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mend you, dear children, to His saving grace. May His loving mercy bless and protect you for evermore !
Your affectionate friend, J. H.
TRUE COURAGE. “PAPA, you told me, the other day, that you did not think I knew what true courage was, and that when I got well you
would talk to me about it. Can you not tell me now what it is?” “Yes, my son; but before I tell
what it is, I should like to know what you think it is?”
“What I think it is ? ” repeated Frederic; 'why, it is—it is-stay,–let me consider;" and he paused for a moment, while Colonel Stanley looked smilingly but silently in his face. Well, papa ; I think true courage is when a man is not afraid of any person, nor of ever so many people, but will fight them all, just as you were not afraid when you met all those Indians, with such a very few men on your side; and when your men would have tried to get off, you made them stay and fight till the Indians themselves were glad to run away. I think that was true courage.”
“ And is that all, Frederic? ” asked his father, still smilingly.
“Why, papa, I don't know anything else; for if a person is not afraid of any man, or of a whole army of men, he certainly will
not be afraid of anything else; he will not be afraid of horses or dogs, or of lions or tigers even.
Colonel Stanley laughed as he replied, “I am not so sure of that, Fred. I should much rather meet an army of Indians than a band of lions or tigers. But, to be serious, have you ever thought, Frederic, that there were things of which men were more afraid than of any bodily pain-more afraid even than of death?”
Frederic fixed his eyes earnestly on his father as he answered, No, papa, I did not know there were.”
“Have you ever heard, my son, of two men going out together to fight what is called a duel—that is, to stand up and shoot at each other?
“And you have probably thought them very courageous to stand up and be shot at, have you not ? ”
“ Yes, sir.”
“And yet, my dear boy, in nine cases out of ten, it was nothing but fear that kept them steady-fear of being ridiculed-of being thought cowardly; and this fear—this real cowardice—when all their anger, perhaps, had passed away, made them do what they would have given worlds to avoid.” Colonel Stanley paused.
Frederic was deeply interested.
He had not removed his eyes from his father's face while he was speaking, and he now impatiently asked, “Well, papa, what is true courage ?—who is courageous, if people that fight are not ?”
“He that is truly courageous, my son, fears but two beings in the universe.”
“Two, papa!” exclaimed Frederic, in surprise; “I thought the man of true courage feared only One-only God."
“God and himself, my son.” “ Himself!” cried Frederic.
“ Yes, Frederic, he fears lest his own rash passions or mistaken views may lead him into wrong doing; but once assured that he is right, he cares not for one man or many
He cares not for their threats or blows, as you have said; but neither does he care for their ridicule or contempt. Once certain that his course is right, he will not step from it for all that they can say or do. Now, Frederic, do you not see that true courage may be shown in other things besides fighting-nay, that sometimes he who will not fight shows more courage than he who does ?”
THE DUSTMAN. VERY lately there was a dustman in London who was very wicked, and feared neither God nor man. A City Missionary visited bim-visited him often-went to him again and again, remembering our Lord's words, “ How often ould I have gathered thee!” During five long years he had been in the habit of giving these visits, generally on the Sabbath mornings, for it was only then that the man was to be found at home. Was not the missionary like some of our Sabbathschool teachers, who find their scholars only on the Lord's day, and know that these precious souls are full of the world all the rest of the week? Well, let them not be discouraged.
At length it happened that the missionary read to the man the parable of the Prodigal Son, in the 15th chapter of Luke, and the man was arrested by it. For the first time, he seemed moved; and soon after he was taken ill; so that for some weeks the missionary saw him often. The Holy Spirit was working by the word and by Providence.
He now sent his children to the raggedschool; and one of his little daughters was soon able to read the Bible, and became her father's teacher !
See how children may carry home a blessing to their parents. And 80 eager was the father now to know the Bible, that the missionary found him always with his book near him. Was he thinking of John v. 39?
He got well again. And now he showed great love to the ordinances of God. He bought a coat, that he might attend church decently, and sought out week-meetings too - sometimes attending such services on the week-nights, every second night. When people are thirsty, they go often to where the living waters flow. Our prayer-meetings
on week-nights would be better filled if there were more thirsty souls, young or old.
He next sought to do good to others. The man who drove the dust-cart along with him was the first to whom he told his change ; and this man was so moved, that he went home, and said to his wife, “ Sarah, we have been doing wrong all our lives, for we have never prayed to God.” night this man too began to seek the Lord, and during the week bought clothes, and was in the church the next Sabbath.
In a few weeks the dustman had led four more to come with him and his companion to the house of God. And why should not you try to do the like? The Lord blessed this man in his attempts to do good, the same Lord that blessed Andrew when he spoke to his brother, and Philip when he told Nathaniel, “We hwe found Him !” John i. 41-45.
But “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution," 2 Tim. iii. 12. The poor dustman was turned off from his employment, because he would not work on the Lord's day, and was for a time so reduced, that he had to be satisfied with one meal a day. But the Lord, by giving a hundred-fold more joy, makes up to His servants all they lose, and promises besides, that they shall reign with Him hereafter, if they suffer for Him now. When spoken to about this trial, the dustman seemed to rejoice that he was counted worthy to endure anything for his Master.