A bright boy heard and was deeply impressed by the text, "My son, give Me thine heart." But Satan whispered, "Time enough yet," and he put it off. Ten years later a brilliant college student heard the same text under the circumstances which seemed to make that the time of his salvation. Again the tempter whispered, "Time enough yet." Twenty years later a statesman listened to the same text from the lips of an aged bishop, and felt it was a message to him. This time the tempter said, "Visit foreign countries before you decide." A traveler in Paris was stricken with cholera. But his greatest suffering was agony of soul because he was not prepared to die. His last words were, "Too late." The boy, the college student, the statesman, the traveler were all one.—Dawn.
A boy sat beneath the tall Gothic towers of Beverly Minster in Yorkshire. The great question of giving his heart to the Saviour had been troubling him. "Put it off a little while. There is plenty of time," whispered the tempter. "No, decide at once for Christ," urged that other Voice. Thus the conflict went on through the long bright summer afternoon. It was decided at length as the boy lifted his eyes to the spot where the ancient sun dial on the Minster wall marked the progress of the day. He did not dwell so much on the shadow on the plate as on the words inscribed as a motto, "Now, or when?" "When," he thought, "when shall I give my heart to God?—Now or when?" For a moment he paused and looked up once more at the sundial on which the shadow was rapidly declining. "Now!" he said aloud, and jumping up. ran home. That was the moment of decision in the life of one whose devoted labors and saintly life are still remembered by many. —Canon Jackson o Leeds, in the Church Army Gazette.
On the church calendar of St. Peter's Vicarage, the church of the well-known British Keswick speaker, the Rev. J. Russell Howden, is this striking sentence: "Those people who expect salvation at the eleventh hour often die at 10:30." Postponement is perilous in spiritual matters.—Sunday School Times.
There is an old fable that once upon a time a wild boar of the jungle was whetting his tusks against the trunk of a tree. A fox passing by asked him why he did this, seeing that neither hunter nor hound was near. "True," said the boar, "but when that danger does arise I shall have something else to do than to sharpen my weapon."—Earnest Worker.
"Why, Mrs. Tsan, where did you come from?" exclaimed the missionary as the woman entered.
"Oh, Miss Kan, I'm so tired. I'm so tired! I've walked fifteen miles today" (her feet were bound and encased in shoes not more than three inches long, and she carried a child huddled in her coat), "because I heard that you were going to the city soon, and I have not learned the Lord's Prayer yet."
"But why did you not wait till I came back again?"
"Who knows whether I shall be living when you come again? I want to learn it now."
"But you can't learn it tonight, and I am going to Peking tomorrow morning."
"I must learn it tonight. I will learn it tonight! I'll learn it right now; you begin."
And so the missionary began, and the woman repeated it after her, nor would she go to bed nor allow the missionary to retire until she could repeat the prayer from beginning to end.
This is a true story told by Dr. Isaac T. Headland, and "Miss Kan" is Mrs. Headline.—Tarbell's Teachers' Guide.
At a prayer meeting in a country neighborhood in Western Washington a young man appeared to be much convicted. An earnest worker in the meeting went to him and lovingly pleaded with him to seek the Lord. He hesitated, but finally said, "No, I will attend to that matter when I am through hauling logs; I have one month to work yet." Four weeks from that day he and a young friend went bathing in Lake Tacoma. He was using profane language while undressing. Plunging into the lake, he swam into the deep, cold water. He was taken with a cramp, screamed wildly for help, then sank to the bottom. He was one month too late!—Gospel Herald.
An Indian native told a missionary that he believed on Jesus Christ and meant to give Him his love some day.
A native helper turned and said: "If you and I were walking through the jungles and came face to face with a tiger, if I placed myself in front, and said, `Run, brother, for your life!' would you love me?"
"When? Some day?"
The native saw the point and said: "I will give myself to Him now, and you must baptize me tomorrow."—Presbyterian Syndicated Calendar.
God forbid that any of you should, at the last, have the dismay of the woman Dr. Talmage used to tell about. One night she could not sleep because of her soul's anxiety about the future without Christ. She got up and wrote in her diary: "One year from now. I will attend to the matter of my soul." She retired, but she could not sleep. So she arose again, and wrote a better promise in her diary: "One month from now I will attend to the matter of my soul." She retired again but found no sleep; and arose again and wrote: "Next week I will attend to the matter of my soul." Then she slept soundly. The next day she went into scenes of gaiety. The following day she was sick, and the middle of the next week she died. Delirium lifted from her mind just long enough for her to say: "I am a week too late. I am lost!" To be a week too late, or even an hour too late, is to be forever lost! May God Almighty, by His grace, keep us from the awful experience of a ruined soul! Abner promised a kingdom, but could not insure his life for one day. Haman plumed himself upon the prospect of the queen's banquet, but was hanged like a dog before night.—Gospel, Herald.