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“O satisfy us early with thy mercy.”—Ps. xc. 14.
young reader, I trust you pray; that you do
from God what you need. You may not need all that you think you need. I once heard a little boy cry very bitterly for a new coat, and speak very angrily to his mother because she would
not buy him one; and yet he really did not need it. De thought he needed it, but he did not.
Nor do you need to have all that you desire to have. You might desire to be rich; but you have no need to be rich, You may be happy through life, and go to heaven at death, and all the while be poor. Jesus was poor.
Or you might desire to be healthy—to be kept from all sickness while you live.
But this is not necessary. I could tell you of many, old and young, who have never been in health, and yet they are happy-happy as the sun is bright. Was not Lazarus happy? And he went to heaven when he died.
Nor do you need to have all that you see other people have. If you are a little girl, you may see other little girls having nicer dolls, or better clothes than you have; or if you are a little boy, you may see other little boys having dogs or ponies, or having money in their pockets, none of which you have. But you need not have all or any of these things. You may be quite happy without them. God would not love you any better, nor would you be surer of heaven by having them.
Bat I can tell you one thing you do need, and you should never rest until you find it. It would be more valuable to you than were the whole world your own. Are you not impatient to hear what it is? Look again at the verse—“O satisfy us early with thy mercy." MERCY—THE MERCY OF GOD; that is what you need; and you can never be happy, in life or in death, without it.
Listen while I try to explain what the mercy of God means.
There was a time when there was no earth. There was neither sun, nor moon, nor stars, nor sky. And yet by a single word God called them all into sistence. Would you say all this proved the mercy of God ? No, you would say it proved his power.
When God thought of his people in Egypt, and said, “ I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt” (Exod. iii. 7), would you call that the mercy of God? No, you would say, that was the pity, the compassion of God.
When God looks kindly upon those who are sorrowful, we call it pity; but when he looks kindly upon those who are sinful, we call it mercy.
David was a good man, yet he sinned against God. But he soon became deeply grieved for his sin, and prayed to God, and said, “Have mercy upon me, O God.”
Dear young friend, this is what you really need, MERCY-THE MERCY OF THE LORD. There is not an angel in heaven that needs mercy. Why? Because none of them has sinned. And there is not a human being upon earth but needs mercy. Why? Because they all have sinned. Old and young alike need to plead with God for mercy. Richard Eaxter, one of the holiest men that ever lived, said on his death-bed that he thanked God there was such a verse in the Bible as the poor publican's prayer,
“God be merciful to me a sinner.” Dear young reader, the mercy of God is your great want; and it ought to be your strong desire. This is the beginning of all good from God. When you obtain his mercy, he will not suffer you to want any good thing." He will bless you; for hear the word of the Lord, “I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor. vi. 18).
Will you this day-this moment, if you can, go alone, and, lifting up your heart to God, pray, and say, “O God be merciful to me a sinner, for the sake of Jesus Christ thy dear Son."
Faw anecdotes have been more frequently related than the interesting incident in the life of Frederick the Great of Prussia, from which we have taken this illustration. Passing through the ante-chamber, after having in vain rung his bell for his page to wait on him, the king found him asleep, with a letter sticking out of his pocket. The curiosity of the monarch was excited, and, on examining the letter, he was gratified to find it one from the youth's mother, filled with the warmest expressions of gratitude to her son, for the remittance of a large portion of his salary for her use. The monarch slipped a large sum into the letter, and returned it to the page's pocket, reserving to himself the gratification resulting from the discovery of his well-timed generosity.
“MOTHER,” said Charlie, as he rushed into the room where his mother was sitting bus engaged in sewing,
may I go a-skating on the river ?
“No, my son," answered his mother; "the water is so deep there, that if you were to fall in you would certainly be drowned. But you may skate on the shallow pond, back of the house."
Charlie, muttering something to himself, left the room very angry, and went down stairs to inform some comrades, who were waiting for him below, of his ill success. All that afternoon Charlie was very sullen. He seldom spoke to anybody, and even then it was to speak crossly.
After supper his mother drew him to her, and gently remonstrated with him about his evil temper; but after a little while he ran down stairs and out of the house, feeling more angry than he was at first. He soon became calm, however, and began to reflect upon his bad con. duct. He thought how ungrateful it was to entertain such angry feelings against his mother, who was always so kind to him, and how wickedly he had behaved in the sight of God. He also remembered that he would have to give an account of all his evil deeds at the last day, and that unless he found a Saviour in Jesus Christ he would certainly go to perdition. He also reflected how it must grieve his mother to see him behave so badly. Truly repenting of his anger, he knelt down and asked his heavenly Father to pardon him. After rising from his knees he sought his mother, and earnestly asked her forgiveness, which was readily granted.
I am happy to say that Charlie kept a stricter watch on his temper afterwards, and has, by the belp of God, very seldom permitted himself to become so angry again.