Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 One good turn deserves another
 Mrs. Tirrupper's tantrums
 A message from the Queen
 How John Norman minded the...
 Seeking the guest-chamber
 Jack Todgers' protest
 A stitch in time saves nine
 Wetting a bargain
 George the ploughman
 A message from the sea
 Are you thankful?
 The landlord's convert
 Breakers ahead
 Back Cover

Title: One good turn deserves another, and other sketches
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087293/00001
 Material Information
Title: One good turn deserves another, and other sketches
Physical Description: 94, 15, 1 p. : ill. ; 19 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Courtenay, C. L ( Charles Leslie )
Religious Tract Society (Great Britain) ( Publisher )
Pardon and Sons ( Printer )
Publisher: Religious Tract Society
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Pardon and Sons
Publication Date: c1888
Subject: Boys -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Faith -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Truthfulness and falsehood -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Peer pressure -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Gratitude -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Brothers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1898   ( rbgenr )
Children' stories -- 1898   ( lcsh )
Moral tales -- 1898   ( local )
Juvenile literature -- 1898   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1898
Genre: Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
Children' stories
Moral tales   ( local )
Juvenile literature   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
General Note: Date of publication from inscription.
General Note: Pictorial cover.
General Note: Contains prose and verse.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
Statement of Responsibility: by Charles Courtenay.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00087293
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002224793
notis - ALG5061
oclc - 35291794

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Table of Contents
        Page 5
        Page 6
    One good turn deserves another
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Mrs. Tirrupper's tantrums
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    A message from the Queen
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
    How John Norman minded the baby
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    Seeking the guest-chamber
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
    Jack Todgers' protest
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
    A stitch in time saves nine
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
    Wetting a bargain
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
    George the ploughman
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
    A message from the sea
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
    Are you thankful?
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
    The landlord's convert
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
    Breakers ahead
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text

The Baldwin Library
Ft University

CI~F -ii -- 1- -. --


"Let me help you over the stile."

/ -1

; y;^


One Good Turn

Deserves Another,


"Mrs. Warley's Lodger," etc.
















S 7



S 34

S 38

S 47

S 55


S 76
S 82



ST was the general opinion of the inhabit-
ants of the little village of Wexley that,
search all the world over, no such boys as
theirs could be found anywhere. They were
second to none.
But it was not that the boys of Wexley
were remarkably good and well-behaved.
That was not the meaning of the villagers;
far from it. It was in reality their bad
behaviour which earned for them notoriety
and fame.
Neither, I must confess, were they far
wrong in their estimate, for more mischievous,
evil-disposed, and shocking boys could hardly
have existed.
One day they might be found in Farmer
Twig's orchard, stripping the trees of their

8 One Good Turn Deserves Another.

fruit, their scouts being posted at every point
to give the note of alarm.
Another day they were vindictively pelting
the ducks as they swam peacefully about in
the village pond-moving targets being more
to their taste than still ones.
The twilight hour, it seems, was a favour-
able one for smashing windows in empty
houses, for giving runaway knocks and rings,
and for frightening nervous passers-by with
unearthly noises.
But the worst of all their mischievous
pranks was their treatment of old Harper,
a well-known character of the village, who,
besides having a bad temper, was eccentric
to a degree.
Old Harper and the boys were at daggers
drawn, and waged war upon one another
with bloodthirsty energy; the boys for the
fun of the thing, the old man in self-defence.
It was a cruel thing to treat a well-nigh
helpless old man as they did; and of all the
proofs of the badness of the Wexley boys,
this was one of the strongest.
For instance, could they hide away his
stick, they were delighted; for without his
stick the old man was completely helpless,
and could scarcely budge an inch.

One Good Turn Deserves Another. 9

They were also exceedingly skilful in mak-
ing ugly faces, imitating his voice and walk,
and giving his coat-tails sly pulls behind.
I question, however, whether the old
man's fury did not make matters worse, and
whether, if he could only have kept his
temper instead of using such violent language
and gestures, the boys would not have got
tired of their sport.
One lad in Wexley, however, kept aloof
from these cruelties, and not unfrequently
spoke out his mind to the authors of them.
A merry-hearted lad was Tom Welshman,
as sharp and playful as any, but with a heart
which would not harm a fly. But above all
he was a Christian lad, who had taken to
heart his mother's dying request, and had
chosen her Saviour to be his Saviour too.
Tom had often thought about old Harper
-his loneliness and his troubles-and, to tell
the truth, had prayed about him too.
"If he only knew the Lord Jesus," he
used to say to himself, "he would be able
to keep his temper, and the boys wouldn't
worry him so."
One Sunday afternoon, after school was
over, Tom was walking in the direction of
the Portman Woods, when whom should he

ro One Good Turn Deserves Another.

see coming towards him but old Harper?
Here was an opportunity, he saw at once,
of showing the old man that all the boys
of Wexley were not bad and cruel.
How do you do, Mr. Harper ?" he said,
cheerily, across the stile which lay between
But old Harper was so suspicious that,
instead of answering the lad's salutation, he
raised his thick stick defiantly, and with a
sharp look in his eyes, said, Drat 'em, if
there ain't another o' them boys. Get off
with yer, or I'll knock yer brains out! "
"It's only me, Mr. Harper. I ain't one
of the boys you take me for. I'm one that
don't agree with their ways."
The lad's words and tone plainly reassured
the old man, for dropping his raised stick he
moved towards the stile with painful slow-
ness, saying as he walked, "Oh, them boys,
them boys! They do worrit my poor old life
"Let me help you over the stile, Mr.
Harper; you'll find it pretty hard to manage
it by yourself, I guess."
Bless the boy," said the astonished old
man, standing stock still, and with his eyes
opened as wide as they could stretch. "Bless

One Good Turn Deserves Another. II

the boy, but you ain't from these 'ere parts,
are you ?"
"Oh yes, Mr. Harper, I'm Tom Welsh-
man. You know Betty Welshman that died
some months ago. I'm her son, you know.'
And now, with Tom's help, the old man
struggled over, and was landed safely on the
other side.
"You're the good son of a good mother,"
said the old man, putting his hand upon
Tom's head. "You'll get on in the world,
you will. One good turn deserves another."
And now Tom goes on his way rejoicing,
feeling all the better for his kind act, and
wondering how he could help the poor old
man in a more substantial way still. At last
he said, I've got it. I'll go in and read to
him. I know he can't read."
That very day week Tom Welshman might
be seen with a Bible on his knee in old
Harper's room, reading of God's love to
poor sinners, and Christ's willingness to save
"You'll come again, won't you, lad? I'd
like to hear more out o' that book, I would.
It's all strange, but it's very good."
Again and again did Tom read, and with
such effect that he soon induced old Harper

12 One Good Turn Deserves Another.

to attend the house of God, and, better still,
to feel an interest in his own soul, and a
strong desire to be in readiness for the world
beyond the grave.
Neither was it without practical results,
for the bad boys of Wexley soon found that
somebody had stepped in between them and
their fun, for it was but rarely now that he
answered their ill-treatment with threats and
passionate looks; and, of course, this enjoy-
ment stolen from them, they soon began to
give up their ill-treatment, for it wasn't worth
the trouble now.
Neither was Tom's conduct without effect
on the lads themselves, for more than one or
two of them began to feel ashamed of their
wickedness and folly, and strove to be more
like Tom Welshman; which, Tom seeing, he
took them in hand, and helped them not a little.
As for Tom, he was heard to say, a good
many years later, when a prosperous man of
business, that all through life everybody
seemed to be glad to do him a good turn,
and to give him a lift on the way; and he
felt he could trace therein the prophecy of
old Harper, which he had never forgotten,
that he would "get on in the world," and
that "one good turn deserves another."


SRS. TIRRUPPER was all very well when
things went straight. She was as
good-tempered a woman as you would wish
to see. She smiled and laughed, grew
benevolent, and said all sorts of kind things
about people. To see her at such moments
you would be constrained to say, "What
a nice, good-tempered sort of body Mrs.
Tirrupper is!"
But now and then it happened with Mrs.
Tirrupper, as with most other people, that
things didn't go straight. They went crooked
and awry. Instead of things going smoothly,
like a well-greased wheel, they dragged along
like a cart with a wheel off.
At such times Mrs. Tirrupper's tantrums
showed themselves.
Perhaps you would like to see Mrs.
Tirrupper in one of her tantrums. You
shall. We will make an expedition to the
good woman's home, and have a look at
You will notice one of the symptoms before
ever you reach the house. Don't you hear

14 Mrs. Tirrupper's Tantrums.
the clatter and the rattle proceeding from
Mrs. Tirrupper's kitchen? That's Mrs.
Tirrupper venting her ill-temper upon her
furniture. She is cleaning up, you will ob-
serve, and the row you hear is simply Mrs.
Tirrupper tossing chairs and tables about
with unnecessary noise, throwing pots and
pans into far-off corners, rattling brushes and
brooms with almost vindictive energy, and
dashing down her pails upon the hard floor
with deliberate violence. If you lived in this
neighbourhood you would not require to be
told that all this rough energy is only dis-
played when Mrs. Tirrupper's tantrums are
And now you will observe with what head-
long speed Mrs. Tirrupper's black cat appears
upon the scene. She might have been shot
out of a gun, so rapidly did she emerge
from her mistress's kitchen into the public
thoroughfare. This is another symptom of
Mrs. Tirrupper's tantrums.
On the other side of the street you will
observe a group of small children, two or
three of whom are rubbing their knuckles
into their eyes in evident sorrow. They are
Mrs. Tirrupper's children. According to
their story, and the version of their sympa-

Mrs. Tirrupper's Tantrums.

thising friends, their mother had been treating
them badly, and "all for nothing." She had
applied, it seems, the broom-handle to their
tender and innocent backs. This is also a
symptom of Mrs. Tirrupper's tantrums.
Ah! we have arrived at the door, and now
enter Mrs. Tirrupper's agitated presence.
Her greeting is not cordial, you see; her
answers are short and sharp. Neither, you
will observe, does she cease her cleaning.
My own private opinion is that we are en-
joying a more than usual cloud of dust at
this present moment; that, in fact, Mrs.
Tirrupper is venting her feelings on her
guileless visitors.
How the little side curls frisk about!
How hot she looks! What an angular
figure she has! How cross all her move-
ments are! And how she mutters to herself
just under her breath!
Poor Mrs. Tirrupper! Is it any wonder
that Mr. Tirrupper is dead and gone?
What a happy thing it must have been for
him to change his dwelling! A good man
was Tirrupper, a right-down earnest Christian
man, but he couldn't help saying sometimes,
"Talk about the early Christians being
thrown among lions and them there beasts,

16 Mrs. Tirrupper's Tantrums.

it is a deal worser far to live among 'em! "
Well, there came an end to his domestic
miseries at last-he was taken ill, and died.
"We shall meet again, dear Tirrupper," said
she. But," thought he, "I'm thankful
there ain't no tantrums up there; she'll have
to lose 'em on the way!"
Mrs. Tirrupper never had another offer of
marriage, never. Mrs. Tirrupper's tantrums
" forbade the banns! "
Mrs. Tirrupper seemed to be getting worse
instead of better as time wore on. She not
only had more of these tantrums, but she
had them in an even worse form. Poor Mrs.
Now it happened that in the next street
there lived a happy old cobbler whose main
delight seemed to consist in making other
people happy. He had a smile for every-
body, so that even the children used to
flatten their noses against his little window
to catch a few of' them. When he hadn't
any nails in his mouth he used to sing hymns,
and when he had the nails there he used to
sing them inside, nodding his rough little
head to keep the proper time.
One morning Mrs. Tirrupper paid him a
visit with a badly burned boot. She wanted

Mrs. Tirrufper's Tantrums.

to know if it were mendable, "'Twould be a
pity to throw away a pair of nearly new boots
because one had got a hole burned in it."
"A werry curious sort of hole that, mum,"
said old Jerry; "I wonder how that come
about ?"
Well, you see," said Mrs. Tirrupper, I
was whisking a few of my things about, and
this boot of mine got whisked a bit too far,
into the grate, in fact. Very unfortunate,
wasn't it? I was that dreadful put out I
could have cried, I could."
Trust sharp-witted old Jerry not to know
where the wind lay when that whisking
about went on. One could see, by the
twinkle in his eyes and the puckering up
of his mouth into a sham whistle, that he
knew more than he chose to say ; and trust
him, too, not to improve the occasion if it
were possible.
After a little scrutiny of the boot he said,
"Mrs. Tirrupper, there are holes I can
mend, and holes I can't."
"It don't need no prophet to be sure
enough of that," replied she, somewhat
Now, Mrs. Tirrupper, if you'll only let
a feller have his say right out without any

18 Mrs. Tirrtpper's Tantrums.

interruptions, you'll see what I'm a-drivin'
at fast enough, you will. I said as there was
holes as I could, and holes as I couldn't
mend, didn't I ?
"Well, when I was a young married man
I used to have a werry bad infirmity of my
own, which used to worrit my poor wife
werry sadly. Yes, and the worst of it was
it was getting worser and worser. Well,
Mrs. Tirrupper, I used to try and keep that
there infirmity of mine under, but it warn't
of no use whatsoever. That infirmity of
mine licked me hollow; it was a hole as I
couldn't mend nohow.
I wasn't above taking advice, and plenty
of it too, about that there infirmity o' mine.
Some was very plain in what they said, and
some wasn't. 'Try, try, try again, old
feller,' says one of my advisers; 'never say
die, old chap.' Well, I did try, try, try again,
but blest if it made my infirmity any better.
I tried hard enough too, God knows.
"Another of 'em said, 'Jerry, my man,
"What's bred. in the bone '11 come out in
the flesh." As you was born into that there
infirmity of yours, I don't believe you'll ever
get rid of it in this world, so you'd better
make the best of a bad bargain, Jerry.' That

Mrs. Tirru per's Tantrums.

was a werry long-headed chap as said that,
Mrs. Tirrupper, and his words was weighty,
Mrs. Tirrupper. So I just made up my
mind to let my infirmity alone. But, bless
you, it didn't let me alone. What a life it
did lead me, to be sure! It was worser than
ever, Mrs. Tirrupper.
"Well, one rainy day, just when I was
downest in the dumps, it came all right. I
turned religious. I never thought as I should
ever turn religious, but I did. I took to
reading the Bible, and going to church, and
arter a bit I opened my mind to a man who
a month afore I wouldn't have looked at, and
up and asks him how a wretched sinner like
me could get peace and forgiveness. Mrs.
Tirrupper, he told me about the blessed Jesus
and His cross, and how He loved me and
died for me, and how I ought to believe
in Him if I was a proper sort of chap.
In course I believed in Him then and
"What do you think, Mrs. Tirrupper,
happened then ? Why, I not only got for-
giveness and all that, but I got the upper
hand of my infirmity, I did. Leastways the
Lord Jesus did. And arter that me and my
wife and the little 'uns lived together like a

20 A Message from the Queen.

lot of doves, as quiet and peaceable like as
anybody could wish."
Here old Jerry stopped, and again eyed
Mrs. Tirrupper's burned boot, and again re-
peated the old words, "There's holes I can
mend, Mrs. Tirrupper, and holes I can't;"
adding to them the explanation, That in-
firmity o' mine only the Lord could mend,
Mrs. Tirrupper."
"I should like to know, Mr. Jerry, if I
may make so bold as to ask, what that in-
firmity of yours was ? "
To which Jerry significantly replied-
Mrs. Tirrupper, it was-tantrums."


yES, a message from the Queen; a gracious
message. Her brave soldiers and
sailors had done well in the fight. Their
strong right arms had struck many blows for
her honour and her cause. They had faced
the fire of the foe with unblanched cheek;
they had won a glorious victory.

Muskets and caps wave frantically.

A Message from the Queen.

Well done, brave soldiers. Well done,
brave sailors. Your Queen is grateful.
Your Queen returns her thanks.
Hurrah Hurrah Muskets and caps
wave frantically. Lusty throats sound out
the pleasure of a thousand hearts. God save
the Queen! God bless her! We're proud
of our noble Queen; we'd do the same again
for the Queen we love. Hurrah! Hurrah!
A simple message enough ; not many
words, not grand words. But a woman's
heart was speaking through them, the heart
of one they reverenced and loved. It told
of a memory that could not forget. It told
of a heart that could not but love. Words
of gratitude are none the worse for being
simple and few.
And after the message, what then ? Light
steps, lightened by the sunshine of satisfied
hearts, stepping forward to do a grander deed
than before. Who would not shed his blood
for a Queen like that? On, on, my men,
the Queen is thinking of us. The Queen is
A message from the King of kings, a pro-
clamation from the heart of love, listen:-
God so loved the world that He gave
His only begotten Son, that whosoever be-

24 A Message from the Queen.

lieveth in Him should not perish, but have
everlasting life."
And spoken to the vanquished. Not to the
victors. Why not? Because there are no
victors. Why, haven't we all been beaten,
ay, and badly beaten, too? The devil has
got the upper hand of every one by nature.
He is over; we are underneath. No, there
are no victors. There are thousands and
thousands of poor men and women who, for
all their boasting, are even now under the
dominion of some lust or passion. No, there
are no victors, and yet to the poor van-
quished ones there comes this beautiful
message from the King :-" Poor beaten
ones, I have a message of love for you. My
Son has died for you. Believe it."
And spoken because they are vanquished.
Down into the mire and mud of sin, where
vanquished man grovels in his shame and
misery, the pierced hand of Christ is thrust.
"Lay hold, lay hold," He says; "Iwill lift
you out, lift you from mire to mercy, from
Satan to God. Lay hold, lay hold." God
doesn't turn His back upon poor beaten
man. He doesn't cover him with reproaches.
He doesn't taunt him. He would rather
turn the tide of battle, and change the defeat

A Message from the Queen.

into a personal victory. Wondrous King!
Wondrous message Wondrous love What
earthly king would treat the vanquished thus ?
And spoken by the offended One. The
hand that has been struck at and spurned is
the hand stretched out in mercy. What are
sinners but fighters against God ? God's
law, God's will, God's wishes, they have
trampled under feet. "We will not have
this man to reign over us." Nevertheless,
this same injured One comes with His
proclamation of love. It is His voice which
is raised in pity and tenderness. Come,
come, poor sinner, come." Was there ever
such a message ? The soldiers of our Queen
were fighting for her, not against her. Man
is fighting against God; but still the message
is sent: Come, come, poor sinner, come."
And spoken by a Victor. Our Queen's
message was the fruit and offspring of a
victory. So is Christ's. But whose victory ?
The King's. Yes, were it not for a brilliant
victory, no such message could ever have
reached the ears of fallen men. There has
been hard fighting, life-long fighting. Christ
has set the devil on his own ground, and
defeated him. Defeated him? Then what
means that cross and its bleeding burden,

26 A Message from the Queen.

that bowed head, that spirit surrendered in
death ? That looks not like victory. Yes,
but look further, look at that open grave,
that risen One. What is there written across
that open tomb but "Victory?" Yes, Jesus
is the Victor. He has fought our battle, and
won it. He has snatched a glorious victory
out of the very jaws of death. It is the
Victor's message-" God so loved the world
that He gave His only begotten Son."
How is it received? With rapturous
applause? With gratitude? Not so, not
so. Too many, as they hear it, avert their
faces, and wear a look of disgust. Too many
listen as though it concerned them not. Too
many listen coldly and unfeelingly. Alas!
that it should be so; alas that so splendid
an offer should be refused. What! shall an
earthly monarch send a message, and every
man be thrilled through and through, and
the message of the great King of kings be
ignored, or silently and coldly repelled ?
Surely this is passing strange. Is there a
stranger phenomenon upon earth ? But is
it always so? Thank God, no. Here and
there are glad hearts on account of it, and
glad voices raised in thanksgiving. Praise
the Lord, praise the Lord !" they cry. With

A Message from the Queen.

weeping eyes they cast themselves at Jesus'
feet, and surrender their all to Him. Christ
has conquered them, too. But how sweet to
be vanquished by Jesus.
And what of those who receive the mes-
sage ? Look at them as they take their
place in the ranks of the Lord's soldiers.
What means that determined look, that
kindling eye? I will fight the Lord's
battles. I will fight till death." And they
do fight against every known sin, against
every known error, and, though often struck
down, they quickly rise again to deal harder
blows than before.
The soldiers of Christ, like the soldiers
and sailors of our Queen, have their hearts
kindled into ardour by their Master's mes-
sage, and count it glory to strike hard
blows for the King. A life-long battle is
the Lord's, a fight to the grave. He who
knows nothing of fighting the Lord's battles
knows nothing of the Lord's inspiring love.
But what of those who reject the message ?
The wrath of God abideth on them. Terrible
words, and as true as they are terrible.
Alas! that any should so steel their hearts
against the love and mercy of the King.
To reject the message is to reject the

28 How John Norman minded the Baby.

mercy ; and to reject the mercy, what is
this but death eternal, an eternity of un-
speakable woe with the devil and his angels ?
Who shall say they do not deserve it ? and
what more suitable epitaph can be written
on their tombstone than this-" Thou hast
destroyed thyself?"
A message from the Queen. God bless
A message from the King of kings, our
Lord Jesus Christ. Praise the Lord!


,HY don't you make him mind the
C baby ? "
"John mind the baby! I should like to
see him do it." And the little woman burst
into as loud a peal of laughter as a woman
double her size.
I had been suggesting to her that, as she
wanted to go to God's house on Sundays, but
couldn't because of the baby, and as her hus
band John wouldn't, but preferred staying at

How John Norman minded the Baby. 29

home and looking out of the window, or
gossiping at a neighbour's, it would be only
fair and right that he should mind the ob-
structive baby, and free her for church. It
was this suggestion which sent her off into
such an astonishing peal of laughter.
"John mind the baby!" she said again.
"Why, bless your soul, you don't know him.
He wouldn't mind the baby to save his life,
not he."
"Well," I said, "I don't see why he
shouldn't. It's his baby as much as yours.
And if he won't mind him, then I'm sorry
for him, that's all I can say. Have you ever
asked him ?"
No, that I haven't, and I shouldn't like to
either. I know what he'd say fast enough."
I tell you what," I said, "I'll ask him
myself. He's a reasonable man enough, and,
at any rate, he can but say, No."
"Very well, you may try, if you like, but
- And again the lively little woman
laughed incredulously, shaking her head the

That's .a fine baby of yours, John."
You should have seen the beam of delight
on John's face at this simple remark of mine.

30 How John Norman minded the Baby.

And you should have heard his hearty,
" You're right there, sir. He is a fine chap,
and no mistake."
"And that wife of yours, John; you
ought to be proud of her. 'Tisn't every
man has got a wife like her, John."
John's delight was greater than ever, and
his broad face lighted up in every part.
She is a good 'un, sir, a rare 'un, a second-
to-noner, she is. Right you are again."
I suppose, John, you'd do her any good
turn you could ? You wouldn't be backward
in giving her a helping hand, eh ? You're
not one of those fellows who 'make the wife
bear all the burdens of the house, are
you ?"
With a look of scorn, mingled with disgust,
John replied, with dignity, I don't think,
sir, as you knows John Norman. And, sir,
there ain't no call, as I knows on, to ask me
such a quite unnecessary question as that."
Now, of course, was the time to strike in,
for his condition of virtuous and honest in-
dignation was the very soil on which to sow
my seed.
Then what do you say, John, to minding
the baby on a Sunday ?"
John's face was now a study. Amazement

How John Norman minded the Baby. 31

surprise, perplexity, and amusement swept in
turn across it.
Mind the baby !" he exclaimed, in a tone
that was utterly indescribable.
"Yes, mind the baby for your wife, so that
she may go, as she wants, to the house of
God on a Sunday. You don't pretend to
go yourself, you know, and it's no good for
both to stay with the baby. If, as you say,
you love your baby, you won't mind being
shut up with him for an hour or so once a
week. And if, as you say, too, you love
your wife, you'll be glad to give her a real
pleasure, in fact, the best of all pleasures
to her-attending the house of God."
"Well, guv'nor, you've got me into a
corner there, and no mistake;" and John
scratched his head like a man who would
fain escape the trap if he only knew how.
There's nothing unreasonable in a man's
minding a baby for his wife, is there, John ?"
"You won't be a worse husband for it,
will you ?"
No, to be sure not."
And you'd like to do your wife a good
turn, wouldn't you, John ?"
Yes, that I would."

3 2 How fohn Norman minded the Baby.

Well, then, if I were you I would mind
the baby."

The very next Sunday, to the surprise of
more than a few, who should be found seated
in her old place but Lizzie Norman ? And
very happy and delighted she looked as she
sung out the praises of God with her sweet
voice, and reverently and attentively drank
in the old old story of Jesus and His love.
And, of course, as my readers will no doubt
be expecting to hear, the very next Sunday
Lizzie's baby was being tossed and kissed
and chirruped to by John Norman, whose
honest heart, being convinced of the duty,
was not slow to lend the needful hand.
And just as folks were surprised to see the
wife at church, so were they surprised, as they
passed the window, to see the husband mind-
ing the baby.
And really the time wasn't so very long,
for when you are finding out, as John did,
new charms in your baby, time moves more
quickly than you think. Besides, for some
little time it slept.
Neither did he feel the worse for his kindly
deed when his wife came in with her happy,
radiant face, and her kiss, and her spoken,

How John Norman minded the Baby. 33

"You are a good old fellow to let me go like
this. I can't tell you what good it has done me."

Hullo! who is that honest-looking fellow
sitting in that back pew there? It looks
very much like John Norman. But it can't
be he, .I think."
But it is. Haven't you heard the story ?
I'll tell you; it won't take long. Well, you
know John was induced to mind the baby
while his wife went to church, and, it seems,
as he watched the baby and played with it
he got a-thinking. He thought how this
Sunday visit of his wife to God's house
made her much happier than he ever was.
He thought, too, of his baby, when he would
begin to take notice later on-and how he
would notice that, while mother went to God's
house, father never did, and how bad it would
look. And it seems that one night when
the baby was sleeping he knelt down by the
cradle and told the Lord he was going to be
different from that moment. That very night
it was that he made the arrangement with his
wife that they should take it in turns to attend
the church; and they have kept it up ever
* *

34 Seeking the Guest-Chambeer.

"Well, John, you don't regret minding the
baby, do you ? "
"Bless his little heart, sir; if I hadn't
minded him I should never have minded
myself, nor the blessed Lord either. I wish
more chaps 'ud mind the baby, sir, I do!"


J LITTLE time longer, and then the end.
A few hours more, and the Sun of
righteousness shall have its blood-red setting.
But there is much to be crowded into this
little interval. The few hours must witness
events many and mighty, that will affect the
whole human race.
For one thing, there must be the solemn
farewell-feast-the passover feast.
Where shall it be held? In Jerusalem ?
Who will provide the guest-chamber ?
Jesus knows; and to the question-
Where wilt Thou that we go and prepare,
that Thou mayest eat the passover ? vouch-
safes an immediate answer. "Two disciples
were to go into the city. On their entrance

Seeking the Guest-Chamber.

into it, there should meet them a man bear-
ing on his shoulder a pitcher of water. They
were to follow that man, and where he entered
they were to enter too. They must then
make their way to the master of the house,
and put the formal question: 'The Master
saith, Where is the guest-chamber, where I
shall eat the passover with My disciples ?'
They were to take it for granted that the
man was willing. 'And he will show you
a large upper room furnished and prepared.'
There make ready."
They went. They followed. They entered.
They asked. They found. They prepared.
How much we may learn from all this,
if we will! How the subject teems with
instruction! Look where we will, some
precious truth meets the eye.
There is the water-carrier, for instance.
See what he teaches.
He teaches us that Jesus knows what we
all do, and how we do it. We may be quite
invisible to an earthly master's eye, but Jesus
sees us. Just as He knew whether this man
loitered on his way, or not-whether he
carried his pitcher properly filled; so He
knows how we fulfil the various duties of

36 Seekzng the Guest-Chamber.

He teaches us that no one is too insignifi-
cant for Jesus to use. Jesus can use a water-
carrier for His purposes. Surely, in all the
services this man ever performed, in none
was he so signally honoured as on this
occasion when the Lord used him.
And, once more, He teaches us that Jesus
can often use us without our being conscious
of it. This water-carrier had probably not
the smallest idea that he was doing a service
to the Lord. We may not always see the
exact way in which the Lord answers our
prayer, "Thy will be done in earth," but in
some way the Lord is always answering it
when it is offered in faith. How blessed!
Turning from the water-carrier, we think
of those two disciples, and endeavour to learn
something from them.
And, surely, they teach us a lesson of
faitk. They believed all that Jesus said.
In faith they went into the city. In faith
they followed the water-carrier. In faith they
entered the house. And in faith they prof-
fered their request to the man, believing not
only that he had a large upper chamber,
and that no one else had forestalled them,
but also that he would be willing to lend
it. Faith does not question, or wrangle, or

Seeking the Guest-Ckamber.

wait for sensible evidences, but goes right
And then there is something to be learned
too from the master of the house and his
He is "not forgetful to entertain strangers,
for thereby some have entertained angels
unawares." Yes, and not only angels, but a
What a fragrance would hang about that
room ever after! With what delight would
he point to this or that place, and say, "Jesus
reclined there! "
Did he lose anything by taking in Jesus ?
Doubtless, Jesus never gave him money.
But Jesus had something better than money
to give-Himself. We can hardly imagine
that a man who was willing to give his house
at such a time for One so outcast, should
have kept Him out of his heart.
Dear reader, did you ever think that Jesus
is seeking a guest-chamber to-day, and that
your heart is that guest-chamber? Oh, let
in the wondrous Guest. Give Him the
highest place. And when there, strive to
treat Him right royally.


ACK TODGERS' creed was a very simple
one; and as short as it was simple. As
it suited him to a T, and was workable, Jack
did not see the use of burdening his memory
with a more complicated one.
The first article of his creed was, Be a
good Christian." A first-rate beginning to
any man's creed. And Jack acted up to it.
He had given his soul over to Christ, and
was hanging on with both hands to the cross.
The second article of his creed was, Be a
good workman." He had no patience with
mere mouth-Christians. His idea of Christ-
ianity was that it should fill every nook and
cranny of his life, and be as apparent in the
workshop as in the church. And so he not
only prayed as a Christian, but he planed as
a Christian, and drove nails as a Christian,
and stuck to his bench as a Christian.
The third article of his creed was, Be a
good teetotaler." Jack had learned for some
years past that strong drink is the working
man's curse, and that he is safest who is
farthest off from its attractions. This was

Jack Todgers' Protest.

why he signed the pledge. But he was not
content with the mere name of teetotaler : he
shut his lips against even the mildest of the
strong drinks. British wines and cider he
cried No!" to, as emphatically as to rum
and gin.
Now, Jack Todgers was a family man.
He had no less than six children. And he
was a good family man to boot, for from the
very beginning he set hourly-together with
his wife, of course-to instil his little creed into
their little minds ; and with not a little success,
as all his neighbours could testify.
But while Jack was proud of all his family,
the one he was especially proud of was his
eldest, who was called Young Jack," for
distinction's sake. Young Jack, now some
twelve years old was, to use his fond
father's words, "a broth of a boy," and
"a chip of the old block." And truly a
better youngster a father could scarcely
boast of. Seeing he had learned his father's
lessons so well, it was only to be expected.
Well, it was in connection with this young
Jack that old Jack lodged his protest.
It seems that the master of them both-
Wilson by name-was not only fond of a drop
of something stronger than cold water or tea,

Jack Todgers' Protest.

but was fond of pressing his drops upon others.
The refusal of such a good offer as strong
drink he could scarcely understand. He could
never bring himself to believe that a refusal
meant anything more than excessive modesty
or shyness, or a sense of personal unworthi-
ness on the part of the refuser. And, of
course, believing this, he acted accordingly.
One day young Jack Todgers, from some
cause or another, found himself in his master's
room. Having acquitted himself well in some
duty he had performed, he had earned his
master's approval.
Fetch one of those decanters here, my
lad, and I'll pour out a glass of wine for you.
I like to reward good lads."
But young Jack budged not an inch.
Don't be afraid, lad. You think, perhaps,
you don't deserve it. But who should have a
good glass of wine but a good lad like you ?"
Still young Jack made no movement to-
wards the decanters. Yes, and by his looks
he intended to make no such movement.
Seeing this, his master good-naturedly rose
from his seat and fetched one himself, at
the same time filling a glass to the brim.
Drink it off like a man. I daresay you
don't drink good wine every day."

Jack Todgoers' Protest.

But young Jack's face showed more pain
than pleasure', more embarrassment than
At length it dawned upon the master's mind
that here was a case in which his estimate of
human nature was altogether at fault.
It was very foolish of him, and he was
conscious of it at the time, to be displeased
with the lad. He certainly felt piqued at his
reward being refused, and he had a strong
desire to make young Jack consume the wine.
He even went so far as to press it upon
him, using his power as a master and a man
to compel him.
But before he could go much further in his
efforts, young Jack had snatched up his hat
and, as he said to his father afterwards,
That very afternoon Mr. Wilson received a
visitor-no less a person,- in fact, than Jack
Todgers the elder-who, without any beating
about the bush, bluntly told his master that
he had come about his boy.
Jack Todgers had indeed come to make his
protest. Master," he said, when God gave
us our little family, Mary and me went down
on our knees over every one on 'em, and gave
'em back to Him. And we said as we would

"I know 'twas your goodness of heart, sir;

but don't do It any more."

Jack Todgers' Protest.

train 'em up in the way they should go with
His help. We prayed God, sir, that our boys
and girls shouldn't take to crooked ways and
go wrong. And we've tried to keep 'em
straight ever since."
I am sure you have," said his master.
But, sir," Jack continued solemnly, other
folks don't back us up; other folks try and
undo it all, I'm sorry to say."
That's a pity," said his master.
For instance, sir," he went on to say,
" there's the drink that's upset hundreds of
families as I know, and I've seen it with my
own eyes. Well, sir, never a drop o' liquor
has any child of mine ever tasted. Oh, sir,
I don't think you thought about it this morn-
ing when you offered that wine to my boy!
It 'ud have broken our hearts if you'd have
made him drink it."
Mr. Wilson fidgeted nervously in his chair
at this, and seemed to be getting somewhat
angry. Nevertheless, Jack went on-
I know 'twas your goodness of heart, sir,
and you meant well, but don't do it any more.
I'd never have a moment's peace of mind if
I fancied my boy Jack was in danger from
his own master. I put it to you, sir, if
you had a boy you loved, how you would like

Jack Todgers' Protest.

temptation put in his way? I know you
wouldn't, sir."
By this time the master's wrath was at
boiling point, and he would have burst forth
had Jack stopped even for a moment. But
Jack went on and said-
I shouldn't wonder if you turn us both off
for this, sir, but I was prepared for that afore
I came in. I'd rather lose my place than lose
my boy, any day. And I can't forget that
there are other boys than mine in danger."
Now was the master's time for exploding,
and he seemed fully prepared to take the
extremest measures. Before, however, he
could speak, a lady who had been sitting in
the farther part of the room, and who had
overheard Jack's protest, glided gently be-
tween them, saying-
Brother, don't be angry. You know I
should have had a bonny boy to-day but for
the drink. The man's a father, and has a
father's heart. You mustn't be angry with
him. Please don't say anything unkind,
Her words acted like oil upon angry waves.
Utterly surprised was Jack at their wonderful
and instantaneous effect. He did not know
then, as he did afterwards, that this widowed

Jack Todgers' Protest.

sister was the one loved one before whose
tender presence even his master's heart was
obliged to surrender.
"Go away now, my man. I'll see you
again about this," was all he said.
After two or three days he did see him-
saw him at Jack's own home. But instead
of dismissing both father and son from his
employ, he said-
"Todgers, I'd like your boy Jack to earn
a bit more money than he does now, so if
you'll send him to the office to-morrow morn-
ing we will see if we can't advance him to a
higher situation. He's a brave lad, and I
like him."
That night at family prayer Jack did not
forget to thank God for his goodness, and to
ask for strength to be ever bold for the right.
Their fears had been many, but God had been
true, and had blessed them all in spite of
Strong in the Lord of hosts,
And in His mighty power:
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts
Is more than conqueror.

Readers, do you think he or his boy Jack
were worse Christians, workmen, or teeto-
talers for this piece of their life's experience ?


SN little Tommy's coat there is ever so
small a hole. It is so small that it's
really not worth fussing about. There's the
needle to find, first of all. Then there's the
bother of threading it. Then Tommy has to
be caught and made to stand still. And then
there's the snipping of the cotton. No; it
is not worth it-that little hole.
Tommy goes out nutting; climbs tall trees;
forces his way through briars and brambles,
and comes home with an ugly three-cor-
nered rent, the rent piece flapping as he
Dear me! if it isn't exactly in the same
place. Oh you naughty boy! What a pity
I didn't put the stitch in time! "
Now, it was really too bad of Tommy's
mother. She ought to have known better.
If there was one lesson she ought to have
learnt by this time, it was just this very one,
that "a stitch in time saves nine."
Why, it was only a day or two ago that,
after all the rest had gone to bed, she had
been obliged to stay up to mend a hole, big

48 A Stitch in Time saves Nine.

enough to put your head through, in her own
dress. The little hole had been neglected
because it was a little one, and, of course,
was found out by some angular bit of furni-
ture, and considerably enlarged. Why won't
people learn that "a stitch in time saves
Now, I have long held that there are other
things besides stitches that ought to be taken
in time. That, in fact, "stitches" have no
right to take up the whole room, and ought
sometimes to give place to other words.
Does not a nail in time save nine too ?
Why ever didn't Tommy's father nail up
that fence in his back garden? If one nail
was all it wanted, what a deal of bother it
would have saved! Nobody likes to have
his tenderest, choicest vegetables, especially
his prize ones that were coming on so nicely,
gobbled up by a neighbour's hungry pig.
Besides, who doesn't know that when one
plank gets displaced others speedily follow!
If you could have seen the owner, hot and
tired, hammering away, consuming I don't
know how many nails and how much time,
I think you would have felt strongly tempted
to whisper in his ear, Friend! a nail in
time saves nine."

A Stitch in Time saves Nine.

Why should we stop at nails, either ?
There's that little bit of paper on the wall
that has somehow got unfastened. One
little brush, with ever so little paste, will
cure that speedily. "A brush in time saves
There's that untidy drawer. How mixed
up the things have got! No wonder, when
everything is poked in without thought or
order. What a fuss there will be by-and-by
when something is wanted in a great hurry.
"A thought in time saves nine."
There's that creaking lock. It only wants
a drop of oil. "A drop in time saves nine."
Now, in making thus free with our pro-
verb, I not only feel no compunctions of
conscience, but positive approval. So much
so, indeed, that I am seriously intending to
offend still more by making freer with it than
"A stitch in time saves nine," does it?
But why nine" of all numbers in the world?
Why not eight, or five, or nineteen? Why,
because "nine" is supposed to rhyme with
" time," to be sure.
Now when truth is concerned, I am not
going to let rhyme interfere with me; and I
don't hesitate to say, that although a stitch in

50 A Stitc/h in Time saves Nine.

time may sometimes save nine exactly, it
saves, as a rule, many more. It would be
much nearer the mark to say, "A stitch in
time saves nineteen, or ninety-nine, and even
nine hundred and ninety-nine." And I am
inclined to believe that in not a few cases
you may go on adding as many nines" as
you please, and yet be on the side of strict
truth. That one solitary little nine of the
proverb decidedly needs others to keep it
I am afraid if I amend the proverb much
more, there will not be much of it left.
Never mind. Here goes.
A stitch in time not only saves all these
nines, but it also saves temper.
Now I hold that the more fiercely a man
can get into a temper with himself when
he has been doing wrong, the better for
him. But, unfortunately, temper doesn't
stay at home, but walks abroad. Too often
it extends to other people, and strikes out
right and left where it has no business
to be.
Look at Tommy's father driving in the
nails in that broken fence. How he does
hammer away, to be sure! Each little nail
seems for the moment to have become a

A Stitch in Time saves Nine.

mortal enemy. His thoughts are very angry
ones, depend upon it. How flushed his face
is! How tight his lips are! How pettishly
he is throwing his tools about, as though they
had been to blame, and had had something
to do with the hungry pig and the spoilt
prize vegetables. Steady, I say, steady!
There, if you haven't gone and knocked that
nail sideways. Now you will have to take it
out again, and it won't come out very easily,
either, by the look of it. It's no good getting
angry over it, man; you will only lose your
time and nails by such furious blows as that.
Gently Gently And there, if you haven't
sent little Tommy howling to his mother by
that sharp temper of yours. What if he did
knock over your paper of nails ? It was only
his kind little heart which prompted him to
do it. "A nail in time" would have saved
all this.
It was the same, too, with Tommy's
mother when mending his rent coat. Cotton,
and needles, and scissors, all seemed to have
entered into a conspiracy against her. The
cotton would snap; the needle would lose
itself; and the scissors wouldn't cut properly.
And why ? Because in Tommy's mother's
mind there was a very sore feeling, and much

52 A Stitch in Time saves Nine.

self-reproach, and a conviction that a stitch
in time would have saved nine;" and, flow-
ing from all these feelings and thoughts, a
little "out of sorts feeling-shall I say,
temper ? That was the reason.
I think, too, it ought to be mentioned that
when you have made your nine stitches, and
so remedied your past neglect, the whole nine
will never come up to the one either in
excellence or lasting power. I think people
are apt to forget this. The one stitch,
depend upon it, is worth far more than the
rest. Why? Because what is done in this
way is often done in a temper, and what is
done in a temper is done in a hurry, and
what is done in a hurry is therefore done
badly, and will probably, before long, give
way, and have to be done over again. That
is why! And even if the nine stitches were
as carefully made as the one, a mended part
is never so strong, and never lasts so long,
as an untorn place. A multitude of nails
will never make a fence as strong as it was
before. A patch is a constant source of
And this brings me to the saddest thought
of all; that if you don't take your stitch in
time, the chances are you will never, by any

A Stitch in Time saves Nine.

number of stitches, be able to make up for it.
There are times when a neglect is utterly
beyond remedy. You have lost your chance
for ever.
When poor little Willie Tripp fell into the
winter stream that ran hard by his father's
house, and was drowned, Willie's father was
well-nigh broken-hearted. He was his only
boy. He loved him with the strength of his
soul. What would he have been willing to
give to have called him back again to life ?
To have put words into those cold silent lips;
to have put meaning into those glassy, stony
eyes; to have restored the colour to those
pale cheeks, he would gladly have rendered
himself a beggar. And when he went forth
to mend the broken bridge, for the sake of
other little Willies who might pass over it,
although he made it so strong that none need
ever fear again to cross it, what availed it
for his dead Willie? It was too late for his
darling's safety. All the hammering, and
the sawing, and the planing would not undo
the deadly mischief. A stitch in time in
this case would have saved nine; but not
nine thousand would remedy the neglected
And, to give another instance, when big

A Stitch in Time saves Nine.

Bill Trotter, who had lived such a loose life,
met with an accident, and was carried home
to die, it was too late for him to undo the
mischief. They picked him up in an un-
conscious state, and he never rallied from it.
In the days of his strength he might have
thought about his soul, and have taken Jesus
for his Saviour. He would then have been
ready for death whenever and in whatever
shape it came. But he did not. And when
death really came to him, he not only was
not ready, but could not get ready. He had
his chance, and neglecting that, had never
And, dear reader, you have your time now.
Jesus, who died on the cross for your sins,
is waiting to save you. He says: Him
that cometh unto Me, I will in no wise cast
out," "Seek ye the Lord while He may be
found. Call ye upon Him while He is near."
" Now is the accepted time; behold, now is
the day of salvation."


T was a curious little pantomime, so curious
that my readers will, I think, like to
have it described.
The actors in it were two well-to-do-look-
ing men; business men, undoubtedly.
The place was the open street, turned for
the occasion into a sort of market, to judge
by the many other merchants standing about.
And this was the little play that so struck
my attention.
Scene i.-The two in deep conversation;
their heads close together; the seller appar-
ently trying to make some impression on the
buyer. The one does all the talking; the
other does all the listening.
Scene 2.-The deed is done without a
doubt, for out come the pocket-books and
pencils; they scribble; they replace the
books, and button them for safety in a breast
pocket, and then they smile. They are both
satisfied, it seems.
Scene 3.-What next? I wonder. Why
shouldn't they part, now that they have struck

Wetting a Bargain.

the bargain ? Well, yes, they have struck it,
but, don't you see, they haven't wetted it!
That's the errand they are upon now. They
are sauntering into the Red Lion, to discuss
a glass or two of spirit and water. It is with
the spirit and water that they are going to
wet their bargain.
Now, you will think me, perhaps, a some-
what bold and meddlesome fellow when I tell
you what I propose to do. I propose to drop
down on those two well-to-do, satisfied-look-
ing men. I propose to enter that hotel, to
ferret them out, and then to seat myself right
in front of them. And, having done all this,
I shall put them through their paces and tell
them what I think of wetting a bargain."
Here are some of the questions I shall ask
them :
Is your bargain tMe surer for that, friends ?
Wasn't the booking sufficient without the
wetting ? Are you both such false, untrust-
worthy fellows, that you must needs go
through the ceremony of drinking spirit and
water? Neither of you look as if you needed
a fresh fetter for your promise. Then why
do you do it? Of course you have a good,
solid, substantial reason, or you would
never do it at all. Come, friends, answer


That's the errand they are upon now.

-R I 7

Wetting a Bargain.

my question like the straightforward men
you look. Is your bargain the surer for
that ?
Is your bargain the cheaper for that,
friends ? Just now you were haggling over
a bare shilling. Neither of you would yield.
You made it a matter of principle, and you
had at last to strike the difference. You had
saved sixpence by it, and were satisfied. And
now if you're not spending in spirit and water
the very money you fought over! I confess
you are a puzzle to me.
Ah, no; you know very well indeed that
your bargain is in no way cheapened by your
wetting it. Nobody has ever yet gained by
"wetting a bargain." 'Tis a pity, isn't it,
that you should spoil your bargain by wetting
it? Bargains are no more improved by
wetting, than your fields of corn were the
other day by that tremendous thunder-
Are you the better for "wetting the
bargain?" I question it. Ay, more, I am
well-nigh sure of it. Let us see. Why do
you drink that spirit and water ? Because
the doctor ordered it? No." Because you
are specially feeling your need of it ? No."
For any common-sense reason at all ? "No."

Wetting a Bargain.

Simply to wet your bargain." So yozu say.
But really to wet yourself. A curious way of
"wetting a bargain," that. And so you are
doing yourself harm that you may do your
bargain good. Absurd !
Are other people e e better for it, friends ?
Do you remember what one of you said to
your little girl the other day when she came
dancing out of the house to meet you on your
return ? She was expecting a little present
from her father. But you hadn't one for her,
you said you couldn't afford it because times
had been so bad. Friend, if you hadn't
wetted your bargain it would have been
easy enough. You can't spend your money
and have it, of course, and the sorrow of your
little girl was but one of many. Your other
children, your wife, your poor neighbours,
could all say a word or two if they liked on
your closed pocket. The question is easily
answered, I think, Are other people the better
for it ?
How many other bargains have you wetted
to-day, friends ? Ah! this is a question I
would strongly advise you to face. There is
a danger lurking here which, perhaps, you
have never realized. I tell you that you are
treading a slippery path, and that the sooner

Wetting a Bargain.

you move off it the better. One, two, three
bargains, require one, two, three wettings.
Given a sufficient number of wettings, and
you become a drunkard. Perhaps you
haven't stopped to count the number. They
have come and gone without much thought
on your part. Yes, and this is just the evil
of it. Something will be gained, I think, if
you can only be brought to face the simple
question, How many bargains have you
wetted to-day ?
Do you want to make another bargain
directly, friends ? I haven't a doubt you
do. The day is not nearly over yet.
There's good business yet to be transacted.
You have more produce to sell and also to
buy. I'm afraid, though, the bargains will
be but poor ones for you. The spirit and
water will have taken the edge off your wits,
and will prevent you from seeing as straight as
you might without it. The spirit and water
will lead you, in a word, into bad bargains.
And, moreover, I make bold to say that the
more glasses you drink the worse it will be
for your future trading. And so I think the
question I have asked is a very timely one-
Do you want to make another bargain directly,
friends ?

Wetting a Bargain.

Oh, it's only a custom," you say. And a
very bad custom it is. If you would take my
advice, you would break it off as quickly as
ever you can. Don't maintain bad customs,
I entreat you.
But folks won't understand it." Then let
them misunderstand it. It will be their loss,
not yours. Dare to be singular, and do the
But people won't trade with me."
Tipplers, perhaps, will not. But are they
the best men to trade with ? The sober and
the respectable will be only too thankful to
be let off the expensive, stupid, and aimless
'"wetting a bargain." Take your stand, and
it will certainly be the better for you in the
long run; and even if you should lose by it in
money, you would gain by it in morals.
Many a man has been spiritually ruined by
" wetting a bargain." He has become a
drunkard by it. And what saith the Word
of God ?-" No drunkard shall inherit the
kingdom of God." Let a man trade as in
the sight of God, with an eye to eternity, and
will he wet his bargains ? No, for he will
then remember that there is an Eye upon
him in the market-place as well as in the
church. Remember, friends, you have pre-

George the Ploughman.

cious souls that will live for ever; souls for
which the Lord Jesus died. Endanger them
not through strong drink, and strike your
bargains without wetting them.


HERE are some faces that do not tell the
truth. Looking good, kindly, honest
and straightforward, their owners are yet
nothing of the kind. Many bad hearts ac-
company generous faces.
With George the ploughman, however,
matters were very different. He not only
looked good; he was good. His face told
the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but
the truth. His life gave as good an account
of itself as his face.
George is not as young as he used to be,
and he is feeling it. Rheumatic twinges are
frequent visitors. His bones not unfre-
quently ache, as old bones will; and many
other symptoms of a like kind unmistakably
prove that his youthful days have passed for

George the Ploutghman.

But will he be sorry when he has to
give up work and say good-bye to his old
plough ?
That plough could tell you many a touch-
ing story of George's tender heart; how
when the shining ploughshare severed some
poor little wriggling worm, or drove through
the midst of a concealed lark's nest, or
scattered a colony of little mice, sending
them into the cold and cruel world before
they were well prepared for it, George
would immediately look grieved and
pained, and say some tender thing, even
going so far as to stop his horses and do
his best to retrieve the mischief he had un-
consciously done. It was a long time after
such a mishap as this before he whistled or
sung, or lost his pained look. Moreover, that
old plough could witness to George's conscien-
tiousness. It could tell how, when other
ploughs rested idly in the furrow because of
their idle holders, George stuck to his work
right manfully. Although as hot and tired
as the rest, his constant reply to his tempters
was, "No, what I'm paid for I'll do. I've
no right to go and steal my master's time."
But after all, the story of all was about the
mysterious change that once upon a time

George the Ploughman.

came over George the ploughman. And not
only came over him, but stayed with him
It came quite suddenly.
You must know that although George's
heart was a very tender one, and although he
was honest and conscientious to a degree, he
was not without his faults, and some of them
were very big ones too. For instance, he
had a temper of his own, and could bear ill-
will for a good long while, and now and then
took more than was good for him in the way
of strong drink.
Often and often had that plough had the
opportunity of noticing the darker side of
George's character. If anything went wrong
that old plough was sure to know it, and to
feel it too. At such times it was gabble,
gabble, gabble for hours together; and how
George used to scold! The horses, the
weather, the ground, and even the poor old
plough came in for the rough side of George's
tongue, while his fierce grip of the plough
handles was something extraordinary.
One fine day, without any previous warn-
ing, there came a great change. George
seemed to have set out on quite a different
course. All the abuse and pet, and pas-

George the Ploughman.

sion, and worry and discontent had dis-
It was on a Monday morning that it all
began ; that plough felt it as soon as George's
hand touched the handles; if it could have
spoken, this is what it would have said:
" Dear me, what a funny sensation! There
is something up, I'm sure. I wonder what
it is."
And the longer George's hand rested on
its handles the more convinced that plough
was that something had happened.
It wasn't that Geoige was happier. Oh
dear no! It wasn't that kind of sensation
at all.
It was just a week after, the very next
Monday, that the dreary, sad mood passed
away. Yes, there was no doubt about it.
The plough, with all its bluntness and dulness
of perception, perceived that in a moment,
and it was as bright now as before it was
Oh dear me, what funny creatures men
are I don't think I ever shall understand
them; I think I shall give up trying. I'm
glad, though, he's better."
Yes; the plough was right. It was a
change for the better. It was a change that

George the Ploughman.

brought back the whistling and the sing-
ing and the shouting, and, moreover, which
added something bright to them, which they
never had before, and which made all the
difference in the world.
There was no difficulty in discovering the
meaning of it all, for the singing was hymn
singing, the shouting was that of praises; the
fact of the matter was, George had become
a saved man through the grace of the Lord
Jesus Christ. His previous gloom had all
arisen from conviction of sin, and from
grieving so much over his mis-spent life; and
from both the sorrow and the joy beginning
on a Monday, it was clear that the arrow of
conviction on the one hand, and the balm of
consolation on the other, had reached George
in the house of God on the previous day.
George has now retired from active life;
sitting in his old chimney-corner, he is
waiting for his call, and he won't be sorry
when the summons time arrives.


" A ALK about the drink, sir, why we sailors
t could tell ye stories that would make
your hair curl; couldn't we, Bob ?"
Ay, ay, right you are, mate."
Why, bless your heart alive, 'tain't no use
for chaps to say to us, 'the drink ain't so
black as folks paint it,' we know better nor
that. 'Tis a curse, that's what it is. And
it's as bad on sea as on land; ain't it,
Bob ?"
"Ay, ay, right you are again, mate."
"Why, 'twas only t'other day Bob and
another chap and me was a-cruising about for
a job, when what should come bobbing along
but a black bottle, all corked and sealed. In
course we makes for that bottle, and we nails
it, sir, for we knowed well enough that bottle
warn't corked and sealed for nothing. And
when we'd opened it, we just found what
we'd expected to find, a message from some
chaps in distress. 'We're sinking! The
chaps is drinking. All's up. These spirits
has done it all.'
"These was the exact words, sir. And

What should come bobbing along but a black bottle.

777 7

". :rr J



A Message from the Sea.

besides, of course, there was the name of
the vessel and the port she hailed from.
"Well, we very soon let the owners know
how the case stood with their fine ship. We
sent 'em the message itself. Arter six months
or so we heard tell that that vessel had really
gone down, and all hands with her; didn't
we, Bob?"
Right you are again; no mistake about
that, mate."
"You want to know if this sort o' thing
often happens ? Why, sir, werry much oftener
than some folks suppose. The brandy-keg
has done for a good many more than one fine
vessel, to my knowledge. Rocks, an' winds,
an' breakers is bad enough, but aggerawated
with the spirits, they're a thousand times
There's the Mary Ann. Werry nearly
new she was. Hadn't gone more than two
voyages when she dragged her anchor off that
point there. And what d'ye think the crew
wor a-doing ? Why, they was a-carousin'
down below, and they was that boozey when
they came on deck, that blest if they didn't
steer her right upon a sand-bank. Well, as
everybody about here knows, a craft on that
there sand-bank '11 never more get off again.

A Message from the Sea.

But that wasn't the worst, for when the life-
boat got alongside, or leastways as near as
she could get, blest if them chaps could jump
straight, and only one was saved out of the
lot, and he only by a chance. That was one
fine vessel as was wrecked by a brandy-keg.
Then about a year or so arter, the Queen
Isabella was druv by the wind upon the shore
just under that there cliff. Well, you know,
sir, we allers reckons to save life when a vessel
gets anywhere thereabouts, for our rocket
apparatus '11 do any amount o' that sort of
work. Well, sir, we'd got everything in order,
and fixed our line, and hit her splendid. We
did set up a cheer when we saw as how we'd
fired so straight the first time. But it warn't
no good arter all, sir. It wor all work throw'd
away, and every blessed soul among 'em was
drowned. For why ? They was too drunk
to know what they was about, and instead of
hauling in the line, and making fast the con-
nection, and all that, blest if they didn't go on
drinking' and boozin,' and let the line alone.
One chap seemed a bit more alive than the
others, and tried to put things straight, but he
.was that unsteady on his legs that afore he'd
got very far up the rigging a wave come and
washed him off into the sea. How could a

A Message from the Sea.

poor half-drunk chap climb the rigging with
that sea on ? Do you know, sir, one of them
chaps was washed ashore that night with a
half-emptied bottle of Hollands in his hand!
I heerd more'n one chap that day say as
they'd never touch the drink no more. They'd
got a sickenin' of it.
Then there was that grand barque, The
Cupid, which went down in the Bay of Biscay
about four year ago. It was the sperrit as
did that too, for there warn't no manner of
reason why she should have gone down.
She sprung a leak, sir. But if the men had
only buckled too, and put their backs into it,
they'd have brought her into port safe enough.
But they got rebellious over the pumps, and
wouldn't work; and, led on by one little
soaker, called Bob Twisler, broke into the
cap'en's cabin and emptied his spirit store.
The cap'en belonged to this place, an' he told
me arter as it wor an awful sight to see the
whole crew, except the teetotal mate and him-
self, lying dead drunk about the deck. Of
course there was an end of all pumping. The
two sober men did the best they could, but
the water gained on 'em faster than they
could pump it out. Well, the end of it was
that not long after the ship heeled over and

A Message from the Sea.

sunk. The captain and mate had just time,
and that was all, to jump into the boat and
push off. They tried to save the others, but
they couldn't. They wor too drunk. That
cap'en '11 never take spirits aboard now.
He's seen the mischief of 'em, he says. He
don't want to lose another vessel through
the drink.
More'n one ship as I knows has gone
down through the cap'en being a bit too
fond o' grog; the Betsy Jane, for instance.
Perhaps you've heerd tell of that, sir, how the
cap'en being a bit elevated, put on too much
sail in a storm, and wouldn't have 'em took
down another, though the men tried to show
him the danger of it. The drunken fool!
Well, he deserved to lose his drunkard's life.
But bless you, sir, I could go on till mid-
night a-telling you stories o' wrecks and all
that, through the drink. But perhaps the
worst of all was the burnin' of the Kitty.
That was a bad job ; wasn't it, Bob ?"
Ay, ay, mate, you're right there."
"That fool of a fellow who dropped the
burning candle-snuff into the bung-hole of the
brandy-cask burnt as fine a ship as ever
carried canvas. Yes, and as fine a crew as
ever stepped the deck.

A Message from the Sea.

Are we teetotalers ? Bless your heart, I
should think so. We wouldn't touch the nasty
stuff with a pair of tongs. We've been tee-
totalers too long not to know the good of it.
We're out-an'-outers, we are; ain't we,
Bob ?"
Ay, ay, right you are again, mate."
"Ah, it ain't wrecked ships, an' drowned
men, an' all that as touches us most, sir. We
can't forget the poor sailors' souls as is going
down so fast to ruin. That's the worst part
of it, sir. My mate and me have got some-
thing better than teetotalism, we have. We're
both on us trusting in the Lord, sir, and what
we wants to do more'n anything else is to
bring precious souls to Him. That's why
we fight against the drink, sir. It's the drink
which chains 'em so fast and makes 'em so
awful bad to get hold of. But, please God,
with prayer and pains we're sailing ahead, sir,
and if we can only save one poor chap, body
and soul, it'll be worth it all ; won't it, Bob ?'
"Ay, ay, right you are again, mate."


C T was only bread and cheese, but the old
couple thanked God all the same. With
bowed heads and clasped hands they remem-
bered the Giver of all, and thanked Him!
It was not mere lip-work, either. If faces
can tell the truth, there was real heart-work
there. Their hearts were up in heaven, and
their spiritual eyes were gazing on the face of
their Father. They were speaking to Him
as to a Friend, to whom they had cause to be
Life's journey is nearly over with them
both. A long journey it has been, and for
the most part a sad one. Hard work, poor
fare, a large family, and much sickness, leave
little room for what are called the enjoyments
of life. Lately, however, things have been out-
wardly better. The children are all out and
doing well, and they are alone, alone to leave
life, as alone they entered upon it together.
They will not be afraid to finish their life's
journey, they have been preparing for it too
long for that. They have both had an eye to

Are you Thankful ?

their death for twenty years or more; ever
since they both-on the same day-put their
whole trust in Jesus, the Saviour of sinners.
Ah! I thought, when I saw them so
reverently calling down God's blessing on
their simple fare, alas that there are so few
like you. And then I put the question
straight to my own heart: Are you thank-
ful ?"
Dear reader, I put the question to you also :
Are you thankful ? Are you thankful for your
daily bread ? It may be the simplest of fare,
and but little of it that you have, but there is
enough to be thankful for. Bread and cheese
come from the Lord as much as the daintiest
fare on princely tables. "Give us this day
our daily bread," you doubtless prayed this
very morning. And God has answered your
prayer, has He not ? Are you thankful ?
Are you thankful for your deliverances ?
Not a day passes but our Father's hand
snatches us from dangers innumerable. A
few, perhaps, we are conscious of; but how
many are there we know not of? We
shall know by-and-by. And oh, what a reve-
lation of God's love will flash upon us as
we gaze upon the many, many perils which
God's mercy delivered us from! Deliverances

Are you Thankfutd?

on land, deliverances on water, deliverances
by rail, deliverances in our own homes,
deliverances in body, deliverances in soul.
Who can count them up? Are you thank-
ful ?
Are you thankful for your health ? Disease
surrounds us on all sides; danger lurks in the
very air we breathe. How wonderful that
any of us should enjoy health. Ah it is of
God's goodness that many of us are not now
lying on beds of sickness and racked with
pain. Health is God's gift, little though we
may think of it while we have it. If God
were to withdraw His hand from us, where
would our health be ? We are living, I know,
in a world of thoughtless, thankless people;
but you are thankful, are you not ?
Are you thankful for your friends ? There
are hearts around you beating fondly for you.
There are hands stretched out to you in
kindliest friendship. There are faces smiling
tenderly upon you. How came they there ?
Who awoke these feelings ? You say you
wonder that anybody should ever care for you.
Of course it is your heavenly Father's work.
True friends are His gift, and He has sent
them to cheer you on your way. Are you
thankful for them ?

Are you Thankful?

Are you thankful for your sorrows ? God's
love never changes, but His mode of show-
ing it does. If you think God's love is only
manifested in showering prosperity and glad-
ness, it only shows how little you know about
it. No, no! Afflictions and bereavements
and losses flow as much from God's heart as
His worldly blessings. His blows are only
kisses in disguise. Many people have found
this out, and have learned to thank God even
more heartily for their sorrows than for their
joys. The Psalmist David was one-" It
is good for me that I have been afflicted."
He was thankful : are you ?
Are you thankful for the Saviour ? Ah!
now we are treading on even holier ground.
Let us be very real. Is not the Lord Jesus
Christ God's crowning gift to the world ? Is
not the need of Jesus the crowning need of
the world? Yes, and unless a man be thank-
ful for Him he can have no right thankfulness
for any of God's gifts. Oh, think! Jesus,
God's only begotten Son, died for a 'lost and
sinful world. He laid down His life freely.
He endured sorrow and shame and death,
all for pity and for love. It is possible now
for every poor sinner to be saved eternally, if
he will only take Jesus for his Saviour. Oh,

Are you Thankfuld?

what a subject for gratitude is there here !
Many, thank God, have learned to be thankful;
but many, alas! never give a thought to the
Saviour's love. How is it with you? Are
you thankful ?
Are you thankful for the Bible ? God has
told us there what He thinks, how He feels,
and what He would have us be and do.
What pains He has taken to give us a Bible.
And such a Bible, too : suited to every heart
that beats. I fear many know but little of
'the grand treasure we have in it. What a
light it throws on the difficulties of life What
a comfort it gives amid the sorrows of life!
What a strength it gives for the battles of life !
Are you a reader of the Bible ? and are you
thankful for it ?
Are you thankful for the throne of grace ?
There is an Ear that never wearies of our tales
of woe, that is ever open to our piteous cries.
God counts nothing too insignificant to be
the burden of a prayer. There is never
a moment when His throne is not open to
us. He turns none away. He looks not
for worthiness in the supplicant. What
a resource to poor, feeble, tempest-tossed
man What a harbour of refuge Surely it
is impossible to over-value such a boon and

Are you Thankful ?

blessing. But it is sad indeed that so many
forget it, that so many esteem it not. How
is it with you ? Do you love prayer ? Are
you thankful ?
What a difference it makes to life whether
a man is thankful or not. Our duties and our
pleasures are bound up together far more
closely than we are apt to think. Let us look
at some of the effects of thankfulness.
It sweetens hard fare. Bread and cheese
with thankfulness are sweeter far than the
richest delicacies without it.
It breaks the force of heavy blows. Why ?
Because it shows you the heart behind the
hand, the love within the stroke.
It prepares the way for untold blessings.
An unthankful heart has no room for more,
for unthankfulness is just a prayer to God to
stay His hand and to bless no more.
It increases faith and all other graces, for
it braces the faculties by which we trust and
love and hope.
It gives sunshine to the face. A bright
face and a faithful heart you cannot separate,
try as you may.
There is no real beauty in a thankless one.
Would you shed a blessed influence around
you ? Then be thankful. Would you hand

82 The Landlord's Convert.

down a blessed heritage to your children?
Then be thankful. Would you be loved
and trusted? Then be thankful. Would
you glorify your Father which is in heaven ?
Then be thankful.


C E'RE a class o' men, sir, as has to put
up with a good deal. It ain't always
smooth water with us publicans, sir. And
though folks don't give us credit for having
feelings, we has 'em pretty strong some-
Very emphatically were these remarks
made by Tom Sowry, the landlord of the
Sheaf of Wheat. My bit of blue ribbon
apparently gave him his cue for a subject.
He spoke as if he were determined that one
teetotaler at least should learn that landlords
were not all bad
You see, sir, some on us ain't above doing
a bit of teetotal work now and then. Your
teetotal friends never gave us credit for that,
now, did they ?"

The Landlord's Convert.

'Well, no, I can't say any of us have done
"There now, I knew you didn't. You
believe we're all a bad lot, with hearts of
flint, I know. But we ain't."
This was said gleefully, almost triumph-
antly, with the beaming smile of a man who
had scored off an uncharitable teetotaler.
"Well now, look here, I'll tell you a bit
about a chap as I once upon a time made a
teetotaler of. I don't much like talking about
myself, but as it '11 do yer heart good I'll out
with it.
He was a tidy fellow, he was; a man of
education too. His father was the squire of
the place, and used to live like a swell in a
big house about a mile and a-half away from
this identical public. A fine, well-made,
handsome chap he was, no doubt about it.
You'd pick him out of a crowd as every inch
of him a gentleman.
He was the only son of the squire, and
right proud the squire was of him too. The
fact of the matter was, sir, between you and
me, his father was a bit of a fool over that
son of his. He'd never see any faults in him.
I don't think he believed it possible for his
son to take a wrong turning in life. And so

The Landlord's Convert.

he let him have his way in everything. He'd
let him do what he liked, say what he liked,
and go where he liked. He seemed to think
as his fine son couldn't go wrong nohow.
"Ah! but I knew a thing or two, I did. I
knew young Bob's ways. I knew in what a
hurry he was going to the bad.
Why, sir, he'd be coming into my public
all the day long for his drink. He was a
thirsty beggar, to be sure. If I'd got many
customers like him, I should have made a
good thing of it. He'd throw his money
down like a lord, and wouldn't look at any
change, bless your heart, not he.
Well, sir, perhaps you won't believe it,
but though I was making a goodish bit of
money over Mr. Bob, I wasn't quite comfort-
able inside. I didn't like the look of things
at all. For a likely, good-hearted youngster
to be going on to ruin in such a bad way
made my heart pretty sad sometimes. I
couldn't help thinking of the doting old
father, and of how his heart would break if
he only knew what I knew.
But what to do I couldn't for the life
of me think, and a good many hours have I
laid awake wondering what I ought to do.
I think you'll see, sir, what a very awkward

The Landlord's Convert.

predicament I was in. I didn't want the
young feller's money, not I.
At first I thought I'd refuse to give him
drink at all. But then, after a bit of reflec-
tion like, I gave that up, for he'd have gone,
of course, to the other public, and what they'd
have done for him I know very well. They've
got no conscience whatsoever over there,
and would have gone and picked him clean
to the bone.
Then I thought I'd water his grog and
take him in that way. But no, that wouldn't
do, for don't you see I should be selling a bad
article for a good one, and have done a bit of
real cheating. It would have done him good,
no doubt, but I wasn't going to be dishonest
to do even her Majesty herself good. So I
gave that up.
After this I wondered whether I didn't
ought to tell his father of his son's goings
on, and open the old chap's eyes. But bless
your heart, sir, if I had done that, he'd have
kicked me out of the house, or had me up
before the magistrates for libel or summat
of that sort, and what a pickle I should have
been in then. He would never believe that
his son Bob was a drunkard, not he. So that
wouldn't do.

86 The Landlord's Convert.

"Well, sir, I couldn't think of any way
out of it nohow. It beat me quite. And I
was very near giving it up. One morning,
however, when I was a-shaving myself, it
occurred to me all of a sudden like-' Land-
lord, make him a teetotaler; make him a
teetotaler, man.
Fancy such a thought coming into a land-
lord's brain! To tell you the truth such a
thought had never occurred to me before.
He turn teetotal lecturer. That was a joke.
I gave myself one of the worst gashes on
my chin that I ever remember in all my life
before through that startling thought. It
gave me such a shock and start.
Well, I couldn't get rid of the thought,
though, to tell you the truth, I tried hard
enough to. And I had at last to give in, and
to promise myself I'd have a try, at any rate,
to make young Bob a teetotaler.
"Well, sir, the opportunity wasn't long
coming. In fact, it came sooner than I ex-
pected, and in a way I hadn't expected. It
seems he had been drinking in his usual way,
pouring glass after glass down his thirsty
throat, and had about ten o'clock gone stag-
gering out into the road. But he hadn't gone
many yards before he was run over by a light

. 1

V/e brought him indoors, and laid him on the kitchen tab:e.

The Landlord's Convert.

dog-cart which was passing. Of course the
shout which the driver raised when he saw
the man go down beneath the wheels brought
us to the spot in pretty quick time. We
lifted him up and brought him indoors, and
laid him down on the kitchen table.
He was fearfully bruised, but, thank God,
no bones were broken. After we had dis-
covered this we carried him upstairs and laid
him on a bed, feeling sure that he would be
there for a day or two at least. It was the
next morning, sir, that I did my bit of tee-
total work, and I don't regret I did it either,
though I did lose a good customer.
'Mr. Bob,' says I, arter I'd been in his
room for five minutes or so, 'it's a mercy you
wasn't killed right out last night.'
"' It was, landlord,' said he, all quiet
like. I'd taken too much spirit aboard,
If I was you,' said I again, striking in
at my first chance, 'I'd chuck the drink
You should have seen Mr. Bob's face,
sir. I think I must have took all his breath
out of his body. He opened his eyes as wide
as tea-saucers, and stared at me for a couple
of minutes, I should think.

90 The Landlord's Convert.

"' You turned teetotal lecturer!' says he.
'Why, wonders '11 never cease.
"'Yes,' said I, 'I am; and if you'll take
my advice, you'll have done with this drink,
and cut it dead.'
"' Landlord,' says he, after a bit of thinking,
'I've had lots of fellows preaching to me
about the drink, but you're the first landlord
as ever tried to make me a teetotaler. Your
talking seems different like from any other
man's. I don't know whether there ain't
something in it now. Go away, and come
back in half an hour, landlord.'
"Well, sir, I thought somehow things were
looking pretty likely. So as soon as ever I'd
got out of the room I goes to a teetotal chap
as lives over the way, and gets a pledge
paper. He thought I was going to make a
game of it, and was in half a mind not to
let me have one. Fortunately, however, he
Well, the long and short of the matter
was that young Bob made up his mind that
he would cut the drink and sign the pledge.
And he did it there and then; and I put my
name down as a witness to it. And more
than that, he's kept it. A better day's work
than that I've never done."


REAKERS AHEAD !" shouted the look-out
man aloft. "Breakers ahead!" shouted
the captain below.
Was there an idle man on board that ship
that day? Was there a man who did not
work with a will? Not one. Better work
than be wrecked any day.
"Breakers ahead!" is a cry as necessary,
I think, on land as on sea.
There's young Tom Simpkins, for instance,
who, unknown to his father, is found most
evenings in the week knocking billiard
balls about at the White Hart, and clinking
glasses at the same time. I'd like to bawl
into that deluded youngster's ears, Breakers
Then there's Joe Swing, who is old enough
to know better, but who seems to feel it his
bounden duty to drop in at the Two
Pigeons before he goes home after work at
night. One would have thought that a man
of his age and experience would have sense

Breakers Ahead.

enough to shout Breakers ahead!" for
Then there's Peter Boddy, who doesn't go
to the public to drink, you know, but, being
of a literary turn, to see the daily paper. He
does drink, nevertheless. He is perhaps too
engrossed in his paper to count the number
of times his glass is filled. Oh it would be
rare fun to see Peter drop his paper with a
start, as the two words, "Breakers ahead!"
were roared into his ears.
Of course these are only samples by way
of illustration. My readers will have no
difficulty in imagining many similar cases
where Breakers ahead would be a suitable
Perhaps, however, the words need a little
explanation. So, without any apology, I will
expand them.
Breakers ahead!" And you're going
straight into them. There they are, white
and foamy, dashing up and down with a
fierce roar, threatening and boiling. Woe be
to the craft that finds itself there. They will
be found to be breakers in fact as well as
Tom Simpkins, Joe Swing, Peter Boddy,
and all your clan, do you know that there

Breakers Ahead.

are breakers ahead ? I think you cannot
know it, or you would not go on so
Stop your drinking a moment, lay down
your glasses for a while and listen. Can't
you hear the threatening, deadly roar ?
Think, you are going straight into them.
Breakers ahead! You had better change
your course. Quick, men, quick! There's
no time to be lost. Every moment is pre-
cious. For your life, be quick. There is no
other way to escape the breakers. You
cannot sail through them. You must change
your course if you would be safe.
You ask how ? By turning your back on
the public-house and the drink. Is it not in
that direction that the breakers lie ? Take
your solemn stand from this moment, and
say, as in the sight of God, I will give up
strong drink. I will be a sober man from
this very day! "
Breakers ahead! You will not perish
alone / There's a ship in the midst of the
breakers being dashed to pieces.
How came she there? Badly steered.
The pilot's mistake. And must all suffer for
one man's error ? Yes, all A terrible fact.
They will perish with the pilot.

Breakers Ahead.

My brother, have you none dependent on
you ? Are there not more than one or two
in the same boat with you ? Are there not
many trustfully confiding in you ?
Oh! be careful how you steer your course.
Take heed of the breakers. For their sakes,
as well as your own, keep a sharp look-out.
You will not, you cannot perish alone, re-
Breakers ahead And such breakers / A
broken ship, a ruined cargo, an endangered
life, these are woefully bad. But what of
those breakers which break men's and
women's hearts, shatter their peace, destroy
the music of home, and turn whole families
starving into the wide wide world.
Men, do you know what you are about?
Can't you see how the drink is the worker of
just such heart-breaking mischief as this ?
Oh! how blind you must be to expose
your loved ones to those awful public-house
breakers. Think, think, think I entreat you.
Breakers ahead! Death/ eternal ahead /
A ruined life is bad, a ruined soul is worse
by far. The breakers of earth are bad.
How much worse are the breakers of
Oh, thoughtless man! so freely mixing

Breakers Ahead.

the deadly draught, and so lightly quaffing
it, did you never think that there was death
in the cup, eternal death? Take a longer
view, man. Look not only at this side of
the grave. Look beyond it, at the awful
breakers there. The drunkard is nearing
those, remember. You may be nearing
them now. Stop, stop, before it be too
Breakers ahead Tis much better to have
heaven ahead. How great the contrast!
How different the- fate! Which will you
have, brother ? What choice are you going
to make ?
The time is drawing nigh when you must
break with the drink. But then your enforced
temperance will avail you nothing. It will
be too late. It is not what you were forced
to do, but what did you choose to do.
You cannot go to heaven unless you are
on the road to it, you know.
My brother, Christ died for you on the
cross that He might get you to heaven.
Close with His offer this very day by faith.
Come to Him as a poor helpless sinner.
And instead of "breakers ahead there will
be glory ahead," and that is far better.

Breakers Ahead.

Great God of wonders! all Thy ways
Are worthy of Thyself,-divine:-
But the bright glories of Thy grace,
Beyond Thine other wonders shine.
Who is a pardoning God like Thee?
Or who has grace so rich and free?

Such deep transgressions to forgive,
Such guilty, daring worms to spare,-
This is Thy grand prerogative,
And in the honour none may share.
Is there a pardoning God like Thee?
Or is there grace so rich and free?

Pardon-from an offended God;
Pardon-for sins of deepest dye;
Pardon-bestowed through Jesus' blood:
Pardon-that brings the rebel nigh.
Where is the pardoning God like Thee?
Or where the grace so rich and free?

O may this glorious, matchless love,
This wondrous miracle of grace,
Teach mortal tongues, like those above,
To raise this song of lofty praise :-
Who is a pardoning God like Thee?
Or who has grace so rich and free?

Pardon and Sons, Printers, London.





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