg.
"But his expression was to me
worth more than all the money in
the world. Let me never forget
it. Let it be engraven on my
heart. Let it be my motto in all
that I take in hand for the cause
of Christ-' God's work must be
done, and I may be dead.' "














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