Lord, bless them all!
Give them Thy smile to-day,
Cheer each faint heart,
More of Thy grace, more strength,
Lord, bless them all!’
The post of danger is the post of honour, and at that post of honour Mr. Mackay, the engineer, died, February 8, 1890. For thirteen years he had bravely held on to his work. He had never had a holiday, he had never come home to see his friends. The Secretary of the Church Missionary Society wrote at last, urging him to come to England for rest and change. His answer to this letter arrived ten days after the sorrowful telegram which told of his death. He said, ’But what is this you write; come home? Surely now, in our terrible dearth of workers, it is not the time for any one to desert his post. Send us only our first twenty men, and I may be tempted to come to help you to find the second twenty.’
So he was faithful unto death.
The people blessed the men who willingly offered themselves, and surely God blessed them too, for ‘God loveth a cheerful giver.’ He who gives to God grudgingly, or because he feels obliged to do so, had better never give at all, for God will not receive the offering. The money must be willingly given, the service must be cheerfully rendered, the post of danger must be readily occupied, or God will have nothing to do with it.
The only giver whose gifts He can receive is the cheerful giver, the one who willingly offers himself.
To be comfortable is the great aim of our lives and our hearts by nature. But sometimes God calls us to be uncomfortable, to leave the cosy home, the bright fireside, the comparative luxury, and to go forth to the post of danger, or difficulty, or trial.
God grant that we may be amongst the number of those who go forth with a smiling face amongst the people who willingly offer themselves!
The Holy City.
In the time of the terrible siege of Jerusalem, when the Roman armies surrounded the city, when famine was killing the Jews by hundreds, and when every day the enemy seemed more likely to take the city, a strange thing happened. Some priests were watching, as was their custom, in the temple courts at dead of night. They had passed through the Beautiful Gate, crossed the Court of the Women, and had ascended the steps leading into the inner court, which was close to the Temple itself. Suddenly they stopped, for the earth shook beneath them, whilst overhead came a noise as of the rushing of many wings, and a multitude of voices was heard saying, again and again, the solemn words, ’Let us depart, let us depart.’
The angels of God were leaving the doomed city to its fate.
For centuries Jerusalem had been known as the Holy City. Why was it so called? Not because of its inhabitants, for, instead of being holy, many of them were sunk in wickedness and impurity. Jerusalem was called the Holy City simply because of one inhabitant; it was the dwelling-place of God, and His presence there made it what no other city of the earth was, the Holy City.