An Englishman who boasted that he did not believe in God once visited the Fiji Islands. As he saw the natives going to church with Bibles in their hands, he exclaimed, "The Bible is no good. Your religion about Christ is false."
To this a simple native teacher answered, "It is a good thing for you that we left our heathenism and cannibalism and took to our Bibles and Christianity, else you would be clubbed, cooked in a native oven, and eaten."
A few years ago a young graduate in medicine, having finished a postgraduate course in surgery, was offered a position in Philadelphia which meant his successful establishment and his freedom from worry about the support of his wife and two small children. He had made up his mind to accept the offer. But not long afterward, as he was on his knees saying his prayers before he got into bed, he had a vision. Out of what seemed to be a map of Africa there was stretched the arm and hand of a leper, covered with sores and hideous to behold. It was clear to him that the hand was held out for him to clasp. Overcoming his natural loathing and repugnance, he put out his hand to take the hand of the leper.
Instead of settling down in Philadelphia, the young doctor went to Ethiopia and opened a hospital for lepers.
One St. Thomas Day, on a bridge in London, an unwanted babe was picked up by a kindhearted man. The child was named Thomas Bridges, because he had been picked up on a bridge on St. Thomas Day. After he was educated, he went out as a missionary to Tierra del Fuego. Charles Darwin on his scientific expedition to study the beetle saw what Bridges was doing for the savages and sent him a contribution, saying he formerly had little use for missions, but having witnessed the transformation in the lives of the natives wrought by Thomas Bridges, he was glad to have a part in the work.
There are ninety and nine that safely lie
In the shelter of the fold:
But millions are left outside to die,
For the ninety and nine are cold,—
Away in sin's delusive snare,
Hastening to death and dark despair,
Hastening to death, and none to care,—
For the ninety and nine are cold.
"Lord, Thou hast here Thy well-fed sheep;
Are they not enough for Thee?"
But the Shepherd made answer, "Millions sleep
On the brink of eternity,—
And these My sheep within the fold
Care not for the dying in sin's stronghold,
Care not for the dying outside the fold,
On the brink of eternity."
But none of the ransomed ever knew
How the heart of the Shepherd did yearn;
Nor the travail of soul that He passed through
For His sheep without concern.
For no other way had He to reach
The millions of earth His way to teach,
The millions of earth except through each
Of His sheep without concern.
"Lord, whence are those marks in hands and side,
And whence the scars of Thy feet?"
"They were made for those for whom I died,
Both saved and wandering sheep."
"Lord, when wilt Thou come to claim Thine own?"
"Not till the wandering the way are shown,
Not till the wandering My Word have known,
My wandering, dying sheep."
Ah, ninety and nine, dost thou hear His voice?
Forth then to the work so great;
Beyond life's span there is no choice
For those outside the gate.
If they're brought at all, it must be now—
Then, ninety and nine, don't question how,
Oh, sheep of Mine, go quickly thou,
Else for them—and you—too late.
But all through the churches, apostate-riven,
And up from the world's rough steep,
There'll arise a glad cry to the gates of heaven,
"Rejoice, I am finding My sheep!"
And the angels shall echo around the throne,
"Rejoice, for the dying the way are shown!
Rejoice, for the Shepherd brings back His own,
His wandering, perishing sheep!"—Thomas E. Stephens.
"You are angry," said a Negro fellow-traveler to Dan Crawford, at the end of a fifteen-mile trek in the tall grass of Central Africa. "Why do you say so?" "Because you are silent," was the reply. "Tell me more about it." "In our language," answered the black man, "we say that if a man is silent, he is angry. This is why we know God is angry—because He is silent. God is silent" The intrepid missionary was cut to the heart. He opened his pocket Testament and read to the man the first verse of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Much more, he went to work at translating the New Testament into the language of his Central African brother, and in building schoolhouses in which the people might be taught to read the Word which God had spoken in Jesus Christ nearly two thousand years before. God was not silent. But the messengers to whom He had committed His Good News had been slow to tell it as He had bidden them, unto the ends of the earth.—Vision and Power.
At a certain mission church (says the Rev. W. W. Martin) I had put over the clock these words: "83 a minute." At last a deputation came to me and said, "Will you kindly take that down? It haunts us." They knew that it meant that eighty-three souls a minute were passing into eternity—into the dark—who had never heard of Jesus Christ. Are you quite happy about it?—Christian Herald (London).