John Todd.

Lectures to children : familiarly illustrating important truth online

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poisou-i all Egypt, for the sake of Joseph. And


The court-house. The joung prisoner.

men who are guilty, and who deserve to die, can
sometimes be forgiven for the sake of others, who
are not guilty. This I will try to make plain to

Suppose, in one of your walks, you go into
the court-house, while the court are doing their
business. You go in, and find the great room
full of people. A young man has just been tried
for committing an awful crime. The lawyers
have done pleading for him, and he is proved to
be guilty. He must die ; and he has now been
brought into the court to hear the sentence of
death. The judge rises up with a paper in his
hand, on which the sentence is written. He
looks towards the young man, and says,

" Young man, the court have found you guilty.
Is there any reason why the sentence of death
should not now be pronounced upon you ? "

The young man rises up. His hands are
clasped together in agony. The sheriff stands


His plea. His home.

close by him, so that he shall not escape. He
stands a moment, and the tears fall fast from his
cheeks. He falters, — and then speaks : —

" Sir, I have to thank you for the kind manner
in which I have been tried. I deserve to die,
and, for myself, I cannot, and I do not, ask for
life. But, sir, far away from this, in a remote
corner of the country, there is a high mountain
rising up towards heaven. At the foot of that
mountain is a beautiful meadow, with a sweet
little brook winding through it. On the banks
of that brook, and just at the foot of the moun-
tain, stands a little cottage, under the lofty elms
that hang over it. And there I spent my boy-
hood. The stream was never dry,, and the
meadows were always green. There I lived,
gay as the lark which flew over my head ; and
in that little cottage there lives an old, worn-out
soldier, who fought, and bled for his country.
You can remember how you and he fought side


His family. The parting. Killing his parents.

by side, and how he once saved the life of his
general, at the risk of his own. He is an old
man ; — his hair is gray ; — he leans upon a staff
when he walks. And beside him sits a feeble
woman. They are my father and my mother.
At their feet sit my two little sisters, who, every
night, go to the little window, and stand and
watch as long as they can see, in hopes to see
me return. For, when I left my home, and my
father laid his hand on my head, and prayed for
me, and my mother wept her blessing over me,
and my sisters hung upon my arm, I promised to
return again, and be the comfort, the stay, and
the staff of that family. And now, sir, when I
am gone,— when 1 am cut off with all the sins
of my youth fresh upon me,— the tidings will all
go to that distant cottage, and the news will kill
that old man, my father, and that aged woman,
my mother. Yes, they will sink down in sorrow
to the grave; and my orphan sisters will be


The compassionate judge. The pardon.

turned out upon a world whose charities will be
cold towards the sisters of one who died on the
gallows. Oh, sir, how can I die, and bury that
family in ruin ! Oh, save me, for the sake of that
old soldier, who shed his blood freely for his
country, and that mother, whose prayers will
cover your head as long as she lives, and those
sisters, who will never lie down without praying
for you ! For my sake, I dare not ask life ; but
for their sakes, I ask and entreat it ! "

The humane judge is moved ; he is a father,
and he weeps. He says, '' Young man, I cannot
pardon you. I must pass the sentence of the
law upon you. But I will commend you to the
governor, who has the power to pardon you. I
will tell him your story, and I hope, for Xho^sake
of that old soldier, your father, he will pardon
you ; but till his mind is known, you are con-

Now follow the good judge. He goes to the


Christ died for us. All saved ? The hospital.

governor. He states the case, the crime, the
guilt of the youth. He also states the situation
of the old father whose only son is condemned
to the gallows. The governor listens. His
heart, too, is moved, and he pardons the young
man, and sends him home, not because he de-
served pardon, but for the sake of his father's
family. This, now, is a plain case, where a man
may receive pardon for the sake of' another.
Just so, for the sake of Jesus Christ, men may
be pardoned by God, and prepared for heaven.
In this way have more good people gone to
heaven than we could count — a multitude from
every nation under heaven.

But perhaps I should here ask you a question.
If Christ died for all men, tasted death for every
man, will every man, of course, go to heaven ? I
answer. No ; not of course. Let me show you
how it is. At Boston they have built a great
and a beautiful house for sick people to be carried


The house for all the blind. Oflered to all.

to, in order to be taken care of, and cured. It is
called a hospital. It is built for the use of every
man in Massachusetts — if he chooses to go to it.
It is so that any person who wishes may go there
and enjoy its accommodations. Now, if any body
does not feel sick, he need not go there. He may
be sick at home, if he chooses. Still he has a
right to go to the hospital. It was built for every
body. So Christ died for all men, and is ready to
save all men ; but if any do not feel their need of
him, or if they choose to go somewhere else for
pardon, they can, and, of course, they are not
saved by Christ.

Suppose I am a rich man, and I build a great
house, and call it the house for blind people ; and
print it in all the newspapers, that the house is all
ready and complete, and that every blind child in
the land may come and live in it ; that I will give
him food and clothing, will have him instructed,
and will even cure him of his blindness. But I


A question answered.

have one condition ; and that is, that all the blind
children who come shall behave well, and be good
children, and obey all the rules of the house.
This would be a house for all the blind in the land.
But would all come to it ? No. Some would
say, they do not wish to be fed and clothed. Some
would say, they do not wish to be taught. And
some would say, they do not wish to be cured ; they
had as lief be blind as not. And thus there might
be multitudes who are blind, but who receive no
good from my house. Just so with men in regard
to Jesus Christ. All may go to him and be
saved ; but all will not choose to go ; and none
will be saved except those who do go to him, and
who obey him.

But will God, perhaps you ask, provide for all,
and yet all not receive salvation ? Will he lay a
foundation for a great church, and yet set only a
small building on it ? I reply to you, that God
has provided a Saviour, who is able and willing to
save all men ; and yet he will save none but those


Light for all. Water for all.

who break off from sin, and obey him. What
child needs to have me tell him that God provides
many blessings which all do not enjoy, though all
might, if they chose ? He has created sunshine
enough for all. But some are so wicked that
they had rather be thieves, and go to steal in the
night, and sleep when the sun shines. Still there
is light enough for all, if all choose to use it. So,
also, God has created water enough to supply
every thirsty man on earth ; but some choose not
to drink it; they had rather drink some strong
drink, which destroys them. But there is water
enough, and it is their fault if they do not use it.
Does any man ever say that God could not and
did not write the Bible ? or that God has not
appointed and blessed the holy Sabbath, because
so many people choose to break the Sabbath,
and waste it ? No. In all these cases, we know
that God has, in mercy, provided these blessings,
and then left men to do as they please about en-
joying them.


Salvation of Christ free. A thing to be remembered.

It is just SO with the salvation by Jesus Christ.
It is as free as the water which flows from the
clouds ; but, then, men may do as they please about
going to Christ for it. He healed every sick man
who came to him, when he was on earth ; but if
any were sick, and did not go to him, or send to
him, such he did not heal.

I have almost done this Lecture. But I want
to say a word more to these dear children, and to
say, if I can, such a thing, and in such a manner,
that they will not forget it. What I wish to say is
this, that it is very wrong not to love Jesus Christ
for his mercy in tasting death for every man.

Now, suppose I should say to you, ** Children,
I am now going to tell you a story about myself ;
and the story is this. Just suppose it true. I
was once out on the great waters, far out upon
the ocean, in a large ship, going to the Indies.
On one fine morning, another ship came in sight,
and bent her course so as to come straight to-


The story of the slave. The good man.

wards us. We were afraid of her, and so we
hoisted up every sail we could, in order to get
away. But she gained upon us, and we could not
escape. So she sailed up to us, a great ship, full
of men, and guns, and swords. They took us all,
and carried us to their country, and put irons on
our hands and on our feet, and stripped off our
clothes, and sold us in the market for slaves, just
as they would cattle. I was bought by a cruel,
wicked man, who almost starved me, and who
used to whip me every day till the blood ran
down my back. So I lived for years. The news
at length reached my native place. And then
the richest and the best man in the whole coun-
try, and one whom I had always treated unkind-
Jy, heard of my condition. He felt for me. At
once he sold his house, his lands, and every thing
he had, and took all he had in the world, and
went into that distant country, to buy me out of
llavery. When he got there, he told what he


The slave bought. Ingratitude.

wanted. My master would not sell me. The
good man offered all his money, and to become
poor himself. No, — my master would not take
it. At last, the good man offered to become a
slave himself, if I might be set at liberty. The
offer was accepted. I had the irons taken off
from my hands, and put on his ; and the stripes
which I had received, were laid upon him. I saw
him a poor slave, and knew that he had left home
and friends, and had become a slave, to buy my
freedom ! I came home to my friends, where I
have a home and so many blessings. And now I
forget that friend who became a slave in my
place. I never speak of him ; I never write to
him, never thank him ; never have tried to love
him or his friends ! Is not this ungrateful ? Is
it not wrong, and sinful ? And have I not got a
very wicked heart ? "

Now, just see how this applies to us. We
were all taken and made slaves by sin. We were


All men slaves. John Howard.

all in bondage, and all ruined. Jesus Christ was
in heaven, with the Father. His eye pitied us.
He was rich, and had all in heaven for his own ;
but he became a poor man. For our sakes, he
became poor. He came, like an angel, on the
wings of love, down to this world, where we
poor slaves live. He would buy us. And he
bought us by becoming a curse for us ; bought us,
" nut with corruptible things, as with silver and
gold," but by his own precious blood. "The
Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all, and
by his stripes we are healed." Ought we not to
love Jesus Christ, and that, too, with all the
heart ?

Christ died for us while we were enemies.
The great and the good John Howard went all
ovti Europe to visit the prisons and to do good
to the poor prisoners. When he entered a pris-
on, the prisoners would frequently go the whole
length of their chain, to fall at his feet and bless


Four things to be done.

him. But they were not his enemies, nor did he
die for them. But Christ died for us, while we
were enemies. What a love is this ! What a
Saviour is he ! " What think ye of Christ," my
dear children ? Should you not at once begin to
do, and continue to do, these four thingsi^

1 . Think about Jesus Christ every day, in your
own heart.

2. Read about Christ m the Bible, and try to
know as much about him as you possibly can.

3. Think how little you have thought of him,
oi cared for him, and be humbled and truly

4. Give him your love, your heart, your life,
your all. Amen.





He ever liveth to make intercession. — Heb. 7. 25.

CoNTt:NTS.— The name of Washington. We all want a friend. The poor
Indian an(^ his child. Christ is such a friend as we need. Children's
troubles. The three friends. The real friend. Story applied. Christ is
the real friend. When most needed. The just king and his laws. Christ's
manner of interceding. High treason. The wife and ten children. The
pardon. How is Christ's intercession different ? The child in prison. The
two brothers. Four things in Christ. He is worthy. He knows our wants.
Ever lives. Never changes. The waters quench not his love.

Almost every prayer which we hear, is made
in the name of Jesus Christ ; and every thing
we ask God for, is asked " for Christ's sake." A
poor, sick soldier might go to the door of con-
gress, and ask to go in, and ask for help for him-
self and his family, and he could not get any.
But if he had in his pocket a paper, saying that
he might go and ask help in the name of Wash-
ington, and if congress knew that the paper was
written by Washington, they would hear his re-


We all want a friend.

quest, and aid him, for Washington's sake. This
would be asking in another's name, just as we
ask God in Christ's name ; and it would be an-
swering for another's sake, just as God answers
us '' for Christ^ s sake."

Nobody can feel happy without a friend. And
almost every one tries to get and keep a few
friends, however wicked he may be. Let any
one have no friend to feel for him, to share his
joys and his sorrows, and he will feel unhappy.
You have seen how children will love a little dog,
or a lamb, or a dove, or any thing that can love
them. The little boy will talk to his top, and the
little girl will talk to her doll, because they want a
friend ; and if the top and the doll could talk,
and love them, they would be still more glad.
Why ? Because we all want friends, to whom we
can talk, and who will feel for us. Let me show
you just what I mean.

Some years ago, there was an Indian in the


The poor Indian and his child.

State of Maine, who, for his very good conduct,
had a large farm given him by the state. He
built his little house on his land, and there lived.
Around him were quite a number of white fami-
lies. They did not treat him badly, but, because
he was an Indian, they did not act and feel as if
they loved him, and as if they were his friends.
His only child was taken sick, and died, and not
one of the white people went near him to comfort
him, or to aid him to bury his little child. A few
days after, he came to the white people, and said
to them,

" Wlien white man^s child die, Indian man
be sorry, — he help bury him. When my child die,
no one speak to me — / make his grave alone, —
/ canH no live here, — and have no friend to love

The poor Indian gave up his farm, dug up the
body of his child, and carried it with him two
hundred miles through the forest, to join the


Christ is such a friend as we need. Children's troubles.

Canada Indians ! What love for his child ! What
a deep feeling in his heart, that he wanted a
friend !

So we all want some one to whom we may
look every day. But when we are sick, when in
distress, when we are about to die, oh, then, we
want a friend wht) will stand near us, and who
can help us. Now, Jesus Christ is just that
friend. He was once a man of sorrows, and
was acquainted with grief, and knows how to
help those who are in sorrow. He was once in
the agonies of death, and knows all how the
dying feel. Is any one poor ? So was he, and
knows all about being poor. Are you a poor
weak child? So was he, and knows just how
the child feels, and just what a friend he needs >
You have little trials and troubles, which olc^^r*
people would not think of, but which sometimes
make your heart feel heavy and sad. Well,
Jesus Christ knows all about such feelings, and


The three friends.

can help you, and will do it every day, if you ask
him every day to do so.

But though we want a friend all our lives,
there is one hour when we very much need
such a friend. That is the hour of dying. Let
me show you why.

There was once a man who had three friends*
He knew them, and lived near them for years.
It so happened, that this man was accused to the
king of the cotmtry as a bad man, and the king
ordered that he should be put to death. The
poor man heard of it, and was in great trouble.
He expected to lose his life, and to leave his
family of children in great distress. After think-
ing it over, and weeping over it, he determined
to go to the king, and fall down before him, and
r somebody to go with him, and beg his life.
So he called on these three friends, and begged
them to go with him. The first whom he asked,
he loved best, and thought him his best friend.


The real friend. Story applied.

But no; — he would not go with him one step
towards the king's court. He would not move
to help him. He next went to the second
friend, and whom he loved next best, and asked
him to go. So they set out to go; but when
they came to the gates of the king's court, thi§
friend stopped, and would not go in with him, and
ask for his life. Then he went to the third
friend, and the one whom he loved the least, and
asked him to help him. This friend was known
to the king, and beloved by him. So he took
him by the hand, and led him in to the king, and
interceded^ or begged for him, and the king par-
doned the condemned man, for the sake of his
friend who interceded for him !

Now, see how this story applies here. People
have three things, which they think of, and which
they call their friends. These three things are,
1. The world; that is, property, and houses,
and all the fine things which they have. 2.


Christ the real friend. When most needed.

Their friends. 3. Jesus Christ. The first of
these friends is loved the most. Our friends are
loved next best ; and Jesus Christ least of all.
So, when we are taken sick, and must die, and go
in before the great King, we call upon these to
help us. The world, and the things of the world,
however, cannot go with us one step. They
must all be useless the moment we lie on the
bed of death. The next, which is, our friends,
can go with us through the sickness, and as far
as to the king's gates, the gates of death, and
they there stop and leave us. But Jesus Christ,
that friend, of whom we thhik so little, and whom
we love so little, he can go in with us before the
^great King of kings, and plead for us, — intercede
for us, and thus save our souls from being con-
demned to eternal death. This, oh, this is the
time when we need him for our friend, and need
him for our intercessor. He died for us, and can,
therefore, be our friend, and plead for us, and
save us.


The just king and his laws. Christ's manner of interceding.

I trust you have not forgotten the last Lec-
ture, in which I tried to show you how that
God can save our souls, because Christ suffered
for us. I am now showing you that Christ does
something more ; he intercedes for us. A king
once made a law against a certain crime ; and
the law was, that every one who did that wicked
thing should have both his eyes put out. Very
soon, a man was found who had broken the law.
He was tried and found guilty. It was the
king's own son. Now, the king saw that, if he
did not punish his son, nobody ought to be pun-
ished, and nobody would keep the law. So he
had one eye of his son put out, and one of his
own 'eyes put out! He could now go before the
court and plead for his son, and, by his own suf-
ferings and intercession, could save his son from
further punishment. All the people saw that
the good king hated the crime and loved his laws.
Just so does Jesus Christ save us. He has
suffered for us, and now lives to intercede for us.


High treason.

How very different are Christ's prayers for
Us from any thing which we can do for one
another ! He can always aid us. We cannot al-
ways do it. Let me try to show you the differ-

Many years ago, there were some men, in the
state of Pennsylvania, who would not obey the
laws of their country, but tried to destroy the laws,
and have their own wills. When men go so far
as to unite, and say they will not obey the laws,
this crime is called '' high treason." Among these
men who did so, was one by the name of John
Fries. He was carefully tried by the court, and
found guilty, and sentenced to be hung. The
death-warrant was signed by the president of the
United States, and the day was fixed on which he
should die. But just before the day came, some
people went to the president, and asked him to
permit a woman to see him, who had something to
say to him. The president said he would see her.


The wife and ten children. The pardon.

A few kind friends went with her to the house of
the president. The president stood up to receive
her. But what was his surprise to see this woman
with ten children all kneeling before him in tears !
They were the wife and the ten children of John
Fries, kneeling and weeping, and interceding for
the life of their father, who was condemned to
die ! The president stood in amazement ; and
then the big tears came gushing down his cheeks,
and his voice was so choked, that he could not
speak. With his eyes streaming with tears, and
his hands raised towards heaven, he pushed away
out of the room. Oh, what a moment of anxiety !
Would he hear the petition, or would he let the
man die ? In a few moments he returned with a
paper in his hand. It contained a full and free
pardon for her husband, and their father. He
gave it to Mrs. Fries, and she went away, and re-
turned joyful to her home, having her husband
with her.


How is Christ's intercession diflercnt? Tiie child in prison.

This was interceding before a human being.
Christ intercedes before God. This was inter-
ceding for one man. Christ does it for all his peo-
ple. This was for one short life. Christ asks for
us eternal life. This was for one sin. Christ in-
tercedes for all our sins. This was for a friend.
Christ does it for those who have ever been ene-
mies. This saved from the curse pronounced by
human laws. Christ saves us from the curse of
God's law. This was a little stream ; but Christ
carries us over the dark river of death.

Suppose one of these children were condemn-
ed to die, and were shut up in prison, and were
going to send a petition to the governor for your
life. Whom would you wish to carry it ? The
most worthy man in the whole town, certainly.
Christ is the most worthy being in the universe,
and therefore he is a good intercessor. If you
were to petition for your, life, whom would you
wish to carry your petition ; a stranger, or some


The two brothers. Four things in Christ.

warm, intimate friend of the gov^nor ? The friend,
surely. You would say, the governor will be more
likely to hear his friend than a stranger. Yes. And
God is ever well-pleased with his dear Son, and is
willing to hear him when he intercedes for us.

History informs us of a man who was doomed
to die for some crime which he had committed.
His brother had lost an arm in defending his coun-
try. He came forward and held up the stump of
his lost arm, and interceded for his brother. The
judges were so affected by the remembrance of

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Online LibraryJohn ToddLectures to children : familiarly illustrating important truth → online text (page 5 of 9)