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you see. Teacher says it's a mis- | place in her heart and mind. As take to think God will help those her outward sight failed, her inward who don't try to help themselves.” spiritual light increased, and she be
“I did try a little,” said Annie. gan to see plainly that her whole "I came out with the flowers to sell.” life had been a mistake - that,
“But you didn't try to sell them. hardening herself in her trouble and Sce, I have sold no watercresses sorrow, she had missed the blessing while I have been talking to you.
God intended to bestow upon her. So I must say good-bye now, Annie; The trouble had laid her low : but, but don't forget to ask your mother instead of looking up to God-inabout the school.” And the next stead of stretching forth her hand to minute Annie heard the clear cheery grasp the one held out to help hervoice, crying, “ Watercresses, water
she had turned away to struggle by cresses," and she called in a more herself unaided. timidvoice,“Flowers, paper flowers.” Annie was learning the opposite
Two or three passers-by turned side of this truth just now. The as she raised her voice; and an old little girl had begun by trusting in lady spoke to her, and became a God, and then sitting down to cry; customer. So, with her small stock. but she did not do so now; she in - trade greatly reduced, Annie asked for help and courage to do her thought she would return home, and work, as well as for success to crown try to sell the rest as she went; it; and the help and courage came and, with a momentary prayer for every day, although it was very hard courage to cry her flowers, she went for her to go out into the streets on towards the court. She sold the and face a crowd of people, trying last before she reached the entrance, to sell her flowers. It had to be and ran joyfully to her mother with done, however, or she and her her gains.
mother must have starved; and “Now, mother, isn't it true about Annie did it bravely, because she God helping us ?” she exclaimed, as was helped to do it. But it was not she placed the money in her mother's pleasant work, and Mrs. Anderson
and then she related her con- dreaded the effect of this street life versation with the watercress girl.
She could do very Mrs. Anderson did not answer, little now; work seemed to have but sat all the evening musing over been taken away from her and given the circumstances, and what had to the child; and bitter was the been said. "Perhaps I have made anguish she endured through this. a mistake all this time," she said, at Several weeks passed, and the length; "perhaps I ought to have little girl was gradually becoming sought God's help, as well as worked more reconciled to her new occuhard myself. But I didn't; I thought pation, when one day, while out with if I worked hard, I should be sure à basketful of flowers, a sudden to succeed without His help. Can shower of rain came on, and, beit be that working and praying must
fore she could reach any shelter, go together? I wish I had known they were wet through and totally it before. I do wish I had known it spoiled. Annie had got wet as well before."
as her flowers; but she quite forgot Mrs. Anderson had ample time that discomfort in her dismay at for reflection. She contrived to the destruction of her stock-inmake up a few flowers while Annie trade. “Oh! what shall I do?" she was out selling others; but it was sobbed forth, setting down her not much she could do, and her eyes
basket under the shadow of an arch, slowly but surely became more dim which she had at last reached ; every day. But a change was taking "what will become of poor mother?”
Her tears fell on the limp, crushed paper petals of her flowers, as she tried to raise them; and she was so occupied with these that she did not notice a gentleman who had taken shelter there as well as herself, and went on with her lament.
The gentleman became interested in her, and asked her where she lived. Annie told him all her sad story.
What is that you are saying, my girl — your mother is going blind?” he said.
The girl answered quickly, "Yes, sir; her eyes have got worse and worse, till she can't see at all now.”
The gentleman took out a card and handed it to the child. “I am a doctor,” he said; “bring your mother to me, to-morrow morning, at that address, and I will see what can be done for her. You make and sell these flowers for a living, I suppose ?” he added; and dropping a shilling into her hand, he hurried away.
Annie hastened home with the news to her mother at once. Mrs.
Anderson willingly consented to go and see the kind-hearted doctor the next morning; but when, on her arrival, he told her she must
into the hospital for a few weeks, when he thought her eyes could be cured, she was in great difficulty about Annie. For herself she was willing to endure the pain she would have to suffer ; but what would become of Annie while she was away? It was a great difficulty, and one not easily got over. At length, however, some ladies agreed to pay for Annie to live with one of the neighbours while her mother was away, and then, with a lightened heart, Mrs. Anderson went into the hospital
. An operation was successfully per formed, and she came out quite re stored.
There was Annie to go into the streets again; for her mother soon obtained employment as
an artificial flowermaker; and never again did she forget that God has linked prayer with work, while Annie remembered that work should be the companion of prayer
no need for
SORROWS AND JOYS.
BY THE REV. W. ABBOTT.
"The heart knoweth his own bitterness ; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his
joys.”—Prov. xiv. 10. THERE is an obvious truth in this proverb. It is one that is seen on the surface of human history. It applies to man as man.
Whatever may be his natural temperament, his
position in life, the sphere in which he moves, the circumstances in which he is placed, and the prospects opening to him, he is more or less affected by sorrows or joys. All life is chequered. As we look upon some persons they may seem to be exempt from the common lot, but entering the interior we soon find the mistake corrected. This state of things which affects man in general
, also affects Christian men. Though
* redeemed from among men," and though "not of the world,” yet passing through it, they ject to its sufferings, cares, sorrows, and death.
The Christian man is no stranger to joy, though his joys may seem trange to the world. The primary design of the Creator in giving nan existence was that he might be the possessor of joy. He was ormed with capacities, tastes, and affections for joy. In paradise there were sources of plenteous, varied, and incessant joy. All the fertility, beauty, and fragrance of earth occasioned him joy; but his chief joy was in the Divine manifestation and communion. He was pure in heart, and so was happy in God's presence, and as surrounded by His gifts. But the devil having tempted him, sin having ruptured his moral nature, he lost his taste and desire for paradisiacal and heavenly, joys. Still there is in man's heart a thirst for joy ; but it is a sinful one, and seeks it elsewhere than in God. Jesus Christ came as the restorer of joy to man.
He redeems men to joy, Believing in Him we participate in the joy of salvation. Each Christian has his personal sorrows.
« The heart knows his own bitterness.” The heart is a chief faculty of the soul. It is the seat of the purest and tenderest sensibilities—of the most pathetic and intense emotions. It is capable of the keenest disquietude, and of the
The heart as affected with a sense of sin knows its own bitterness. Each conscious, weeping penitent confesses that he is the chief of sinners. Sin has its many roots of bitterness, so that while in one case may be one sin, in another person it may be a very different sin, yet each one feels his besetting sin to be one of peculiar bitterness. Sin used to be sweet, but, now it is become bitter. The commission of sin used to be sweet, but now a sense
of its guilt makes it bitter. Till sin becomes bitter to us, salvation from it will never be sweet to us.
The heart feels its own bitterness as affected by the temptations of the devil
. Do not suppose that, because you have come to Christ, Satan will cease
to tempt you; and do not think that because he that
you cannot have come to Christ. To hinder you from coming to the Saviour is his chief design, but finding you have come to Him, he will try to embitter your peace and joy and try to becloud your prospects. Does he see you coming to the mercy-seat? He says, “I will try him there; I cannot, perhaps, entice him to sin, but I will tempt him to doubt and despondency, and so embitter his feelings in the exercise.”
The heart feels its own bitterness as affected by the persecutions of the world. The world may sometimes seem to smile upon religion, but it ever really hates it."" The carnal mind is enmity against God." There is something in religion that it likes, but it goes much too far for its entire approval. Its beautiful and impressive holiness, its intense love and fervent zeal, its separateness from the world, and heavenly. mindedness, the world has no sympathy with. So far as it secures exter. nal morality, it may be well; but spiritual affections and exercises it at once denounces. As to heaven gained by morality, it likes the idea ; but as to faith in the grace of God, and the atonement of Christ, issuing in salvation, it utterly opposes such a sentiment. In this state of
things there will be persecution; it may consist in looks, or words, or deeds, but these will each and all be bitter.
The heart knows its own bitterness as affected by the cares of life. The relations, business, and changes of life are ever attended with cares and anxieties, requiring the constant exercise of faith and patience. Each heart has its griefs, and each day its cares; with each opening morning and closing evening they are present with us. Daily cares have each their bitterness and burden, and need relief from the heavenly Father who cares for us and comforts us.
The heart knows its own bitterness as affected by bereavements. Here are the bitterest griefs of life-broad, deep, and long continued
. At times they seem to pass away, but return again with renewed and increased bitterness. In the Father's love and presence, in the Saviour's sympathy, and the Spirit's comfort, and in these alone, is the precious antidote found.
The heart knows its own bitterness as affected by fears in relation to the future. Fear has much power and much bitterness. Despond. ing fear is an unhappy companion. Cautious fear is a useful servant. The one we must check, the other cherish. Faith in Jesus is the sure cure for the bitter fear. That is the true heart's-ease. “ Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in Me.” Fear not, but trust.
Each Christian has his personal joys. “And a stranger intermeddles not with his joys."
The Christian's joys are secret. The world knows not the Christian nor his joys. They are not visible and noisy, and therefore their existence is a mystery, or is disbelieved. They are spiritual, and can be only spiritually realized and appreciated. He finds them as he returns to God, and as restored to his favour; he has the joy of a peaceful conscience, of enlightened ideas, of pure affections, and glorious prospects. In God is the life of his soul, and the joy of his life. Both his life and his joy are “hid with Christ in God." The Christian's joys are sure.
“A stranger does not intermeddle with his joy; » for it is both secret and safe. Jesus
“And your joy no man takes from you.”. A stranger has no sympathy with our sorrows, and no appreciation of our joys. Attempts will be made to deprive you of your joys, but Jesus, who is their giver, is also their guardian. In His hand you are safe, and your joys too. Let you heart be much with Jesus in spiritual trust and love, so shall your joy not only be safe, but shall abound.
The Christian's joys are ceaseless. They are compared to a river and its streams. The Christian's joys are not like a brook that dries up and disappoints those who seek it, but like the streams of a flowing
_o the river, ever refreshing the thirsty pilgrim. It is “ living water, water of the river of life.” Souls, quickened by the Spirit, thirst for it and enjoy it. The spiritual life seeks and finds the true joy. Sinner coming to Jesus as their Saviour, in Him find salvation, and so find joy. This joy is not a mere impulse, but a continued realization
Through Jesus we are reconciled to God; He pardons and blesses us, becomes to us our exceeding and our everlasting joy.
* Be the living God my Friend,
Then my joys shall never end.” “Thou wilt show me the path of life ; in Thy presence there is fulness of joy, and at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." Blunham, Beds.
"THE LORD SENT IT, IF THE DEVIL BROUGHT IT.” THERE resided in my neighbour- | flickering of a few small sticks hood a poor widow, whose means of burning on the hearth. support were exceedingly limited. stood near the window, listening to Between nursing, for rheumatism, what was going on inside, we found and spinning and knitting, most of that Granny was praying, and a little her lonely time was passed. I am to our surprise, asked for food. ashamed to say, that on one or two “As she expects to get food from occasions I joined some wild young
heaven,” said I, irreverently, “I chaps in playing off tricks upon her, suppose she will have to be accomsuch as making unusual noises about modated.” the house at night, smoking her And turning from the window, almost to death by putting a board clambering up noiselessly to the over the top of her low mud-built top of her chimney-a feat of no chimney, and such-like doings, that great difficulty-I tumbled my two we thought rare sport, but for loaves down. which we deserved a little whole- When I reached the window some chastisement, if there had been again, in order to see what effect any one authorised to administer this mode of supply would have upon it.
Granny Bender, I found the good One night, soon after dark, it hap- old creature on her knees, piously pened that I was returning home in thanking God for having answered company with a merry fellow, about her prayers. my own age, and had to go by old " That's cool," said I to Tom, Granny Bender's cottage. I had
' now isn't it?" been in the town, and was bringing
“I rather think it is,” replied home a couple of " baker's loaves, Tom. of which some of our folks were fond, “And is the old woman really such as city people are of getting now a fool as to think that the Lord and then a good taste of country answered her prayer, and sent her
well-baked loaves of bread down the "Tom," said I, as the old woman's chimney P" cottage came in sight of a turn of 'No doubt of it." the road, “ suppose we have a little “ It won't do to let her labour fun with Granny Bender P.”
under this mistake; no, never in “ Agreed,"
was Tom's answer, for the world," said I. he was always ready for sport.
Halloa, Granny!” and I threw We had not fully decided upon open the window, and pushed my what we would do, when we came laughing face into the room. up to the cottage, and paused
to She had risen from her knees, and settle our mode of annoyance. The was about putting a piece of bread only light within was
the dim into her mouth.