In the forests of northern Europe and Asia a little animal called the ermine lives. He is mostly known among us by his snow-white fur, a thing than which there is nothing more beautiful on the fur markets of the world. In some countries the state robes of judges are lined with it, the white being emblematic of purity and honor. The ermine has a peculiar pride in his white fur coat. At all hazards he protects it against anything that would spoil it.
It is said that the fur hunters take cruel advantage of the ermine's care to keep his coat clean. They do not set a snare to catch him at some unwary moment, but instead find his home, a cleft in the rock or the hollow of a decaying tree, and daub the entrance and interior with filth. Then their dogs start the chase. Frightened, the ermine flees toward his home, his only place of refuge. He finds it daubed with uncleanness, and he will not spoil his pure white coat. Rather than go into the unclean place he faces the yelping dogs and preserves the purity of his fur at the price of his life. It is better that he be stained by blood than spoiled by uncleanness.
The ermine is right—purity is dearer than life.—Walking With God.
Christians who countenance places of worldly amusement give the world a false conception of Christianity, for they indicate by their presence in these places that Jesus Christ can save but He cannot satisfy; that there has to be some addition of the world to make the Christian happy. I met a girl in the city of Liverpool who listened one evening as I spoke about complete separation from the world. She went home, but was very unhappy. She came back in desperation to tell me that if the theater and movies and worldly amusements went out of her life, she would have nothing to live for. I said, "God help you." "But," she said, "I belong to the Oxford Group Movement." "Well," I said, "what has that to do with it?" "We are told to have our quiet time in the morning," she answered, "and then we can take Jesus into all these places." "Well," I said, "you may take your Jesus into those places, but you cannot take the One I know."—Herbert Lockyer, in An Instrument of Ten Strings.
We often hear someone say, when speaking of his pastor, "He's such a good mixer!" Commenting on this statement, an evangelist said: "You don't need a mixer; you need a separator!"—Selected.
I have read somewhere of a minister sitting on a hotel plaza at Saratoga one morning. He was greeted by a young girl who said to him: "Good morning, Doctor." "Good morning," he replied. "Are you very well this morning?" She answered, "Oh, I am so tired! I blistered my feet dancing last night. By the way, Doctor, what do you think about dancing?" Very gravely he answered, "You are a professing Christian, are you not? Did you ever blister your feet for God?" The young girl felt the question deeply, and turned away. A few days afterward she spoke to the minister again and said: "Doctor, I have scarcely slept since you asked me that question, and I want to tell you I have never blistered my feet for the Lord, but from this time on I will work for him to the best of my ability."—Watchman-Examiner
A young person once came to the venerable Daniel Witt, of Virginia, with the question, "Is there any harm in dancing?" The gentle and tender old man replied, thoughtfully, "Just how much harm there may be in dancing I cannot say, but of this much I am sure, I have been a Baptist minister for over forty years and I have never yet seen a dancing Baptist that was of any account as a church member."—The Illustrator.
David Brainerd, under the date of April 25, 1742, wrote in his journal:
"Farewell, vain world, my soul can bid adieu;
Your Saviour taught me to abandon you.
Your charms may gratify a sensual mind,
But cannot please a soul for God designed.
Forbear to entice, cease then my soul to call;
'Tis fixed through grace—my God shall be my all.
While He thus lets me Heavenly glories view,
Your beauties fade; my heart's no room for you."—Gospel Herald.
How often we wish that we had the ability of another! A devoted missionary who was at home on furlough had been called to speak in the neighborhood in which he spent his boyhood days. After a very interesting service, a boyhood friend of his stepped up to him and said, "Robert, you have an experience which I do not have. You have a character which will stand anything that can come to you. Really, I'd give the world to have such an experience and character as you have."
The missionary paused a moment, then he said, "John, that's exactly what my experience cost me. It cost me the world. I had my choice of the two. The world, with its perplexities, has nothing lasting, but if we give up the world for the Cross, we are not really giving up very much, and yet it is the hardest thing for people to give up."
"I never thought of that, but it's true that one has to choose between the world and life eternal and it is only by having a daily walk with God as you have had, that perfects character. Tonight I, too, want to give up the world with all its pleasures and follow Christ."
We say, "I'd give the world"—but would we?—Gospel Herald.
Traversing one night a city street, I was startled by a sharp clanging above my head. On looking up, I found myself directly beneath the tower wherein a huge clock was striking the midnight hour. I took my watch from my pocket, and lo, the slender overlying hands were pointing exactly to the hour of twelve.
It scarcely seemed possible that that tiny piece of mechanism in my hand could keep time with the huge machinery that filled a whole room of the tower; but the proof was before me, and as I gazed at the two pairs of hands of such diverse proportions, I understood as never before that the most insignificant human being needed only to be clean, 'In running order, and divinely regulated to keep time with Divinity itself—to be perfect even as the Father is perfect.—Northern Christian Advocate.