Dora (Dorothy) Greenwell.

Grandmother's scrap-book, or, The way to do good. Designed to encourage the highest religious attainments within the power of man .. online

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Online LibraryDora (Dorothy) GreenwellGrandmother's scrap-book, or, The way to do good. Designed to encourage the highest religious attainments within the power of man .. → online text (page 12 of 16)
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monia it ranges from nine to four seconds.
When the lungs are in a sound condition, the
time will range as high as from twenty to
thirty-five seconds.

Truth is like steam ; the more it is com-
pressed the greater is its force of expansion.



We are too often ready to judge that to be the
best sermon which has many strange thoughts
in it, many fine hints, and some grand and
polite sentiments. But a Cliristian, in his best
temper of mind, will say, " That is a good ser-
mon which brings my heart nearer to God,
which makes the grace of Christ sweet to my
soul, and the commands of Christ easy and
delightful. That is an excellent discourse,
indeed, which enables me to mortify some
unruly sin, to vanquish a strong temptation,
and weans me from all the enticements of this
lower world ; that which bears me up above all
the disquietudes of life, which fits me for the
hour of death, and makes me ready and desir-
ous to appear before Christ Jesus my Lord."
— Preface to Dr. Watts^s Sermons.

Who can read the above and desire a better
model for a sermon. It reminds us of Dr.

276 grandmother's scrap-book;

Griffin's manner of preaching, which was to
preach to the heart and conscience of his
hearers. He preached as a dying man to dying
men ; and it came from the heart and it reached
the hearts of his hearers, and no other sermon
wilL If a sermon does not come from the
heart of the speaker, it is of but little account.
Dr. Griffin encouraged more individual effort
for the cause of Christ, and kept constantly
before him the manner of Christ's preaching on
the Mount. This was the means of his success.
If all our clergy should adopt this rule, we
should soon see a new order of things. Let
the whole church of Christ offer up the effect-
ual, fervent prayer that the entire clergy may
have a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit, and
put off cold formality and put on Christ and
him crucified. Our nation is in mourning.
One calamity follows another. Where is there
a family that there is not one dead ? " God is
doing a quick work on the cartli." '' Tiie ox
knows his owner, and the ass his master's crib,
but my people doth not consider."



John Angell James has a letter in The Brit-
ish Banner, consisting of comments on the re-
marks of Daniel Webster, which have gone the
rounds, touching the kind of preaching which
he professed. The paragraph of Webster which
Mr. James especially commends is this : —

*' If clergymen in our day would return to
the simplicity of the gospel, and jDreach more
to individuals and less to the crowd, there
would not be so much complaint of the decline
of true religion. Many of the ministers of the
present day take their texts from St. Paul
and preach from the newspapers. When they
do so, I prefer to enjoy my own thoughts rather
than to listen. I want my pastor to come to
me in the spirit of the gospel, saying, ' You
are mortal ; your probation is brief ; your
work must be done speedily. You are immor-
tal, too. You are hastening to the bar of God !

278 grandmother's scrap-book ;

the Judge standeth before the door.' When I
am thus admonished^ I have no disposition to
muse or to sleep. These topics, said Mr. Web-
ster, have often Occupied my thought ; and if I
had time, I would write upon them myself."

He says that when such a man delivers Ms
views of the pulpit, it becomes those who
occupy it to listen with deference ; and he says
that his judgment is sound, rational, and Scrip-
tural, and in harmony with the same order of
minds in general ; that it is a mistake to sup-
pose that great men go to hear sermons, wish-
ing to hear something profound or eloquent,
or matter to engage, at the full stretch, their
own imperial understandings. But sometimes
ministers overlook the wants of the great body
of their people to get something lofty for these
individuals of loftier mould, and then produce
just what these individuals do not want. And
generally, he thinks, the more intelligent part
of the congregation, after a week's labor, amid
the cares and perplexities of business, come to


the sanctuary for something better than the
dry crust of philosophical research or profound
intellectuality. They want to be made to feel^
as well as think ; they want something for the
heart, as well as for tlie understanding ; to
have their connection with eternity kept before
their minds, and their whole souls stirred up
to prepare for it. They feel as if they had
been losing their souls amid the anxieties of
the world, and they wish to be brought in view
of things unseen and eternal. Of course we
want less of elaboration and straining after
greatness and novelty in our preaching, and
more of simplicity, spirituality, and unction ;
less of the wisdom of words, and more of the
doctrines of the Cross, in its Scriptural clear-
ness and unadorned glory.

Another important quality of preaching is
commended in these remarks : that is, in-
dividuality in the aims of the preacher. Christ
did not address congregations as such, but
made the individual feel that he was speaking
to him, and that he must stand or fall alone —

280 grandmother's scrap-book;

must live, and die, and give account for himself.
Though a preacher must deal in discussions
and in general instruction, and though he can-
not always be hortatory, he should preach, not
only before his hearers, but to them. He ought
not to be personal, but he should be so char-
acteristic, as that every conscience should feel
that he is searching it. He should place his
hearers apart, and prevent their losing them-
selves in the crowd. He must make them
think of themselves while in the crowd, as they
will do in the day of judgment.

We want power to awaken the conscience
from its deep slumber. Never was this power
more wanted than now, to bear down the over-
whelming influence of trade, pleasure, and
knowledge, the prevailing taste for which, is
swallowing up the hearts of the people, and
rendering our preaching abortive. We must
arise and bestir ourselves, for we have too
much cause to' utter the complaint of the
prophet : " There is none that calleth upon Thy
name, that stirretli up himself to take hold of
' thee."



A PROFESSOR in one of our theological sem-
inaries writes as follows : " The greatest
wants in our ministry are zeal and skill in
preaching. We want powerful, popular preach-
ers. Mere learning, however sound, and piety,
however ardent, will avail but little without
zeal and tact in preaching." This just and im-
portant sentiment we commend to the atten-
tion of our candidates for the gospel ministry.
" God has ordained, by the foolishness oipreach-
ing', to save them that believe." Though the
matter of our preaching stands first in impor-
tance, very much depends on the manner ; by
which we mean now, not rhetorical style of
composition, or eloquent delivery, but zeal and
tact ; that zeal which is the fruit of ardent love
for souls ; and that tact (not artifice) which is
implied in the phrase " ivise to tain souls.^^
These qualities, as distinguished from " mere
learning, however sound, and pliety, however

282 grandmother's scrap-book;

ardent," we would characterize as consisting in
the union of solid learning and ardent piety,
and in their being employed zealously and skil-
fully in the work of preaching-. The pulpit is
not the place to display learning, yet learning
may be used there with great effect, if con-
trolled and sanctified by ardent piety. But
again, ardent piety connected with learning
may be so deficient in the requisite energy and
tact as to fail in making " powerful and pop-
ular J9r^ac//er5."

To be '^ powerful and popular,''^ in the sense
of the correspondent (we speak from our
knowledge of the man whose preaching pos-
sesses both of these characteristics), there must
be strong good sense, evangelical theology,
sound argument, apposite Scripture quotations
and illustrations ; and our sermons must be
delivered with hearts glowing with earnest
emotion, with lips touched, like Isaiah's, with
a live coal from the altar, and with tongues as
" the pen of a ready writer." We do not
assert that these qualities can be attained in an


equal degree by all. But if our candidates for
the ministry will keep them constantly in view,
and diligently apply themselves to their attain-
ment, they will at least attain them so far as
to add greatly to the power and effectiveness
of their pulpit ministrations. To preach is to
make proclamation, like a public crier ; and we
have in the ministry of John the Baptist, to
whom this term is applied, a forcible illustra-
tion of its import when used to describe a
preacher of the gospel. We hope that all who
are looking to the sacred office will become, in
power and spirit, John Baptists — faithful har-
bingers of Christ ; proclaiming boldly, earnestly,
and effectively, '-^Prepare ye the way of the

The first great thing in religion is, to re-
ceive Christ ; the second is, to live upon him ;
the third is, to walk in him ; the last, to be
forever with him.

284 grandmother's scrap-book ;


Be always ready to give an encouraging
word to the afflicted. Who has not been com-
forted by some good Samaritan while passing
through deep waters ? Christ has given an
example : " Blessed are the poor in spirit, for
theirs is the kingdom of heaven." " Blessed
are they that mourn, for they shall be com-
forted." " Blessed arc the meek, for they shall
inherit the earth." *' Blessed are they which
do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for
they shall be filled." " Blessed are the merci-
ful, for they shall obtain mercy." " Blessed
are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
" Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall
be called the children of God." " Blessed are
they which are persecuted for righteousness'
sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
" Ye are the salt of the earth." " Ye are the
light of the world." '' Let your light so shine
before men, that they may see your good works,


and glorify your Father which is in heaven." '' If
you love me, you will keep my commandments."
" All things work together for good to them
that love God." " He that loveth not, knowethf'
not God, for God is love." " Beloved, if God
so loved us, we ought also to love one another."
" We love him, because he first loved us." " By
this we know that we love the children of God,
when we love God, and keep his command-
ments." " God is love, and he that dwelleth
in love dwelleth in God, and God in him."
" There is no fear in love, but perfect love cast-
etli out fear." Read the first Epistle of John.

A Thank-offering. — A German colporteur
in Missouri, sending ten dollars, says, " The
enclosed amount would have been expended
for the funeral of our child had it died, but
God has restored it to us from the grave."

A Query. — Was any soul ever converted by
looking at another'' s sins ?

286 grandmother's scrap-book;


Now held ill Tremont Temple. The hour
in the winter from half past eight to half past
nine, in the summer from eight to nine. Some
bring in others with them ; would not all do
well to adopt the same rule ? Any one having
ten minutes to spare would do well to attend.
As Dr. Jenks and another gentleman were going
up the steps, with their hearing trumpets, two
clerks opposite remarked, " What is there in the
chapel so attractive ? they must be nearly eighty
years old ; would they not do well to go and
see ? ''

They are going up to take another draught
at the same fountain where they have so often
been refreshed. From a gentleman that attends
those meetings, we gather the following : —

In the first place, they have adopted the three-
minute rule. The hymn-book is seldom used.
In a few minutes you hear from all parts of


the chapel. If you have one spark of grace in
your heart, it will soon be kin died to a lively flame.
From one you hear, ' Tiie hour I spent here is
the happiest hour of my life ; ' from another,
' They have got something here I have not got ;
I wish I could get it.' Would it not be well
for us all to go there, and find out what they
have got. Take a village prayer-meeting : A
brother is called upon to lead in prayer ; he prays
nearly fifteen minutes ; he prays you into a good
spirit, and prays you out of it. One rises to en-
courage more individual effort ; his remarks
are good. A hymn is read and sung. One
more long prayer, then comes the doxology,
and the meeting is closed.

If they should adopt this rule at the Chapel,
how many would there be besides the sexton ?
I leave that for others to answer. My object
has been to encourage a better attendance at
our village prayer-meetings. This stereotype
form must be done away with. Our Methodist
brethren have, and a blessing has followed ;
we bid them God speed. In order to have

288 grandmother's scrap-book ;

God's blessing on our churches, there must be
a short, effectual, fervent prayer, coming from
the heart. Then it will reach the heart of
others (having singing and exhortation to cor-
respond). We shall then hear from all parts
of the vestry a rapid exchange of thought, from
many that we never heard before, and par-
take of that spirit we so much admire at the

0, may the day be not far distant when all
our prayer meetings will be filled with anxious
inquirers for the way of eternal life. Then
they will bear some resemblance to that upper
room, where they were all of one heart and
mind. And may God, in his tender mercy,
give all our churches a double portion of his
divine grace, and this world become the par-
adise of God.

Read the following : —

"a letter from south AUSTRALIA.

" The following letter was received at our
office during the past week. The writer seems,


from one expression, to be a clergyman. He,
through our journal, has heard of the answers
that God has given to the petitions of his peo-
ple who have assembled at the Old South
Chapel. He has such confidence in the prayers
here uttered, that he has sent half round the
globe to enlist their petitions in behalf of a prod-
igal son. This letter will speak to the heart
of every parent who has impenitent children.

" The writer evidently mistakes the person to
whom the letter is addressed for the pastor of
the Old South Chapel."


August 31, 1858. 5
Rev. Martin Moore, Old South Chapel, Boston.

Dear Christian Brother : Although I have
never seen you in the flesh, or your country, or
the good people among whom God has so very
frequently poured such fulness of blessing and
spread such a table, yet permit me, though a
stranger, while God is so blessing the provision
of his house, and satisfying you all with bread,
to crave, as a poor Gentile dog, a crumb of

290 grandmother's scrap-book ;

mercy for my poor lost and far off son, given
up to drunken habits, thus losing his precious
time and precious ability, which is his by nat-
ural advantages, by the opening of a kind prov-
idence, and by education, — all now lost by the
power of his besetting sin. sirs a-nd brothers !
if you can, by your united petitions at the throne
of Jesus, do any thing for us, have compassion
and help us.

I have been led to take this extraordinary
step, from the conduct of the saints of old.
They are said to look on the right hand where
he doth work. Again, those who come to Jesus
did not meet with any rebuff, when they cried.
They are worthy for whom he should do this.
Also the success- many among you have had
lately, — I refer to what you relate respecting
the mother's advice to her son, to be at the
prayer-meeting at twelve o'clock,* &c. Blessed

* This, we suppose, has reference to a fact published in
the Recorder last spring. A pious mother in the country
had a son who was going to New York to seek business.
She extorted a promise from him that he would attend the


be the Lord for such tokens! Lord, hear our
prayer, and let our cry come unto him in an
acceptable time, when thou mayst be found ;
and likewise, I may add, the challenge of God,
— "Prove me now herewith ; the declaration
and council for all these things will I be in-
quired of," &c. And " ask and ye shall receive,
that your joy may be full." And " if two or
three of you agree to ask any thing in my name,
it shall be done."

Now, my dear sir, I feel as weak as water ;
I do deserve reproof in the matter, and feel also,
and cry, " Lord, I believe, help thou my unbe-

Fulton Street prayer-meeting at twelve o'clock every day.
He went to the city, did not find any lawful business, but
found the card table. In the midst of a game the clock
struck twelve, and he flung down his cards, and said that
he had an engagement of honor that he must fulfil. His
companions said, '• Play out the game." He replied, " No.
I promised my mother that I would attend the business
men's prayer-meeting at Fulton Street every day, and I
shall go." "You go to a prayer-meeting." "Yes, I shall
go to a prayer-meeting." All his companions accompanied
him, and within one week he and they were converted.

292 grandmother's scrap-book ;

lief." Yea, I am unworthy that Jesus, or the
Spirit, should come under my roof. I know that
other children's souls are as dear to God as my
child's, but, 0, sir, may the utterance be al-
lowed, ''My son! My son!^^ "Sir, come
down ere my son, my child, die."

" 'Tis his the lost sinner to save and renew.
Faith, mighty, beginner and finisher too."

0, my dear sir, and O, you highly favored,
grant me this request, my earnest desire, and
entreat the Lord for me, and may he say, in
answer to your prayer. Bring thy son hither to
me. 0, what a morn ! 0, what music in heaven !
0, what joy in my soul, in my family, in and
among the people with whom I labor ! 0, what
a new world he will be ushered into ! God, for
Christ's sake, grant it, and return you unspeak-
able blessings for this your kindness, and still
keep you all near the throne of grace, and
bring you faultless before the throne of glory.
Amen. Yours, &c.,

G. P.



Many prayers are offered by Christians, to
which they apparently never realize an answer,
for the reason, doubtless, that they are too
general in their character. It is the " effect-
ual, fervent prayer of the righteous man "
which '^ availeth much." But from the very
nature of the human mind it is impossible that
such a prayer can be offered up for things
in general. It is only for special favors —
definite objects — that the mind can be in-
tensely interested. That object, it is true, may
be of very general interest, and an answer to
the petition may be a very general blessing,
and yet be none the less definite ; as, for in-
stance, the outpouring of God's Spirit upon a
church or community, resulting in a great and
general revival of religion. In that case, the
petition may take the form, '' Lord, revive
thy work," and may come from a heart in-
tensely desiring the blessing. But for a bless-

294 grandmother's scrap-book;

ing in general, without any definite object as to
the location or character of it, it is simply im-
possible for any human mind to pray fervently
or importunately — two essential elements in
prevailing prayer.

It is a fact, which cannot have escaped the
notice of the attentive reader of the New Tes-
tament, that all the petitions which were pre-
sented to the Saviour in the days of his flesh,
or which were commended by him, were very
specific. Bartimeus cries, " Jesus, thou Son
of David, have mercy on me." The special
blessing which he wanted was, " that I may
receive my sight." The centurion desired the
healing of his servant. The Syro-Phcenician
woman's errand to the Saviour was the healing
of her daughter. The publican's prayer, which
the Saviour commended as a model, was, " God
be merciful to me a sinner." They were
definite objects which these persons brought to
a throne of grace, and they brought them
because they felt an intense interest in them,
and ardently desired the blessings which they


sought, and therefore prayed for them with an
earnestness and importunity which would take
no denial. All the petitions thus presented to
the Son of God were heard and graciously

The same fact is seen in the answers to
prayer, of which we hear almost daily, in con-
nection with the union prayer-meetings in this
city, in New York, and other places. A parent
presents the case of an impenitent son, perhaps
at a distance from home ; a wife asks prayer
for the conversion of an ungodly husband ;
another for a friend upon a bed of death, etc.
And often, very often, are we cheered with the
information that those who have been made the
objects of these special petitions are either
under conviction or rejoicing in hope. Why
is it that these prayer-meetings differ so much
in their visible results from ordinary prayer-
meetings ? Not, certainly, because of any
'' variableness " in the Hearer and Answerer of
prayer. He is " the same yesterday, to-day,
and forever." The same to one petitioner as

296 grandmother's scrap-book ;

to another, under the same circumstances. No
" praying breath" for things agreeable to his
will is ever '• spent in vain." But it is because
where there is a definite object presented
there is concert of desire as well as prayer.
" If two of you shall agree on earth as touching
any thing that tliey shall ask, it shall be done
for them of my Father which is in heaven."

Evil thoughts are worse enemies than lions
and tigers ; for we can get out of the way of
wild beasts, but bad thoughts win their way
every where. The cup that is full will hold no
more. Keep your heads and hearts full of
good thoughts, that bad thoughts may not find

Conversation. — The art of conversation
consists in the exercise of two fine qualities.
You must originate, and you must sympathize,
— you must possess at the same time the habit
of communicating and listening. The union is
rare but irresistible.



A WRITER has said, " The Holy Scriptures
are a bed of the goodliest pearls, and the
deeper we dive into the sea of divine revela-
tion, the larger, more beautiful, and more
costly they are. They are a mine of the purest
gold, and the most soul-enriching treasure.
The book of God is a casket of the rarest and
richest gems, which bespangle the soul of the
wearer, rendering it most brilliant in the eyes
of Christ — even like a bride adorned with her
jewels. In a word, as the Song of Solomon is
the ' Song of songs,' and as the Lord Jesus is
the ' King of kings,' so the Bible is the ' Book
of books.' "

The Bible, the Bible, more precious than gold,
What wonders on wonders its pages unfold !
'Tis the word of Jehovah, all blessed and pure ;
Its truths shall forever and ever endure.

The Bible, — it shows us the Lord on his throne,
Creator, Upholder, Redeemer, alone ;

298 grandmother's scrap-book ;

Eternal, unchangeable, dwelling in light,
His ways are eternally holy and right.

The Bible, — it shows us how vile we have been,
How we have polluted our nature by sin ;
How we dared against God and his Son to rebel,
And how we deserve to be east down to hell.

The Bible, — it points to a Saviour who died ;
To Christ our Redeemer, for us crucified ;
His blood is most precious, for us it was spilt ;
'Tis always sufl3.cient to cleanse us from guilt.

The Bible, — it speaks of the Spirit divine ;
With "light and Avith glory the Spirit doth shine
In the souls of all Christians, to guide them aright.
To lead them to Jesus, the Source of all light.

The Bible, — a lamp 'tis to light up our way,
To show us most clearly the truth day by day ;
O, may we cling to it, as to us it is given,
That we may at last dwell with Jesus in heaven.

The Bible, — it points to a kingdom of love
Reserved in the mansions of heaven above;
There dwell saints and angels, a glorious throng.
Praising God and the Lamb evermore in their song.


May we the blest Bible peruse more and more ;
The God of the Bible, O may we adore ;
Then at last we shall meet with the holy on high,
"Where pleasures ne'er fade, and where joys never die.

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Online LibraryDora (Dorothy) GreenwellGrandmother's scrap-book, or, The way to do good. Designed to encourage the highest religious attainments within the power of man .. → online text (page 12 of 16)