« AnteriorContinuar »
the time must come, sooner or later, for her to mingle with other people, and other people's ways, and I think she will stand it; she has good principles.”
“You have no right to think so, nor will the money thus gained be any blessing to you or to her. We read in Scripture of earning wages to put into a bag with holes. It will bring a curse, and not a blessing, believe
"Oh dear, oh dear! I knew you would say this, sir, and that was why I did not want to come. But, sir, you have often told us that wherever our duty calls us to get a living, we are safe to go; and why shouldn't my girl be
“Because her duty does not call her; you are thrusting her into danger uncalled. Hero is a provision opened for her in a family where you know the teaching of her childhood will be carried out, and where you can, with the full assurance of confidence, commit her into God's hands for good. Oh, my good friend ! believe me, the blessing of the Lord it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it.' Don't put her wages in a bag with holes, and give yourself the heartache for ever.”
The woman was silent for a long time, at length she said, “Sir, I'll go and tell my husband what you say. Sure it would be a . dreadful thing to be the cause of my child's misery; and if I could not ask God's blessing upon her, what could I do? and what could she do? No, sir, I'm glad I waited.”
She rose to go, but Mr. Marsden said, “Let us pray." She was not taken by sur. prise, for he often ended a colloquy in this manner. She knelt by the chair near the door, where she had been sitting, and in a few simple words Mr. Marsden besought that the light of God's Spirit might shine into her heart and her husband's, that they might rightly estimate the worthlessness of the things of time, and the incalculable value of one immortal soul committed to their carethat they might lean with more confiding
trust upon Him who has promised to pro vide all things for those who, in simple faith, seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
His next visitor was a quiet-looking middle-aged man, and as soon as he entered, Mr. Marsden said, “Oh, Thomas, and so you have returned! I hope- " but here he paused, for the sorrowful look of the old man bespoke a state of mind in which hope formed no ingredient. He had long been suffering from a complaint in the eyes, which had impaired his sight, and he had been sent by Dr. Trevor to an eminent oculist in London, for advice and opinion. That opi. nion was unfavourable, the nerve of the eye being the part affected; and in the first crushing weight of his sorrow, he had come to Mr. Marsden to pour out his griefs, as instinctively as a child would seek its parent.
The old man did not speak, but sitting down before the table, he crossed his arms upon it, and buried his face within them. Mr. Marsden read the simple story of his grief in this one expressive action, and forbore to speak until his emotion had subsided, then, in a low tone, he murmured, “ The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” The man looked up, and in a slow sad voice said, “Sir, the Lord is going to afflict me sorely; I shall soon be quite blind.”
“But it is the Lord, Thomas, who is going to do it, and He has never done you anything but good-you can trust Him."
“But, sir, it will be a grievous thing."
“It will be grievous, very grievous; but what if He should mean to give you a better gift instead ?”
“What do you mean, sir? What can be better than my blessed sight?”
“ Thomas, it is some years now since the light of God's Spirit first shone into your heart, showing you how to count all things but loss for the excellency of that knowledge, and many a time have I heard you say, that one glimpse of that light was worth more to you than your choicest earthly blessings.”
“Yes, sir, you have. I thought so, and I think so still.”
“And I have heard you ask God, ay, and in this room too, to make you more entirely His own, to put the spirit of adoption into your heart, let it be at any cost, or by whatever means.”
“Yes, sir, you have; and, oh! I don't repent it.”
“I know you don't. Now then, that prayer which God himself prompted, perhaps He is about to answer. Perhaps He will close your outward eye, and shed such a flood of light upon your inner sight, that you shall think yourself overpaid ten thousand times.”
“Sir," said the man with an earnest look, “ do you think He will ?"
“My good friend, I am quite sure that your oft-repeated prayer will be answered sooner or later; and it is one of God's ordinary methods of dealing with His