A lady was bringing her plants into the house in the autumn. Some had hardly grown at all—they had made no progress and produced no bloom. They had just lived, and that was about all. Others had done well—grown strong and beautiful, and repaid her care by abundant blossoms. The former were taken in and saved from perishing, but had obscure places, with little regard or use—just saved and that was all—while those which had used their powers and opportunities were taken to grace the parlors and windows of the house, and given missions of beauty and power. So it is with people in God's garden and house, some are just saved, "so as by fire"; they "hardly enter in." But those who live lives of loving service to God and humanity have an abundant entrance into the joy of the Lord.—Selected.
Have you become discouraged? Have you allowed something to keep you from being what you know you should be? Have you allowed depression or disaster to make you lose heart and to slacken your effort? If so, remember the Word of the Lord: "That no man take thy crown." Be diligent; in season and out of season. Be faithful in the face of storm, as well as in times of sunshine, for if there is "no battle, there will be no victory; no cross, no crown."—Henry J. Westermeyer, in Christian Observer.
Bennie Locke, an engine driver who has done fifty-seven years of service on the Lakawanna Railroad, and has never received a demerit mark from his superior officers, had the habit, during the greater part of his service, of removing his cap on entering his engine and uttering a prayer for God's protection on each day's run. One experience he thus describes: "Number Six was twenty-five minutes late out of Scranton one day, and I had my little prayer as usual when I stepped into the cab. After I had asked for the safety of our train, I said, `Lord, help me to bring her in on time.' It was a stiff climb up the Pocono Mountains for the first part of the trip, and it never seems so steep as when you are late. I couldn't gain a second on the way up but after we dipped over the summit, things began to break just right for me. It was a beautiful day, with air perfectly clear, and we almost flew down the mountain. I just held her steady and let her go. At last the old train shed at Hoboken loomed ahead, and, as we pulled into the station I looked at my watch and we were just on the dot. As I stood wiping the sweat from my face there was a tap of a cane on the outside of my cab and on looking out I saw the president of the road, all smiles, and he said to me, `A good run, sir! A very good run!' That meant more to me than anything that could have happened in this world. And, brother, when I make my last run, and pull into the Great Terminal, if I can just hear Him say, `A good run, sir! A very good run!' the toil and the struggle down here won't matter."—Sunday School Times.
When Andrew Bonar made his first and only visit to America, they gave him a farewell meeting in New York. Several men eulogized him, and one man in closing said, "Think of the 'crown of righteousness,' which is laid up for Andrew Bonar, 'which the Lord, the righteous judge,' shall give him in that day." Dear old Andrew Bonar walked to the front of the platform and held up his hands toward Heaven and completed Paul's saying to Timothy: "and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing."—James M. Gray, in the Sunday School Times.
It will make the toils of the road and all the renunciation and willing sacrifices of life seem nothing to have some such words of commendation from the lips of our glorious Saviour, and to hear Him say to one who has sought to be faithful at all cost: "Well done! You were never popular on earth, and nobody knew about you. The life you laid down for Me in that Central African village, or in that crowded Chinese city, or lived to My glory in the uninspiring sphere of home duty seemed to be wasted and its sacrifices to be worthless by those who knew it; but ‘thy love to Me was wonderful.’ Men said you made mistakes and were narrow-minded; men thought that you were a fanatic and a fool and called you so; men crucified you as they crucified Me; but 'thy love to Mc was wonderful.'"—Northfield Calendar.
When all around seems dark and drear,
The heart with lonely grief bowed down,
No earthly friend to soothe or cheer,
There's One who lends a listening ear
And says, "My child, give Me thy fear:
After the cross the crown."
When hope lies dead, and not one ray
Of sunshine lights the world's dark frown;
When sorrow's tear, like ocean's spray,
Will from thy burdened heart find way:
In accents tender hear Him say,
"After the cross the crown."
Poor tossed one, weep no more, but leave
At His dear feet thy burden down;
Thy Father speaks, no longer grieve;
Rejoice in Him, His Word believe;
Earth's night is brief; thou'lt soon receive
After the cross thy crown.—Isa L. Christenson, in Herald of Holiness.
A minister in England was preaching to a crowd of people in a street meeting. A rough man, driving past, shouted, "Well, governor, you'll be getting a half crown for that job." Instantly, the minister replied, "No, my man, you are wrong. The Lord Jesus Christ, my Master, never gives half crowns. He gives whole crowns to those who serve Him."—Gospel Herald.
A short time ago, one of our blind soldiers was playing the piano in the convalescent ward of a London hospital. Presently some visitors entered the room, but he was used to such interruptions, and played on, filling the long ward with lovely melody. When the music ceased, a gentleman walked over to the piano and said, "Well done, my friend!" The surprised soldier, thinking it was one of his comrades, swung round on his stool, and with a smile said, "And who are you?" Quick as a flash, and as startling, came the reply, "Your King!" In an instant the man was on his feet with his hand at salute, his whole being instinct with pleasure at the honor accorded him by the royal word of praise.—The Sunday Strand.