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Library. —Trench's poem of the " Two Sacks of Wheat." One man kept his in his house, and it rotted away. The other sowed his broadcast, and reaped a harvest.
Illustrations of this giving are seen in teaching, in giving comfort, in all Christian work.
Gain By Giving.—" As the widow's oil increased, not in the vessel, but by pouring out; as here the barley bread multiplied, not in the whole loaf, but by breaking and distributing; and as the grain bringeth increase, not when it lieth on a heap in the garner, but when scattered upon the land, so spiritual graces are best improved. not by keeping them together, but by distributing them abroad."
Library.—" God's way of Blessing," a poem in the " Uplands of God."
Daily Providence Proves God.—" There is an Eastern fable of a boy having challenged his teacher to prove to him the existence of God by working a miracle. The teacher, who was a priest, got a large vessel filled with earth, wherein he deposited a kernel in the
„ . . . boy's presence, and bade him pay attention. In the
Oriental . . , , , , ,
Fable. place where the kernel was put a green shoot suddenly The Tree appeared, the shoot became a stem, the stem put forth ®TM^"B'r" leaves and branches, which soon spread over the whole apartment. It then budded with blossoms, which, dropping off, left golden fruits in their place, and in the short space of one hour there stood a noble tree in the place of the little seed. The youth, overcome with amazement, exclaimed, * Now I know that there is a God, for I have seen his power!' The priest smiled at him, and said, 'Simple child, do you only now believe? Does not what you have just beheld take place year after year, only by a slower process? But is it the less marvelous on that account ?'"
"The miracle of the loaves was a sudden putting forth of God's bountiful hand from behind the veil of his ordinary providence ; the miracle of the harvest is the working of the same bountiful hand, only unseen, giving power to the living grains to drink the dew and
21. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.
imbibe the sunshine, and appropriate the nourishment of the soil during the long bright days of summer. I understand the one miracle in the light of the other."
—Macmillan's Bible Teachings in Nature, p. 92.
NEAR RETHSAIDA. THIRD YEAR.
FEEDING OF THE 5000.
20. The Fragments That Remained—Science says, *'Gather up the fragments." Many of the most useful things are now made out of what was once thrown away. The former refuse in making kerosene oil is now worth more than the oil. The waste of logs is made into paper, and so of many things.
Saving Unseen Waste Of Gold.—In the United States Mint. at Philadelphia, I was told that the putting of a grated floor upon the room where certain parts of the work were done brought a saving of $80,000 in a year, from the little specks of gold that floated off during the working of the metal. They fell upon the floor, were swept up, washed out, and remelted.
Saving Gold Waste At Waltham Watch Factory.—" The New York representatives of the Waltham Watch Company for many years carried on the manufacture of watch cases on three floors of a building, melting from $1,000 to $3,000 worth of gold every day. A few months ago they moved to another place, and on , their departure had the floors taken up and carried to smelting and refining works. There were 60,000 square feet of lumber that had been undisturbed for nineteen years. The wood was burned to ashes, which were sifted, and the gold was then extracted by a chemical process. The result realized by the watch firm was $67,000."
Valuable Refuse.—" Any one who has visited the coal regions could not have failed to remark the great quantities of culm, mountains of it, to be seen on every hand. It had been laboriously extracted from the bowels of the earth, only to be thrown aside as waste. It formed a good percentage of the product of the mines, yet everybody conceded that it was useless. Now scientists have a different tale to tell. They look at this immense quantity of culm —enough of it to belt the globe with a pile twenty feet high—and declare that from forty to seventy per cent. of it is available for fuel, or, in other words, that there is enough marketable coal in these waste heaps to cover the State of Rhode Island to a depth of 125 feet. As we read of the steps being taken to utilize this vast deposit of cast-away wealth, our thoughts turned naturally to the unmeasured force in youthful Christianity, which the church had considered as unavailable until the modern young people's movement rescued it 'for Christ and the church.' And there are other unused and disregarded stores of power that are rich in possibility —waste moments of time, unsounded capabilities for service, unnoticed needs in individuals and masses, infinite stores of human sympathy and love. Join the modern world in heeding the divine command, ' Gather upon the fragments.' "—Golden Rule.
"There is no waster in the universe like a sinner." He wastes infinite opportunities, infinite love, infinite blessings, a soul of infinite worth."
Reference. See under ix. 9, the story of the stained-glass window from waste pieces of glass.
And Were Filled.—"The philosophic Hamerton tells us the story of a woman who worked in a cotton factory in one of the great manufacturing towns in Lancashire, and who, in an excursion, went .. . for the first time to the coast. When she caught the
"Enough of D
Something." earliest glimpse of the Irish Sea, the expanse laying out before her eyes looking like the limitlessness of the ocean in its rush and roll of billows, she exclaimed, as she drew one boundless breath of freshness and glory, ' At last, here comes something there is enough of!' Those who come to the boundless abundance of the Gospel, who look out on the wide, fathomless sea of infinite love, may say, with a thousand fold more emphasis and delight, 'At last, here comes something there is enough of I'
"' Enough for each, enough for all,
Enough forevermore.' "—C. S. Robinson, LL.D.
22. And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
23. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
22. Jesus Constrained His Disciples To Go Before Him Unto The Other Side.—"Jesus will not have them to be clinging only to the sense of his bodily presence—as ivy, needing always an outward support—but as hardy forest trees which can brave a blast; and this time he puts them forth into the danger alone, even as some loving mother-bird thrusts her fledglings Tn!t1?V1'e from the nest, that they may find their own wings, and learn to use them. And by the issue he will awaken in them a confidence in his ever-ready help."—Trench.
"I see not a step before me as I tread the days of the year, But the past is still in God's keeping, the future his mercy shall clear;
And what looks dark in the distance may brighten as I draw near.
So I go on not knowing. I would not if I might; I would rather walk in the dark with God than go alone in the light;
I would rather walk with him by faith than walk alone by sight."
"I know not where his islands lift
Inner Peace In A Storm.—*' In crossing the Atlantic we were overtaken by a gale. Upon the deck the noise of the waves howling and roaring and foaming was almost deafening. But when I stepped into the engine-room everything was quiet. The mighty engine was moving with quietness and stillness, in striking contrast with the roar without. It reminded me of the peace that can reign in the soul while storms and tempests are howling without."
—Rev. C. G. Finney.
24. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
25. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the ■ea.
26. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
27. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
28. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid ; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
31. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
24. The Wind Was Contrary.—Mr. Spurgeon saw on a country weather-cock what he thought was a strange motto, " God is Love," and asked his friend if he meant to imply that the divine love can be fickle as the wind. "No," said he, " this is what I mean—whichever
way the wind blows, God is love; through the cold Tl"cSt?*** north wind, the biting east wind, still God is love, as
much as when the warm, genial breezes refresh our fields and flocks." God loves men so that he uses every possible means for their salvation. The greatest is his love in Jesus Christ. He sends joys and sorrows both, to bring us to our Saviour.
31. Jesus Stretched Forth His Hand.—A man once dreamed that he was in a deep pit, sinking fast in the mire—feet, knees, body, neck, gone down beneath the surface—when he heard a voice, "Look up." Looking up he saw a star; and, while gazing at it, he began to rise. Then congratulating himself on his escape, he turned his eyes from the star to himself; and immediately he began to sink again.
All efforts of his own to rise but sank him deeper; and, LiTe ** wnen almost gone, he again heard the voice, "Look up."
Then once more gazing at the heavenly star, he began to rise higher and higher, till he was almost free; then, turning to help himself, and to remove the mire clinging to him he forgotto look up, and again he sank. Once more the voice came, '• Look up ; for only while you look you rise." And looking steadfastly, he rose from the mire, and was saved.