Imagens das páginas

more relaxed, we may hear of many openly professing their faith ir the Saviour. *

Such is our work in India. In all these various ways we seek to bring before the natives of India, educated and illiterate, men ani women, boys and girls, the one gospel of the grace of God, which alon can save their souls.


ONE bright Sabbath morning, some peering up from a very much neg. years ago, Mr. Lovejoy—the minister | lected, dirt-begrimed visage, into his of a certain charge—was on his way face. to his loved school, where throngs “There's a heap of fun in playing of little ones with smiling faces cards, ain't there?” waited to greet him. In passing an They looked at him, then at each old half-demolished building, he other, in astonishment. Was he heard a sound within that made his in earnest ? Did be really approve loying heart quail. It was the voice of playing cards; or did he intend to of childhood uttering vile oaths and trick them ? blaspheming the name of the Most Comprehending their suspicions, High.

he continued: “You see, it's been Full of the spirit of his Master, he so long since I played, I've almost entered, and with a gentle “ Good forgotten-but I believe they are morning, boys,” addressed a group pretty playthings.” of filthy, ragged young creatures, " Why, did you ever play cards! who had apparently lost, in corrup they asked, drawing around him tion and sin, the Divine impress. quite fearless now of any trickery. They were much startled-and the “Yes, I played one game oncelargest, a boy of perhaps fourteen and I think it was the funniest thing years, who seemed to be the leader, I ever did play; but perhaps i whispered, “ We'll cotch it now, | was not just like the games to youngsters," while he gave Mr. Lovejoy a look of defiance, and let fall a “How did you play 'em pa pack of cards which he was trying I would show you how I did to thrust hastily into his pocket. but I am going to Sabbath-school But the tone of that“ Good morning, and cannot stop any longer this boys," was so kind, so full of tender morning. I'll tell you what I will ness, it did not sound like a police. do, though. If you will come and man's at all and the face smiled at go with me, when we all get through them so sweetly they did not try to with our lessons, then I will tell yot get away.

all about that game. There an " These are very pretty cards, my other boys in the school who would little fellows-what do you do with love to hear about it too." them p" said the minister, picking “Now, really, mister, you dont one up'and looking at it.

mean for us to go to Sabba'-schod “We plays 'um," answered a little lookin' this here way, do you?" ten-year old, with bright blue eyes, 1 claimed the elder boy, looking dung

[ocr errors]

* If any desire to know more about this most interesting department of missionary work, full information can be obtained from Mrs. Angus, Regent's Park College.

[ocr errors]

usly at the forlorn appearance of miserable little wanderers as they. is companions.

The story to them was new and Certainly Why not?”

grand and charming, so much so ‘Only just look at our dirt an' that they had quite forgotten the jur rags. 'Deed, sir, we're not fit promised story about that game of o go inter yer fine Sabba'-school. cards, until Mr. Lovejoy began the l'hem stuck-up fellers in there would narration. He and his brother, one est laugh at us; and I tell you, day, many years ago, had found nister, I won't be laughed at by no- under some blackberry-bushes a box body's boy.”

packed full of cards. They were Oh, no, they would not, my little delighted with the prize, and hurried man. They love the Lord Jesus too home to show it to their mother, well to displease Him so much as who told them that no doubt some that. They will be glad to have you vile gambler had hidden them there. come, I know."

He then gave a graphic picture of " But I can't go, sir; and I don't the terrible evils which his dear see you need care. I ain't nothin' to wise mother said would arise from you, no way.”

card-playing, and how she had tear“My poor boy, I love you—and fully warned them never to have Jesus loves you a great deal more. anything to do with what would That is why I care.'

cause so much sorrow; and how they After much persuasion he pre- took the cards, which looked so vailed on them to accompany him. bright, and with them built a mini

There are schools, I am sorry to ature gambling and drinking saloon. learn, that would have thought it a Then, setting fire to it, they burned very ludicrous sight, indeed, for it to the ground. “ And that, boys, their minister to march into their was my first and last game of cards. midst, closely followed by eight or If everybody would play that way, I ten such looking objects as those

think there would be nowhom Mr. Lovejoy presented to his Stop, Mr. Lovejoy;

you need not superintendent that morning. Not

say another word.

Your prize is so that school. New scholars of

See that large boy, the most that stamp were no strange sight. unpromising of all those little outWith the example of Him who once casts, he draws his tattered sleeve on earth went about doing good be- across his tear-wet face, saying, fore them, and His love in their A wicked wretch I've been; I hearts

, they gladly welcomed to have. That good man said he cared their number any poor little wan

forme-he loved me. Think of that, derer, however lost in sin.

Richard Flanagin. Who ever talked The little strangers seemed to that way to ye before. Mind, now, relish all the exercises wonderfully, ye have played yer last card-ye and secretly made up their minds have broken yer last Sabba’-day: to come there every Sunday, and To-day Richard Flanagin is hear about that wonderful Christ flaming herald of the Cross;" and who left His Father's beautiful home he points to a silver-crowned veterau to live a homeless wanderer, and die in God's army, saying, He was th. such a cruel death, just to save such

man who cared for




[ocr errors]



Acts i. 16. We have taken these words from the address of Peter to the disciples, in order to use them as a starting point from which to speal of the fall of Judas. We almost wonder that such a man as he should have found his way into the apostolic band. Did Christ invite him, or was he the zealous scribe who proffered his allegiance with the words, “ Master, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest;" and who elicited from Jesus that strange, help-repellant reply, "Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head”? Why such a reply? Did the Master see even then that this would-be disciple had “itching fingers" for gain in His service? We purpose to show the downward career of Judas by briefly noticing the successive scenes in which he appears.

SCENE I. (John xii. 1-6). The house of Simon the leper at Bethany, A great supper. Jesus and His disciples among the guests. Lazarus there; the traveller who had returned from the unknown country, though without a word to say as to its wonders. Martha there too, busy, bustling, careful, anxious that every one should be comfortable. Mary also, desiring to show the greatness of her love to the Master, and bringing her precious ointment (who can say what self-denial she had had to exercise, to procure that very costly spikenard), and anointing His dear feet, and wiping them with the hair of her head. I can fancy how all looked on in admiration at Mary's gift-all saved one. Listen to his words of disapproval : " Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?” If we knew nothing more of the speaker, we should say, “What a nice, kind, thoughtful man he seems; how anxious he is for the welfare of the poor. If he had his wish there would not be a hungry man, woman, or child, either in Bethany or Jerusalem !” But the next verse reveals the true reason of his anxiety : “ This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein." He care for the poor! Not he; they might starve if he were fed.

He was a covetous man, and his covetousness made him a thief He was the treasurer of the company; he had the bag; he helped himself; and the ointment used in this way instead of being turned into money to go into the common funds, ineant so much out of his pocket.

His covetousness made him a hypocrite also, -caused him to profess an anxiety, an interest for the poor, which he never felt. A hypocrite! All men have some little respect for sincerity. Who has any for hypocrisy? Jesus Christ always had a kind word for the poorest vilest sinners who came to Him with sincerity and humility. He had

ripers !"

he sternest, sharpest, most stinging words for hypocrites. He called hem "fools," "whited sepulchres," "serpents," "generations of SCENE II. (Matt. xxvi. 3–16). The chief priests, the scribes, the elders of the people, are assembled together in solemn conclave at the palace of Caiaphas, the high-priest. They are taking counsel together against Jesus of Nazareth. They are becoming aware of the extent of the influence He is exerting over the people; that He is winning their affections. They resolve that, if possible, they will get Him into their hands, and put Him out of the way. The great question is, “How shall it be done?” How best can they carry out their resolution without making a disturbance, a riot amongst the people, who were friendly to Christ? Their council is interrupted by the advent of the man who was so anxious about the poor. He has heard something of their desire, and has come to make a proposition. Here it is: “What will ye give me, and I will deliver Him unto you?” What a wretch ! His covetousness makes him a traitor, as well as hypocrite and thief. “What will ye give ?” It was not so much a question of sin as of money; he was ready to do the vilest, meanest, most devilish thing, if only they would pay well enough! Are there no followers of Judas in the world now,-men ready to sell their consciences, their friends, anything in fact that can be sold, if only a price high enough can be bid for them? “They covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.” I have no doubt there was a little haggling as to price. Perhaps he wanted forty pieces of silver; they said twenty; a compromise was effected at thirty; and so, the priests glad to have found so ready and able a helper, Judas glad to be able to do so good a stroke of business, the bargain was concluded, and he went his way from the assembly of these holy men, and began to look out for an opportunity of betraying his Master.

SCENE III. (Matt. xxvi. and John xiii.) The twelve are sitting down with their Master; thirteen in all—for the traitor Judas is there. He must have been possessed of consummate impudence to return and sit down with them after the little transaction between himself and the chief priests. The Saviour has told them (and, before this, given them an intimation of the fact, Matt. xx. 18), “Verily I say unto you that one of you shall betray me.” Lord, is it I ?” was the sorrowful inquiry of each disciple. Peter, away at the end of the table, beckoned to John, who was reclining on the Saviour's bosom, that he should ask

He did ask, and the reply was elicited from Jesus that man to whom He would give a sop, after dipping it in the dish, was the man—the betrayer.

And he


it to Judas Iscariot." “And be haring received the sop, went immediately out, and it was

Yes; night without, and night black and awful within his own soul. SCENE IV. (Matt. xxvi. 47–49). The garden of Gethsemane-night still

. The great crisis in the Master's history is past; the thricerepeated prayer of the suppliant has been answered ; He has been


who it was. the

night." Night!

heard in that He feared, and has received special strength from Hi Father for the dread future; the agony and bloody sweat are over He is conversing with and counselling His wearied followers; theu conversation is interrupted by the appearance of a multitude of people a strangely compounded mob, armed with swords and staves, carrying torches, whose light gleamed brightly amidst the gloom oft surrounding trees. Foremost among the band is the thief, the hypocrite the traitor Judas. He had given them to understand that the person whom he kissed was the man they wanted; so, coming forward Christ, he said, “Hail, Master," and kissed Him.

There is something awe-inspiring in the stern majesty with which Christ asks, “Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss "And they took Jesus, and led Him away, and brought Him into the high-priest's house;" while we can imagine that Judas, chuckling over the success of his scheme, hurried away to receive the price of his infamy.

SCENE V. (Matt. xxvii. 3-5). “When he saw that he was com demned.” We do not choose to accept the excuse sometimes made for Judas, that “he in his impatience only resorted to a stratagem induce Jesus the earlier to declare Himself as King of the Jews; neither do we suppose that he was anxious that his Master should be put to death and the company of disciples dispersed. Not at all. was an easy pleasant task following this wonder-worker—something of His glory and renown was reflected upon His followers. Besides this Judas carried the bag, and helped himself, and no doubt made a ver comfortable (if not a very honest) living out of it. We fancy that Judas reasoned somewhat in this way: "The chief priests and ruler are bitterly opposed to my Master ; sooner or later they will get Hill into their power. Now I might as well show them how to secure Him; they will doubtless pay well enough for it. When they do lat hands upon Him, He can, very easily, by the exercise of His miraculous powers, release Himself, so that He will be none the worse, and I shall be so much the better in pocket by the transaction!” This scheme he carried out, doubtless expecting that Jesus would free Himself; but to his horror he found that Christ was condemned to die, and was quietly submitting to the malice of His foes ; that his own little scheme was not working as he anticipated; that different fruit to that which he expected was being brought forth. Then it was that, snatching up the bag, the jingling of the silver in which had once sounded 80 pleasantly, he hurried into the presence of the priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned, in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.” He met with but little to console him from them. He had served their purpose; that was all they wanted. A great many

- What is that to us? see thou to that!” He tried to undo ; tried, but found no way. Remorse, regret, misery, filling his soul, perhaps with a curse upon his lips, he hurled the bag of silver down at the feet of the

priests, departed, and went and hanged himself-went to his own place-went to receive at

of the

« AnteriorContinuar »