Part 2 out of 7
HE FORGETTETH NOT THE CRY OF THE HUMBLE.
A City home missionary has told us of the case of a poor colored family,
the husband nearly one hundred years old, totally incapacitated for
work, and confined to his room by sickness nearly twelve years.
Although very often in straitened circumstances, the Lord has never left
them to want for any good they needed, having, in a truly wonderful
manner supplied their wants, in answer to prayer. The wife, having for a
long time been kept from the enjoyment of church privileges by close
confinement, she had been sorely tempted to doubt her acceptance in
Christ, and was in great darkness for days; but one day, in reading the
following words, found in the fifteenth chapter of John, _"If ye abide
in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall
be done unto you,"_ she was led to go to God in prayer, and to ask, if
not wrong in his sight, to grant her a request, that she might know that
her prayer was answered, and that she was abiding in Him. The request
was that, as they were in trouble for the rent coming due the next day,
and still in need of _three dollars,_ that the Lord would send them a
friend in a stranger, some one that they had never seen before, and that
he would put it into the heart of that stranger to give them three
dollars, and then they would not be tempted to believe, as they had
sometimes before, that it would have been sent by a friend even if they
had not prayed.
"But," said she, "I knows if a stranger comes, none but the Lord could
send, then I would know the Lord heard my prayer, and I was truly the
Lord's. So I watch for the answer for you knows, brother, when we prays,
the Lord says we must believe we shall receive what we ask of Him, and
then He will give it. So I watch and listen for the knock at the door,
and do you believe me, brother, about three o'clock in the afternoon, I
hears a knock and opens the door, and a strange lady was there, one I
never saw before, and asked me if Mrs. H---- lived here; and said she
had been looking for us before, but could not find us; 'when, to-day I
felt I must try again, and I am so glad I have found you. I heard of you
through a friend who has known you a long time.' She spoke many kind
words, and when she took my hand to say good-by, she left a little roll
of notes, and when she is gone I count it, and _it was just three
dollars._ I is been so happy ever since. I loves to tell how good the
Lord has been to us; every time I does so I feels so happy."
INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF AN INVALID.--HOW GOD CARES AND COMFORTS IN
The following incidents are from the life of an invalid, personally
known to the editor of this book, and can be depended upon as authentic
in every particular. They illustrate most beautifully the blessed way in
which the Savior's everlasting arms are around, strengthening, and His
presence comforting His weak and helpless ones, in all their little as
well as great trials of life. The ways in which he sent relief, and the
many hundred promises which he has given; will encourage other Christian
hearts to trust the same _Omnipotent, ever Helping Friend._
GIVING HER LAST MONEY TO THE LORD.
"'The first money the Lord gives me I will send to you,' were the last
words I said to my old father, as I stood waiting for the train to bear
me to distant friends. So the weeks passed on, but I remembered my
promise and waited patiently for the Lord to enable me to fulfill that
promise. I had two dollars, but thought I must not give it away until
more came. But this feeling did not last long; something seemed to tell
me the Lord would not send me any until that was gone. One day I
received a letter from a friend containing this sentence: 'I have not
had three cents in five weeks.' My whole nature responded in a moment. I
put part of my money into a letter for him, the rest into a letter for
my father. Now I felt clear. Then I told the Lord all about it. A week
passed, and $5 came to me from my mother to pay my return fare. A few
days longer, and another $5 came from a lady friend, so I was provided
for. I needed a certain article of clothing, and one night made all
arrangements to get it next day. Morning came, and I went to the Bible
for my orders for the day; my eyes rested on these words: 'Be content
with what ye have.' This seemed so strange, because the Lord knew I
needed the dress; I was obliged to stay out of society on this account.
'But the Lord knows best,' I thought, and gave up all idea of getting
it. Nor did it trouble me further. I gave it all into his hands, feeling
He knew best. And afterwards it was made clear to my own heart I had not
trusted in vain. _'Commit all thy ways unto the Lord, for He careth for
MONEY WANTED TO PAY RAILROAD FARE.
"Once, on a visit, I left the company below, and went up stairs for an
hour's quiet and prayer. I was to return the coming week and I had only
just enough to pay my fare. For several days I had been anxious how I
was to get some money. This afternoon I had to pray very earnestly,
because the need was great. An hour passed; I felt weary and
unrefreshed, when a voice clear and near said unto me: 'Trust in the
Lord and do good, and verily thou shalt be fed.' It was not a human
voice, for no one was near me, but I started and looked around, _almost_
expecting to see an angel visitant. I saw nothing, but the sun shone
brighter outside, and the room seemed brighter than before. And why
should it not? The Lord had been there with words of cheer and comfort
for his little child. I arose and went below, where I found other
company had called, and I was introduced to the lady and her husband,
whom I had met five years before. A pleasant chat and they left, after
giving me an invitation to visit them. At the door, as I learned from my
friend who attended them, Mrs. N---- said: 'I should like to give Miss
B---- something,' and handed my friend _a five dollar bill for me_. I
was more than surprised. I cannot tell you the emotions of my heart.
While I was yet asking, even, the messenger had brought my answer. I
could yet hear the soft sound of the voice up-stairs, and the soothing
influence of the unseen presence still lingered round me. How quickly
our needs flow on the wings of prayer into the very presence of our
Friend and Master."
PRAYER SAVES THE LIFE OF A LITTLE CHILD.
"A year ago this Summer, my sister's little baby, only five months old,
was taken very ill with that distressing complaint which often proves so
fatal, and takes so many sweet little ones out of loving hearts and
homes. I loved baby Ernest, but never so well as when he lay so sick he
could not know it. We all loved him, and everything was done that could
be thought of to ease the little sufferer all those long, close, hot
days. Day after day, for four long weeks, we tenderly cared for him.
Sometimes his mother would watch his every breath, fearing each would be
the last. One Sunday he lay just where we put him, so quiet and still,
with the sweet baby face so white and calm, we thought we should lose
him soon, the little hands and feet were so cold. All through his
illness, I kept asking the Lord to let his parents keep the tender bud
he had sent them. We could not let him die, and to-day I prayed very
earnestly all the time--even when we could not warm the little body at
all--we could not let him go. Well, Ernnie passed over the fearful day
and became a happy, well boy. He was saved. No physician saved him. Our
tender care did not save him. Prayer saved our Ernnie. Precious baby! He
is such a jolly, happy boy now, filling every heart and the whole house
with his sunshine. How I love the little fellow. When I am here at his
home, he always comes to Auntie for love and tenderness. When I am
resting on the lounge, he comes every few moments to kiss me, giving and
receiving real heart-love. We know God only lends these little treasures
to their human friends. But oh, they bring so much love with them, it is
hard to give them up."
THE LOST THIMBLE.
"One day I lost my silver thimble, a gift from my mother when I was a
young girl. I prized it _very highly_. I looked everywhere, long and
faithfully. The tears would come, at the best, it had been so long a
constant companion. I gave up the search after a while, thinking some
one had taken it, or a child had lost it--any way, it was gone. Feeling
sad over it, I sat down to console myself, and the thought came--pray
about it; so I did, and while I knelt there something whispered, 'Look
on the bed,' so plainly that I arose and went into my sister's
sleeping-room where I had turned the spread aside, and there nestled, in
a fold of the quilt, _my thimble_. I involuntarily said, 'Thank God!'
out of the depths of my glad heart. I had lain down a moment on this bed
with baby Ernest, early in the morning, and the thimble had fallen out
of my pocket."
A PRAYER FOR $25.
"God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform."
"I had a present of twenty-five dollars once, which was a direct answer
to earnest, pleading prayer. I was entirely out of money for months--I
could not earn a dollar. I had those who might have assisted me, but
they did not. I could have borrowed, but I might never be able to return
it; I knew not what to do. One evening, thinking it all over, scanning
the dark cloud with anxious eyes, I said, 'If the Lord cannot help me,
no one else can; I will ask Him.' And so I did, bringing all the
previous promises before Him, pleading my unworthiness, but my great
need; asking first for _ten dollars_; then, as I grew more earnest, I
asked for _twenty-five,_ feeling almost frightened as the words came
from my lips. Sometimes the thought would intrude, 'How can you ask for
any given sum--how do you expect it will come?' so I said, one day, to
the Lord, 'Any sum you choose; you know best; I will be content.'
Several weeks passed, and a sweet feeling of rest and assurance came,
that, whatever came of it, would be all for the best. But, by-and-by,
when the anxious pleading feeling was all gone, one morning came a
letter from one I had never seen, with $25--just what I had asked for. I
cannot tell you just how I felt; I only know I held the check long in my
hand, scarcely realizing it could be for me."
PRAYING FOR OTHERS.
"My sister's husband wished to raise a certain sum of interest money by
a given time, but could see no way; was very much troubled about it;
said he knew no one to whom he could apply. I told him to pray for it.
He answered, 'God won't hear the prayer of the wicked; suppose you ask
him yourself.' I did ask Him, earnestly and faithfully, and it was even
given me the idea who my brother could ask to loan it him. I spoke of
the man to him--said I thought he might get it; so he called on him one
evening, and the way was made plain for my brother to introduce the
subject; and when he came home that night, he brought with him the three
A VISIT TO FRIENDS.
"I will hold thee by thy right hand, saying unto thee, fear
not, I will help thee."
"Once I held in my hand an open letter, containing an invitation to
visit friends I had never seen. My heart bounded with pleasure at
thought of the journey, and the pleasant visit to follow; but, on second
thought, it almost stood still--where could I get money and proper
clothing? Several weeks passed in thought. I could see no way, and so I
wrote my friends I could not come at present; but, in my heart, I could
not give it up. My parents were visiting in the far West, and I had no
one to advise me; so, up in my little room, night after night, I made it
a point to tell the Lord about it; and soon it seemed as easy and right
as though I were talking to a friend. One day, my brother-in-law said he
would pay my expenses to and fro. I thanked him, and took fresh courage,
and still kept on praying. Then the same good brother gave me money for
a dress; then a friend furnished other articles, and soon, I was en
route for the quaint old city by the sea. Every step was accomplished by
the simple way of prayer; and, when I slept, late that night, in a cosy
room at the Methodist parsonage in N.B., I could look back over the last
few weeks, and thank God for the _power of prayer_. But the best of it
all was the lesson I had learned--one which I shall never forget, while
memory holds her magic power--to carry _everything_ to God in prayer; to
trust him in every matter, however small; and this is the whole secret
of the power that lies in prayer."
"I found another lady visitor at my friend's and we were to share the
same bed. This was a little trial; I had to ask the Lord to give me
patience--and He did. One night, I was very restless and nervous; I
could not sleep. I knew I was disturbing my friend--soon she said,
'Annie, I am going to ask the Lord to come and put you to sleep. Now,
lay still, and in five minutes you will be all right'. I did so, also
breathing the words, 'Give me sleep, dear Saviour.' The room seemed to
be full of a soft, soothing influence, and I fell asleep. Once only in
the night I awoke, but soon went asleep. When I awoke in the morning,
rested and refreshed, Tillie, who was dressing near me, looked up with
her pleasant smile and said, 'Annie, how wonderful it was. You were
asleep in less than five minutes. It seemed as though Jesus stood close
by your side; I could _almost see_ Him, I felt so clearly His presence.
He is here now, Annie; can't you feel Him near? He was very good to you
last night.' Yes, indeed, I felt the influence of His presence, and, all
day, whenever I entered the room, I felt it, and it seemed as though I
must tread softly, it was so like holy ground. This feeling lasted
through my stay, and, last Winter, while again visiting the home of my
friends, it all came back to me again. This beautiful influence has ever
kept with me, and I never close my eyes in sleep until I say, 'Oh, Lord,
breathe upon me the sweet spirit of sleep.' However weary, sick or
nervous I may be, I feel that the soothing power will come; and, with my
hand in His, I rest peacefully, at last."
PRAYING FOR A NEW HAT.
"Whatsoever thing ye ask in _My_ name"--
"For a long while I had been without money, and my need was very great.
I wanted a new hat so much; and the question arose in my mind, 'What am
I going to do about it?' As I had no human arm to depend on for
anything, of course there was only one way for me to do--ask the Lord
for money to get me a hat. With me, to think is to act, and so I told
the Lord all about it, asking, if it was His will, to send me, in His
own way, money for the article I needed. Day after day passed, and I
felt almost discouraged. One day, a letter came from a lady friend I had
never seen, enclosing one dollar. I bought my hat--neither could I have
used that dollar for another purpose. Soon after this, my physician
ordered something for me. I had no money to get it, but said I would get
it soon as I could. Three weeks passed, and no money came. Then I asked
the Lord for enough to get my medicine. Another letter came from an old
nurse, with a gift of one dollar. I had my medicine. Time after time, I
have not had wherewith to send my letters, and, as I have a large
correspondence, it often is a real trouble. The only way I have to do is
to _pray for it,_ and always, in some way, it comes; not in _my
way_--not just as soon as I ask for it--but in His own way, He always
provides. I have learned to trust and not be afraid, even though the
clouds hang heavy, and I see no ray of light, the promise is there, and
for me, 'I will _never_ leave thee, or forsake thee.' I am so entirely
dependent on Him for everything that sometimes, in little matters, my
faith will, for a brief season, droop. Sometimes I have to plead and
plead over again some particular promises; but these times of waiting on
Him only strengthen me for future conflicts. 'Wait on the Lord, and he
shall renew thy strength,' comes in beautifully on such occasions. No
human being to help me; no one but God. Sometimes, when I sit alone,
such a flood of feelings come over me, I well nigh sink. Loneliness,
homesickness, and the great want in every human heart of sympathy and
love, leave me, for a moment, without hope or faith; but, when the heart
is weakest, and the need greatest, the loving Saviour is nearest. 'Like
as a mother comforteth her child, so does He comfort me;' and then,
soothed by his power and love, how the aching heart rests 'by the still
waters, and in the green pastures.' There is nothing but prayer for the
helpless sinner; nothing else will bring us into loving companionship
with the Lord. We may go to Him always, with every trial, need or
sorrow. He is ever waiting--ever ready to hear and answer."
PRAYING FOR A SEWING MACHINE.
"One day a lady friend said to me: 'Would you like some nice sewing,
easy to do?' I answered, 'Yes.' 'Have you a sewing machine?' 'I have
not, but am praying for one.' 'That is right; so you believe you will
have it by praying for it?' I replied: 'If the Lord thinks I need it, He
will send it.' I had learned to use my sister's, but I wanted one of my
own, to use just when I felt like it. So the thought kept in my heart,
'Why can't I pray for one?' And yet it seemed foolish to go in prayer to
God for such a simple thing, but I had not then learned that _all
things,_ with Him, meant every wish and want of the human heart. But
there was no other way. He must send my machine, or I could have none. I
prayed very earnestly. After a few weeks of waiting, one golden winter
morning it came--my beautiful machine--just what I wanted. This seemed
so wonderful to me, that it seemed to bring me into nearer companionship
with the Lord, and ever after, whatever I needed, I went directly to Him
for. A ministerial friend once asked me what it was I had covered up on
the stand. I told him it was my piano, taking the cover aside and
showing him at once how my beautiful sewing machine worked. _'What tune
do you play oftenest?'_ he asked. _'Rock of Ages_ is its favorite one,
and I never sew without singing it.'"
MONEY FOR POSTAGE.
"One day I opened my port-monnaie to get change for some little needful,
when I found I had but ten cents. I used five of it. As visions of six
or seven letters and many little things I needed came up before me, I
said aloud: 'The Lord will have to send me some money pretty soon.' I
think once through the day I prayed for some money, but felt no
uneasiness about it. That evening a lady friend called to say good-by
for the winter, and as she left gave me _fifty cents for postage._ While
I was calling He answered me. About a week before this, I thought I
would ask the Lord for $5 for my physician. He had come so faithfully,
day after day, without ever expecting one dollar, because I had told him
freely my circumstances. But I felt I must give him something for a gift
at least. So I asked for five dollars. Day after day passed away, and I
thought perhaps the Lord did not want me to have it. But still I prayed,
asking it for His will, not mine. One morning a letter came from a very
dear friend, containing a check for the amount for which I had prayed,
and a little beside. It seemed such a signal answer to my prayer, that I
could scarcely speak, and in my heart a glad prayer of thanksgiving went
up to Him, who had told me _to ask and I should receive._ A friend, to
whom I told this, said: 'Now you need this money yourself; I would not
give it to the doctor now--wait awhile.' 'But,' I replied, 'I dare not
do it. I need it, I know, but I asked God for it for my doctor, and I
must give it.' And here let me say, when we ask God for money, it is
sacred, and must be spent only to please Him."
PRAYING FOR A BIBLE.
"For a long while it has been my habit to be entirely guided for the day
by the first verse in the Bible on which my eyes rested. While dressing
for the day, I glance at the open page, or sometimes turning over the
leaves. But my old Bible was poor print and small, and it troubled me
for a long while. So I thought I would ask the Lord to send me a new
one. I told Him all about it. One day, this Summer, the postman brought
me a package of magazines and a letter. I began to undo the package,
eager to scan their welcome pages. My sister laughingly said she would
read my letter, and suiting the action to the word, opened the envelope.
I really did not mind what she was doing, until she said: 'Why there is
some money here, but no letter.' So she handed me the half sheet of
paper, with the money folded inside. I looked it over, and there were
only these words in pencil: 'For a Bible, and three dollars.' We looked
at each other; I could not say a word, until she said, 'What does it all
mean? 'I answered, 'The Lord sent it, I know; where could it come from?'
It was wonderful--wonderful because I could not remember as I ever told
any one that I was praying for a Bible."
A SPRING MATTRESS.
"Last Summer, when I bought my bedstead, I did not have money to get
either springs or a mattress, so I fixed up a clean, straw bed, and
covered it nicely with a thick comfortable. It was pretty hard--I did
not rest well. So, one sleepless night, I said aloud, 'I will just ask
the Lord to send me a set of springs.' I kept on day by day. When I felt
the severe pain which denoted illness, I thought of my hard bed and
prayed more earnest. One day my physician spoke of my hard bed. I told
him I was going to have a better one; I was praying for some springs.
And so I kept on. One day, a lady friend said something about my bed. I
did not say much. Somehow I felt I must not; I wanted to have it all the
Lord's doings, if I ever had any. One day my sister said a man was at
the door, who wanted to fit a set of springs to my bed. Why, I can't
tell how I felt; even after God had answered my simple prayers, and
honored my faith so many times, I was astonished at this. But she helped
me up, and the bed was fitted with nice, new springs. And they were
mine. The man could not tell anything about them. My sister says,
'Annie, did you order them?' I said, 'No.' 'Don't you know who sent
them?' I said, 'No.' 'Did you ask Mrs. W---- to order them?' I said, 'I
did not; I would lay here six years before I would do it. No, somebody
had a hand in it, but the Lord sent them, because I prayed for them all
the time.' A friend was present when my physician called. I told him
about the new springs. His kind face lit up grandly at this new evidence
that God did answer humble, faithful prayer, and he turned to my friend
with the words: 'I am glad they were just what she has been praying
for.' I do not think he had anything to do about them. But these springs
are only another proof of his love and power, in touching the hearts of
his children to help others. And they have their reward. Soon after
this, a lady sent me a white spread for my bed. Surely, God is good to
his little ones."
THE HEALING OF MARY THEOBALD.
The following incident is related by her pastor, at Woburn, Mass., who,
for three and a half years, was well acquainted with her physical
condition, and who testified, in _The Congregationalist_, that no
medicine, or physician's aid or advice, was of any avail:
"From the first of my acquaintance to the last, she had an unswerving
confidence in her recovery. Many times has she said to me: 'I believe
that I shall be well. Jesus will raise me up. I shall hear you preach
"But, in common with the friends who were watching her case, and with
the physicians who had exhausted their skill upon her in vain, I had
little or no hope for her. It seemed to me that her life was to be one
of suffering; that God was keeping her with us that we might have a
heroic example of what His grace could enable one to bear and to become.
"A few days ago, I received from her lips the following statement of the
origin and progress of her sickness: 'My first sickness occurred when I
was about sixteen years old. This illness lasted for a year. Indeed, I
was never well again. That sickness left me with a bad humor, which, for
two years, kept me covered with boils. When the boils disappeared, the
trouble was internal. Physicians feared a cancer. For ten years, I was
sick, more or less--sometimes able to work, sometimes utterly prostrate.
"'My second severe illness began in the Autumn of 1871. I had been
failing for two years. Then I was obliged to give up. I was on the bed
five months. From this illness I never recovered so as to labor or walk
abroad. When not confined to my bed, I have been on the lounge, as you
have known me. No one can ever know the suffering which these years have
"My acquaintance with her began in the Spring of 1873. Several times
since I have known her, she has been carried so low that we have thought
her release near at hand; and, indeed, the general tendency has been
downwards. I recently asked an intelligent physician, who had attended
her for a year or more, to give me the facts in her case. He replied:
'She is diseased throughout. Her system is thoroughly soured. It
responds to nothing. Almost every function is abnormal. There is no help
for her in medicine.' Other physicians had tried their skill with the
same result. It was generally admitted by doctors, friends and family,
that nothing more could be done for her. While all saw only suffering
and an early death in store for her, yet she confidently expected to be
well, and her faith never waned.
"It was her custom to spend a few weeks each year in the family of one
of the sisters in the church. At her last visit, it was evident to this
lady that Mary was not so well as in former years. One day, when
conversation turned upon this topic, she felt constrained to express her
fears. But Mary was hopeful. A proposition was made, and arrangements
were perfected to visit Doctor Cullis, to secure the benefit of his
prayers. But her feebleness was so great that the plan was abandoned.
'If,' said Mrs. F., 'faith is to cure you, why go to Doctor Cullis, or
to any one? Let us go to God ourselves; and, Mary, if you have faith
that God can and will cure you sometime, why not believe that He will
_cure you now?_'
"She felt herself cast on God alone. All hope of human help was at an
end. She had thought it, hitherto, enough patiently to wait His time.
She saw that, after all, she must not dishonor God by limiting His
power. Again her Bible opened to the familiar passages, '_the prayer of
faith shall save the sick_;' 'according to your faith be it unto you.'
She felt that the time for testing her faith had come. She would
dishonor the Lord no longer. Requesting the prayers of the family that
God would now grant healing and restoration, she tottered to her couch,
and, asking that in the morning she might be well, calmly closed her
eyes in the assurance that it would be so. _And according to her faith,
so it was. She came forth in the morning without a remnant of the pain
which had filled a decade of years with agony_. That Sabbath was to her,
indeed, 'a high day.' A week later the frequent prophecy that she should
hear me preach was fulfilled.
"_Not a vestige of suffering remained_. So far as that is concerned,
there was not a hint left that she had been an invalid for almost a
score of years.
"_She immediately took her place in the family as a well person._ Two
days after, I saw her. She came to meet me with a step light and strong,
and with a face written all over with thankfulness and joy. Since that
time all the abandoned duties of active life have been resumed. When
last I saw her, she was in bounding health and spirits, declaring that
she could not remember when she had felt so happy and well. That
night--one of the coldest of the winter, the roads at their iciest--she
walked more than half a mile to and from the prayer-meeting.
It is difficult for those who are not conversant with the case to
believe it, yet there is no illusion in it. _That she went to sleep a
suffering, feeble, shattered woman, and, awoke free from pain, and that
she has been gaining in strength ever since, are facts that cannot be
HOW PRAYER HELPED HIM TO KEEP THE PLEDGE.
In a rural district, in the North of England, lived a shoe-maker who had
signed the temperance pledge often, but never had strength to keep it.
After a while, he was able to keep it, and reformed entirely. A friend
was curious to learn how he had been able, at last, to win the victory,
and went to see him.
"Well, William, how are you?"
"Oh, pretty well. I had only eighteen pence and an old hen when I
signed, and a few old scores; but now I have about ten pounds in the
bank, and my wife and I have lived through the summer without getting
into debt. But as I am only thirty weeks old yet (so he styled himself),
I cannot be so strong yet, my friend."
"How is it you never signed before?"
"I did sign; but I keep it different now to what I did before, friend."
"How is this?"
"Why, I _gae doon_ on my knees and pray."
Here was the _real strength of prayer_. His own resolves were of no
value; but when he called on God to help, then came new strength, and he
was kept by restraining grace. The bitter experience of those who pledge
and pledge over and over again, and never gain the victory, at last must
come to either of two ends--their utter destruction, or else to call on
God in prayer, to help them keep the pledge manfully, and make them
steadfast in their resolutions.
ONE WHO REFUSED THE HOLY SPIRIT.
The following incident is related by D.L. Moody, the Evangelist, which
contains a warning, how the Holy Spirit avenges itself to those who
refuse its admonitions. It is a remarkable instance of the control of an
overruling God, who alone knew that man's mind, and which alone could
bring that text so often to his memory:
"There was a young man in my native village--he was not a young man when
I was talking to him--we were working on the farm together one day and
he was weeping; I asked him what he was weeping about, and he told me a
very strange story. When he left home his mother gave him the text:
'_Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these
things will be added unto you_.' He was ambitious to get rich, and
thought when he had got comfortable, that was the time to give his
attention to religion. He went from village to village, and got nothing
to do. Sunday came, and he went into the village church. _What was his
great surprise to hear the minister preach from that text_. It went down
into his heart--he thought that it was his mother's prayers that were
following him--he thought the whole sermon was for himself, and thought
he would like to get out. For days be could not get that text and sermon
out of his mind. He went on still, from village to village, and at last
he went into another church after weeks had rolled away. He went for
some Sundays to the church, and it wasn't a great while before the
minister _gave out this very text_. He thought surely it was God calling
him then, and he said, coolly and deliberately, _he would not seek the
Kingdom of God_. He went on in this way, and in the course of a few
months, to his great surprise, he heard the _third sermon from the third
minister on the same text_. He tried to stifle it, but it followed him.
At last he made up his mind he would not go to church any more. When he
came back to Northfield, after years, his mother had died, but the text
kept coming to him over and over, and he said, 'I will not become a
Christian;' and said he to me, 'Moody, my heart is as hard as that
stone.' It was all Greek to me, because I was not a Christian myself at
the time. After my conversion, in Boston, he was about the first man I
thought of. When I got back and asked my mother about him, she told me
he was gone out of his mind, and to every one who went to the asylum to
see him he pointed his finger and said: '_Seek ye first the Kingdom, of
God and His Righteousness_.' When I went back to my native village,
after that, I was told he was still out of his mind, but at home. I went
to see him, and asked him did he know me. He was rocking backwards and
forwards in his rocking chair, and he gave me that vacant stare and
pointed to me as he said, '_Young man, seek first the Kingdom of God and
His Righteousness_.' When, last month, I laid down my younger brother in
his grave, I could not help but think of that man lying but a few yards
away. May every man and woman here be wise for eternity and seek now the
Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, is my prayer."
THE PRAYING SHOE-MAKER.
A correspondent of _The American Messenger_ relates this instance of a
poor man in the village where he lived, who, with a family of young
children and a wife in very feeble health, found it extremely difficult
to obtain a livelihood. He was at length compelled to work by the week
for a shoe-dealer in the city, four miles from the village, returning to
his family every Saturday evening, and leaving home early on Monday
He usually brought home the avails of his week's labor in provisions for
the use of his family during the following week; but on one cold and
stormy night, in the depth of winter, he went towards his humble
dwelling with empty hands, but a full heart. His employer had declared
himself unable to pay him a penny that night, and the shoe-maker, too
honest to incur a debt without knowing that he should be able to cancel
it, bent his weary steps homeward, trusting that He who hears the ravens
when they cry, would fill the mouths of his little family. He knew that
he should find a warm house and loving hearts to receive him, but he
knew, too, that a disappointment awaited them which would make at least
_one_ heart ache.
When he entered his cottage, cold and wet with the rain, he saw a bright
fire, brighter faces, and a table neatly spread for the anticipated
repast. The tea-kettle was sending forth its cloud of steam, all ready
for "the cup which cheers, but not inebriates," and a pitcher of milk,
which had been sent in by a kind neighbor, was waiting for the bread so
anxiously expected by the children. The sad father confessed his
poverty, and his wife in tears begged him to make _some_ effort to
procure food for them before the Sabbath. He replied, "Let us ask God to
give us our daily bread. Prayer avails with God when we ask for temporal
good, as well as when we implore spiritual blessings." The sorrowing
group knelt around the family altar, and while the father was entreating
fervently for the mercies they so much needed, a gentle knocking at the
door was heard. When the prayer was ended the door was opened, and there
stood a woman in the "peltings of the storm," who had never been at that
door before, though she lived only a short distance from it. She had a
napkin in her hand, which contained a large loaf of bread; and half
apologizing for offering it, said she had unintentionally made "a larger
batch of bread" than usual that day, and though she hardly knew why, she
thought it might be acceptable there.
After expressing their sincere gratitude to the woman, the devout
shoe-maker and his wife gave thanks to God with overflowing hearts.
While the little flock were appeasing their hunger with the nice new
bread and milk, the father repaired to the house where I was an inmate,
and told his artless tale with streaming eyes, and it is unnecessary to
say, that he returned to his home that night with a basket heavily
laden, and a heart full of gratitude to a prayer-answering God.
HOW THE LORD CONTROLS EVEN THE LOCOMOTIVE AND THE RAILROAD TRAIN.
A remarkable instance of how the Lord controlled circumstances for the
detention of one train, and speeded the arrival of the other, in answer
to the prayer of a poor widow, who was in anxiety and distress, is thus
known to the editor of _The Watchman and Reflector_:
"Not long ago an engineer brought his train to a stand at a little
Massachusetts village, where the passengers have five minutes for lunch.
A lady came along the platform and said: 'The conductor tells me the
train at the junction in P---- leaves fifteen minutes before our
arrival. It is Saturday night, that is the last train. I have a very
sick child in the car, and no money for a hotel, and none for a private
conveyance for the long, long journey into the country. What shall I
do?' 'Well,' said the engineer, 'I wish I could tell you.' 'Would it be
possible for you to hurry a little?' said the anxious, tearful mother.
'No, madam, I have the time-table, and the rules say I must run by it.'
She turned sorrowfully away, leaving the bronzed face of the engineer
wet with tears. Presently she returned and said, 'Are you a Christian?'
'I trust I am,' was the reply. 'Will you pray with me that the Lord may,
in some way, delay the train at the junction?' 'Why, yes, I will pray
with you, but I have not much faith.' Just then, the conductor cried,
'All aboard.' The poor woman hurried back to her deformed and sick
child, and away went the train, climbing the grade. 'Somehow,' says the
engineer, 'everything worked to a charm. _As I prayed, I couldn't help
letting my engine out just a little_. We hardly stopped at the first
station, people got on and off with wonderful alacrity, the conductor's
lantern was in the air in half a minute, and then away again. Once over
the summit, it was dreadful easy to give her a little more, and then a
little more, as I prayed, till she seemed to shoot through the air like
an arrow. Somehow I couldn't hold her, knowing I had the road, and so we
dashed up to the junction six minutes ahead of time.' There stood the
train, and the conductor with his lantern on his arm. 'Well,' said he,
'_will you tell me what I am waiting here for? Somehow I felt I must
wait your coming to-night, but I don't know why_.' 'I guess,' said the
brother conductor, 'it is for this woman, with her sick and deformed
child, dreadfully anxious to get home this Saturday night.' But the man
on the engine and the grateful mother think they can tell why the train
waited. God held it to answer their prayers."
Think of this wonderful improbability according to natural
circumstances. These trains never connected with each other, nor were
intended to. There was no message sent ahead to stop. There was not the
slightest business reason for waiting, yet the second conductor, on
arrival of the first, asks this question, "_What am I waiting for_," and
the answer of the first is more singular, "I don't know."
ANOTHER INSTANCE OF SUPERHUMAN CONTROL OF THE LOCOMOTIVE, IN ANSWER TO
An exact parallel instance to the foregoing is given in the experience
of a correspondent of _The Christian_, which occurred in the latter part
of November, 1864, while traveling with her aged father and two small
"We started from New Hampshire on Thursday morning, expecting to have
ample time to get through to Indiana before Saturday night; but, after
we crossed the St. Lawrence River, the next day, I think, there was a
smash-up on a freight train, which hindered our train about two hours. I
began to feel anxious, as I knew our limited means would not permit us
to stop long on the way. After the cars had started again, I inquired of
the conductor what time we should get to Toledo, fearing we should not
reach there in time for the down train. _He said it would be impossible
to gain the time._ Soon they changed conductors, and I made a similar
inquiry, getting about the same answer. Still I hoped, till we reached
the Detroit River. Here I found that, though they had put on all the
steam they dared to, they were _almost an hour behind time_, so I should
have to stay over till Sunday night.
"After getting seated in the cars on the other side, I ventured to ask
the conductor if we should get to Toledo in time for the down train. He
readily said, '_No, madam, impossible! If we put on all the steam, we
dare to, we shall be more than half an hour behind time._ If we were on
some trains we might hope they would wait; but on this, _never! He is
the most exact conductor you ever saw. He was never known to wait a
second, say nothing about a minute, beyond the time._' I then inquired
if we could not stay at the depot. He said, No; we should all freeze to
death, for the fire is out till Sunday evening.
"A gentleman sitting in front of us said he would show us a good hotel
near by, as he was acquainted there. I thanked him, but sunk back on my
seat. Covering my eyes with my hand, and raising my heart to God, I
said, 'O, God, if thou art my Father, and I am thy child, put it into
the heart of that conductor to wait till we get there.'
"Soon I became calm, and fell asleep, not realizing that God would
answer my poor prayer; but, when we reached Toledo, to the astonishment
of us all, there stood the conductor, _wanting to know the reason why he
had to wait_, when our conductor told him there was a lady with her
crippled father and two little daughters, who were going down on that
"Soon as all were out of the car, both conductors came with their
lanterns and gave their aid in helping my father to the other train,
where they had reserved seats by keeping the door locked. All was hurry
and confusion to me, as I had my eye on father, fearing he might fall,
it being very slippery, when the baggage-master said, 'Your checks,
madam!' I handed them to him, and rushed into the car; but, before I got
seated, the car started, and I had no checks for my baggage. Again my
heart cried out, 'O, Thou that hearest prayer, take care of my baggage!'
believing He could do that as well as make the conductor wait. In a few
moments the conductor came to me with a face radiant with smiles,
saying, '_Madam, I waited a whole half hour for you_,--_a thing I never
did before since I was a conductor, so much as to wait one minute after
my time_.' He said, 'I know it was your father that I was waiting for,
because there was nothing else on the train for which I could have
waited.' I exclaimed, in a half suppressed tone, 'Praise the Lord!' I
could not help it; it gushed out. Then he said, '_At the very moment all
were on board, and I was ready to start, such a feeling came over me as
I never had in my life before. I could not start_. Something kept saying
to me, _you must wait_, for there is something pending on that train you
must wait for. I waited, and here you are, all safe.' Again my heart
said, Praise the Lord! and he started to leave me, when I said, 'But
there is one thing.' 'What is it?' was his quick reply. 'I gave the
baggage-master my checks, and have none in return.' 'What were the
numbers?' I told him. 'I have them,' he said, handing them to me, 'but
your baggage will not be there till Monday morning. We had no time to
put it on, we had waited so long.'"
ANOTHER WONDERFUL RECORD OF $25.
_A Christian minister_, living in Northern Indiana, was in want, and
knelt in prayer again and again before his Father in heaven. His
quarterly allowance had been withheld, and want stared him in the face.
Constrained by urgent need, and shut up to God for help, he pleaded
repeatedly for a supply of his temporal wants. Now see how extraordinary
was the plan of the Lord to send relief.
"In one of the lovely homes of Massachusetts, while the snow was falling
and the winds were howling without, a lady sat on one side of the
cheerful fire, knitting a little stocking for her oldest grandson, and
her husband, opposite to her, was reading aloud a missionary paper, when
the following passage arrested the attention of the lady and fastened
itself in her memory.
"'In consequence of failure to obtain my salary when due, I have been so
oppressed with care and want, as to make it painfully difficult to
perform my duties as a minister. There is very little prospect,
seemingly, of improvement in this respect for some time to come. What I
say of my own painfully inadequate support, is substantially true of
nearly all your missionaries in this State. You, of course, cannot be
blamed for this. You are but the almoners of the churches, and can be
expected to appropriate only what they furnish. _This, however, the
Master will charge to somebody as a grievous fault;_ for it is not His
will that his ministers should labor unrequited.'
"This extract was without name or date. It was simply headed 'from a
missionary in Northern Indiana.' Scores of readers probably gave it only
a passing glance. Not so the lady who sat knitting by the fire and heard
her husband read it. The words sank into her mind, and dwelt in her
thoughts. The clause, '_This, however, the Master will charge to
somebody as a grievous fault_,' especially seemed to follow her wherever
she went. The case, she said, haunted her. She seemed to be herself that
very '_somebody_' who was to answer at the bar of God for the curtailed
supplies and straitened means of this humble minister.
"Impelled by an unseen, but, as she believes, a divine presence and
power, after asking counsel and guidance of the Lord, she took twenty-
five dollars which were at her own disposal, and requested her husband
to give it to the Rev. Dr. H------ for the writer of the above
communication, if he could devise any way to obtain the writer's
"Doctor H------ is a prompt man, who does not let gold destined to such
an end rest in his pocket. Familiar with the various organizations of
the benevolent societies, and only too happy to have an agency in
supplying the wants of a laborer in Christ's vineyard, he soon started
the money on its appointed errand. Early in April, the lady in her rural
home had the happiness of receiving the following note, of which we omit
nothing, save the names of persons and places:
"'DEAR MADAM.--I have just received a draft for twenty-five
dollars, as a special donation from you. This I do with
profound gratitude to you for this unselfish and Christ-like
deed, and to Him who put it into your heart to do it. How you,
_a lady a thousand miles away, could know that I was, and had
been for some time, urged by unusual need to pray for succor
and worldly support with unwonted fervency, is a matter of
more than curious inquiry. It is an answer to my prayer, for
the Lord employs the instrumentality of his children to answer
prayer, and, when it is necessary, he moves them to it. This
is not the first nor second time that I have been laid under
special obligation by Christian sympathy and timely aid_. May
He who said, He that giveth a cup of cold water to a disciple,
in the name of a disciple, shall not lose his reward, repay
you a thousand-fold for this favor.'
"Does not this little incident illustrate the power of prayer? The man
of God, weary and heavy-laden, in his closet in Indiana, spread his case
before the Lord. A disciple in Eastern Massachusetts, _a thousand miles
away_ from the spot where the prayer was offered, who did not know
anything about him or his need, is touched with his wants, and moved to
send him immediate aid."
MR. SPURGEON'S COW.
"My grandfather was a very poor minister, and kept a cow, which was a
very great help in the support of his children--he had ten of them;--and
the cow took the "staggers" and died. 'What will you do now?' said my
grandmother. 'I cannot tell what we shall do now,' said he, 'but I know
what God will do: God will provide for us. We must have milk for the
"The next morning, there came L20 to him. He had never made application
to the fund for the relief of ministers; but, on that day, there were L5
left when they had divided the money, and one said, 'There is poor Mr.
Spurgeon down in Essex, suppose we send it to him.' The chairman--a Mr.
Morley of his day--said, 'We had better make it L10, and I'll give L5.'
Another L5 was offered by another member, if a like amount could be
raised, to make it up to L20; which was done. They knew nothing about my
grandfather's cow; but God did, you see; and there was the new cow for
him. And those gentlemen in London were not aware of the importance of
the service which they had rendered.
"TRUST IN THE LORD."
"A poor negro woman, after the death of her husband, had no means of
support for herself and two little children, except the labor of her own
hands; yet she found means out of her deep poverty to give something for
the promotion of the cause of her Redeemer, and would never fail to pay,
on the very day it became due, her regular subscription to the church of
which she was a member. In a hard Winter she had found great difficulty
in supplying the pressing needs of her little family; yet the few pence
for religious purposes had been regularly put by.
"As one season for the contribution came round, she had only a little
corn, a single salt herring, and a five-cent piece remaining of her
little store. Yet she did not waver; she ground the corn, prepared her
children's supper, and then, with a light heart and cheerful
countenance, set out to meeting, where she gave joyfully the five cents,
_the last she had in the world_.
"Returning from the church, she passed the house of a lady to whom, a
long time before, she had sold a piece of pork, so long indeed that she
had entirely forgotten the circumstance. But, seeing her this morning,
the lady called her in, apologized for having been so tardy in the
settlement, and then inquired how much it was. Old Sukey did not know,
and the lady, determined to be on the safe side, gave her two dollars,
besides directing her housekeeper to put up a basket of flour, sugar,
coffee, and other luxuries for her use. Poor Sukey returned home with a
joyful heart, saying, as she displayed her treasures, "See, my children,
the Lord is a good paymaster, giving us 'a hundred-fold even in this
present life, and in the world to come life everlasting.'"
EXACTLY EIGHTY DOLLARS.--"THEY ARE SAFE THAT TRUST IN THEE."
A clergyman somewhat advanced in years recently related to a
correspondent of _The Messenger_ an incident in his own life, which well
illustrates the provident care of our heavenly Father over his children.
"His first church was at V----, and, though he labored diligently,
working with his own hands for his support, he became eighty dollars in
debt. It was a grievous burden, and all his efforts to remove it proved
unavailing. One day, when he felt especially cast down, he retired to
pray over the matter, and on his knees he besought the Lord to aid, as
he despaired of help from any other source. He felt strengthened and
hopeful when he left his closet, and entered his church on Sabbath
morning with a lighter heart than usual. As he passed the door a young
lady met him, and placed in his hand _fifty dollars_, saying that
_twenty_ was to go for the Sabbath-school library, and the remaining
_thirty_ was for himself. He was so surprised that he scarcely trusted
his senses, and asked her not less than three times, that he might not
be mistaken. As he preached that day, God seemed 'a very present help.'
At the close of the service, a young man, noted for his free-hearted,
impulsive character, stepped up and requested that he would perform a
marriage ceremony for him the next week. He did so, and received for his
services a bill, which he placed in his pocket, and, on looking at it
afterwards, found it _fifty dollars_, thus making up _exactly the
eighty_ he had prayed the Lord to send him."
We too often forget that God is as willing to listen to our temporal
wants as to our spiritual, and that "no good thing will He withhold from
them that walk uprightly."
A PRAYER FOR FOUR DOLLARS.
A Home Missionary from Brooklyn called one day upon an editor to gather
some tracts for distribution which he had published. The editor became
interested in the story of his visits among the poor, and though at
first not specially moved to give money at that time, yet toward the
last, putting his hand into his pocket he pulled out all the bills there
were there, $4, and gave them to the missionary with these words: "There
is something which may come useful." The gift was all forgotten until a
few days afterward the missionary returned and said to the editor,
"After I left you I received a letter from a poor lady who had been
owing money for rent for several months, which she could not possibly
pay. That very morning the landlord came and said that if she could only
raise $4 he would excuse the rest; but she did not have the $4. I did
not know where to get it. I happened to drop in to see you; did not tell
you anything of the need, and asked for nothing; yet you gave me the
exact $4 to answer that poor woman's prayer."
An infinite Creator and God had brought these circumstances together in
this exact way. Neither the editor nor missionary had ever met before.
The missionary did not know that the lady was in distress. Who was it
that sent the landlord to the lady and fixed that amount of $4 in his
mind? Who was it that sent the home missionary to the office of a person
he had never seen or known? Who was it that knew of the $4 waiting in
that pocket and prompted that hand to take it out and give it away? Who
was it that led that missionary to obtain and send relief just as she
was praying for that special amount?
_Was it chance or science? No, No. It was the will of a loving God_.
"AUNT SALLY'S" FAITH.
"'Aunt Sally,' says the _American Messenger_, was a devout, working,
trustful Christian. Her husband was a cripple, almost helpless, an
unbeliever, and to some extent an opposer of religion. They lived alone.
The severity of a northern winter was upon them, and in spite of her
best exertions their stock of fuel was scarcely a day's supply.
"'What can be done?' was the anxious inquiry of the unbelieving husband
as they were rising from their bed. 'The Lord will provide,' was 'Aunt
Sally's' cheerful reply. 'I know you always say so, and so it has always
proved,' was the answer of her unbelieving companion; 'but I see no way
in which we can be provided for now.' 'Nor do I,' said 'Aunt Sally.'
'But help will come. God will not desert us.'
"That winter's morning had not passed when their son, who had been a
soldier in the Mexican war, entered the door. It had been long since
they had heard from him, and they feared he was not alive. The sun went
down upon an abundant supply of fuel, cut in the forest by the strong
arms of the soldier-boy, and drawn to the door by means of his
procuring. The unbelieving husband and father declared he would never be
GOD CARETH FOR YOU.
"Nearly forty years ago I was given up by the doctors for a dying man
from consumption. I had a wife and five children dependent on me, and
for many months was unable to provide for them by my own labors. All our
earthly resources were gone, and one Sabbath morning, when breakfast was
over, we were entirely destitute; there was no meal in the barrel nor
oil in the cruse. In family worship I read the fortieth chapter of
Isaiah. I think up to that time I had never found the word of God so
sweet and precious. I had very near access in prayer, and was enabled to
lay my burden at the Saviour's feet. I closed with the Lord's Prayer; it
seemed made on purpose for me. I think the petition, 'Give us this day
our daily bread,' was offered in faith.
"_Within an hour there was a rap at the door_. When I opened it a young
man stood there who had come three miles to bring us bread, sugar, and
money. He apologized for coming on the Sabbath morning, but said an aunt
of his was at their house the evening before, and felt so anxious about
us she could not go away till he promised her he would come and bring us
A PRAYER NOT ANSWERED.
"Many years ago, a man then recently married, settled in my native town.
It was then quite new, destitute of religious privileges, and given to
all manner of wickedness. There was no Sabbath, and no sanctuary. The
man was pious. The thought of bringing up a family in such a place
distressed him. He wished to remove; and he used to retire daily to a
little grove, and _pray that God would send some one to buy his farm_.
This prayer was not answered. Better things were in store. A neighbor
was taken sick. He visited and conversed with him. In the midst of the
conversation, one sitting by interrupted him and said, 'Sir, if what you
say is true, I am lost.' This gave new interest to the occasion. Prayer
was offered, the Spirit was found out, and many were converted. A
prayer-meeting was started; other revivals followed; in due time a
church was organized, a house of worship built, and a pastor settled,
mainly through the instrumentality of that one man; and he trained up
his family there, and lived to see most of them members of the church of
Christ. Do not despair, God will _either answer your exact prayer,_ or
_do something better for you_; He knows what is for your best good."
TRUST IN THE LORD.
"A pious woman, who was reduced to extreme poverty and deserted by her
intemperate husband, was taken sick, and lay several days without
physical power to provide food for her two little children. She had
directed them where to find the little that was remaining in the house,
and they had eaten it all. Still she lay sick, with no means of
obtaining more, as night closed upon the hungry household. The children
soon forgot their hunger in sleep; but not so the mother. She saw no
help for them but in God, and she spent the night-watches in spreading
before him their necessities. As the morning approached her confidence
in God increased, and that passage from his word rested with peculiar
sweetness upon her mind, 'Trust in the Lord and do good; so shalt thou
dwell in the land, and _verily thou shalt be fed_.'
"Morning came. The starving children managed by her direction to build
them a little fire, and almost before they had commenced telling their
mother of their hunger, a stranger came in. She introduced herself as
Mrs. J., saying she had known for some time that there was a new family
in the neighborhood, and intended to call and make their acquaintance,
but had been prevented. _During the last night she had been so troubled
and disturbed about it_, that she thought she would run in early, lest
she should again be prevented, and see if there was any way in which she
could be of service to them. The mother in bed, with her head bound to
mitigate its pain, revealed the story of her sufferings, and the good
lady soon learned their entire destitution. They were immediately made
comfortable; and all will be glad to know that it was the beginning of
better days to that deserted wife and mother."
THE NECESSITY OF ASKING GOD'S BLESSING EVERY DAY, UPON YOUR DAILY WORK.
EVERY WORK, HOWEVER GOOD, NEEDS SPECIAL, SPECIFIC, DAILY PRAYER FOR ITS
"A colporteur in the Wabash valley became quite discouraged and was
almost ready to give up his work, on account of the smallness of his
sales. On every side, his ears were filled with complaints of 'hard
times;' the wheat crop had partially failed two years in succession--the
California emigration, and railroad and plank-road speculations had
almost drained the country of money. Frequently he would be told, that
if he could come after harvest they would buy his books, but that it was
impossible to do so then. His sales were daily decreasing, and he became
more and more disheartened, until one night, after a laborious day's
effort, he found that he had _only sold twenty-five cents' worth_! He
felt that he could not go on in this way any longer. He was wasting his
strength and time, and the money of the Society. On examination of the
state of his heart, he found that it had, gradually and almost
unconsciously, grown cold and departed far from Christ. He felt that he
had not prayed as he ought to have done, especially _he had neglected
each morning, and on his approach to each dwelling, to pray that then
and there God would guide him, and own and bless his efforts to sell
books._ He saw that probably here was at least a part of the cause why
his sales had become so small. Early the next morning, before any of the
family were up, he arose and retired to the adjoining woods, where he
had a long and precious season of communion with God. There he anew
dedicated himself and his all to the service of Christ. There, as under
the eye of the Master, he reviewed the time he had labored as a
colporteur, and prayed for forgiveness for the past and grace for the
future. There he told the Saviour all about his work, and asked him to
go with him that day, preparing the way and enabling him to succeed in
the work on which he had entered. The result was what might have been
expected. He went forth a new man; his heart was interested more deeply
in the truths which he was circulating--they were more precious than
ever to his own soul, and he could recommend his books, as he failed to
do when his heart was cold and prayerless. _That first day he sold more
books than during the whole week before._ In one instance, he sold
several dollars' worth in a family where, as he was afterwards told by
pious men in the neighborhood, the father was most bitterly opposed to
everything connected with true religion. God had prepared that man's
heart, so that he was ready to purchase quite a library for his family.
And in many families that met him that day with the usual salutation,
'no money,' he succeeded in disposing of more than one volume by sale.
As he went from family to family, lifting up his heart in prayer to God
for success in the particular object of his visit, God heard his prayers
and owned his efforts. And so, he assured me, it had been since;
whenever he had been _prayerful_--_prayerful for this particular
object_, and then had diligently and faithfully done his best, he had
invariably succeeded in doing even more than he expected."
PRAYER FOUND THE REMEDY FOR THE DISEASE.
"A correspondent of _The Illustrated Christian Weekly_, states that a
mother of her acquaintance had a child taken alarmingly ill. She sent
for the physician. The child was in convulsions. The doctor began at
once vigorously to apply the customary remedies--cold water to the head,
warm applications to the feet, chafing of the hands and limbs. All was
in vain. The body lost nothing of its dreadful rigidity. Death seemed
close at hand, and absolutely inevitable. At length he left the child,
and sat down by the window, looking out. He seemed, to the agonized
mother, to have abandoned her darling. For herself, she could do nothing
but pray; and even her prayer was but an inarticulate and unvoiced cry
for help. _Suddenly the physician started from his seat. 'Send and see
if there be any jimson weed in the yard_,' he cried. His order was
obeyed; the poisonous weed was found. The remedies were instantly
changed. Enough of the seeds of this deadly weed were brought away by
the medicine to have killed a man. The physician subsequently said that
he thought that in that five minutes every kindred case he had ever
known in a quarter century's practice passed before his mind. Among them
was the one case which suggested the real, but before hidden, cause of
the protracted and dreadful convulsions. And the child was saved.
"Now, is there anything inconsistent or unphilosophical in the belief
that, at that critical moment, a loving God, answering the mother's
Helpless cry, flashed on the mind of the physician the thought that
saved the child? Is it any objection to that faith to say, the age of
miracles is past? If the mother, may call in a second physician, to
suggest the cause and the cure, may she not call on God? What the doctor
can do for a fellow-practitioner, cannot the Great Physician do? Though
the doctor had often tried and thought, yet it was not till the last
prayer and call on God, brought the remedy to his mind."
PRAYER INSTANTANEOUSLY ANSWERED FOR CONVERSION.
On the evening of the fifty-first daily prayer-meeting in Augusta, Ga.,
a large gathering assembled in the St. John's M.E. Church, at which Dr.
Irvine presided, and some very touching communications were read. One
was from a widowed mother, asking thanksgiving for the salvation of her
youngest daughter, recently from a boarding-school in New York city,
where she had finished her education. Some weeks ago she had sought the
prayers of the daily prayer-meeting for the conversion of her precious
child, who was spending a few weeks with some friends seventy miles from
Augusta. Prayers were offered accordingly, but without intimation of any
change. The loving mother sent in a second application or prayer to Dr.
Irvine, to be read on a recent Monday morning; all this without her
daughter's knowledge. On Tuesday the mother received a letter from her
daughter, dated two o'clock on Sabbath, informing her that on that day,
and at that hour, she had resolved to give her heart to Christ,
intending to ask admission to the church at the next communion. Strange
to say, at the very moment when the faithful mother was writing her
application for prayers for that child, she was announcing her own
What a verification of the blessed promise: "Before they call I will
answer; and while they are yet speaking I will hear."
HELP FOR THE SHIPWRECKED.
Admiral Sir Thomas Williams, a straight-forward and excellent man, was
in command of a ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean. His course brought him
in sight of the Island of Ascension, at that time uninhabited, and
_never visited by any ship_, except for the purpose of collecting
turtles, which abound on the coast. The island was barely descried on
the horizon, and was not to be noticed at all; but as Sir Thomas looked
at it, he was _seized by an unaccountable desire to steer toward it_.
He felt how strange such a wish would appear to his crew, and _tried to
disregard it; but in vain_. His desire became more and more urgent and
distressing, and foreseeing that it would soon be more difficult to
gratify it, he told his lieutenant to prepare to "_put about ship_" and
steer for Ascension. _The officer to whom he spoke ventured to
respectfully represent that changing their course would greatly delay
them_--that just at that moment the men were going to their dinner--that
at least some delay might be allowed.
But these arguments seemed, to increase Captain Williams' anxiety, and
the ship was steered toward the uninteresting little island. All eyes
and spy-glasses were now fixed upon it, and soon something was perceived
on the shore. "It is white--it is a flag--it must be a signal!" And when
they neared the shore, it was ascertained that sixteen men, wrecked on
the coast many days before, and suffering the extremity of hunger, had
set up a signal, though almost without hope of relief. What made the
captain steer his ship in the very opposite direction to what he and his
crew wanted to go, but the _superhuman Spirit of God_.
SAMUEL HARRIS'S LAWSUIT, AND HOW THE LORD SETTLED IT FOR HIM.
"When Samuel Harris, of Virginia, began to preach, his soul was so
absorbed in the work, that he neglected to attend to the duties of this
life. Finding, upon a time, that it was absolutely necessary that he
should provide more grain for his family than he had raised upon his own
farm, he called upon a man who owed him a debt, and told him he would be
glad to receive the money.
"The man replied: 'I have no money by me, and cannot oblige you.'
"Harris said; 'I want the money to purchase wheat for my family; and as
you have raised a good crop of wheat, I will take that of you instead of
money, at a current price.'
"The man answered: 'I have other uses for my wheat, and cannot let you
"'How then,' said Harris, 'do you intend to pay me?'
"'I never intend to pay you until you sue me,' replied the debtor, 'and
therefore you may begin your suit as soon as you please.'
"Mr. Harris left him, meditating. Said he to himself, 'What shall I do?
Must I leave preaching, and attend to a vexatious lawsuit? Perhaps a
thousand souls may perish in the meantime, for want of hearing of Jesus!
No; I will not. Well, what will you do for yourself? Why, this will I
do; I will sue him at the Court of Heaven.' Having resolved what he
would do, he turned aside into a wood, and on his knees laid the matter
before the Lord. Mr. Harris felt such an evidence of Divine favor,--he
felt, to use his own expressive language, that Jesus would become
bondsman for the man, and see that he was paid if he went on preaching.
Mr. Harris arose from prayer, resolved to hold the man no longer a
debtor, since Jesus had assumed the payment. He therefore wrote a
receipt in full of all accounts against the man, and dating it in the
woods, where he had prayed, signed it with his own name. Going the next
day by the man's house, on his way to meeting, he gave the receipt to a
servant, directing him to give it to his master. On his return from
meeting, the man hailed him, and demanded what he meant by the receipt
he had sent him in the morning.
"Mr. Harris replied: 'I mean just as I wrote.'
"'But you know, sir,' answered the debtor, 'I have never paid you.'
"'True,' said Mr. Harris, 'and I know you said that you never would
unless I sued you. But, sir, I sued you at the Court of Heaven, and
Jesus entered bail for you, and has agreed to pay me; I have therefore
given you a discharge!'
"'But I insist upon it,' said the man; 'matters shall not be left so.'
"'I am well satisfied,' answered Harris. 'Jesus will not fail me. I
leave you to settle the account with him at another day. Farewell.'
"This operated so effectually on the man's conscience, that in a few
days he _came and paid the debt_."
A WAGON-LOAD OF FOOD.
"A young minister and his wife were sent on to their first charge in
Vermont about the year 1846. On the circuit were few members, and most
of these were in poor circumstances. After a few months the minister and
his wife found themselves getting short of provisions. Finally their
last food had been cooked, and where to look for a new supply was a
question which demanded immediate attention.
"The morning meal was eaten, not without anxious feelings; but this
young servant of the Most High had laid his all upon the altar, and his
wife also possessed much of the spirit of self-sacrifice; and they could
not think the Saviour who had said to those he had called and sent out
to preach in his name: 'Lo! I am with you always,' would desert them
among strangers. After uniting in family prayer he sought a sanctuary in
an old barn, and there committed their case to God;--his wife met her
Savior in her closet and poured out her heart before him there.
"That morning a young married farmer, a mile or two away, was going with
a number of hands to his mowing-field. But as he afterward told the
minister, he was obliged to stop short. He told his hired help to go on,
but he _must go back_--_he must go and carry provisions to the
minister's house_. He returned to the house, and telling his wife how he
felt, asked her help in putting up the things he must carry. He
harnessed his horse into his wagon; put up a bushel of potatoes, meat,
flour, sugar, butter, etc. He was not a professor of religion. The
minister's wife told me there was a good wagon-load. He drove it to the
house, and found that his gifts were most thankfully received. This
account was received from the minister himself,--David P.--, who died in
Chelsea, Mass., in Dec. 1875, and subsequently from his wife,--and
communicated to a correspondent of '_The Christian_.'"
"A lady who lived on the north side of London, set out one day to see a
poor sick friend, living in Drury Lane, and took with her a basket
provided with tea, butter, and food. The day was fine and clear when she
started; but as she drew near Islington a thick fog came on, and
somewhat frightened her, as she was deaf, and feared it might be
dangerous in the streets if she could not see. Thicker and darker the
fog became; they lighted the lamps, and the omnibus went at a walking
pace. She might have got into another omnibus and returned; but a strong
feeling which she could not explain made her go on. When they reached
the Strand they could see nothing. At last the omnibus stopped, and the
conductor guided her to the foot-path. As she was groping her way along,
the fog cleared up, just at the entrance to Drury Lane, and even the
blue sky was seen. She now easily found the narrow court, rang the
number 5 bell, and climbed to the fifth story. She knocked at the door,
and a little girl opened it.
"'How is grandmother?'
"'Come in, Mrs. A----,' answered the grandmother. 'How did you get here?
We have been in thick darkness all day.'
"The room was exceedingly neat, and the kettle stood boiling on a small
clear fire. Everything was in perfect order; on the table stood a little
tea-tray ready for use. The sick woman was in bed, and her daughter sat
working in a corner of the room.
"'I see you are ready for tea,' said the lady; 'I have brought something
more to place upon the table.'
"With clasped hands the woman breathed a few words of thanksgiving
first, and then said, 'O, Mrs. A----, you are indeed God's raven, sent
by him to bring us food to-day, for we have not tasted any yet. I felt
sure he would care for us.'
"'But you have the kettle ready for tea?'
"'Yes, ma'am,' said the daughter; 'mother would have me set it on the
fire; and when I said, 'What is the use of doing so? you know we have
nothing in the house,' she still would have it, and said, 'My child, God
will provide. Thirty years he has already provided for me, through all
my pain and helplessness, and he will not leave me to starve at last: he
will send us help, though we do not yet see how.' In this expectation
mother has been waiting all day, quite sure that some one would come and
supply our need. But we did not think of the possibility of your coming
from such a distance on such a day. Indeed, it must be God who sent you
"'The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of
all their troubles.'"
HOW THE STOLEN SLEIGH WAS RETURNED BY A THIEF.
The widow of a minister of the Gospel sends to "_The Christian_" the
following instance illustrating God's faithfulness in hearing and
"About the year 1829, my husband, who died January 2d, 1854, lent his
sleigh and harness to a man calling himself John Cotton, to go some
twenty miles and be gone three days. Cotton was quite a stranger among
us, having been in our place but six weeks. During that time he had
boarded with my husband's brother, working for him a part of the time,
and the rest of the time selling wooden clocks, of which he had bought a
number. Three days passed, but he did not return. The fourth went by,
and we began to think he had absconded. On inquiry, Mr. P. found that
the clocks had been purchased on credit, and all sold for watches or
money; that Cotton owed sixty dollars toward his horse, and had borrowed
of the brother with whom he boarded, horse-blanket, whip, and mittens.
Now it seemed sure that he was a rogue, but what could be done? Pursuit
was useless after such a lapse of time.
"My husband felt his loss severely, for we had little property then, and
what we had was the product of hard labor. But he was a Christian, and,
I believe, always made his business a subject of prayer.
"About three weeks passed away. One evening, having been out longer than
usual, he came in, and, with his characteristic calmness, said: 'I shall
not worry any more about my sleigh and harness, I think I shall get them
again.' 'Why do you think so?' His answer was: 'I have been praying to
God to arrest Cotton's conscience, so that he will be obliged to _leave
them where I can get them_, and I believe he will do it.'
"From this time, which was Wednesday evening, he seemed at rest on the
subject. The next Tuesday morning, as he stepped into the post-office, a
letter was handed him from Littleton, N.H. It was written by the keeper
of a public house, and read thus:
"'_Mr. P.--Sir, Mr. John Cotton has left your sleigh and
harness here, and you can have them by calling for them_.
Yours, etc., J--N
"He returned home with the letter, and started for L----; went there the
same day, some forty miles; found sleigh and harness safe, with no
encumbrance. The landlord informed him that, a few nights before, at
twelve o'clock, a man calling himself John Cotton came to his house,
calling for horse-baiting and supper; would not stay till morning, but
wished to leave the sleigh and harness for Mr. S.--- P.--- of
Marshfield, Vt. He said he could not write himself; and requested the
landlord to write for him, saying he took them on a poor debt for Mr.
P., in one of the towns below! He started off at two o'clock at night,
on horseback, with an old pair of saddle-bags and a horse blanket, on a
saddle with one stirrup and no crupper, on one of the coldest nights of
that or any other year. He took the road leading through the Notch in
the mountains, left nothing for either of those he owed, and we have
never since heard from him."
"NONE OF THE LORD'S CHILDREN LEFT DESOLATE."
"_The Christian Era_ tells of a Dutch preacher who held a meeting one
evening in a strange city. While he was preaching, and enforcing upon
the hearts of his hearers the doctrine of the Cross, a police officer
came into the room and forbade him to go on. He even commanded him to
leave the city. As he was a stranger in the place, and the night was
dark, he wandered around the city gates. He was not, however, without
consolation; for he remembered Him who had said, 'Lo, I am with you
always. I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy
staff, they comfort me.'
"He had long been in the school of Christ, and had learned to watch for
the slightest intimations of His will. While he was thus wandering
around, suddenly he saw a light in the distance. 'See,' he said to
himself, 'perhaps the Lord has provided me a shelter there,' and, in the
simplicity of faith, he directed his steps thither. On arriving, he
heard a voice in the house; and, as he drew nearer, he discovered that a
man was praying. Joyful, he hoped, that he had found here the home of a
brother. He stood still for a moment, and heard these words, poured
forth from an earnest heart: 'Lord Jesus, one of thy persecuted servants
may, perhaps, be wandering, at this moment, in a strange place of which
he knows nothing. O, may he find my home, that he may receive here food
"The preacher, having heard these words, glided into the house, as soon
as the speaker said, 'Amen.' Both fell on their knees, and together
thanked the Lord, who is a hearer of prayer, and who never leaves nor
forsakes His servants."
THE NEW COAT THAT FITTED EXACTLY.
"A few years since, a young preacher in the State of Massachusetts, who
was laboring in a field which yielded no great pecuniary returns, had
laid aside the sum of fifteen dollars from his scanty income, with which
to purchase himself a coat, of which he stood in need. Before he had
time to obtain it, there was presented to him a certain charitable
object which seemed to demand a portion of his little store. After some
consideration as to whether it was his duty to give as much as the ten
dollars, which first presented itself to his mind as the proper sum to
bestow, he concluded to follow his convictions, and thus assist one who
was more needy than himself, and trust in the Lord to provide the coat.
"Within two or three days afterwards, he was visiting at the house of
his mother, in another town, and she, as mothers will, noticed that his
coat had arrived at that condition which usually affords the preacher of
the Gospel evidence that he is shortly to have a new one, and she made
some remarks about its worn appearance, saying, 'It seems to me you need
a new coat.' 'I know it,' he replied, 'and I shall get me one as soon as
I get the means.' She said, 'There is a coat up stairs which your
brother had made for him not over two weeks ago, which he never has worn
but once, because it was _made too small_, and he said that you might
have it, if you wanted it.'
"The coat was accordingly brought down and tried on, and it fitted
exactly. The young man gladly accepted the coat, wondering a little at
the wisdom of the Lord in clothing him at the expense of his brother,
who was not particularly interested in the Lord's work, and who was so
much larger than he was, that nothing short of the wisdom of Providence
could have made a coat that was measured for one of them ever to fit the
This was the return that God made to him for his sacrifice to the Lord.
_Never withhold from the Lord_.
PRAYING TO STOP THE WIND AND THE SAILING OF A VESSEL.
The late aged and venerable Rev. Dr. Cleaveland, of Boston, relates the
"In a revival of religion in the church of which he was pastor, he was
visited one morning by a member of his church, a widow, whose only son
was a sailor. With a voice trembling with emotion, she said, 'Doctor
Cleaveland, I have called to entreat you to join me in praying _that the
wind may change_.' He looked at her in silent amazement. 'Yes,' she
exclaimed, earnestly, 'my son has gone on board his vessel; they sail
to-night, unless the wind changes.' 'Well, madam,' replied the doctor,
'I will pray that your son may be converted on this voyage; but to pray
that God would alter the laws of His universe on his account, I fear is
presumptuous.' 'Doctor,' she replied, 'my heart tells me differently.
God's Spirit is _here_. Souls are being converted here. You have a
meeting this evening, and, if the wind would change, John would stay and
go to it; and, I believe, if he went he would be converted. Now, if you
cannot join me, I must pray alone, for he must stay.' 'I will pray for
his conversion,' said the doctor.
"On his way to the meeting, he glanced at the weather-vane, and, to his
surprise, _the wind had changed_, and it was blowing landward. On
entering his crowded vestry, he soon observed John, sitting upon the
front seat. The young man seemed to drink in every word, rose to be
prayed for, and attended the inquiry meeting. When he sailed from port,
the mother's prayers had been answered; he went a Christian. The pastor
had learned a lesson he never forgot. The Lord had said, 'O, woman,
great is thy faith; be it unto thee, even as thou wilt.' God answered
that prayer because the mother was seeking to advance His own kingdom.
God always hears a prayer that will in any way bring a soul to the
INSANITY CURED AND SUICIDE PREVENTED.
"_Augusta Moore_, writes _The Christian_, of a young lady called home by
the illness of her widowed mother, who died before she could reach her.
This alone was a terrible shock to the delicate daughter, who, having
been reared in luxury, was ill-fitted for firm endurance of calamity.
But, when it became known that a relative, in whom she had placed
confidence, had managed, in ways that need not be explained, to defraud
her out of her inheritance, her mind gave way and _she became insane_.
"For years, her distressed husband strove in every way to restore her
reason, but she seemed rather to become worse, and showed signs of
intentions to commit suicide; and her family and friends lived in a
wretched state of apprehension. In spite of the most faithful
watchfulness, she twice succeeded in securing the means for
self-destruction, but something prevented her from accomplishing her
design. At last, it occurred to a friend to present this woman's case in
the prayer-meeting, to the Lord, and earnest prayer was offered for her
"No immediate result appeared; but the friends _persevered_. During the
Winter, a revival of religion occurred in the town where she dwelt, and,
with much difficulty, the insane woman, who declared that she was
utterly and finally forsaken by God, was prevailed upon to attend the
meetings. They began immediately to have a good effect upon her. She
could sleep better; she grew more cheerful, and, in a short time, her
reason returned to her. A happier, or more grateful woman than she now
is, no mortal eyes ever beheld, and she affords one more instance of the
Lord's willingness to hear and answer fervent prayer."
ANSWERS TO PRAYER.
Dr. Newman Hall, minister of Surrey Chapel, London, gives the following
instances of answers to prayer from his own experience:
"The writer's brother, when superintendent of a Sunday School, felt a
strong impulse, one Saturday evening, to call on a member of his
Bible-class, whom he had never visited before, and to inquire if he was
in any need. He found him very ill. Though the mother and sister seemed
in comfortable circumstances, he felt constrained to inquire if he could
aid them in any way. They burst into tears, and said that the young man
had been asking for food which they had no power to supply, and that, on
Monday, some of their goods were to be taken in default of the payment
of rates. When he knocked at the door _they were on their knees in
prayer for help to be sent them_. By the aid of a few friends, the
difficulty was at once met--but the timely succor was felt to be the
divine response to prayer.
"With that brother, the writer was once climbing the Cima di Jazzi, one
of the mountains in the chain of Monte Rosa. When nearly at the top,
they entered a dense fog. Presently, the guides faced right about, and
grounded their axes on the frozen snow-slope. The brother--seeing the
slope still beyond, and not knowing it was merely the cornice,
overhanging a precipice of several thousand feet--rushed onward. The
writer will never forget their cry of agonized warning. His brother
stood a moment on the very summit, and then, the snow yielding, began to
fall through. One of the guides, at great risk, rushed after him and
seized him by the coat. This tore away, leaving only three inches of
cloth, by which he was dragged back. It seemed impossible to be nearer
death, and yet escape. On his return home, an invalid member of his
congregation told him that she had been much in prayer for his safety,
and mentioned a special time when she particularly was earnest, as if
imploring deliverance from some great peril. _The times corresponded!_
Was not that prayer instrumental in preserving that life?"
BISHOP SIMPSON'S RECOVERY.
Bishop Bowman gives the following instance from his own experience:
"In the Fall of 1858, whilst visiting Indiana, I was at an annual
conference where Bishop Janes presided. We received a telegram that
Bishop Simpson was dying. Said Bishop Janes, 'Let us spend a few
moment's in earnest prayer for the recovery of Bishop Simpson.' We
kneeled to pray. William Taylor, the great California street preacher,
was called to pray, and such a prayer I never heard since. The
impression seized upon me irresistibly, _Bishop Simpson will not die_. I
rose from my knees perfectly quiet. Said I, 'Bishop Simpson will not
die.' 'Why do you think so?' Because I have had an _irresistible
impression_ made upon my mind during this prayer.' Another said, '_I
have the same impression_.' We passed it along from bench to bench,
until we found that a very large proportion of the conference had the
same impression. I made a minute of the time of day, and when I next saw
Simpson, he was attending to his daily labor. I inquired of the Bishop,
'How did you recover from your sickness?' He replied, '_I cannot tell_.'
'What did your physician say?' '_He said it was a miracle_.' I then said
to the Bishop, 'Give me the time and circumstances under which the
change occurred.' He fixed upon the day, and _the very hour_, making
allowance for the distance--a thousand miles away--that the preachers
were engaged in prayer at this conference. The physician left his room
and said to his wife, '_It is useless to do anything further; the Bishop
must die_.' In about an hour, he returned and started back, inquiring,
'_What have you done?' 'Nothing,'_ was the reply. 'He is recovering
rapidly,' said the physician; '_a change has occurred in the disease
within the last hour beyond anything I have ever seen; the crisis is
past, and the Bishop will recover_.' And he did."
The doctor was puzzled; it was beyond all the course and probabilities
of nature and the laws of science. What was it that made those ministers
so sure--what was it that made the patient recover, at the exact hour
that they prayed? There is only one answer, "_The ever living Power of a
Superior Spirit which rules the world_."
THE SEVEN LETTERS.
The following incident is given by "_The Presbyterian_," on the
authority of a private letter from Paris:
"At a Bible reunion, held at the house of an English Congregationalist
minister, where several colporteurs, teachers and others meet for
devotional reading and conversation, a brief anecdote was related by a
clergyman living in La Force, who established there an institution for
epileptics, where he has now three hundred, supported entirely on the
principle of faith, like Muller's orphanage.
"At one time, he found himself in debt to the amount of five hundred
pounds. After a sleepless, anxious night, he found, on his table, seven
letters. Opening five, he found them to be all applications, some of
them most painful in their details, for the admission of new inmates.
His excited mind could not bear it. Without opening the other two
letters he threw them to his wife. 'Put them into the fire,' he said,
and turned to seek relief in the open air. 'John,' said a sweet voice,
'this won't do. Come back.' So he did, taking up the sixth letter, which
proved to be from a stranger, enclosing a check for three hundred
pounds. The other envelope gave him just what was needed, just that and
no more. He thanked God, and took courage. Will he ever again hear the
sweet, sad voice, 'Wherefore didst thou doubt?'"
THE LORD DID NOT FORGET THE POTATOES.
"A correspondent of _Arthur's Magazine_ tells of a poor woman who had
been washing for us, who said: 'Seems as if the Lord took very direct
ways to reach people's feelings sometimes. Now, I was astonished once in
my life. I lived away out West, on the prairie, I and my four children,
and I couldn't get much work to do, and our little stock of provisions
kept getting lower and lower. One night, we sat hovering over our fire,
and I was gloomy enough. There was about a pint of corn-meal in the
house, and that was all. I said, 'Well, children, may be the Lord will
provide something.' '_I do hope it will be a good mess of potatoes_,'
said cheery little Nell; 'seems to me _I never was so hungry for taters
before_.' After they were all asleep, I lay there tossing over my hard
bed, and wondering what I would do next. All at once, the sweetest peace
and rest came over me, and I sank into such a good sleep. Next morning,
I was planning that I would make the tinfull of meal into mush, and fry
it in a greasy frying-pan, in which our last meat had been fried. As I
opened the door to go down to the brook to wash, I saw something new.
_There, on the bench, beside the door, stood two wooden pails and a
sack. One pail was full of meat, the other full of potatoes, and the
sack filled with flour_. I brought my hands together in my joy, and just
hurrahed for the children to come. Little dears! They didn't think of
trousers and frocks then, but came out all of a flutter, like a flock of
quails. Their joy was supreme. They knew the Lord had sent some, of his
angels with the sack and pails. Oh, it was such a precious gift! _I
washed the empty pails, and put the empty sack in one of them, and, at
night, I stood them on the bench where I had found them, and, the next
morning, they were gone_. I tried and tried to find out who had
befriended us, but I never could. The Lord never seemed so far off after
that time,' said the poor woman, looking down with tearful eyes."
THE PRAYER IN THE WOODS.
A friend relates the following incident, as received from the lips of a
poor afflicted, crippled orphan boy, whose own experience is a practical
illustration of the words: "When my father and my mother forsake me,
then the Lord will take me up." Ps. xxvii 10.
"Out of many instances of answered prayer I will tell the following one:
In August, 1874, I wished to go to Lowell, a distance of some thirty
miles, or more. I had no money, and did not know how to get there. I
asked the station-agent and the conductor, but each refused, saying it
would not be consistent with their duty. Knowing of no human help, I
left the depot and went into the woods, some ways from the station,
where I could be alone, and tell that Friend who is able to provide, and
who is rich unto all that call upon Him. I knelt down beside the stump
of a tree and prayed, and told the Lord all about it, and asked Him
either to give me money, or provide some way that I could go where I
desired. I felt that the Lord heard and answered me, and filled my soul
with praise and joy. The language of my heart was, 'Bless the Lord.'
"As I turned and was going out of the woods, I heard a voice saying,
'Halloo.' As I had seen no one, and knew not that any human being was
near, I was surprised at this greeting. 'Halloo!' said the stranger,' I
never heard such a prayer in my life. Why did you go and pray?' I told
him that I felt heavy, burdened, and I took the burden to the Lord. He
said, 'I heard you pray--you want money, do you? The Lord has opened the
way; here is five dollars. It is the best way to go to the Lord, and
trust Him to open the way. Go and use the money.' I thanked him, and I
thanked the Lord, and went oh my way rejoicing in Him whose promise is,'
My God shall supply all your needs,' and who himself had heard and
answered my request."
THE LORD CAN DO IT.
"In one of the mountainous towns--says _The Christian_--in the north-
western part of Connecticut, there lived, some time since, an aged
couple who had seen some eighty years of earthly pilgrimage, and who, in
their declining days, enjoyed the care of a son and daughter, who
resided with them at their home.
"In process of time, the son became sick, and drew nigh the gates of
death. The doctor pronounced him incurable, saying that one lung was
consumed, and that he could live but a short time.
"The fear of her brother's death, and the thoughts of being left alone
to bear the responsibility of the aged parents' care, burdened the
sister's heart exceedingly, and led her to cry mightily to the Lord, to
interpose for his recovery, and spare him still to them; and her
importunate supplications ascended to God, until the answer came to her
heart as a sacred whisper,--'I have heard thy cry, and have come down to
"Comforted by this sweet assurance, she rejoiced exceedingly, knowing
that what our Heavenly Father promises he is abundantly able to perform,
and that He will fulfill his word, though heaven and earth shall pass
away. But her faith was destined to be tried, and, on the very day after
she had obtained the assurance of her brother's recovery, in came some
one, saying, 'The doctor says S---- can live but a little time.' For an
instant, these words were like a dagger to the sister's heart, but she
still held fast her confidence, and replied: 'If _men_ can't cure him,
the _Lord_ can.'
"From that very moment, the brother began to amend. On the next day,
when the physician came, he looked at him, commenced examining his
symptoms, and exclaimed in astonishment: 'What have you been doing? You
are evidently better, and I don't know but you will get up, after all.'
"His recovery was so rapid, that in two weeks' time he was out about his
customary duties on the farm; and that in weather so damp and foggy that
it would have kept some stronger men in-doors. But he was well; the
prayer of faith was answered, and it had saved the sick."
ANSWER TO PRAYER IN ALL THE LITTLE TEMPORAL ANXIETIES OF LIFE
The question having been asked, "Does God answer Prayer, in even all the
little anxieties and cares of daily life." _The Illustrated Christian
Weekly_, called in 1876, for testimonies of the surety of God in
fulfilling his promise, and giving answer in little things as well as
great things. Many, even good Christians have believed that they should
not pray for anything for themselves, but only for those things which
were to be used for God's work. The following instances show that those
who are devoted to God's good work and helping in his service can ask
for anything needed for their personal comfort, and expect the Lord to
grant them. In truth the Lord _has commanded_ all his disciples, "_Ask
and receive, that your joy may be full." "Anything that ye shall ask in
my name, I will do it_."
BREAD TO THE HUNGRY.
"God was pleased to deprive me totally of my hearing in early boyhood.
By the late war I lost all of my earthly possessions. I have a wife and
family totally dependent on me for a support. A man employed to attend
to my little manufacturing business as manager, by imprudent management,
deprived me of every earthly dependence for a support. I had no refuge
but God. This feeling was intense beyond expression--God was my only
hope. I laid my case before him. Then this came to me, 'Seek first the
kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be
added unto you.' 'Now,' I said, 'I am deeply conscious that I and my
wife seek and desire the kingdom of God above all things; God then will
give us temporal help.' Then a feeling came over me, a feeling of
waiting upon God. It was sweet waiting. I was at rest. I had thought
frequently if I could get _two hundred dollars_ I could start my little
business again. While thus trusting, and waiting, and praying, a package
was handed to me by the express-agent containing $200 from a stranger in
a distant county, against whom I held an old note dated 1856; and for
many years I had forgotten the note, and would have taken twenty-five
cents for it any time. The man was bankrupt, and did not fear the Lord,
nor know anything of my situation in life. He was under no legal
obligation to pay the note."
"A number of years ago I went West to better my condition.... After a
little time I went into business of my own, had but little capital, and
my good name to be punctual in paying for what I bought on credit was of
great importance to me. I had promised to pay on a certain day a note of
about $60. I thought I was sure to get the money, but was disappointed;
I went to the Lord for help, not knowing how he could send me the money,
but convinced that he was able to do it. At about noon the same day a
man inquired for me. I knew him by sight; he had the name of being a
hard man, took all the interest he could get, and never put any money
out without security. He had not the note, but he asked me if I wanted
to hire any money; if so he had _sixty dollars_ he would like to let me
have. The man took my note and never did ask for any security.
"At another time, being away from home some 2,000 miles, was at the
house of an uncle; same evening I received a letter from my wife that
the children were very sick and but little hope of recovery. The letter
had been written for over a week. I communicated the contents of the
letter to my aunt; went up in my room and prayed the Lord to be their
physician. I felt so sure that my prayer would be answered that I could
not help singing; when they heard me they thought what a cold-hearted
man I must be to sing if the children were dying at home. _But from,
that day the children did get better, and in a short time were out of
"In my younger years I had a good many ifs, but those are all gone; I
know that the Lord has the means at his command to answer all my prayers
if I come believing, asking in the name of Christ."
THE HORSE IS HIS.
"The writer was preaching Sundays at a little country church, about 70
miles by rail from the institution where he attended. He went Saturday,
returning on Monday. One Saturday the train ran off the track. All day
long they worked at the wreck. At last, finding it too late to make
connection with the other railroad, he took the down train back to the
institution. What should be done? A promise to preach forty miles across
the country had been made. There was also an appointment six miles
beyond for an afternoon service. It was now night. To drive across the
country was the only way open, or stay at home. Two disappointed
congregations the result in the latter case. But the roads were heavy
from recent rains. 'Twill be so late that none can direct. Friends said,
'Stay; you can't go forty miles across, to you, an unknown country.' But
the writer felt it duty to go. Hiring a horse noted for endurance, at
nine o'clock at night--dark, threatening--he set out. As he headed the
horse in the direction of the village--for he could find none who could
tell him the exact road--he prayed: 'O God, starting out to preach thy
word to-morrow, direct the way--guide this horse.' The night wore on; as
cross-roads came, dropping the lines over the dashboard, the same prayer
was offered. When the horse chose a road, the driver urged him on. As
day began to break, emerging from some wood in an unfrequented road,
they entered the village they sought. The sermon that morning was from
the text, 'Son, go work to-day in my vineyard.' The largest congregation
of the Summer had gathered. It will not do to say that the horse knew
the road. Returning in broad daylight the next day, though directed and
directed again, we lost the way and went seven miles out of our course.
A scientist might laugh at this way of driving, or at asking God to
guide in such trivial matters. But we shall still believe that God led
the horse and blessed us in our attempt to serve him."
ALL OUR NEEDS.
"About eight years ago, while a Student in college, I became embarrassed
for want of funds. Debts began to accumulate. Anticipating money from
usual sources, promises had been made to pay at a certain date.
"The time to make these payments approached. The anticipated money did
not come. A student in debt is most dependent and hopeless. In great
distress, locking the study-door, I sat down to think. First came
visions of an auction sale of a few books and scanty furniture; then of
notes and protests; finally the promises of God came into mind. I knew
he had promised to supply my wants. 'All things whatsoever ye have need
of,' came home in great power. I am needy, I have given up business,
all, to preach the gospel. I remember as 'twere yesterday the feelings,
the struggles, of that hour. With all earnestness I asked for help in my
hour of distress. At last I felt confident that the aid needed would
come in time, Saturday; this was Monday. I thanked God for the answer--
and being questioned by a needy creditor of that afternoon, assured him
that his money would be ready.
"Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday passed--no sign, but faith said God will
not fail. Friday morning--heart beat fast as I went to the
post-office--it seemed as if through its agency the help would come.
Nothing. But it must be here to-day. Returning from the office Friday
evening, wondering how God would send deliverance, I saw on my table a
long official envelope. A classmate preceding me at the office had
brought it. A letter from a gentleman in Wall street whom I have never
seen. On Monday, he casually asked of a tea-broker, an acquaintance, if
he knew of any one in H----. The broker mentioned, after a little
thought, my name.
"The letter contained a request for service of a peculiar sort,
connected with some legal matters, contained money and promise of more.
_Over three times the sum I asked God for was finally given. More than
enough for a term's expenses_.
"I never mentioned the matter of my need at that time to a human being,
nor spoke of the prayer. I have always thanked God for that, and am sure
he provides for me in accordance with his promise."
HE HEALETH THE SICK.
"The wife of Deacon W. was sinking rapidly with pneumonia. Friends gave
up all hope of her recovery, and even the hopeful physician felt that he
was hoping against hope. In his despair the husband bore the case
directly to God; he sought the prayers of his minister and of the
church; and he asked all Christians to pray that the mother of his
little children might be spared. She lingered between life and death for
several days, when unexpectedly to many, she began to gain strength, and
in due season was about again. This was several years ago, and she has
been an active worker in the church and Sunday-school ever since."
A POWERFUL DREAM.
"My father, a minister of the gospel, was prostrated by sickness. A
large family of little ones was dependent upon him for support. Funds
ran low. One evening my mother remarked that she had broken the last
dollar. My father lay awake most of the night, praying to his God for
help in this emergency. That same night a man in a parish not many miles
distant was much impressed by a dream. He dreamed that a minister who
preached in his church not long before, was sick and in want. He knew
neither his name nor his place of residence. He arose at the first dawn
of day, and going to his own pastor inquired the name and address of the
stranger who had recently preached for them. These obtained, he mounted
his horse, and knocked at our door just as my mother drew up the
window-shades. She answered the knock, when, without a word, a stranger
placed an envelope in her hand and immediately rode away. The envelope
contained a ten-dollar bill, which we all believed was the Lord's answer
to our father's prayer. Afterwards these facts were disclosed by the
pastor to him whom the Lord chose to disperse his bounty."
ASK AND YE SHALL RECEIVE.
"In 1874, through Providence, I became sore pressed to provide for
myself and family; two of my children had just begun to learn to read. I
was desirous to procure for them the 'N.---,' (a children's journal,)
but I could not see how I was to pay for it and meet other obligations.
So I carried it to our Father in heaven, asking if it was best and
according to his will my children should get the 'N.---.' In about ten
days afterward I received a note from a lady friend, with whom I or none
of our family had had any communication for weeks, and in that note she
advised us that her little daughter, the same age as our second, had
sent as a Christmas gift a subscription for the 'N.---,' to be sent to
our Mary's address. 'If ye abide in me, and my words in you, ye shall
ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you.'"
CASTING ALL YOUR CARE ON HIM.
"Once, soon after the death of my husband and the loss of all his large
property, I had a bill of _fifty dollars_ to pay, and was notified two
weeks beforehand that not a day's grace would be given. Besides what I
was earning by my pen, I had due me, in a neighboring city, just the
amount I should need--the income on my only remaining piece of real
estate; and, as my tenant was always prompt, I wrote to him where to
send me the money, and gave the subject no farther thought. But, when
the time for his response was already past, and I heard nothing from my
debts, and but a few days to the time of my own need yet remained, I
felt anxious and sought divine direction as to the course I ought to
pursue. Rising from my knees, I took up my Bible, and the very first
words my eyes rested upon, were these: 'Casting all your care upon Him,
for he careth for you.' All anxiety from that hour left me; but I felt
impelled to apply to a certain editor for the payment of _twenty
dollars_ he owed me, and I felt sure the other thirty would come from
"So the days passed until the morning of the day upon which I should be
called on for the fifty dollars, and _still I had not a single dollar_
on hand to meet the claim. At ten o'clock my creditor came, but half an
hour before him the postman had put into my hand a letter containing a
check for _fifty dollars_, the exact amount I needed. It had come from
the editor to whom I had applied for twenty dollars, and lo! he had sent
me fifty. The thirty advanced he said I could give him credit for on my
next MS. He did not know my need, but God did, and thus He had answered
IN EVERYTHING MAKE KNOWN YOUR WANTS.
"Six years ago, on the low country of South Carolina, a friend asked me
to go with him to a camp-meeting. I was delighted with the idea, for, in
my estimation, a good camp-meeting comes nearer heaven than any other
place on earth.
"Just three days before we were to go, an unexpected circumstance