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closer to God, if they are real Christians. Job had not read that “all things work together for good to those who love God” (Rom. viii. 28) ; but if he was so patient, and did not complain under his great trials, when he had not the example of the blessed Saviour to help him, who has shown us how we ought to bear trouble, how careful we ought to be not to grumble at anything God sends us to bear.
Job had more trials still, of which I will tell you' another time; shall I?(Yes, please, teacher.)
Well, now let me see if you remember what I have told you. messengers came in one day? What news did they bring — good, or bad ? How many children were killed ? How did Job show he was sorry? What did he say? Had he read the Bible? Why not? What must we learn from him ? That's right; now don't forget it.
A PATIENT MAN. No. II.
Psalm xxxiv. 19. WHAT good man did we talk about last Sunday?-(Job, teacher.)
Tell me what you remember about him. I am glad you have remembered so much; now I will tell you some more about him; but first read Ps. xxxiv. 19.
Do you remember I said Job had more troubles still to bear? God let Satan take away his health, and he was covered all over with dreadful boils. Did any of you ever have a boil ?-(Yes.)
Then you know how much pain that one gave you; but think of being covered with them, so that you could get no rest from the pain, sitting or standing. That was Job's case. Wasn't it dreadful ? He did not know what to do with the pain and itching, and he took a potsherd (do you know what that is ? it is part of a broken vessel), to scrape himself with, which must have made the pain worse still. He looked so bad that his friends could hardly bear to come near him; and his wife, instead of comforting him, tried to make him have hard thoughts of God, who had given him all
this trouble and pain, and told him to "curse God and die." But Job did not heed her wicked words; he reproved her and said, “What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil ?”
Now Job had three great friends ; and, so soon as they heard of his trouble, they came to mourn with him and comfort him : but, when they saw him a little way off, he was so altered, from his trouble and disease, that they did not know him; and they wept, and tore their clothes.
What was that to show? They saw his trouble was so great that they did not know what to say to comfort him; and for seven days they said nothing to him. At last poor Job became impatient, and began to murmur against God and to wish he had never been born. It was Satan who tempted him to do this. Does he ever tempt you to say foolish and wicked things ?—(Yes, teacher.)
And what should you do then?(Pray to God to help us to resist him.) Yes; and God will be sure to do it.
Job had now another hard trial to bear; for his friends thought he must have been a wicked man, or God would not have afflicted him so heavily; and they began to blame him. That was hard, wasn't it? When any one blames you for something you have not done, how do you feel about it ?- (Very angry.)
Yes, it is quite natural you should feel angry; but it is not right, and you must remember how the loving Saviour behaved when wicked men accused Him of doing wicked things of which He was innocent. Job therefore felt angry, and said he had not been a wicked man, and in his impatience spoke as though he never had done anything wicked. Had he? Yes; and so have we all—the very best men and women that ever lived. There was only one sinless One ; who was He? -- (Jesus Christ.)
Job spoke hastily, and almost as though God had no right to give him so much trouble to bear. Then another friend of Job's spoke ; his name was
Elihu : he had been listening to all they said, but did not speak before because he was younger than the others. Dear children, let me tell you you must learn from him to let those who are older than yourselves speak first, and to show respect to your elders ; to be modest, and not forward and talkative.
Well, Elihu told Job's friends that they were wrong in thinking he must have done some very wicked thing; and he showed Job how wrong he was to justify himself and blame God for His dealings with him. After he had talked to them a long while about it, God Himself spoke to them out of a whirlwind, and rebuked Job for his wicked thoughts and sayings. Job felt that he had sinned against God; he therefore confessed his error, and asked God's forgiveness.
Do you think God forgave him ?-Oh yes ! He always forgives those who are really sorry for their sins, and who ask His pardon. Then God spoke to Job's three friends, and reproved them; He said His anger was kindled against
them, because they “had not spoken of Him the thing that was right.” He told them that they must ask Job to pray for them, and offer sacrifices, that they might be forgiven.
While Job was praying for his friends, God made him well again. Then all his friends were glad; they came to see him, and made him presents. God now gave Job twice as much riches as he had before ; also the same number of children: how many was that ? (Seven sons, and three daughters.)
Job's daughters were the most beautiful women in the land ; and he lived to see his sons and his sons' sons for four generations, for he lived 140 years after his troubles.
Are you not glad to hear that God made Job happy again in this world ? And oh, how happy must he now be in heaven!
Now, little ones, don't forget what you have to learn from Job's history. The best of us are not clean in God's sight; therefore all deserve punishment, and we must not murmur or complain at any trouble God sends us, but be patient and humble under His hands. We must also be modest, as Elihu was ; and forgive those who are unkind to us, for Job prayed to God to forgive his friends. Remember, above all, while God sometimes rewards His servants in this world, He will be sure to do so in the next.
LESSONS FOR JUNIOR CLASSES.
CONVERSIONS AT PHILIPPI.
Acts xvi. 9-24. Dear children, our lesson to day will be about St. Paul's visit to the city of Philippi, where, under God's blessing, he was the means of bringing two precious souls to the feet of Jesus.
Since his conversion Paul had visited many cities, and preached Jesus; and one night-while at Troas, a town in Asia Minor-he had a vision. Can you tell me what he saw in this vision. -(A man of Macedonia.) I wonder how Paul knew of what nation this man was. Most probably the man's dress and language enabled the apostle to discover it. What did the man say? – (He
asked him to come to Macedonia and help them.) What do you think was meant by saying “ Come and help us " ? —(To preach the Gospel to them.)
Yes, that was doubtless what the man meant; and Paul, as you read in the 10th ver., was quite sure of it. At this time Macedonia was a heathen land. In our own days there are many great countries inhabited by heathen nations, and from them the prayer repeatedly is heard, " Come
over and help us.” Thousands, yea millions, of heathen in Africa, China, India, and Japan, like the people of Macedonia, need help; they are living without the knowledge of God. They know nothing of Jesus and of how He came to seek and to save the lost.
And shall we who know so much about whether Lydia's household or family God, and of our salvation in Jesus, suf- were converted ?-(No, teacher.) And fer these poor ignorant heathen to be in yet they were baptized ?-(Yes. We danger of perishing without making an may reasonably believe they were coneffort to preach the Gospel to them ? verted; and Lydia, in having her family Do you not think, dear children, we ought baptized, desired to present them to to aid in every possible way to send out the Lord. Your parents, dear chilBibles and missionaries, that these be- dren, followed Lydia's example when nighted peoples may be brought to they brought you soon after you were a saving knowledge of Christ? If we born to the church, and had you baptruly love Jesus we shall desire to do so. tized.
Paul without any delay set out for What did Lydia for Paul and his Macedonia. When he reached Philippi companion ?-(Took them home to her he took up his abode there for certain house.) A day or so after this, when days. Can you tell me who was with Paul and Silas were going to prayer, Paul when he went to Philippi ?- they were met and followed by a certain (Silas.) Yes, when the sabbath day | damsel. What was she possessed with? came what did Paul and his companion -(A spirit of divination.) And she do?-(They went to where there were brought her masters much gain by-? some people met for prayer.) What (soothsaying.) Yes, she pretended to followed ?-(Paul spoke to the women foretell future events. Whom did she there about Jesus.) Did anything come say Paul and his companion were ? of his preaching ?-(Yes, teacher.) (Servants of the most high God.) And Somebody was converted, who was it?- that they—? (showed the way of salva(Lydia.) The women whom Paul spoke tion.) Was this true ?—(Yes, teacher.) unto knew of Almighty God, and wor- Yes; perfectly true. shipped Him ; but they knew nothing of This wicked woman followed Paul Jesus as the Saviour. How was Lydia several days, and so grieved him that,-? converted?—(God opened her heart that (he commanded the spirit that was in she attended unto the things which her to come out.) In whose name did were spoken of Paul.)
Paul do this ?- -(In the name of Jesus.) Yes, it was God's work.
Did the spirit obey the command ?salvation is of God: if we come to God, (Yes.) When this spirit had left the it is because we are drawn by Him. woman she ceased foretelling future Read St. John vi. 44, 45; Rom. ix. 16 ; events; and her masters, finding their Jonah ii. 9.
gains gone, became very angry. What This woman was sincere in worship- did they to Paul and Silas ?-(Brought ping God: therefore God opened her them before the magistrates, and heart to attend unto the things which charged them with troubling their city.) Paul preached; God does not wish any They also said that Paul and Silas of us to be lost. Would you, dear chil- taught customs which were not lawful dren, like to be saved ? like Lydia, then, for them to receive, nor to observe, as take God at His word; plead with Him they were Romans. what He promises; ask Him to open I do not suppose these wicked men your hearts as He did Lydia's, that, like would have touched Paul and Silas, had her, you may rejoice in Jesus. If you not Paul taken away their hope of gain. give heed to God's commands, as set The Gospel is often opposed because it forth in the Bible, and do not despise the exposes what is dishonourable in the riches of His goodness and forbearance, employments of men, and points out you will assuredly be led to repent, and what is good and honest. Did these repentance will lead you to Christ. wicked men succeed in exciting the Read Rom. ii. 4.
people against Paul and Silas ?-(Yes.) When Lydia was converted, what was How did the magistrates treat them ?it Paul did for her and her household ?- (Beat them, and put them into prison.) (Baptized them.) Does the Bible say Yes, after having been cruelly beaten
they were cast into prison. But Paul could not expect other than this ; for when he was converted God said he would show Paul how great things he would have to suffer for His name's sake; and before Jesus left His disciples, He told them to expect persecution. Read St. Mark xiii. 9. Paul was mercifully liberated from this great trial, although he had far severer ones yet to suffer. These, however, do not form part of our lesson to-day.
Let me now tell you, dear children, that all disciples and servants of Jesus have been and will be persecuted in one way or another by the wicked. They may not be beaten, thrust into prison, or put to death; but they must expect to be scoffed at, scorned, and to suffer great indignities and troubles for seeking to follow the example of Him who first showed us how the heavy cross of this world is to be borne. If we are true followers of Jesus we shall not give way before persecution ; we must remember that Jesus suffered far more than any of us could endure, to save poor, weak sinners from eternal death. All we have to undergo for Jesus will soon be over; we shall then be with Him in heaven, where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest.
O dear children, to be with Jesus will compensate us for all our persecutions and trials. Let us try therefore to follow in the footsteps of so holy an example.
W. A. M.
true child of God. What is the first thing that Jabez asks of God ?-(To bless him indeed.)
You see he does not ask to be made rich or great ; for that might not be & true blessing. He seems to have known that God knew the best way to bless him; and therefore he leaves it to Him with the fullest confidence.
Some things that the Lord sends to His people do not seem to them blessings at first ; for sometimes He sends sorrow, sometimes sickness, sometimes want : but we know that “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Rom. viii. 28), and therefore we may be quite sure that He will bring a true blessing out of every trial to which He sees fit to submit us. Yet, if God sometimes sends trials, think how many more mercies He sends also. Oh, let us thank Him for all that is past, and ask Him for the future to bless us as He sees fit, since we cannot ourselves choose what is good for us. Above all, let us ask for the blessing which includes so many others (Rom. viii. 32), and which God has promised to every suppliant,-forgiveness of our sins through Jesus Christ who died for us.
What does Jabez next ask the Lord to do ?—(To enlarge his coast.) Yes ; and let us also ask the same. Let us ask God to help us to serve Him, and to show us the ways in which we can do so; and let us try upon all occasions, if we have felt the love of Jesus ourselves, to tell others about Him. Even the youngest can do something; and if you love the Lord Jesus, I am sure you will try to show your love by doing what you can.
There are so many ways in which the Lord gives us the privilege of working for Him [the teacher may enlarge upon this] ; and, whatever we do, let us remember we must do it as St. Paui tells us (1 Cor. x. 31), to the glory of God.
What is the next petition ?-(That His hand might be with him.) Should we also pray this ? Oh, yes; for of ourselves
we can never do right, and we have no power to keep ourselves from danger ; but if the hand of the Lord be with us, we may feel quite safe. A very
THE PRAYER OF JABEZ.
1 Chronicles iv. 10. My dear young friends, I wish you all to learn this verse, that you may rememþer it daily, as I think it contains a beautiful prayer suitable for all seasons. If the requests we make in it be accorded us, we shall be happy indeed, whatever may befal us. Whose
prayer was this ?—(The prayer
We know very little of Jabez ; nothing more is said about him than what is contained in these two verses. But we learn the most important thing from them, that he was a
little child cannot walk safely by itself kingdom of heaven? You cannot tell me. over a rough road, can it?-(No, teacher.) Well, they increase responsibility. To It would be sure to fall over the stones, make this plain to you, if God commits would it not? But if its parent's hand to a man the talent of great wealth, He were holding it, would it be safe then? expects him to use that talent for His -(Oh, yes; for it would be taken care glory. Can you tell me how he may do of, and led in the right way.)
this ?—(By sending missionaries to the Now we are all just like that tiny heathen.) child : we have a rough road to travel,
and in what other way may he and we cannot walk by ourselves; for we do so ?—(By giving to the poor, buildmeet with a great many dangers and ing churches, etc.) temptations, like stones in the way. But do all wealthy men spend their But if we are led by our heavenly riches in this way?-(No.) You are Father, He will make us pass them all right, they do not. Riches generally safely; and “if God be for us, who produce in men carefulness about the shall be against us?” Let us ask Him, things of the world ; and the more they then, to guide us by His hand. He will possess the more they seem to desire. if we do so; for “ the hand of our God Is this right, children? Does it bring is upon all them for good that seek them happiness in this world ? will it Him” (Ez. viii. 22).
provide for their souls in eternity?We have now arrived at the last part (No, teacher.) of Jabez's prayer ; what is it?-(That Our prayer then should be, “ Lord, He would keep him from evil, that it give me neither poverty nor riches, but might not grieve him.)
those things only which Thou thinkest In what other prayer do we find a suitable for me.' petition similar to this?-(In the Lord's Riches also, if not judiciously exPrayer.) Yes ; in that beautiful prayer pended, may help to provide things by which our Lord Himself taught us to means of which the flesh, the world, use, and which I trust you all offer up and the devil can assail us: they can daily. In it also we ask our heavenly purchase for us lands, houses, carriages, Father to lead us in the right way: dress; they enable us to gratify our“ lead us not into temptation, but de- selves by various kinds of useless plealiver us from evil;” that is, so keep us sures and sinful amusements. Riches, from it, that it may not hurt us. Tempt- therefore, to a careless possessor, are & ations will always come to us while we temptation; they may make him forget are in this world; but if we ask the those who are not so highly favoured, Lord to help us not to yield to them, we and overlook the orphan, the widow, shall pass them unharmed.
Let us and the aged. We are likely to devote make it our earnest prayer, through all little time to God, if we spend much in our lives, that the Lord will keep us the service of Satan; little money for from the power of sin and Satan, and His honour and glory, if we lavish much that He will guide us by His hand to His on our own sinful gratifications. Those home above, where sin and sorrow find who spend their riches in this unwise no entrance. Dear little friends, may way find the devil a hard taskmaster ; each of you offer up this prayer in the and all their pleasures, sooner or later, same spirit as it was offered by Jabez ; leave a bitter taste behind. To him, and may the whole of it be granted to too, who heaps up riches without turnyou, even as it was to him.
ing them to good account, the Lord says: “Thou fool, this night thy soul
shall be required of thee.” OF RICHES.
Does our Lord, in ver. 24, modify
ver. 23?- No; He only goes a little Mark x. 23.
farther, and shows that a trust in riches WHAT is there in riches which has a is inconsistent with trust in God. We tendency to keep us back from the must be willing, if God requires it of