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IV.

THE CUP OF HELP.

I WAS AN HUNGERED, AND YE GAVE ME MEAT.' "

INASMUCH AS YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ONE OF THE LEAST OF THESE MY BRETHREN, YB HAVE DONE IT UNTO ME."

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HE most obvious and easiest form of be

nevolence is that of material aid to the G

poor, — provision merely for their physical necessities. “The poor ye have always with you," said Christ; and it is the manifest duty and privilege of those to whom God has committed riches, or who are raised themselves above actual want, to share their blessings with the destitute, and thus to become distributers of God's bounty in the world. And there are few hearts so utterly closed by selfishness as not to feel at times the promptings of human kindness, and a willingness to impart of their abundance to those who are famishing for bread.

But our Saviour has required something deeper in us than this mere impulse of human pity and gene

rosity. He bids us see his own blessed form, bowed with want and misery, in every forlorn and suffering member of his great family on earth, and to do to them even as we would do to him. The measure of our beneficence to the hungry and thirsty, to the sick and captive, is the measure of our regard to the Creator and Redeemer of all. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

Says a distinguished writer, “A helping word to one in trouble is often like a switch on a railroad track, but one inch between wreck and smoothrolling prosperity.” It may be the wakening of longextinguished hopes, the quickening of paralyzed energies, the gleaming of sunlight through gray clouds, the beginning of a new life. This is indeed a cup of cold water to a thirsty soul, which the poorest disciple may administer.

Perhaps there is no department of duty surrounded with greater difficulties than that of relieving bodily necessities. Mere impulse will not do the work well. Mere prudence and caution will greatly mar, if not check it entirely. We must exercise enough of prudence not to encourage begging as a trade; so helping the needy as to do them no moral injury while relieving their physical wants. And every one who is lifted above want himself should have some case of want continually upon his heart, which would call for the contribution of money, and the expression of personal interest in the sufferer.

Kirk.

Our country just now presents a curious spectacle to the world. Want and wounds and sickness have come suddenly upon thousands of our citizens, - and many of these possessors of estates, heretofore almoners, and not mendicants. They have voluntarily cut themselves off from their accustomed resources, and gone, at the call of their country and their God, to expose themselves to all the complicated evils of the camp, the battle-field, and the military hospital. Well may the Lord's cup-bearers be found among them, bearing to parched lips the refreshing draught, whispering words of kindness into the ears of the sick and wounded, binding up the gaping rent in the flesh, pouring in oil and wine, bearing the fainting form from its horrid bed of blood to some comfortable retreat. Well may busy hands be writing to the absent , and the loved, bearing messages that will relieve

awful suspense, and call forth precious responses from home, tenfold endeared by absence and pain and weakness, shared alike by body and spirit. Sweet was the voice of the Nightingale amid the gloomy encampments of the Bosphorus; sweet have been the voices of our ministers of mercy on the dreary plains of Shiloh, and amid the horrors of the seven-days' retreat of Gettysburg and the Wilderness.

Id.

Do you ask me whether I would help a slave to gain his freedom? I answer, I would help him with heart and hand and voice. I would do for him what I shall wish I had done, when, having lost his dusky skin, and blossomed into the light of eternity, he and I shall stand before our Master, who will say, “Inasmuch as ye did it unto him, slave as he was, - ye did it unto me.”.

Beecher.

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When one of the boys had said the pious grace, Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest, and bless what thou hast provided,” a little fellow looked up, and

said,

“Do tell me why the Lord Jesus never comes. We ask him every day to sit with us, and he never comes.”

“Dear child, only believe, and you may be sure he will come; for he does not despise your invitation."

“I shall set him a seat,” said the little fellow; and just then there was a knock at the door. A poor, frozen apprentice entered, begging a night's lodging. He was made welcome; the chair stood ready for him ; every child wanted to give his plate, and one was lamenting that his bed was too small for the stranger, who was quite touched by such uncommon attentions. The little one had been thinking hard all the time.

" Jesus could not come, and so he sent this poor boy in his place,- is that it?"

“Yes, dear child, that is just. it. Every piece of bread and every drink of water that we give to the poor or the sick or the prisoners, for Jesus' sake, we give to him. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.'

The children sang a hymn of the love of God to their guest before they parted for the night; and neither he nor they were likely to forget this simple Bible comment.

An incident in Fulk's Orphan Home.

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