Frances Ridley Havergal.

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Or, Waking Thoughts for the Little Ones



The Twin Brothers,
Willie and Ethelbert
Aunt Fanny's Love.


Morning Bells

1. "Thy Holy Child Jesus"
2. "Even Christ pleased not Himself"
3. "Hold Thou me up, and I shall be safe"
4. "Bear ye one another's burdens"
5. "Yield your members as instruments of righteousness unto God"
6. "Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly"
7. "Faithful over a few things"
8. "Put that on mine account"
9. "Let thy garments be always white"
10. "Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us"
11. "Who giveth us richly all things to enjoy"
12. "The Lord is able to give thee much more than this"
13. "Whatsoever the king did pleased all the people"
14. "A new heart also will I give you"
15. "I will put my Spirit within you"
16. "The Lord shall fight for you"
17. "I will watch to see what He will say unto me"
18. "He careth for you"
19. "Under His wings shall thou trust"
20. "I am with you alway"
21. "Teach me to do Thy will"
22. "Ye have done it unto me;" "Ye did it not to me"
23. "Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee"
24. "Chosen to be a soldier"
25. "That he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier"
26. "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it"
27. "Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord"
28. "As seeing Him who is invisible"
29. "Let us lay aside every weight"
30. "Thou hast also given me the shield of Thy salvation"
31. "I will love Thee, O Lord"

Morning Bells.

Most of the readers of this little book will have already read _Little
Pillows_. Those were given you to go to sleep upon night after night;
sweet, soothing texts, that little hearts might rest upon.

But in the morning we want something to arouse us, and to help us to go
brightly and bravely through the day. So here are "Morning Bells" to waken
up the little hearts, and to remind them that we must not only rest in
Jesus, but walk in Him. If the motto of "Little Pillows" might be "Come
to Jesus," the motto of "Morning Bells" might be "Follow Jesus."

May He who loves the little ones bless this tiny effort to help them to
follow Him day by day.

1. First Day.

Christ's Childhood.

"Thy holy child Jesus." - Acts iv. 30.

If I asked, "How old are you?" you would give an exact answer. "Eight and
a half;" "Just turned ten;" "Eleven next month." Now you have thought of
God's "holy child Jesus" as a little baby, and as twelve years old in the
temple, but did you ever think of Him as being _exactly_ your own age?
that He was once really just as old as you are this very day? He knows
what it is to be eight, and nine, and ten years old, or whatever you may
be. God's word has only told us this one thing about those years, that He
was a _holy_ child.

What is "holy"? It is everything that is perfectly beautiful and good and
lovable, without anything to spoil it. This is just what He was when He
was your age. He was gentle and brave, and considerate and unselfish,
noble and truthful, obedient and loving, kind and forgiving, - everything
you can think of that you ever admired or loved in any one else was all
found together in Him, and all this not only outside, but inside, for He
was "holy."

Why did He live all these holy child-years on earth instead of staying in
heaven till it was time to come and die for you? One reason was, that He
might leave you a beautiful example, so that you might wish to be like
Him, and ask for the Holy Spirit to make you like Him. But the other was
even more gracious and wonderful, it was "that we might be made the
righteousness of God in Him." That is, that all this goodness and
holiness might be reckoned to you, because you had not any of your own,
and that God might smile on you _for His sake_, just as if _you_ had been
perfectly obedient, and truthful, and unselfish, and good, and give you
Jesus Christ's reward, which you never deserved at all, but which He
deserved for you.

He took your sins and gives you His righteousness; He took your punishment
and gives you His reward; it is just changed over, if you will only accept
the exchange!

"I'm glad my blessed Saviour
Was once a child like me,
To show how pure and holy
His little ones might be.
And if I try to follow
His footsteps here below,
He never will forget me,
Because He loves me so."

2. Second Day.

Our Great Example

"Even Christ pleased not Himself." - Rom. xv. 3.

Do you really wish to follow the footsteps of the Holy Child Jesus? Have
you asked God to make you more like Him? Are you ready to begin to-day?
Then here is a motto for to-day, "Even Christ pleased not Himself." Will
you take it, and try to imitate Him? You are sure to have plenty of
opportunities of acting upon it, and thus proving not only to others, but
to your dear Saviour Himself, that you mean what you say, and mean what
you pray.

Perhaps it seems a rather melancholy "morning bell" to you, tolling
instead of chiming! But if you really wish to be like Christ, you will
soon find that its music is as sweet as any, and that its quiet chime will
come to you again and again with a wonderful sweetness and power, helping
you over all sorts of difficulties, and saving you from all sorts of sins
and troubles.

You can not tell, till you have fairly tried, how happy a little girl can
feel, who has cheerfully given up to another, for Jesus' sake, something
which she would have liked for herself; nor how happy a boy can be when of
his own free will, and by God's grace, he has chosen to do what his
conscience tells him would please the Lord Jesus instead of what would
have pleased himself.

If you have never tried it yet, begin to-day, and you will find it is
quite a new happiness.

Ah, what would have become of us if Christ had only "pleased Himself,"
and had stayed in His own glorious home instead of coming down to save us!
Think of that when you are tempted to please yourself instead of pleasing
Him, and the remembrance that even He pleased not Himself because He so
loved you, will help you to try and please Him, and to please others for
His sake.

"If washed in Jesus' blood,
Then bear His likeness too!
And as you onward press,
Ask, 'What would Jesus do?'

"Give with a full, free hand;
God freely gives to you!
And check each selfish thought
With, 'What would Jesus do?'"

3. Third Day.


"Hold Thou me up, and I shall be safe." - Ps. cxix. 117.

The path is not easy. There are rough stones over which we may stumble, if
we are not walking very carefully. There are places which look quite
smooth, but they are more dangerous than the rough ones, for they are
slippery. There are little holes hidden under flowers, which may catch our
feet and give us a bad fall. There are muddy ditches, into which we may
slip and get sadly wet and dirty.

How are we to walk safely along such a path? We want a strong, kind hand
to hold us up, and to hold us always; a hand that will hold ours so
tightly and lovingly, that it will be as the old Scotchwoman said, "Not my
grip of Christ, but Christ's grip of me!" Yes, Christ's loving hand is
"able to keep you from falling;" only "let your hand be restfully in the
hand of Jesus," and "then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot
shall not stumble." But do not spoil the chime of this morning's bells by
ringing only half a peal! Do not say, "Hold Thou me up," and stop there,
or add, "But, all the same, I shall stumble and fall!" Finish the peal
with God's own music, the bright words of faith that He puts into your
mouth, "Hold Thou me up, _and I shall be safe_!" So you will if you do not
distrust Him, if you will but _trust_ Him to do just what you ask, and let
Him hold you up.

It would be hard to find a prayer in the Bible without a promise to match
it; so David says, "Uphold me, according to Thy word."

What has He said about it? More than there is room for on this page. "I
the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand." "Yea, I will uphold thee." "He
will not suffer thy foot to be moved." "When thou runnest thou shalt not
stumble." "Yea, he shall be holden up." "He shall keep thy foot from being
taken." "He will keep the feet of His saints." Seven promises in answer to
your one little prayer!

"I the Lord am with thee,
Be thou not afraid!
I will help and strengthen,
Be thou not dismayed!
Yea, I will uphold thee
With my own right hand;
Thou art called and chosen
In my sight to stand!"

4. Fourth Day.

What can I do?

"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of
Christ." - Gal. vi. 2.

Perhaps you never thought that any one around you had any! Then if you
want to fulfill this law of Christ, the first thing will be to find out
who has any burdens, and which of them you could bear instead. You will
not have to watch long! There are very few without any. Little backs can
not bear great burdens, but sometimes those who have great burdens have
little ones too, and it makes such a difference if some loving little hand
will take one or two of these. If your mother was carrying a great heavy
parcel, would it not help her if you took two or three little ones out of
her hand and carried them for her? So perhaps she has troubles that you do
not even know about, and you see she looks tired and anxious. And it tires
her a little more, because a little brother or sister wants to be nursed
or amused. Now if you put your own affairs by, and call the little ones
away, and amuse them quietly so that mamma may not be disturbed, this is
bearing one of her burdens. Never mind if it is really a little burden to
you too; is it not worth it, when it is fulfilling the law of Christ? If
for a moment a burden that you have taken up does seem rather hard, and
you are tempted to drop it again, think of what the Lord Jesus bore for
you! Think how He took up the heaviest burden of all for you, when He "His
own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree!" He did not drop that
burden, but bore it till He died under it. Think of that, and it will be
easy then to bear something for His sake.

Now be on the watch all to-day for little burdens to bear for others. See
how many you can find out, and pick up, and carry away! Depend upon it,
you will not only make it a brighter day for others, but for yourself too!

"Little deeds of kindness,
Little words of love,
Make our earth an Eden,
Like the heaven above."

5. Fifth Day.


"Yield .... your members as instruments of righteousness unto
God." - Rom. vi. 13.

This does not sound so easy and tuneful as most of your other "morning
bells," you think! But listen for a few minutes and you will hear the

What are your members? Hands, feet, lips, eyes, ears, and so on. What are
you to do with them? "Yield" them, that is, give them up altogether, hand
them over to God.

What for? That He may use them as instruments of righteousness. That is,
just as we should take an instrument of music, to make music with it, so
He may take your hands and feet and all your members, and use them to do
right and good things with.

If a little one gives himself or herself to God, every part of that little
body is to be God's little servant, a little instrument for Him to use.

The little hands will no longer serve Satan by striking or pinching; the
little feet will not kick or stamp, nor drag and dawdle, when they ought
to run briskly on some errand; the little lips will not pout; the little
tongue will not move to say a naughty thing. All the little members will
leave off serving Satan, and find something to do for God; for if you
"yield" them to God, He will really take them and use them.

He will tell the hands to pick up what a tired mamma has dropped, and to
fetch her a footstool; and the fingers to sew patiently at a warm
petticoat for a poor child, or to make warm cuffs for a poor old man. He
will tell the feet to run on errands of kindness and help. He will set the
lips to sing happy hymns, which will cheer and comfort somebody, even if
you never know of it. He will use the eyes for reading to some poor sick
or blind woman, or to some fretful little one in your own home. You will
be quite surprised to find in how many ways He will really use even your
little members, if you give them and your whole self to Him. It will be so
nice! You will never be miserable again with "nothing to do!"

"Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful' for Thee."

6. Sixth Day.

Willing and Glad.

"Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly." - I Chron.
xxix. 9

We thought yesterday morning about giving our members up to God for Him to
use. Did you think you would like to give them up to Him? _did_ you yield
them to Him? If you did, you will understand this morning's text! David
the King asked his people to help in bringing offerings for God's house
and service. He said, "Who then is willing to consecrate his service this
day unto the Lord?" And God made them all willing to bring what they
could. And what then? "_Then_ the people rejoiced, for that they offered
willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the Lord."
"And did eat and drink on that day before the Lord with great gladness."

See what came of offering willingly to the Lord - they "rejoiced," and
everything they did, even eating and drinking, was "with great gladness."
Never is any one so happy as those who offer their own selves willingly to
the Lord. He gives them a thousandfold return for the worthless little
self and weak little members which they have offered to Him. He gives them
peace, and gladness, and blessing, beyond what they ever expected to have.

But this was not all; it was not only the people who had such a glad day,
but "David the king also rejoiced with great joy." Those who loved their
king, and recollected how much sorrow he had gone through, and how many
battles he had fought for them, must have been glad indeed to see Him
rejoicing because they had offered willingly. And I think our King, _your_
King Jesus, rejoices over us when He has made us able (ver. 14) to offer
ourselves willingly to Him. Is not this best of all? Jesus, who suffered
for us, and who fought the great battle of our salvation for us, He, our
own beloved King, "will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His
love; He will joy over thee with singing."

"In full and glad surrender I give myself to Thee,
Thine utterly, and only, and evermore to be!
O Son of God, who lovest me, I will be Thine alone;
And all I have, and all I am, shall henceforth be Thine own."

7. Seventh Day.


"Faithful over a few things." - Matt. xxv. 21, 23.

The servant who had only two talents to trade with, but traded faithfully
with them, had just the same glorious words spoken to him as the servant
who had five talents: "Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast
been faithful over a few things ... enter thou into the joy of thy lord."
Think what it would be to hear the Lord Jesus saying that to you, really
to you! Oh how sweet! how blessed! how you would listen to that gracious
voice saying those wonderfully gracious words to _you_!

But could He say them to you? Are you "faithful over a few things"? He
has given every one, even the youngest, a few things to be faithful over,
and so He has to you. Your "few things" may be very few, and very small
things, but He expects you to be faithful over them.

What is being faithful over them? It means doing the very best you can
with them; doing as much for Jesus as you can with your money, even if you
have very little; doing as much for Him as you can with your time; doing
whatever duties He gives you as well as ever you can, - your lessons, your
work, the little things that you are bidden or asked to do every day, the
little things that you have promised or undertaken to do for others. It
means doing all these just the same whether others see you or know about
it or not.

You sigh over all this; you recollect many things in which you have not
been quite faithful; you know you do not deserve for Him to call you "good
and faithful servant." But come at once to your gracious Lord, and ask Him
to forgive all the unfaithfulness, and to make you faithful to-day. And
then, even if it is only a matter of a French verb or a Latin noun, you
will find it a help to recollect, "Faithful over a few things!"

"Only, O Lord, in Thy dear love
Fit us for perfect rest above;
And help us, this and every day,
To live more nearly as we pray."

8. Eighth Day.

"On mine Account."

"Put that on mine account." - Philem. 18.

When St. Paul asked Philemon, in a most beautiful letter, to take back
Onesimus, who had run away from him, he said, "If he hath wronged thee, or
oweth thee ought, put that on my account." Onesimus had been a bad servant
to Philemon; and being willing to come back and do better, would not pay
for what he had wronged him in before, and would not pay his old debts.
And he evidently had nothing himself to pay them with. But St. Paul
offered to pay all, so that Onesimus might be received, "not now as a
servant," but as a "brother beloved."

This is an exquisite picture of what the Lord Jesus Christ does. He not
only intercedes for us with Him from whom we have departed, and against
whom we have sinned; but, knowing to the full how much we have wronged
God, and how much we owe Him, He says, "Put that on mine account."

And God has put it all on His account and the account has been paid, paid
in blood. When "the Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all," Jesus saw
and knew all your sins; and He said, "Put that on mine account."

Oh, what wonderful "kindness and love of God our Saviour!" Let the
remembrance of it be like a silver bell, ringing softly and clearly
whenever you are going to do, or letting yourself feel or think, something
that is not right. "Put _that_ on mine account!" Yes, that sin that you
were on the very edge of committing! that angry word, and the angry
feeling that makes you want to say it; that untrue word, and the
cowardliness which makes you afraid to speak the exact truth; that proud
look and the naughty pride of heart that made it come into your eyes;
Jesus stands by and says, patiently and lovingly, "Put _that_ on mine

Can you bear that? does it not make you wish, ten times more than ever, to
be kept from sinning against such a Saviour?

"Jesus, tender Saviour,
Hast Thou died for me?
Make me very thankful
In my heart to Thee;
When the sad, sad story
Of Thy grief I read,
Make me very sorry
For my sins indeed."

9. Ninth Day.

White Garments.

"Let thy garments be always white." - Eccles. ix. 8.

"Always?" Oh, how can that be? They are soiled again directly after they
have been washed clean! Yet God says, "Let them be _always_ white;" and He
would not tell you to do what was impossible. Then how are you to help
soiling them? Only in one way. Last night's "little pillow" told you how
Jesus washes us "whiter than snow" in His own precious blood, that
cleanseth from all sin. But will He only cleanse His little one just for
the moment? is that all He is able and willing to do for you?

No; if you will only keep on trusting to that precious blood, and not
turn away from it, He says that it cleanseth, that is, _goes on
cleansing_. You could not keep your garments white for five minutes;
careless thoughts would come like dust upon them, and wrong words would
make great dark stains and before long some naughty deed would be like a
sad fall in the mud, and you would feel sad and ashamed before the kind
Saviour who still stands ready to cleanse you again. But why should all
this happen over and over again, till anybody but our own loving,
long-suffering Saviour would be tired of us, and give up doing any more
for us? Why should it be, when His precious blood is meant to "_go on
cleansing_," so that our garments may be always white? Perhaps you never
thought of this; ask Him now this morning not only to wash you in the
fountain of His precious blood, but _to keep you in it_, to _go on
cleansing_ you all day long. _Trust_ Him to do this, and see if it is not
the happiest day you ever spent!

"And He can do all this for me,
Because in sorrow, on the tree,
He once for sinners hung;
And, having washed their sin away,
He now rejoices, day by day,
To cleanse His little one."

10. Tenth Day.

Made Beautiful.

"Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us." - Ps. xc. 17.

"How great is His beauty!" said Zechariah. How can His beauty be upon us?
In two ways; try to understand them, and then ask that in both ways the
beauty of the Lord our God may be upon you.

One way is by His covering you with the robe of Jesus Christ's
righteousness, looking upon you not as you are in yourself, all sinful and
unholy, but as if all the Saviour's beautiful and holy life were yours,
reckoning it to you for His sake. In this way He can call us "perfect
through my comeliness which I had put upon thee." The other way is by
giving you the beauty of holiness, for that is His own beauty; and though
we never can be quite like Him till we see Him as He is, He can begin to
make us like Him even now. Look at a poor little colorless drop of water,
hanging weakly on a blade of grass. It is not beautiful at all; why should
you stop to look at it? Stay till the sun has risen, and now look. It is
sparkling like a diamond; and if you look at it from another side, it will
be glowing like a ruby, and presently gleaming like an emerald. The poor
little drop has become one of the brightest and loveliest things you ever
saw. But is it its own brightness and beauty? No; if it slipped down to
the ground out of the sunshine, it would be only a poor little dirty drop
of water. So, if the Sun of Righteousness, the glorious and lovely
Saviour, shines upon you, a little ray of His own brightness and beauty
will be seen upon you. Sometimes we can see by the happy light on a face
that the Sun is shining there; but if the Sun is really shining, there are
sure to be some of the beautiful rays of holiness, love, joy, peace,
gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, making the life even of a little
child very lovely.

"Jesus, Lord, I come to Thee,
Thou hast said I may;
Tell me what my life should be,
Take my sins away.

"Jesus, Lord, I learn of Thee,
In Thy word divine;
Every promise there I see,
May I call it mine!"

11. Eleventh Day.

Pleasant Gifts.

"Who giveth us richly all things to enjoy." - I Tim. vi. 17.

Think a little this morning of God's great kindness to you. How _very_
good He is to you! I know one of His dear children who looks up many, many
times a day, and says, "_Good_ Lord Jesus!" or "_Kind_ Lord Jesus!" She
does not set herself to say it, but it seems as if she could not help
saying it, just because He _is_ so good and kind. And then it seems only
natural to look up again and say, "_Dear_ Lord Jesus!" How _can_ anybody
go on all day long, and never see how good He is, and never look up and
bless Him? Most especially on bright pleasant days, when He giveth us
more even than usual to enjoy! "He giveth." Not one single pleasant thing,
not one single bit of enjoyment comes to us but what He giveth. We can not
get it, we do not earn it, we do not deserve it; but He _giveth_ lovingly,
and kindly, and freely. Suppose He stopped giving, what would become of

"Richly." So richly, that if you tried to write down half His gifts to
you, your hand would be tired long before you had done. You might easily
make a list of the presents given you on your birthday, but you could not
make a list of what God gives you every day of your life.

"All things." All the things you really need, and a great many more
besides. All the things that will do you good, a great many more than you
would ever have thought of. All the things that He can fill your little
hands with, and trust you to carry without stumbling and falling. _All_
things, everything that you have at all!

"To enjoy." Now how kind this is! not only "to do us good," but "to

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Online LibraryFrances Ridley HavergalMorning Bells; Or, Waking Thoughts for Little Ones → online text (page 1 of 3)