Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lucy's Struggle

"I wish I was good!" said she. "I wish I was a Christian! I wish I could help "being fretful and selfish. Oh! I do wish I could be a Christian! But. it's no use. The more I try to be good, the worse I am. I do hate so to sew and to work; and I do love so to read and to study! Mother says the children are growing older; but so am I growing older, and not learning any thing, hardly. But it is wicked to fret about it, I know. Oh! I do wish I was a Christian!"

[Later Lucy shared her struggles with her father, who responded with godly counsel and assurances.]

She had long been groping about in the dark, wrapped in a reserve painful to both her parents and herself; and now the ice was broken. She would gladly have opened her heart more fully, but this was needless. One glance had sufficed to show to her father that the struggle against sin and the pursuit after God had begun; and he felt that he could safely leave her in His hands who giveth the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. He made her kneel once more by his side, while, in a few solemn words, he gave himself and her to God, to be His, and only His, for ever, and then retired for the night. Lucy returned to her room, greatly cheered and comforted. ~ From The Flower of the Family. A book for girls.

[Oh that all young girls would take such matters of the heart to their fathers, and that all fathers would respond as Lucy's did.]

Monday, March 28, 2011

Rock of Ages

I wonder if you realise what a very happy creature I am? and how too good God is to me? I don't see how He can heap such mercies on a poor sinner; but that only shows how little I know Him. But then, I am learning to know Him, and shall go on doing it forever and ever; and so will you. I am not sure that it is best for us, once safe and secure on the Rock of Ages, to ask ourselves too closely what this and that experience may signify. Is it not better to be thinking of the Rock, not the feet that stand upon it? It seems to me that we ought to be unconscious of ourselves, and the nearer we get to Christ, the more we shall be taken up with Him. We shall be like a sick man who, after he gets well, forgets all the old symptoms he used to think so much of, and stops taking his pulse, and just enjoys his health, only pointing out his physician to all who are diseased. ~ excerpt from letter to Mrs. Condict, dated March 6, 1870.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dressing, Undressing, and Feeding

Little children have a great deal done for them. Every little child who reads this book has to be dressed three hundred and sixty-five times every year; and undressed three hundred and sixty-five times. And every year they must have the same number of breakfasts, dinners and suppers. And I hope they thank God for his kindness to them, at least as often as He provides some dear mother or nurse to do this dressing, undressing, and feeding for them. Do you, Ellie? Do you, Willie? ~ From Little Susy's Six Birthdays.

[It always helps to begin to teach them to do for themselves early, though, doesn't it? Good for them, and for us! Not sure about that knife in the picture above!!!! :) ~mr]

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Horace and Georgiana

I am firmly convinced that every single young lady who has a heart for God should read Aunt Jane's Hero. When it comes to young people waiting on God's direction, certainly the messages Mrs. Prentiss has in this book are nothing short of priceless. If any of you have daughters who will soon be considering or hoping for marriage, this is a treasure you can put in their hands. I believe Chapter 2 is crucial. My commentary on that chapter will give you more information. Please go over to Scraps of Glory to read it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Cup of Water

Dear Jesus, where wert Thou when I refused
To give a cup of water for Thy sake?
Where did I part with Thee, how did I dare
A single step in my own strength to take?

This shows me what I am; it shows that deep
In my heart's core the love of self still lies;
I have no goodness, in my own conceit
Oh let me never, never more be wise!

And wilt Thou condescend the cup to fill
My sinful hands put by, and may the lip
I would not moisten, taste Thy living draught,
And evermore its strength and sweetness sip!

~ From Golden Hours, Heart Hymns of the Christian Life

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Needed Fall

My pride has had a terrible fall. As I sat on my throne looking down on all the Amelias in the world, I felt a profound pity at their delight in petty trifles, their love of position, of mere worldly show and passing vanities.

"They are all alike," I said to myself. "They are incapable of understanding a character like mine or the exalted, ennobling principles that govern me. They crave the applause of this world, they are satisfied with fine clothes, fine houses, fine equipages. They think and talk of nothing else; I have not one idea in common with them. I see the emptiness and hollowness of these things. I am absolutely unworldly; my ambition is to attain whatever they, in their blind folly and ignorance, absolutely despise."

Thus communing with myself, I was pleased to hear Dr. Cabot and his wife announced. I hastened to meet them and to display to them the virtues I so admired in myself. They had hardly chance to utter a word. I spoke eloquently of my contempt for worldly vanities and of my enthusiastic longing for a higher life. I even went into particulars about the foibles of some of my acquaintances, though faint misgivings as to the propriety of such remarks on the absent made me half-repent the words I still kept uttering. When they took leave, I rushed to my room with my heart beating, my cheeks all in a glow. . . What a horrible reaction now took place! I saw my refined, subtle disgusting pride, just as I suppose Dr. and Mrs. Cabot saw it!. . .There was a terrible struggle in my soul. I saw that instead of brooding over the display I had made of myself to Dr. Cabot, I ought to be thinking solely of my appearance in the sight of God, who could see far more plainly than any earthly eye could all my miserable pride and self-conceit. But I could not do that and chafed about till I was worn out, body and soul. At last I sent the children away and knelt down and told the whole story to Him who knew what I was when He had compassion on me, called me by my name and made me His own child. And here I found a certain peace. Christian, on his way to the celestial city, met and fought his Apollyons and his giants, too; but he got there at last! ~ from Stepping Heavenward, October 30, 1842 entry

[Let each of us take heed. ~ mr]

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Beautiful Savior

I posted this once at my personal blog and thought it fitting to post it here in case anyone stops by. We all know that Mrs. Prentiss would have wholeheartedly attested to the truths expressed here. Have a blessed Lord's Day. ~ mr

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Place to Deny Myself

If I tell you that I am going to take under my especial care and protection one of the family--a little girl of eleven years whom nobody can manage at all, you may wonder why. I found on my plate at dinner a note from Mrs. Persico saying that if I wanted an opportunity of doing good, here was one, that if Nannie could sleep in my room, etc., it might be of great benefit to her. The only reason why I hesitated was the fear that she might be in the way of our best hours. But I have thought all along that I was living too much at my ease, and wanted a place in which to deny myself for the sake of the One who yielded up every comfort for my sake. Nannie has a fine character but has been mismanaged at home, and since coming here. She often comes and puts her arms around me and says, "There is one in this house who loves me, I do know." I receive her as a trust from God, with earnest prayer to Him that we may be enabled to be of use to her. . .
~ From a letter to her cousin, dated January 3, 1841.

[Mrs. Prentiss' attitude could be applied by us in many situations. I'm sure we each can think of some place where we can deny self. ~ mr]

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Behind "More Love to Thee"

Do we ever tire of hearing the stories behind the various hymns we hold so dear? I found this article concerning the writing of "More Love to Thee" and thought perhaps a few of you might enjoy reading it. You may also like to bookmark this site for your edification. ~ mr

Monday, March 7, 2011

Self-Forgetting Spirit

I am ashamed of myself, of late, that these subjects of love and matrimony find a place in my thoughts which I never have been in the habit of giving them, but people here talk of little else and I am borne on with the current. I think that to give happiness in married life a woman should possess oceans of self-sacrificing love and I, for one, haven't half of that self-forgetting spirit which I think essential. ~ excerpt from letter to Anna S. Prentiss, April 24, 1843

[ How many of us would attest to a lack in this area? A need for prayer, yes?]

Friday, March 4, 2011

Meet Aunt Jane and Horace

From time to time I'll be sharing posts in a series I started almost four years ago at my devotional blog. They're about my second favorite Prentiss work--Aunt Jane's Hero. I'm sharing the first one now. ~ mr

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Steadfast Heart

Keep my heart steadfast, dearest Lord
For earth's allurements shine,
And bid me turn mine eye away
From looking into Thine

Oh keep me steadfast! Earthly tones
Fall sweetly on my ear,
And while I pause to list to them
Thy voice I cannot hear.

Oh keep me steadfast! Human smiles
Delude my childish heart;
While rapt in them how easily
From Thee I can depart.

Yes, keep me, keep me, for myself
I cannot, cannot keep;
Keep me by day, keep me by night
O Thou who dost not sleep.

~ From Golden Hours, Heart-Hymns of the Christian Life, 1873