Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

virtue take root, and in the tumult of life it will save thee from suffering like those who are tossed by troubled waters. The sea rages, but thou sailest on with calm weather; for thou hast the study of the Scriptures for thy pilot; for this is the cable which the trials of life do not break asunder.

CHRYSOSTOM.

Foreword

This little collection of Scripture verses illustrating the relation of the Heavenly Father to his Earthly Child is dedicated to those who suffer and would be strong. It owes its origin to a long experience of pain and suffering. During a recent severe illness the writer found her chief comfort in the helpful and beautiful admonitions and promises of the Bible, with which her early training in a Christian home had stored her mind. Now that health is in part restored, she desires to share this comfort with others.

Some one has finely said that in facing the inevitable we face what is sacred. We sound the depths of sorrow, and we find in the darkness a well of holy joy; we submit to the discipline of suffering, and we feel beneath us the Everlasting Arms. Sickness thus teaches us many a lesson which we could learn in no other way. In time we come to feel that it has been good for us to have been afflicted, because we have realized anew our depend

cry

ence as children upon our Father in heaven, and have learned that nothing which concerns us is too small for his notice, and that no evil which assails us is beyond his control.

How often in monotony and loneliness has the verse, "No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby,” brought back into life a sense of purpose and meaning. In suffering the words rise naturally to our lips: "I poured out my complaint before Him; I showed before him my trouble.” We with the Psalmist: "My groaning is not hid from thee,” or with St. Paul: “We in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened." How sweet it is to know that long ago other weary souls had their experience of consolation: "Return unto thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee;" “I was brought low and He helped me.

The greatness of our need lends new meaning to such terms as “supplication.” When we have struggled to conform our petitions to the ideal of the apostle, “In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God," we find ourselves soothed and comforted by the promise of peace which follows the command: "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” When He holds our eyes waking so that we cannot sleep, we recall the verse, "Wearisome nights are appointed me," and find help in the words "appointed me." Often to a mind stored with Scripture sentences one verse will follow another in beautiful sequence: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." “This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest, and this is the refreshing."

But what of those minds that are not thus stored? Are the children of the present day taught as were those of a past generation to commit to memory passages of Scripture which will stand them in good stead in later life?

Let us, then, consider the work of teaching our children to know and love the Bible, no small or unimportant part of our responsibility as parents. They will understand and value our efforts when in after days of discouragement or weariness or of pain they find themselves able to draw strength and comfort from this record of the noblest thoughts and emotions of mankind.

No better witness to the value of an early familiarity with the Bible can be found than John Ruskin, who, in describing the formative influences which surrounded his youth, writes as follows of his training in the knowledge of the Scriptures:

"I have with deep gratitude to chronicle what I owe to my mother for the resolutely consistent lessons which so exercised me in the Scriptures as to make every word of them familiar to my ear in habitual music, yet in that familiarity reverenced, as transcending all thought and ordaining all conduct.*

"Once knowing the 32nd of Deuteronomy, the 119th Psalm, the 15th of First Corinthians, the Sermon on the Mount, and most of the Apocalypse, every syllable by heart, and having always a way of thinking with myself what words meant, it was impossible for me, even in the foolishest time of youth, to write entirely superficial or formal English."**

M. E. B. *Ruskin's "Præterita," Chapter II. **Ruskin's “Præterita," Chapter I.

« IndietroContinua »