Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

begin early, begin now,-to practise benevolence. These misers were once as young as you are; and if they had then begun to be generous and liberal, they would never have grown up such inveterate worshipers of Mammon. Will you not then take warning from them? Look around you, for a moment, and see what a call there is for Christian benevolence. Look at the poor, the unfortunate, and the afflicted, by whom you are surrounded. Look at the thousands of our own countrymen, living in remote and newly settled portions of the land, who have no churches, no Sabbath schools, no Bibles, and who enjoy but very few of the privileges you enjoy. Look at the millions in foreign lands, bowing down to stocks and stones, following the false prophet, or professing Christianity, while they know nothing of its power and spirit. What a field is here presented for Christian benevolence! But you ask, "What have I to do with this,1 am but a child." You have a great deal to do with it. Perhaps you cannot do much now; but you can form the habit of

benevolence. Those who now sustain missionary operations will soon be in their graves, together with those who labor in the cause; and the same is true of all the other benevolent operations of the day. Who are to take their places! Those who are now little boys and girls,-those who are now Sabbath school children. Yes, upon these shall depend, under God, whether the work of converting the heathen shall go on, or whether it shall stop, and the millions of heathen remain without the gospel. How important, then, that you should begin now to feel for their woes, and sympathize with them in their wants, that, when you have the means, you may be prepared to help them.

I have said that you cannot do much now; but you can do something. The money given to benevolent objects by Sabbath school children, is no insignificant affair. It has already done much good; and should these little streams be stopped, the consequence would be felt even in distant parts of the earth. To show what young persons may do, I will relate an in

stance of juvenile benevolence. Through the liberality of a Sabbath school in this State, a book, called "Louisa Ralston, or What can I do for the Heathen?" published by the Massachusetts Sabbath School Society, found its way to a town in Kentucky. It was there read by the children of the Sabbath school, and awakened such an interest that fourteen or fifteen young girls formed themselves into a missionary society; and in one year and a half, they paid into the treasury of the Foreign Missionary Society two hundred and forty dollars! Who can calculate how much good this money did? and yet it was collected by children. This is but one of many facts that might be mentioned, to show that even the youngest child may do something for the cause of Christ.

There are some men, enjoying the blessings of Christianity, who seem to think they are under no obligation to give to the destitute. But this is false. God has caused the sun of righteousness to shine upon us, not simply for our own good, but that we may reflect it upon those who are

in darkness; for it belongs to them as much as to us. He has given us the water of life, not merely that we may drink, but that we may cause the life-giving stream to flow into those lands where there is nothing to quench the thirsty soul. The Bible is a trust committed to us, not simply for our own benefit, but for the benefit of the whole world. And O, if we prove unfaithful to this trust, how great will be our guilt!

Queen Elizabeth, of England, once gave to the Earl of Essex a ring, saying, that if he was ever in trouble, he might send that ring to her, and she would protect him. At length, difficulties arose, and the Earl was imprisoned. He remembered his ring, and gave it to lady Nottingham, requesting her to bear it to the queen, which she promised to do. But she deceived the Earl, and kept the ring herself. The queen, supposing him to be obstinate, signed his death-warrant, and he was executed. Some time after this, the Countess of Nottingham was seized with a violent distemper. She was overwhelmed with remorse, and sent

for the queen, and before her confessed that she had stopped the ring. Elizabeth gazed at her for a moment, in silent horror, and then, violently shaking her, exclaimed, (6 God may pardon you, but I never can!" My young friends, we, too, have received a token of love from a friend. With it, we can approach him, and obtain his favor; without it, we can know little of him, and are every moment exposed to death. This gift is the Bible,-a gift sent to the whole world; but men have stopped it! O, what a crime! If Queen Elizabeth was so much offended with one who had stopped a mere ring, a seal of earthly friendship,-how much more must God be offended with those who stop the book of life which he has sent to fallen man! God grant that you, young readers, may never have this sin laid to your charge.

I have told you that it is a duty to be benevolent; but I will go farther than this, -it is a pleasure. There is enjoyment in doing good; have you never felt it? Do you not remember when you administered to the wants of that poor old woman,—

« AnteriorContinuar »