Children’s Story — Can & Could

“It’ll be moonlight tonight,” said a schoolboy; “won’t you join our skating party?”

“No,” replied Can; “you know there wasn’t a boy in my class that had his arithmetic lesson today, and the teacher gave it to us again. I can master it, and I will. That lesson must not beat me twice. I mean to make sure of it, so you’ll have to excuse me from joining your party.”

“Shall I not help you?” asked his elder sister.

“Let me try it first,” replied Can; “I feel like going at it with a will; for I’ve heard that ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way.’ ” He did not stop until every example was worked out.

“If I only could learn this horrid lesson!” exclaimed his classmate, Could, made a few random figures on his slate, and then began to draw dog’s heads.

“Is that the way you study your lesson? ” asked his mother reprovingly.

“If I only could get it,” replied the boy, fretfully, “I should be glad to work at it with all my might, but it’s too hard and dry for anybody.”

“Surely you could learn some of it, if you would only try,” said his mother, and as this could not be gainsaid, Could looked at his book again. But the next moment he jumped from his chair, and ran to the window.

“Oh, this splendid moonlight!” he exclaimed. “It’s really too bad to lose that skating. I think I’ll go.”

“But your lessons are not prepared,” said his mother.

“I know that.” Answered Could; “but when I come back, there will be time enough for them.”

Off he went, and the next day, in the class, he drawled: “I would have learned the lesson if I could.

Can and Could both had to drive cows to pasture and to hoe in the garden. Can’s cows were regularly cropping grass on the hillside long before Could was out of bed. Can easily kept ahead of the weeds by hoeing before they got much start. Could waited until there was “some real need of hoeing, to keep the weeds down,” but the weeds had such a start then that they soon got ahead of him, and ahead of the crops, too, which were hardly worth gathering, although Can’s garden yielded bountifully.

“If I could have had such a garden as that,” said Could, “I should have been glad to hoe up every weed; but my garden was so poor that it didn’t make much difference whether I hoed or not.”

“If I could only be a great man, how much I would do to reform men!” exclaimed Could. Sometime I mean to do something on a large scale in this world.”

Can was never heard to express such noble sentiments; but he attended diligently to business, and, as he prospered, employed many men at fair wages, thus enabling them to support their families in comfort.

Can, by diligence and economy, became prosperous and happy; Could, by indolence and procrastination, became discontented and unhappy. Will you be Can or Could?

Taken from The Youth’s Instructor, April 27, 1899


Children’s Story — The Strength of Clinton

When Clinton Stevens was eleven years old, he was taken very sick with pneumonia. During convalescence, he suffered an unexpected relapse, and his mother and the doctor worked hard to keep him alive.

“It is ten to one if he gets well,” Said Dr. Bemis, shaking his head. “If he does, he will never be very strong.”

Mrs. Stevens smoothed Clinton’s pillow even more tenderly than before. Poor Clinton! Who had always been such a rollicking, rosy-cheeked lad. Surely it was hard to bear.

The long March days dragged slowly along, and April was well advanced before Clinton could sit at the window, and watch the grass grow green on the slope of the lawn. He looked frail and delicate. He had a cough, too, a troublesome “bark,” that he always kept back as long as he could.

The bright sunlight poured steadily in through the window, and Clinton held up his hand to shield his eyes. “Why, Ma Stevens!” he said, after a moment, “just look at my hands! They are as thin and white as a girl’s, and they used to be regular paws. It does not look as if I would pull many weeds for Mr. Carter this summer, does it?”

Mrs. Stevens took his thin hands in her own patient ones. “Never mind, dearie,” she said, “they will grow plump and brown again, I hope.” A group of schoolchildren were passing by, shouting and frolicking. Clinton leaned forward and watched them till the last one was gone. Some of them waved their caps but he did not seem elated.

“Mother,” he said, presently, “I believe I will go to bed if you will help me. I—I guess I am not quite so—strong—now as I used to be.”

Clinton did not pull weeds for Mr. Carter that summer, but he rode around with the milkman, and did a little outdoor work for his mother, which helped him to mend. One morning in July he surprised the village by riding out on his bicycle; but he overdid the matter, and it was several weeks before he again appeared. His cough still continued, though not so severe as in the spring, and it was decided to let him go to school in the fall.

Dr. Bemis told Mrs. Stevens that the schoolroom would be a good place to test Clinton’s strength. And he was right. In no other place does a young person’s strength develop or debase itself so readily, for honor or dishonor. Or course, the doctor had referred to physical strength; but moral strength is much more important.

Clinton was a bright lad for his years; and, although he had not looked into his books during the summer, he was placed in the same grade he had left when taken sick. He did not find much difficulty in keeping up with any of his studies except spelling. Whenever he received a perfect mark on that subject, he felt that a real victory had been won.

About Christmas time the regular examinations were held. The teacher offered a prize to each grade, the pupil receiving the highest average in all studies to receive the prize. Much excitement, no little speculation, and a great deal of studying ensued. Clinton felt fairly confident over all his studies except spelling. So he carried his spelling book home every night, and he and his mother spent the evenings in wrestling with the long and difficult words.

Examination day came at length, and the afternoon for the seventh grade spelling was at hand. The words were to be written, and handed in. Across the aisle from Clinton sat Harry Meyers. Several times when the teacher pronounced a word, Harry looked slyly down into the palm of his hand. Clinton watched him, his cheeks growing pink with shame. Then he looked around at the others. Many of them had some dishonest device for copying the words. Clinton swallowed something in his throat, and looked across at Billy Matthews, who pursed up his lips and nodded, as if to say that he understood.

The papers were handed in, and school was dismissed. On Monday, after the morning exercises, Miss Brooks gave out the prizes to the three grades under her care. “I have now to award the prize for the highest average to the seventh grade,” she said. “But first I wish to say a few words on your conduct during the recent examination in spelling. I shall censure no one in particular, although there is one boy who must set no more bad examples. No one spelled all the words correctly—Clinton Stevens the least of any—making his average quite low; yet, the prize goes to him. I will tell you why” as a chorus of Oh! Oh! greeted her ears. “Spelling is Clinton’s hardest subject, but he could easily have spelled more words right had he not possessed sufficient strength to prevent him from falling into the way followed by some of you.”

As Clinton went up the aisle for his prize, he felt like crying, but he managed to smile instead. A few days before, Harry Meyers had ridiculed him because he was not strong enough to throw a snowball from the schoolhouse to the road; now the teacher had said he was strong!

Clinton’s Aunt Jennie came to visit the family in December, bringing her little daughter Grace with her. Now Grace had a mania for pulling other people’s hair, but there was no one in the Stevens family upon whom she dared operate except Clinton. She began on him cautiously, then aggressively. Clinton stood it for a while, and then asked her, politely but firmly, to stop. She stopped for half a day.

One night Clinton came home from school pale and tired. Some of the boys had been taunting him on his spare frame, and imitating his cough, which had grown worse as the winter advanced. Sitting down by the window, he looked out at the falling snow. Grace slipped up behind him, and gave his hair a sharp tweak. He struck out, hastily, and hit her. She was not hurt—only very much surprised —but she began to cry lustily, and Aunt Jennie came hurrying in, and took the child in her arms.

That night after supper Clinton went into the sitting room, and called Grace to him. “I want to tell you something,” he said. “I am sorry that I hit you, and I ask your pardon. Will you forgive me, dear?” Grace agreed quickly, and said shyly, “Next time I want to pull any one’s hair, I will pull my own.”

Aunt Jennie was in the next room and overheard the conversation. “It strikes me, Sarah, she said to Mrs. Stevens later, “that Clinton is a remarkably strong boy for one who is not strong. Most boys would not have taken the trouble to ask a small girl to forgive them, even if they were very much in the wrong. But Clinton has a strong character.”

The year Clinton was thirteen the boys planned to have a corn roast, one August night. “We will get the corn in old Carter’s lot,” said Harry Meyers. “He has just acres of it, and can spare a bushel or so as well as not. I suppose you will go with us, Clint?”

Clinton hesitated, “No,” said he, “I guess not; and I should think if you want to roast corn, you could get it out of your own gardens. But if Mr. Carter’s corn is better than any other, why can you not ask him—” “Oh, come now,” retorted Harry, “do not let it worry you! Half the fun of roasting corn is in—in taking it. And don’t you come, Clinton. We wouldn’t have you for the world. You are too nice, Mr. Coughin.”

Clinton’s cheeks flushed red, but he turned away without a word. When Mr. Carter quizzed Billy Matthews, and found out all about it, Clinton was made very happy by the old man’s words: “It is not every chap that will take the stand you took. You ought to be thankful that you have the strength to say No.”

In the fall, when Clinton was fifteen, his health began to fail noticeably, and Dr. Bemis advised a little wine “to build him up.”

“Mother,” said the boy, after thinking it over, “I am not going to touch any wine. I can get well without it, I know I can. I do not want liquor.” He continued. ” ‘Wine is a mocker,’ you know. Did you not tell me once that Zike Hastings, over in East Bloomfield, became a drunkard by drinking wine when he was sick?”

“Yes, Clinton, I believe I told you so.” “Well, then, I do not want any wine. I have seen Zike Hastings too many times.” In December, Aunt Jennie and Grace made their annual visit. With them came Uncle Jonathan, who took a great liking to Clinton.

“My boy,” said he one day, placing a big hand on the lad’s shoulder, “early in the new year Aunt Jennie and I start for the Pacific Coast. Should you like to go with us?”

“Well, I rather guess I should!” gasped the surprised boy, clasping his hands joyfully. “Very well, then, you shall go,” returned Uncle Jonathan, “and your mother, too.”

Clinton began to feel better before they were outside of Pennsylvania. When they had crossed the Mississippi and reached the prairies, his eyes were sparkling with excitement. The mountains fairly put new life in him. Uncle Jonathan watched him with pleasure. “Tell me,” he said one day, when they were winding in and out among the Rockies, “what has given you so much strength of character?”

“Why, it was this way,” said Clinton, bringing his eyes in from a chasm some hundreds of feet below: “one day when I was beginning to recover from that attack of pneumonia, I saw a lot of the boys romping along, and I felt pretty bad because I could not romp and play, too. Then I thought that if I could not be strong that way, I could have the strength to do right; so I began to try, and—”

“Succeeded admirably,” said Uncle Jonathan, approvingly. “And, really, my boy, I see no reason why you should not shout and play to your heart’s content in a few months.”

And Uncle Jonathan’s words proved true; for Clinton, in a sun-kissed California valley, grew well and strong in a few months. But through all his life he will have cause to be glad that he learned the value of the strength that is gained by resisting temptation, controlling one’s spirit, and obeying the Lord’s commands.

Taken from Stories Worth Rereading, Review and Herald Publishing Assn, Washington, D.C. 1919


Children’s Story — A Stormy Night

A few years ago, my family went on a vacation to a national park in North Dakota. We had an enjoyable time camping and hiking, and all too soon, it was time to go back home. Of course, we had to camp a couple of nights on the way back because it took a few days to get home from where we had been vacationing. The last night that we camped was a very adventurous one.

We had been driving all day and were looking for a nice place to camp. Lake Sakakwea seemed to be good enough, so we stopped, paid fees, and selected our site. We set up our tents and put our bedding in them. Then we got out our supper and ate. When we were finished, we sat on the bank of the enormous lake to enjoy the beautiful sunset. It was a very nice evening. My brother decided to look around a bit and do some exploring. He had been walking around on the bank’s edge for a couple of minutes, when we heard a big “ker-plunk” like a piece of the bank had fallen into the lake. My mom said in a worried voice, “Hud, are you OK?” Hud was all right, but he told us that right after he had walked on a little patch of the bank it had fallen in. His guardian angel must have held that little patch up until he passed. What do you think?

All of us went to see where the bank had caved in, and there it was, a gap where dirt had once been. We could see the water bubbling and some of the fallen bank sticking out of it. We were all glad that our tents were set up safely—a few yards from the lake’s edge. As the evening went on, more of the bank fell into the lake, but we were all cautious and stayed out of harm’s way. Soon we went to bed.

That night a huge storm came through. It was raining hard, and the wind was ferocious! My brother, sister and I were sleeping in a fairly old tent that could not withstand such wind. I was sleeping on the side of the tent that was facing the wind, and the wind was so forceful on that side of the tent that it flattened the tent against me, and the poles were digging into my skin. It was not a comfortable position, to say the least.

My parents came out to make sure that their tent stakes were securely in the ground. My mom saw how our tent was being flattened, and came to see how we were doing. She saw my predicament and offered to let me spend the rest of the night in her sturdy tent. I accepted, glad to get away from those terrible poles.

I packed up my sleeping bag and made my way out into the dark and stormy night. Of course, when I left, the wind completely flattened the spot where I had been lying and pushed the tent against my sister. She decided to go sleep in our van, as she did not fancy poles grinding into her skin either. So, she packed up her things and emerged into the cold night.

When she got out, the wind deformed the tent even more. My brother experienced having the whole tent pinning him down, with very little space to move. He definitely did not like the hard poles squeezing him either, so he joined my sister and me for a more peaceful night in our van. My parents went back to their trusty tent for a noisy, but reasonably comfortable night.

Now you may think that we must have had a terribly chintzy tent. Actually, it seemed like a pretty nice one. We bought it from a good company, and when it was new, it was strong. Even in its later years, it served well through small storms. We were comfortable with it usually, and even now use it occasionally. It is good enough for most situations. The problem with that tent is that it failed the big test.

Thinking about that made me think about myself. “Do I have a faith, which, like that tent, is only strong enough for small storms? Am I building up my faith so that it will be able to bring me through the Christian’s big storm, because it is secured in our only true Foundation, Jesus Christ? Will I stand up strong and firm in all my trials, like my parent’s tend did?” These thoughts passed through my mind. I am now praying and striving for a faith that is strong enough to pass my big test.


Martyr’s Mirror

In the year 1549, about three weeks before Easter, two beloved men, named Fije and Eelken, were apprehended at Boorn, in West Friesland. They were brought before the lords, where they boldly confessed their faith.

They first interrogated Eelken, saying:

“Who has authorized you to assemble the people, to teach them?”

Ans. “God has authorized me.” Heb. 10:25.

Ques. “What have you taught?”

Ans. “Ask them that heard it, what we taught among ourselves; for you have apprehended a woman that heard it.” They then asked the woman what she had heard from Eelken.

Ans. “He read the four Evangelists, Paul, Peter, the epistles of John, and the acts of the apostles.” Eelken was then asked again: “What do you hold concerning the sacrament?”

Ans. “I know nothing of your baked God.”

Ques. “Friend, take care what you say; such words cost necks. What do you think of the mother of God?”

Ans. “Much.”

Ques. “What do you say; did the Son of God not receive flesh and blood from Mary?”

Ans. “No: With regard to this, I believe what the Son of God Himself declares concerning it.” John 1:14.

Ques. “What do you hold concerning our holy Roman church?”

Ans. “I know nothing of your holy church. I do not know it; I never in all my life was in a holy church.”

Ques. “You speak too spitefully; I have compassion for you,” said one of the lords of the council, “and fear that you will lose your neck. Are you not baptized?”

Ans. “I am not baptized, but greatly desire baptism.”

Ques. “What do you think of these false teachers who run about and baptize the people?”

Ans. “Of false teachers I think nothing, but have greatly longed to hear a teacher sent from God?”

They said: “But we have heard that you are a teacher.” Eelken said: “Who made me a teacher?”

They replied: “We do not know.”

Eelken said: “If you ask me what you do not know yourselves, how should I know it? I know of no one that has made me a teacher; but God has given me all for which I have besought Him.”

They said: “We have now written down all the articles concerning which we have interrogated you on this occasion; if there is anything of which you repent, we will gladly strike it out!”

Ans. “Do you think that I should deny God?”

Eelken and Fije were then both sentenced and brought together; they embraced each other, yea, kissed one another’s hands and feet with great love, so that all that saw and heard it were astonished. The beadles and servants ran to the lords and said: “Never men loved one another as do these.” Eelken said to Fije: “Dear brother, do not take it amiss, that you have been brought into suffering through me.” Fije answered: “Dear brother, do not think so, for it is the power of God.”

Their execution was deferred till the third day after the sentence was passed. Eelken was first executed with the sword. When Fije’s sentence was read, he did not listen to it, because of his leaped, praising and thanking God, saying: “This is the only way.”

They led Fije into the boat in which Eelken lay beheaded, and beside him the wheel upon which Eelken was to be place, and the stake at which Fije was to stand, to be burned. In the boat, Fije’s hands became loose, but he sat still nevertheless. The monks then said: “Bind him again.” The hangman replied: “You bind him.” But the castellan commanded him to bind Fije again. Some women who beheld it wept bitterly. But Fije said:

“Weep not for me, but for your sins.” He further said to the executioner: “What are you going to do to me?”

Ans. “That you will see.”

“Yea, yea,” said Fije, “do what you will. I have committed myself into the hands of my Lord.”

The brethren went out with him, together with the common people, and when Fije saw some of his acquaintances, he cried out: “Friends rejoice with me over this marriage feast which is prepared for me.”

When he arrived at the place of execution, some brethren, who greatly rejoiced with him, spoke to him saying: “This is the narrow way; this is the Lord’s wine press; from this depends the crown.” But when the castellan heard this cry, he called out: “Let no man lay his hands on him, on pain of life, and property.”

The executioner had forgotten his instruments, and ran to the town to get them. In the meantime, the castellan and the two monks had Fije in the confessional, greatly tempting him with bread and wine; but they could not prevail upon him, for Fije did nothing but sing and speak, praising and thanking God.

When they could not prevail on him, and the executioner returned, they said to Fije: “How is it that you are so obstinate, when you say that you are a member of Christ? Why then will you not do the works of mercy, and receive this bread and wine as bread and wine, for our sakes.”

Ans. “I do not hunger for your bread and wine; for there is food prepared for me in heaven.”

When they could not prevail upon him, they said: “Be gone, you heretic, be gone!”

The castellan said: “I have seen many a heretic; but in all my life I never saw a more obdurate one than this.”

Fije, standing prepared for death, said to the executioner: “Master, have you finished your work?”

He replied: “Not yet.”

Fije said: “Here is the sheep for which you are wanted.”

The executioner then went up to Fije, tore open his shirt, took the cap from his head, and filled it with gunpowder.

Standing at the stake at which he was to be strangled, Fije exclaimed: “O Lord, receive Thy servant.”

He was then strangled and burnt, and thus fell asleep in the Lord. The common people cried out saying: “This was a pious Christian; if he is not a Christian, there is not one in the whole world.”

Taken from Martyr’s Mirror, 484, 485.


Children’s Story — Miraculous Deliverance of a Ship’s Crew

On August 9, 1815, the “Brig Commerce” was wrecked on the coast of Africa. Captain Riley tells how he and his crew were saved after the shipwreck.

“We managed to get the small boat’s sails, consisting of a gib and mainsail, into the small boat, with a spar that would do for a mast, and the ‘Brig’s’ foremost staysail. We had a keg of water, a few pieces of food, a live pig that weighed abut twenty pounds, about four pounds of figs that had been soaking in the salt water ever since the wreck. (We fished the figs out of the cabin.) This was the total of our provisions.

“The pig had escaped to the shore at the time of the shipwreck. But when the waves pulled us back from the shore, the pig swam back to us and we took it into the small boat. When everything was ready, I tried to encourage the crew as well as I could. I told them that it was better for us to be swallowed up by the sea than to be massacred by the ferocious savages.

“I reminded the crew that God was able to save us, even when the last ray of hope was vanishing and we should never despair, but do our best in our attempt to get to safety, and still hope for His merciful protection. As we looked at the dangers that surrounded us—wave after wave breaking with a dreadful crash constantly just beyond us, our hearts failed us. There seemed to be no possibility of getting safely beyond the breakers unless God intervened.

“I had doubted that God would particularly intervene in any case, yet if there is a general providence, there must be a particular providence! Everyone trembled with fear and dread. We thought that as soon as we went past the wrecked ship, we would be drowned.

“Then I said, ‘Let us pull off our hats, my companions and shipmates in distress.’ Quickly every man pulled his hat off. I lifted my eyes and soul toward heaven and prayed, ‘Great Creator and Preserver of the universe, Who now seest our distresses, we pray Thee to spare our lives and permit us to pass through this overwhelming surf to the open sea. But if we are doomed to perish, Thy will be done. We commit our souls to Thee, our God, Who gave them, and O, universal Father, protect and preserve our widows and children.’

“The winds, as if by divine command, at this very moment ceased to blow. We hauled the boat out. The dreadful surges that were nearly bursting upon us suddenly quit, making a path for our boat, through which we rowed out as smoothly as if we had been on a river in a calm. But on each side of us and just a few yards away, the surf continued to break twenty feet high with unabated fury!

“We had to row nearly a mile in this manner. All of us were fully convinced that we were saved by God’s special intervention just when we needed His help. All joined in returning thanks to God for His mercy. As soon as we reached the open sea and had gone some distance from the wreck, we saw the surf rolling behind us with the same force as it had on each side of the boat!” Riley’s Narrative, 33, 34.

The following interesting remarks are from the author’s preface:

“With respect to the extraordinary circumstance told in the story of the sudden subsiding of the surf when we were about committing ourselves to the open sea in our shattered boat, I know that there will be much comment and probably some ridicule.

“I was advised to not tell that part of the story in case some unbelievers would not believe the rest of my ‘narrative.’ This probably would have been good advice for me as a mere author. Previously, I might have been suspicious that such a story was not true. But I feel that I cannot withhold an incident that so clearly seemed to my companions and me at the time as the immediate and merciful act of God just when death was pressing close upon us.

“The waters of the sea had well nigh covered us; the proud waves had well nigh gone over our soul. Then cried we unto Thee, O Lord, and thou didst deliver us out of our distresses; the windy storm ceased and turned into a calm.”

From Miraculous Powers, by M. E. Cornell. Modernized by Ken and Lois McGaughey.


Children’s Story — Boardman’s Remarkable Deliverance

I preached one evening at Mould, in Flintshire (England) and the next morning set out for Parkgate on horseback. After riding some miles, I asked a man if I was on the right road. He answered, “Yes, but you will have some sands to go over, and unless you ride fast, you will be caught by the tide.”

It then began to snow so hard that I could scarcely see a step of my way. I got to the sands and rode over them as fast as I could. But the tide came in and surrounded me on every side, so that I could neither go forward nor turn back and to climb the steep rocks on the side was impossible. I prayed and surrendered my life to God thinking that I could not escape death.

In a little while I saw two men running down the hill on the other side of the water. Somehow they got a boat and came to my rescue just as the sea reached my knees as I sat on my horse. They took me into the boat and my horse swam by our side until we reached the land.

While we were in the boat, one of the men said, “Surely, sir, God is with you.” I answered, “I trust He is.” The man replied, “I know He is,” and then related the following incident.

“Last night I dreamed that I must go to the top of such a hill. When I awoke, the dream made such an impression on my mind that I could not rest. I therefore went and called on this man to come with me. When we came to the place, we saw nothing unusual. However, I begged him to go with me to another hill at a small distance, and there we saw you in your distress.”

When we got ashore, I went with my two friends to a public house close to where we landed. As we were telling of the wonderful providence of God, the landlady said, “A month ago we saw a gentleman in your situation, but before we could get to him he jumped into the sea. We thought that he hoped his horse would swim to the shore and thus save him, but they both sank and drowned together.”

I gave the two men who rescued me all the money I had, which I think was about eighteen pence. I stayed at the hotel all night. The next morning I was embarrassed because I had no money to pay my bill. I begged the hotelkeeper to keep a pair of silver spurs until I could redeem them.

But he said, “The Lord bless you, sir, I would not take a farthing (less than a penny) from you for the world.” After some serious conversation with the friendly people, I bade them farewell and again started on my journey, rejoicing in the Lord, and praising Him for His great salvation!

By Pastor Richard Boardman

From Miraculous Powers by M. E. Cornell.


Children’s Story — Starvation Escaped by Prayer

Many years ago a devoted English pastor, while assigned to work in a distant place, became reduced to poverty. His money was all gone, and there was not a particle of food for his family. In great distress he cried mightily unto the Lord at the hour of morning prayer.

When he arose, his little children begged for bread, and as there was none to give them, they all burst into tears. But a sleepless eye had watched all that was happening, and even while the pastor was still praying, God sent a messenger to relieve his distress.

The doorbell rang, and a man handed the astonished wife a small parcel, saying he was directed by a gentleman to leave it there, and that some provisions would arrive shortly. Very soon a countryman drove up with a load of groceries of almost every description. The parcel was found to contain forty gold pieces. Such an abundance had never been known in the house of the poor minister before. It was with feelings of awe as well as boundless gratitude that this marvelous relief was regarded, so plainly was the hand of God to be seen in it. These timely gifts were continued at intervals until the day of his death. Yet it was a long time before he learned where they came from.

At last, it was found to be a benevolent Christian merchant, who had often seen the pastor walking the streets with a solemn, dejected expression. He had been led to inquire privately into the pastor’s circumstances. As a result, he had sent them the gold by his clerk, and the provisions by his country servant, saying, “God forbid that any of Christ’s ambassadors should be strangers and we not visit them; or in distress, and we not assist them.”

The same God, who provided manna for the children of Israel for forty years in the wilderness wanderings, still cares for His children. “O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears . . . This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles . . . O fear the LORD, ye His saints: for there is no want to them that fear Him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing . . .The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry . . . The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles . . . The LORD redeemeth the soul of His servants: and none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate.” Psalm 34:3, 4, 6, 9, 10, 15, 17, 22.

This true story is from the book, Miraculous Powers, by M. E. Cornell. Modernized by Ken and Lois Mc Gaughey

Children’s Story — Miraculous Deliverance of Doctor Adam Clarke

“A missionary who had been sent to a strange land to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom of God, had passed through many hardships. He was often in danger of losing his life through the persecutions excited against him. One day, taking his life in his hands, he went to a dangerous place where he had often preached Christ crucified. About fifty believers came to hear the missionary preach.

“He began his sermon, and after he had preached about thirty minutes, a blood thirsty mob surrounded the house, all armed with different instruments of death, and shouting the most murderous purposes. Some that were inside shut the door, and the missionary and the group of believers knelt in fervent prayer.

“The mob attacked the house, and began to throw stones against the walls, windows, and roof. In a little while almost every tile on the roof was destroyed, and the roof nearly uncovered. Before they left the premises, scarcely one square inch of glass was left in the five windows in the house. While this was going on, one of the mob came to the window opposite where the preacher stood. He had a pistol. (The missionary was encouraging the small congregation to be steady, to resign themselves to God, and trust in Him.) The man with the pistol pointed it at him, and pulled the trigger. But it only flashed!

“As the house was a wooden building, the mob took crowbars and shovels to destroy the foundation and knock the house down. The preacher then told his little group: ‘These wicked people seek not you, but me. If I stay in the house, they will soon tear it down, and we shall all be buried in the ruins. I will, in the name of God, go out to them, and you will be safe.’

“He then went towards the door. The distressed people surrounded him and begged him not to venture out, as he would be instantly massacred. However, He went calmly forward, opened the door, and instantly a whole volley of stones and dirt was thrown right in his face. But he was not hurt.

“The people were crowded in front of the door, and filled the road for a long way, so that there was no room to get through. As soon as the preacher made his appearance, the savages became instantly as silent and as still as night. He walked forward, and they divided, to the right and to the left, leaving a path about four feet wide for the missionary and a young man who followed him. They passed on through the whole crowd. No one lifted a hand, or spoke a word, until he and his companion had walked through the whole mob.

The narrator who was present on the occasion goes on to say: “This was one of the most dramatic spectacles I ever witnessed; an infuriated mob without any visible cause (for the preacher spoke not one word), became in a moment as calm as lambs! They seemed struck with amazement bordering on stupefaction. They stared and stood speechless; and after they had fallen back to the right and left to leave him a free passage, they were as motionless as statues!

“They assembled with the full purpose to destroy the man who came to show them the way of salvation; but he passing through the midst of them, went his way. Was not the God of missionaries in this work?”

In the book, the Life of Adam Clarke, the “missionary” referred to above, is identified as Clarke himself.*

“During the whole time of his (Clarke’s) passing through the mob, there was a death-like silence, nor was there any motion, but that which was necessary to give him a free passage! Either their eyes were holden that they could not know him; or they were so over-awed by the power of God that they could not lift a hand, or utter a word against him. The believers, finding all was quiet, came out a little after, and passed through the mob, not one of them being either hurt or molested! In a few minutes the mob seemed to awake as from a dream, and finding that their prey had been plucked out of their teeth, they knew not how, attacked the house afresh, broke every square of glass in the windows, and scarcely left a whole tile upon the roof. Clarke afterwards learned that the design of the mob was to put him in the sluice of an overshot water-wheel, by which he would have been crushed to pieces.”

Yes, the God of the missionaries is still in control!

Doctor Adam Clarke (1762-1832) lived in Londonderry, Ireland. He became a Methodist preacher and worked in Ireland, Scotland, Channel Islands and Shetland Islands.

This true story was taken from the book, Miraculous Powers, by M. E. Cornell. Modernized by Ken and Lois McGaughey.


Children’s Story — Julia Make Someone Happy

Several years ago there was a third grade class of about thirty students that was not very happy with their teacher. It seemed as if their teacher almost never smiled, and they thought she was very grumpy. They talked among themselves and complained. What could they do besides complain?

One girl, whom we will call Julia, got to thinking about how the teacher did not smile very much. What could she do to help make her teacher smile? Should she give her an apple or how about some flowers? “Maybe,” she thought, “if the class surprises the teacher with a party she will smile!” Julia was excited at the thought of it. Surprising people was something Julia loved to do. She started dreaming and planning. She called one of her friends, Karlin, and they talked it all through.

Julia soon talked to the school secretary and told her about the surprise party she wanted to have for her teacher. Julia would need to talk to the whole class about the project while the teacher was not in the room. The secretary was very helpful. She called the teacher out so Julia could talk to the class.

After the teacher left the room, Julia got up and talked to the class about the surprise party. The school secretary paged Julia and told her the teacher was coming back to the classroom, but Julia continued talking to the students. The teacher walked back into the room while Julia was still talking.

How surprised the teacher was to see Julia up out of her seat talking to the class. How surprised Julia was that the teacher returned so quickly. Julia did not think that the teacher heard about the party, but there was a rule that no students were to get out of their seats while the teacher was out of the classroom. So, Julia had her name written on the chalkboard. That meant that she could not play during all of the recess time, but since she was doing something nice for the teacher she did not really mind too much.

Before recess, the teacher called Julia over and asked her why she had been up in front of the class. Julia smiled and said she could not tell. Evidently the teacher thought that Julia had a good reason, because she let Julia play during recess.

Julia and her friend, Karlin, called all the students and asked them to bring some kind of food for the party. After all of the planning, the day of the party finally came. Some mothers of the students came to help warm the food and organize the meal. The food arrived at the classroom on a big metal cart.

Do you think that the teacher smiled? Yes, she did. The surprise party for the teacher worked! It helped to make her happy. Do you know who else smiled? Julia smiled, maybe even more than the teacher, because she had helped to make the teacher happy.

Next time you see someone that does not seem to be very happy and does not smile often, will you be able to think of a way to make them smile? Pray about it. There are many ways to cheer other people, even if it is just giving them a smile of your own. The Lord will help you to make others happy. While you help make others happy, you will find happiness yourself.

Children’s Story — God’s Mercy

For this story we need to go back to the year 1948. I was just a little lad at that time, but the story is not about me, it is about a schoolmaster in a country about ten thousand miles away from where I lived. Today we call the country Indonesia. This man was a schoolmaster and he was a Christian. He belonged to the Reform Church. They called it the Javanese Reform Church, and he was a good Christian, as he understood it. He was very faithful in his church attendance, and he was very involved in all the activities of the church.

One day someone knocked on his door and wanted to sell him a book. He bought the book Bible Readings for the Home Circle, mostly I think, just to get the salesman off his doorstep. He did not read it, he just stuck it away on the shelf and forgot about it. That could have been the end of his story, but our God is a faithful and good God. He does not want anyone to perish. He did not give up, just because that man did not listen.

Let’s take the story five years later to the year 1953. This schoolmaster had a little girl in his class. That little girl was the daughter of an Adventist pastor. She had been brought up, as all Adventist children should be brought up, to be a missionary for God. She loved her teacher, and she wanted to do something for him. So she came to him one day and asked, “Would you like to come to my church on Sabbath?” Her teacher said, “No, I have my own church. I do not need to go to your church.” That was the second time he turned his back on the opportunity for truth. But the Lord had not given up on him yet.

We need to fast-forward the story to the year 1992. By this time, the man was getting to be quite an old man. He had a daughter who was married and living in Cambridge, England. One day her husband got a little invitation card put through his door. I do not know who put it through the door, but someone gave him the card offering Bible lessons through the mail. This man filled in the card with his name and address and he sent it back. After receiving three lessons he wrote and said he didn’t want them anymore. But the Lord knows what He is doing. Do you believe that? During the three weeks, when that man received Bible lessons, his father-in-law, from ten thousand miles away in Indonesia, was on a visit to England to see his daughter and son-in-law.

He saw the Bible lessons lying around the house, and so he wrote to the people who sent out the Bible lessons and said, “Would you mind sending the Bible lessons to me?” Those people were very willing to do that. The time came when his vacation in England was over, and it was time to go back to Indonesia. So he wrote to the people sending out the Bible lessons and he said, “Would it be possible for you to send those lessons out to Indonesia to me?” The people said, “Yes, we would be delighted to do that.” So he went on his way back to Indonesia.

When he got back to his little town in Indonesia, there was a pile of lessons waiting for him. He was thrilled and started studying these lessons. He wrote a letter back to England and said, “Look, I am conducting a Bible study class in my church on Wednesday nights. Would you mind if I took these Bible lessons along to my church and shared them with the folk there?” Well, you don’t need to know what the answer to that question was, do you?

The weeks went by, and the months went by, and the man received Bible lessons for maybe five months. Then he received lesson number eighteen. That lesson came to him like a bombshell. He was so convicted by the Holy Spirit about the Bible Sabbath. It was tremendous! He had been, what he believed, a faithful follower of God for so many decades of his life, but now, suddenly, he was reading in God’s Word that he had been breaking God’s law all that time. This was a terrible shock to him! He wrote a letter back to the people in England, but I guess he forgot which language he was writing in, and he sent the letter written in Dutch! The people in England received this letter, but they could not understand a word of it. They wrote back, and encouraged him, and eventually they found someone who could read Dutch to read the letter to them.

That was a man who was deeply under conviction. He knew that what he had studied about the Sabbath was the truth. He was certain of that. He was also certain that he had been breaking God’s law for all those years and there had to be a change. He knew he could not go on as before.

The last time I heard from that man, because my wife and I were the people sending the Bible lessons to him, he told us that he and his wife had found a Seventh-day Adventist Church and they were worshipping there.

You know, I have a little picture in my mind that I hope one day comes true. One day we are going to be in heaven walking on that street of gold through the New Jerusalem. Mr. S. and his wife will be there. They are going to meet a man whom they have not seen for many, many years who sold them a book. They are going to meet a woman, who as a little girl, invited them to church. And I will meet them, too. I have never met them. I do not know what they look like. All I know is that I have written letters and Mr. S. has written letters to me. But I want to meet him, too. That man knew that the Lord gave him three tries, over nearly half a century, because the Lord does not give up. But the Lord could help that man only because faithful people played their part.

That man who sold the book, maybe thought he had wasted his time. But he had sown the seed. What he did that day was not forgotten. And the little girl who went to her favorite teacher in school, and said, “Will you come to church with me on Sabbath?” played her part in that story, too. Her part will not be forgotten, either. The Bible says that if we sow faithfully, we shall reap, if we fail not. I think we are in the sowing time. I believe that when the Latter Rain is poured out, we are going to reap great harvests. But you only reap great harvests if you sow plenty of seeds, and you need to be sowing those seeds now.

Do not get discouraged if you do not see any immediate results. Just sow the seeds, tend them and leave the growing to the Lord. In due course there will be a good harvest.