tices who have not yet learned all the secret.
72 BRIGHT AND BRIEF TALKS
We have bunglers who make blunders and
maybe will do so to the end of the chapter.
I am afraid we have lots of shirkers too
the sort of men who are poor stuff every-
where. A man of this stamp is a poor tee-
totaller, a poor neighbour, a poor workman,
a poor Christian, poor all through. He
has a bad bone in him, and hasn't honestly
tried to get it out he's afraid of amputation.
But don't judge Jesus Christ by him, or the
Christian religion by the sample he grows.
The plain statement I have to make is
this : " A false thing and a lie could not make
people brave, or make people tender, or make
people holy." Christianity that is personal
faith in Jesus Christ makes people all three.
I. It makes people brave. Other things
do, Patriotism for instance, or love of chil-
dren. But they are both true, real things.
You have probably seen the picture " Diana
or Christ." A fair maid is being urged by
lover and father and friend to throw a pinch
IS CHRISTIANITY TRUE ? 73
of incense into the altar fire, as an offering
to Diana. The picture shows her under the
stress of persuasion and temptation. " To
the Lions" is the alternative. History tells
us that she and numbers of her sisters went
to the lions, their courage not failing them.
II. It makes people tender. You have
read, I hope, the story of The lady of the lamp .
That sounds like the title of one of the Arabian
Nights Tales. But it was lived out in the
hospital tents at Scutari. Florence Nightin-
gale, a tender refined woman, for Jesus Christ's
sake spending and being spent among the
wounded and dying soldiers of the Crimea.
It was not mere revulsion that had to be
got over, but positive danger, when Elizabeth
Fry and her companion went into Fleet Prison
to take a sweet word of comfort to the
lost souls there. And why did she go ?
Whence sprang the fountain of tenderness in
her ? Listen : she wrote on one occasion,
" For seventeen years I have never awakened
74 BRIGHT AND BRIEF TALKS
by day or night, in sickness or in health,
without my first thought being, " How can I
serve my Lord to-day ? " A religion that
does these things is true.
III. It makes men holy. I know a man
who lived till mid-life, careless, drinking,
swearing, wicked all round. One day in the
open he heard some evangelist say, " No man
can serve two masters." He was changed,
in his thoughts, on the spot. I have known
him for years now, and all the time he has
been living a serene, pure, useful life. I
know him to have passed through anxiety,
poverty, wearying sickness, but he is the
same man everythere. Did a lie work tint
Friends, Christianity is true.
THE DRINK BUSINESS 75
The Drink Business a Trade,
not a "Calling"
A MINISTER is a man called of God ; we want
no man to be a minister unless thus called.
But I should be sorry to believe that, of all
callings, this is the only Christian one.
What is his " calling " ? was a question often
asked at one time. But the term " calling "
is a religious one, a recognition that God
calls men to their various duties. A baker or
milkseller, a purveyor of food, is one who
might well be called of God to his work.
So might a builder of good houses, a seller of
sound clothes, a chairmaker, or a schoolmaster.
76 BRIGHT AND BRIEF TALKS
Go through your streets and everywhere you
can see the evidence of faithful and intelligent
industry. Everywhere you can see that these
and many other industries are truly callings
But in going through a street on such an
errand, you will instinctively jump over a
whole trade because it does not bear any of the
good marks which prove it to be a " calling."
A trade, but not a " calling." If we could
photograph the work of all the shops and
trades about us, what would be the result ?
At the door of the builders would be an
album of substantial homes which had been
built from that yard. At the door of the
school would be photos of boys educated
there who had made their way in the world.
And this trade which I have excepted would
have its record too. If, on the pavement in
front of the door, we could put a red cross
for every young man or woman who has gone
astray by the influence of that trade, the
THE DRINK BUSINESS 77
pavement would be so full of the signs of
the wreck that everybody would turn into the
road on reaching the place.
The result of the drink trade proves it to be
no calling of God.
Then, further ! This business injures every
" calling," and thus proves it cannot be a
" calling " itself. This trade makes men house-
less, men coatless, men foodless, men home-
Further still, this trade not only injures men's
callings, but the men themselves. This is
what forces teachers to speak against it.
The money spent on drink in this country
would not worry me so much if that was all
the loss. I suppose we have been able to
afford so far.
But no nation can afford to lose its men,
women, and children. I take up the report of a
government enquiry, and find that three out
of every four in all our prisons graduated at
some public house ; that one out of every
four in the lunatic asylums started from the
same depot. Further, that 140,000 people in the
trade only live half their allotted time. Then
the thought floods my mind, " How are the
children affected " by all this ? It is too terrible
to think of.
Lastly, this trade is no " calling of God,"
for it is at dead strife with all the churches.
You may make furniture, and you will
strengthen the comforts of home. You may
build, and we will employ you to raise a
House of God. You may teach, and you are
our ally, clearing away ignorance and super-
But if you make or sell drink, what are
you doing for the Church ? There is a church
nowhere proof against its inroad. I knew a
Sunday School Superintendent who died a
drunkard. His wife, once a pure Christian
woman, has since danced in taprooms full of
men for permission to drink out of their
THE DRINK BUSINESS 79
A few years ago a murderer was hung at
Leicester who once was a good lad in a school
I knew well. It was the drink that did it. It
is ascertained that at least 45,000 Sunday
School children become drunkards every year.
Fellow Christian, you face a trade which is a
very devil's agency for destroying men, women,
What will you do ? Yon can fight it, or
neglect it, or even encourage it by an occasional
But it is written, . . . Will not the Lord
render to every man according as his work
shall be I
8o BRIGHT AND BRIEF TALKS
Christ's Second Coming
THERE is much excited teaching nowadays, very
popular in some quarters, about the nearness
of the return of Jesus to earth.
I want to say frankly and plainly that
Jesus Christ Himself seemed to know nothing
whatever of any such return. From Matthew
to John there is no clear word on which such
theory can be built, while there are many
words which point to the fact that Jesus will
not personally come again until He comes to
I bring up this matter for practical reasons.
It is a mistake to absorb too much attention
in a future matter which may be very far
ahead, as is done by many people, who make
CHRIST'S SECOND COMING 81
this the very central theme of their think-
ing and teaching. Let us see what is
Jesus often speaks of coming again, and
a careful reading makes it plain that he uses
the word in many different ways.
I. There is a coming to the hearts of
Believers. John xiv. 18, says, " I come
unto you." And the guarantee of this being
for every believer to the end of time is in
the words, " If a man love Me he will keep
My words, and I will love him, and We will
come unto him, and make Our abode with
him." This was in answer to the question,
" Lord how wilt Thou manifest thyself unto
us and not unto the world also ? " "Ye have
heard how I said unto you, I go away and
come again unto you." " Lo, I am with you
alway, even unto the end of the world."
Without what is called a " second coming "
Jesus is with every faithful disciple to the
82 BRIGHT AND BRIEF TALKS
II. Then there is a historical coming.
To the High Priest Jesus said, " Henceforth
ye shall see the Son of Man sitting at the
right hand of Power." " From this time "
Jesus meant. He began to reign at once.
His Lordship commences now. The Father
has given all rule and judgment unto the
At one time he said, " There be some stand-
ing here who shall not taste of death till they
have seen the Son of Man come." " This
generation shall not pass till these things be
fulfilled." This coming seems to mean the
Judgment day of the Jews which fell forty
There is also a coming which is to be often
repeated through all history. " Where the
carcase is, there will the vultures be gathered
together." When a nation or a family or a
man becomes a rotting carcase, there and
then will the Son of Man come to judg-
CHRIST'S SECOND COMING 83
III. Then there is a final coming to
wind up human history, to the judgment of
There is a sense in which nations and men
are judged in the course of history. This
is judgment by Christ as shown under the last
division. But there is a general judgment.
Sodom and Gomorrah had been judged;
but Jesus says the men of those days will
find it tolerable in the Day of Judgment, as
compared with others, distinctly pointing
to a future judgment.
Christ is near now, for He has come. Near
enough to know whether Christians are about
their work. Near enough to mark your
dangers before you know them yourselves.
Near enough to see the oppressor's hand fall
on his victim, and to hear the victim's bitter
cry. And one day He will not only be near,
but visible ; for He will come to open judgment.
But if this is all, does it not destroy the belief
in a millennium ? No ! But it puts us into
84 BRIGHT AND BRIEF TALKS
the right attitude towards it. Our chief
business is to concentrate our attention to
living the good life now, and committing
ourselves with patience and faith to Him Who
loved us and gave Himself for us.
BEFORE THE JUDGE 85
Before the Judge
" We must all appear before the judgment seat
of Christ." 2 COR. v. 10.
I. The fact. We must all appear, etc. Be
manifested, be shown up, put in an appearance
personally. Not for enquiry, notice, or for
search or examination. For Judgment, that
is for delivery of Judgment, or for sentence.
This sentence being the public declaration
of what the judge thinks about us, and the
consequent destiny to which we shall be
Remember that Judgment is not necessarily
anger. No judge is an enemy to an innocent
man. He is his best friend. He can set
the innocent at liberty. " There is there-
86 BRIGHT AND BRIEF TALKS
ore no condemnation to them that are in
II. Whose judgment seat ? Christ's.
Then the Judgment will be fair but unwaver-
ing. It will also be complete covering all
the life. Final, also, for there is no appeal
The person of the judge decides the form
and kind of judgment. Christ's Judgment
seat. The sentence to be what He thinks of
us. Try to imagine a selfish man appearing
before Him Who though rich became poor !
A proud man standing before the Lord who
humbled Himself and made Himself of no
The impure man, Oh ! the shame that will
burn him up ! the impure man in the presence
of Jesus. And what can the lazy and heart-
less man say when made to stand before the
eyes that melted with compassion when the
shepherdless poor were seen.
This is the test to which we are to be put :
BEFORE THE JUDGE 87
How shall we look in the presence of Jesus
III. The important hour. Which is it?
We fix our thoughts often on the wrong day.
That Judgment is not the most important
of all. This very day, and this hour, is of
the greatest importance.
When the criminal, say a murderer, stands
for judgment in a court of law, the most
serious day to him is that day when in a
passion he struck the blow that made him a
murderer. If he could only undo that day's
work, this judge would be no fear to him.
Your great day is this day. What will
you do with this offer of mercy now made ?
Accept it, and you will not fear the Judgment.
Reject it, and you will live to look back on
your act with horror and shame.
IV. Your Plea, There are three possible
(i) Not Qujlty. This you may not be
prepared to offer.
88 BRIGHT AND BRIEF TALKS
(2) Extenuating circumstances. You had
not a fair chance. You try to blame your
mother. Though most likely you gave her
more trouble than ever she gave you. Your
difficulties were so great. No judge was ever
more prepared to give the accused the
benefit of the doubt. But He Himself has
said beforehand, " Since I have spoken
unto them they have no excuse for their
(3) Guilty. " But thou art my Saviour.
I gave my trust to Thee long ago. See, here
is the sprinkled blood, and the mark of Thy
'Tis just the sentence should take place ;
Tis just I but oh ! Thy Son hath died.
THAT ANCHOR HOLDS 89
That Anchor Holds
" Rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him."
PSALM xxxvii. 7.
I. This is fulfilled by the Believer in the
midst of life's changes and trials.
It is the rest of reliance ; then of hope.
Depending without impatience on His power
and love. Waiting for His own good time.
Some of our trials come with sudden and
unexpected smart, and like Job's all our
treasures are buried in one grave. Some
grow on us and are all the more fearful because
we see them creep stealthily nearer. We
stand helpless like the girl martyr in the Coli-
seum, watching the tiger creep towards his
90 BRIGHT AND BRIEF TALKS
But we retire on God. We draw back
into Him. We say, " Even so, Father,"
and we rest and wait.
II. It is also fulfilled by the dead in
Christ. We know very little of the life
immediately beyond our sight. But the last
moments of the Christian's earthly life are
moments of repose and trust.
In a sick house a friend of mine sat nursing
his youngest child. Later on in the night
it stirred on his knee, then looked around.
Everything appeared strange, and its little
chin began to quiver, and its lips to pucker
for a cry. Then looking upward it saw its
father's face looking down upon it. At
once the tear gave way to the smile and it
quietly went to sleep again. A stranger's
face would have brought the cry of fear.
So does the Christian go to sleep in peace
because he recognizes the face of His Keeper
Who neither slumbers nor sleeps. The whole
life is a life of trust ; but never is trust more
THAT ANCHOR HOLDS 91
complete than when he dare go to sleep at
last in His arms.
III. Also fulfilled by the Believer left
behind. We wait for the coming of Christ,
and them also whom He will bring with
him our once lost friends.
Let us remember that this faith means
dependence on Christ's resurrection power.
Resurrection is not a natural process that
will occur of itself. The resurrection power
is the personal power of our Lord. " I am
the resurrection and the life," He said, in
Whom we trust both for ourselves and our
loved ones, who sleep in Him.
92 BRIGHT AND BRIEF TALKS
Inside or Out
THIS is the story of ten girls invited to
be bridesmaids at a wedding. At a certain
hour all are to meet the wedding to go together
to the wedding feast.
Some delay occurs, and the party of ten
have to wait a long time. Their torches
are scarcely likely to last out the time. It
is very inconvenient. But it turns out that
five of the ten were steady-going, thoughtful
girls who provided against such mishap.
The other five wished to borrow part of their
oil. But who knows how long the Bride-
groom will be ? No I No ! you go and buy
some. And they go.
But while they are gone the party arrives.
INSIDE OR OUT 93
With the five ready virgins they enter to
the feast, "and once for all the door is shut
Then back come those other maidens.
They are refused admittance owing to the
door having been shut. They were invited,
remember, but all through bad preparation
and unreadiness they did not get in.
They were angry with themselves and
turned away much disappointed ; but I think
they made up their minds never to be late
But why do we grow solemn as we get to
the end of the story ; Why does our voice
become sad : only a few girls disappointed
of a wedding feast ; and they will take better
care next time.
Why ? Because we know the wedding
is not a wedding. The feast is not a feast,
over in a few hours. The virgins are you
and me. The bridegroom is Christ. The feast
is heaven and salvation.
94 BRIGHT AND BRIEF TALKS
The invitation is, " Come to the marriage
supper of the Lamb," and it ends with hearing
their footsteps, that might have danced it
merrily in joyous company within, going
away and still away into the blackness of
These were all invited to come. Who
is not ? " Whosoever will may come." The
King's servants are out in highway and byway
with the invitation.
II. None of these were altogether in-
different. All went to some little trouble
and expense. How many of our hearers
are there who do not mean to be in at last.
Perhaps none !
III. Was the blame really theirs these late
ones ? Yes ! For they knew where the oil
was to be had.
IV. The Result. No time to fetch. Too
late to get in.
The last we hear of them is their going away
INSIDE OR OUT 95
into the dark. There was one party to start
with. Now there are two
IN and OUT.
Among which will you be ?
Butkr Sr Tanntr, The Sclwood Printing Works, Frame, and London.
H. R. Allenson's Useful Books.
Ninth Thousand. Crown Svo, cloth, 160 pages, IS. 6u.
A BOX OF NAILS FOR BUSY CHRISTIAN
A Fresh Volume of Original Outlines and Bible Readings.
By Rev. CHARLES EDWARDS,
CHAPLAIN TO THE SOLDIERS' HOME, WINCHESTER.
CONTENTS :- Assorted Nails for Busy Workers Strong Nails for Building Pur-
poses Pointed Nails for General Use Selected Nails in Monthly Packets-
Bright Nails for Active Service Special Nails for Fixing Pictures Numbered
Nails for Willing Workers.
Methodist Recorder. "Will be time saving as giving thought a, definite direc-
tion. We commend the book very heartily to Local Preachers."
The Christian. " Here are ' Nails of many sorts' The pages abound in
material for evangelists and other workers, sound in substance and direct in aim."
Neat cloth, Crown 81/0, 2S. 6d.
By the Author of "A Box of Nails."
TIN TACKS FOR TINY FOLKS
Outline Addresses for Teachers, Preachers, and Christian
Workers amongst the Young.
By Rev. CHARLES EDWARDS.
Methodist Titnes. " We are thoroughly pleased with this book. It is a. mine
of thought and illustrations. He is seen to special advantage in his talk on birds."
Local Preachers' Magazine. "We could wish this handbook were placed in the
hands of every preacher. Even those who shape their own outlines will find abun-
dant helpful ideas, and just the kind to kindle thought."
Sunday School Chronicle. "These outline addresses, simple in their divisions,
apt in illustration, and telling in application, will be found full of suggestion and
help to teachers and superintendents."
Cloth bound f Gilt, Crown %vo, 160 f>ages, IS. 6d.
Entirely New Collection of Sermon Outlines, largely contributed
by bona-fide local Preachers.
TOOLS FOR THE MASTER'S WORK
Comprising 250 Sermon Outlines, Bible Studies, Children's
Addresses, Sermonettes, Temperance Talks, etc., etc.
Collected by J. ELLIS,
EDITOR OF " THE TOOL BASKET," ETC., ETC.
A difficulty is often felt by those who have to prepare a sermon or lesson at a very
short notice, as to the choice of a theme. These notes and outlines have been gath-
ered from many sources, and grouped in a convenient form, with two indexes of
subjects and texts, with the hope that they may prove to be of service to the great
army of Ministers, Teachers, and Christian workers.
The Methodist Times. "Our old friend, Mr. I. Ellis, has just issued another
valuable volume. Most of the Outlines are just the suggestions and hints we so
often want, and leave abundant scope for the preacher's own work and thought."
The Local Preachers' Magazine." Mr. Ellis seems to have excelled himself in
this volume. The best of these Outlines is that they are not mere skeletons, but
suggestive thoughts, leaving plenty of room for the individuality of the speaker."
i & 2 Ivy Lane, Paternoster Row, London, E.G.
AN IMPORTANT RE- ISSUE.
Handsome large croam Svo, 6s.
TAULER'S HISTORY, LIFE AND
Translated by MISS WINKWORTH. With CHARLES
This New Edition receives the following special commendation by Dr.
Alexander Whyte, of Edinburgh : " You are doing all lovers of first-class
spiritual books a great service by putting on the market a new and properly
edited issue of ' Tauler.' His name is fragrant to all who know him. And
many more will know him, I feel sure, through this fine enterprise of yours.
Be sure I shall do my best to make your ' Tauler ' known here."
TWO CHOICE EDITIONS, EACH UNIFORM WITH
"GREAT SOULS AT PRAYER."
25. 6d. net each.
A DAILY MESSAGE FROM MANY
Thoughts for the Quiet Hour
From FENELON, JEREMY TAYLOR, WORDSWORTH,
ROBERTSON, PHILLIPS BROOKS, HAWTHORNE, etc.
New Edition, with Thirteen Illustrations, printed on Art Studio paper.
Crown Svo, cloth, 2s. 6d.
FOOTPRINTS OF THE SAVIOUR.
By the BISHOP OF RIPON (DR. BOYD CARPENTER).
Chapters on places visited by our Lord : Bethlehem Cana Sychar
Nazareth Capernaum Gennesaret Decapolis Bethany Gethse-
mane Calvary Emmaus Olivet.
Expository Times. " Great lessons from the Life of Christ grouped round
the cities in which He did His mighty works, and illustrated by great artists,
are told here simply for simple folks. It is a new edition of a FOREMOST
FAVOURITE of the sick-room or prayer-meetings."
A NEW BOOK OF DEVOTIONAL READING.
Neat cloth, is. net. Pastegrain Leather, 2S. net.
THE JOY OF THE RELIGIOUS.
By the REV. EDGAR ROGERS, M.A.,
Viccr of St. Sepulchre's, Holborn Viaduct.
CONTENTS : The Whole Joy The Joy of Renunciation The Joy of Wofr
ship The Joy of Work.
Handsome cloth, crown &vo, 35. 6d.
THE QUEST OF THE INFINITE;
Or, the Place of Reason and Mystery in Religious Experience.
By BENJAMIN A. MILLARD.
Handsome cloth, crown Svo, 2S. 6d.
JESUS SAITH :
Studies in some " New Sayings " of Christ.
By J. WARSCHAUER, M.A., D.Phil.,
Author of " Anti-Nunquam," " Coming of Christ," etc.
LONDON : H. R. ALLENSON, IVY LANE, E.G.
H. R. ALLENSON'S DEVOTIONAL BOOKS.
Fcap. 8w>, doth, is. n.
AN INTRODUCTION TO CHRISTIAN
By ELEANOR C. GREGORY,
Of the Deanery, St. Paul's Cathedral, London,
Editor of " A Little Book of Heavenly Wisdom."
With Prefatory Letter by Dr. ALEXANDER WHYTE.
Dr. Whytf. " I rejoice in the publication of anything that helps to turn
the public mind to the study of the great spiritual writers : and this lecture
will form an admirable introduction to the greatest and best of all studies.'*
The Rock. " The comprehensiveness and wide appretiativeness of the
writer are quite beyond the ordinary run, and the booklet is a delightful
guide to the subject of which it treats."
G. K. Chesterton in " The Daily News." "A decidedly hicid and interest-
ing account of the great mystics."
TWO CHOICE NEW EDITIONS OF A FAVOURITE
DAILY DEVOTIONAL BOOK.
Demy iGmo, handsome purple cloth, bevelled boards, red edges, silk marker,
2s. 6d. net. Also choicely bound in dark green lambskin,
with gilt edges and silk marker, 45. net.
POCKET EDITION on Oxford India Paper, *\mo, pastegrain, gilt edges, with
silk marker, zs. 6d. net.
GREAT SOULS AT PRAYER.
Fourteen Centuries of Prayer, Praise and Aspiration, from
St. Augustine to Christina Rossetti and Robert Louis Stevenson.
Selected by M. W. TILESTON,
Editor of " Daily Strength for Daily Needs."
Scotsman." The book has historical interest, and the literary quality has
been carefully considered, but the primary object is to nourish the spiritual
life. The book is beautifully printed and otherwise produced in a most
The Literary World. " This is a very interesting and welcome variety
from the daily text and extract books of late. The idea and plan of the