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BIBLE LESSONS. CHAPTER VI.-THE PARTING COMMAND OF THE SAVIOUR. Weeks passed swiftly away, and the close of the half year was at hand. It was a time of sorrow to some of the scholars of Miss Stone. Little Harriet Benson was about to remove, with her mot! to a distant part of England; and two of her schoolfellows, Ellen and Alice, who had been at the same school for some years, were to leave and go abroad with some friends, probably never again to return to their native land. Fanny and Mary were also great girls, and were thought of an age to leave school, and undertake the care of their little brothers. Thus, many who now separated might perhaps never meet again on earth.
Miss Stone gave them for their last Scripture subject, " What does Christ command his servants to do for him ?” Ready answer was returned by several voices : " They are to be found waiting for him”“watching ;" while Julia read aloud Matt. xxiv. 46 : “ Blessed is that servant whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing.”
Miss S. The prospect of the glorious appearing of the Son of God is perhaps the most encouraging to the Christian, and alarming to the careless; but, while this is constantly urged upon us, we are also constantly reminded of the uncertainty of life and health. Scarcely a week passes without some event that seems to say, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth ;" “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”
No. 204. DECEMBER, 1861.
I remember, when I was young, a trusty servant of my father, being told by some workmen that his master would soon arrive, and might now be expected, for he was on the road, gave this reply: "I always expect my Master, and I hope you do too: it the best way.” Now, that is the state of mind which we ought to cultivate, and it should lead us to go on
humbly with the work of our appointed stations. Our Saviour himself could say,
“ I have finished the work thou gavest me to do." His people have something to do for him—to let their light shine before men, and seek to bring others to the truth. You have sometimes found texts about doing good to others ; cannot you now refer to some that explain what is our duty ?
Fanny. Galatians vi. 9.
“Let ug not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
Ellen. 1 Cor. xv. 58. “ Be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord; forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." Mary. Eccles. xi. 1, etc.
“ Cast thy bread upon the waters; for thou shalt find it after many days.”
Alice. Isa. xxxii. 20. “ Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters."
Harriet. Luke xix. 13. " And he called his ten servants, and delivered unto them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come."
Charlotte. Romans x. 14. “How then shall they call on him on whom they have not believed ? and how shall they believe on him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher P"
Miss S. I wish you also to refer to 2 Cor. viii., ix., where there are many useful hints about charity to others, and some encouraging promises, especially in chapter ix. 7. Also look at Exodus xxxv., xxxvi., and you will find how the Israelites laboured, according to their abilities, for the building of the sanctuary of God, the work to which all our efforts should be directed, in a spiritual sense. But you have often been told that of ourselves we can do nothing, without the
grace of the Holy Spirit working in and by us. Let us have some texts which remind us to pray for others.
Mary. Luke x. 2. “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he wonld send forth labourers into his harvest."
Fanny gave 2 Cor. i. 2, and Ellen Isaiah lxii. 6, 7. Other girls referred to the example of Nehemiah, and his frequent prayers for the house of God; and Alice read 3 John 8, as showing that we should help those who are engaged in preaching the gospel.
Miss S. It is impossible to say what opportunities of usefulness may be ours; but, at least, you can all read and work for others. You remember the history of Dorcas, who clothed the poor ; and our Saviour regards what is done for his followers as offered to himself. Even a cup of cold water, given for his sake, is pleasing to him; and I think you know the two instances in which the request for such a draught was received in a right and a wrong spirit (Gen. xxiv. 14, John iv. 9), though the latter person afterwards was so changed as to become the instrument of good to others.
How often it happens that young people boast of having made a profession of religion, or attending a particular place of worship, when they are deficient in those fruits of the Spirit which the Saviour exhorts us to bring forth as proofs that we are his followers. And are not many anxious to do great things, or undertake public duties, when the smaller services within their reach remain neglected ?
I have purchased some little books for you, which I hope will sometimes remind you of the lessons we have studied together. Remember, wherever your lot may be cast on earth“There's not a place where we can flee, but God is present there;" and “the same Lord over all is rich urto all who call upon him."
“When the Chief Shepherd shall appear,
And small and great before him stand,
Found with the sheep at his right hand.” A gentleman who used to collect for the British and Foreign Bible Society has related that a child, at a friend's house, put into his hand a sealed packet of silver, the gifts of herself and sisters towards printing the Gospels for the blind, and afterwards, on leaving the house with her father's partner, the latter observed that this little girl had been, under God, the means of his conversion. He was formerly an unbeliever, and had expressed himself; on one occasion, in her hearing, against the Scriptures ; but she followed him out of
and earnestly begged him, when alone with him, to read the New Testament with attention, asking if he had ever done so. When he said "No," she added, " I thought you could not, or you would not have spoken as you did. Do, sir, do read it.” He did so, and had reason to bless God for it to all eternity. He might well say, “ There was something remarkable in that child;" yet, what had she done which the youngest and weakest might not do ? Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings God perfects praise.
Another was brought to conviction by the remark of a child whom he asked why she read her Bible ? was it for a task or a punishment ? and she answered, Because I love it.” The following lines were afterwards written by him in the blank leaf of his own pocket Bible :
“The prondest heart that ever beat
Hath been subdued in me;