In one of the Reformed churches in France, in the chancel back of the pulpit there are three panels. The first is for the law, and the inscription on it is, "Thou shall love the Lord thy God" (Matt. 22:37). The second is for the gospel, and the inscription upon it is the great verse from John (3:16): "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." The third panel is for the psalms, and the verse written upon it is that from Psalm 118 (14): "The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation."
The Jews have a tradition that when Lucifer was cast out of heaven he was asked in hell what he missed most out of his former life, and replied, "I miss most the sound of the trumpets in the morning." Does anyone miss the note of the trumpet? Is the old spirit ebbing and the strong purpose declining? Then, dauntless, put the trumpet to the lips and answer all your doubts and all your wavering and nil your fears with a magnificent "Thou!"
"Cheerfulness is something that can be cultivated and it is the duty of all Christians to show to the world by their happy, cheerful lives that Christianity is the most worthwhile thing in the whole world!"—Selected.
R. L. Stevenson said, "When a happy man comes into a room it is as if another candle had been lighted!" When the spirit of gladness and thankfulness rules the heart, light springs up to dispel the darkness and gloom.
Adoniram Judson went as a missionary to Burma. He so burned with the desire to preach the gospel before he had learned the language that he walked up to a Burman and embraced him. The man went home and reported that he had seen an angel. The living Christ was so radiant in Mr. Judson's countenance that men called him "Mr. Glory-Face." When Christian workers really come to know the love God has given unto them, the Christian gospel will become irresistible.—Westminster Teacher
One day recently, a lady was crossing a certain London station, when an old man stopped her, and said: "Excuse me, ma'am, but I want to thank you for something." "Thank me!" exclaimed the lady. "Yes'm. I used to be ticket collector at, and whenever you used to go by you allays give me a cheerful smile and a 'good mornin',' and you don't know what a difference it made to me. Wet or fine, it was allays the same, and I thinks to meself, `Wonder where she gets her smile from; one cannot be allays happy, yet she seems to,' and I know'd that there smile must come from inside somehow. Then one mornin' you comes by and you had a little Bible in yer hand, and I says to meself, `P'r'aps that's where she got her smile from.' So as I went home that night I bought a Bible, and I've been readin' it, and I've found Christ, and now I can smile too, and I want to thank yer."—The Way of Faith.
Some years ago my husband was conducting a series of meetings in a large country church in Virginia. He preached a sermon on the Prodigal Son, and I never saw so many young men accept the Lord in one service. They did not look as if they were prodigals, but fine, clean young men. However, God had used the sermon to help them to realize their need of a Saviour. As each one came forward, his mother would give a little shout of joy. I had heard shouting before, but never shouting that seemed to well up from the joy in the heart of each mother over the son who had been lost but was found again. This was the only shouting that ever moved me to tears, and I think I saw that day a faint picture of the joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth.—Selected.
A saintly woman suffering for weary months in painful illness said to her pastor: "I have such a lovely robin that sings outside my window. In the early morning, as I lie here, he serenades me." Then, as a smile brightened her thin features, she added, "I love him, because he sings in the rain." That is the most beautiful thing about the robin. When the storm has silenced almost every other songbird, the robin sings on—sings in the rain. That is the way the Christian who is with Christ may do. Anybody can sing in the sunshine; you and I should sing on when clouds pour out their rains, for Christ is with us. We should sing in the rain.—J. R. Miller, D.D.
A Brahman of distinction in Western India embraced the Gospel and was baptized. By this act he lost possession of his houses, his fields, his wells, his wife, and his children. Such was the inexorable law of caste. On being asked how he bore his sorrows, he replied, "Ay, I am often asked that, but I am never asked how I bear my joys, for I have joys within with which a stranger intermeddles not. The Lord Jesus sought me and found me, a poor strayed sheep in the jungles, and He brought me to His fold and He will never leave me.''—Journal of Missions.
Joyfulness is characteristic of the soul that lives in communion with God, and that soul unconsciously will persuade others to "taste and see that the Lord is good," and that "blessed is the man that trusteth in Him."
Parents sometimes make the mistake of talking too much to their children about salvation, and showing too little joy and pleasantness around them.
No grouty, sullen Christian has any influence in the home, or in the church. How can the world that is bent on seeking pleasure be persuaded to accept anything that will not add to their happiness?—Gospel Herald.
A smile costs nothing, but gives much. It enriches those who receive, without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, and none is so poor but that he can be made rich by it. A smile creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in business, and is the countersign of friendship. It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and it is nature's antidote for trouble. Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.—Selected.
Bishop William Burt when asked how he acquired the habit of good cheer is said to have stated that the remark of a child he once overheard taught him to grumble and complain as little as possible. "While I was studying at Wilbraham Academy I spent a few days with this child's father, a good man but a chronic growler. We were all sitting in the front room when the question of food arose. The little girl told cleverly what each member of the family liked best. Finally it came to the father's turn to be described 'What do I like, Nancy?' he asked laughingly. 'You?' said the little one slowly. `Well, you like mostly everything we haven't got."' Grumbling is one of the hardest things for the wife to bear and causes great unhappiness.—Selected.