St. John And St. Paul
( Originally Published 1913 )
IN the original plan of this work, it was intended to have a separate chapter for each of these two noble workers in the cause of Christ. But room for this fails. All that can be done is to give a brief sketch of each in this closing chapter.
We have now to speak of the apostle John. Most of the pictures that have been made of this apostle, represent him as looking more like a woman than a man. But we shall find that there was no authority for this when we come to see what his real character was.
He is supposed to have been born in Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. This town was situated on the western shore of the sea of Galilee, or the lake of Tiberias, at the upper part of the lake. His father's name was Zebedee, and his mother's, Salome. We know nothing more of Zebedee than that he was a fisherman, the husband of Salome, and the father of James and John. Salome, the mother of John, we often read of afterwards, as one of those good women who followed our Lord through the different scenes of his ministry, and were a great help and comfort to him. John is supposed to have been younger than his brother James, who is generally mentioned first when they are spoken of together. They are referred to, as " James and John, the sons of Zebedee." John was probably the youngest of all the apostles. It is said, that he was younger than the Saviour himself, having been born in the year four, Anno Domini, or when Jesus was four years old.
The family of this apostle is supposed to have been better off in regard to property than any of the other apostles. This is evident from several things mentioned about him and his family. One thing which shows this is that when John and his brother James were called from their business as fishermen, to follow Christ, we are told that "they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants." St. Mark i : 20. Andrew and Peter were too poor to have hired servants. They had to do all their own work. But Zebedee could afford to hire help for himself and sons. And then, at the time of our Saviour's trial, the servants who kept the door of the judgment hall, in which the trial took place, allowed John to enter the hall, because they knew he was acquainted with the high priest. St. John xviii : 16. And then when Jesus left his mother in the charge of John, while hanging on the cross, we are told, that from that day, "he took her to his own home." St. John xix: 27. John had a home of his own at Jerusalem. From all this, it seems clear that the family of this apostle were better off in worldly things than were the families of the other apostles.
Now we may just glance at what John's character was by nature, or before he was a Christian ; and what it was by grace, or after he became a Christian.
From what we read of this apostle in the gospel history, we see that there were three things in John's natural character which show that he was not the weak, womanly sort of man he is represented to have been in most of the pictures that have been made of him.
For one thing, it is clear that John was naturally an ambitious man. This is evident from the request to Jesus by John and his brother James, through their mother, that they might have the highest places in his kingdom. St. Matt. xx : 20-23. Their mother made the re-quest. But she probably consulted them about it first. And if they had not agreed in it, she would not be likely to have done it. This shows that they were all ambitious together. And so we are right in saying that John was ambitious. He wanted the best place in Christ's kingdom for himself, without thinking whether others might not be better fitted for it. Our Saviour's reply shows that he was wrong in giving way to this ambitious feeling. But then this shows that there was a good deal of strength in John's natural character. He was ambitious.
And then he was narrow-minded, as well as ambitious in his natural character.
Persons of this character are accustomed to think that all those who think, or feel, or act differently from what they do, must certainly be wrong. And this was the way John felt when he first became a disciple of Christ. He came to Jesus one day and said, "Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and we forbade him, because he followeth not us." Jesus rebuked him for giving way to his narrow-mindedness, or bigotry, or uncharitableness. It was wrong for him to think that no one could be doing good, or be serving God acceptably, unless it was done in just the same way in which he was doing it. This was a wrong feeling to have, but it shows there was a good deal of decision and strength about John's natural character.
And then another thing about John before he became a Christian, was that he was an angry, or passionate man. As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem on one occasion, in the company of his disciples, they came to a Samaritan village.
When the Samaritans in the village found that he was going to Jerusalem, it stirred up all their prejudice against the Jews, and they re-fused to receive him. They would not let him stop for rest or refreshment. This made the disciples very angry, and John and his brother James showed their anger by saying, "Lord, wilt thou that we call down fire from heaven, to consume them, as Elias did ? " St. Luke ix : 51-57. But Jesus rebuked them, and showed them that this was not the right spirit for his disciples to have.
These traits of John's natural character, although they are not to be approved or" ad-mired, yet show that he was a man of a good deal of force of character, and very different from what his pictures represent him to have been. But when we turn from considering what he was by nature, or before he became a Christian, and think of what he was by grace, or after he became a Christian, we see a wonderful change. The apostle Paul tells us, " that if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away, and all things have become new." And it was so with this apostle. When he learned to know and love Christ, the old things about his character passed away, and all things became new. After this we see no more of his ambition, of his narrow-mindedness, or of his passion.
The one thing that marked his character as a Christian was love. He seemed to get nearer to Jesus than any of the other disciples. And it is always the case, that the nearer we get to Jesus and the more we learn to know him, the more we shall love him. John's love to Christ seemed to take entire possession of him. It filled his whole soul. And so we think of him as the apostle of love. He is spoken of particularly as "the disciple whom Jesus loved." It was he who sat nearest to his Lord and leaned on his bosom at the last Passover. Peter was great for his readiness in serving Christ; Paul was great for the learning and the labor with which he served his Master; but John was great in the love for that Master, which ran through all he did. And this great love made him useful both in his life and in his writings.
It made him useful in his life. There is nothing that will lead to such earnest and de-voted labor as this principle of love. We know but little of the life of this loving apostle after the ascension of Christ. We have no report of his missionary journeys, as we have in the case of the apostles Peter and Paul. But we know he was so earnest in the cause of his Master that he was sent a prisoner to the island of Patmos to stop his labor, but in vain. He was willing to be an exile, a prisoner, and, as some say, a laborer in the mines, but he was not willing to give up working for his Master. Tradition tells us that he had to take his choice between stopping his work for Jesus and being thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil. He could not cease from his work. He was thrown into the boiling oil; but came out uninjured and kept on with that work which his love con-strained him to do. He lived the longest of all the apostles, and was the only one of them who died a natural death. And in the closing days of his life, when too feeble to do anything else, we are told that he used to be carried into the church at Ephesus, where his latest labors had been performed, and, standing up in the midst of the congregation, would stretch forth his trembling hands and say, "Little children, love one another." What a beautiful close to the life of this loving apostle ! Truly his love made him useful in his life.
And then it made him useful in his writings, too. Think of the gospel of St. John. How different it is from all the others ! John's love for Jesus seemed to bring him nearer to his great heart of love than the rest of the brethren. We are not surprised, therefore, to see that love speaking out more clearly and fully in his writings than it does anywhere else. It is only John who gives us that wondrous statement, that glorious, golden epitome of the gospel which is found in the sixteenth verse of his third chap-ter—" God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." And then think of the marvellous discourses of our Saviour found in the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth chapters of this gospel; and of that most sublime and wonderful prayer of Jesus, for all his people, found in the seventeenth chapter. 0, no one can tell what an unspeakable loss the Church of Christ would have sustained if this loving apostle had not written his precious gospel !
And then how useful he has been in his epistles, too, as well as in his gospel! Love is the golden thread that runs through them all. Look at the opening words of the third chapter of his first epistle. How the very heart of the loving disciple seems to be speaking out when he exclaims: " Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God!" It is remarkable that the two shortest verses in the whole Bible, and yet two among those that most melt, and stir our hearts, were written by this apostle. One of these is in his gospel and contains only two words—"Jesus wept." The other is in one of his epistles and contains only three words—"God is love." If he had never written anything else than these two verses, how well it might be said that he was useful in his writings !
And then think of that marvellous book with which the Bible closes. We call it "The Revelation of St. John the Divine." For, although it is true that there is much in this book that we cannot understand, yet its opening and closing chapters have been an unspeakable blessing to the Church in all ages. When St. John closes the Bible with those last two chapters of the Revelations, it seems as if he had been permitted to leave the gates of heaven ajar on purpose that we might gaze through them in wondering awe. Those jewelled walls; those pearly gates; those golden streets; that river of the water of life, clear as crystal; and all the sparkling imagery employed by this loving apostle in what he here tells us about heaven, how can we sufficiently thank God for permitting his servant John to write such glorious things for us ? Truly we may say that his love made him useful in his life and useful in his writings !
I know not how better to close this brief sketch of the life of St. John the Evangelist than by quoting here the words of that beautiful Collect which our Church uses on the day with which his memory is connected:
"Merciful Lord, we beseech thee to cast thy bright beams of light upon thy church, that it, being instructed by the doctrine of thy blessed Apostle and Evangelist, St. John, may so walk in the light of thy truth, that it may at length attain to everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
" Praise, for the loved disciple, exile on Patmos' shore;
THE APOSTLE PAUL.
It would require a large volume to consider fully and properly the character and work of this apostle. We have only space to take a hasty glance at the subject. But even this, it is hoped, may prove useful to those who read it.
St. Paul spoke of himself as "the least of all the apostles." I. Cor. xv : 9. It was natural and proper enough for him to think lowly of himself. But he stands alone in this opinion. Nobody agrees with him here. We all love to think and speak of him as-" the great apostle of the Gentiles." When first converted, he began his ministry by preaching to his own countrymen, the Jews. But finding their prejudices against " Jesus of Nazareth," were so strong that they would not listen to him, he changed his course and turned to the Gentiles. And well he may be called—" the great apostle."
He was great in every view we can take of him. Let us notice now, as briefly as we can, some of the elements of greatness about this apostle.
In the first place, he was great in the natural talents that it pleased God to give him. He had a stronger, clearer mind than any other of the apostles. He could take hold of the greatest subjects brought before him and handle them and master them with wonderful power. He had great reasoning powers. He could argue and reason about anything in the grandest way. And then he had great powers as a speaker. He was marvellously eloquent. See what an illustration we have of this in his famous speech on the top of Mar's Hill, in the city of Athens, as we read it in Acts xvii: 16-32. We have another illustration of this in his speech before Agrippa, in Acts, twenty-sixth chapter. I would gladly give anything I have in the world to have enjoyed the privilege of hearing Paul deliver that speech. When Agrippa interrupted him by saying, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian," only think how touching it must have been to see Paul lift up his chained hands towards heaven and say with the tenderest feeling—"I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am; except these bonds ! "
He was great in his early opportunities. He was born at Tarsus, and had a better education than any of the other apostles. His family were well off. It is no argument against this to say that he was a tent-maker by trade. For it was customary among the Jews, even with the richest families, to teach their sons some useful trade. Paul went through the best schools that were to be had then. He had studied all about history, and philosophy, and poetry. And he was learned also in all matters concerning the religion of the Jews. He tells us himself that he was "brought up at the feet of Gamaliel "—who was, at that time, the most famous of all their teachers.
He was great in his prejudices. He was a real Jew in this respect. They all had very strong prejudices against people who differed from them in their religion. But Paul was stronger in his prejudices than even his countrymen were. We see this in the first mention that is made of him in the New Testament. This was at the death of the first martyr, St. Stephen. The wicked men who stoned him, we are told, "laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man whose name was Saul." And then we see the strength of his prejudice in the fierceness of the persecution which he carried on against the followers of Jesus. He " breathed out threatenings and slaughter" against them. He was "exceeding mad against them." Not con-tent with imprisoning and putting to death those who lived in Jerusalem, he "persecuted them even unto strange cities." Furnished with letters from the chief priests, he went as far as Damascus, that he might seize and bring bound to Jerusalem any of the followers of Jesus found there. How unlikely it seemed that one who was so very strong in his prejudices should ever, himself, become a follower and an apostle of Jesus !
But he was great in his conversion. It was impossible for him to be converted as other men were. It is hearing about Jesus which leads to the conversion of men. But Paul would not listen to the preaching of the gospel. He would allow no one to speak to him about Jesus of Nazareth. He believed that he was a wicked impostor, and he hated him most bitterly. And so it pleased God to work a miracle for his conversion. He had gone on his journey, till he had nearly reached Damascus, when a marvellous scene occurred. Suddenly the heavens seemed to open above him. A light shone around him above the brightness of the sun. A strange voice was heard speaking to him. It came from heaven. The words it spoke were—" Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me ! " He gave one look at the opening heavens and then fell overpowered to the earth. "Who art thou, Lord!" was his astonished inquiry. And the answer, more astonishing still, was-" I am Jesus whom thou persecutest! " What a revelation that was to him ! How overwhelming was his amazement! No wonder that he was converted by that vision. It was indeed a great conversion. He was baptized by Ananias at Damascus, and began at once to preach that gospel which he had gone there hoping to destroy. Such was the commencement of Paul's life as a Christian and his labors as an apostle. Everything about it was great.
And then he was great in his privileges. He saw the risen and ascended Lord amidst the glories of the heavenly world. What a privilege this was ! It was a privilege which none of the other apostles enjoyed except St. John. We have an account of his vision of the glorious Saviour in the first chapter of the Revelation, verses 10-20. And then afterwards, St. Paul was taken up into the third heavens, or into Paradise, and saw and heard things of which it is not lawful or possible to speak. He had broader and fuller and clearer views of the great doctrines of our holy religion than any of the apostles. And this is one of the greatest privileges we can have in this world. We see the proof of Paul's privileges in this respect in all the blessed teachings he has given us in his epistles about Christ and his salvation.
He was great in his labors. When he found out the great mistake he had made respecting Christ, and learned to know and love him as the one, only glorious Saviour of lost sinners, the love for Christ kindled in his soul by this discovery constrained him to give himself a living sacrifice to him. And the burning zeal with which he began to work for his Saviour never grew cold. The apostles were all earnest in their labors for Jesus; but Paul was the most earnest and the most untiring of them all. In his case, it was indeed true, that the last became first. No one city or country was large enough to be the field of his labors. He went from city to city, and from country to country, till he had gone all over the world as it was then known. And when he had gone all over the earth once, preaching the gospel, he was not satisfied. When one missionary journey was ended, he began another; and then another, and so on to the end of his days. Then he sealed his life's labors with his blood, and died a martyr's death at Rome by order of the cruel emperor Nero. The tradition is that he was beheaded outside of the walls of that great city. And on the spot which is said to be the place of his death, there stands a beautiful church, called after him, and which is a monument to his memory.
How well it may be said of him that he was great in his labors. And yet the Saviour, whom he served so faithfully, had done nothing for him which he has not done for you and me. He bore the same cross, and shed the same precious blood for us, that he did for Paul. Then, in our labors for Jesus, let us try to follow Paul, as he followed Christ. If we try to catch Paul's spirit, whoever we are, or wherever we may be, we shall find it easy and pleasant to work for our blessed Master. Here is an illustration of what I mean. We may call it:
"Paul's Spirit in a Child." A little girl had great dislike for sewing. She had commenced making a bed-quilt, but was not likely to finish it soon. One day she came home from Sabbath-school. They had been having a missionary-meeting there, and she was full of zeal in the missionary cause. "Mamma," she asked, "can't I do some work to earn money for our missionary box? "
"Well, Lizzie, darling," said her mother, "if you will finish one block for the quilt, every other day, I will gladly pay you for it, and you can give this as your own offering to the missionary cause.
Poor Lizzie's face grew sad on hearing this; for she disliked this kind of work very much. It seemed as if her missionary spirit was likely to die out at once. But, after thinking over it a little while, her face brightened up and she said, "Well, mamma, I'll piece blocks, or do anything else you wish me to do, for Jesus' sake. Amen." That quilt was soon finished, and there is now an earnest, active little worker for missions in that home. This was Paul's spirit in a child. And if we get that spirit, it will make us all, like Paul, great in our labors for Christ.
But Paul was great in his sufferings, too, as well as in his labors.
Before he became a Christian he had the prospect of rising to a position of great honor and great profit in connection with the Jewish church. But he gave this all up at the time of his conversion. He tells us that, "what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord." Phil. iii : 7, 8. There is something very touching in the record which this great apostle has left us of his sufferings for Christ. He speaks of himself as having been—" In labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice I was beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep. In journeyings often, in perils of water, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren. In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness." II. Cor. xi : 23-28. What a marvellous record of sufferings we have here! There is perhaps nothing like it to be found in the whole history of the Church of Christ. And yet the apostle never had a word of complaint to make. The spirit in which he bore his sufferings for Christ is beautifully illustrated in the glimpse we have of him in the prison at Philippi. His back had been torn with cruel scourges. His feet were made fast in the stocks. We might have expected that he would spend that night in sighing and crying. But, instead of this, we read that—"At midnight, Paul and Silas,"—his companion in labor and suffering—" prayed, and sang praises to God." Acts xvi : 25. Surely this should make us ashamed of complaining on ac-count of any trifling suffering we may have to bear in the cause of our great Master. And Paul had no relief from these sufferings. He went on bearing them cheerfully to the very close of his life. How was he able to do this? There is only one answer to give to this question. It was his love for Jesus that made him so willing to labor and to suffer for him. And if we love Jesus, we should be willing to suffer for him, too.
Here is a striking illustration of the way in which real love will make one willing to suffer even for a friend or fellow-creature. We may call it:
"Love Triumphing Over Suffering." Some years ago a fine church was built in one of the towns in Belgium. It was all finished at last, except the fastening of the weather-vane on the top of the steeple. The scaffolding was not high enough to reach it. There was no way in which the work could be done, but for one workman to stand on the highest part of the scaffolding and let the other workman stand on his shoulders, while he put the vane on the steeple, and soldered it in its place. A brave-hearted, broad-shouldered workman agreed to stand there for this purpose. He took his position, holding on to a piece of scaffolding. His companion climbed up and stood on his shoulders. The vane and vessel of melted lead were handed up to him. It was a perilous thing to do. A crowd of spectators below watched the operation almost breathless with anxiety. The moments seem like hours, as the work goes on. At last it is done. The men come down amidst the shouts of the multitude. But, when the brave man who had borne his friend on his shoulders reached the bottom of the ladder, he fell exhausted to the earth, and had to be carried home. Then it was found that the poor fellow's back was in a dreadful state.
While the man was doing his work on the vane, some of the melted lead had dropped down on the friend who was supporting him. But he stood bravely still. He would not move an inch, for that would have caused the death of his companion. Here was love triumphing over suffering. And if that brave man was willing to bear all this for his earthly friend, what should we not be willing to bear for Christ, "the friend who sticketh closer than a brother? "
In the next place the apostle Paul was great in his influence. Suppose we could have a history written of all the persons who were converted by the preaching of this apostle during his life; and then of all who were converted by them, and so on, from one generation to another, down to our own times, what a wonderfully interesting history that would be ! Or suppose we could trace out, in the same way, all the good that has been done by the writings of this apostle; the persons who have been brought to Jesus by reading the truths found in those writings, or who have been instructed, or guided, or comforted, encouraged, and helped by the same—how surprising it would be !. Then we should see, indeed, how great this influence has been!
There are twenty-one epistles in the New Testament. Of these the apostle Paul wrote fourteen. They form a large part of the New Testament. Now, suppose we could take these epistles of St. Paul, chapter by chapter, and follow every verse in each chapter as it has gone round the world from age to age, and find out every case where good has been done to any soul, what a history we should have ! No one could write such a history now. But I suppose we shall have such a history set before us when we get to heaven. Then, we shall understand better than we can do now how great the apostle Paul was, in the influence for good which he exerted. But, though none of us can be compared at all with this great man, yet, if we are trying, like him, to love and serve the blessed Saviour, we may all, even to the youngest, be exerting influence for good that will last forever. Here is an illustration of what I mean. We may call it:
"A Child's Influence for Good." Bessie was a sweet little girl who was trying to love the Saviour. The nursery in which she slept was on the first floor of the house adjoining the street. It was summer time when the incident here referred to took place. Her mother was sitting near the open window one evening, when Bessie knelt down by her side to say her evening prayer. She first repeated, after her mother, the words that she taught her to use in prayer. After this she was in the habit of offering up little prayers of her own for anything she wished to ask from her Father in heaven. She did so on this occasion; and these were the last words she had to offer ; "God help every-body to love Jesus. Amen." While Bessie was saying her prayers that evening her mother heard the steps of some one passing. He lingered a moment under the window and listened to the words of the dear child. It happened that this was a neighbor of theirs, an infidel, whose name was Jones. The closing words of Bessie's prayer made a deep impression on his mind. After this he manifested the greatest interest in her, though he always said that what she prayed for never could take place; for he was certain that he, for one, never could be a Christian.
Not long after this Mr. Jones was taken sick. He had a long and severe spell of illness. As he was living in a boarding house, and had no family of his own, Bessie's mother used to send the dear child in every day to inquire how he was and to take him little things that he might need. He would allow no one to speak to him on the subject of religion; but Bessie's father and mother hoped that her gentle ways and simple loving words might do him good.
A week or two had passed away, and one night, as Bessie's mother was putting her to bed—she said: "Mamma, Mr. Jones loves Jesus now.
A few days after this they heard that their sick neighbor was near his end. Taking her little one by the hand the kind mother went in to see him. They found that he was dying. As Bessie sat on her mother's lap, by the side of his bed, the sick man died; but just before his spirit passed away, these were the last words heard from his lips : "God, help everybody to love Jesus—everybody."
And so dear Bessie's words were the means which God employed to save a soul from death. And if a little child can exert such an influence as this, then we see how, by loving and serving Jesus, we may all make ourselves useful. We may so live that every act and word may be a good seed sown that will yield fruit unto ever-lasting life.
Not ourselves, but the truths that in life we have spoken, Not ourselves, but the seed that in life we have sown, May pass on for ages—all about us forgotten,
Save the truth we have spoken, the things we have done.
"So let our living be—so be our dying;
So let our names lie, unblazoned, unknown; Unpraised, and unmissed, we shall yet be remembered; But only remembered by what we have done."
The apostle Paul was great in his influence. And then, as the only other point to speak of, he was great in his reward.
This is true of all God's people who serve him faithfully. David, when speaking of God's words, or commandments, tells us that "in keeping of them there is great reward." Ps. xix : 11. When St. Paul had reached the close of his life, he paused to look back upon the past, and then forward to the future; and as he did so, these are the words that he used: "I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." II. Tim. iv: 6-9. We learn from this passage that there is a crown in heaven prepared for every follower of Jesus. These crowns are procured or purchased by what Jesus did and suffered for us. But they will be very different in the number and character of the jewels that are to sparkle in them. And how many jewels, and what kind of jewels your crown, or my crown, will have must depend upon how much we do for Jesus. I suppose the apostle Paul will have the most beautiful crown that any of the servants of Jesus will wear. He was greater in his labors, in his sufferings, and in his influence for good than others-and his reward will be greater. He will have more jewels in his crown than will be found in any other; and they will sparkle with more brightness and beauty. But none will envy him. We shall all feel that he is worthy of it, and we shall rejoice to see him wear it.
But let us remember that every work we do for Jesus, and every sacrifice we make for him, will put another jewel in our crown. Then let us try to serve him faithfully with all our hearts, and we may be sure that we shall receive a great reward. I close with just one little incident, to show how we may add jewels to our crowns. We may call it:
"A Star in the Crown." A young lady was standing before a large mirror, preparing to go to a ball. She had just placed a light crown on her head, ornamented with silver stars. While she stood there, looking at herself in the glass, her little sister, about five years old, climbed upon a chair, and putting out her tiny fingers, tried to touch the beautiful crown. "What are you doing, Nellie, darling ? You mustn't touch my crown," said her sister.
"I was looking at that and thinking of some-thing else," was the little one's reply.
"Pray tell me, Nellie, what you were thinking about? "
"I was remembering what my teacher said last Sunday. She told us that if we brought sinners to Jesus by our influence, we should win stars for our crown in heaven; and when I saw those stars in your crown, I wished I could save some soul."
These simple words that Nellie spoke took a strong hold of her sister's feelings. She went to the ball that night, but felt little interest in it. She had no heart for the music or the dancing, and was truly glad when all was over.
On reaching home she went to Nellie's room. There she lay, sleeping sweetly. She stooped and kissed her loving lips; and then, kneeling down by the side of her bed, she asked God to forgive her for the giddy, careless life she had been living. She gave herself to Jesus then,and there, and prayed for grace to live henceforth for him and for heaven.
Then she kissed Nellie again and said, "Precious darling, you have won one star for your crown!" God help us all to win many stars for our crowns!
Thus we have taken a hasty view of this great apostle. We have seen that he was great in his natural talents; great in his opportunities; great in his prejudices; great in his conversion; great in his privileges ; great in his labors ; great in his sufferings; great in his influence; and great in his reward.
And now this work is done. I thank God, with all my heart, for permitting me to engage in it, and for helping me to get through with it. It humbles me in the dust to think how utterly unworthy it is of the glorious Saviour to whom it refers. But I know he is pleased to work by feeble means. He puts the treasure of the gospel in earthen vessels, on purpose that "the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." My earnest prayer is that he will graciously accept it as a tribute of grateful love from one of the least and most unworthy of his followers ; that he will pardon all the mistakes and imperfections connected with it; and bless it, notwithstanding, and make it useful. And if it shall prove helpful to Christian parents and teachers in training their children for Jesus ; and if the young who read these pages shall find anything here to aid and en-courage them in trying to know and love and serve the blessed Saviour, I shall feel that the time and labor spent upon this work have not been in vain ! AMEN !