Citation
Little crowns and how to win them

Material Information

Title:
Little crowns and how to win them
Creator:
Collier, Joseph A ( Joseph Avery ), 1828-1864 ( Author, Primary )
Nimmo, William Philip, 1831-1883 ( Publisher )
John Greig & Son ( Printer )
Place of Publication:
Edinburgh
Publisher:
William P. Nimmo
Manufacturer:
John Greig and Son
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
128, 8 p., [1] leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 16 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Christian life -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Bible stories, English -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Heaven -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Success -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Prize books (Provenance) -- 1873 ( rbprov )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1873 ( rbgenr )
Baldwin -- 1873
Genre:
Prize books (Provenance) ( rbprov )
Publishers' catalogues ( rbgenr )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
Scotland -- Edinburgh
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

Content Advice:
The child-king -- The shepherd -- The crowned flock -- The strong guide -- The brave conquerers -- The child-prophet -- The treasure finders --The song of the kingdom -- The crown and the kingdom won.
General Note:
Date of publication from inscription.
General Note:
Publisher's catalogue follows text.
General Note:
Baldwin Library copy has prize plate printed in colors and gilt.
Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Joseph A. Collier, author of 'Young Men of the Bible.'

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026648948 ( ALEPH )
ALG4813 ( NOTIS )
60374038 ( OCLC )

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Full Text



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LITTLE CROWNS.











LITTLE CROWNS,
*

AND

HOW TO WIN THEM.

By

REV. JOSEPH A. COLLIER,

AUTHOR OF ‘YOUNG MEN OF THE DIDLE’

EDINBURGH:
WILLIAM P. NIMMO.
1873-






CONTENTS,

ase

PAGE
Tue CuiLp-Kine, saa Sanrio oeees a
THE SHEPHERD, ‘ = ¢ Fs . . - 22
THe CRowNED Fock, 9. . wwe
CHE Stronc Gurpy, . . . : . : . 51r
CHE BRAVE CONQUERORS, . 3 e * A 4 64
fue Curmp-PRorHeEr, yee jae eS
THE TREASURE FINDERS, . . «ww gk
Tue SoncorTHEKincpom, . . . .. «107

Tum Crown AnD Kincpom Wox, . wee





THE CHILD-KING.

“Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign.'—
2 CHRON. XxxIV. 5

“These are the crowns that we shall wear,
When all thy saints are crowned ;

‘These are the palms that we shall bear
‘On yonder holy ground.

‘Then welcome toil, and care, and pain
‘And welcome sorrow, too !

All toil is rest, all grief is gain,
‘With such a prize in view.





‘Come, crown and throne! come, robe and palm !
Burst forth, glad stream of peace !

Come, holy city of the Lamb!
Rise, Sun of Righteousness ?



[RREGRIHAT boy has not sometimes wished that he
ANE might become a ing, and live in a splen-
pabisal} did palace, all shining with gold and gems?
What girl has not thought how grand it would be
to sit on the throne of a gucen, with her satin, and
diamonds, and glorious crown, which, like the wish-
ing-cap of the old fairy-tale, would be the means

of fulfilling all her desires? Now, I am going to
(2)





8 THE CHILD-KING.

tell you, before I get through, how you may ail
wear crowns, if you will only take the pains to win
them.

I wish to tell you a true story about a child who
was king in Jerusalem, and who sat on a golden
throne, and wore a golden crown, when he was only
eight years old, is name was Josiah. His father,
Amon, was a very wicked man; and as the Bible
says that ‘the wicked shall not live out half his
days,’ so Amon was killed when he was but twenty-
four years old. ‘Then the people put the crown
upon the head of his little son, and made him their
king. He lived in the beautiful palace, and had a
great many servants, horses, and chariots, and every-
thing else that this world can give to make a child
or a man happy.

But the best of all was this: he had ¢wo crowns.
The people gave him one, and God gave him the
other. The one was bright and dazzling as it rested
upon his little head; the other, more grand and
glorious, he wore upon his heart. The one was
seen and admired by men; the other, unseen by
men, was yet more beautiful to the eyes of God
and the holy angels. What was this offer crown?
It was #iety,—goodness of heart, love to God and to
man. Without this, all the crowns and kingdoms
in the world could not have made him happy. With
this, he would have been every inch a king, even



THE CHILD-KING. 9

though he had walked the streets of Jerusalem in
the rags of a beggar.

How did he get this other and better crown?
One would suppose that the son of wicked Amon
would not have been a very good boy; for bad
fathers are apt to have worse children. But Josiah
had a pious grandfather, whose name was Manasseh,
who had died only two years before. No doubt he
had often taken the dear child upon his knee, and
told him about good King David, and about God
and heaven. Josiah did not forget the sweet lessons
he had been taught, but ‘while he was yet young,’
as the Bible tells us, ‘he began to seek after the
God of David, his father.” He sought Him ‘early,
and he sought Him earnestly; and we know—for
God has said so—that they who seek Him early
shall find Him, So the little king found God, and
when he found Him, he found his brightest crown.
For we read that ‘he did that which was right in
the sight of the Lord ;’ that, like a good missionary,
he broke down the altars and images of the heathen
idols, which the people worshipped; that he had
God's beautiful house, which was fast going to ruin,
put in good order; and that he had the people
taught out of the Bible, and did all that he could
by his prayers, his tears, and his labours, to make
every one around him love and serve the true God,

What a noble life a man can lead, who begins to



10 THE CHILD-KING.

seek after God when he is a child! But at last,
like all other kings, Josiah died. He could no
longer wear the earthly crown. But his other crown
grew brighter and brighter, and he has been wearing
it ever since in heaven, and he will always wear it, for
it has become ‘a crown of glory that fadeth not away.’

I have said that there is a way by which all chil-
dren may become kings, and wear crowns. What.
kind of crowns? Are they made of gold and jewels?
No; but of something that is more precious than
gold, and more beautiful than gems and diamonds.
And are they just the size for little heads? and may
any one wear them that pleases? Yes, they are of
all sizes—even for the smallest; and here let me
whisper a secret in your ear—the smallest crowns are
always the best, That is, the sooner you win and
wear one, the brighter it is sure to be. =

I. One of these crowns is Self-Government. Oh,
how bright and beautiful it is upon the head of a
child or youth! It needs no gaudy glitter of jewelry ;
for it has the ‘ornament of a meek and quiet spirit,
which in the sight of God is of great price’ It is
nobler to wear this than to be king over many cities
and empires ; for the wisest king who ever lived has
said, ‘He that is slow to anger is better than the
mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that
taketh a city.’



THE CHILD-KING. 11

I will show you this crown, by telling you a little
story of a king who began to reign when he was ten
years old. He became a Christian, and had a new
heart, and loved the Saviour. But his younger
brother, who was only eight years old, did not believe
that his heart had been changed ;—and how do you
think he tried to find out whether his brother was a
Christian? Why, he remembered that whenever he
used to tread on his brother's toes, or plague him in
any way, he would at once become very angry and
begin to fight him. So, every time he could get a
chance, he would slyly kick him, or strike him, or
pinch his arms, and then watch to see his face turn
red, and his eyes flash with anger. But with all that
he could do, he could not make him mad. Why was
this? Because he had learned to rade his spirit, and
to be king over his angry passions, which before that
had been king over Zim. No doubt there was many
a little struggle in his breast; but it was,the struggle
for his crown ; and every new triumph over his temper
put a new gem into that crown, and made it shine
brighter and brighter. And this was the way that he
began to reign when he was ten years old.

Now, when his little brother saw that he did not get
angry any more, it was like seeing the glory of the new
crown upon his heart ; and then he began to seek
after it too, and to seek after God until he found Him;
and then there were /zo little kings in that family.



12 THE CHILD.KING.

This, then, is what is meant by ruling the spirit.
It is to govern that busy crowd of thoughts, feelings,
passions, wishes, which, like a great multitude of
people, or like the different parts of a kingdom, dwell
together in the empire of your heart. That heart,
until it is changed, is full of all sorts of evils, such as
anger, fretfulness, pride, malice, and envy. Every
one of these tries hard to become your master. See
that boy who has lost his temper, and who is fretful
and peevish at everything around him. He is like a
king who has thrown away his crown; and all the
wicked passions in his breast are fighting together to
see which one shall have it, and rule over him. But
is it not much better that he should be their master
than that they should be his?

‘Bertie, dear Bertie, will you not say good night to
me?’ pleaded the sweet voice of his sister Minnie, as
she wound her arms lovingly round his neck.

*No, he replied angrily, pushing her away from
him.

“Come, now, Bertie, do forgive me, and let us kiss
and be friends ; will you not, Bertie, dear?’

He did not answer, but only looked sulkily out
of the window. Minnie’s blue eyes filled with tears.
‘You know I did not spoil your kite on purpose, dear
brother,’ she said; ‘but it is my bed-time, and if you
will not forgive me, I must pray to God ;’ and the
child left the room. Five minutes after, she was



THE CHILD-KING. 13

knecling in her little chamber praying. ‘Dear, kind
Saviour, she said, ‘do, please, make dear Bertie
forgive me. Iam so sorry I made him angry, but I
did not mean to do so. Pour into his heart thy
Holy Spirit, and let him love me again ; and may he
grow up a great and good man, and be a comfort to
dear mamma. Dear Jesus, please hear me, though I
am a wicked, sinful child, and make us live very
happily together on earth ; and when Thou seest fit,
grant that we may meet at thy great white throne,
where all is peace and love, and join dear papa in
singing Glory, glory, glory!’ After this prayer, she
fell into a sweet sleep.

But Bertie did not sleep well that night, for his
conscience troubled him. Early in the morning he
went to ask his sister’s pardon. Alas! MJinnie was
dead, *Oh,mamma, mamma,’ cried Bertie, ‘ will she
never speak to me again? Shall I xever, never see her
more?”

‘I trust so, my boy. Dear Minnie is only gone
before. Will you not try to walk in her footsteps ?”

‘Oh, I can never go to her, mamma; I am a
naughty, wicked, selfish boy, and she was so good
and gentle. Mamma, I would not say good night to
her last evening ;’ and he hid his face on his mother’s
shoulder, and cried as if his heart would break.
Then mother and child knelt down together by the
cold form of little Minnie, and prayed, oh, how



14 THE CHILD-KING.

earnestly! that God would help Bertie to govern his
temper. And soon Bertie found this crown, and he
grew up to be a good and great man. But never
could he think of his last words to his little sister
without reproaching himself bitterly.

Now, remember, dear children, whenever you are
tempted to be angry, that you may say or do that
which you will mourn over as long as you live.
Remember that to lose your temper is to throw away
your crown; but that to be mild, and loving, and
forgiving, as Jesus was, is to be a true king or queen.

II. Another crown is Wisdom. What does King
Solomon say about wisdom? ‘She shall give to thine
head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she
deliver unto thee.’

“A crown of glory!’ What little head would, not
love to wear it? But this is a crown that is worn
inside the head—not on the outside ; and its bright
jewels are knowledge, prudence, and humility. See
that poor boy who works hard all day at making
shoes. In front of him is fastened a book, and while
his fingers toil so swiftly for his daily bread, his mind
toils in patient study; and all the time the things
which he learns are weaving themselves together into
a bright crown of wisdom, that shines in everything
that he says or does. The people see it and admire
it, and ask him to govern their affairs, and the little



THE CHILD-KING. 1s

studious shoemaker becomes the great Rager Sher-
man, of whom many of you have heard or read.
Only think of it, dear children ; when you feel like
staying from school, or neglecting your lesson, you
are throwing away the precious crown of wisdom,
without which you never can become truly great or
honoured in this world.

But is this the whole of the crown that I am now
speaking of? No; it has a still brighter jewel, for
Solomon says again, ‘Zhe fear of the Lord is the
beginning of wisdom.’ It is a great thing to have
the mind filled with all other kinds of knowledge ;
but the best crown of all is to know, and love, and
serve God. For this reason, no other book can
make you so wise as ‘he Bible can make you. Read
it every morning and night, study it, pray over it,
saying, ‘O Lord, open Thou mine eyes, that I may
behold wondrous things out of thy law!’ If you
do this, you shall behold things wonderful indeed—
crowns, thrones, diadems, for yor. And then God
will take the pure crown of piety, and place it upon
your heart, and make you as happy as any king
can be. For it is the voice of heavenly Wisdom,
waiting to crown you, that says, ‘I love them that
love me, and they that seek me early shall find me.

III. Another crown is obedience to God. But 1
hear you say, Kings are masters, and not servants.



16 THE CHILD-KING.

Still, it is a more glorious thing to obey God than
it would be to govern all mankind; for at the day
of judgment Christ will say to all those who have
served Him here: ‘ Well done, thou good and faith-
ful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few
things, I will make thee ruler over many things;
enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’ But before
we can reach that joy, we must humbly bow our
heads, and let the King put upon them this crown
of obedience to Him. I suppose some children
think that this is more like a chain or fetter than
like the crown of a king: it comes so hard to obey
God in all things. But this is only because they
have not learned to Jove God; for, to his friends
and children, his ‘yoke is easy,’ and his ‘burden
is light.’

Let us learn a lesson about this from the angels.”
They obey God always; and do you think that they
are unhappy? A Sunday-school teacher, who was
talking with his class about that part cf the Lord’s
Prayer which says, ‘Thy will be done on earth as
it is in heaven,’ said to them, ‘You have told me,
my dear children, what is to be done—the “will”
of God; and where it is to be done—“on earth ;”
and how it is to be done—‘“as it is done in heaven.”
Now, how do you think that the angels and the
happy spirits do the will of God in heaven ?”

The first. child answered, ‘They do it directly ;’



THE CHILD-KING. 17

the second, ‘They do it diligently ;? the third, ‘They
do it always ;’ the fourth, ‘They do it with all their
heart ;’ the fifth, ‘They do it all together.’ Here
there was a little pause, and no other child ap-
peared to have an answer; but, after some time, a
little girl, who had been thinking deeply, said, ‘Why,
sir, they do it without asking any questions?

And she was right; for this is the true way to
mind what God says, without asking ‘why?’ or
‘when?’ or saying, ‘I don’t want to do it now’
If you would be happy as an angel, then, just as
soon as you know what God commands you, do #,
no matter what may happen.

IV. Another crown, beautiful and bright as if it
had come straight down from heaven, is that of Love.

It Aas come down from heaven; and oh! how
sweetly it shines when God sets it on the forehead
of a child! It is not, as you may suppose, an ix-
visible crown, for it seems to let out its soft light
from the heart through all its little windows. It
sparkles in the eyes; it glistens in the smile; it
beams in the actions; and it makes the homeliest
face radiant as the face of an angel. It lights up
the most dreary home, and makes it beautiful and
pleasant; and if this crown were to be taken away
from the hearts that wear it, this world would be

a great deal darker than it is.
B



18 THE CHILD-KING.

This crown has wo great jewels, that are brighter
than the most famous diamonds ever worn by king or
queen. These are Love to God, and Love to one another.

Nothing can be more precious than dove to God
and Christ. Does it seem hard to love God, whom
you cannot see? Let me tell you how you may do
this. A little girl was once talking with her mother
about those kind words of Jesus, ‘Suffer little chil-
” and she asked, ‘ Does “come
unto me” mean dying, mamma?”

‘Don’t you love and think a great deal about your
papa, when he is away?’ asked her mother.

“Yes, mamma; I feed full of papa sometimes,’
answered Jessie, ‘I love him so dearly.’

‘It is not necessary to see and be with him to love
him?’

*No, mamma ; for he is in my heart really,’ said the
little girl.

«That is what the Lord Jesus means when He asks
you to come to Him. It is not to go where He is, in
body; but it is to love Him, have your heart fud/ of
Him, that makes Him near to you, and you near to
Him. And it is so sqwee¢ to come to Him, for He
forgives our sins, and takes away our naughty wil-
fulness, and helps us correct our faults, and makes us
love to do right, and love each other and everybody.’

«Then I want to come to Jesus. J wasn't guile
ready to leave you and papa, whispered the child.

dren to come unto me ;



THE CHILD-KING. 19

Now, this is just what God wants you to do, to fee
full of your heavenly Father, and let Him have so
much room in your heart that you will love Him
more dearly than any tongue can tell. If you have
this love, you will be king indeed ; for God will love
you, and bless you, and give you the kingdom.

What is the other jewel in this crown of love? It
is shown to us in those words of John, ‘ Little children,
love one another? Once a dear little girl was asked,
«What makes everybody love you so much?’ ‘I
don’t know,’ said she, ‘unless it is because I love
everybody.’ Was it not a beautiful and true answer?
So, let your hearts be brimful of love to everybody,
and you will be surprised to find how the glory of
this crown-jewel will shine out upon every one who
comes near to you, and will make them all your
friends. Then you will do good to others, and
they will do good to:you ; and this love to God and
one another will make a little heaven wherever
you go.

V. I must tell you of one more crown ; and it is as
* bright as all the others melted into one can make it—
‘ the crown of glory that fadeth not away.

No earthly eye has seen it; for it is so dazzling
that these eyes would be blinded by the sight. No
mind of man has dreamed of its wondrous glories ;
for it is grander and more beautiful than these minds



20 THE CHILD-KING.

can bear to think of. I could describe to you the
crown worn by the queen of this country, or by the
emperor of France ; but no words can tell the splen-
dour of that crown which many a child is now wearing
in heaven. I can only say that it is a crown of
Victory ; for they to whom it is given have conquered
sin and Satan and the grave. It is a crown of Life;
for they who wear it shall never die any more. It is
acrown of Righteousness ; for it shows that all guilt
has been washed from the heart by the blood of
Jesus. And it is a crown of Glory ;—but what do
you or I know about the glory that ‘ shad/ be revealed ?”
We must wait for the hand of death to uncover it to
us. Yet sometimes the glory seems to shine just a
little across the dark valley.

A few years ago a large factory fell to the ground,
and a great many poor women and children were
buried under it. Among these were three littie Irish
girls, who had learned some of the sweet hymns
which they had heard at the Sabbath school, and had
also taught them to their little friends. They lay
under the fallen timbers, unable to move, when
suddenly a fire broke out near them, and they knew
that they would be burned to death before any help
could come. What did they do? They commenced
singing with all their might—

“TI want to be an angel, and with the angels stand ;

A crown upon my forchead. a harp within my hand,’



THE CHILD-KING. 21

Sweetly their voices rose above the crackling of the
flames, as they sung through all the hymn ; and then
they were heard again singing joyfully—

‘We're going home to glory)

until their voices were silenced by death. No, not
silenced ; for as their spirits went up in that chariot of
fire to heaven, and bowed before the throne to receive
their crowns of glory, although those on the earth
could no longer hear them, the angels heard them
singing ‘the song of Moses and the Lamb.’

Now, dear children, who wants a crown? I think
I hear many little voices answering, ‘I, and ‘I,’ and
«I Well, are you ready to begin to win them?
Josiah began to reign in Jerusalem when he was eight
years old ; but you, though you may be ever so young,
may begin ¢o-day to wear the crowns of self-govern-
ment, of wisdom, of obedience, of love, and may wear
at last in the New Jerusalem the crown of life and of
glory. But to win these ‘crowns, you must do as
Josiah did. ‘ While he was yet young, he began to
seek after God.’ Then seek Him now, with all your
hearts ; for He says, ‘They that seek me earZy, shall

find me.’
A





THE SHEPHERD.

"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the tans with
his urms, and carry them in his bosom.’—Isa. x. 11.



* Great Shepherd of the sheep,
‘Who all thy flock doth keep,
Leading by waters calm,
Do Thou my footsteps guide

To follow by thy side:
Make me thy little lamb,

J fear I may be torn
By many a sharp set thorn,
‘As far from Thee I stray +
My weary feet may bleed,
For rough are paths which lend
Out of thy pleasant way.

But when the road is long,
‘Vhy tender arm and strong
‘The weary one will bear :
And Thou wilt wash me clean,
‘And lead to pastures green,
Where all the flowers are fair,

Till, from the soil of sin,
Cleansed and made pure within,
Dear Saviour, whose I am,

‘Thou bringest me in love
To thy sweet fold above,
A little snow-white lamb?
(2a)



THE SHEPHERD. 23

LATELY saw a very beautiful sight—a flock
of sheep fed by their shepherd. And I did
not go to the fields or the hills to see it: it
was in God’s house—in those very seats where you
so often sit. Oh, how delightfiil it was! They came
there tired, and hungry, and thirsty ; and the shepherd
spread for them a glorious feast ; and while their
mouths fed upon the bread and wine, their faith
(which might be called the sozl’s mouth) fed upon the
body and blood of Jesus, that is, received Him to
their hearts as their own crucified Saviour; and they
went away satisfied and refreshed. And I thank God
that there were some dear lambs of the flock there
too, and that the great heavenly Shepherd fed them
as well as the sheep at his table.

But now it is the dambs’ turn; and I hope that
while I talk with you, the great Shepherd will feed
your souls with sweet, precious truths—yes, with





angels’ food, and take you in his strong arms of love,
and press you so close to his great, kind heart, that
you will be able to understand what the prophet
Isaiah means in this beautiful verse. As you look at
it in your Bibles, and try to find out what it means,
you will be likely to ask three questions about it :—

I. Who is the Shepherd here spoken of ¥
Il. Who are the lambs?
III. What is meant by the Shepherd's gathering



24 THE SHEPHERD,

the lambs with his arm, and carrying them in his
bosom ?

I hope you will all listen while I try to answer
these three questions.

I. First, then, Who is the Shepherd?

A great many years before this verse was written,
a boy, whose parents lived in Bethlehem in Judea,
was sent by his father to tend his flocks of sheep in
the pasture. He soon came to love the sheep, and
to love the lambs as they frisked and played about
him, and ate the tender grass out of his hand ; and as
he grew up to be a young man, he took great care of
them, kept them from wandering away or being killed
by wild beasts, and loved to find out the greenest
pastures, and the purest, stillest waters for them, and
was in every way a good, kind shepherd. But God
called him away from his flocks, and made him a
king. Yet David did not torget how he had tended
the flocks, and he thought to himself, Just as I was to
my sheep, so the Lord is to me. And then he wrote
and sang that sweet psalm: ‘ Zhe Lord is my Shepherd,
I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green
pastures ; He leadeth me beside the still waters.’

A long time after this, God looked down and saw
that his people were straying away from Him, and He
said, ‘I will both search my sheep and seek them



THE SHEPHERD, zs

out’... ‘And I will set up one Shepherd over them,
and He shall feed them,’ And then again God said,
through the prophet Zechariah, ‘Awake, O sword,
against my Shepherd, . . . smite the Shepherd, and
the sheep shall be scattered.’ What! does David say
that ¢ie Lord is his Shepherd, and then another say
that He is to be smitten—killed? What does this
mean? Now, if you will turn to the book of John,
you will find out; for there you will hear Christ say,
‘I am the good Shepherd. . . .. The good Shepherd
layeth down his life for the sheep.’ And because
Jesus is God, and yet was crucified for man, you will
see that David was right, and Zechariah was right too,
and that they both pointed, just as Isaiah points in
our text, to the Lord Jesus Christ ; and, therefore, that
He is the good Shepherd who feeds the flock, and
takes such tender care of the little lambs. So your
first question is answered.

II. Your second question is, Who are the lambs?

Let me answer this by telling you a short story.

‘There was a little girl whose name was Anna, who
was called a good girl, and was very much loved.
She tried always to please her parents, and to be
kind to those about her, and always remembered her
prayers morning and night. But Anna had not yet
given her heart to the Saviour, though her mother
often told her of Jesus, and hoped and prayed that



26 THE SHEPHERD.

she might early learn to love Him. One day she
brought home from the Sabbath school a book called
The Lambs of Christ's Flock, At this time Anna was
seven years old.

As her mother read it to her, she seemed to swallow
every word of it, and would often ask, ‘Am I a lamb
o: Christ’s flock?’ and as her mother read on, she
would ask again and again, the scalding tears rolling
down her face, ‘Am I a lamb of Christ’s flock,
mother?’ Her mother told her she hoped that she
would become one ; but this did not satisfy her. ‘Am
I one now ?’ she asked.

“Anna,’ said her mother, ‘your heart is full of sin ;
you must give your sinful heart to God, and ask Him
for Christ's sake to wash it from its sin.’

‘How shall I give my heart to God? Do please
tell me how to give my heart to Him. I would give
my heart to Him, if I only knew how,’ said Anna.

‘Give it to Jesus, just as it is, dear child. Tell Him
it is wicked and full of sin, and ask Him to cleanse it
in his own precious blood.’

‘But I am so wicked,’ said the child, ‘I am afraid
Jesus will not receive me.’

‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,
—to save you, my child,’ said her mother ; ‘you must
give up al/ to Him?

So several days passed away before little Anna
found any peace ; but every day she wept and prayed.



THE SHEPHERD. a7

She wanted, oh so much! to be a lamb of Christ's
flock.

One afternoon Anna came to her aunt; the tears
were all gone, and her eyes were beaming with joy.
“ Auntie, she said, ‘I feel so Aafpy ? Her aunt asked
her what made her feel happy. With reverence she
answered, ‘It is God, auntie, He has given me a
new heart, and I can trust Him now.’ Every night
when she went to rest, the tears would fill her
eyes, as she said, ‘Oh, mother, I am airaid I have
done something wrong to-day.’ She was afraid to
sin even in thought, and tried in all things to please
Jesus, for she felt that now she was his own dear
lamb.

Ves—the children who love the Saviour are Chiist’s
lambs. Zhe church is his great flock that He is all
the time tending; and, like every other flock, it has
its Zi#tle ones who belong to the same Shepherd, and
need his tender care.

And they are not only called lambs because they
are young and small, but because they are weak and
ignorant, What can be more helpless than a little
lamb when any danger is near, without its shepherd?
If a wolf or a bear break into the fold, it cannot resist
him or run away from him, but must be devoured.
It is the same with you, dear children: you ate weak,
and there are many dangers all around you, and what
can you do without Jesus? Why, the strongest sheep



28 THE SHEPHERD.

in all the flock can do nothing without Him, and how
can the feeble Zambs ?

And suppose the lamb gets dos, and strays away
among the mountains, can it find the way back alone?
Oh, no ; it is ignorant and foolish, and if the shepherd
does not go after it and bring it back, it will be sure
to perish. Now, how is it with these Awan lambs?
Isaiah says, ‘All we like sheep have gone astray ;?
and you know that wherever the sheep go, the lambs
are sure to follow. David says that we go astray as
soon as we are born. By this he means that even
young children are wicked and sinful; that they go
away from God, away from their Shepherd, away from
the pleasant pasture grounds of sweet, heavenly truth,
away into paths of sin, and danger, and death—and,
like the lamb lost in the mountains, you cannot find
the way back alone. If the Shepherd Jesus does not
seek you out, and take you in his arms, then you will
never reach the sweet fields of heaven, where the
Saviour leads his flock to living fountains of water.
But Christ has come ‘to seek and to save that which
was lost ;’ and when He hears a child praying ear-
nestly to Him for help, and confessing its wicked-
ness, it is like the lamb bleating for its shepherd, and
He takes it up in his arms, and folds it to his bosom,
and then that child is Christ’s lamb, and does not
wander any more.

But there is another thing in which good children



THE SHEPHERD. 29

are like lambs. Did you ever see a lamb guarrel or
fight? No; how gentle, and kind, and loving they
are! If they could speak, I am sure they would not
“utter an angry word. And this is one reason why
Jesus is called the Lamb of God—because He is so
meek and forgiving. When you read the story of his
death, does it not make you think of what the prophet
said: ‘He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and
as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth
not his mouth?? Now, as it was with Him, God's
Lamb, so it should be with those children who are
Christ's lambs. But I have seen boys and girls who
were more like wolves and tigers,—so quarrelsome
and fretful, that they make themselves and all around
them miserable.

And how obedient the lamb is! how it follows the
good shepherd wherever he leads it; for it knows
his voice. So Christ's lambs will follow and obey
Him, and they are never so happy as when they
are close by his side or in his arms.

Jil. I have answered your second question—Who
are the lambs?—and there is only one question left:
What is meant by the Shepherd’s gathering them with
his arms, and carrying them in his bosom?

1. One thing that it means is, that He will protect
them from all danger. One day, when David was
tending his flock in a place near the woods, suddenly



3° THE SHEPHERD,

there came a great lion, and scized a lamb in his
teeth, and ran off with it; and I suppose that in a
very few minutes he would have eaten it up. What
did David do? He started after the lion and smote
him, and caught the lamb out of his mouth. And
then the lion, who was very angry, sprang with all
his might upon David. But David was strong, and
the Lord was with him, and he caught the lion by
the mane with one hand, and with the other he killed
him with his spear, and then carried the lamb back
safe and sound to the pasture. Was not that a brave
and noble deed?

Now, suppose that this minute just such a great
fierce lion should come and seize one of these dear
lambs, and carry it off to eat—how frightened we all
should be! But there is one who is worse than a
lion, and stronger than any of the wild beasts you
have ever seen at the menagerie. You cannot sce
him, nor hear him roar; but he wants to seize you,
and take you away to his awful den, and devour you.
I mean that terrible being who, the Bible says, ‘goeth
about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.’
It is Satan, who wants to destroy us all, and wi do
it too, if God don’t prevent him. I am sorry to say
that there are some who seem hardly to know or care
whether he has them or not. Just as Dr. Livingstone,
in Africa, was once overtaken by a lion, who threw
him down, and he said that, somehow, while the lion's



THE SHEPHERD, gl

great paw was upon him, he lost all fear, and hardly
cared whether he was eaten alive or not; but pre-
sently the lion was shot by another man, and he was
glad enough to escape. So I sometimes think that
when this great destroyer has his paw upon the breast
of a man or child, they, somehow or other, though it
scems very strange, do not think of their danger.

But will Christ let him seize and carry off one of
his lambs? Oh, no; He will do as David did,—He
will snatch away the dear child, even if it is already
in Satan’s mouth, and take it up, all weak and trem-
bling as it is, and let it rest upon his bosom, where
no beast of prey can ever harm it. For Christ has
fought with Satan and conquered him. He has done
more for you and me than David did for his lamb,
for He has laid- down his life for us that He might
deliver us from all evil.

2. Another thing that Christ does for his lambs, is
to feed them.

Once there was a miser (a hard-hearted, cruel man,
who had a great deal of money, but who had not
learned how to enjoy it by making other people
happy), who was overtaken by a violent storm of
snow ‘and wind, and he stopped at the door of a
miserable little cottage that he owned, for shelter.
But he did not go in; and, while he stood there, he
heard two children talking together.

“1 am hungry, Nettie,’ said one of them.





32 THE SHEPHERD.

“So am I)’ said the other. ‘I’ve been looking for
some potato parings, and I can’t find any.’

‘What an awful storm!’ said the first one.

“Yes,’ said Nettie; ‘the old tree is blown down.
I think God took care it didn’t fall on the house; if
it had, it would have killed us.’

And if He did that, couldn’t He send us dread?”

«I’m sure He could. Let us pray, “ Our Father,’”—
and when we come to that part about dread, stop till
we get some.’

So they began, and the miser, shivering outside,
listened. When they said, ‘Give us this day our
daily bread, and stopped, expecting, in their childish
faith, that the bread would come, a kind feeling stole
into his mind, and his heart was touched and softened.
He had bought a loaf at the village, and he opened
the dopr very softly and threw it in, and then listened
to the children’s cry of delight.

“It dropped from heaven, didn’t it?’ said the
younger.

“Yes, said Nettie; ‘I shall love God for ever,
He is so good! He has given us bread because we
asked Him.’

‘We'll ask Him every day, won’t we? Why, I never
thought God was so good,—did you ?’

“Yes, I always thought so, was Nettie’s answer ;
‘but J never quite knew it before.

The storm passed, and the miser went home a



THE SHEPHERD. 33

better and happier man; and when, a few weeks
afterwards, he died, he gave the little cottage and
garden to the father of these praying children. And
the little children ever after felt a sweet and solemn
feeling when in their prayers they came to those
words: ‘ Give us this day our daily bread’

- But Christ's lambs have sou/s to be fed as well as
bodies. You remember the story of Peter, who
denied his Lord, and was afterwards very sorry for
it. One day Jesus said to him, ‘Lovest thou me?’
‘Yea, Lord,’ he said, ‘Thou knowest that I love
Thee.” Then Jesus said to him, ‘feed my lambs.
What did He mean by this? Why, that Peter, and
all Christ’s ministers, and all who love Christ, should
feed the souls of the dear children—that is, teach
them about God and heaven. And how can we feed
them? Why, out of the Bible; for the Biblé was
made for the children as well as for the fathers and
mothers. And this is what your teachers are doing
in the Sabbath school, and your mothers at home,
and what your pastor is doing when he preaches to
you. Do you know that the word pastor means
‘shepherd’? That is, the minister is a kind of under-
shepherd, feeding and tending the sheep and the lambs
for Christ. And so the church is your pasture ground,
and the Saddath school is your pasture ground, where
the good Shepherd feeds you. But, oh! remember

that if the lamb does not eat the tender grass, it will
&



34 THE SHEPHERD.

do him no good, but he will grow lean and poor, and
then die. So you must receive all this sweet truth of
the Bible (David calls it ‘sweeter than honey’) into your
minds and hearts, must learn it, and often think of it,
and never forget it, or your souls will starve and die.

3. Another thing that the Lord Jesus does with his
lambs is, zo take them in his arms to heaven when they
die, How beautiful those words of David are, in the
23d Psalm, where, after speaking of the ‘green pas-
tures’ and ‘still waters,’ he says, ‘ Yea, though I walk
through che valley of the shadow of death, 1 will fear no
evil: for Thou art with me; thy rod, and thy staff,
they comfort me !’

Do you know, dear children, that you must all pass
through that valley? I look forward, and see you
lying upon beds of sickness, the roses fading out of
your Cheeks, and the eyes that now sparkle so brightly,
growing dull and heavy, and your voices, that now
sing so sweetly, becoming silent. And then, though
the sun may shine, and the flowers bloom as brightly
as ever, you will not see them, nor see the faces of
your parents, brothers, and sisters ; but you will be in
the dark valley of death. When this will be, no one
knows except God; but I know and you know that
many little feet enter the valley. Oh, how sad it
would be for any of these dear children to have to
pass through it a/one, with no shepherd to uphold and
comfort them!



THE SHEPHERD. 35

But Jesus does not leave his lambs to go through
the valley alone; for while He dads the sheep with
his rod and staff, He takes the weak little lambs right
up in his arms, and presses them close up to his great,
warm, loving heart, and keeps them there till they are
safe out of the dark, in the sweet light of heaven,
where ‘everlasting spring abides, and never withering
flowers.’ And what a happy thing it is not to be
afraid to die; but to say to Jesus, ‘2 will fear no evil,
for Thou art with mel Now, if you will give your
hearts to Christ, you will be able to say this.

There was once a class of little girls about four
years old, in a Sabbath school, who learned for their
lesson the 23d Psalm; ‘The Lord is my Shepherd.’
A little girl, who was much younger than they, and
could not speak plain, heard some of them repeat
it at home, and thought that she must learn it too.
So they said it over to her till she knew it all by
heart ; and she loved it so much that she could hardly
think or speak of anything else all that day. When
her mamma came home, she repeated it to her, and
said, ‘Mamma, do you know about the little lambs
when they go through the valley ?—it is all dark, and
the Shepherd takes them up in his arms and carries
them.’ In a little while she gave all her heart to
Jesus, and felt that she was one of his lambs, and
that she loved her Shepherd, and the Shepherd loved
her. One day she said, ‘Jesus died for us, and we



36 THE SHEPHERD.

ought to love Him, and we do love Him,—don’t we,
mamma?’ And she would often throw her arms
around her mother’s neck, and say, ‘Now tellsme
about Jesus!’ One day her mother heard her saying
earnestly, ‘Go away! go away!’ and asked her whom
she was talking to. ‘I was telling Satan to go away,’
said she; ‘and I told Jesus, my Shepherd, to come
to me.’

After two short years from the time she had learned
the little Psalm, Clara passed through the dark valley.
Was she afraid? No; she feared no evil; but with
a happy smile kissed her father and mother, ‘Good-
bye,’ and her spirit sprang into the arms of Jesus, and
nestled lovingly upon his bosom. And although many
tears fell over that cold little form, her parents knew
that her soul was safe through the valley, and that
they should meet Clara again upon the other side.
Yes,

“The pearly gates were opened,
And glowing seraphs smiled,

And with their tuneful harp-strings
Welcomed the little child.

They shouted, “ High and Holy t
‘A child has entered in !

And now, from all temptation,
A soul is scaled from sin.”

they led her through the golden streets,
On toward the King of kings,

While the glory fell upon her
From the rustling of their wings.



THE SHEPHERD, 37

The Saviour smiled upon her
As none on earth had smiled,

And heaven’s great glory shut around
The little eaith-born child,

On earth they missed the little one,
‘They sighed, and wept and sighcd,
And wondered if another such
As theirs had ever died.

Oh, had they seen through those high gates
Tie welcome to her given,

‘They never would have wished their child
Back from her home in heaven 1’

Dear children, will you not become the lambs of
Christ, that He may protect, and feed, and comfort
you while you live, and make you happy with Him
for ever? Oh, how glad Jesus would be to take
you up in his arms and bless you! Hark! do you
hear that voice? Listen a moment with the ear of
your heart, Is not some one calling you? Don’t
you hear Jesus saying, ‘Suffer little children to come
unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the king-
dom of heaven?’ ‘I love them that love me, and
they that seek me early shall find me?’ /¢ és the
good Shepherd, asking you to become his lambs!
Why don’t you fall right into his arms and sing,
© The Lord is my Shepherd?

In the Gospel by Luke, Jesus tells us a beautiful
parable about a man who had a hundred sheep, and
one of them strayed away and was lost. What did



38 THE SHEPHERD,

he do?—leave it to die? No; he left all the rest
of the flock, and hastened over the hills, and through
the valleys, until at last he found it, and put it on
his shoulders, and carried it all the way back. Then
he called his neighbours and friends together, and
said to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found
my sheep which was lost.’ Now, Jesus explains this
parable by saying, that in the same way there is ‘joy
in heaven over one sinner that repenteth.’

So, when one of these children becomes Christ’s
lamb, the Lord Jesus says to his holy angels, ‘ Rejoice
with me, for I have found my lamb which was lost!’
and then they all strike their golden harps, and sing
together—oh! how sweetly—over the glad news that
a child has given its heart to God.

Oh that they and we could have such glad news
to sing over now! And shall we not?







THE CROWNED FLOCK.

‘Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you
kingdom—Luxe xii. 32.



*A little flock! So calls He the,
Who bought thee with his blov
A little flock, disowned of men,
‘Rut owned and loved by God.





But the chief Shepherd comes at length}
‘Thy feeble days are o'er :

No more a handful in the earth,
A little flock no more.

No snore a lily among thorns,
Weary, and faint, and few;

But countless as the stars of heaven,
Oras the early dew.

Unfading palms they bear aloft ;
Unfaltering songs they sing :
Unending festival they keep,
In presence of their King’

HN a great wild desert, which is full of howling
beasts, there lives a little flock of sheep
and lambs. They often tremble for fear
that they will be torn in pieces by the fierce lions and

tigers that roar angrily around them, and glare on
G9)





40 THE CROWNED FLOCK.

them from their dens; but they press close up to the
Shepherd’s side, and are safe from harm. And, strange
enough, these sheep and lambs are a// princes; for
their Shepherd is also a King, and He has a crown
and a kingdom for every one of them. How wonder-
ful! Who ever heard of such a thing as sheep and
lambs wearing crowns ?

Now, you will understand what I have said, when
I tell you that the great desert is this world, and the
wild beasts are Satan and wicked men ; and the little
flock are those who love Jesus Christ, and their king-
dom is heaven, So that our text means just this,—
that although Christ’s friends are very few and small
and weak, and there is a great deal to make them
afraid, yet they must not fear, because their heavenly
Father will be sure to give them the kingdom.

Although these words were spoken by Jesus to a//
his disciplts, whether old or young, I remember, as I
look at them, that He once took children in his arms
and said, ‘Of such is the kingdom of heaven ;’ and I
know, from that sweet saying, that He means this
message just as much for the damds as for the sheep.
And so I think I now hear his kind voice saying to
you who are his friends, ‘ Fear not, little flock, for
it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the
kingdom.’

Those children that love the Saviour are a ‘/itile
flock’ of Jesus. They are not only small and weak



THE CROWNED FLOCK. 41

and tender, but are also little in szmers as well as in
size. Although there are a great many children in
the world, how few there are who love and obey God!
I wonder how many of the dear children who read
these pages can say, from the heart, ‘The Lord is my
Shepherd.’ Only a very few, I fear, though I wish
you could ad do so; for none are so happy as the
little flock of Christ. As I have already shown you,
they have many pleasures and comforts here ; but
the best of all is this—that they dte to be crowned
with such glory hereafter.

I. As we now listen together to the Shepherd's
kind voice, let us look, first of all, at the precious gift
of the Father which He here tells us of: ‘It is your
Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

You see that Christ does not here say, ‘@ kingdom,’
nor tell what kind of a kingdom it is, nor where it
is; but says, ‘¢4e kingdom,’ as if there were only one
worth having, and as if his disciples knew all about it
already. What, then, can it be, and where is it to be
found?

You will not find it on the map of this world. You
will see there the kingdoms of Great Britain, and
Spain, and Italy, and the empires of France, and
Austria, and Russia; but the kingdom of Christ’s
little flock is greater and more glorious than all those
of this world would be if they were put together.



42 THE CROWNED FLOCK.

For it is the Ringdom of heaven, where the Lord Jesus
Christ has his splendid throne at the right hand of
God the Father, and where all Christ’s friends shall
live and reign for ever. The Bible tells us much
about that land of beauty and of glory: how every
one who is there is crowned with a golden crown, and
plays on a golden harp, and sings the song of Moses
and the Lamb ; how they are all clothed in white robes,
and carry palms of victory—just as the children in
Jerusalem waved the branches of the palm trees when
they sang, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David ;’ how the
streets are of pure gold, and the walls of precious
stones, and the gates of pearl; how there are no tears
there, no pain, no darkness, no sin, no death; and
how the bright, beautiful angels, with their shining
wings, and their sweet voices, make every heart glad,
and fill the soft air with their music. It is the
‘Father's house, where there are ‘many mansions,’
and where Jesus has gone to ‘prepare a place’ for all
who love Him, and where He is leading, step by step,
all his ‘little flock.’ Oh,

‘Beautiful Zion, built above }

Beautiful city that I love !

Beautiful gates of pearly white !
Beautiful temple—God its light !
‘There shall my eyes the Saviour see—
Haste to this heavenly home with mel?

“Well, I don’t know that I was made for anything,’
said a poor little girl one day, when she thought she



THE CROWNED FLOCK. 43

was alone by the roadside. She had a miserable,
drunken mother, and her brother, who should have
been kind to her, was very ugly and cruel, And the
tears trickled down, like an April shower, under her
little sun-bonnet that she tried to pull over her face
to hide them. The birds were singing about her, and
the sun shining, and the little brook running over the
stones, and the flowers giving their sweet perfume,—
all seemed made for something, excepting her, she
thought. And she went on sobbing to herself,
‘Mother says I’m always in the way, and always
xood for nothing, and Will scolds me all day;
maybe I was not made for anything. I don’t see
what I was sent into the world for, then. I wish
I never had been.’ And she sat down on a mossy
bank by the side of the road, and cried as if her
heart would break, as she said, ‘The birds and
everything are made for something; why wasn't I?
No, I was not made for anything.’

* Yes, little one,’ said a voice above her, ‘you were
made for something. You were made to be an angel
in heaven?

What voice was that? Was it an angel sent down
from God to comfort the poor girl? No; it was
akind lady; yet one whom God had sent to cheer
his weeping lamb. The little girl turned her sad face
toward her, and said, ‘Mother says I was not made
for anything.’ ¢ But you are,’ said the lady ; ‘you are



44 THE CROWNED FLOCK.

made to be a little angel in heaven.’ ‘ But where is
heaven ?’ she asked. ‘Can I go there now?’

And then the lady told her all about that happy
place; and how the blessed Jesus had left his throne
of glory, and came down upon earth, and took little
children in his arms and blessed them; and how He
died a cruel death, that they might become little
angels in heaven.

Then the little girl dried her tears and smiled,
as she asked, ‘And can I be a little angel too?
Oh, how I should love to be one, and to see Jesus!”
The lady told her she could, if she would love
Jesus; and she gave her a Bible, that told her all
about heaven, and how she could get there; and
when, after that, her cruel mother called her ‘a
good-for-nothing thing,’ and said she was ‘not made
for anything,’ she would say softly to herself, ‘Yes,
I was made to be a little angel in heaven.’ And
when, sometimes, she went to bed cold and hungry,
she would look up to the stars; she thought they
were bright, just like heaven, and that perhaps the
angels were looking down upon her, and would some
day come and take her away, to be an angel too, in
heaven.

And so you, dear little flock of Jesus, were ‘made
for something,-—made to be angels, made to wear
crowns of glory; and if you love the Lord Jesus,
and pray to Him, you may always look up beyond



THE CROWNED FLOCK. 4S

the stars, and, no matter what may trouble you, may
hear the Saviour’s voice saying to you, ‘Fear not,
little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to
give you the kingdom.’

II. But I think I hear one of you saying, How
shall I get there? It is such a great, and glorious,
and holy kingdom, and I am so poor, and weak, and
sinful! Well, let me now show you, in the second
place, how, if you love Christ, heaven becomes your
kingdom, What says our text? ‘It is your Father's
good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’

To ‘give’ it? Why, then we have not got to duy
it, or to earn it in any way. If your father makes
you a present, although it may have cost him ever
so many dollars, all you have to do is to reach out
your hand and take it. So heaven is a Father's gift,
and Jesus Christ is a gift; for ‘God so loved the
world as to give his only-begotten Son, that whoso-
ever believeth on Him might not perish, but have
everlasting life’—that is, might have the kingdom
of heaven. All the riches in the world are not
enough to buy one of those crowns or harps; all
your good actions could not buy it; nor all your
tears, although you should mourn over your sins
for ever. But the blood of Christ, which is more
precious than all worlds, has bought heaven for our
souls. The good Shepherd has laid down his life



46 THE CROWNED FLOCK.

for the little flock, and for the Shepherd's sake it is
the Father's good pleasure to give to that flock ‘the
kingdom.’ All, then, that you have to do is to come,
with sorrow for sin, and with faith in the Lord Jesus,
and ¢ake the glorious gift. If you wait to earn it, you
must wait for ever.

‘There was once an Indian and a white man, who
both began to seek after heaven at about the same
time. The Indian very soon had a good hepe of the
kingdom ; but the white man was a long time without
any hope at all. One day they met, and he said to
his Indian friend, ‘How was it that you found com-
fort so much sooner than I did?’ ‘Oh, brother,’ said
the Indian, ‘me tell you. There come along a rich
king. He say he give you new coat. You look at
your coat and say, “I don’t know; my coat pretty
good: I think it will do a little longer.” He then
offer me new coat. I look on my old blanket. I
say, “This good for nothing.” I fling it right away,
and take the beautiful garment. Just so, brother,
you think you pretty well off; you want to buy
heaven with your goodness; but I, poor Indian,
nave nothing, and so I glad to take it all as a gift.’

Yes; we must all come like that poor Indian,
having nothing—must come just as we are, not wait
ing to become any better, and let God give us the
kingdom.

For, you see by my text that He does not give it



THE CROWNED FLOCK. 47

because we are good and holy, but because of his
* good pleasure ;’ because He thinks best to give it,
And is it not a delightful thought that it is a pleasure
to God to give away the crowns, and robes, and harps
of heaven to his poor little flock, and that He is just
as happy in giving them as we can be in receiving
them?

III. And ought not this thought to fake away all
our fears? Oh, how comforting are these two words
of the Shepherd to his little flock, the children of the
kingdom, ‘ Fear not!’

‘There are many things in this world that are apt to
make the lambs of Jesus tremble. There are sorrows
and trials that almost break the heart ; and Satan, like
a roaring lion, tries to devour us before we reach the
kingdom ; and the river of death looks dark and
frightful, and we sometimes almost fear that we can
never get to that ‘shining shore.’ All this shows how
true Paul’s words were, when he said that ‘we must
through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of
God.’ But do we need to be afraid? No; for we
have an almighty Father, and it is his good pleasure
to give us the kingdom, and nothing can prevent Him
from doing his pleasure.

Then fear not. ‘The flock may be ever so ‘little,’
but God is very great ; and heaven may seem a great
way off, but your Shepherd is very near; and the



48 THE CROWNED FLOCK.

way may seem hard and thorny, but Christ will give
you strength to travel it. And when death comes
you may look up to the Shepherd, as David did, and
say, ‘I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.’

A little girl, whose name was Lillie, stood looking
up to the sky when the sun was setting. The clouds
were all gold and crimson, such as you have some-
times seen ; and she said to her mother, ‘ How beauti-
ful! oh, how I should like to be away up there with
the angels!’ The mother looked up and answered,
“Yes, darling, the cloudg are very beautiful to-night.’
«But, mamma,’ said Lillie, ‘do you know what makes
them beautiful? Ido; it is because the angels are
in them; and I was just thinking that when I died,
maybe I would look right down here, mamma, some-
time, upon you. Say, don’t you think I will?’

And then she said, ‘Mamma, I want to be au
angel ; but I don’t want to die, as little Bessie died,
and be put into the cold ground. You won't let me
die, and be buried up, will you mamma ?’”

And the mother wept as she answered, ‘ When the
Saviour calls my little lamb, I shall have to give her
up. You would be willing to go to Jesus, and never
be sick any more, wouldn’t you, darling ??

9 Yes, mamma, if He would take me right up to the
beautiful sky ; but oh, mamma, I don’t want to be put
into the ground !’

The mother kissed her trembling child, and said,



THE CROWNED FLOCK. 49

‘Don’t you remember the little dark root which you
saw me plant here in the spring?”

“Yes, mamma, I do; it came up with two lovely
green leaves, and it grew up into this tall shrub, which
-has so many beautiful flowers upon it.’

‘So,’ said the mother, ‘we must die and be buried
up in the cold ground, that our spirits may rise up as
the flowers do above the earth, in beauty and purity,
to heaven. If we do not die, my child, we can nevet
go to heaven to live with Christ and the angels.’

The child looked for an instant upoh the flowers,
and then exclaimed, with a bright smile, ‘Oh, mamma,
I do not feel afraid now to die and be buried up in
the ground, because I shall rise up far more beautiful
than I am now, to live away up in the blue sky with
Christ and the angels.’ And when at last her blue
eyes closed in death, she whispered, ‘Mamma, I am
not afraid to be put into the ground, for I am going
to be an angel.’

Ah, it was the Shepherd’s kind voice that spoke to
little Lillie, and said to her secret soul, ‘ Fear not,
for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the
kingdom.’

I will close with the story of another of Christ’s
flock who was not afraid to die. He was a poor little
boy who had to work in the coal mines for a living.
One day the gas in the mines took fire, and blew up

everything around it, and the workmen were buried
D



50 THE CROWNED FLOCK.

under the great stones that it threw upon them, The
people at the top went straight to work to find their
dead bodies, and among them they found this little
boy. There was a painted tin box by his side, and a
rusty nail; and on the box were these words, which he
had scratched there with the nail in the dark, when
he felt himself dying : ‘ Fret not, dear mother, for we
were singing while we had time, and praising God.
Mother, follow God more than ever I did.’ On the
other side of the box he wrote, ‘Johnny, farewell !
Be a good boy to God and thy mother.’

When his mother read those words, she knew that
her dear boy was not afraid to die.

Oh, dear children, Christ can take away this and
every other fear from every one of you, if you will only
become the lambs of his little flock! Will you not do
so, that we may go on together to the kingdom, so
that when at last, ‘the dead, small and great, shall
stand before God,’ we may all, parents and children,
teachers and scholars, pastor and people, hear that
voice, ‘Come, ye children of my Father, inherit the
kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the

world?”





THE STRONG GUIDE.

‘Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My Father, Thou art the Guide
of my youth f’—Jerenran iii, 4.

“Take thy staff, O pilgri

Haste thee on thy wa:

Let the morrow find thee
Farther than to-day.





If thou seek the city
Of the Golden Street,
Pause not on thy pathway,
Rest not, weary feet.

In the heavenly journey
Press with zeal along?

Resting will but weary,
Running make thee strong.’



INCE there was a little boy, only five years
old, who had disobeyed his mother. After
he had gone to bed at night, she went softly

to his room to talk with him about it ; but she found

that he had been thinking of his wicked heart, and
felt very sorry for what he had done. For, as soon as
he saw her coming, he said, ‘ Mother, I wish I was in
heaven,’ ‘Why so, my dear boy ?? asked his mother.
(so)











52 THE STRONG GUIDE.

* Because,’ said he, ‘ then I should 2zow that I should
go to heaven, and now I don’t know.’

And has not this thought sometimes crossed your
minds—what a sweet, happy thing it would be ¢o know
that when the short journey of life is over, and this
body dies, my spirit will rest for ever in God’s beauti-
ful home ?

Now a voice comes to you from that home in the
skies, and your kind, loving heavenly Father asks you
in my text to let Him lead you to the happy land.
You see He asks you a very solemn question ; and it
is one that He expects you each one to answer:
‘Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My
Father, Thou art the Guide of my youth ?’

I. That I may help you to answer this question, let
me show you, in the first place, ow much you all need
a guide,

When men are travelling in the far east, over the
burning sands of the desert (where there are no
railroads or stage coaches such as we have), they go
in caravans—that is, a great many of them together.
Sometimes there will be hundreds of persons, and
thousands of camels, that stretch out in a long line as
far as the eye can see. But whether there are many
or few, they are always sure to have one man going
before them, whom they call the Aybeer, or guide. If
any company of travellers should think of going over



THE STRONG GUIDE. 53

the desert without him, they would be as foolish as if
we were to try to travel in the railway train without
an engineer or guard, or in a ship without a captain ;
and they would be almost sure to get lost by the way.
This guide must be one who knows all about the
country through which they are to pass. He must be
able to tell when the dreadful simoom, or hot wind, is
rising, so that they may be able to prepare forit. He
must know where the sands are most firm, and where
they are shifting, so that the men and beasts may not
sink in them. He must know all about the wells and
springs by the way, where they may drink, and not
die of thirst; and where the little oases, that is, the
grassy resting-spots, are found. And he must be a
man who knows the tribes of Arabs, and can keep
them from robbing the caravan. Every one follows
and obeys this guide, until he has led them safe to
the journey’s end.

Now, I see before me a Jittle caravan—a company
of travellers. And where are you going? Zo eternity.
Some of these little feet have only begun the journey,
others have been longer on the way. Now and then
one has dropped down by your side, and you have
seen them no more ; they have reached the journey’s
end before you. But just as fast as the minutes fly,
you are all going on—on to another world.

And, like the travellers over the desert, do you not
need @ guid:? Oh, yes; for there are many dangers



54 THE STRONG GUIDE.

before you. There are many wrong paths that do not
lead to heaven, but lead far away from it; paths
pleasant to look upon, but oh, their end is misery
and death. See that boy who is breaking the holy
Sabbath, or who is learning to lie, or steal, or swear.
He has got into the wrong path, because he has xo
guide, See that girl who disobeys her parents, or who
forgets to read her Bible, or pray to God. She is in
the wrong path; she needs a@ guide. See that man
who is now in jail for murdering another man ; do you
think his hand could have done such a wicked thing,
if, when he was young, he put it into the hand of the
heavenly Father, and said, ‘Thou art the Guide of my
youth?’ And you are so weak, and Satan is so strong,
and he is trying so hard to lead your steps away from
God and heaven, and to trip you up, now by one sin,
and now by another—oh, those little feet cannot gs
alone through this wicked world to heaven. When
you try to look up and sing of that ‘happy land,’ do
you not have to say that it is ‘far, far away ?’—it
seems so distant, and sin and Satan are so near—it
seems so hard to reach, and the wrong way seems so
easy! :

Yes, my little pilgrims, you need, and we all need,
a strong, and loving, and wise Guide; one stronger
than any man, and who loves us so well that He will
take us by the hand, and never let us go away from
Him ; one who knows where the springs of living



THE STRONG GUIDE. 55

water are ; one who can lift you over the bad places,
and lead your tired feet to pleasant resting-spots, and
who can guide you to the heavenly home, and not let
you get lost by the way.

But is there anywhere such a guide as this for little
pilgrims? Yes ; and see, He offers himself to you in
our text, and asks you to make Him your guide.

II. I have shown you how much you all need Him ;
and now the second thing I wish to say is, that your
heavenly Father is just the Guide that you want.

Suppose you were in a strange place, a great way off
from your home, and some one you had never seen
or heard of before should offer to take you to your
father’s house. You would say, ‘Can I trust him?
How do I know but that he will deceive me, and take
me where I shall never see my father’s face again?’ But
if your father himself should come, then you would
feel safe ; and although the way might seem new, and
it might be so dark that you could not see where you
were going, you would only keep holding his hand the
more tightly, knowing that he would be sure to lead
you home.

It is the same with God. He is your Father in
heaven, and He comes down to your heart and says,
‘My poor, dear child, you are lost. You are a great
way off from your Father’s house. But I love you
still, and I want you to come to my happy home



56 THE STRONG GUIDE.

Give me that wicked heart, and I will make it good,
and fit it to live with angels. Only do as I tell you
to do, follow where I lead, and ¢rust me all the time,
and I will bring you safe home again.’

Can you not trust Him? Who knows so much
about heaven as God, who has always lived there?
Whose eye can so watch over you, and see every
danger in your way, and see everything that Satan
does to harm you? What arm is so strong to help
you in your weakness? and what heart is so kind and
pitying as that of the Father in heaven ?

Once there was a strong ship sailing over the ocean,
when a terrible storm came on. The winds blew, and
the great waves dashed hard against the vessel, and
the tall masts creaked, and the passengers were very
much frightened, for they thought that they were all
going down to the bottom of the sea. But one brave
boy was there, and the rest all wondered why his cheek
did not turn pale as the others’, nor any tears come
into his bright eye. They asked him if he was not
afraid of the dreadful storm. ‘No,’ said he, ‘for my
father’s at the helm? His father was guiding the ship,
and he trusted in that father’s skill, and felt that he
knew how to guide it right, so as to bring them all
safe to the shore,

Now, this life is a great sea, and we are all sailing
oyer it:

‘Out on the ocean all boundless we ride ;"



THE STRONG GUIDE. 57

but oh, are we all ‘homeward bound?’ 1 hope that
some of us are ; but that ‘ shining shore’ of heaven is
hard to reach, and none can get there who try to
guide the ship themselves. But if you can say, ‘ AZy
Father's at the helm, then, like the boy I have told
you of, you need fear nothing ; for He can guide you
through the waves, and though now you say—

« Wildly the storm sweeps us on as it roars :
Look ! yonder lie the bright heavenly shores !”

And soon you shall sing—

“Into the harbour of heaven now we glide,
We're home at last ;
Softly we drift o'er its bright silver tide ;
We're home at last !

Glory to God ! all our dangers are o'er,

We stand secure on the glorified shore !

Glory to God ! we will shout evermore—
We're home at last!”

Oh, blessed home for wearied souls! Oh, kind and
loving Father who guides us to it! Wilt thou not
from this time cry unto Him, ‘ Aly Luther, Thou art
the Guide of my youth P

‘Thus a dear little boy had learned to say to God.
He was very sick, and one night he saw something so
very beautiful, so like heaven, that when he told it to
his parents, they thought that God must have given him
a little sight of that happy world before he reached it.
He was very much delighted with what he saw ; but
while he was looking at it with his mind, there seemed



58 THE STRONG GUIDE.

to rise up some great mountains between him and
heaven, hiding it from his sight. This was very sad ;
but in a moment his face brightened up again, and he
said, ‘.4 strong man will carry me over the mountains ?
Ah! he knew that his Guide was with him, and that He
was strong enough to take his spirit right up over the
mountain of death to the happy home beyond. Then
he asked his father and mother to go up with him,
and threw his arms about a young friend’s neck, and
tried to lift her, as if he would pull her up with him
from this world to heaven. But it was not yet time
for her to go, although she followed him in a few
days ; and he went up alone—no, not alone, for Ais
Guide was with him, and the dear child was soon in
the bosom of its heavenly Father.

And there are many other children and youth who
have said to God, ‘Thou art my Guide ;’ and their
Father is leading them, a happy flock, ‘in ways of
pleasantness and paths of peace.’ They cry, ‘Our
Father which art in heaven ;’ and He says, ‘ Ye shall
be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.’
They cry, ‘Keep us from temptation, and deliver us
from evil ;’ and He sends his angels to encamp around
them, and sends his Holy Spirit to keep them from
sinning. And a great many of these children of God
are growing up to be holy men and women, and they
make one large, happy family, and God is all the time
bringing them home. Soon our turn will come. Oh,



THE STRONG GUIDE. 59

let us be ready, and let us feel every day that God
is guiding our feet to himself, Let us look up and
sing—
«T’'m a pilgrim and I’m a stranger,
I can tarry, I can tarry but a night.
‘There’s the city to which I journey ;
My Redeemer, my Redeemer is its light,
There is no sorrow nor any sighing,
Nor any tears there, nor any dying.’

III. But it is time that I tell you, in the third
place, How the Father guides his children through this
world to heaven.

Do you say, God is a great way off: I cannot see
his face, or hear his voice, or feel his strong hand in
mine—how, then, can He be my Guide?

It is true that you cannot see Him with these eyes,
nor hear Him with these ears ; but is not God all the
time speaking to the ear of your heart? Do you not
sometimes, when you feel like doing wrong, hear a
little voice in your soul that says, ‘Don’t you do it—
it's wicked?’ That is one of God’s voices. We call
it conscience. A man without a conscience would be
like a ship without a rudder, that goes just as the
winds and waves carry it, and that is sure to be
dashed to pieces. Oh, never disobey that voice
within you, for it is one of the ways by which God
tries to guide you to heaven!

But we want another and a stronger voice than this,



60 THE STRONG GUIDE.

and we have got it. How is God speaking to you in
my text? Why, out of he Bible. This is as much
God’s word to you and me as if we could see Him
here in all his glory, or stood before his throne and
heard it from his lips. And when you read in your
Bibles, ‘Remember now thy Creator in the days of
thy youth ;’ ‘They that seek me early shall find me ;’
and those words of Jesus, ‘Suffer little children to
come unto me,’—then God is showing you the way to
heaven. Oh, dove your Bibles ; read and study them
every day! Try to be /i// of the Bible, and it will be
to you just as it was to David, when he said, ‘ Thy
word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path,’
That is, if your way seems ever so dark, the Bible will
make it light again, and keep your feet from stumbling.

I wish you could love your Bibles as two little boys
did, who lived in London. Their father and mother
both died, and they had no longer any home. So
they put their clothes in two little bundles, and
started off to walk to Liverpool, a great many miles
away, where they had an uncle living. After they
had walked all day, they came to a lodging-house,
and asked the keeper if they might sleep there, for
they had no money to pay him with, But the smallest
of the two boys had a Bible in his pocket, and the
keeper said to him, ‘You have no money and no
meat. Will you sell me this Bible? I will give you
five shillings for it”



THE STRONG GUIDE. 61

‘The tears rolled down the poor boy’s cheeks, and
he said, ‘No; I'll starve first.’

‘Why,’ said the man, ‘do you love this Bible so
much? What has it done for you?’

And then the boy said, ‘When I was about seven
years old, I became a Sunday scholar in London. I
soon learned to read my Bible. It showed me that I
was a sinner, and a great one too. It also pointed
me to my Saviour, and I thank God that I have found
mercy at the hands of Christ.’

Then the man, to try him still further, offered him
six shillings for the Bible. ‘No,’ said he, ‘it has
been my support all the way from London. Hungry
and tired, I have often sat down by the way-side to
read my Bible, and have found refreshment from it.’

‘Well,’ said the man ; ‘but what will you do when
you get to Liverpool, if your uncle should refuse to
take you in?’ :

His answer was a noble one: ‘ My Bible tells me
that “when my father and my mother forsake me, then
the Lord will take me up.”’ Of course, the keeper of
the house gave the poor boys their lodging ; and the
next morning they set out early on their journey.

Now, just as this young traveller sat down by the
road-side, and found such comfort in the Bible when
he was weary, so you, ‘pilgrims and strangers,’ may
find sweet comfort in it all along your way to the
celestial city. Whenever you read its pages, your



62 THE STRONG GUIDE.

heavenly Father will talk with you, and show you just
the path in which He wants you to go. If you will
only love and obey your guide-book, it will be sure to
keep you in the way of life.

IV. But there are three very important words in
my text that we must not forget,—‘from this time.’
‘Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, “My
Father, Thou art the Guide of my youth”?’

What does this mean? Why, that you must not
wait till to-morrow, or next week, or next year, to
make God your Guide ; but that ow, just when God
speaks to you in his word, is the time to give your
heart up to Him, and say, Zhou art my Guide!

And why should you not do this? Can you give
any good reason why you should let Satan keep you
back from Him any longer? I know you cannot.
But I know, and you know, that there are the best of
reasons why you should come to Him to-day. Oh,
there are very many men and women who would tell
you that their most bitter sorrow is, that they did not
give themselves to God when they were as young as
you are! They feel as the poet felt, when he wrote
that prayer—

‘Restore my youth to me! O Ged, restore

My morn of life! Oh, Father, be my Guide,
And let me choose my path once more !’

But they cannot choose it again, for we have only one



THE STRONG GUIDE. 63

life here. But yow can to-day choose your path, and
choose your Guide. To-morrow may be too late.

God is waiting for your answer. What do you say?
Oh, ‘wilt thou not from this time’—yes, from this
moment—cry unto Him, ‘My Father, Zhou art the
Guide of my youth?







THE BRAVE CONQUERORS.

* And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind
Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery
furnac:

DANIEL tt, 20.



“This life is a battle with Satan and sin,
‘And we are the soldiers, the victory to win ;
And Christ is the Captain of our little band ;
Whatever opposes, for Him we will stand.
‘To God, for our armour, we'll fail not to go:
He'll clothe us with truth, and with righteousness too 3
‘The ‘gospel of peace? shall our footsteps attend,
‘The good ‘shield of faith’ from all harm shall defend.
‘Though little temptations (the worst ones of all)
‘Will often beset us, to make us to fall,
We'll ‘stand up for Jesus,’ and, when life is o'er,
For us He'll be standing on Jordan's bright shore.”

UPPOSE that some great wicked heathen
king should come with his soldiers to our









pleasant homes, and burn our houses, and



carry us away to his own country—taking these dear
children away from their parents, and the parents
away from their children, so that we should never
see each oiher’s faces any more—how very sad we all

should feel |
(64)



THE BRAVE CONQUERORS. 65

Now, if you read the first chapter of this book of
Daniel, you will find a very interesting story of four
little boys, who, when they were children, were carried
far away from Jerusalem, their home, to the great city
of Babylon, by the king, Nebuchadnezzar.

And what did he do with them? I suppose a great
many of the poor Jews were made servants and slaves,
and were very unhappy. They sat down by the rivers
of Babylon, and hung their harps upon the willow-
trees that grew along the banks, and wept when they
remembered Zion. They could not sing as they used
to do at home; for ‘ How,’ they asked, ‘ shall we sing
the Lord’s song in a strange land ?’

But this was just what God had told them would
happen if they did not obey Him. And do you not
think they felt sorry enough for their sins, when they
found themselves carried away into that strange,
wicked country ?

But what became of the four little boys ? I hear you
ask. Well, God took good care of them, for they had
learned to love God ; and, as they were very beautiful
and bright, they were taken right to the king’s house ;
and the king gave them wise teachers, and told them
to study hard for three years, and then come to him,
and he would find out by that time what they were
good for.

The three years soon passed away, and then came

their examination-day ; and when they stood before
z



66 THE BRAVE CONQUERORS.

the king, and answered the hard questions that were
put to them, he found them, the Bible says, ‘ten
times better than all the magicians and astrologers,’
that is, all the wise and learned men, ‘ that were in his
realm.’ And how did these boys come to know so
much? Ah! they were graying children : ‘ God gave
them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom’
They studied hard, and they grayed hard; and I am
sure that any boy or girl who tries to learn, and all the
time asks God for help, will grow up to be a wise man
or woman.

Now, one of tkese four boys was Daniel, the one
who was afterwards thrown into the lions’ den because
he prayed to God, and came out without being hurt ;
and the other three are the ones spoken of in my text,
who were thrown into a fiery furnace. And this is the
way it happened:

The kjng, Nebuchadnezzar, was what we call a
heathen—that is, one who worships idols that are
made by the hands of men, instead of worshipping
the true God—and so were all his people. Well, the
king had a great graven image made, all covered over
with gold ; and it was ninety feet high, so that it could
be seen a great way off. And then he had a band of
music standing near it, and told all the people that
when they heard the band playing they must fall
down on fhe ground and worship it ; and that if any
of them did not do this, they should be cast into a



THE BRAVE CONQUERORS. 67

burning fiery furnace. The people did not know any
better (poor souls, they had never heard about the
true God) ; and so, when the music sounded, they fell
flat on the ground and worshipped the golden image.
But did these three boys (who had now grown up to
be young men) bow down before it? No; they had
not forgotten the second commandment, which their
mothers had taught them when they were little chil-
dren ; and although they knew the king would be
angry, and have them thrown into the furnace of fire,
they stood right up upon their feet, for they feared
God more than man. And as soon as the king heard
of it, he called them before him, and asked why they
had not worshipped the image. But they were not
afraid, because they knew that they were doing right ;
and they answered him, ‘Our God whom we serve is
able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and
He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.’ Was
not that a noble answer? But the king became very
angry, and told his servants to heat the furnace seven
times hotter than it was before, and to throw these
men right into it. Oh, how awfully wicked and cruel
men can become who do not love and serve God!
Babylon was like ‘ the dark places of the earth’ that
David speaks of, which he says are ‘full of the
habitations of crue/ty. And oh! there are a great
many such places in the world now ; and I am glad
that you are every Sabbath bringing your pennies to



68 THE BRAVE CONQUERORS.

send them the Bible and the missionary, that they
may be made better, and taught to throw away their
images, and worship the true God. Give all you can,
oray all you can ; for there are a great many people
‘bowing down to-day befote idols that their hands have
made, and calling them their gods /

Did you ever look into the furnace where they
melt the hard iron, and see the hot flames blazing
so furiously, and the iron poured out like red-hot
water? I do not think you would like to go very
near to such a fire as that. And if any one were to
be thrown right into it, how awful it would be! Only
think of it—to be burned to death! Why, if you
happen to burn your finger, you think it is pretty
hard to bear; but it was not the hands or fingers,
but the whole bodies of these young men that were
cast into the furnace; and the fire was so hot, that
the men who threw them in were burned to death
for coming so near to it.

But what became of these three who were thrown
in? Iwill tell you. ‘The king came as near as he
dared to, and looked into the furnace, and saw a
wonderful sight. There they were walking through
the fire, the flames blazing fiercely all around them,
but neither their clothes nor their hair was even
singed by it; and most wonderful of all, though
only three were cast in, now there were fowr—and
the fourth was an angel of God. And then the king



THE BRAVE CONQUERORS. 69

told them to come out from the fire; and he wor-
shipped the God who had saved them, and told the
people that if any of them should say anything against
the God of the Jews, they should be killed; and he
made these three young men greater and more
honoured in his kingdom than they had ever been
before.

Now, there are several things that this story teaches
us,

I. The first is this: That we ought to serve God,
no matter what happens to us.

These young men might have said, ‘There cannot
be much harm in just bowing down to the ground
and rising again, if it will save us from being burned
to death.’ But they knew that it was wrong, and
conscience kept telling them, God says, ‘Thou shalt
have no other gods before me.’ ‘Thou shalt not
make unto thee any graven image.” ‘Thou shalt
not bow down to them, nor worship them’ And
this was enough; and if they had a thousand lives
to lose instead of one, they ought not to have dis-
obeyed the commandment of God.

But I have seen people, and perhaps you have too,
who were afraid to do what was right, for fear that
they might suffer for it. Not that there was any
danger of their being thrown into the fiery furnace ;
but then somebody would laugh at them, or be angry



70 THE BRAVE CONQUERURS.

with them; and all the time they do not seem to
remember that ‘ Ged is angry with the wicked every
day,’ and that it is very far better to please God than
man.

In a certain regiment there was a drummer-boy
only thirteen years old, who was also a Sunday
scholar, One day, when they were marching through
the streets, the captain saw a very beautiful flag
flying over a drinking-saloon, and he ordered his
men to halt and give it a salute. The boy had
always obeyed orders; but this time he thought the
salute was meant for the Alace as well as for the flag,
and he stood still, and not a single beat was heard
from his drum. The captain asked him the reason
of this. ‘Sir,’ said the brave boy, ‘I would not go
into such a place as that, and I cannot salute it.’
«My good boy,’ replied the captain, patting him on
the shoulder, ‘you are right and I am wrong.’ Now,
that boy might have been punished for trying to do
right, or some of the soldiers might have laughed
at him; but it made no difference, he felt that God
smiled upon him, and what more can any one want
than this ?

He was like another little boy in Turkey, who had
in some way got a New Testament, which he had
learned to read, and who had found his way to the
Protestant chapel, where he loved to go and hear
the missionary preach about Jesus Christ, But his



THE BRAVE CONQUERORS. wit

father was very angry with him, and turned him out
of his house, and told all his friends not to give him
any work ; so that the poor boy was without a home,
and had no way of earning any money to support
himself. His father told him that he would give
him a great many things—yes, everything he wanted
—if he would give up the Bible; but, although he
obeyed his father in everything else, he could not
do so in this, and all his answer was: ‘Christ has
said, “He that loveth father or mother more than
me, is not worthy of me.

He dared to do right, no matter what might happen.
He had made up his mind to serve God, even if he
had to beg his bread from door to door, and sleep

under the open sky. And I would say to every one
of you: Do what is right; obey God—obey this
gospel of Christ, even if it seems ever so hard.
Listen always to that voice of conscience in your
heart; and though your companions laugh at you
for trying to please God, and say many hard things
about you because you will not do wrong with them,
still, never mind: you will be happier than they can
be, and God will love you, and take care of you.

II. A second lesson that we may learn from our
text is: That religion makes us brave.

Did you ever hear of a braver thing than those
three young men marching right up to the mouth



72 THE BRAVE CONQUERORS.

of the furnace of fire, and letting the men throw
them into it, when they might have saved their
lives by bending their knees to the golden image?
Now it was religion that took away their fears. It
was their love to God, and their fear of sinning
against Him, that made them so brave. It was
this that took away all Daniel’s fear, when they
threw him into the den of lions. It was this that
made Stephen so calm and happy when they were
stoning him to death. And it has made many a
child brave enough to say oe, when Satan tempted
him to do wrong, and helped him to obey God and
to obey his parents,

I have seen boys, and men too, who had a very
foolish way of thinking that they were brave and
manly when they were not afraid to do wrong—to
swear, to drink, to break the Sabbath, or disobey any
other of God’s commands. But I have sometimes
thought that those wha do such things are great
cowards after all; for the fact is, there is something
they are afraid of, and that is to do right. And is it
not better and more manly to fear wickedness than to
fear goodness ?—to fear God than to fear man ?

Let me tell you a little story that will show what 1
mean by being brave. There was a good boy who
went off to sea in a great ship. Just before he went
away from home, his mother said to him, ‘ ever touch
@ drop of rum!’ Well, the other sailors drank their



THE BRAVE CONQUERORS. 13

rum every day, and when it stormed they drank all the
more, because they thought it would keep them from
taking cold; and they offered it to the boy, but he
always said, Vo/ One day it stormed very hard, and
they were all very wet, and they told him to take a
little, or else he might become sick and die, and still
the brave boy had courage to say, Vo/ But presently
one of the sailors said he knew Ze could make him
take a dram, so he tried very hard to do so; but he
would not touch a drop. And then that boy told the
old sailor of his mother’s words—‘ Never drink a drop
of rum ;’ and he repeated to him a great many texts
of Scripture to show that his mother was right (for he
had been a good Sunday-school scholar). The sailor
had never heard so much Bible in his life as that little
fellow poured into his ear, and all he could say was,
‘Your mother never stood watch on deck.’ But he
gave up his task, and when the other sailors asked
how he had succeeded, he said, ‘Oh, you can’t do
anything with him, he és so full of the Bible ?

Now that I should call a drave boy. He knew he
was right, and God knew it too, and God helped him
to say zo, and to keep saying it as often as they tried
to make him do wrong. A very little word that is,
but how few are brave enough to say it! I hope you
will all learn well that word, for you will often have
need to use it. They who belong to the ‘Sunday-
school army’ ought to be such heroes, that when any



4 THE BRAVE CONQUERORS.

of them are asked to do wrong, they will say, NO—if
it costs them their life.

About fifteen hundred years ago, when Christians
were treated very cruelly, and so many of them were
killed because they would not give up their Saviour,
there was a Christian man at Antioch whom they were
slowly murdering, telling him all the time that he must
worship their gods, or else they would tear his flesh
from his bones. At last, after answering their questions
a great many times, he told the judge that any little
child must see that it is better to worship one God, the
Maker of the heaven and the earth, and one Saviour,
who is able to bring us to God, than to worship the
many idols of the heathen. Now, when he said this,
the judge saw a little boy, eight or nine years old,
standing near by with his mother, and he pointed to
the boy and told the Christian to put the question to
him. He did so, and instantly the little boy answered,
‘God is one, and Jesus Christ is one with the Father.’
The wicked man then became very angry, and said,
‘This is a snare—you have told the child to come
here and give that answer ;’ and then turning to the
boy he asked, ‘ How did you learn this?’ The boy
looked up to his mother’s face and answered, ‘It was
God’s grace that taught it to my dear mother; and
when I sat upon her knee, a baby, she taught me that
Jesus loved little children, and I learned to love Him
for his love to us,’



THE BRAVE CONQUERORS. 13

Let us see zow what the love of Christ can do for
you,’ said the cruel judge; and immediately his ser-
vants seized him, and beat him with their sharp rods
till the blood streamed out. ‘What can the love of
Christ do for him now?’ asked the judge. ‘It en-
ables him to endure what his Master endured for him
and for all of us,’ answered the mother.

And then they beat the child harder than before,
and he asked, ‘ What can the love of Christ do ow ?’
And tears fell even from heathen eyes as the poor
mother, who must have suffered a thousand times
more than her poor boy, answered, ‘It teaches him to
forgive his persecutors.’

And the boy watched his mother’s eye as it rose
towards heaven for him, and he thought of the suffer-
ings of his dear Lord and Saviour; and when they
asked him whether he would deny Christ and serve
their false gods, he answered, ‘ Vo—there is no other
God but one, and Jesus Christ is the Redeemer of the
world. He loved me, and I love Him for his love.’

Then the poor child fainted under their blows, and
they threw the little suffering body into his mother’s
arms, and said, ‘See what the love of Christ can do
for him zow.’ And the mother pressed him gently to
her bleeding heart, and answered, ‘ That love will take
him from the wrath of man to the peace of heaven ;’
and so the poor boy died.

Now, was he not brave? and what made him so?



76 THE BRAVE CONQUERORS.

Nothing but re/igion—nothing but the grace of God
in his heart. And what the love of Christ did for
him, it can do for you and me. We may not have
to become martyrs for Christ, and to die for Him,
but we must all Zve for Him; and if we love Him
and pray to Him, He will make us so strong and
brave, that Satan cannot frighten us into doing wrong.
You may think that there is no chance for doing
great things ; but the boy or girl who tries hard every
day to do right in little things,—to be kind, loving,
patient, forgiving,—to speak no angry words, to do
good to everybody, and always obey God,—such an
one I call @ Hero; and it you will all give your
hearts to God, as the three children in Babylon did,
then God will Ae you as He helped them. He
will take care of you, and although you may not
see any bright angel walking with you among the
flames, or among the troubles by which Satan or
wicked people try to frighten you, still his angel
will be with you; for what says the Bible? ‘The
angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that
fear Him, to deliver them.’ And that angel will go
with you as long as you live; and what is still
better, God’s Holy Spirit will go with you. Then-
you will not be afraid of any troubles, for God’s
loving hand will wipe away your tears, and comfort
your heart when it aches and grieves. You will not
be afraid of any duty; for if you love God, it will



THE BRAVE CONQUERORS. 11

be harder to do wrong than to do right. You will
not be afraid to die; for Christ’s lambs and Christ’s
sheep can say to their Shepherd, when they go to
the dark valley, ‘Z will fear no evil, for Thou art
with me?’ You will not be afraid when ‘the dead,
small and great, shall stand before God’ at the
dreadful Judgment day, but will be able to say,
“Christ died for me;’ and then, instead of going
with the wicked to that lake of fire, which is a great
deal worse than the furnace in Babylon, you will
go to live with God and the blessed angels in glory.

All this religion can do for you, if you will only
give up your hearts to God.

And remember this: those three brave young men
I shave been telling you of, loved and served God
when they were little children. You may do the same ;
and oh, you will never have a better time to do it
than now / I pray God that He may help you to
begin today /







THE CHILD-PROPHET.

“And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel,
Samuel, Then Samuel answered, Speak ; for thy servant heareth’—1 Sam.
Im. 10.

“Children, hark ! the Saviour’s speaking

To you now:

Labourers in my vineyard wanting —
‘Who will go?

Who will say, as once did Samuel,
Here am I, _

Waiting, Lord, to do thy pleasure
Till I die?

‘Who will give their all to Jesus,
And receive

Ofhis grace a tenfold measure
While they live?

7 And when earthly toil is ended
Here below,
Wear a fadeless crown of glory:
Who will go?”

world than to have a pious mother; a mother
who loves the Saviour, and tries to make
her children love Him too; a mother who prays for

us, and prays with us, and leads us kindly to the Lord
(78)





THE CHILD-PROPHET. 19

Jesus, that He may take away our sins. A child or
youth may have ever so beautiful a house, and his
parents may be rich, and able to gratify all his desires ;
but if he has not a pious, praying mother, he is not
half so well off as many a poor child whom I could
name to you.

I can remember a great many things that have
happened since I was a little boy; but there is
nothing that I remember more plainly than the soft
low voice of my mother (who is now in heaven), as
she used to kneel by my bedside when I had gone
to rest, and pray that her child might grow up to
love and serve the Saviour. I seem to hear that
voice new, and I shall never forget it as long as
this heart beats.

Oh, thank God for giving to so many of you this
rich blessing! You do not know its value now ; but
you wz// know it when that kind voice is hushed, and
that loving heart is stilled in death, Then you will
wish, if you do not before, that you had obeyed her
kind counsels, and followed her good example.

Now, Samuel was blessed with such a mother.
Her- name was Hannah; and when he was but a
babe, she brought him up to the house of God and
gave him to the Lord, saying, ‘I have lent him to
the Lord; as long as he liveth, he shall be lent ta
the Lord.’ And God heard that mother’s prayers,
and took the child, and, young as he was, let him



80 THE CHILD-PROPHET,

remain in his house with Eli, who was then the high
priest. We do not know exactly what he did; but
we read that he ‘ministered to the Lord, by which,
I suppose, it is meant that he helped Eli about the
altar. And he did his work so well, that Eli per-
mitted him to wear a little linen ephod, just like
the older priests. It must have been a beautiful
sight—a little boy serving God in his house, and
helping to offer the sacrifices, and burn the sweet
incense, with which the church in those days wor-
shipped God. In these delightful duties, he grew
older and larger, and, the Bible tells us, was ‘in
favour with God and man.’

He was probably about twelve years old, when one
night, after he had lain down to sleep in his little bed,
which was near to Eli’s room (so that he could hear
him if he should call), he heard a voice saying,
* Samuel, Samuel’ Thinking it was the high priest
who called, he ran to him, and said, ‘Here am I, for
thou calledst me.’ But Eli said, ‘I called not; lie
down again ;’ and he went and lay down. Then he
heard the voice once more, and again ran to Eli; but
received the same answer, and returned to his bed’
again, not knowing what to make of it. But the
voice did not stop, and so a ¢hird time he stood
before Eli, and said, ‘Here am I, for thou didst call
me.’ And then Eli saw that the Lord had called the
child; and he told him to lie down again, and if he



THE CHILD-PROPHET. 8.

heard the voice, to say, ‘Speak, Lord, for thy servant
heareth.’

* Samuel, Samuel, once more said that strange voice ;
and when the child heard it, he said, ‘Speak, Lord,
for thy servant heareth’ And then God spoke to
him, and told him how wicked the sons of Eli had
been, and how their father had not restrained or
punished them, and told him how He would himself
punish them, and never forgive their great sin.

When morning came, Samuel said nothing of what
the Lord had told him, but went and opened the
doors of God’s house as usual. Then Eli told him
that he must not hide from him what God had said;
and so he told him all. And very soon it was all
fulfilled: for Eli's wicked sons were killed in a battle;
and Eli himself, when he heard of it, and was told
that the ark of God had been taken by their enemies,
fell back in his chair and died.

Thus Samuel, when but a small boy, became a
prophet of the Lord; and when he grew up, he
became one of the greatest prophets that ever lived.
I should like to tell you more of his history ; but

“I hope you will read it for yourselves in the
Bible.

Now, there are several things that this story of

Samuel teaches us.

I. The first is this: that i is a very happy thing for
“ F



82 THE CHILD-PROPHET.

children to be given up by their eon to the Lord, as
Samuel was.

A few years ago, a father and a mother stood in
the house of God, before the pulpit, with a little
babe in their arms. The minister solemnly addressed
them before the whole congregation, and prayed ear-
nestly and tenderly for that little one, that it might
be made one of the lambs of the Saviour’s flock ; and,
oh! how many hearts prayed with him. Then those
parents promised, before God, and angels, and men,
that they would bring up that child to love and serve
God ; and the minister sprinkled it with water, in the
name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
A few short years rolled on. God spared that child’s
life, and it grew, and began to attend the Sabbath
school, and learn the way to heaven. He cannot,
perhaps, remember the day when he was thus given

- to God; but his parents remember it, and God
remembers it, and I wish now to remind you of it;
for it is of you, my dear young friend, that I am
speaking—you are that child. For many of you have
been given to God just as Samuel was ; and the hearts
of your pious father and mother said, when the water
of baptism was sprinkled upon you, ‘I have lent him
to the Lord; as long as he liveth, he shall be lent to
the Lord.’

Do you ever think what was meant by your being
given to God before all the people? I will tell you.



THE CHILD-PROPHET. 83

You were given to Him #0 be saved by Him, and to be
used by Him,

First, 0 be saved by Him, because you are a sinner,
and have a wicked heart, and can never go to heaven
unless your sins are blotted out in the blood of Christ,
and your heart is changed for a new one that will love
and serve the Saviour. But do not think that your
being baptized will save you, or that your father’s or
mother’s prayers will save you, unless you yourself
repent of sin and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
God loves the dear lambs of his flock, and Jesus loves
them, oh! how tenderly, and has died for them, and
wants you all to become his children ;. but you cannot
become such unless you give yourse/ves—your hearts—
your all—away to Jesus, who now says to you, ‘My
son, my daughter, give me thy heart.

And then you were given to God, as Samuel was,
to be used by Him. Do you not think God has a right
to use you just as He pleases? He who made these
hands and feet, shall He not employ them in his
service? He who gave us these voices, shall He not
hear them in daily prayer and praise? He who gave
us these thinking minds, and these warm, loving
hearts, can He not claim them as his own? Oh, you
belong to God more than you belong to your parents,
yes, and more than you belong to yourselves. And
when you think of the hand that made you and pre-
serves you; when you think of your having been



84 THE CHILD-PROPHET.

solemnly given back to your Creator, ought you not
to feel, ‘Z am the Lord’s?? And what then? Why,
if ‘I am the Lord’s, then I must serve Him and obey
his will, and minister unto Him as Samuel did. I
must be holy, and be as much as I can like the angels
who ‘serve Him day and night in his temple.’

And here let me say that if you

“Want to be an angel, and with the angels stand,

‘A crown upon your forehead, a harp within your hand,’
as you often sing, in that beautiful hymn, then you
must do as the angels do—that is, live for God, and not
for yourselves, and serve Him with all your powers.

TI. For, another thing that the story of Samuel
teaches us is, that the youngest children may serve
God,

But, I hear some one asking, ‘Can we live, as he
did, in God’s house, and minister at the altar, in a
little linen ephod ? and can we hear God calling to
us as He called the little prophet? Oh, if we could,
how quickly we should answer, “Speak, Lord, for thy
servant heareth !””

Would you answer the voice of God so quickly if
it called aloud to you? Well, let me tell you that
although He does not now call young children to do
the work of his house as He did Samuel, He yet speaks
this very moment, and speaks at all times to every one
of you. He calls every child and youth—(yes, and



THE CHILD-PROPHET. 85

every grown person too)—calls you by his holy, word,
and calls by his Sfiri¢ in your hearts. Listen! do you
not hear Him? ‘ My son, give me thy heart ;’ Re-
member now thy Creator in the days of thy youth ;”
‘They that seek me early shall find me.’ Whose
voice is that? Ah! it is the voice of God, and these,
these axe his calls to every one of you. Oh that you
could not only hear, but odey them !

God calls you, ‘then, to serve Him; and in what
ways are you to do this? I have said that you were
given to God to be saved by Him; and so the first
thing you must do, is to ‘believe on the Lord Jesus
Christ’—to take Him as your Saviour, and love Him
with all your heart. God commands you to do this,
and you cannot be saved in any other way.

Is it a hard thing to love Christ when He has so
loved you, and has laid down his life for you? Surely
it should not be hard !

There was once a poor man who worked in one of
the mines in England, who had an only and loving
son. Every day, when he went down into the mines
to work, he would take his boy with him, and when
night came, they were both drawn up again by a rope
and bucket, and returned to their happy home. One
evening, when they were being drawn up together in
this way, the father heard a cracking noise above him.
He looked up, and saw that che rope was breaking, and
that only three or four strands of it were left to hold



86 THE CHILD-PROPHET.

him and his darling child from destruction. What
was to be done? The rope was not strong enough to
bring them both to the top, and so one or both of
them must perish, The father loved life, but he loved
his child more ; and so leaving his boy in the bucket,
he said, ‘ There, my child, lie quiet for a few moments,
and you will be safe at the top, and then threw him
self over and was dashed to pieces. How very great
was the love of that father for his son! But greater
still is the love of Christ for your soul, for He has
given Ais life to save you; and if you only trust Him
and obey Him, you will be brought safely up, not by
a broken rope, but by a mighty, everlasting arm, to his
glorious home. ,

Now Christ says, ‘I love them that love me;’ and
no child that knows who Christ is, is too young to
love Him and be saved by Him.

Another way in which you may serve God is by
doing good. See the youthful Samuel, assisting with
his little hands the aged Eli in the house of God.
So you may, every one of you, help your pastor,
and help the church, in our work of doing good,
and saving souls from death. Who of you, for in-
stance, cannot set a good example to those around
you? who cannot speak kind words for Christ and
his church? who cannot give something to send
the Bible to the heathen? who cannot bring at
least a few poor neglected boys or girls into the





THE CHILD-PKOPHET, 87

Sabbath school, that they may be pointed to heaven?
Oh, there are ways enough, if one only has a mind
to improve them. There is work for the smallest
hands, work for the youngest hearts; and if you
have the re¢y of Samuel, you may be as useful and
as hagpy as he was. Why, there are children and
youths now living, who have done more for Christ
already, than some of the grey-haired members of
the churches. Jesus was not more than twelve years
old when He began to go about doing good, and
said, ‘Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's
business?” This shows that all who have reached
that age are old enough to be about that business
—serving and obeying God,

A little girl who loved the Saviour, tried to follow
his example of going about and doing good; and
many weré the hearts that she cheered by her kind
words and deeds, and her sunny smile (for there
are many many times where a smile will be a rich
blessing to those around us). But God called her,
when she was ten years old, to serve Him with the
angels in glory. When they told her she was going
to die, she looked up to her father, who loved her
dearly, and did not know how to part with her, and
said, ‘Dear papa, how much do I cost you every
year?”

He thought the child was getting out of her mind,
when she asked such a question; but he answered,



83 THE CHILD-PROPHET.

to soothe her, ‘Well, dearest, perhaps Lay pounds
What then, darling ?”

“ Because,’ said she, ‘I thought, maybe you would
lay it out this year in Bibles for poor children, to
remember me by.’

“Yes, I will, my precious child,’ said the father ;
“I will do it every year as long as I live; and thus
my Lilian shall yet speak, and draw hundreds and
thousands after her to heaven.’

She loved nothing so much as to serve God; and
even when she lay in pain and feebleness on her
dying bed, she forgot herself and her sufferings in
the one thought, how she might do good to others,
and glorify her Maker.

This is the spirit that we want you all to have,
who have been given to God as Lilian was, and as
Samuel was, to be used by Him,

III. And there is one other thing taught in the
story of Samuel, that I shall not have time to say
much about; but I will just mention it: it is, that
God loves and honours early piety.

See the child Samuel made a prophet of the Lord,
ministering in God’s house, and God talking with
him in the night, just as friend talk$ with friend;
and'then see him growing up to be one of the best,
and greatest, and most useful men that ever lived.
Now, this was because he did not put off serving God



THE CHILD-PROPHET. 89

until he was a man, as so many do, but gave his heart
right up to Him as soon as he knew who God was. -

So you, my dear children, if you will now do as
Samuel did, may be as happy and as honoured as
he was ; may hear God talking with your soul; may
enjoy his loving presence, and grow up to be useful
and respected. You may not indeed be ‘prophets,
but I hope some of you will be ministers, and be great
blessings to the church and the world by preaching
the gospel, and saving souls from death.

And ‘God not only honours the dives of those who
serve Him in their early years, but honours them ix
death, by bestowing his grace upon them, and giving
them a heaven-like happiness.

Thus died a little Italian girl, whose name was
Carlotta. As two merchants, one of whom was an
infidel, were one day leaving an eating-house, a strain
of soft music came through an open door ; and it was
so marvellously sweet, that they followed the child who
was singing it, and asked her to sing some more for
them. She was very poor, and was wrapped up in a
patched cloak and a patched hood, and her little shoes
were full of holes ; but her father, who was an organ-
man, was sick, and she had come out to beg some
money to keep them from starving.

Her first song was that-beautiful one:

“There is a happy land,
Far, far away,



go THE CHILD-PROPHET.

When she had finished it, the infidel said to her,
‘Where did you learn that song?”

‘In the Sabbath school, sir, was her answer.

‘And you don’t suppose there is a happy land, do
you?’ asked the man, who tried not to believe in
heaven or hell.

‘I know there is, said she, quietly and decidedly,
‘and I’m going to sing there. My mother said so.
She used to sing to me until she was sick ; then she
said she wasn’t going to sing any more on earth, but
up in heaven.’

The two men pitied the poor little girl and followed
her home, and gave her some shoes and some money,
and promised to go and see her again. About a month
afterwards they went together to the gloomy home of
the organ-man, and found that he was dead, and that
little Carlotta was very sick.

‘I wish I could sing for you,’ said she, ‘but it hurts
me. It won’t hurt me up there, will it?? They asked
her if she had heard of Jesus. ‘Yes,’ said she, ‘ good
Jesus ;’ and when the men began to weep, she said,
‘Don’t cry—don’t cry; J can't cry, I'm so glad.
Glad to get away from here. I used to be so cold in
the long winters, for we didn’t have fire sometimes ;
but mother used to hug me close, and sing about
heaven, and tell me if I was his, the Saviour would
love me and give me a better home. And so I gave
myself to Him; and oh, I shall simg there, and be so



THE CHILD-PROPHET. 91

happy! Christ sent a little angel in my dream—
mother told me He would, and that angels would carry
me up there.’ Then she was still for a little while ;
but presently the hands moved—the arms were raised
—the eyes opened and turned upward. ‘See, see!’
she cried; ‘oh, there is mother, and there are the
angels, and they are all singing—all singing’ Wer
voice faltered—her arms fell—but a heavenly bright-
ness lingered on her face ; and they knew that her
spirit had gone to join her mother and the angels.

Can you wonder that even the strong infidel was
melted before such a scene? He had resisted every-
thing else—men had talked and pleaded with him in
vain ; but ‘there, by the bedside of the little child, his
hard heart was softened, and he knelt down with his
friend, and prayed that he too might have the same
faith and hope that had enabled Carlotta to die in
such happy triumph.

Oh, my dear young friends, may this faith and hope
be yours—that you, too, may say, ‘I’m going to sing in
heaven!’ May the God of Samuel be your God! may
his holy, blessed childhood and youth be yours ! and
yours his heavenly home!

seiten









THE TREASURE FINDERS.

“I love them that love me, and they that seek me early shall find me. —

Prov. vith 37,

“Go thou in life's fair morning,
Go in the bloom of youth,
And dig for thine adorning
‘The precious pearof truth.
Secure this heavenly treasure,
‘And bind it on thy heart ;
And let no earthly pleasure
Ber cause it to depart.



Go while the day-star shineth,
Go while thy heart is light,
Go ere thy strength declineth,
‘While every sense is bright
Sell all thou hast, and buy it,
*Tis worth all earthly things:
Rubies, and gold, and diamonds,
Sceptres and crowns of kings.”



|O you know what it is that is worth more
than choice silver and fine gold; that is
better than diamonds and rubies, and all
kinds of costly gems; and so very precious, that ‘all
the things that may be desired are not to be com-
pared to it?’

@)



THE TREASURE FINDERS. 93

It must be some very great treasure, you will say, if
it is more valuable than anything else that we could
wish for.

And so it is. Suppose that all the mountains that
are in the world were made of gold, they could not
buy it, or make us half as rich as this can. Or, sup-
pose that you had all the pleasures that there are in
the whole world, they could not make you half so
happy as this can make you. And yet, precious,
lovely, costly as it is, it is offered to you all ‘without
money and without price.’

* What is it? what is it? 1 think I hear you ask.
If you will open your Bibles and read the eighth
chapter of the book of Proverbs, you will there learn
all about it.

In that chapter it is called-‘ wisdom,’ but I think
you will not read it all through without seeing that
this is only another name for @ Person, who speaks to
us so often in God’s word—/Jesus Christ.

Now, see how earnest Christ is. In the first three
verses, He says that He ‘standeth in the top of the
high places, by the way, in the places of the paths ;’
‘crieth at the gates, at the entrance of the city ;’ that
is, everywhere, where there are people to listen to Him.
And what does He say? ‘Unto you, O men, I call;
and my voice is to the sons of men.’ But He does
not stop with calling men and women: He also
says, ‘Hearken unto me, O ye children, for blessed are



94 THE TREASURE FINDERS.

they that keep my ways.’ Do you ask, Why are they
blessed? The last two verses answer the question,
and show us the reason of our Saviour’s loud, earnest
call: ‘For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall
obtain favour of the Lord; but he that sinneth
against me wrongeth his own soul: ad/ they that hate
me love death. And in the seventeenth verse He
says (and I want you to think, as you read it, that
these are the words-of the kind Jesus, who once took
little children in his arms and blessed them), ‘I love
them that love me, and ¢hey that seck me early shall
Jind me.

Now, I wish to show you three things:

I. Why you ought to seek Christ.

II. How you must seek Him, And

III. Why you ought to seek Him early ; that is,
while you are young.

I. I suppose I need not take much time to tell
you why you ought to seek Him, for every Sabbath
scholar knows that we cannot be happy in this world
or the next without Jesus Christ. But I am so
anxious that you should all give your hearts to the
Saviour zow, that I will try to give you some reasons
why you should do it.

One of these reasons is contained in those sweet
words of Jesus, ‘7 love them that love me? Is it not a



THE TREASURE FINDERS. 95

pleasant thing to be /oved by our parents and friends?
How unhappy we should be, if nobody loved us or
cared for us! But what a delightful thing it must be
to know that Jesws Christ loves us,—Christ the Son of
God,—Christ, the great King of heaven and earth,
who is so powerful that He is able to give us all that
we need for the body or the soul,—Christ, who is so
good that He is always making his friends happy, and
answering their prayers, and refusing them nothing
that is good for them,—Christ, who is so ¢rwe, that
He never promises anything that He will not perform,
—Christ, the Zviend of sinners, who gave Himself, Ais
own life, that with his blood He might wash away our
sins ; and who opens for us the pearly gates of heaven,
that we may enter and be for ever happy! Oh! to
be loved by Christ is to have the best- Friend, the
sweetest pleasures, the greatest riches, the surest
hopes, and the brightest glories that can be found in
earth or heaven! And should you not seek Him as
your friend, your Saviour, when He can become all
this 40 you? Should you not love Him with all your
hearts, when He so loves you that He has given
Timself for you? .

I wish that every child and youth could love Him
as a little girl of six years did, who died a few years
ago. When they told her that she was dying, she
asked her sister to read to her from the Bible about
Christ's blessing little children; and then she said,



96 THE TREASURE FINDERS.

‘Mow kind! I shall soon go to Jesus; He will soon
take me up in his arms, and bless me “00, and no
disciple shall keep me away.’ Her sister kissed her,
and said, ‘Do you love me?’ ‘Yes, my dear,’ she
replied; ‘but do not be angry if Z Jove Jesus better!

Another reason why you should seek Christ is, that
you are sinners ; and Christ takes the wicked heart and
washes out all its stains, and makes it ‘ whiter than
snow.’ You must have your sins forgiven, or you can
never wear a crown in heaven; and none.but Christ
can forgive them. And He can give you a heart to
love and serve Him in this world, and to praise Him
for ever in the place which He has prepared for them
that love Him.

II. But I hear some one asking, ‘ How shall I seek
Him? Jesus Christ is away up in heaven, and I am
on the earth: if I seek Him ever so hard, how do I
knowsthat I can find Him ?’

A lady and gentleman who were travelling, one
evening lost their way. Coming to a cross-road, they
saw a guide-board. The gentleman got out; and
though he could but just see, yet, by going close up
to the board, he made out to find a Wirection which
helped him to find his way to the place he wished to
visit. Now, suppose he had refused to look at the
board, and had gone on blundering in the dark, and
had not found the place he sought all night: what



THE TREASURE FINDERS. 97

would you have said of him? Served him right. Just
so, Aman who is lost, and refuses to look at a guide-
board, deserves to wander a good while, as a punish-
ment of his folly. But would not such conduct be
just as foolish in boys and girls, and would not a long
tramp in the dark be a just punishment for them too?
I think that it would.

Now, you need not go long in the dark to seek
Christ. Zhe Bible is your guide-board. It tells you
which way to go; it warns yqu against bypaths and
wrong roads, against false guides, and pits and traps,
and other dangers. And it is not only a guide-board,
but a companion all the way, if you will only keep by
its side; and not only a companion, but a damp to
your feet, and a light to your path. Though it be ever
so dark all around you, it will lead you straight to this
Friend whom you seek—straight to the Saviour. And
more than this, Jesus Himself will elf you to find
Him, by putting his Holy Spirit in your hearts. He
will meet you more than half-way; and while you are
‘all trembling and anxious, lest you do not reach Him,
all at once you will hear his voice of welcome in your
hearts, and feel yourself taken in the arms and carried
in the bosom of the kind Shepherd.

Now look with me at this guide-board, and let us
try to read its directions. What does it say to us?
‘ Except ye REPENT, ye shall all likewise perish! “Here,

then, is the first step towards the Saviour. It looks
«



98 THE TREASURE FINDERS:

like a narrow, thorny path; but if it leads to Christ, ir
is, after all, pleasant. There are not many travelling
it, but we can see that those who are in it are Christ’s
people, while the crowds in yonder broad road are
his enemies; and who had not rather go in a narrow
road to heaven than in a broad one to hell? So let
us enter this narrow path. You will see, as you enter
it, that every one, like Christian in the Pilgrim's
Progress, has his burden, That is, all who repent
, feel weighed down under a sense of sin. Do you, my
dear young friend, feel this burden? Do you feel a
sorrow for your ‘sin and naughtiness? If you do not,
you are in the wrong path, and I fear you will be lost.
Oh, think, then, of that wicked heart of yours, and
confess its wickedness to Jesus, and then the burden
will roll off at his cross. For see, He stands in the
narrow way, and says, ‘Come unto me, all ye that
labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’
But look again at the guide-board. What is this
that we see? ‘BELtEve on the Lord Jesus Christ, and
thou shalt be saved’ A little child once woke up in
the night, and found that the house was on fire. He
was away upstairs, and his father slept below; and
he saw that the stairs were all in flames, and he could
not get down. What should he do? He ran to the
window, and there he heard his father’s voice, though
he could not see him in the crowd; and the father said,
‘Jump, my child, and I will catch you. The little boy



Full Text





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LITTLE CROWNS.


LITTLE CROWNS,
*

AND

HOW TO WIN THEM.

By

REV. JOSEPH A. COLLIER,

AUTHOR OF ‘YOUNG MEN OF THE DIDLE’

EDINBURGH:
WILLIAM P. NIMMO.
1873-
CONTENTS,

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THE CHILD-KING.

“Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign.'—
2 CHRON. XxxIV. 5

“These are the crowns that we shall wear,
When all thy saints are crowned ;

‘These are the palms that we shall bear
‘On yonder holy ground.

‘Then welcome toil, and care, and pain
‘And welcome sorrow, too !

All toil is rest, all grief is gain,
‘With such a prize in view.





‘Come, crown and throne! come, robe and palm !
Burst forth, glad stream of peace !

Come, holy city of the Lamb!
Rise, Sun of Righteousness ?



[RREGRIHAT boy has not sometimes wished that he
ANE might become a ing, and live in a splen-
pabisal} did palace, all shining with gold and gems?
What girl has not thought how grand it would be
to sit on the throne of a gucen, with her satin, and
diamonds, and glorious crown, which, like the wish-
ing-cap of the old fairy-tale, would be the means

of fulfilling all her desires? Now, I am going to
(2)


8 THE CHILD-KING.

tell you, before I get through, how you may ail
wear crowns, if you will only take the pains to win
them.

I wish to tell you a true story about a child who
was king in Jerusalem, and who sat on a golden
throne, and wore a golden crown, when he was only
eight years old, is name was Josiah. His father,
Amon, was a very wicked man; and as the Bible
says that ‘the wicked shall not live out half his
days,’ so Amon was killed when he was but twenty-
four years old. ‘Then the people put the crown
upon the head of his little son, and made him their
king. He lived in the beautiful palace, and had a
great many servants, horses, and chariots, and every-
thing else that this world can give to make a child
or a man happy.

But the best of all was this: he had ¢wo crowns.
The people gave him one, and God gave him the
other. The one was bright and dazzling as it rested
upon his little head; the other, more grand and
glorious, he wore upon his heart. The one was
seen and admired by men; the other, unseen by
men, was yet more beautiful to the eyes of God
and the holy angels. What was this offer crown?
It was #iety,—goodness of heart, love to God and to
man. Without this, all the crowns and kingdoms
in the world could not have made him happy. With
this, he would have been every inch a king, even
THE CHILD-KING. 9

though he had walked the streets of Jerusalem in
the rags of a beggar.

How did he get this other and better crown?
One would suppose that the son of wicked Amon
would not have been a very good boy; for bad
fathers are apt to have worse children. But Josiah
had a pious grandfather, whose name was Manasseh,
who had died only two years before. No doubt he
had often taken the dear child upon his knee, and
told him about good King David, and about God
and heaven. Josiah did not forget the sweet lessons
he had been taught, but ‘while he was yet young,’
as the Bible tells us, ‘he began to seek after the
God of David, his father.” He sought Him ‘early,
and he sought Him earnestly; and we know—for
God has said so—that they who seek Him early
shall find Him, So the little king found God, and
when he found Him, he found his brightest crown.
For we read that ‘he did that which was right in
the sight of the Lord ;’ that, like a good missionary,
he broke down the altars and images of the heathen
idols, which the people worshipped; that he had
God's beautiful house, which was fast going to ruin,
put in good order; and that he had the people
taught out of the Bible, and did all that he could
by his prayers, his tears, and his labours, to make
every one around him love and serve the true God,

What a noble life a man can lead, who begins to
10 THE CHILD-KING.

seek after God when he is a child! But at last,
like all other kings, Josiah died. He could no
longer wear the earthly crown. But his other crown
grew brighter and brighter, and he has been wearing
it ever since in heaven, and he will always wear it, for
it has become ‘a crown of glory that fadeth not away.’

I have said that there is a way by which all chil-
dren may become kings, and wear crowns. What.
kind of crowns? Are they made of gold and jewels?
No; but of something that is more precious than
gold, and more beautiful than gems and diamonds.
And are they just the size for little heads? and may
any one wear them that pleases? Yes, they are of
all sizes—even for the smallest; and here let me
whisper a secret in your ear—the smallest crowns are
always the best, That is, the sooner you win and
wear one, the brighter it is sure to be. =

I. One of these crowns is Self-Government. Oh,
how bright and beautiful it is upon the head of a
child or youth! It needs no gaudy glitter of jewelry ;
for it has the ‘ornament of a meek and quiet spirit,
which in the sight of God is of great price’ It is
nobler to wear this than to be king over many cities
and empires ; for the wisest king who ever lived has
said, ‘He that is slow to anger is better than the
mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that
taketh a city.’
THE CHILD-KING. 11

I will show you this crown, by telling you a little
story of a king who began to reign when he was ten
years old. He became a Christian, and had a new
heart, and loved the Saviour. But his younger
brother, who was only eight years old, did not believe
that his heart had been changed ;—and how do you
think he tried to find out whether his brother was a
Christian? Why, he remembered that whenever he
used to tread on his brother's toes, or plague him in
any way, he would at once become very angry and
begin to fight him. So, every time he could get a
chance, he would slyly kick him, or strike him, or
pinch his arms, and then watch to see his face turn
red, and his eyes flash with anger. But with all that
he could do, he could not make him mad. Why was
this? Because he had learned to rade his spirit, and
to be king over his angry passions, which before that
had been king over Zim. No doubt there was many
a little struggle in his breast; but it was,the struggle
for his crown ; and every new triumph over his temper
put a new gem into that crown, and made it shine
brighter and brighter. And this was the way that he
began to reign when he was ten years old.

Now, when his little brother saw that he did not get
angry any more, it was like seeing the glory of the new
crown upon his heart ; and then he began to seek
after it too, and to seek after God until he found Him;
and then there were /zo little kings in that family.
12 THE CHILD.KING.

This, then, is what is meant by ruling the spirit.
It is to govern that busy crowd of thoughts, feelings,
passions, wishes, which, like a great multitude of
people, or like the different parts of a kingdom, dwell
together in the empire of your heart. That heart,
until it is changed, is full of all sorts of evils, such as
anger, fretfulness, pride, malice, and envy. Every
one of these tries hard to become your master. See
that boy who has lost his temper, and who is fretful
and peevish at everything around him. He is like a
king who has thrown away his crown; and all the
wicked passions in his breast are fighting together to
see which one shall have it, and rule over him. But
is it not much better that he should be their master
than that they should be his?

‘Bertie, dear Bertie, will you not say good night to
me?’ pleaded the sweet voice of his sister Minnie, as
she wound her arms lovingly round his neck.

*No, he replied angrily, pushing her away from
him.

“Come, now, Bertie, do forgive me, and let us kiss
and be friends ; will you not, Bertie, dear?’

He did not answer, but only looked sulkily out
of the window. Minnie’s blue eyes filled with tears.
‘You know I did not spoil your kite on purpose, dear
brother,’ she said; ‘but it is my bed-time, and if you
will not forgive me, I must pray to God ;’ and the
child left the room. Five minutes after, she was
THE CHILD-KING. 13

knecling in her little chamber praying. ‘Dear, kind
Saviour, she said, ‘do, please, make dear Bertie
forgive me. Iam so sorry I made him angry, but I
did not mean to do so. Pour into his heart thy
Holy Spirit, and let him love me again ; and may he
grow up a great and good man, and be a comfort to
dear mamma. Dear Jesus, please hear me, though I
am a wicked, sinful child, and make us live very
happily together on earth ; and when Thou seest fit,
grant that we may meet at thy great white throne,
where all is peace and love, and join dear papa in
singing Glory, glory, glory!’ After this prayer, she
fell into a sweet sleep.

But Bertie did not sleep well that night, for his
conscience troubled him. Early in the morning he
went to ask his sister’s pardon. Alas! MJinnie was
dead, *Oh,mamma, mamma,’ cried Bertie, ‘ will she
never speak to me again? Shall I xever, never see her
more?”

‘I trust so, my boy. Dear Minnie is only gone
before. Will you not try to walk in her footsteps ?”

‘Oh, I can never go to her, mamma; I am a
naughty, wicked, selfish boy, and she was so good
and gentle. Mamma, I would not say good night to
her last evening ;’ and he hid his face on his mother’s
shoulder, and cried as if his heart would break.
Then mother and child knelt down together by the
cold form of little Minnie, and prayed, oh, how
14 THE CHILD-KING.

earnestly! that God would help Bertie to govern his
temper. And soon Bertie found this crown, and he
grew up to be a good and great man. But never
could he think of his last words to his little sister
without reproaching himself bitterly.

Now, remember, dear children, whenever you are
tempted to be angry, that you may say or do that
which you will mourn over as long as you live.
Remember that to lose your temper is to throw away
your crown; but that to be mild, and loving, and
forgiving, as Jesus was, is to be a true king or queen.

II. Another crown is Wisdom. What does King
Solomon say about wisdom? ‘She shall give to thine
head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she
deliver unto thee.’

“A crown of glory!’ What little head would, not
love to wear it? But this is a crown that is worn
inside the head—not on the outside ; and its bright
jewels are knowledge, prudence, and humility. See
that poor boy who works hard all day at making
shoes. In front of him is fastened a book, and while
his fingers toil so swiftly for his daily bread, his mind
toils in patient study; and all the time the things
which he learns are weaving themselves together into
a bright crown of wisdom, that shines in everything
that he says or does. The people see it and admire
it, and ask him to govern their affairs, and the little
THE CHILD-KING. 1s

studious shoemaker becomes the great Rager Sher-
man, of whom many of you have heard or read.
Only think of it, dear children ; when you feel like
staying from school, or neglecting your lesson, you
are throwing away the precious crown of wisdom,
without which you never can become truly great or
honoured in this world.

But is this the whole of the crown that I am now
speaking of? No; it has a still brighter jewel, for
Solomon says again, ‘Zhe fear of the Lord is the
beginning of wisdom.’ It is a great thing to have
the mind filled with all other kinds of knowledge ;
but the best crown of all is to know, and love, and
serve God. For this reason, no other book can
make you so wise as ‘he Bible can make you. Read
it every morning and night, study it, pray over it,
saying, ‘O Lord, open Thou mine eyes, that I may
behold wondrous things out of thy law!’ If you
do this, you shall behold things wonderful indeed—
crowns, thrones, diadems, for yor. And then God
will take the pure crown of piety, and place it upon
your heart, and make you as happy as any king
can be. For it is the voice of heavenly Wisdom,
waiting to crown you, that says, ‘I love them that
love me, and they that seek me early shall find me.

III. Another crown is obedience to God. But 1
hear you say, Kings are masters, and not servants.
16 THE CHILD-KING.

Still, it is a more glorious thing to obey God than
it would be to govern all mankind; for at the day
of judgment Christ will say to all those who have
served Him here: ‘ Well done, thou good and faith-
ful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few
things, I will make thee ruler over many things;
enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’ But before
we can reach that joy, we must humbly bow our
heads, and let the King put upon them this crown
of obedience to Him. I suppose some children
think that this is more like a chain or fetter than
like the crown of a king: it comes so hard to obey
God in all things. But this is only because they
have not learned to Jove God; for, to his friends
and children, his ‘yoke is easy,’ and his ‘burden
is light.’

Let us learn a lesson about this from the angels.”
They obey God always; and do you think that they
are unhappy? A Sunday-school teacher, who was
talking with his class about that part cf the Lord’s
Prayer which says, ‘Thy will be done on earth as
it is in heaven,’ said to them, ‘You have told me,
my dear children, what is to be done—the “will”
of God; and where it is to be done—“on earth ;”
and how it is to be done—‘“as it is done in heaven.”
Now, how do you think that the angels and the
happy spirits do the will of God in heaven ?”

The first. child answered, ‘They do it directly ;’
THE CHILD-KING. 17

the second, ‘They do it diligently ;? the third, ‘They
do it always ;’ the fourth, ‘They do it with all their
heart ;’ the fifth, ‘They do it all together.’ Here
there was a little pause, and no other child ap-
peared to have an answer; but, after some time, a
little girl, who had been thinking deeply, said, ‘Why,
sir, they do it without asking any questions?

And she was right; for this is the true way to
mind what God says, without asking ‘why?’ or
‘when?’ or saying, ‘I don’t want to do it now’
If you would be happy as an angel, then, just as
soon as you know what God commands you, do #,
no matter what may happen.

IV. Another crown, beautiful and bright as if it
had come straight down from heaven, is that of Love.

It Aas come down from heaven; and oh! how
sweetly it shines when God sets it on the forehead
of a child! It is not, as you may suppose, an ix-
visible crown, for it seems to let out its soft light
from the heart through all its little windows. It
sparkles in the eyes; it glistens in the smile; it
beams in the actions; and it makes the homeliest
face radiant as the face of an angel. It lights up
the most dreary home, and makes it beautiful and
pleasant; and if this crown were to be taken away
from the hearts that wear it, this world would be

a great deal darker than it is.
B
18 THE CHILD-KING.

This crown has wo great jewels, that are brighter
than the most famous diamonds ever worn by king or
queen. These are Love to God, and Love to one another.

Nothing can be more precious than dove to God
and Christ. Does it seem hard to love God, whom
you cannot see? Let me tell you how you may do
this. A little girl was once talking with her mother
about those kind words of Jesus, ‘Suffer little chil-
” and she asked, ‘ Does “come
unto me” mean dying, mamma?”

‘Don’t you love and think a great deal about your
papa, when he is away?’ asked her mother.

“Yes, mamma; I feed full of papa sometimes,’
answered Jessie, ‘I love him so dearly.’

‘It is not necessary to see and be with him to love
him?’

*No, mamma ; for he is in my heart really,’ said the
little girl.

«That is what the Lord Jesus means when He asks
you to come to Him. It is not to go where He is, in
body; but it is to love Him, have your heart fud/ of
Him, that makes Him near to you, and you near to
Him. And it is so sqwee¢ to come to Him, for He
forgives our sins, and takes away our naughty wil-
fulness, and helps us correct our faults, and makes us
love to do right, and love each other and everybody.’

«Then I want to come to Jesus. J wasn't guile
ready to leave you and papa, whispered the child.

dren to come unto me ;
THE CHILD-KING. 19

Now, this is just what God wants you to do, to fee
full of your heavenly Father, and let Him have so
much room in your heart that you will love Him
more dearly than any tongue can tell. If you have
this love, you will be king indeed ; for God will love
you, and bless you, and give you the kingdom.

What is the other jewel in this crown of love? It
is shown to us in those words of John, ‘ Little children,
love one another? Once a dear little girl was asked,
«What makes everybody love you so much?’ ‘I
don’t know,’ said she, ‘unless it is because I love
everybody.’ Was it not a beautiful and true answer?
So, let your hearts be brimful of love to everybody,
and you will be surprised to find how the glory of
this crown-jewel will shine out upon every one who
comes near to you, and will make them all your
friends. Then you will do good to others, and
they will do good to:you ; and this love to God and
one another will make a little heaven wherever
you go.

V. I must tell you of one more crown ; and it is as
* bright as all the others melted into one can make it—
‘ the crown of glory that fadeth not away.

No earthly eye has seen it; for it is so dazzling
that these eyes would be blinded by the sight. No
mind of man has dreamed of its wondrous glories ;
for it is grander and more beautiful than these minds
20 THE CHILD-KING.

can bear to think of. I could describe to you the
crown worn by the queen of this country, or by the
emperor of France ; but no words can tell the splen-
dour of that crown which many a child is now wearing
in heaven. I can only say that it is a crown of
Victory ; for they to whom it is given have conquered
sin and Satan and the grave. It is a crown of Life;
for they who wear it shall never die any more. It is
acrown of Righteousness ; for it shows that all guilt
has been washed from the heart by the blood of
Jesus. And it is a crown of Glory ;—but what do
you or I know about the glory that ‘ shad/ be revealed ?”
We must wait for the hand of death to uncover it to
us. Yet sometimes the glory seems to shine just a
little across the dark valley.

A few years ago a large factory fell to the ground,
and a great many poor women and children were
buried under it. Among these were three littie Irish
girls, who had learned some of the sweet hymns
which they had heard at the Sabbath school, and had
also taught them to their little friends. They lay
under the fallen timbers, unable to move, when
suddenly a fire broke out near them, and they knew
that they would be burned to death before any help
could come. What did they do? They commenced
singing with all their might—

“TI want to be an angel, and with the angels stand ;

A crown upon my forchead. a harp within my hand,’
THE CHILD-KING. 21

Sweetly their voices rose above the crackling of the
flames, as they sung through all the hymn ; and then
they were heard again singing joyfully—

‘We're going home to glory)

until their voices were silenced by death. No, not
silenced ; for as their spirits went up in that chariot of
fire to heaven, and bowed before the throne to receive
their crowns of glory, although those on the earth
could no longer hear them, the angels heard them
singing ‘the song of Moses and the Lamb.’

Now, dear children, who wants a crown? I think
I hear many little voices answering, ‘I, and ‘I,’ and
«I Well, are you ready to begin to win them?
Josiah began to reign in Jerusalem when he was eight
years old ; but you, though you may be ever so young,
may begin ¢o-day to wear the crowns of self-govern-
ment, of wisdom, of obedience, of love, and may wear
at last in the New Jerusalem the crown of life and of
glory. But to win these ‘crowns, you must do as
Josiah did. ‘ While he was yet young, he began to
seek after God.’ Then seek Him now, with all your
hearts ; for He says, ‘They that seek me earZy, shall

find me.’
A


THE SHEPHERD.

"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the tans with
his urms, and carry them in his bosom.’—Isa. x. 11.



* Great Shepherd of the sheep,
‘Who all thy flock doth keep,
Leading by waters calm,
Do Thou my footsteps guide

To follow by thy side:
Make me thy little lamb,

J fear I may be torn
By many a sharp set thorn,
‘As far from Thee I stray +
My weary feet may bleed,
For rough are paths which lend
Out of thy pleasant way.

But when the road is long,
‘Vhy tender arm and strong
‘The weary one will bear :
And Thou wilt wash me clean,
‘And lead to pastures green,
Where all the flowers are fair,

Till, from the soil of sin,
Cleansed and made pure within,
Dear Saviour, whose I am,

‘Thou bringest me in love
To thy sweet fold above,
A little snow-white lamb?
(2a)
THE SHEPHERD. 23

LATELY saw a very beautiful sight—a flock
of sheep fed by their shepherd. And I did
not go to the fields or the hills to see it: it
was in God’s house—in those very seats where you
so often sit. Oh, how delightfiil it was! They came
there tired, and hungry, and thirsty ; and the shepherd
spread for them a glorious feast ; and while their
mouths fed upon the bread and wine, their faith
(which might be called the sozl’s mouth) fed upon the
body and blood of Jesus, that is, received Him to
their hearts as their own crucified Saviour; and they
went away satisfied and refreshed. And I thank God
that there were some dear lambs of the flock there
too, and that the great heavenly Shepherd fed them
as well as the sheep at his table.

But now it is the dambs’ turn; and I hope that
while I talk with you, the great Shepherd will feed
your souls with sweet, precious truths—yes, with





angels’ food, and take you in his strong arms of love,
and press you so close to his great, kind heart, that
you will be able to understand what the prophet
Isaiah means in this beautiful verse. As you look at
it in your Bibles, and try to find out what it means,
you will be likely to ask three questions about it :—

I. Who is the Shepherd here spoken of ¥
Il. Who are the lambs?
III. What is meant by the Shepherd's gathering
24 THE SHEPHERD,

the lambs with his arm, and carrying them in his
bosom ?

I hope you will all listen while I try to answer
these three questions.

I. First, then, Who is the Shepherd?

A great many years before this verse was written,
a boy, whose parents lived in Bethlehem in Judea,
was sent by his father to tend his flocks of sheep in
the pasture. He soon came to love the sheep, and
to love the lambs as they frisked and played about
him, and ate the tender grass out of his hand ; and as
he grew up to be a young man, he took great care of
them, kept them from wandering away or being killed
by wild beasts, and loved to find out the greenest
pastures, and the purest, stillest waters for them, and
was in every way a good, kind shepherd. But God
called him away from his flocks, and made him a
king. Yet David did not torget how he had tended
the flocks, and he thought to himself, Just as I was to
my sheep, so the Lord is to me. And then he wrote
and sang that sweet psalm: ‘ Zhe Lord is my Shepherd,
I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green
pastures ; He leadeth me beside the still waters.’

A long time after this, God looked down and saw
that his people were straying away from Him, and He
said, ‘I will both search my sheep and seek them
THE SHEPHERD, zs

out’... ‘And I will set up one Shepherd over them,
and He shall feed them,’ And then again God said,
through the prophet Zechariah, ‘Awake, O sword,
against my Shepherd, . . . smite the Shepherd, and
the sheep shall be scattered.’ What! does David say
that ¢ie Lord is his Shepherd, and then another say
that He is to be smitten—killed? What does this
mean? Now, if you will turn to the book of John,
you will find out; for there you will hear Christ say,
‘I am the good Shepherd. . . .. The good Shepherd
layeth down his life for the sheep.’ And because
Jesus is God, and yet was crucified for man, you will
see that David was right, and Zechariah was right too,
and that they both pointed, just as Isaiah points in
our text, to the Lord Jesus Christ ; and, therefore, that
He is the good Shepherd who feeds the flock, and
takes such tender care of the little lambs. So your
first question is answered.

II. Your second question is, Who are the lambs?

Let me answer this by telling you a short story.

‘There was a little girl whose name was Anna, who
was called a good girl, and was very much loved.
She tried always to please her parents, and to be
kind to those about her, and always remembered her
prayers morning and night. But Anna had not yet
given her heart to the Saviour, though her mother
often told her of Jesus, and hoped and prayed that
26 THE SHEPHERD.

she might early learn to love Him. One day she
brought home from the Sabbath school a book called
The Lambs of Christ's Flock, At this time Anna was
seven years old.

As her mother read it to her, she seemed to swallow
every word of it, and would often ask, ‘Am I a lamb
o: Christ’s flock?’ and as her mother read on, she
would ask again and again, the scalding tears rolling
down her face, ‘Am I a lamb of Christ’s flock,
mother?’ Her mother told her she hoped that she
would become one ; but this did not satisfy her. ‘Am
I one now ?’ she asked.

“Anna,’ said her mother, ‘your heart is full of sin ;
you must give your sinful heart to God, and ask Him
for Christ's sake to wash it from its sin.’

‘How shall I give my heart to God? Do please
tell me how to give my heart to Him. I would give
my heart to Him, if I only knew how,’ said Anna.

‘Give it to Jesus, just as it is, dear child. Tell Him
it is wicked and full of sin, and ask Him to cleanse it
in his own precious blood.’

‘But I am so wicked,’ said the child, ‘I am afraid
Jesus will not receive me.’

‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,
—to save you, my child,’ said her mother ; ‘you must
give up al/ to Him?

So several days passed away before little Anna
found any peace ; but every day she wept and prayed.
THE SHEPHERD. a7

She wanted, oh so much! to be a lamb of Christ's
flock.

One afternoon Anna came to her aunt; the tears
were all gone, and her eyes were beaming with joy.
“ Auntie, she said, ‘I feel so Aafpy ? Her aunt asked
her what made her feel happy. With reverence she
answered, ‘It is God, auntie, He has given me a
new heart, and I can trust Him now.’ Every night
when she went to rest, the tears would fill her
eyes, as she said, ‘Oh, mother, I am airaid I have
done something wrong to-day.’ She was afraid to
sin even in thought, and tried in all things to please
Jesus, for she felt that now she was his own dear
lamb.

Ves—the children who love the Saviour are Chiist’s
lambs. Zhe church is his great flock that He is all
the time tending; and, like every other flock, it has
its Zi#tle ones who belong to the same Shepherd, and
need his tender care.

And they are not only called lambs because they
are young and small, but because they are weak and
ignorant, What can be more helpless than a little
lamb when any danger is near, without its shepherd?
If a wolf or a bear break into the fold, it cannot resist
him or run away from him, but must be devoured.
It is the same with you, dear children: you ate weak,
and there are many dangers all around you, and what
can you do without Jesus? Why, the strongest sheep
28 THE SHEPHERD.

in all the flock can do nothing without Him, and how
can the feeble Zambs ?

And suppose the lamb gets dos, and strays away
among the mountains, can it find the way back alone?
Oh, no ; it is ignorant and foolish, and if the shepherd
does not go after it and bring it back, it will be sure
to perish. Now, how is it with these Awan lambs?
Isaiah says, ‘All we like sheep have gone astray ;?
and you know that wherever the sheep go, the lambs
are sure to follow. David says that we go astray as
soon as we are born. By this he means that even
young children are wicked and sinful; that they go
away from God, away from their Shepherd, away from
the pleasant pasture grounds of sweet, heavenly truth,
away into paths of sin, and danger, and death—and,
like the lamb lost in the mountains, you cannot find
the way back alone. If the Shepherd Jesus does not
seek you out, and take you in his arms, then you will
never reach the sweet fields of heaven, where the
Saviour leads his flock to living fountains of water.
But Christ has come ‘to seek and to save that which
was lost ;’ and when He hears a child praying ear-
nestly to Him for help, and confessing its wicked-
ness, it is like the lamb bleating for its shepherd, and
He takes it up in his arms, and folds it to his bosom,
and then that child is Christ’s lamb, and does not
wander any more.

But there is another thing in which good children
THE SHEPHERD. 29

are like lambs. Did you ever see a lamb guarrel or
fight? No; how gentle, and kind, and loving they
are! If they could speak, I am sure they would not
“utter an angry word. And this is one reason why
Jesus is called the Lamb of God—because He is so
meek and forgiving. When you read the story of his
death, does it not make you think of what the prophet
said: ‘He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and
as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth
not his mouth?? Now, as it was with Him, God's
Lamb, so it should be with those children who are
Christ's lambs. But I have seen boys and girls who
were more like wolves and tigers,—so quarrelsome
and fretful, that they make themselves and all around
them miserable.

And how obedient the lamb is! how it follows the
good shepherd wherever he leads it; for it knows
his voice. So Christ's lambs will follow and obey
Him, and they are never so happy as when they
are close by his side or in his arms.

Jil. I have answered your second question—Who
are the lambs?—and there is only one question left:
What is meant by the Shepherd’s gathering them with
his arms, and carrying them in his bosom?

1. One thing that it means is, that He will protect
them from all danger. One day, when David was
tending his flock in a place near the woods, suddenly
3° THE SHEPHERD,

there came a great lion, and scized a lamb in his
teeth, and ran off with it; and I suppose that in a
very few minutes he would have eaten it up. What
did David do? He started after the lion and smote
him, and caught the lamb out of his mouth. And
then the lion, who was very angry, sprang with all
his might upon David. But David was strong, and
the Lord was with him, and he caught the lion by
the mane with one hand, and with the other he killed
him with his spear, and then carried the lamb back
safe and sound to the pasture. Was not that a brave
and noble deed?

Now, suppose that this minute just such a great
fierce lion should come and seize one of these dear
lambs, and carry it off to eat—how frightened we all
should be! But there is one who is worse than a
lion, and stronger than any of the wild beasts you
have ever seen at the menagerie. You cannot sce
him, nor hear him roar; but he wants to seize you,
and take you away to his awful den, and devour you.
I mean that terrible being who, the Bible says, ‘goeth
about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.’
It is Satan, who wants to destroy us all, and wi do
it too, if God don’t prevent him. I am sorry to say
that there are some who seem hardly to know or care
whether he has them or not. Just as Dr. Livingstone,
in Africa, was once overtaken by a lion, who threw
him down, and he said that, somehow, while the lion's
THE SHEPHERD, gl

great paw was upon him, he lost all fear, and hardly
cared whether he was eaten alive or not; but pre-
sently the lion was shot by another man, and he was
glad enough to escape. So I sometimes think that
when this great destroyer has his paw upon the breast
of a man or child, they, somehow or other, though it
scems very strange, do not think of their danger.

But will Christ let him seize and carry off one of
his lambs? Oh, no; He will do as David did,—He
will snatch away the dear child, even if it is already
in Satan’s mouth, and take it up, all weak and trem-
bling as it is, and let it rest upon his bosom, where
no beast of prey can ever harm it. For Christ has
fought with Satan and conquered him. He has done
more for you and me than David did for his lamb,
for He has laid- down his life for us that He might
deliver us from all evil.

2. Another thing that Christ does for his lambs, is
to feed them.

Once there was a miser (a hard-hearted, cruel man,
who had a great deal of money, but who had not
learned how to enjoy it by making other people
happy), who was overtaken by a violent storm of
snow ‘and wind, and he stopped at the door of a
miserable little cottage that he owned, for shelter.
But he did not go in; and, while he stood there, he
heard two children talking together.

“1 am hungry, Nettie,’ said one of them.


32 THE SHEPHERD.

“So am I)’ said the other. ‘I’ve been looking for
some potato parings, and I can’t find any.’

‘What an awful storm!’ said the first one.

“Yes,’ said Nettie; ‘the old tree is blown down.
I think God took care it didn’t fall on the house; if
it had, it would have killed us.’

And if He did that, couldn’t He send us dread?”

«I’m sure He could. Let us pray, “ Our Father,’”—
and when we come to that part about dread, stop till
we get some.’

So they began, and the miser, shivering outside,
listened. When they said, ‘Give us this day our
daily bread, and stopped, expecting, in their childish
faith, that the bread would come, a kind feeling stole
into his mind, and his heart was touched and softened.
He had bought a loaf at the village, and he opened
the dopr very softly and threw it in, and then listened
to the children’s cry of delight.

“It dropped from heaven, didn’t it?’ said the
younger.

“Yes, said Nettie; ‘I shall love God for ever,
He is so good! He has given us bread because we
asked Him.’

‘We'll ask Him every day, won’t we? Why, I never
thought God was so good,—did you ?’

“Yes, I always thought so, was Nettie’s answer ;
‘but J never quite knew it before.

The storm passed, and the miser went home a
THE SHEPHERD. 33

better and happier man; and when, a few weeks
afterwards, he died, he gave the little cottage and
garden to the father of these praying children. And
the little children ever after felt a sweet and solemn
feeling when in their prayers they came to those
words: ‘ Give us this day our daily bread’

- But Christ's lambs have sou/s to be fed as well as
bodies. You remember the story of Peter, who
denied his Lord, and was afterwards very sorry for
it. One day Jesus said to him, ‘Lovest thou me?’
‘Yea, Lord,’ he said, ‘Thou knowest that I love
Thee.” Then Jesus said to him, ‘feed my lambs.
What did He mean by this? Why, that Peter, and
all Christ’s ministers, and all who love Christ, should
feed the souls of the dear children—that is, teach
them about God and heaven. And how can we feed
them? Why, out of the Bible; for the Biblé was
made for the children as well as for the fathers and
mothers. And this is what your teachers are doing
in the Sabbath school, and your mothers at home,
and what your pastor is doing when he preaches to
you. Do you know that the word pastor means
‘shepherd’? That is, the minister is a kind of under-
shepherd, feeding and tending the sheep and the lambs
for Christ. And so the church is your pasture ground,
and the Saddath school is your pasture ground, where
the good Shepherd feeds you. But, oh! remember

that if the lamb does not eat the tender grass, it will
&
34 THE SHEPHERD.

do him no good, but he will grow lean and poor, and
then die. So you must receive all this sweet truth of
the Bible (David calls it ‘sweeter than honey’) into your
minds and hearts, must learn it, and often think of it,
and never forget it, or your souls will starve and die.

3. Another thing that the Lord Jesus does with his
lambs is, zo take them in his arms to heaven when they
die, How beautiful those words of David are, in the
23d Psalm, where, after speaking of the ‘green pas-
tures’ and ‘still waters,’ he says, ‘ Yea, though I walk
through che valley of the shadow of death, 1 will fear no
evil: for Thou art with me; thy rod, and thy staff,
they comfort me !’

Do you know, dear children, that you must all pass
through that valley? I look forward, and see you
lying upon beds of sickness, the roses fading out of
your Cheeks, and the eyes that now sparkle so brightly,
growing dull and heavy, and your voices, that now
sing so sweetly, becoming silent. And then, though
the sun may shine, and the flowers bloom as brightly
as ever, you will not see them, nor see the faces of
your parents, brothers, and sisters ; but you will be in
the dark valley of death. When this will be, no one
knows except God; but I know and you know that
many little feet enter the valley. Oh, how sad it
would be for any of these dear children to have to
pass through it a/one, with no shepherd to uphold and
comfort them!
THE SHEPHERD. 35

But Jesus does not leave his lambs to go through
the valley alone; for while He dads the sheep with
his rod and staff, He takes the weak little lambs right
up in his arms, and presses them close up to his great,
warm, loving heart, and keeps them there till they are
safe out of the dark, in the sweet light of heaven,
where ‘everlasting spring abides, and never withering
flowers.’ And what a happy thing it is not to be
afraid to die; but to say to Jesus, ‘2 will fear no evil,
for Thou art with mel Now, if you will give your
hearts to Christ, you will be able to say this.

There was once a class of little girls about four
years old, in a Sabbath school, who learned for their
lesson the 23d Psalm; ‘The Lord is my Shepherd.’
A little girl, who was much younger than they, and
could not speak plain, heard some of them repeat
it at home, and thought that she must learn it too.
So they said it over to her till she knew it all by
heart ; and she loved it so much that she could hardly
think or speak of anything else all that day. When
her mamma came home, she repeated it to her, and
said, ‘Mamma, do you know about the little lambs
when they go through the valley ?—it is all dark, and
the Shepherd takes them up in his arms and carries
them.’ In a little while she gave all her heart to
Jesus, and felt that she was one of his lambs, and
that she loved her Shepherd, and the Shepherd loved
her. One day she said, ‘Jesus died for us, and we
36 THE SHEPHERD.

ought to love Him, and we do love Him,—don’t we,
mamma?’ And she would often throw her arms
around her mother’s neck, and say, ‘Now tellsme
about Jesus!’ One day her mother heard her saying
earnestly, ‘Go away! go away!’ and asked her whom
she was talking to. ‘I was telling Satan to go away,’
said she; ‘and I told Jesus, my Shepherd, to come
to me.’

After two short years from the time she had learned
the little Psalm, Clara passed through the dark valley.
Was she afraid? No; she feared no evil; but with
a happy smile kissed her father and mother, ‘Good-
bye,’ and her spirit sprang into the arms of Jesus, and
nestled lovingly upon his bosom. And although many
tears fell over that cold little form, her parents knew
that her soul was safe through the valley, and that
they should meet Clara again upon the other side.
Yes,

“The pearly gates were opened,
And glowing seraphs smiled,

And with their tuneful harp-strings
Welcomed the little child.

They shouted, “ High and Holy t
‘A child has entered in !

And now, from all temptation,
A soul is scaled from sin.”

they led her through the golden streets,
On toward the King of kings,

While the glory fell upon her
From the rustling of their wings.
THE SHEPHERD, 37

The Saviour smiled upon her
As none on earth had smiled,

And heaven’s great glory shut around
The little eaith-born child,

On earth they missed the little one,
‘They sighed, and wept and sighcd,
And wondered if another such
As theirs had ever died.

Oh, had they seen through those high gates
Tie welcome to her given,

‘They never would have wished their child
Back from her home in heaven 1’

Dear children, will you not become the lambs of
Christ, that He may protect, and feed, and comfort
you while you live, and make you happy with Him
for ever? Oh, how glad Jesus would be to take
you up in his arms and bless you! Hark! do you
hear that voice? Listen a moment with the ear of
your heart, Is not some one calling you? Don’t
you hear Jesus saying, ‘Suffer little children to come
unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the king-
dom of heaven?’ ‘I love them that love me, and
they that seek me early shall find me?’ /¢ és the
good Shepherd, asking you to become his lambs!
Why don’t you fall right into his arms and sing,
© The Lord is my Shepherd?

In the Gospel by Luke, Jesus tells us a beautiful
parable about a man who had a hundred sheep, and
one of them strayed away and was lost. What did
38 THE SHEPHERD,

he do?—leave it to die? No; he left all the rest
of the flock, and hastened over the hills, and through
the valleys, until at last he found it, and put it on
his shoulders, and carried it all the way back. Then
he called his neighbours and friends together, and
said to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found
my sheep which was lost.’ Now, Jesus explains this
parable by saying, that in the same way there is ‘joy
in heaven over one sinner that repenteth.’

So, when one of these children becomes Christ’s
lamb, the Lord Jesus says to his holy angels, ‘ Rejoice
with me, for I have found my lamb which was lost!’
and then they all strike their golden harps, and sing
together—oh! how sweetly—over the glad news that
a child has given its heart to God.

Oh that they and we could have such glad news
to sing over now! And shall we not?




THE CROWNED FLOCK.

‘Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you
kingdom—Luxe xii. 32.



*A little flock! So calls He the,
Who bought thee with his blov
A little flock, disowned of men,
‘Rut owned and loved by God.





But the chief Shepherd comes at length}
‘Thy feeble days are o'er :

No more a handful in the earth,
A little flock no more.

No snore a lily among thorns,
Weary, and faint, and few;

But countless as the stars of heaven,
Oras the early dew.

Unfading palms they bear aloft ;
Unfaltering songs they sing :
Unending festival they keep,
In presence of their King’

HN a great wild desert, which is full of howling
beasts, there lives a little flock of sheep
and lambs. They often tremble for fear
that they will be torn in pieces by the fierce lions and

tigers that roar angrily around them, and glare on
G9)


40 THE CROWNED FLOCK.

them from their dens; but they press close up to the
Shepherd’s side, and are safe from harm. And, strange
enough, these sheep and lambs are a// princes; for
their Shepherd is also a King, and He has a crown
and a kingdom for every one of them. How wonder-
ful! Who ever heard of such a thing as sheep and
lambs wearing crowns ?

Now, you will understand what I have said, when
I tell you that the great desert is this world, and the
wild beasts are Satan and wicked men ; and the little
flock are those who love Jesus Christ, and their king-
dom is heaven, So that our text means just this,—
that although Christ’s friends are very few and small
and weak, and there is a great deal to make them
afraid, yet they must not fear, because their heavenly
Father will be sure to give them the kingdom.

Although these words were spoken by Jesus to a//
his disciplts, whether old or young, I remember, as I
look at them, that He once took children in his arms
and said, ‘Of such is the kingdom of heaven ;’ and I
know, from that sweet saying, that He means this
message just as much for the damds as for the sheep.
And so I think I now hear his kind voice saying to
you who are his friends, ‘ Fear not, little flock, for
it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the
kingdom.’

Those children that love the Saviour are a ‘/itile
flock’ of Jesus. They are not only small and weak
THE CROWNED FLOCK. 41

and tender, but are also little in szmers as well as in
size. Although there are a great many children in
the world, how few there are who love and obey God!
I wonder how many of the dear children who read
these pages can say, from the heart, ‘The Lord is my
Shepherd.’ Only a very few, I fear, though I wish
you could ad do so; for none are so happy as the
little flock of Christ. As I have already shown you,
they have many pleasures and comforts here ; but
the best of all is this—that they dte to be crowned
with such glory hereafter.

I. As we now listen together to the Shepherd's
kind voice, let us look, first of all, at the precious gift
of the Father which He here tells us of: ‘It is your
Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

You see that Christ does not here say, ‘@ kingdom,’
nor tell what kind of a kingdom it is, nor where it
is; but says, ‘¢4e kingdom,’ as if there were only one
worth having, and as if his disciples knew all about it
already. What, then, can it be, and where is it to be
found?

You will not find it on the map of this world. You
will see there the kingdoms of Great Britain, and
Spain, and Italy, and the empires of France, and
Austria, and Russia; but the kingdom of Christ’s
little flock is greater and more glorious than all those
of this world would be if they were put together.
42 THE CROWNED FLOCK.

For it is the Ringdom of heaven, where the Lord Jesus
Christ has his splendid throne at the right hand of
God the Father, and where all Christ’s friends shall
live and reign for ever. The Bible tells us much
about that land of beauty and of glory: how every
one who is there is crowned with a golden crown, and
plays on a golden harp, and sings the song of Moses
and the Lamb ; how they are all clothed in white robes,
and carry palms of victory—just as the children in
Jerusalem waved the branches of the palm trees when
they sang, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David ;’ how the
streets are of pure gold, and the walls of precious
stones, and the gates of pearl; how there are no tears
there, no pain, no darkness, no sin, no death; and
how the bright, beautiful angels, with their shining
wings, and their sweet voices, make every heart glad,
and fill the soft air with their music. It is the
‘Father's house, where there are ‘many mansions,’
and where Jesus has gone to ‘prepare a place’ for all
who love Him, and where He is leading, step by step,
all his ‘little flock.’ Oh,

‘Beautiful Zion, built above }

Beautiful city that I love !

Beautiful gates of pearly white !
Beautiful temple—God its light !
‘There shall my eyes the Saviour see—
Haste to this heavenly home with mel?

“Well, I don’t know that I was made for anything,’
said a poor little girl one day, when she thought she
THE CROWNED FLOCK. 43

was alone by the roadside. She had a miserable,
drunken mother, and her brother, who should have
been kind to her, was very ugly and cruel, And the
tears trickled down, like an April shower, under her
little sun-bonnet that she tried to pull over her face
to hide them. The birds were singing about her, and
the sun shining, and the little brook running over the
stones, and the flowers giving their sweet perfume,—
all seemed made for something, excepting her, she
thought. And she went on sobbing to herself,
‘Mother says I’m always in the way, and always
xood for nothing, and Will scolds me all day;
maybe I was not made for anything. I don’t see
what I was sent into the world for, then. I wish
I never had been.’ And she sat down on a mossy
bank by the side of the road, and cried as if her
heart would break, as she said, ‘The birds and
everything are made for something; why wasn't I?
No, I was not made for anything.’

* Yes, little one,’ said a voice above her, ‘you were
made for something. You were made to be an angel
in heaven?

What voice was that? Was it an angel sent down
from God to comfort the poor girl? No; it was
akind lady; yet one whom God had sent to cheer
his weeping lamb. The little girl turned her sad face
toward her, and said, ‘Mother says I was not made
for anything.’ ¢ But you are,’ said the lady ; ‘you are
44 THE CROWNED FLOCK.

made to be a little angel in heaven.’ ‘ But where is
heaven ?’ she asked. ‘Can I go there now?’

And then the lady told her all about that happy
place; and how the blessed Jesus had left his throne
of glory, and came down upon earth, and took little
children in his arms and blessed them; and how He
died a cruel death, that they might become little
angels in heaven.

Then the little girl dried her tears and smiled,
as she asked, ‘And can I be a little angel too?
Oh, how I should love to be one, and to see Jesus!”
The lady told her she could, if she would love
Jesus; and she gave her a Bible, that told her all
about heaven, and how she could get there; and
when, after that, her cruel mother called her ‘a
good-for-nothing thing,’ and said she was ‘not made
for anything,’ she would say softly to herself, ‘Yes,
I was made to be a little angel in heaven.’ And
when, sometimes, she went to bed cold and hungry,
she would look up to the stars; she thought they
were bright, just like heaven, and that perhaps the
angels were looking down upon her, and would some
day come and take her away, to be an angel too, in
heaven.

And so you, dear little flock of Jesus, were ‘made
for something,-—made to be angels, made to wear
crowns of glory; and if you love the Lord Jesus,
and pray to Him, you may always look up beyond
THE CROWNED FLOCK. 4S

the stars, and, no matter what may trouble you, may
hear the Saviour’s voice saying to you, ‘Fear not,
little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to
give you the kingdom.’

II. But I think I hear one of you saying, How
shall I get there? It is such a great, and glorious,
and holy kingdom, and I am so poor, and weak, and
sinful! Well, let me now show you, in the second
place, how, if you love Christ, heaven becomes your
kingdom, What says our text? ‘It is your Father's
good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’

To ‘give’ it? Why, then we have not got to duy
it, or to earn it in any way. If your father makes
you a present, although it may have cost him ever
so many dollars, all you have to do is to reach out
your hand and take it. So heaven is a Father's gift,
and Jesus Christ is a gift; for ‘God so loved the
world as to give his only-begotten Son, that whoso-
ever believeth on Him might not perish, but have
everlasting life’—that is, might have the kingdom
of heaven. All the riches in the world are not
enough to buy one of those crowns or harps; all
your good actions could not buy it; nor all your
tears, although you should mourn over your sins
for ever. But the blood of Christ, which is more
precious than all worlds, has bought heaven for our
souls. The good Shepherd has laid down his life
46 THE CROWNED FLOCK.

for the little flock, and for the Shepherd's sake it is
the Father's good pleasure to give to that flock ‘the
kingdom.’ All, then, that you have to do is to come,
with sorrow for sin, and with faith in the Lord Jesus,
and ¢ake the glorious gift. If you wait to earn it, you
must wait for ever.

‘There was once an Indian and a white man, who
both began to seek after heaven at about the same
time. The Indian very soon had a good hepe of the
kingdom ; but the white man was a long time without
any hope at all. One day they met, and he said to
his Indian friend, ‘How was it that you found com-
fort so much sooner than I did?’ ‘Oh, brother,’ said
the Indian, ‘me tell you. There come along a rich
king. He say he give you new coat. You look at
your coat and say, “I don’t know; my coat pretty
good: I think it will do a little longer.” He then
offer me new coat. I look on my old blanket. I
say, “This good for nothing.” I fling it right away,
and take the beautiful garment. Just so, brother,
you think you pretty well off; you want to buy
heaven with your goodness; but I, poor Indian,
nave nothing, and so I glad to take it all as a gift.’

Yes; we must all come like that poor Indian,
having nothing—must come just as we are, not wait
ing to become any better, and let God give us the
kingdom.

For, you see by my text that He does not give it
THE CROWNED FLOCK. 47

because we are good and holy, but because of his
* good pleasure ;’ because He thinks best to give it,
And is it not a delightful thought that it is a pleasure
to God to give away the crowns, and robes, and harps
of heaven to his poor little flock, and that He is just
as happy in giving them as we can be in receiving
them?

III. And ought not this thought to fake away all
our fears? Oh, how comforting are these two words
of the Shepherd to his little flock, the children of the
kingdom, ‘ Fear not!’

‘There are many things in this world that are apt to
make the lambs of Jesus tremble. There are sorrows
and trials that almost break the heart ; and Satan, like
a roaring lion, tries to devour us before we reach the
kingdom ; and the river of death looks dark and
frightful, and we sometimes almost fear that we can
never get to that ‘shining shore.’ All this shows how
true Paul’s words were, when he said that ‘we must
through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of
God.’ But do we need to be afraid? No; for we
have an almighty Father, and it is his good pleasure
to give us the kingdom, and nothing can prevent Him
from doing his pleasure.

Then fear not. ‘The flock may be ever so ‘little,’
but God is very great ; and heaven may seem a great
way off, but your Shepherd is very near; and the
48 THE CROWNED FLOCK.

way may seem hard and thorny, but Christ will give
you strength to travel it. And when death comes
you may look up to the Shepherd, as David did, and
say, ‘I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.’

A little girl, whose name was Lillie, stood looking
up to the sky when the sun was setting. The clouds
were all gold and crimson, such as you have some-
times seen ; and she said to her mother, ‘ How beauti-
ful! oh, how I should like to be away up there with
the angels!’ The mother looked up and answered,
“Yes, darling, the cloudg are very beautiful to-night.’
«But, mamma,’ said Lillie, ‘do you know what makes
them beautiful? Ido; it is because the angels are
in them; and I was just thinking that when I died,
maybe I would look right down here, mamma, some-
time, upon you. Say, don’t you think I will?’

And then she said, ‘Mamma, I want to be au
angel ; but I don’t want to die, as little Bessie died,
and be put into the cold ground. You won't let me
die, and be buried up, will you mamma ?’”

And the mother wept as she answered, ‘ When the
Saviour calls my little lamb, I shall have to give her
up. You would be willing to go to Jesus, and never
be sick any more, wouldn’t you, darling ??

9 Yes, mamma, if He would take me right up to the
beautiful sky ; but oh, mamma, I don’t want to be put
into the ground !’

The mother kissed her trembling child, and said,
THE CROWNED FLOCK. 49

‘Don’t you remember the little dark root which you
saw me plant here in the spring?”

“Yes, mamma, I do; it came up with two lovely
green leaves, and it grew up into this tall shrub, which
-has so many beautiful flowers upon it.’

‘So,’ said the mother, ‘we must die and be buried
up in the cold ground, that our spirits may rise up as
the flowers do above the earth, in beauty and purity,
to heaven. If we do not die, my child, we can nevet
go to heaven to live with Christ and the angels.’

The child looked for an instant upoh the flowers,
and then exclaimed, with a bright smile, ‘Oh, mamma,
I do not feel afraid now to die and be buried up in
the ground, because I shall rise up far more beautiful
than I am now, to live away up in the blue sky with
Christ and the angels.’ And when at last her blue
eyes closed in death, she whispered, ‘Mamma, I am
not afraid to be put into the ground, for I am going
to be an angel.’

Ah, it was the Shepherd’s kind voice that spoke to
little Lillie, and said to her secret soul, ‘ Fear not,
for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the
kingdom.’

I will close with the story of another of Christ’s
flock who was not afraid to die. He was a poor little
boy who had to work in the coal mines for a living.
One day the gas in the mines took fire, and blew up

everything around it, and the workmen were buried
D
50 THE CROWNED FLOCK.

under the great stones that it threw upon them, The
people at the top went straight to work to find their
dead bodies, and among them they found this little
boy. There was a painted tin box by his side, and a
rusty nail; and on the box were these words, which he
had scratched there with the nail in the dark, when
he felt himself dying : ‘ Fret not, dear mother, for we
were singing while we had time, and praising God.
Mother, follow God more than ever I did.’ On the
other side of the box he wrote, ‘Johnny, farewell !
Be a good boy to God and thy mother.’

When his mother read those words, she knew that
her dear boy was not afraid to die.

Oh, dear children, Christ can take away this and
every other fear from every one of you, if you will only
become the lambs of his little flock! Will you not do
so, that we may go on together to the kingdom, so
that when at last, ‘the dead, small and great, shall
stand before God,’ we may all, parents and children,
teachers and scholars, pastor and people, hear that
voice, ‘Come, ye children of my Father, inherit the
kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the

world?”


THE STRONG GUIDE.

‘Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My Father, Thou art the Guide
of my youth f’—Jerenran iii, 4.

“Take thy staff, O pilgri

Haste thee on thy wa:

Let the morrow find thee
Farther than to-day.





If thou seek the city
Of the Golden Street,
Pause not on thy pathway,
Rest not, weary feet.

In the heavenly journey
Press with zeal along?

Resting will but weary,
Running make thee strong.’



INCE there was a little boy, only five years
old, who had disobeyed his mother. After
he had gone to bed at night, she went softly

to his room to talk with him about it ; but she found

that he had been thinking of his wicked heart, and
felt very sorry for what he had done. For, as soon as
he saw her coming, he said, ‘ Mother, I wish I was in
heaven,’ ‘Why so, my dear boy ?? asked his mother.
(so)








52 THE STRONG GUIDE.

* Because,’ said he, ‘ then I should 2zow that I should
go to heaven, and now I don’t know.’

And has not this thought sometimes crossed your
minds—what a sweet, happy thing it would be ¢o know
that when the short journey of life is over, and this
body dies, my spirit will rest for ever in God’s beauti-
ful home ?

Now a voice comes to you from that home in the
skies, and your kind, loving heavenly Father asks you
in my text to let Him lead you to the happy land.
You see He asks you a very solemn question ; and it
is one that He expects you each one to answer:
‘Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My
Father, Thou art the Guide of my youth ?’

I. That I may help you to answer this question, let
me show you, in the first place, ow much you all need
a guide,

When men are travelling in the far east, over the
burning sands of the desert (where there are no
railroads or stage coaches such as we have), they go
in caravans—that is, a great many of them together.
Sometimes there will be hundreds of persons, and
thousands of camels, that stretch out in a long line as
far as the eye can see. But whether there are many
or few, they are always sure to have one man going
before them, whom they call the Aybeer, or guide. If
any company of travellers should think of going over
THE STRONG GUIDE. 53

the desert without him, they would be as foolish as if
we were to try to travel in the railway train without
an engineer or guard, or in a ship without a captain ;
and they would be almost sure to get lost by the way.
This guide must be one who knows all about the
country through which they are to pass. He must be
able to tell when the dreadful simoom, or hot wind, is
rising, so that they may be able to prepare forit. He
must know where the sands are most firm, and where
they are shifting, so that the men and beasts may not
sink in them. He must know all about the wells and
springs by the way, where they may drink, and not
die of thirst; and where the little oases, that is, the
grassy resting-spots, are found. And he must be a
man who knows the tribes of Arabs, and can keep
them from robbing the caravan. Every one follows
and obeys this guide, until he has led them safe to
the journey’s end.

Now, I see before me a Jittle caravan—a company
of travellers. And where are you going? Zo eternity.
Some of these little feet have only begun the journey,
others have been longer on the way. Now and then
one has dropped down by your side, and you have
seen them no more ; they have reached the journey’s
end before you. But just as fast as the minutes fly,
you are all going on—on to another world.

And, like the travellers over the desert, do you not
need @ guid:? Oh, yes; for there are many dangers
54 THE STRONG GUIDE.

before you. There are many wrong paths that do not
lead to heaven, but lead far away from it; paths
pleasant to look upon, but oh, their end is misery
and death. See that boy who is breaking the holy
Sabbath, or who is learning to lie, or steal, or swear.
He has got into the wrong path, because he has xo
guide, See that girl who disobeys her parents, or who
forgets to read her Bible, or pray to God. She is in
the wrong path; she needs a@ guide. See that man
who is now in jail for murdering another man ; do you
think his hand could have done such a wicked thing,
if, when he was young, he put it into the hand of the
heavenly Father, and said, ‘Thou art the Guide of my
youth?’ And you are so weak, and Satan is so strong,
and he is trying so hard to lead your steps away from
God and heaven, and to trip you up, now by one sin,
and now by another—oh, those little feet cannot gs
alone through this wicked world to heaven. When
you try to look up and sing of that ‘happy land,’ do
you not have to say that it is ‘far, far away ?’—it
seems so distant, and sin and Satan are so near—it
seems so hard to reach, and the wrong way seems so
easy! :

Yes, my little pilgrims, you need, and we all need,
a strong, and loving, and wise Guide; one stronger
than any man, and who loves us so well that He will
take us by the hand, and never let us go away from
Him ; one who knows where the springs of living
THE STRONG GUIDE. 55

water are ; one who can lift you over the bad places,
and lead your tired feet to pleasant resting-spots, and
who can guide you to the heavenly home, and not let
you get lost by the way.

But is there anywhere such a guide as this for little
pilgrims? Yes ; and see, He offers himself to you in
our text, and asks you to make Him your guide.

II. I have shown you how much you all need Him ;
and now the second thing I wish to say is, that your
heavenly Father is just the Guide that you want.

Suppose you were in a strange place, a great way off
from your home, and some one you had never seen
or heard of before should offer to take you to your
father’s house. You would say, ‘Can I trust him?
How do I know but that he will deceive me, and take
me where I shall never see my father’s face again?’ But
if your father himself should come, then you would
feel safe ; and although the way might seem new, and
it might be so dark that you could not see where you
were going, you would only keep holding his hand the
more tightly, knowing that he would be sure to lead
you home.

It is the same with God. He is your Father in
heaven, and He comes down to your heart and says,
‘My poor, dear child, you are lost. You are a great
way off from your Father’s house. But I love you
still, and I want you to come to my happy home
56 THE STRONG GUIDE.

Give me that wicked heart, and I will make it good,
and fit it to live with angels. Only do as I tell you
to do, follow where I lead, and ¢rust me all the time,
and I will bring you safe home again.’

Can you not trust Him? Who knows so much
about heaven as God, who has always lived there?
Whose eye can so watch over you, and see every
danger in your way, and see everything that Satan
does to harm you? What arm is so strong to help
you in your weakness? and what heart is so kind and
pitying as that of the Father in heaven ?

Once there was a strong ship sailing over the ocean,
when a terrible storm came on. The winds blew, and
the great waves dashed hard against the vessel, and
the tall masts creaked, and the passengers were very
much frightened, for they thought that they were all
going down to the bottom of the sea. But one brave
boy was there, and the rest all wondered why his cheek
did not turn pale as the others’, nor any tears come
into his bright eye. They asked him if he was not
afraid of the dreadful storm. ‘No,’ said he, ‘for my
father’s at the helm? His father was guiding the ship,
and he trusted in that father’s skill, and felt that he
knew how to guide it right, so as to bring them all
safe to the shore,

Now, this life is a great sea, and we are all sailing
oyer it:

‘Out on the ocean all boundless we ride ;"
THE STRONG GUIDE. 57

but oh, are we all ‘homeward bound?’ 1 hope that
some of us are ; but that ‘ shining shore’ of heaven is
hard to reach, and none can get there who try to
guide the ship themselves. But if you can say, ‘ AZy
Father's at the helm, then, like the boy I have told
you of, you need fear nothing ; for He can guide you
through the waves, and though now you say—

« Wildly the storm sweeps us on as it roars :
Look ! yonder lie the bright heavenly shores !”

And soon you shall sing—

“Into the harbour of heaven now we glide,
We're home at last ;
Softly we drift o'er its bright silver tide ;
We're home at last !

Glory to God ! all our dangers are o'er,

We stand secure on the glorified shore !

Glory to God ! we will shout evermore—
We're home at last!”

Oh, blessed home for wearied souls! Oh, kind and
loving Father who guides us to it! Wilt thou not
from this time cry unto Him, ‘ Aly Luther, Thou art
the Guide of my youth P

‘Thus a dear little boy had learned to say to God.
He was very sick, and one night he saw something so
very beautiful, so like heaven, that when he told it to
his parents, they thought that God must have given him
a little sight of that happy world before he reached it.
He was very much delighted with what he saw ; but
while he was looking at it with his mind, there seemed
58 THE STRONG GUIDE.

to rise up some great mountains between him and
heaven, hiding it from his sight. This was very sad ;
but in a moment his face brightened up again, and he
said, ‘.4 strong man will carry me over the mountains ?
Ah! he knew that his Guide was with him, and that He
was strong enough to take his spirit right up over the
mountain of death to the happy home beyond. Then
he asked his father and mother to go up with him,
and threw his arms about a young friend’s neck, and
tried to lift her, as if he would pull her up with him
from this world to heaven. But it was not yet time
for her to go, although she followed him in a few
days ; and he went up alone—no, not alone, for Ais
Guide was with him, and the dear child was soon in
the bosom of its heavenly Father.

And there are many other children and youth who
have said to God, ‘Thou art my Guide ;’ and their
Father is leading them, a happy flock, ‘in ways of
pleasantness and paths of peace.’ They cry, ‘Our
Father which art in heaven ;’ and He says, ‘ Ye shall
be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.’
They cry, ‘Keep us from temptation, and deliver us
from evil ;’ and He sends his angels to encamp around
them, and sends his Holy Spirit to keep them from
sinning. And a great many of these children of God
are growing up to be holy men and women, and they
make one large, happy family, and God is all the time
bringing them home. Soon our turn will come. Oh,
THE STRONG GUIDE. 59

let us be ready, and let us feel every day that God
is guiding our feet to himself, Let us look up and
sing—
«T’'m a pilgrim and I’m a stranger,
I can tarry, I can tarry but a night.
‘There’s the city to which I journey ;
My Redeemer, my Redeemer is its light,
There is no sorrow nor any sighing,
Nor any tears there, nor any dying.’

III. But it is time that I tell you, in the third
place, How the Father guides his children through this
world to heaven.

Do you say, God is a great way off: I cannot see
his face, or hear his voice, or feel his strong hand in
mine—how, then, can He be my Guide?

It is true that you cannot see Him with these eyes,
nor hear Him with these ears ; but is not God all the
time speaking to the ear of your heart? Do you not
sometimes, when you feel like doing wrong, hear a
little voice in your soul that says, ‘Don’t you do it—
it's wicked?’ That is one of God’s voices. We call
it conscience. A man without a conscience would be
like a ship without a rudder, that goes just as the
winds and waves carry it, and that is sure to be
dashed to pieces. Oh, never disobey that voice
within you, for it is one of the ways by which God
tries to guide you to heaven!

But we want another and a stronger voice than this,
60 THE STRONG GUIDE.

and we have got it. How is God speaking to you in
my text? Why, out of he Bible. This is as much
God’s word to you and me as if we could see Him
here in all his glory, or stood before his throne and
heard it from his lips. And when you read in your
Bibles, ‘Remember now thy Creator in the days of
thy youth ;’ ‘They that seek me early shall find me ;’
and those words of Jesus, ‘Suffer little children to
come unto me,’—then God is showing you the way to
heaven. Oh, dove your Bibles ; read and study them
every day! Try to be /i// of the Bible, and it will be
to you just as it was to David, when he said, ‘ Thy
word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path,’
That is, if your way seems ever so dark, the Bible will
make it light again, and keep your feet from stumbling.

I wish you could love your Bibles as two little boys
did, who lived in London. Their father and mother
both died, and they had no longer any home. So
they put their clothes in two little bundles, and
started off to walk to Liverpool, a great many miles
away, where they had an uncle living. After they
had walked all day, they came to a lodging-house,
and asked the keeper if they might sleep there, for
they had no money to pay him with, But the smallest
of the two boys had a Bible in his pocket, and the
keeper said to him, ‘You have no money and no
meat. Will you sell me this Bible? I will give you
five shillings for it”
THE STRONG GUIDE. 61

‘The tears rolled down the poor boy’s cheeks, and
he said, ‘No; I'll starve first.’

‘Why,’ said the man, ‘do you love this Bible so
much? What has it done for you?’

And then the boy said, ‘When I was about seven
years old, I became a Sunday scholar in London. I
soon learned to read my Bible. It showed me that I
was a sinner, and a great one too. It also pointed
me to my Saviour, and I thank God that I have found
mercy at the hands of Christ.’

Then the man, to try him still further, offered him
six shillings for the Bible. ‘No,’ said he, ‘it has
been my support all the way from London. Hungry
and tired, I have often sat down by the way-side to
read my Bible, and have found refreshment from it.’

‘Well,’ said the man ; ‘but what will you do when
you get to Liverpool, if your uncle should refuse to
take you in?’ :

His answer was a noble one: ‘ My Bible tells me
that “when my father and my mother forsake me, then
the Lord will take me up.”’ Of course, the keeper of
the house gave the poor boys their lodging ; and the
next morning they set out early on their journey.

Now, just as this young traveller sat down by the
road-side, and found such comfort in the Bible when
he was weary, so you, ‘pilgrims and strangers,’ may
find sweet comfort in it all along your way to the
celestial city. Whenever you read its pages, your
62 THE STRONG GUIDE.

heavenly Father will talk with you, and show you just
the path in which He wants you to go. If you will
only love and obey your guide-book, it will be sure to
keep you in the way of life.

IV. But there are three very important words in
my text that we must not forget,—‘from this time.’
‘Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, “My
Father, Thou art the Guide of my youth”?’

What does this mean? Why, that you must not
wait till to-morrow, or next week, or next year, to
make God your Guide ; but that ow, just when God
speaks to you in his word, is the time to give your
heart up to Him, and say, Zhou art my Guide!

And why should you not do this? Can you give
any good reason why you should let Satan keep you
back from Him any longer? I know you cannot.
But I know, and you know, that there are the best of
reasons why you should come to Him to-day. Oh,
there are very many men and women who would tell
you that their most bitter sorrow is, that they did not
give themselves to God when they were as young as
you are! They feel as the poet felt, when he wrote
that prayer—

‘Restore my youth to me! O Ged, restore

My morn of life! Oh, Father, be my Guide,
And let me choose my path once more !’

But they cannot choose it again, for we have only one
THE STRONG GUIDE. 63

life here. But yow can to-day choose your path, and
choose your Guide. To-morrow may be too late.

God is waiting for your answer. What do you say?
Oh, ‘wilt thou not from this time’—yes, from this
moment—cry unto Him, ‘My Father, Zhou art the
Guide of my youth?




THE BRAVE CONQUERORS.

* And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind
Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery
furnac:

DANIEL tt, 20.



“This life is a battle with Satan and sin,
‘And we are the soldiers, the victory to win ;
And Christ is the Captain of our little band ;
Whatever opposes, for Him we will stand.
‘To God, for our armour, we'll fail not to go:
He'll clothe us with truth, and with righteousness too 3
‘The ‘gospel of peace? shall our footsteps attend,
‘The good ‘shield of faith’ from all harm shall defend.
‘Though little temptations (the worst ones of all)
‘Will often beset us, to make us to fall,
We'll ‘stand up for Jesus,’ and, when life is o'er,
For us He'll be standing on Jordan's bright shore.”

UPPOSE that some great wicked heathen
king should come with his soldiers to our









pleasant homes, and burn our houses, and



carry us away to his own country—taking these dear
children away from their parents, and the parents
away from their children, so that we should never
see each oiher’s faces any more—how very sad we all

should feel |
(64)
THE BRAVE CONQUERORS. 65

Now, if you read the first chapter of this book of
Daniel, you will find a very interesting story of four
little boys, who, when they were children, were carried
far away from Jerusalem, their home, to the great city
of Babylon, by the king, Nebuchadnezzar.

And what did he do with them? I suppose a great
many of the poor Jews were made servants and slaves,
and were very unhappy. They sat down by the rivers
of Babylon, and hung their harps upon the willow-
trees that grew along the banks, and wept when they
remembered Zion. They could not sing as they used
to do at home; for ‘ How,’ they asked, ‘ shall we sing
the Lord’s song in a strange land ?’

But this was just what God had told them would
happen if they did not obey Him. And do you not
think they felt sorry enough for their sins, when they
found themselves carried away into that strange,
wicked country ?

But what became of the four little boys ? I hear you
ask. Well, God took good care of them, for they had
learned to love God ; and, as they were very beautiful
and bright, they were taken right to the king’s house ;
and the king gave them wise teachers, and told them
to study hard for three years, and then come to him,
and he would find out by that time what they were
good for.

The three years soon passed away, and then came

their examination-day ; and when they stood before
z
66 THE BRAVE CONQUERORS.

the king, and answered the hard questions that were
put to them, he found them, the Bible says, ‘ten
times better than all the magicians and astrologers,’
that is, all the wise and learned men, ‘ that were in his
realm.’ And how did these boys come to know so
much? Ah! they were graying children : ‘ God gave
them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom’
They studied hard, and they grayed hard; and I am
sure that any boy or girl who tries to learn, and all the
time asks God for help, will grow up to be a wise man
or woman.

Now, one of tkese four boys was Daniel, the one
who was afterwards thrown into the lions’ den because
he prayed to God, and came out without being hurt ;
and the other three are the ones spoken of in my text,
who were thrown into a fiery furnace. And this is the
way it happened:

The kjng, Nebuchadnezzar, was what we call a
heathen—that is, one who worships idols that are
made by the hands of men, instead of worshipping
the true God—and so were all his people. Well, the
king had a great graven image made, all covered over
with gold ; and it was ninety feet high, so that it could
be seen a great way off. And then he had a band of
music standing near it, and told all the people that
when they heard the band playing they must fall
down on fhe ground and worship it ; and that if any
of them did not do this, they should be cast into a
THE BRAVE CONQUERORS. 67

burning fiery furnace. The people did not know any
better (poor souls, they had never heard about the
true God) ; and so, when the music sounded, they fell
flat on the ground and worshipped the golden image.
But did these three boys (who had now grown up to
be young men) bow down before it? No; they had
not forgotten the second commandment, which their
mothers had taught them when they were little chil-
dren ; and although they knew the king would be
angry, and have them thrown into the furnace of fire,
they stood right up upon their feet, for they feared
God more than man. And as soon as the king heard
of it, he called them before him, and asked why they
had not worshipped the image. But they were not
afraid, because they knew that they were doing right ;
and they answered him, ‘Our God whom we serve is
able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and
He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.’ Was
not that a noble answer? But the king became very
angry, and told his servants to heat the furnace seven
times hotter than it was before, and to throw these
men right into it. Oh, how awfully wicked and cruel
men can become who do not love and serve God!
Babylon was like ‘ the dark places of the earth’ that
David speaks of, which he says are ‘full of the
habitations of crue/ty. And oh! there are a great
many such places in the world now ; and I am glad
that you are every Sabbath bringing your pennies to
68 THE BRAVE CONQUERORS.

send them the Bible and the missionary, that they
may be made better, and taught to throw away their
images, and worship the true God. Give all you can,
oray all you can ; for there are a great many people
‘bowing down to-day befote idols that their hands have
made, and calling them their gods /

Did you ever look into the furnace where they
melt the hard iron, and see the hot flames blazing
so furiously, and the iron poured out like red-hot
water? I do not think you would like to go very
near to such a fire as that. And if any one were to
be thrown right into it, how awful it would be! Only
think of it—to be burned to death! Why, if you
happen to burn your finger, you think it is pretty
hard to bear; but it was not the hands or fingers,
but the whole bodies of these young men that were
cast into the furnace; and the fire was so hot, that
the men who threw them in were burned to death
for coming so near to it.

But what became of these three who were thrown
in? Iwill tell you. ‘The king came as near as he
dared to, and looked into the furnace, and saw a
wonderful sight. There they were walking through
the fire, the flames blazing fiercely all around them,
but neither their clothes nor their hair was even
singed by it; and most wonderful of all, though
only three were cast in, now there were fowr—and
the fourth was an angel of God. And then the king
THE BRAVE CONQUERORS. 69

told them to come out from the fire; and he wor-
shipped the God who had saved them, and told the
people that if any of them should say anything against
the God of the Jews, they should be killed; and he
made these three young men greater and more
honoured in his kingdom than they had ever been
before.

Now, there are several things that this story teaches
us,

I. The first is this: That we ought to serve God,
no matter what happens to us.

These young men might have said, ‘There cannot
be much harm in just bowing down to the ground
and rising again, if it will save us from being burned
to death.’ But they knew that it was wrong, and
conscience kept telling them, God says, ‘Thou shalt
have no other gods before me.’ ‘Thou shalt not
make unto thee any graven image.” ‘Thou shalt
not bow down to them, nor worship them’ And
this was enough; and if they had a thousand lives
to lose instead of one, they ought not to have dis-
obeyed the commandment of God.

But I have seen people, and perhaps you have too,
who were afraid to do what was right, for fear that
they might suffer for it. Not that there was any
danger of their being thrown into the fiery furnace ;
but then somebody would laugh at them, or be angry
70 THE BRAVE CONQUERURS.

with them; and all the time they do not seem to
remember that ‘ Ged is angry with the wicked every
day,’ and that it is very far better to please God than
man.

In a certain regiment there was a drummer-boy
only thirteen years old, who was also a Sunday
scholar, One day, when they were marching through
the streets, the captain saw a very beautiful flag
flying over a drinking-saloon, and he ordered his
men to halt and give it a salute. The boy had
always obeyed orders; but this time he thought the
salute was meant for the Alace as well as for the flag,
and he stood still, and not a single beat was heard
from his drum. The captain asked him the reason
of this. ‘Sir,’ said the brave boy, ‘I would not go
into such a place as that, and I cannot salute it.’
«My good boy,’ replied the captain, patting him on
the shoulder, ‘you are right and I am wrong.’ Now,
that boy might have been punished for trying to do
right, or some of the soldiers might have laughed
at him; but it made no difference, he felt that God
smiled upon him, and what more can any one want
than this ?

He was like another little boy in Turkey, who had
in some way got a New Testament, which he had
learned to read, and who had found his way to the
Protestant chapel, where he loved to go and hear
the missionary preach about Jesus Christ, But his
THE BRAVE CONQUERORS. wit

father was very angry with him, and turned him out
of his house, and told all his friends not to give him
any work ; so that the poor boy was without a home,
and had no way of earning any money to support
himself. His father told him that he would give
him a great many things—yes, everything he wanted
—if he would give up the Bible; but, although he
obeyed his father in everything else, he could not
do so in this, and all his answer was: ‘Christ has
said, “He that loveth father or mother more than
me, is not worthy of me.

He dared to do right, no matter what might happen.
He had made up his mind to serve God, even if he
had to beg his bread from door to door, and sleep

under the open sky. And I would say to every one
of you: Do what is right; obey God—obey this
gospel of Christ, even if it seems ever so hard.
Listen always to that voice of conscience in your
heart; and though your companions laugh at you
for trying to please God, and say many hard things
about you because you will not do wrong with them,
still, never mind: you will be happier than they can
be, and God will love you, and take care of you.

II. A second lesson that we may learn from our
text is: That religion makes us brave.

Did you ever hear of a braver thing than those
three young men marching right up to the mouth
72 THE BRAVE CONQUERORS.

of the furnace of fire, and letting the men throw
them into it, when they might have saved their
lives by bending their knees to the golden image?
Now it was religion that took away their fears. It
was their love to God, and their fear of sinning
against Him, that made them so brave. It was
this that took away all Daniel’s fear, when they
threw him into the den of lions. It was this that
made Stephen so calm and happy when they were
stoning him to death. And it has made many a
child brave enough to say oe, when Satan tempted
him to do wrong, and helped him to obey God and
to obey his parents,

I have seen boys, and men too, who had a very
foolish way of thinking that they were brave and
manly when they were not afraid to do wrong—to
swear, to drink, to break the Sabbath, or disobey any
other of God’s commands. But I have sometimes
thought that those wha do such things are great
cowards after all; for the fact is, there is something
they are afraid of, and that is to do right. And is it
not better and more manly to fear wickedness than to
fear goodness ?—to fear God than to fear man ?

Let me tell you a little story that will show what 1
mean by being brave. There was a good boy who
went off to sea in a great ship. Just before he went
away from home, his mother said to him, ‘ ever touch
@ drop of rum!’ Well, the other sailors drank their
THE BRAVE CONQUERORS. 13

rum every day, and when it stormed they drank all the
more, because they thought it would keep them from
taking cold; and they offered it to the boy, but he
always said, Vo/ One day it stormed very hard, and
they were all very wet, and they told him to take a
little, or else he might become sick and die, and still
the brave boy had courage to say, Vo/ But presently
one of the sailors said he knew Ze could make him
take a dram, so he tried very hard to do so; but he
would not touch a drop. And then that boy told the
old sailor of his mother’s words—‘ Never drink a drop
of rum ;’ and he repeated to him a great many texts
of Scripture to show that his mother was right (for he
had been a good Sunday-school scholar). The sailor
had never heard so much Bible in his life as that little
fellow poured into his ear, and all he could say was,
‘Your mother never stood watch on deck.’ But he
gave up his task, and when the other sailors asked
how he had succeeded, he said, ‘Oh, you can’t do
anything with him, he és so full of the Bible ?

Now that I should call a drave boy. He knew he
was right, and God knew it too, and God helped him
to say zo, and to keep saying it as often as they tried
to make him do wrong. A very little word that is,
but how few are brave enough to say it! I hope you
will all learn well that word, for you will often have
need to use it. They who belong to the ‘Sunday-
school army’ ought to be such heroes, that when any
4 THE BRAVE CONQUERORS.

of them are asked to do wrong, they will say, NO—if
it costs them their life.

About fifteen hundred years ago, when Christians
were treated very cruelly, and so many of them were
killed because they would not give up their Saviour,
there was a Christian man at Antioch whom they were
slowly murdering, telling him all the time that he must
worship their gods, or else they would tear his flesh
from his bones. At last, after answering their questions
a great many times, he told the judge that any little
child must see that it is better to worship one God, the
Maker of the heaven and the earth, and one Saviour,
who is able to bring us to God, than to worship the
many idols of the heathen. Now, when he said this,
the judge saw a little boy, eight or nine years old,
standing near by with his mother, and he pointed to
the boy and told the Christian to put the question to
him. He did so, and instantly the little boy answered,
‘God is one, and Jesus Christ is one with the Father.’
The wicked man then became very angry, and said,
‘This is a snare—you have told the child to come
here and give that answer ;’ and then turning to the
boy he asked, ‘ How did you learn this?’ The boy
looked up to his mother’s face and answered, ‘It was
God’s grace that taught it to my dear mother; and
when I sat upon her knee, a baby, she taught me that
Jesus loved little children, and I learned to love Him
for his love to us,’
THE BRAVE CONQUERORS. 13

Let us see zow what the love of Christ can do for
you,’ said the cruel judge; and immediately his ser-
vants seized him, and beat him with their sharp rods
till the blood streamed out. ‘What can the love of
Christ do for him now?’ asked the judge. ‘It en-
ables him to endure what his Master endured for him
and for all of us,’ answered the mother.

And then they beat the child harder than before,
and he asked, ‘ What can the love of Christ do ow ?’
And tears fell even from heathen eyes as the poor
mother, who must have suffered a thousand times
more than her poor boy, answered, ‘It teaches him to
forgive his persecutors.’

And the boy watched his mother’s eye as it rose
towards heaven for him, and he thought of the suffer-
ings of his dear Lord and Saviour; and when they
asked him whether he would deny Christ and serve
their false gods, he answered, ‘ Vo—there is no other
God but one, and Jesus Christ is the Redeemer of the
world. He loved me, and I love Him for his love.’

Then the poor child fainted under their blows, and
they threw the little suffering body into his mother’s
arms, and said, ‘See what the love of Christ can do
for him zow.’ And the mother pressed him gently to
her bleeding heart, and answered, ‘ That love will take
him from the wrath of man to the peace of heaven ;’
and so the poor boy died.

Now, was he not brave? and what made him so?
76 THE BRAVE CONQUERORS.

Nothing but re/igion—nothing but the grace of God
in his heart. And what the love of Christ did for
him, it can do for you and me. We may not have
to become martyrs for Christ, and to die for Him,
but we must all Zve for Him; and if we love Him
and pray to Him, He will make us so strong and
brave, that Satan cannot frighten us into doing wrong.
You may think that there is no chance for doing
great things ; but the boy or girl who tries hard every
day to do right in little things,—to be kind, loving,
patient, forgiving,—to speak no angry words, to do
good to everybody, and always obey God,—such an
one I call @ Hero; and it you will all give your
hearts to God, as the three children in Babylon did,
then God will Ae you as He helped them. He
will take care of you, and although you may not
see any bright angel walking with you among the
flames, or among the troubles by which Satan or
wicked people try to frighten you, still his angel
will be with you; for what says the Bible? ‘The
angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that
fear Him, to deliver them.’ And that angel will go
with you as long as you live; and what is still
better, God’s Holy Spirit will go with you. Then-
you will not be afraid of any troubles, for God’s
loving hand will wipe away your tears, and comfort
your heart when it aches and grieves. You will not
be afraid of any duty; for if you love God, it will
THE BRAVE CONQUERORS. 11

be harder to do wrong than to do right. You will
not be afraid to die; for Christ’s lambs and Christ’s
sheep can say to their Shepherd, when they go to
the dark valley, ‘Z will fear no evil, for Thou art
with me?’ You will not be afraid when ‘the dead,
small and great, shall stand before God’ at the
dreadful Judgment day, but will be able to say,
“Christ died for me;’ and then, instead of going
with the wicked to that lake of fire, which is a great
deal worse than the furnace in Babylon, you will
go to live with God and the blessed angels in glory.

All this religion can do for you, if you will only
give up your hearts to God.

And remember this: those three brave young men
I shave been telling you of, loved and served God
when they were little children. You may do the same ;
and oh, you will never have a better time to do it
than now / I pray God that He may help you to
begin today /




THE CHILD-PROPHET.

“And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel,
Samuel, Then Samuel answered, Speak ; for thy servant heareth’—1 Sam.
Im. 10.

“Children, hark ! the Saviour’s speaking

To you now:

Labourers in my vineyard wanting —
‘Who will go?

Who will say, as once did Samuel,
Here am I, _

Waiting, Lord, to do thy pleasure
Till I die?

‘Who will give their all to Jesus,
And receive

Ofhis grace a tenfold measure
While they live?

7 And when earthly toil is ended
Here below,
Wear a fadeless crown of glory:
Who will go?”

world than to have a pious mother; a mother
who loves the Saviour, and tries to make
her children love Him too; a mother who prays for

us, and prays with us, and leads us kindly to the Lord
(78)


THE CHILD-PROPHET. 19

Jesus, that He may take away our sins. A child or
youth may have ever so beautiful a house, and his
parents may be rich, and able to gratify all his desires ;
but if he has not a pious, praying mother, he is not
half so well off as many a poor child whom I could
name to you.

I can remember a great many things that have
happened since I was a little boy; but there is
nothing that I remember more plainly than the soft
low voice of my mother (who is now in heaven), as
she used to kneel by my bedside when I had gone
to rest, and pray that her child might grow up to
love and serve the Saviour. I seem to hear that
voice new, and I shall never forget it as long as
this heart beats.

Oh, thank God for giving to so many of you this
rich blessing! You do not know its value now ; but
you wz// know it when that kind voice is hushed, and
that loving heart is stilled in death, Then you will
wish, if you do not before, that you had obeyed her
kind counsels, and followed her good example.

Now, Samuel was blessed with such a mother.
Her- name was Hannah; and when he was but a
babe, she brought him up to the house of God and
gave him to the Lord, saying, ‘I have lent him to
the Lord; as long as he liveth, he shall be lent ta
the Lord.’ And God heard that mother’s prayers,
and took the child, and, young as he was, let him
80 THE CHILD-PROPHET,

remain in his house with Eli, who was then the high
priest. We do not know exactly what he did; but
we read that he ‘ministered to the Lord, by which,
I suppose, it is meant that he helped Eli about the
altar. And he did his work so well, that Eli per-
mitted him to wear a little linen ephod, just like
the older priests. It must have been a beautiful
sight—a little boy serving God in his house, and
helping to offer the sacrifices, and burn the sweet
incense, with which the church in those days wor-
shipped God. In these delightful duties, he grew
older and larger, and, the Bible tells us, was ‘in
favour with God and man.’

He was probably about twelve years old, when one
night, after he had lain down to sleep in his little bed,
which was near to Eli’s room (so that he could hear
him if he should call), he heard a voice saying,
* Samuel, Samuel’ Thinking it was the high priest
who called, he ran to him, and said, ‘Here am I, for
thou calledst me.’ But Eli said, ‘I called not; lie
down again ;’ and he went and lay down. Then he
heard the voice once more, and again ran to Eli; but
received the same answer, and returned to his bed’
again, not knowing what to make of it. But the
voice did not stop, and so a ¢hird time he stood
before Eli, and said, ‘Here am I, for thou didst call
me.’ And then Eli saw that the Lord had called the
child; and he told him to lie down again, and if he
THE CHILD-PROPHET. 8.

heard the voice, to say, ‘Speak, Lord, for thy servant
heareth.’

* Samuel, Samuel, once more said that strange voice ;
and when the child heard it, he said, ‘Speak, Lord,
for thy servant heareth’ And then God spoke to
him, and told him how wicked the sons of Eli had
been, and how their father had not restrained or
punished them, and told him how He would himself
punish them, and never forgive their great sin.

When morning came, Samuel said nothing of what
the Lord had told him, but went and opened the
doors of God’s house as usual. Then Eli told him
that he must not hide from him what God had said;
and so he told him all. And very soon it was all
fulfilled: for Eli's wicked sons were killed in a battle;
and Eli himself, when he heard of it, and was told
that the ark of God had been taken by their enemies,
fell back in his chair and died.

Thus Samuel, when but a small boy, became a
prophet of the Lord; and when he grew up, he
became one of the greatest prophets that ever lived.
I should like to tell you more of his history ; but

“I hope you will read it for yourselves in the
Bible.

Now, there are several things that this story of

Samuel teaches us.

I. The first is this: that i is a very happy thing for
“ F
82 THE CHILD-PROPHET.

children to be given up by their eon to the Lord, as
Samuel was.

A few years ago, a father and a mother stood in
the house of God, before the pulpit, with a little
babe in their arms. The minister solemnly addressed
them before the whole congregation, and prayed ear-
nestly and tenderly for that little one, that it might
be made one of the lambs of the Saviour’s flock ; and,
oh! how many hearts prayed with him. Then those
parents promised, before God, and angels, and men,
that they would bring up that child to love and serve
God ; and the minister sprinkled it with water, in the
name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
A few short years rolled on. God spared that child’s
life, and it grew, and began to attend the Sabbath
school, and learn the way to heaven. He cannot,
perhaps, remember the day when he was thus given

- to God; but his parents remember it, and God
remembers it, and I wish now to remind you of it;
for it is of you, my dear young friend, that I am
speaking—you are that child. For many of you have
been given to God just as Samuel was ; and the hearts
of your pious father and mother said, when the water
of baptism was sprinkled upon you, ‘I have lent him
to the Lord; as long as he liveth, he shall be lent to
the Lord.’

Do you ever think what was meant by your being
given to God before all the people? I will tell you.
THE CHILD-PROPHET. 83

You were given to Him #0 be saved by Him, and to be
used by Him,

First, 0 be saved by Him, because you are a sinner,
and have a wicked heart, and can never go to heaven
unless your sins are blotted out in the blood of Christ,
and your heart is changed for a new one that will love
and serve the Saviour. But do not think that your
being baptized will save you, or that your father’s or
mother’s prayers will save you, unless you yourself
repent of sin and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
God loves the dear lambs of his flock, and Jesus loves
them, oh! how tenderly, and has died for them, and
wants you all to become his children ;. but you cannot
become such unless you give yourse/ves—your hearts—
your all—away to Jesus, who now says to you, ‘My
son, my daughter, give me thy heart.

And then you were given to God, as Samuel was,
to be used by Him. Do you not think God has a right
to use you just as He pleases? He who made these
hands and feet, shall He not employ them in his
service? He who gave us these voices, shall He not
hear them in daily prayer and praise? He who gave
us these thinking minds, and these warm, loving
hearts, can He not claim them as his own? Oh, you
belong to God more than you belong to your parents,
yes, and more than you belong to yourselves. And
when you think of the hand that made you and pre-
serves you; when you think of your having been
84 THE CHILD-PROPHET.

solemnly given back to your Creator, ought you not
to feel, ‘Z am the Lord’s?? And what then? Why,
if ‘I am the Lord’s, then I must serve Him and obey
his will, and minister unto Him as Samuel did. I
must be holy, and be as much as I can like the angels
who ‘serve Him day and night in his temple.’

And here let me say that if you

“Want to be an angel, and with the angels stand,

‘A crown upon your forehead, a harp within your hand,’
as you often sing, in that beautiful hymn, then you
must do as the angels do—that is, live for God, and not
for yourselves, and serve Him with all your powers.

TI. For, another thing that the story of Samuel
teaches us is, that the youngest children may serve
God,

But, I hear some one asking, ‘Can we live, as he
did, in God’s house, and minister at the altar, in a
little linen ephod ? and can we hear God calling to
us as He called the little prophet? Oh, if we could,
how quickly we should answer, “Speak, Lord, for thy
servant heareth !””

Would you answer the voice of God so quickly if
it called aloud to you? Well, let me tell you that
although He does not now call young children to do
the work of his house as He did Samuel, He yet speaks
this very moment, and speaks at all times to every one
of you. He calls every child and youth—(yes, and
THE CHILD-PROPHET. 85

every grown person too)—calls you by his holy, word,
and calls by his Sfiri¢ in your hearts. Listen! do you
not hear Him? ‘ My son, give me thy heart ;’ Re-
member now thy Creator in the days of thy youth ;”
‘They that seek me early shall find me.’ Whose
voice is that? Ah! it is the voice of God, and these,
these axe his calls to every one of you. Oh that you
could not only hear, but odey them !

God calls you, ‘then, to serve Him; and in what
ways are you to do this? I have said that you were
given to God to be saved by Him; and so the first
thing you must do, is to ‘believe on the Lord Jesus
Christ’—to take Him as your Saviour, and love Him
with all your heart. God commands you to do this,
and you cannot be saved in any other way.

Is it a hard thing to love Christ when He has so
loved you, and has laid down his life for you? Surely
it should not be hard !

There was once a poor man who worked in one of
the mines in England, who had an only and loving
son. Every day, when he went down into the mines
to work, he would take his boy with him, and when
night came, they were both drawn up again by a rope
and bucket, and returned to their happy home. One
evening, when they were being drawn up together in
this way, the father heard a cracking noise above him.
He looked up, and saw that che rope was breaking, and
that only three or four strands of it were left to hold
86 THE CHILD-PROPHET.

him and his darling child from destruction. What
was to be done? The rope was not strong enough to
bring them both to the top, and so one or both of
them must perish, The father loved life, but he loved
his child more ; and so leaving his boy in the bucket,
he said, ‘ There, my child, lie quiet for a few moments,
and you will be safe at the top, and then threw him
self over and was dashed to pieces. How very great
was the love of that father for his son! But greater
still is the love of Christ for your soul, for He has
given Ais life to save you; and if you only trust Him
and obey Him, you will be brought safely up, not by
a broken rope, but by a mighty, everlasting arm, to his
glorious home. ,

Now Christ says, ‘I love them that love me;’ and
no child that knows who Christ is, is too young to
love Him and be saved by Him.

Another way in which you may serve God is by
doing good. See the youthful Samuel, assisting with
his little hands the aged Eli in the house of God.
So you may, every one of you, help your pastor,
and help the church, in our work of doing good,
and saving souls from death. Who of you, for in-
stance, cannot set a good example to those around
you? who cannot speak kind words for Christ and
his church? who cannot give something to send
the Bible to the heathen? who cannot bring at
least a few poor neglected boys or girls into the


THE CHILD-PKOPHET, 87

Sabbath school, that they may be pointed to heaven?
Oh, there are ways enough, if one only has a mind
to improve them. There is work for the smallest
hands, work for the youngest hearts; and if you
have the re¢y of Samuel, you may be as useful and
as hagpy as he was. Why, there are children and
youths now living, who have done more for Christ
already, than some of the grey-haired members of
the churches. Jesus was not more than twelve years
old when He began to go about doing good, and
said, ‘Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's
business?” This shows that all who have reached
that age are old enough to be about that business
—serving and obeying God,

A little girl who loved the Saviour, tried to follow
his example of going about and doing good; and
many weré the hearts that she cheered by her kind
words and deeds, and her sunny smile (for there
are many many times where a smile will be a rich
blessing to those around us). But God called her,
when she was ten years old, to serve Him with the
angels in glory. When they told her she was going
to die, she looked up to her father, who loved her
dearly, and did not know how to part with her, and
said, ‘Dear papa, how much do I cost you every
year?”

He thought the child was getting out of her mind,
when she asked such a question; but he answered,
83 THE CHILD-PROPHET.

to soothe her, ‘Well, dearest, perhaps Lay pounds
What then, darling ?”

“ Because,’ said she, ‘I thought, maybe you would
lay it out this year in Bibles for poor children, to
remember me by.’

“Yes, I will, my precious child,’ said the father ;
“I will do it every year as long as I live; and thus
my Lilian shall yet speak, and draw hundreds and
thousands after her to heaven.’

She loved nothing so much as to serve God; and
even when she lay in pain and feebleness on her
dying bed, she forgot herself and her sufferings in
the one thought, how she might do good to others,
and glorify her Maker.

This is the spirit that we want you all to have,
who have been given to God as Lilian was, and as
Samuel was, to be used by Him,

III. And there is one other thing taught in the
story of Samuel, that I shall not have time to say
much about; but I will just mention it: it is, that
God loves and honours early piety.

See the child Samuel made a prophet of the Lord,
ministering in God’s house, and God talking with
him in the night, just as friend talk$ with friend;
and'then see him growing up to be one of the best,
and greatest, and most useful men that ever lived.
Now, this was because he did not put off serving God
THE CHILD-PROPHET. 89

until he was a man, as so many do, but gave his heart
right up to Him as soon as he knew who God was. -

So you, my dear children, if you will now do as
Samuel did, may be as happy and as honoured as
he was ; may hear God talking with your soul; may
enjoy his loving presence, and grow up to be useful
and respected. You may not indeed be ‘prophets,
but I hope some of you will be ministers, and be great
blessings to the church and the world by preaching
the gospel, and saving souls from death.

And ‘God not only honours the dives of those who
serve Him in their early years, but honours them ix
death, by bestowing his grace upon them, and giving
them a heaven-like happiness.

Thus died a little Italian girl, whose name was
Carlotta. As two merchants, one of whom was an
infidel, were one day leaving an eating-house, a strain
of soft music came through an open door ; and it was
so marvellously sweet, that they followed the child who
was singing it, and asked her to sing some more for
them. She was very poor, and was wrapped up in a
patched cloak and a patched hood, and her little shoes
were full of holes ; but her father, who was an organ-
man, was sick, and she had come out to beg some
money to keep them from starving.

Her first song was that-beautiful one:

“There is a happy land,
Far, far away,
go THE CHILD-PROPHET.

When she had finished it, the infidel said to her,
‘Where did you learn that song?”

‘In the Sabbath school, sir, was her answer.

‘And you don’t suppose there is a happy land, do
you?’ asked the man, who tried not to believe in
heaven or hell.

‘I know there is, said she, quietly and decidedly,
‘and I’m going to sing there. My mother said so.
She used to sing to me until she was sick ; then she
said she wasn’t going to sing any more on earth, but
up in heaven.’

The two men pitied the poor little girl and followed
her home, and gave her some shoes and some money,
and promised to go and see her again. About a month
afterwards they went together to the gloomy home of
the organ-man, and found that he was dead, and that
little Carlotta was very sick.

‘I wish I could sing for you,’ said she, ‘but it hurts
me. It won’t hurt me up there, will it?? They asked
her if she had heard of Jesus. ‘Yes,’ said she, ‘ good
Jesus ;’ and when the men began to weep, she said,
‘Don’t cry—don’t cry; J can't cry, I'm so glad.
Glad to get away from here. I used to be so cold in
the long winters, for we didn’t have fire sometimes ;
but mother used to hug me close, and sing about
heaven, and tell me if I was his, the Saviour would
love me and give me a better home. And so I gave
myself to Him; and oh, I shall simg there, and be so
THE CHILD-PROPHET. 91

happy! Christ sent a little angel in my dream—
mother told me He would, and that angels would carry
me up there.’ Then she was still for a little while ;
but presently the hands moved—the arms were raised
—the eyes opened and turned upward. ‘See, see!’
she cried; ‘oh, there is mother, and there are the
angels, and they are all singing—all singing’ Wer
voice faltered—her arms fell—but a heavenly bright-
ness lingered on her face ; and they knew that her
spirit had gone to join her mother and the angels.

Can you wonder that even the strong infidel was
melted before such a scene? He had resisted every-
thing else—men had talked and pleaded with him in
vain ; but ‘there, by the bedside of the little child, his
hard heart was softened, and he knelt down with his
friend, and prayed that he too might have the same
faith and hope that had enabled Carlotta to die in
such happy triumph.

Oh, my dear young friends, may this faith and hope
be yours—that you, too, may say, ‘I’m going to sing in
heaven!’ May the God of Samuel be your God! may
his holy, blessed childhood and youth be yours ! and
yours his heavenly home!

seiten






THE TREASURE FINDERS.

“I love them that love me, and they that seek me early shall find me. —

Prov. vith 37,

“Go thou in life's fair morning,
Go in the bloom of youth,
And dig for thine adorning
‘The precious pearof truth.
Secure this heavenly treasure,
‘And bind it on thy heart ;
And let no earthly pleasure
Ber cause it to depart.



Go while the day-star shineth,
Go while thy heart is light,
Go ere thy strength declineth,
‘While every sense is bright
Sell all thou hast, and buy it,
*Tis worth all earthly things:
Rubies, and gold, and diamonds,
Sceptres and crowns of kings.”



|O you know what it is that is worth more
than choice silver and fine gold; that is
better than diamonds and rubies, and all
kinds of costly gems; and so very precious, that ‘all
the things that may be desired are not to be com-
pared to it?’

@)
THE TREASURE FINDERS. 93

It must be some very great treasure, you will say, if
it is more valuable than anything else that we could
wish for.

And so it is. Suppose that all the mountains that
are in the world were made of gold, they could not
buy it, or make us half as rich as this can. Or, sup-
pose that you had all the pleasures that there are in
the whole world, they could not make you half so
happy as this can make you. And yet, precious,
lovely, costly as it is, it is offered to you all ‘without
money and without price.’

* What is it? what is it? 1 think I hear you ask.
If you will open your Bibles and read the eighth
chapter of the book of Proverbs, you will there learn
all about it.

In that chapter it is called-‘ wisdom,’ but I think
you will not read it all through without seeing that
this is only another name for @ Person, who speaks to
us so often in God’s word—/Jesus Christ.

Now, see how earnest Christ is. In the first three
verses, He says that He ‘standeth in the top of the
high places, by the way, in the places of the paths ;’
‘crieth at the gates, at the entrance of the city ;’ that
is, everywhere, where there are people to listen to Him.
And what does He say? ‘Unto you, O men, I call;
and my voice is to the sons of men.’ But He does
not stop with calling men and women: He also
says, ‘Hearken unto me, O ye children, for blessed are
94 THE TREASURE FINDERS.

they that keep my ways.’ Do you ask, Why are they
blessed? The last two verses answer the question,
and show us the reason of our Saviour’s loud, earnest
call: ‘For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall
obtain favour of the Lord; but he that sinneth
against me wrongeth his own soul: ad/ they that hate
me love death. And in the seventeenth verse He
says (and I want you to think, as you read it, that
these are the words-of the kind Jesus, who once took
little children in his arms and blessed them), ‘I love
them that love me, and ¢hey that seck me early shall
Jind me.

Now, I wish to show you three things:

I. Why you ought to seek Christ.

II. How you must seek Him, And

III. Why you ought to seek Him early ; that is,
while you are young.

I. I suppose I need not take much time to tell
you why you ought to seek Him, for every Sabbath
scholar knows that we cannot be happy in this world
or the next without Jesus Christ. But I am so
anxious that you should all give your hearts to the
Saviour zow, that I will try to give you some reasons
why you should do it.

One of these reasons is contained in those sweet
words of Jesus, ‘7 love them that love me? Is it not a
THE TREASURE FINDERS. 95

pleasant thing to be /oved by our parents and friends?
How unhappy we should be, if nobody loved us or
cared for us! But what a delightful thing it must be
to know that Jesws Christ loves us,—Christ the Son of
God,—Christ, the great King of heaven and earth,
who is so powerful that He is able to give us all that
we need for the body or the soul,—Christ, who is so
good that He is always making his friends happy, and
answering their prayers, and refusing them nothing
that is good for them,—Christ, who is so ¢rwe, that
He never promises anything that He will not perform,
—Christ, the Zviend of sinners, who gave Himself, Ais
own life, that with his blood He might wash away our
sins ; and who opens for us the pearly gates of heaven,
that we may enter and be for ever happy! Oh! to
be loved by Christ is to have the best- Friend, the
sweetest pleasures, the greatest riches, the surest
hopes, and the brightest glories that can be found in
earth or heaven! And should you not seek Him as
your friend, your Saviour, when He can become all
this 40 you? Should you not love Him with all your
hearts, when He so loves you that He has given
Timself for you? .

I wish that every child and youth could love Him
as a little girl of six years did, who died a few years
ago. When they told her that she was dying, she
asked her sister to read to her from the Bible about
Christ's blessing little children; and then she said,
96 THE TREASURE FINDERS.

‘Mow kind! I shall soon go to Jesus; He will soon
take me up in his arms, and bless me “00, and no
disciple shall keep me away.’ Her sister kissed her,
and said, ‘Do you love me?’ ‘Yes, my dear,’ she
replied; ‘but do not be angry if Z Jove Jesus better!

Another reason why you should seek Christ is, that
you are sinners ; and Christ takes the wicked heart and
washes out all its stains, and makes it ‘ whiter than
snow.’ You must have your sins forgiven, or you can
never wear a crown in heaven; and none.but Christ
can forgive them. And He can give you a heart to
love and serve Him in this world, and to praise Him
for ever in the place which He has prepared for them
that love Him.

II. But I hear some one asking, ‘ How shall I seek
Him? Jesus Christ is away up in heaven, and I am
on the earth: if I seek Him ever so hard, how do I
knowsthat I can find Him ?’

A lady and gentleman who were travelling, one
evening lost their way. Coming to a cross-road, they
saw a guide-board. The gentleman got out; and
though he could but just see, yet, by going close up
to the board, he made out to find a Wirection which
helped him to find his way to the place he wished to
visit. Now, suppose he had refused to look at the
board, and had gone on blundering in the dark, and
had not found the place he sought all night: what
THE TREASURE FINDERS. 97

would you have said of him? Served him right. Just
so, Aman who is lost, and refuses to look at a guide-
board, deserves to wander a good while, as a punish-
ment of his folly. But would not such conduct be
just as foolish in boys and girls, and would not a long
tramp in the dark be a just punishment for them too?
I think that it would.

Now, you need not go long in the dark to seek
Christ. Zhe Bible is your guide-board. It tells you
which way to go; it warns yqu against bypaths and
wrong roads, against false guides, and pits and traps,
and other dangers. And it is not only a guide-board,
but a companion all the way, if you will only keep by
its side; and not only a companion, but a damp to
your feet, and a light to your path. Though it be ever
so dark all around you, it will lead you straight to this
Friend whom you seek—straight to the Saviour. And
more than this, Jesus Himself will elf you to find
Him, by putting his Holy Spirit in your hearts. He
will meet you more than half-way; and while you are
‘all trembling and anxious, lest you do not reach Him,
all at once you will hear his voice of welcome in your
hearts, and feel yourself taken in the arms and carried
in the bosom of the kind Shepherd.

Now look with me at this guide-board, and let us
try to read its directions. What does it say to us?
‘ Except ye REPENT, ye shall all likewise perish! “Here,

then, is the first step towards the Saviour. It looks
«
98 THE TREASURE FINDERS:

like a narrow, thorny path; but if it leads to Christ, ir
is, after all, pleasant. There are not many travelling
it, but we can see that those who are in it are Christ’s
people, while the crowds in yonder broad road are
his enemies; and who had not rather go in a narrow
road to heaven than in a broad one to hell? So let
us enter this narrow path. You will see, as you enter
it, that every one, like Christian in the Pilgrim's
Progress, has his burden, That is, all who repent
, feel weighed down under a sense of sin. Do you, my
dear young friend, feel this burden? Do you feel a
sorrow for your ‘sin and naughtiness? If you do not,
you are in the wrong path, and I fear you will be lost.
Oh, think, then, of that wicked heart of yours, and
confess its wickedness to Jesus, and then the burden
will roll off at his cross. For see, He stands in the
narrow way, and says, ‘Come unto me, all ye that
labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’
But look again at the guide-board. What is this
that we see? ‘BELtEve on the Lord Jesus Christ, and
thou shalt be saved’ A little child once woke up in
the night, and found that the house was on fire. He
was away upstairs, and his father slept below; and
he saw that the stairs were all in flames, and he could
not get down. What should he do? He ran to the
window, and there he heard his father’s voice, though
he could not see him in the crowd; and the father said,
‘Jump, my child, and I will catch you. The little boy
THE TREASURE FINDERS. 99

trembled, for it was a long leap for him to take, and
he feared it might kill him.. But the hot ‘fire was all
around him, and he knew that he would be bumed to
death if he stayed where he was. He clung to the
window, looked at the flames, heard his father shouting
to him to let go, thought of that father’s strong arms
and loving heart, and then /¢ go his hold, and in an
instant found himself, unhurt, in his father’s arms.

Now, that boy had faith in his parent’s promise,
in his strength and in his love. So you, dear chil-
dren, who are in this world that is to be bumed up,
and who are all the time drawing nearer and nearer
to the dreadful fire of God’s wrath hereafter, do you
not hear the Saviour’s voice saying, ‘Flee from the
wrath to come?’ And as you ask, How shall I flee?
Christ says, ‘Let yourself drop into my strong arms.
Oh, take Jesus at his word! Trust Him as your
Saviour ; let go of everything else, of every other
hope, of every thought of your own goodness, and fall
into his arms, and then you will have come to Christ,
and found Him as your Saviour.

Does some one say, ‘I want to repent and believe,
and I try to do so, but I do not find Jesus yet?’
Let us look at the guide-board again, and see if it has
anything to meet your case. I read on it these words:
‘SrRIvE fo enter in at the strait gate’ Here, then, is
another kind direction.

Now, if it were a million pounds that you were seek-
100 THE TREASURE FINDERS.

ing, do you not think that you would try pretty hard
before you gave it up? If you were drowning, would
you not struggle with all your might to keep your
head above water and reach the shore? But Christ
is worth more to you than all the gold in the world;
and you ought to struggle much harder to save your
perishing soul than your dying body. Christ wants you
to be in earnest when you seek Him; for, oh, He was
in earnest when He left his glorious home, and came
down to suffer and die upon the cross, that such as
you might come to Him and be saved.

I wish you were as earnest in seeking Christ as six
poor little boys were a few winters ago. They used
to meet every evening in the open air, and in the
coldest weather, under a large oak-tree, for prayer,
until at last a pouring rain drove them to seek shelter
in the office of a good man, who told them they could
meet there as often as they chose to do so. Think of
it! ‘Not even the winter's cold and storm could keep
them from the spot where they were seeking Christ.

And this reminds me of another direction that you
will find on the guide-board (for you see it is very full
and very plain): ‘Ask, and ye shall receive.’ What
delightful words these are! Do you want repentance?
“Ask, and ye shall receive!’ Do you want faith?
* Ask, and ye shall receive!’ Do you want your sins
forgiven—your soul washed in the blood of Christ?
Do you want to be made holy ?—want happiness, want
THE TREASURE FINDERS. ror

heaven? Christ says to you, ‘Ask, and ye shall re.

* ceive!’ In other words, ‘ Pray/’ Go right to Christ

with all your wants, and tell Him how hard your
heart is, and how you desire a new one; how weak
your faith is, and how you wish it strengthened ; how
you want Christ to become your friend, and want
strength and grace to serve Him; and Christ will hear
your prayer, and while you seek you will find!

You need not do as a little boy did who wanted to
pray, and hardly knew how to do it. He used to
write little notes to the Saviour and throw them out
of the window, hoping that Christ would find them.
If you pray with the heart, your prayers will rise,
quicker than lightning, to the throne of Jesus; and
so quickly does He hear-prayer, that He has said
of his people, ‘Before they call, I will answer; and
while they are yet speaking, I will hear [

This, then, is the way you must come to Jesus—do
not forget it—with repentance, with faith, with earnest-
ness, and with prayer. And if you come in this way,
you will surely find Him; for He says to us, ‘Him
that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.’
‘ Every one that asketh, receiveth ; and every one that
seeketh, findeth.’

Will you not come to the Saviour?

III. ‘Yes,’ some child or youth replies, ‘7 wz// come
when I am a /ittle older P But does the smallest child
102 THE TREASURE FINDERS.

think that he is 400 young to seek Christ?’ If so, you
make a great mistake. There is one little word in
my text that has a great deal of meaning ; and I must
now, in the third place, say a few words about it,—
the word ‘carly:’ ‘They that seek me early shall
find me.’ %

A Sabbath-school teacher lately asked her class the
question, ‘ How soon ought a child to give its heart
to God?’ One little girl answered, ‘When thirteea
years old ;’ another, ‘en,’ another, ‘six.’ At length
the last and smallest child in the class answered, ‘Just
as soon as we know who God is.

That child was right. No doubt she had read in
the Bible those beautiful words, ‘Suffer the little chil-
dren to come unto me.’ Now, is there a child who
reads or hears these words who does not know who
God is? I think not. Well, if you know who God
and Christ are, and know what it is to be sorry for
sin, and to love and trust the Lord Jesus, then you
are old enough to seek Christ, and it is high time for
you to give your hearts to Him.

There are a great many reasons why you should
do this, and no reason at all why you should not
do it.

(t.) Do you think you are 400 young to be happy?
No, you say; happiness is just the thing you
want. Well, then, you are not too young to seek
Christ; for, as I have tried to show you, Christ alone
THE TREASURE FINDERS. 103

can make-you happy. His ‘ ways are ways of plea-
santness,’ and all his ‘paths are peace.’ I have
known young people who said they would not become
Christians yet, because they wished to be happy a
few years longer. Why, they now nothing about
religion, if they think they can be half as happy
without it as they can be with it..

«How long have you been a Christian?’ said one
old man to another. ‘Fifty years,’ said he. ‘ Well,’
asked the other, ‘have you ever been sorry that you
began so young to serve the Saviour?’ ‘Oh, no,’ said
the old man, and the tears trickled down his furrowed
cheeks ; ‘I weep when I think of the sins of my youth!
It is this that makes me weep now!’

An aged woman who had been a Christian for more
than fifty years, lay on her dying bed. She said, ‘ Tell
all the children that an old woman, who is just on the
borders of eternity, is very much grieved that she did
not begin to love Christ when a child. Tell them
youth is the time to serve the Lord.’

And so there are a great many who are grieved that”
they did not serve Christ earlier, but I never heard
of a Christian being sorry that he had served Him
when a child; and this proves that the sooner you
seek Jesus, the happier you will be.

(2.) Another reason is, that it is a great deal easier
for you to seek Him now than it will be by and by.

A few years ago, two men were floating in a little
104 THE TREASURE FINDERS.

boat on-the Niagara river, both fast asleep.- Soon the
boat began to move slowly along towards the falls.
They might then have been saved ; but they slept on,
and did not dream of their danger. When they awoke
they were in the rapids. They seized the oars, and
worked with all the power of their strong arms ; but it
did no good—## was too late, One of them was dashed
over the falls in an instant: the other, after holding on
to a log for twenty hours, was also carried over the
dreadful falls, and killed. Do you not think that poor
man, in those twenty hours of hopeless life, looked
back and wished that he had awoke a Uittle earlier,
before the stream had floated him quite so far?

My young friend, the stream of sin is like that river.
It grows stronger and faster every moment, and the
Lord Jesus knows well how hard it will be for you to
escape by and by. So He stands on the shore, and
calls you to take hold of the rope of salvation that He
throws out to you, and says, ‘ They that seek me early
shall find me.’ ‘ Vow is the accepted time ; behold,
now is the day of salvation.’

Does repentance seem hard to you to-day? It will
be harder yet 4o-morrow, Does it seem hard to give
up your hearts to Jesus now? It will be harder still
the next time that He calls you.

The next time, do I say? But who knows whether
He will call you again? An old Jewish Rabbi once
said to his disciples, ‘ Turn to God one day before you
THE TREASURE FINDERS. 105

die.’ ‘But how can a man know the day of his death?’
asked one of them. He answered, ‘Therefore you
should turn to God ‘0-day, for perhaps you may die
to-morrow, and so every day will be spent in turning to
Him.’ Here, then, is axother reason for seeking Christ
early, that if you wait much longer, you may have xo
chance to seek Him. Your hearts may cease to beat
before you have given them to God; your hands may
be cold and still before they have engaged in Christ’s
service ; and your voice silent in death, before it has
prayed, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner.’

I always love to close with @ promise, and here I
have one that belongs to little children, and to all
who are young; and it comes from the Lord Jesus
himself, and so we know that it is true: ‘ They that
seek me early shall find me’ You may seek for riches,
and be disappointed; for pleasures, and they will fly
from you; for Jong life, and be brought to an early
grave. But if you seek earnestly for Christ, He will
not hide himself from you; for they that seek Him early
‘ shall find Him? And when you find Jesus, you will
find the ‘ pearl of great price,’—will find peace, joy,
happiness, treasures in heaven,—will find a golden
crown hereafter, and a glorious home where Christ is!

Oh, forget not these sweet words of Jesus, but think
of them day and night: ‘I love them that love me,
and they that seek me early shall find me.’ And as
106 THE TREASURE FINDERS.

you hear Christ whispering them to your hearts, will
you not try to say, as David did, ‘ Zhy face, Lord, will
I seek; and pray with David, ‘Oh, satisfy me early
with thy mercy, that I may rejoice and be glad all
my days?”




THE SONG OF THE KINGDOM.

=. ‘The children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the
Son of David.’ Marr. xxt. 25.

* Children of the heavenly King,
As ye journey, sweetly sing:
Sing your Saviour’s worthy praise,
Glorious in his works and ways.

Ye are travelling home to God
In the way the fathers trod:
They are happy now, and ye
Soon their happiness shall see.

Shout, ye “little flock,” and blest,

‘You near Jesus’ throne shall rest.

‘There your seats are now prepared,

‘There your kingdom and reward.’
RHAPS there are some people who think
that it is a new thing for the children to
have their own little service in the church,
and that there is nothing in the Bible about it. Now,
I am going to show you that it is a very old thing. I
am going to tell you about a children’s service that
was held by some Jewish boys and girls more than

eighteen hundred years ago.
(107)




108 THE SONG OF THE KINGDOM.

If you read the first eleven verses of this chapter,
you will see that the Lord Jesus Christ had just rode
into Jerusalem with a great many people going before
Him and following Him, who were all very joyful, and
who tried in every way to show their joy. Some took
off their coats and spread them over the road, as if the
very ground was not good enough for Him to ride
upon, Some cut down branches of the beautiful palm-
trees, and waved them in the air, and scattered them
over the road; and all the time, the great crowd
(Matthew says they were ‘a very great multitude’)
kept shouting and singing together, ‘Hosanna to the
Son of David. Blessed is He that cometh in the name y
the Lord: Hosanna in the highest’

So they all came together into Jerusalem; and then
Jesus went straight up to the temple, and there He
saw a beautiful sight. A great many children had run
in there when they saw Christ coming; and I have no
doubt they knew, when they looked upon his kind,
gentle face, that He was the children’s friend. Per-
haps some of them had been by when He took the
little ones in his arms and blessed them. But, how-
ever that might have been, they began to sing that
wonderful song, ‘ Hosanna to the Son of David) and 1
have no doubt they sang it very sweetly.

Now the chief priests and scribes (the ministers
who lived in those days) had never held any children’s
services, as we have ; and they were very much sur-


THE SONG OF THE KINGDOM. 09

prised to hear their little voices in the house of God—
as if they had not as good a right as any to praise
their Saviour! And they frowned on them, and
looked very angry, and said with their eyes, if not
with their tongues, What business have you here,
singing about Jesus ?—for they were wicked men, and
hated Jesus with all their hearts. But they did not
dare to stop them; and so they came to Christ, and
said, with an ugly sneer, ‘Hearest thou what these
say?? And what did Jesus answer them? His answer
was a beautiful one: ‘ Have ye never read, Out of the
mouths of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected
praise?’ It was as if He had said, ‘ You ought to have
known, from what David says in the Psalms about
Christ, that even little children may praise Him.’
And so they sang away, till the walls of the old temple
rang again; and Jesus stood and smiled on them, just
as He smiles on you from the skies when He sees you
in his house. And that was the first children’s service.
Is it not a pleasant thought, that the first song to
Jesus in God's own house, when He was upon earth,
was sung by the lambs of his flock? I think He
meant to show by this, that while He wants us a// to
praise Him, He takes great delight in the praises of
youthful voices, when He hears them singing the songs
of his kingdom.

I. Now, the first thing I wish to say to you about
tro ZHE SONG OF THE KINGDOM.

my text is this: that children should love the house of
God, They had often been there with their parents,
and looked with solemn wonder upon the house where
God dwelt, and felt happy in worshipping Him.

So God wants that you @/ should love his church.
Suppose you had a great and powerful friend living
near by, who was all the time giving you many beauti-
ful presents, and he should ask you to come often to
his house, that he might give you more and better
gifts: do you think you would stay away, and tell him,
‘I don’t like your house, and don’t want to go there?’
Why, no; you would go just as often as you could,
and would be very thankful that he let you come.
Now God is all the time making you presents. He
gives you life and health, and parents and friends, and
home, and food, and clothing, and the Bible, and the
Sabbath school, and the best of all, his own Son Jesus
Christ, to save you from hell and take you to heaven.
And the church is God's house, where He lets his
friends come and visit, and talk with Him, and where
He talks with them by his word and his Holy Spirit,
and where He gives rich heavenly gifts to their souls,
and prepares them to go to heaven when they die.
He has a great many churches, but He lives in all of
them. Although you cannot see Him, He is in his
house whenever you go there, looking straight into all
your hearts, and wanting—oh, how much !—to do you
good, and make you happy as the angels, if you will
THE SONG OF THE KINGDOM. 111

only let Him. And ought you not to /ove this house
of your best Friend, and to love his holy day, and to
love to pray and sing to Him?

I have seen children who think that Sunday is a
very dull, stupid kind of a day, and the church a dull
sort of a place, But I know why they think so: they
do not love, in their hearts, their best Friend. If they
did, I am sure they would love his house.

‘Mamma,’ said a little girl one day, ‘don’t you
wish Sunday came right after Wednesday,—Sunday,
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and then Sunday
again?’ ‘Why, my darling,’ answered her mother,
* God has arranged the week in his own wise way, and
I am sure it is the best: I should not like it different.’
‘But, mamma,’ said the little girl, ‘is it not so selfish
in us to keep for ourselves six days, while we give on/y
one to God? So selfish, mamma, and He gives us
everything we have!’ Ah, she loved God’s day, and
loved God’s house, and thought that she could not go
there too often.

And you ought to love it for another reason. You
read in your Bibles about the great gates of heaven,
that are made of beautiful pearls ; and you have often
thought how you would like to see them—they must
be so splendid. I hope you w:/7 all see them when
you die. But do you know that heaven has a great
many gates in this world that you can see with these
eyes, and can go through with these little feet? It is
112. THE SONG OF THE KINGDOM.

so; for what did Jacob say about the place where he
worshipped God? ‘ This is none other but the house
of God, and this is the gate of heaven. That is, God’s
house is one of the outer gates of that beautiful city ;
and when we come into it, heaven seems nearer than it
does anywhere else. Here we learn about heaven,
and here God comes down to our souls, and helps us
to prepare for that happy land. Now, I know that,
you all want to go to heaven. Will you not then
remember, when the church-bell rings out its sweet
Sabbath call, that it is all the time saying to you,
*Come to the house of God, come to the gate of
heaven?’ Oh, I am sure that if you ask God to give
you a new heart—a heart to love Him—you will love
his house, as those children did who went up to the
temple to sing. Then you will love it as a dear little
child in Wales did, about sixty years ago, of whom I
want to tell you.

She used to walk a great way to the church, and the
minister, when he met her one day, stopped to talk
with her a little: for she always listened so earnestly
to his preaching, that he felt very much interested in
her; and she was always able to tell him the text he
had preached from on the last Sunday. But this time,
when he asked her for the text, she hung her head and
could not answer him. He asked again, and she
began to cry; and then she said the weather had
been so bad that she could not get to read the Bible.
THE SONG OF THE KINGDOM. 1133

“Why, how was that ?’ said the minister. Then she
told him that there was no Bible at her home, or
among her friends ; and so she had travelled every
week, on foot, seven miles to a place where there was
a Welsh Bible, on purpose to read the chapter from
which the minister had taken his text ; but that week
it had been so cold and stormy that she could not go.

Now I wonder how many dear children, with
Bibles in their houses, can tell the minister the next
time he meets them what was the text of his last ser
mon, and in what book and chapter and verse it is to
be found? Oh, children, Zove God’s house, love the
preaching, the singing, the praying; and may the
church be to you all a beautiful gate of heaven, until
you shall have passed beyond it, and through the
pearly gates on high into the golden streets of the
New Jerusalem, *

II. A second thing that our text teaches is, that
children have reason to praise Christ. In the temple
they sang, ‘ Hosanna to the Son of David,’ and Jesus
was pleased with their song. So now, and at all times,
though you do not see Him, the Lord Jesus is ‘in his
holy temple ;’ and I think I see Him smile with glad-
ness as He listens to your sweet voices shouting his
praise.

1. Children should sing Hosanna to Christ, decause
He is so lovely and so glorious. Read his life in the

H
tig THE SONG OF THE KINGDOM.

gospel, and see what a beautiful life it was. He was
always going about and doing good, always gentle and
kind, even to those who hated Him; and his great
heart was brim-full of love for everybody. Read
about his going to the throne in heaven, where He is
King over all his worlds, and can you help praising so
wonderful a being ?

2, And think what He has done for you. Why, He
has died that you might live for ever in glory—has
laid down his life for his precious lambs, to save their
souls from being torn and devoured by Satan.

At a prayer-meeting, a little while ago, there was
heard a low, sobbing voice of a poor little Irish girl,
saying over and over again these three words, ‘ Jesus,
save me,’ ‘ Jesus, save me.’ These were all the words
that she knew how to use; but she felt that she was a
poor lost sinner, and that Christ had died to save her ;
and so she kept repeating her little prayer till Jesus
answered it, and her heart was made very happy.
Oh, we need not offer long prayers to bring down the
answer. JI am sure that any child here can say those
three words ; and if you will say them, feeling every
word, and wishing with all your heart to be saved, you
may be just as happy as she was. And when she felt
that Christ had saved her, and made her God’s own
child, she sang a new song of praise to his name.
Well, this little girl wanted to show her Sunday-school
teacher how thankiul she was to her for her kind
THE SONG OF THE KINGDOM. 115

instructions. But what could she give? She was
very poor, and had not even one cent, and could buy
nothing. Presently she had a happy thought : she took
a strip of canvas and worked in it the three words of
her first prayer, ‘ Jesus, save me, and then cut off a
piece of her bonnet string, and sewed it on that, and
gave it to her teacher for a book-mark. At another
prayer-meeting a gentleman told this story, and all at
once nine persons rose up, and asked them to pray
that the same Jesus might save them ; and some of
them, before they went home that night, began to sing
of the love of Christ that had saved them too, and given
them a hope of glory. Oh, how can we help praising
such a loving Saviour, who has given Aimself for us?
Let me tell you of another child, who lay on a bed
of sickness. She had that awful disease that has laid
so many little bodies in the grave, diphtheria. Her
mother told her that she must die, and asked her
whether she was ready to meet her God. The suffer-
ing girl looked tenderly at her mother, and tried to
speak, but could not ; and then she made a motion
with her hand, as if she would like to write. They
handed her a pencil and paper. Feebly the pale
fingers grasped the pencil, and wrote one word,
‘unworthy ;’ and then she closed her eyes, and her
head fell back upon the pillow. But presently a
heavenly smile broke over her face, and she took the
pencil again, and wrote, ‘Jesus Christ’ And when
116 THE SONG OF THE KINGDOM.

she had finished the last letter, her hand dropped, and
her soul went to be with her Lord and Saviour—went
to sing ‘Hosanna to the Son of David’ with the
blessed angels in glory. Now, like her, we are all
‘unworthy ;’ but Jesus will save us as He did her, if
we give our hearts to Him, Ought we not then to
praise Him?

3. Another reason why children should praise Jesus
is, because ¢his is the way to make this world like
heaven, and to become ourselves like the blessed angels.

Do you not sometimes wish you could hear the
angels singing, so as to know whether their songs are
anything like ours? I hope we may all hear them
and sing with them by and by ; but I can tell you
how one of their songs, for the prophet John once
heard it, and he has written it down for us in the
book of Revelation. Suppose that we could all be
lifted to the wfger ‘gate of heaven,’ and listen for a
moment to what is going on inside. We should hear
music sweeter than we ever dreamed of before. But
the words would not be strange tous. They would be
very much like those of the children in the temple—
‘Hosanna to the Son of David !’—for John tells us
that they sing the praises of God and of the Lamb—
that is, of Jesus—and shout, ‘ Worthy is the Lamb that
was slain !’

Do you not see, then, that when we sing about Jesus
we are doing just what the angels do, and what all
THE SONG OF THE KINGDOM. 117

who have gone from this world to heaven are now
doing, and what we shall do if we ever get to that
holy, happy place? And if you do not love to sing
and pray to Jesus mow, do you think you can be
happy in that world where every one is loving and
praising Him? You have often sung those beautiful
words, ‘I want to be an angel.’ Do you want to be
one, really? Then try to love, and sing, and serve
the Saviour like an angel (and you need not wait
till you get to heaven to do that), and you will find
in it a sweet joy and peace that the world can never
give you.

A gentleman once said to a young lady, who was
the sweetest singer in the choir, ‘ What will you do
with that voice in eternity ?? The more the young lady
thought of the solemn question, the more she felt that
her voice was given her to praise the Saviour with,
and that this was the best use she could make of it
here ; and so she gave Him all her heart, and voice,
and strength to praise and serve Him.

And oh, your voice, dear child, what will you do
with it 2 eternity, if you do not now begin to obey
and serve the Lord Jesus? He now asks you for that
voice, that He may tune it to the heavenly anthems.
He asks you for that Aeart, that He may attune it to
heavenly pleasures. Oh, give yourselves up to Him,
and be happy!

There are many many children in the great house
18 THE SONG OF THE KINGDOM.

of God on high, singing to-day, ‘ Hosanna to the Son
of David.’ But though they sing ever so sweetly, yet
there are other voices which Jesus wants to hear. The
great choir of heaven is not yet filled up. Its music
is not yet strong and loud enough, and there are many
harps of gold all ready for those who will take them.
Oh, give your hearts to Jesus, and then you will be so
happy, that you can no more help singing than the
birds can help it. And you know ¢he morning is the
time when the birds sing the most sweetly. So the
morning of your life is the time for you to praise the
Lord Jesus. And do not think that you must praise
Him with your voice only. Show how much you love
Him, by obeying Him in your lives; and let everything
you do and say be like the different parts of one
great, long ‘ Hosanna to the Son of David!’ Then,
when death comes, although his cold hand upon your
lips will stop every other song, it cannot stop your
praises to the dear Redeemer ; but you shall

“With the angels stand,

A crown upon your forehead, a harp within your hand ;

‘And right before your Saviour, so glorious and so bright,
You'll wake the sweetest music, and praise Him day and night."


THE CROWN AND KINGDOM WON.



“And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and gir!
streets thereof,’—ZECHARIAH VIII. 5.

playing in the

‘Little travellers, Zionward,
Each one entering into rest,
In the kingdom of your Lord,
In the mansions of the blest—
There, to welcome, Jesus waits,
Gives the crowns his followers wins
Lift your heads, ye golden gates,
Let the little travellers in!

All our earthly journeys past,

Every tear and pain gone by,
Mere together met at last

At the portals of the sky +
Yach the welcome, “ Cote,” awaits,

Conquerors over death and sis
Lift your heads, ye golden gates,

Let the little traveliers in?



HAT is more pleasant than to see children
playing happily together about their quiet
homes without any fear of being harmed!

How sad and dreary any place would be, if, when we

walked through the streets, or looked into the houses

(ary)




120 CROWN AND KINGDOM WON.

or yards, we should hear no glad shouts of boys or
girls at play! Now, if you had been in the city of
Jerusalem when the prophet Zechariah wrote these
words, you would have seen a very gloomy place.

Why was this? Ah, the little Jewish boys and girls
whose houses were so silent and dreary, were, most
of them, away off in Babylon. Their parents had
become very wicked, and, as I have told you before,
God punished them by letting a great king carry them
away and make them servants in his own country.
But were the Jews never to come back to their homes
in Jerusalem? Yes: for now they began to be very
sorry for their sins, and to give back their hearts to
God, and to pray to Him. And God heard their
prayers, and sent his prophet to tell them that their
city should be built up again; and, to show them
how happy and peaceful they then should be, He said
that the streets, which were now so lonely, should yet
be ‘full of boys and girls playing? And in a few years
it all came to pass, just as God had said.

But it is about another city that I now wish to talk
with you. The Apostle Paul speaks of ‘the Aeavenly
Jerusalem,’ and the ‘Jerusalem which is adove;’ and
John, in the book of Revelation, calls heaven the
‘New Jerusalem.’ I shall now try to tell you some-
thing about that holy, heavenly city, whose golden
streets are ‘full of boys and girls,’ and about the way
to get there.
CROWN AND KINGDOM WON. 121

I. And, first, how shall I describe to you that
city? It is more beautiful than we can even think
of, There are many splendid cities in this world, but
none that are half as glorious as heaven. There
are many happy homes all around us, but none that
are half as happy as those mansions of our Father's
house on high.

A child who was once looking with wonder upon
the stars, asked if they were not holes in the floor
of heaven, to let the glory through. Another, a
little girl in Sweden, walking with her father one
night, looked up to the starry skies and said, ‘ Father,
I have been thinking if the wrong side of heaven is so
beautiful, what must the right side be!

Let us look together through the clear, strong glass
of heavenly truth, and what do we see? In the next
to the last chapter of the Bible we see that heaven is
a place where ‘God shall wipe away all tears’ from
his people’s eyes; where ‘there shall be no more death,
neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any
more pain.’ How glorious! No tears, no death, no
pain! Oh, ‘what must it be to be there !’

But let us look again, and find out what makes it
such a happy place. ‘He that overcometh shall
inherit all things ;’ that is, a// ¢hese things. What
does this mean? Why, that every one who conquers
sin and Satan, and who is good and holy, and whose
sins have been washed away by the Llood of Jesus,
122 CROWN AND K/NGDOM WON.

shall go there. Heaven is happy only because it is
holy. Itis nothing but sim that causes all our tears,
and pains, and sicknesses, and our death. Have you
not found out that you are never happy when you do
wrong ?—when you are angry, or envious, or dis-
obedient? This shows that no place can be happy
where sin is. If heaven were a hundred times more
beautiful than it really is, no one with a wicked heart
could be happy there, for holiness makes heaven, and
sin makes hell, This is the reason why our wicked
hearts must be changed for new and holy ones before
we can go to that happy place.

But let us look once more at the holy city, for we
cannot look at it too often. The prophet John says
that an angel came and carried him away in spirit to
a great and high mountain, and ‘showed him that
great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of
heaven from God, having the glory of God ; and her
light was like unto a stone most precious.’ And it
‘had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and
at the gates twelve angels.’ And a little further on he
says, ‘the twelve gates were twelve pearls ;’ ‘and the
street of the city was of pure gold ;’ ‘and the city had
no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it,
for the glory of the Lord did lighten it, and the Lamb
is the light thereof.’

What a beautiful place, all shining with gold and
gems! Would you not love to be there?
CROWN AND KINGDOM WON, 123

Yes, dear children, I am sure that will be the wish of
all of us, if we ever get there, that we had never sinned.

Read and study the Bible, and you will find that the
glories of heaven are greater than any earthly eye has
seen, or ear has heard, or mind has thought of. The
fact is, they are so great that they cannot be told to us.
If a bright angel were to come down irom heaven on
purpose to tell us about them, I believe that he would
tremble, and stammer, and hesitate, and then say, as
Paul did, after he had been caught up to heaven, that
the things which he had seen there it was not possible
to utter.

Now, may children go to that beautiful city? May
Uittle feet walk in those golden streets, and Jittle hands
play on the harps of heaven, and Zit#/e voices sing with
the angels ‘ the song of Moses and the Lamb?”

II, Yes; and I wish now to show you, in the second
place, that, like the old Jerusalem, the Mew Jerusalem
is ‘full of boys and girls ;’ that, in the words of the
beautiful hymn,

* Around the throne of God in heaven,
Thousands of chitdren stand;
Children whose sins are all forgiven,
A holy, happy band,
Singing, “Glory be to God on high.””

Do you know that more than one-half of all the

people who are born into this world die when they are

very small? Perhaps some of you have lost a little
124 CROWN AND KINGDOM WON.

brother or sister,—a sweet, beautiful babe, whom you
had just learned to love very dearly, when God took it
from you, and it was buried out of your sight. You
remember how you wept when you saw the tiny hands
folded so cold and still, and the bright eyes closed,
and found that, although you called ever so loudly,
you could not make it hear. Yes, a great many of us
have followed these little ones to the grave ; and now,
all over the world, sweet, lovely children are dying.

“There is no flock, however watched and tended,
But one dead lamb is there.’

Now, what becomes of these little ones who have
hardly begun to live before they die? We know
where their dodies are, but where are their sows? I
believe that our Saviour answered the question, when
He said, ‘Suffer the little children to come unto me,
and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of
heaven? Jesus, like a good shepherd, takes up these
little lambs in his arms, and carries them in his bosom
safe to his heavenly fold ; and so

«Millions of infant souls compose
The family above.’

Once there was a minister who had something like a
vision of the holy city, and of the little children there.
He was very sick ; and when his friends were weeping
about his bed, and waiting to see him die, he thought
he saw an angel come to him, and take him on his
wings to heaven. The great high gates rolled back
CROWN AND KINGDOM WON. 125

upon their golden hinges, and as he entered he saw
the most beautiful objects. Before him was the ‘pure
river of water of life, clear as crystal,’ and upon each
side of the river beautiful trees, all covered with fruits
and flowers. Bright angels were floating in the air,
and flying back and forth from this world. But he
said that the most lovely thing that he saw there was
@ little child. ‘There was nothing with which the
blessed babe could be compared. Its wings were
long and beautiful, and tinged with all the colours of
the rainbow. Its dress seemed to be of the whitest
silk, covered with the softest white down. Its face
was all radiant with glory; its very smile,’ said he,
‘now plays around my heart. I gazed and gazed with
wonder upon this heavenly child.’

At length he said, ‘If I have to return to the earth,
I should love to take this child with me, and show it
to the weeping mothers of the earth. I think when
they see it they will never shed another tear over their
children when they die.’ Then he tried to take it in
his arms, but it flew from him to one of the topmost
boughs of the tree of life, and then sweetly looked on
him, and began singing, ‘To Him that loved me, and
washed me from my sins in his own blood, to Him be
glory, both now and for ever. Amen.’

When the good max awoke from this dream, he
clasped his hands for joy, and sprang from his bed,
and could not stop praising God.
126 CROWN AND KINGDOM WON.

But besides these little babes of Jesus, as we may
call them, who die before they can speak the name of
Christ, there are very many oéder boys and girls wha
have gone up to the shining streets of the New Jeru
salem. For Christ loves all the children who love
Him. He died just as much for them as for the
parents; and when He says, ‘They that seek me
early shall find me,’ it is just as if He threw the pearly
gates wide open to all of the young who will enter
them. I cannot begin to tell you how many have
loved and served the Saviour, and then in childhood
or youth have been caught up by the angels to glory.
Some of your friends and playmates, perhaps, are
there ; and great multitudes from the Sabbath schools,
and churches, and blessed Christian homes all over
the wide world.

II. But I must say a few words about the way to
get to the holy city.

We cannot see the way to heaven as we see the way
to the church and Sabbath school—that is, with these
bodily eyes,—for, as Paul says, ‘ We walk by faith, not
by sight.’

What is faith? What is it to believe? I will tell
you.

In the Highlands of Scotland there is'a narrow place
only twenty feet wide and two hundred feet deep, the
walls on each side running straight down, but with
CROWN AND KINGDOM WON. 127

here and there a little spot or crevice where grow
beautiful flowers. A gentleman once offered a little
boy a handsome present if he would consent to be let
down into that deep place by a rope, and gather a
basket full of the flowers for him. The boy looked
wishfully at the money, for his parents were poor ; but
when he looked down into the terrible place where he
was to go, he was afraid. But presently his heart
grew strong, and his eyes sparkled, and he said, ‘I
will go ¢f my father holds the rope’ Then his father
tied the rope around him, and lowered him down,
and when he had filled his basket, lifted him safely to
the top again. Why was he not afraid? Because he
had faith in the strength of his father’s arm, and in the
love of his father’s heart, that would not let him perish.

So God wants you to have faith in Him, and in
Jesus Christ his Son. Christ is like a rope let down
from heaven to keep you from perishing. Let your
hearts cling to Jesus, just as the hands of the little
boy clung to his rope ; and you may know that it will
not break, for your heavenly Father holds it, but will
lift you up to where the Father is, and where there are
so many happy angel children who. have gone the
same way before you.

Let a dying girl preach to you about Jesus, and
how to come to Him and be saved in heaven. She
was a Sunday scholar in Ireland, about thirteen years
old. She was very weak, but as she lay on her dying
128 CROWN AND KINGDOM WON.

bed, struggling for breath, her face, like Stephen’s,
shone ‘like the face of an angel,’ so full-was she of
heavenly joy. She was almost too feeble to speak ;
but she had six or eight of her little friends by her
bedside, and was preaching Christ to them.

“Oh fane, dear,’ she would say, ‘Oh Annie, come
to Jesus! come to Him! He'll not put you away!
Oh give Him your heart ; give Him a// your heart, for
I know He will not take half of your heart! Give
Him all your heart, and He'll take away all your sins,
and make you as happy as He has made me. Pray
to Him for his Holy Spirit, and He will hear you.
But remember, évust /Zim, have faith in Him, else He
will not hear you. I used to pray to Him before I
had got faith in Him, and He did not hear me.’
“Oh, she exclaimed, ‘that all the children in Belfast
would come to Jesus! He has room for them all—
He would save them all !’

Thus preached that dying girl, and I do not know
that any one could better point out the way to be
saved than she did.

Now, dear children, will you not give your hearts to
Jesus, that He may wash them in his blood from all
their sins, and fit them for the crowns and kingdom in
glory ?

Edinburgh :
Printed by John Greig and Son.




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