John Todd.

Lectures to children : familiarly illustrating important truth online

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have Bible Societies, and to make great efforts,
and take great pains, to have all men every where
know, and believe, and obey the Bible. It is this
faith which leads the praying mother to come to
the bed of her little child, and hear him say his

Lect. 4.] FAITH AND ITS USES. 77

The dying mother.

prayers before he shuts his eyes in sleep. It is
faith that comforts the dying mother as she leaves
this world, and leaves her dear children behind
without any mother. I once visited a dying
mother, who had this faith in Christ; and after
she had called her children around her bed, and
had taken each one by the hand, and had given
each her advice and her blessing, and had bidden
them farewell, and was then too much exhausted
to speak aloud,

" She made a sign
To bring her babe ; 'twas brought, and by her placed.
She looked upon its face, that neither smiled
Nor wept, nor knew who gazed upon it ; and laid
Her hand upon its little breast, and sought
For it — with look that seemed to penetrate
The heavens — unutterable blessings — such
As God to dying parents only granted
For infants left behind them in the world.
* God bless my child ! ' we heard her say, and heard
No more. The angel of the covenant

78 FAITH and: ITS USES. [Lect. 4,

Faith comforts us.

Was come ; and, faithful to his promise, stood,
Prepared to walk with her through death's dark vale.
And now her eyes grew bright, and brighter still, —
Too bright for ours to look upon, suffused
With many tears, — and closed without a cloud.
They set as sets the morning star, which goes
Not down behind the darkened west, nor hides
Obscured among the tempests of the sky, —
But melts away into the light of heaven ! "

3. Faith comforts us, and holds us up, in the
time of trouble.

There are many times when we can have no
help from any human friend. None but God can
aid us. It was so with Noah, when the ark floated
upon the great waters, and nobody but God could
roll off these waters, and make the dry land ap-
pear. It was so with Daniel, when thrown among
the fierce lions, and nobody could shut their
mouths but God. It is so with every dying Chris-
ten, whether he dies at hc«ne among his friends, or

Lect. 4.] FAITH AND ITS USES. 79

The dead boy's lantern.

away from home among strangers, or alone where
no one is with him. See what faith can do for a
child, and in the most awful situation : —

*'By a sudden burst of water into one of the
Newcastle collieries, thirty-five men and forty-one
lads were driven into a distant part of the pit, from
which there was no possibility of return, until the
water should be drawn oif. While this was ef-
fecting, though all possible means were used, the
whole number died, from starvation or suffocation.
When the bodies were drawn up from the pit, seven
of the youth were discovered in a cavern separate
from the rest. Among these was one, of peculiar-
ly moral and religious habits, whose daily reading
the Sacred Scriptures to his widowed mother,
when he came up from his labors, had formed the
solace of her lonely condition. After his funeral,
a sympathizing friend of the neglected poor went
to visit her ; and while the mother showed him,
as a relic of her son, his Bible, worn and soiled

80 FAITH AND ITS USES. [Lect. 4.

The dead boy's lajitern.

with constant perusal, he happened to cast his
eyes on a candle-box, with which, as a miner, he
had been furnished, and which had been brought
up from the pit with him ; and there he discover-
ed the following affecting record of the filial affec-
tion and steadfast piety of the youth. In the dark-
ness of the suffocating pit, with a bit of pointed
iron, he had engraved on the box his last message
to his mother, in these words: —

''"Fret not, my Dear Mother,— for we were
singing and praising God while we had time.
Mother, follow God more than I did, Joseph, he a
good lad to God and mother,"^ "

This was faith ; and, oh, what comfort did it
give this poor boy in the hour of dying ! and what
comfort to the poor widow, as she wept over her
dear son ! May you, dear children, all have such
a faith. Amen.




Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow ; they toil not^
neither do they spin. And yet I say unto you, that even
Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of
these.— Matt. 6. 28, 29.

Contents. — How Christ preached. The rich man. God is very rich.
Hog^shead of gold. Many cattle. Servants. Little boy and his sister
Charge to angels, and beautiful illustration. The garden lily. The cold
winter and the lily. The pond. Sermon by a lily. The poor lieathen
child. His lonely feelings. Conies to America. His death. Sailing
of the missionaries. The hymn. The gospel received. The weeping
mother. The ostrich in the wilderness. Sorrows to come. When will
God be a friend 1

Our Saviour used to preach any where, and
every where, as he met with those who wanted to
hear him . Sometimes he sat down on the ground,
and sometimes sat in the boat on the water, and
sometimes stood in the great temple and preached.
He used to be very plain, and easy to be under
stood. He would have preached finely to chil-


The rich man.

dren ; and if he were now to speak to all these
children before me, I do not believe there is a sin-
gle one who would not understand all he should
say. And yet it is possible, if any one wants to
do so, to misunderstand even the Saviour himself.
Now see. Suppose a lazy boy should read over
my text, and then say, that Christ teaches us that
God takes care of the lilies, though they do no
work, and, therefore, we need not work, and he
will take care of us in our idleness. This would
be to make the Bible favor our sins ; but the Bible
never does that.

Suppose you should go and visit a man who
was so rich that he had his trees covered with silk
of the most beautiful colors, and even his most
ugly looking creatures covered with gold and sil-
ver, and adorned by the most curious art ! Would
you not think him a rich man ? And if he were
known to be a good man, and true to his word, and
he should tell you that he would be your friend,


God is very rich. Hogshead of gold.

and always take care of you, would you have any
fear but he would do it ?

God is richer than all this. He is so rich that
he can put more of what is beautiful upon a single
lily or tulip, than the great king Solomon could put
on all his clothing. The hoarse, homely peacock
carries more that is beautiful upon his tail than
the richest king could ever show. And even the
poor butterfly, which is to live but a few hours,
has a more glorious dress than the proudest, rich-
est man that ever lived. God can aflbrd to dress
this poor worm up so, because he is rich. If, then,
he can aiford to take such care of the lilies, the
birds, and insects, and to make them more beau-
tiful than man can ever be, will he not take care
of us, if we obey him ?

Suppose you had a rich father — so rich that he
had a hogshead full of gold, and a great barn full
of silver. Do you think that, if you were to be a
good child, he would ever refuse to take care of
you ? But God has more gold and silver laid up

84 ' GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF US. [Lect. 5.


Many cattle Servants.

in the ground, which men have not yet dug up,
than would make a mountain — it may be a hun-
dred mountains. Can he not take care of you ?

Suppose your father had more oxen, and horses,
and cattle, than you could count over in a day, or
in a week. Would he not be able to take care of
his child, and give him every thing he needs?
Yes. But God has ''cattle upon ten thousand
hills," and ''every beast of the forest" is his,
and his are "all the fowls of the air!" Can he
not give you food from all these cattle, and clothe
you, and give you beds from the feathers of all
these fowls ? Yes, he is able to do it all.

Suppose your father was so rich that he had
ten thousand men at work for him every day, all
at work, and all paid to their mind, and all happy
in working for him. Would you have any fears
but he could take care of you, and do you good ?
But God has more servants than these. He has
all the good people on earth in his employment,
and all the angels in heaven. He pays them all.


Little boy and his sister.

And if you need any thing, he can send one, or a
milUon of these his servants to you, to help you.

A little boy asked his mother to let him lead
his little sister out on the green grass. She had
just begun to run alone, and could not step over
any thing that lay in the way. His mother told
him he might lead out the little girl, but charged
him not to let her fall. I found them at play,
very happy, in the field.

I said, ''You seem very happy, George. Is
this your sister? "

'' Yes, sir."

" Can she walk alone ? "

''Yes, sir, on smooth ground."

" And how did she get over these stones, which
lie between us and the house ? "

" O, sir, mother charged me to be careful that
she did not fall, and so I put my hands under her
arms, and lifted her up when she came to a stone,
so that she need not hit her little foot against it."


Charge to angels, and beautiful illustration. The garden lily.

'^That is right, George. And I want to tell
you one thing. You see now how to understand
that beautiful text, ' He shall give his angels
charge concerning thee, lest at any time thou dash
thy foot against a stone.' God charges his angels
to lead and lift good people over difficulties, just
as you have lifted little Anne over these stones.
Do you understand it now ?"

" O yes, sir, and I shall never forget it while
I live."

Can one child thus take care of another, and
cannot God take care of those who put their
trust in him ? Surely he can ; and there is not a
child among you here to-day, over whom he is not
ready to give his holy angels charge.

Did you never see the lily as it stands in
the garden in the summer? God sends it the
pure sunshine, and it seems to rejoice in his
warm beams. He sends it the cooling dews,
and it seems to drink in their sweetness like


The cold winter and the lily.

milk. The clouds gather, the storm rages, the
rains pour down, the winds sweep along. See I
the lily has shut up its blossom, and folded its
leaves, and meekly bows its head, and bends to
the wind, and asks no eye to gaze on it, while
the storm lasts. God has taught it to do thus,
till the smile shall again follow the tempest. It
is not injured. It opens and smiles again. So
does God teach the good. The Christian thus
rejoices when blessed ; and when troubles and
sorrows come, he meekly bows and waits till
God remembers him and removes the storm.

You have seen the lily, in the fall, when the
frosts came, drop its head, and droop, and die.
The stalk on which the sweet flower waved all
summer, is gone, and the spot where it stood is
forgotten. But see the care of God for that lily.
The cold winter goes past, the sunshine of spring
returns, the young buds swell and open, and the
lily, which has only been sleeping in the ground.


The pond lily.

puts up its meek head, and rises again to beauty
and glory. God takes care of the frail, beautiful
plant, and will not let it perish forever. So you
have seen the beautiful little child, which stood,
like the flower in the garden, struck down by
sickness, and cut down by death, and laid in the
little grave. But God will take care of it. The
long winter w411 be over; and though that dear
child is forgotten by every body on earth, yet it
is not forgotten by God. There is a day coming
when God will come down from heaven, and send
his angel to call this child from the long sleep
of the grave, and it will come up from the ground
fair and glorious on the morning of the great day.
Do you ask how it can be ? Let me ask you one

Did you ever see a pond covered over with
hard ice, thick and cold, all the long winter?
Well, the spring comes, and the ice melts away,
and the lily-seed, which has so long been sleeping


Sermon by a lily.

in the mud at the bottom of the pond, springs up,
and shoots up, and opens its beautiful white flower,
on the top of the smooth water, and seems to
smile as it looks up towards heaven. How is
this done ? By the care and the power of that
God who watches over all his works, and who
will take care of the flower-seed, and of the im-
mortal spirit of every child.

While too many people, who know about God,
seem to live, day after day, for years, without lov-
ing, or obeying, or even speaking of God, you
can almost hear the lily speak, as if preaching,
and say, —

'' I acknowledge the presence of God, my
Maker. When he passes by me on the soft wings
of the breeze, I wave my head as he passes ;
when he rides on the whirlwind or the storm, I
bow and tremble ; when he draws over me the
curtains of the night, I feel safe, and go to sleep ;
when he opens upon me the eye of morning, I


The poor heathen child.

wake up, and drink in the fresh beams of his sun ;
and when he sends his chilling frosts, I let mj
frail body perish, and hide myself in the ground,
knowing that he will again raise me up to life and
beauty ! "

Some years ago, there was a poor child left
alone, at the death of his parents, in a distant
island of the ocean. His people were all heathen,
wicked people. His father and mother were
killed in a cruel war. Now, see how God takes
care of his creatures. Let us hear his own ac-
count of the thing. '' At the death of my parents,
I was with them ; I saw them killed with a bayo-
net — and with them my little brother, not more
than two or three months old — so that I Vvas left
alone without father or mother in this wilderness
world. Poor boy, thought 1 within myself, after
they were gone, are there any father or mother
of mine at home, that I may go and find them at
home ? No ; poor boy am I. And while I was


His lonely feeling's. Comes to America.

at play with other children, after we had made an
end of playing, they return to their parents, — but
I was returned into tears, — for I have no home,
neither father nor mother. I was now brought
away from my home to a stranger place, and I
thought of nothing more but want of father or
mother, and to cry day and night. While I was
with my uncle, for some time I began to think
about leaving that country, to go to some other
part of the globe. I thought to myself that if I
should get away, and go to some other country,
probably I may find some comfort, more than to
live there, without father and mother."

This poor boy, thus left, an orphan, in a hea-
then country, was under the care of God. He
left the island, and came to this country. Here
he found kind friends, who took care of him, and
taught him to read and write, and who took great
pains to teach him about God and about Jesus
Christ. He became a true Christian, and a
dear youth he was. He wanted to go back to


His death. The sailing of the missionaries.

his country, to tell his people about God and
Jesus ; but just as he had gotten his education,
and was ready, he was taken sick, and died. His
name was Henry Obookiah. He died with ''a
hope full of immortality." His grave is in Corn-
wall, Conn. But he lived not in vain. By
means of his life and death, good men felt so
much for his poor countrymen, that many good
missionaries have gone to those islands, and there
built churches, and printed school books, opened
schools, printed the Bible, and taught many thou-
sands to read and to know God. The foolish
idols are destroyed, and they are becoming a
Christian nation.

I remember when the missionaries first set out
for that country. They sailed from New Haven ;
and before they entered the ship, and as they took
leave of their dear friends, amid a great company
of Christians, they all united in singing a beautiful
hymn. Three verses of this 1 will now read to


The hymn. The gospel received.

" Wake, isles of the South ! your redemption is near ;

No longer repose in the borders of gloom ;
The strength of his chosen in love will appear,

And light shall arise on the verge of the tomb.

The heathen will hasten to welcome the time,
The day-spring, the prophet in vision once saw,

When the beams of Messiah will 'lumine each clime,
And the isles of the ocean shall wait for his law

And thou, Obookiah, now sainted above,

Shalt rejoice as the heralds their mission disclose ;

And thy prayers shall be heard, that the land thou didst love
May blossom as Sharon, and bud as the rose ! "

Oh ! what care and goodness in God, thus to
guide this lonely child to this country, and, by his
means, lead many to go and carry the gospel to
that whole nation ! The Sabbath is now known
there, and many thousands have already learned
to read the Word of God ; and we believe multi-
tudes have become true Christians, and have fol-
lowed Henry to the presence of God in heaven.


The weeping mother.

When they were heathen, they used to kill almost
all then* children when they were small ; and
many of them were murdered, and given to their
idol gods. One day, when the little church there
was sitting down at the communion table, a poor
woman, who had been a heathen, but who was
now a Christian, was seen to weep most bitterly.
One of the ministers asked her why she wept and
wrung her hands. "Oh!" said she, "why did I
not know of this blessed God before ! Why did
I not ! I once had six sweet children — they are
all gone — I murdered them all with my own
hands ! But oh, if I had known about God as I
now do, they would have been alive now!"
They have now done with the cruel practice of
murdering their children. They know better.

Perhaps some of my little hearers are orphans,
— have no father, or no mother. I can feel for
such ; for I know what it is to stand by the grave
Df a father when a child. But let me say to you,


The ostrich in the wilderness. Sorrows to come.

that God will take c^e of you. He takes care
of the lily. You have heard of the ostrich, that
great bird which lives in the wilderness. She
lays her eggs in the sand, and then leaves them
forever. The warm sun hatches out the young
ostrich, and there is no mother to feed and take
care of it. But God takes care of it, and feeds
it ; and will he not much more take care of the
child who has lost father or mother, if that child
ask him to be a father ? Surely he will

Children, you have all yet to meet with trials
and disappointments. You are meeting with
them every day. You will have sickness, and
pain, and sorrow, and you want a friend whose
love cannot change. You must die, and be buried
up in the ground ; and you want God to take care
of you, whether you live in this world or in the
next. Well, God will be such a friend to you on
these conditions : —

1. You must ask him to be your father and


When will God be a friend ? Conditions.

friend. Ask him every day, and feel that without
his blessing upon you every day, your feet may
fall, your eyes fill w^ith tears, and jour soul meet
with death. Ask in the name of Jesus Christ.

2. You must promise him sincerely that you
will obey him and do his will. Suppose you had
no father or no mother, and a great, and good, and
rich man were to offer to take you, and take care of
you, and make you his own child, and should say
he would do it all, on the condition that you
obliged him and did his will, — would you not at
once promise to do it ? And so you ought to
promise God.

3. You must love God as you would the best
father in the world. Love his Son, because he is
the express image of the Father. Love his v\/ord,
his people, his service, his commands, his disties,
and thus give him your heart, and he will be your
friend forever and ever. Amen.



Jesus — whoj hy the grace of God^ should taste death for
every man. — Hebrews 2. 9.

Contents.— Figurative language. Fields smiling. The sea afraid. Mean-
ing of the text. How they used to put people to death. Socrates' death.
Long row of prisoners. Christ drinking the cup of poison. Children of Is-
rael. The court-house. The young prisoner. His plea. His home. lEs
family. The parting. Killing his parents. The compassionate judge.
The pardon. Christ died for us. All saved ? The hospital. The house
for all the blind. Offered to all. A question answered. Light for all.
Water for all. Salvation of Christ free. A thing to be remembered. The
story of the slave. The good man. The slave bought. Ingratitude. All
men slaves. John Howards Four things to be done.

If I should speak ^owX, figurative language, I
wonder if these children would know what I
mean ? Some, no doubt, would. But lest all
could not understand it, I will tell you what I
mean. If I should walk out with one of these
children, on some fair and beautiful morning, and
see the bright sun, and the trees full of blossoms,
and the grouSd covered with green grass, and


Meaning of the text. How they used to put people to death.

hear the birds sing, I might stop and say to my
little friend, " How pleasant ! The very fields
smile I^"^ By this I should not mean that the
fields have eyes, and a mouth, and a face, and
can smile, just as we do. But this is figurative
language. So when the Bible says, " The sea
saw^ God, and was afraid," it means the waters
rolled back, and went away, just as a man would
run away when he was afraid. This is figurative
language. The sea rolled back, just as if it were
afraid. The fields look pleasant, just as a man
does when he smiles.

Now, see if you cannot understand this beauti-
ful text. In the times when the Bible was writ-
ten, they used to put men to death, who had
broken the laws, in different ways. Some were
stoned to death. Some were drowned. But one
very common way was, to make them take a cup
and drink what was in it. This cup used to have
poison in it. The condemned mail drank it, and


Socrates' death. Long- row of prisoners.

in a few moments was dead. In this way Socra-
tes, one of the best heathen that ever lived, and
put to death mijustlj, died. "The fatal cup was
brought. Socrates asked what was necessary for
him to do. ' Nothing more,' replied the ser-
vant, ' than, as soon as you have drank it, to walk
about till you find your legs grow weary, and af-
terwards lie down upon your bed.' He took up
the cup without any emotion or change in his
color or countenance — and then drank off the
whole draught with an amazing tranquillity."

Now, this text represents all men as guilty of
crime, ^nd justly condemned to die. It is just as
if all were shut up in prison, and doomed to
drink, each a cup full of poison. Just suppose
the prison doors to be opened, and the poor men
all brought out and placed in a long row, and
each man holding a cup of poison in his hand,
which he must drink. Then, at that momp
Jesus Christ comes along, and pities the


Christ drinking' the cup of poison. Children of Israel.

guilty prisoners, and goes slowly along, takes
each cup out of the hand, and drinks it himself !
This is drinking, or " tasting death for every
man !" This is just as if Christ had done so for
sinners. This is figurative language ; but you now
understand it ; and whenever you read over this
delightful text, you will know it means, that
Christ died for sinners, and thus saved them from
hell, just as he would save the poor prisoners, if
he should drink the cup of poison for each one !

You know how mercies may come to people
sometimes, not on their own account, but on the
account of others. To make this plain : — The
children of Israel all sinned against God in the
wilderness, and God was about to kill them all.
But Moses went and prayed for them ; and God
heard his prayers, and spared the wicked He-
brews for the sake of Moses. When Joseph was
ctftl4 a slave in Egypt, God blessed his master, and

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Online LibraryJohn ToddLectures to children : familiarly illustrating important truth → online text (page 4 of 9)