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“Give me back the pound !” said the lady. “Here, take two pounds! I am trusting to a false foundation. There, take two pounds! I am building on a sandy foundation.”
"Ah ! ma'am,” said the poor woman, astonished at the turn of affairs, “ if I had died in that state, my soul would have gone to hell."
Here," again exclaimed the lady, “here are five pounds. There," putting down a five-pound note, “take five pounds! The Lord has sent thee to open my eyes, and to show me that I am building on a sandy foundation. Ah! well; God bless thee, dear soul ;” and, getting up, she said, “Sit here, and take some refreshment, and then you must tell me some more about it;” and, having ordered something for her, she retired upstairs.
After some time had elapsed, the lady came downstairs with a large bundle of flannels, linen, &c., telling the poor woman no doubt she would find them useful ; and then she sat down and conversed freely with her about Jesus and His great salvation, after which, having thanked the lady many times, the poor woman took her leave; and, coming downstairs, nothing could she say but “Bless the Lord ! Bless the Lord ! Five pounds, and the one I have at home, make my baker's bill. Bless the Lord !" and all the way home, having quite recovered from the previous fatigue, it was, “ Bless the Lord ! Bless the Lord !"
Having arrived at her dwelling, she soon procured the one pound, and, late as it was, she immediately went to the baker, and told him she had come to pay him his bill.
“ What !” said he ; “you have come to pay something off, you mean ?”
“ Ob, no," she replied ; “I have come to pay you six pounds."
“What !” said he," six pounds? Why, where did you get the money from ? "
Now, as he was not a professing man, she did not enter into particulars, but merely explained that a kind lady had given her five pounds, and one she had saved up herself.
“Well,” continued the baker, “I never expected to have received a farthing of it, and I had made up my mind that, as long as I had a loaf in my shop, you never should have wanted one. Well, here,” said the baker, “take a guinea of it, and here is your bill receipted.”
Having thanked him for his kindness, she made towards her home, and nothing could she say but “Bless the Lord, my baker's bill is paid ! Bless the Lord !” She retired to rest that night, no doubt, with her heart full of gratitude to Him who hath said, " Trust in the Lord, and do good, and verily thou shalt be fed.”
This unexpected interposition of Divine Providence, though it was a great help to her for a time, was but a temporary relief, for she still had to struggle with difficulties and great distresses. This will (D.V.) be illustrated by a little circumstance that afterwards occurred, which will also show that she was not forgotten nor forsaken by our good and gracious God.-From an old Magazine.
THE FAITH OF THE OPERATION OF GOD. “O LORD my God,” cried Elijah, in his upper chamber, “let this child's soul come into him again !” "I will," was virtually the answer he received. And what followed upon this holy boldness in prayer
? “ The Lord heard the voice of Elijah, and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.”
This event is similar to one recorded of Luther, at Wittemberg. His friend, Myconius, lay on his death-bed, and wrote him a farewell letter. Luther, after reading the letter, immediately fell on his knees, and prayed with holy boldness that his life might be spared for the Lord's service. "Amen!". And after praying thus, he rose up and wrote to his sick brother, “There is no cause for fear, dear Myconius. The Lord will not let me hear that thou art dead. You shall not, and must not die. Amen." These words made a powerful impression on the heart of the dying Myconius, and aroused him in such a manner that the ulcer in his lungs discharged itself, and he recovered. “I wrote to you that it would be so," answered Luther to the letter which announced the recovery of his friend.
Oh, faith, faith, thou blessed companion of the children of God ! Thy wondrous power deprives the wilderness of its horrors, and merges the gloom of the present into the bliss of the future. In thy light the sacred narratives seem acted over again, and our own personal history becomes a sacred record of providence. By thy voice the patriarchs converse with us in our darkness, with kindness and consolation ; and by thy light we see a cloud of them, as witnesses, encamped around us, so that whatever grace they experienced is, through thee, appropriated to ourselves. Thou nourishest us with the promises made to Abraham; sustainest us with the strong consolation of the oath divinely sworn unto Isaac. Thou givest us the staff of Jacob to support our steps. Thou enablest us, with Moses' rod, to divide the sea, and, with David, to leap over the wall and rampart. All that earth and heaven possess of beauty is thine. Oh, faith, faith, thou door-keeper of every sanctuary, thou master over all the treasures of God! May He who is thine Author draw near unto us, and He who is thy Finisher bend down Himself towards us !
SPECIAL PROVIDENCE. The writer has for many years had the privilege of enjoying the friendship of a dear Christian brother, who resides in the village of R-, in Essex, whose life affords so many striking instances of an overruling providence, and so many wonderful, and indeed miraculous, answers to prayer, which, if laid before the Christian public, would tend, under the divine blessing, to strengthen the faith of the Lord's deeply-tried family, that he (the writer) has often wished for an opportunity to commit a few of the most remarkable incidents to writing, for the benefit of those who are passing through deep waters, and who may be saying, “The Lord has forsaken me.” But, not having had as yet an opportunity of hearing them from his own lips in anything like consecutive order, we will content ourselves at present with one incidert in particular, which goes to prove that the Christian's God is indeed about our path and about our bed, and spying out all our ways, and that His ear is ever open to the cry of all such as call upon Him faithfully.
Some sixteen or seventeen years ago, the dear friend of whom we speak had a severe fall, which injured his spine to such an extent that he has been able to do but little ever since towards obtaining “the bread which perisheth,” and, consequently, has often been reduced to great straits in providence. But, as “man's extremities are the Lord's opportunities,” these straits, although painful, have been the means of putting his faith to the test, and of proving to all around the truth of the dear Master's promise, “Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, believing, ye shall receive." His eldest son had been a cripple from the age
of three years, at which time he sustained an injury of the hip-joint from a fall, and from that time till his death (which was a triumphant one, and happened shortly after the circumstance about to be narrated took place) he continually suffered from abscesses, occasionally having several of them at the same time. Through constant and great exhaustion, caused by these abscesses, he of course required a great deal of nourishment, although it was but little that his father had the means to procure.
The dear boy had given evident tokens of being a partaker of the divine life from an early age, and at this time he was nearly sixteen years old, although in appearance quite a child, as, from the effects of his affliction, he had not grown in stature in proportion to his years.
On the evening in question, he was sitting in his little armchair by the fire, and his father sat on the opposite side. It was about seven o'clock. Tea (or supper, as they call it there) was over,
and the rest of the family had gone out of doors. The dear boy sat for some time in silence, evidently engaged in prayer, when presently the watchful father noticed a deathly paleness overspread his features. This was succeeded by a flush, and again a death-like paleness.
Our dear friend knew the causefaintness, produced by pain and exhaustion—and those only who are parents, and have watched over a suffering child, can understand the father's feelings, and how his bowels yearned over him, as he said in his homely, yet loving way, “You feel faint, Tommy. You want a drop of porter, don't you, my dear?” The suffering boy looked up with a smile of loving affection, and replied, "If I can have it, I do, father.” This answer cut his father to the very heart, and, with a tear trembling in his eye, he replied, “I know you do, Tommy; but you can't have it, my boy, for I'm penniless! But you must look up, Tommy. The Lord is as able to support you without the porter as He is with it; but, if He knows it is needful for you, He can send us the means to get it.” Tommy replied, “I do, father, I do try to look up; but the feeling of pity and compassion which yearned in his father's bosom can only be faintly imagined, as there rose from the bottom of his soul the cry, “Lord, I am oppressed : undertake for me!"
Soon after this the dear boy seemed to revive, and the rest of the family returning, they sat engaged in conversation until about nine o'clock, at which time a knock was heard at the door, and, on opening it, the minister of the chapel which our friend attended stood before them. They expressed their surprise at his visiting them at such an unusual hour, and hoped he was not the bearer of bad news; but they were still more surprised when he entered, and, stepping up to our friend, said, “Mr. S has sent you half-a-crown, Joseph. I do not know what for, but he desired me to give it you to-night.” Joseph, who was the only one not taken by surprise, asked the minister, Mr. B.--, to tell him particulars, and, if possible, the exact time that Mr. S— gave him the half-crown. Mr. B - replied, "I took tea at B- Hall this evening, and, after tea, while engaged in conversation, all at once your name was mentioned, I cannot tell why; and at the same time Mr. S- put his hand into his pocket, and, taking out half-a-crown, handed it to me, expressing a wish--in fact, making me promise him—that I would leave it with you on my way home. I cannot tell the exact time that your name was mentioned, but, as it was some time after tea, I should imagine it was about seven o'clock.” “That,” said Joseph, “is what I want to know, for that was just the time I asked for it.” Then, turning to the dear boy, he said, “ There, Tommy, the Lord has sent you some porter. I knew He was able either to
support you in your sufferings without porter, or send me some money to get some.'
And here for the present we will leave them, though, should we be favoured with the opportunity, we may record (I trust to the glory of God) many instances almost unequalled in the experience of any Christian of whom we have heard, with the exception of William Huntington, in his “Bank of Faith"
" Blest is the man who feels and knows
God is his Father and his Friend;
When danger's near, or storms portend.
Though they excel in every art,
A FEW OF THE MANY WANTS OF A CHRISTIAN. (Verses composed by the father spoken of in the foregoing narrative.)
I want to praise redeeming love,
I want to feel its power ;
And keep it every hour.
I want His presence there ;
And sweetly lost in prayer.
With His atoning blood.
Springing from Jesus' love,
THERE is no earthly pleasure whereof we may not surfeit; of the spiritual we can never have enough.—Bishop Hall.
The changes of weather show the unsoundness of men's bodies, and the changes of times the unsoundness of their souls.-Flavel.
It is impossible to churn happiness out of a chest of gold ; it will never come. You can never make unfading crowns of fading flowers.-Case.