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 8 of 16)
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down, but she was so bowed by the sense of
her sins that for some minutes she could not
speak. At last she cried, " God be merciful to
me a sinner." That father's prayer of faith.


and that daughter's broken cry for pardon,
went up together to the throne of God.
• Three or four days later a letter was handed
to the father. " Who is it from ? " he asked,
feeling for the seal, for the old man was blind.
" Abby, my dear child I " he immediately ex-
claimed ; and opening the note with a trem-
bling hand, called his daughter to read it to
him. The first words his daughter read, were,
" Dear father, I have found the Saviour.''^

" Praise God ! " exclaimed the father.
" Blessed be his holy name. ' Now lettest thou
thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have
seen thy salvation.' "

As the aged man related to his brethren of
the church the history of their special prayer
meeting and his child's conversion, he raised
his sightless eyes and clasped his hands, crying,
-with tremulous rapture, " Verily, the promises
of the Lord are rocks that shall never be
moved. Blessed be God for this glorious pro-
phetic promise : ' It shall come to pass that
before they call I will answer, an^ while they
are yet speaking I will hear.' "

172 grandmother's scrap-book;


This remark was made in the writer's hear-
ing, a short time since, by an intelligent,
amiable youth, in reference to attending a
place of worship where it is believed error is
taught, and as it involves a most important
principle, is worthy of a passing notice.

Obedience to parents is surely not a pecul-
iarly prevalent principle with the young of
the present day, but wherever it is seen, gives
large promise of future good. Where is the
young man who seeks the counsel of an ex-
perienced father, or defers to the advice of a
judicious mother ? Happy, indeed, were such
instances common.

Parents, see to it that you exercise a watch-
ful care over your children, especially your
sons. Seek first of all their conversion to
Christ, and seek it early, before Satan and the
world have gained dominion there. Seek it
in sincerity, for they will read your inmost


.thoughts. Daily commend them to your gra-
cious Redeemer, and set before them a consist-
ent, godly example, and you may expect the
divine blessing on your instructions and train-

I cannot but think that the secret of so
much wickedness abroad is to be found in
the many irregular, ill-appointed homes of the

If every young man could say, " My moth-
er is not willing I should go " to the club-
room, to the theatre, to the gaming-table, to
the many haunts of vice, and places of sinful
amusement to be found on every hand, and
refrain his feet from goings how many families
would be spared untold wretchedness ! how
many precious souls might be rescued from
eternal perdition !

A man's tongue frequently gets him into
trouble, and his friends frequently prevent him
from getting out of it.

174 grandmother's scrap-book ;


In one of the late meetings in Fulton Street
church, New York, a gentleman requested
prayer for a brother-in-law. He was, he said,
in this room for the first time at a prayer
meeting last night. He is here in this business
men's prayer meeting for the first time to-day.
The Spirit of God met him here last night.
He came here as thoughtless as ever — just re-
turned to the city from Newport, where he had
spent the summer. This morning, before he
left his room, I was sent for to come and
converse with him and pray for him. I found
him in great anguish of mind, on his knees, in
a flood of tears, engaged in prayer, in broken
sentences calling on God for mercy. Now I
want you to pray that this may be the hour of
his deliverance, — that he may be converted
now and here, — find to-day pardon and peace
in believing in Jesus. I will just add, this
man had a very pious mother, who died when


he was thirteen years of age. Often, he says,
has he felt the tears of his mother raining down
on his hands, as she knelt beside him and over
him in prayer. Twenty-five years ago that
devoted mother went to her rest in the heav-
ens. But all her prayers and tears seem to
have had an instantaneous resurrection in the
mind and lieart of her son, and hero and now,
it may be, that God designs to answer that
mother's prayers.

Two days afterwards this same man, for
himself and of his own accord, put before the
Fulton Street meeting a request that they
would unite with him in thanks to God, who
hears prayer, for the hope he had that liis sins
had been forgiven, and that he had been con-
verted from the error of his ways, and made a
new creature in Christ Jesus, begging a con-
tinued interest in their prayers, that his faith
and confidence in the Saviour may be strength-

176 grandmother's scrap-book ;


• " I SHOULD like to know what mother thinks
of the Lord now ! " exclaimed a little boy of
ten years, as a group of half-starved brothers
and sisters were preparing for school, without
a breakfast, one bitter cold morning.

Well knew each member of that hungry
band of little ones, that through all the trying
scenes of poverty in their father's long illness,
a firm and unwavering faith had upheld their
praying mother. But now, when the last fire
had been made, and the last frugal meal of
baked potatoes eaten, and her own frail form
was sinking beneath its burden of work and
sorrow, the climax seemed reached. " What
does mother think of the Lord now ! " fell
upon the ears of one of the loveliest women I
ever met. It was from the lips of lier first-
born, for whose submission to God she liad
ever been hoping and striving. The words fell
upon her heart like lead. It was a new test


of her sorely tried faith, a new drop added to
her bitter cup.

A long and severe sickness of her husband
had reduced them to extreme poverty, and
with no rcBource but the needle, it had been
difficult to meet the demands of a large family
and perform sick duties at the same time.
When this eventful morning dawned, there
was no more food in the house, and just wood
enough to build one more fire. A slice of bor-
rowed bread was toasted for the sick man, and
his pillowed chair drawn before tlio last fire.
He knew not the destitution, the toll, the self-
sacrifices that oppressed his wife ; he saw only
the smiles, the industry, the neatness, and the
patient waiting for brighter days.

When the daring words of the hungry boy
fell upon that Christian mother's ear, she just
lifted lip her heart in the silent eloquence
and fervor of ejaculatory prayer, known only
to the toil-worn and working disciple. The
answer came, " The Lord is good ; his mercy
endureth forever." Her heart responded, and

178 grandmother's scrap-book ;

as she raised her eyes to the window, two good
loads of wood standhig there testified that slie
had not thought too much of her heavenly
Father, or trusted to his promises too long.
The sun shone again on that household, and
never more did Henry say, " I wonder what
mother thinks of the Lord now ! "

Break up your fallow ground, and cultivate
it with heavenly thoughts, and then there will
be no room for vain or vicious thoughts.

Commit to memory Christ's Sermon on the
Mount, and preach it from house to house.

" Did not our heart burn within us while he
talked with us by the way, and while he opened
to us the Scriptures ? "

" Watch ye here, while I go yonder and

" Can ye not watch one hour ? "




1. At how early an age should a child be
made to obey ?

2. Must a reason always be given for a
requirement ?

3. Is it well to secure obedience by the
promise of some indulgence ?

4. What is the consequence of promises or
threats by parents, being left unfulfilled ?

5. What is the consequence of yielding to a
child's teasing ?

6. What will be the consequence of artifice
with a child ?

7. How can parental authority best be main-
tained ?

8. What differences must be made with dif-
ferent dispositions ?

9. Is it necessary for children ever to get
beyond the control of their mothers ?

10. How can parents best retain the con-
fidence of their children, consistently with due
authority ?

180 grandmother's scrap-book ;

11. What motives should be addressed to
the young?

12. How are children to be induced to act
from right motives ?

13. How shall a child be trained to self-
government ?

14. What is the best way to foster a spirit
of self-sacrifice ?

15. Can any favoritism, among their chil-
dren, be properly manifested by parents ?

16. What are the effects of disagreement
between the father and the mother respecting
modes of managing the children ?

17. If such disagreement cannot be avoided,
ought it to be expressed in the presence of the
children ?

18. What effect have luxuries for the palate
on the health of children ?

19. What is the effect of much of the light
reading of the present day on the character of
the young ?

20. How shall a benevolent disposition and
a love of doing good be cultivated ?


21. Ought young children to be encouraged
to give to charitable objects ?

22. What is the influence of incidental and
apparently trivial circumstances on the char-
acter of a child ?

23. Can we separate between education for
this life and education for the life to come ?

24. What is the influence of reading the
Bible, and of family prayer, on children ?

25. What importance may be attached to
the praying of a parent alone with a child, on
occasion of any uncommon delinquency or
sin ?

26. What is the importance of prayer alone
with a child, occasionally, without any special
call from immoral occurrence, but simply as a
matter of religious training ?

27. At how early an age, and in what man-
ner, should the first religious impressions be
made ?

182 grandmother's scrap-book;


written by a little girl.

By the term Regeneration, a new birth is
meant, — that work of the Holy Spirit which
we experience, through the ordinances of the
church, by faith in the Saviour, — a change of
heart. It does not signify merely a reformation
of the outward conduct, so that we appear to
do that which is right in the sight of men, but
it is a complete change of the whole person.
It is such a union of man with his Creator, that
he is enabled by it to perceive the true excel-
lence of every thing he has made, because he
sees every thing related to his glory. It is
spoken of in the Holy Scriptures as a New
Birth, born from Heaven. It implies a par-
taking of the divine nature, in the person of
Jesus Christ, by which we become released
from sin, and rendered capable of enjoying
spiritual and refined pleasure. The efficient


cause of regeneration is the divine Spirit.
Tiiat man himself is not the author of it, is
evident, if we consider the state in which he is,
before it takes place. It is a state of complete
ignorance, and utter inability to do any good
thing. A true knowledge of the nature of the
work to be done in regeneration, will enable us
to perceive plainly that it is not in the power
of man to perform it. It is termed a New
Creation, alluding to the creation of the natural
universe ; a new life, a new being, formed out
of elements which before had no existence
properly for man. Besides, it is expressly
denied to be of man, and affirmed to be of
God : " Which were born not of blood, nor of
the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man,
but of God." It is the work of God's Spirit,
blowing where it listeth, the sound of which we
hear, but cannot tell whence it cometh or
whither it goeth ; even so is every one that is
born of God.

The evidences for which we should look,
that such a change has been produced within


ITS, are, sorrow for sin, repentance towards
God, faith in Jesus Christ, and the presence of
a love to God which creates a constant and
joyful obedience to his precepts and command-
ments, — a willingness to spend and be spent
in promoting his glory and the spiritual in-
terest of man. These evidences make it quite
clear to the world, as well as to his own mind,
that he is the subject of this great change ;
and with a humble confidence, in which the
certitude is greater because of its humility,
directing his eye towards his spiritual home,
he can say, " My Father, who art in heaven.''

«« My Father, God ! how sweet the sound !

How tender, and how dear !
Not all the harmony of heaven

Could so delight the ear."

Your time is your money. Spend none of
your precious golden moments over that which
is worthless. Give your time a commercial



Two sisters met in fairy land,
And took each other by the hand ;

Their names were Smile and Tear.
Smile, looking up with sparkling eye,
Espied the earth just rolling by,

And said, " Let's wander there.

*' We'll go and make it very glad ;
Come, sister Tear, don't look so sad ;

Can you no joy impart ? "
** Ah, sister Smile," the Tear replied,
♦« You little know the joy I hide,

"WTien gushing from the heart."

At length, with sad and pitying eye,
Tear bade her fairy land good by.

And so they took their flight.
They reached the earth at dawn of day,
And wandering through a forest gray,

A cottage came in sight.

A lady at the window sat ;
Tear quickly dropped into her lap, —
For one was yet away ;

186 grandmother's scrap-book;

The sparkling bowl all night filled high,
He drank, and drained the dregs till dry, ■
How long did seem his stay !

Her infant gazed into her eye,

Then drew a long and deepened sigh,

As if her grief to trace ;
The mother kissed its little cheek, —
How pure, how innocent, and meek

The smile which lit its face !

A laughing cherub, rosy boy,
Came bovmcing in, all full of joy, —

*« O mother, father's come !
He's signed the pledge, the medal's here.
He'll drink no longer rum or beer,

But stay with us at home ! "

That day the cottage hearth was glad.
For rum no longer made it sad, —

The pledge had sealed it down !
Smile tried in vain to play her part.
Tear took possession of each heart, —

Thrice happy was that home !

A widow ate her scanty fare,
All lonely, then breathed out a prayer, —
The fierce winds whistled by ;


No cheerful fire was in her grate,
Yet she toiled on, all cold, till late, —
No tear was in her eye !

Bright morning came with frozen air,
But God had heard the widow's prayer ;

A friendly hand was near
Who knew her wants, supplied them well
The widow's joy Smile could not tell, —

It gushed in every tear !

A maiden by the sea- side lone,
Sat watching for a lover gone ;

A little speck she spies, —
A sail, — he comes, — it nears, it nears !
How poor are smiles, how rich are tears,

To test such truthful ties !

Smile turned aside: "Ah, sister Tear,
This w^rld for me is far too drear,

It loves you much the best.
I only play upon the face,
And dazzle for a little space.

You dwell within the breast ! "

The sisters now each took their flight :
Smile quickly soared up out of sight ;
Tear felt 'twas hard to part, —

188 grandmother's scrap-book ;

Poised on her wing, she gazed behind,
Then threw her mantle on mankind,
To cheer the broken heart !

The Unblessed Meal. — Thirty years ago
a little boy, tlie son of pious parents, was in-
vited to spend a few days at the house of a
friendly family. When dinner came on the
table, Philip, very hungry after his journey,
could not be persuaded to touch a morsel of
food. Again and again did they urge liim
to eat, and as often did he look wistfully at tlie
contents of the table, but resolutely declined.
At length the lady kindly inquired if there
was any reason why he could not eat his din-
ner. Bursting into tears so that he could
scarcely speak, he exclaimed " You haven't
blessed it ! " That family ever afterwards
asked the blessing of God on their food, and
that little boy is now a missionary in Ja-



How sweet to lay my wearied head
Upon my quiet little bed,
And feel assured, that all day long,
I have not knowingly done wrong.

How sweet to hear my mother say,
'* You have been very good to-day ; "
How sweet to see my father's joy,
AVhen he can say, '• My dear good boy."

How sweet it is my thoughts to send
To many a dear-loved distant friend,
And think, if they my heart could see,
How very happy they would be.

How sweet to think that He whose love
Made all the shining world above,
My pure and happy heart can see,
And loves a little boy like me.

Never go to a theatre. The prayer meeting
is far better.

190 grandmother's scrap-book;


At one of our pleasant social evening meet-
ings, our pastor took for the subject of familiar
remark that beautiful Psalm, the twenty-third,
" The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want."
He enabled us to feel how pleasant, how
delightful, how blessed it was to have Jesus
our Redeemer for our shepherd. The green
pastures, the still waters, were all before us,
and especially how cheering it was, to know
that such a one as our shepherd would in-
deed pass with us through the " dark valley
and shadow of death." Just then, I can
hardly say why, my eye turned almost invol-
untarily to two persons who sat at some dis-
tance from me ; and a little colloquy, which I
had somewhere read, flashed upon me. Pos-
sibly the thought of it might have turned my
attention to them, or else my glance at them
might have suggested it — the which I cannot
say. The young couple were dressed in deep


mourning ; they had just laid away a dear little
babe in the grave. The colloquy was as fol-
lows, and it came to me as part and parcel of the
reflections of the hour : " And what does the
shepherd do when one of the flock does not
follow ? " " 0, he takes up the little lamb, and
then the mother will follow readily enough."
I thought how many beautiful, darling chil-
dren Jesus had taken away this year, and I
said " May not this be one way which he is
taking, to rouse his sleeping, dilatory servants ? "
My inference ivas not that such were faulty
above others. 0, no, that is not the Bible rule
of judging. " Whom the Lord loveth he chas-
teneth;" but in this time of general deep
declension something is necessary; and may
we not hope that these afflicted ones which,
throughout our borders are even so many, shall
exercise an enlivening influence in every sev-
eral flock where they may be found ? So we
trust, so we believe. It is in Affliction's dark-
est hour that the most precious, heavenly light
breaks forth upon the soul. How kind is Jesus

192 grandmother's scrap-book;

in that hour ! He, as it were, weeps with us, as
at the grave of Lazarus. But he will not have
us yield ourselves up to tears. Are there any,
who, under circumstances like those alluded to
above, are sitting down, disconsolate and inac-
tive in their grief ? That is not the way. The
following anecdote, to me, is interesting, per-
haps it may be of use to others. It was related
to me, in substance, by an elderly lady, who,
after a long walk to church, used occasionally
to spend the summer intermissions at noon at
our house : —

Many years ago, when comparatively in her
youthful days, that Christian woman had a
beautiful child. It was very different, she
said, from other children. It had a serious-
ness of aspect, a thoughtfulness, when a mere
babe in the arms, unusual and unexpected.
It took in the thoughts of God, of heaven, of
dying, with its first lisping efforts. The mother
thought the child heaven-born — she knew not
when. Meanwhile the frail casket restraining
the infant immortal was crackling and break-


ing, and the young spirit flew away 50 gently
— but it was gone, to know earth's taint and
stain no more. The mother grieved and wept
exceedingly. She knew that God had done it —
it was right ; but how to stop that heartache.
By night and by day it was all the same.
One night she dreamed : she was wandering ;
she had lost her child. A weary way she had
traversed, when suddenly, to her inexpressible
joy, she found it ! She clasped it in her arms,
she ran with all haste to her dwelling. She is
about to enter with her long-lost, now recov-
ered, child. Just at the threshold of her door
stands her Lord and Saviour. She recognizes
him. He looks upon her with something of
a smile and a rebuke, puts forth his hand and
takes the child, saying, "It is mine now."
The mother woke. She wept no more. " God
speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it
not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when
deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings
upon the bed. Then he openeth the ears of
men, and sealeth their instruction."

194 gra.ndmother's scrap-book;


There is no moral object so beautiful to me
as a conscientious young man. I watch him
as I do a star in heaven ; clouds may be before
him, but we know that his light is behind
them, and will beam again ; the blaze of others'
popularity may outshine him, but we know that,
though unseen, he illuminates his own true
sphere. He resists temptation, not without a
struggle, for that is not virtue, but he does
resist, and conquers ; he bears the sarcasm of
the profligate, and it stings him, for that is a
trait of virtue, but heals with his own pure
touch. He heeds not the watchword of Fashion,
if it leads to sin ; the atheist, who says not
only in his heart, but with his lips, " There is
no God ! " controls him not ; he sees the hand
of a creating God, and rejoices in it.

Woman is sheltered by fond arms and loving
counsel ; old age is protected by its experi-
ence, and manhood by its strength; but the


young man stands amid the temptation of the
world like a balancing power. Happy he who
seeks and gains the prop and shelter of re-

Onward, then, conscientious youth ! Raise
thy standard, and nerve thyself for goodness.
If God has given thee intellectual power,
awake in that cause ; never let it be said of
thee, he helped to swell the tide of sin by
pouring his influence into its channels. If
thou art feeble in mental strength, throw not
that drop into a polluted current. Awake,
arise, young man ! assume that beautiful garb
of virtue ! It is difficult to be pure and holy.
Put on thy strength, then. Let truth be the
lady of thy love — defend her.

Your character cannot be seriously harmed,
except by your own acts. If any one speaks
evil of you, let your life be so that none will
believe him.



Luke Short, when about fifteen years of age,
heard a sermon from the celebrated Flavel, and
soon after went to America, where he spent the
remainder of his life. He received no imme-
diate impression from Flavel's sermon, and
lived in carelessness and sin till he was a cen-
tury in age. He was now a " sinner a hundred
years old," and to all appearance ready to
" die accursed." But, sitting one day in a
field, he fell into a busy reflection on his past
life ; and recurring to the events of his youth,
he thought of having heard Mr. Flavel preach,
and vividly recollected a large portion of his
sermon, and the extraordinary earnestness with
which it was delivered. Starting, as if stung
by an adder, he instantly labored under accus-
ings of conscience, and ran from thought to
thought till he arrived first at conviction of sin,
and next at an apprehension of the divine


method of saving the guilty. He soon after
joined a Congregational church in his vicinity,
and to the day of his death, wliich happened in
the one hundred and sixteenth year of his age,
gave satisfactory evidence of being a truly con.
verted and believing follower of the Saviour.
Mr. Flavel had long before passed to his heav-
enly rest, and could not, while on earth, have
supposed that his living voice would so long
continue to yield its echoes as an instrument of
doing good to a wandering sinner. Let minis-
ters and private Christians, who labor for the
spiritual well-being of their fellow-men, cast
their bread upon the waters, in full faith, that
though they lose sight of it themselves, it shall
be found after many days.

The best capital for young men to start witli

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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 8 of 16)