If we want God as much as the astronomer Herschel wanted the distant stars, with such sincerity that he would sit all night on a balcony in the wintry winds with an awkward telescope; if we want Him as much as Edison wanted an electric filament, so that he would experiment with six hundred different substances that he might get his radiant light—if we hunger like that for God, we will not complain about difficulty; we will quit arguing and postponing and begin this very hour to seek Him!—Robert M. Bartlett.
Professor Drummond saw at a fair a glass model of a famous mine. The owner drove a tunnel a mile long through the strata he thought contained gold, spent one hundred thousand dollars on it, and in a year and a half had failed to find the gold. Another company drove the tunnel a yard further and struck the ore. So the gold of life may be but a short distance off. There are countless failures in life due to not going far enough. Keep on—the reward may lie but a yard ahead.—Exchange in The Sunday School Banner.
When William Carey had succeeded in establishing his pioneer missionary work in India, his supporters in England sent him an assistant, a Mr. Ward, who was a printer by trade. Soon they were turning out printed portions of the Bible for distribution among the natives. Carey spent many years learning the language and wrote grammars and dictionaries for the use of his successors.
One day while Carey was away from his station, a disastrous fire broke out and completely destroyed the building, the presses, many printed Bibles and, worst of all, the manuscripts, grammars and dictionaries on which Carey had spent so much time.
When Mr. Carey returned, his servants told him of the loss. Without a word of despair or anger he knelt down and thanked God that he had the strength to do the work all over again. He started immediately, not wasting a moment in idle despair and before his death he duplicated his first achievements and produced far better work than he had done formerly.
Thousands, in this world, have lost all—including the very house over their head—and many who know the Lord have gone on, in faith, seeking to serve Him in and through it all. When sudden disaster and loss come to God's people, He again proves His all-sufficiency. Having Him, all else is as refuse. Let us be wholly occupied with Him and His glories.—Christian Victory.
King Robert the Bruce of Scotland, pursued after a battle in which he had suffered defeat by the enemy, took refuge in a lonely cave, and began to think out his plans. Tempted to despair, he had almost lost heart and decided to give up, when his eyes were directed to a spider in the cave, carefully and painfully attempting to make its way up a slender thread to its web in the corner above. The king watched as it made several unsuccessful attempts to get to the top, and thought, as it fell back to the bottom again and again, how its efforts typified his own unsuccessful efforts to gain the victory and rid Scotland of its enemies. He never seemed to get to the place at which he was aiming—just like the spider. But he continued to watch the spider's movements.
`Steadily, steadily, inch by inch,
Higher and higher he got,
Till a neat little run, at the very last pinch.
Put him into his native cot.'
The king took courage and persevered, and the example of the spider brought its reward.
Eph. 6. 18; 1 Cor. 15. 58)
Sir Ernest Shackleton died while steaming southward on the good ship 'Quest' to explore the Antarctic. The first thing that attracted one's eyes on going aboard the 'Quest' were these lines from Kipling engraved on a brass plate:
If you can dream and not make dreams your master;
If you can think and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster,
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can force your heart, and nerve, and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone;
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the will which says to them, 'Hold on;'
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the earth and everything that's in it,
And what is more, you'll be a man, my son.
'The spirit of the Quest', Shackleton called these verses.—Dale Carnegie
(2 Kings 2. 1-12)
Mrs. Josephine Butler, whose features displayed her marked determination and purposeful character, brought about the reform of workhouses and the establishment of homes of refuge for the poor and underprivileged in Britain during the nineteenth century. She stoutly opposed the Contagious Diseases' Acts which, largely as a result of her untiring perseverance, were repealed in 1886.
John Macbeath in his book 'The Face of Christ' tells us that, when she saw for the first time her portrait painted by G. F. Watts, who had a deep veneration for her heroism, she said but a few words. But when she came down to dinner that evening, she had written what her delicate and sensitive nature had prevented her from saying to the artist. This is what she wrote:
'When I looked at that portrait which you have just done, I felt inclined to burst into tears. I will tell you why. I felt sorry for her. Your power has brought out of the depths of the past the record of a conflict which no one but God knows of. It is written in the eyes and the whole face. Your picture has brought back to me all that I suffered, and the sorrow through which the Angel of God's presence brought me alive.'
John Macbeath adds: 'her passion was kindled by the passion of Jesus Christ. She had seen her Lord, and from that hour life was never the same again.'
(Esther 8. 3-6; Eph. 6. 18; Phil. 3. 13)