To Our Young Friends

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
WE have received a touching note from the mother of one of the number of our dear young correspondents, and our hearts go out to you, dear boys and girls, as with the black-bordered letter of dear Herbert's mother before us we pen these lines. The letter says: —
“The reason you did not receive our dear boy's paper as usual in reply to your questions is, that after ten days' illness, in the midst of blooming health, the Lord called our beloved one to Himself.”
"It is now two and a half years since our beloved boy first confessed Christ," his mother tells us, "and his words upon that memorable and blessed occasion will never be forgotten by us.
“Mother,' said he, 'I hope I shall never grow up to be a man; the world is getting so wicked, and I do not want to be wicked. But I don't think I shall grow up, for the coming of the Lord seems to be so near, that I think He will come before that time to fetch His people. I am quite ready now, and long for the time when He will come. I know that all my sins are washed away in the precious blood of Jesus.'”
Bright, happy confession, dear boys and girls. May you, too, each one, be enabled to say, "My sins are all washed away in the precious blood of Jesus, and the hope of the Lord's coming is the bright prospect of my heart." But dear Herbert did more than confess with his lips: "His life ever since," the same pen adds, "has been more or less consistent as a follower of the Lord Jesus; schoolmates, neighbors, playmates had all taken knowledge of him that he had been with Jesus. Although of a very strong will and hasty temper naturally, the grace of God had so wrought in him that his obedience and subjection to home rule and authority were most marked." Most earnestly do we press these last twelve words upon you all, for "By their fruits ye shall know them.”
Again his mother says, "His love of the Scriptures, remarks, and questions upon them, were, for some time past, more like those of a matured Christian than of a boy of twelve summers. One subject much occupied his thoughts, and he was continually referring to it—the near return of the Lord. He seemed to be living in the hope of, and in readiness for, that blessed event; indeed, he asked an elder Christian, one day, whether he did not think the reason why Scripture told us not the exact time of the Lord's return was to make us live in the daily expectation of His coming. Our loved one was twelve years and seven months old, and his life ever since his lips first confessed Christ has proved the reality of his faith.
My heart's fervent desire and prayer is that the bright hope of the Lord's return—such a reality to Herbert while living—may be revived in all its soul-stirring power, and that, in heart and life, all God's people may go forth in reality to meet the Bridegroom.”
God grant that this simple testimony to you of one of yourselves may stir you all up to follow the steps of our dear Herbert L. as far as he followed Christ. We are all the more constrained thus to speak, for we meet with young people, who but a few years back were children, answering our questions, and who had then, either by letter or by word of mouth, happy things to tell us of the Lord's love to them, but who now, being grown up to be young men and young women, have gone back into the world. Ah! what sorrowful tales have such to tell us!—the hollow world, its empty pleasures, its unsatisfying character. Still they seem bound to it by chains. How gladly would they come out and be separate from the world, and stand up for Christ! The love of the world still holds them bound to it. A divided heart is ever a wretched heart. No man having put his hand to the plow and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God. Oh, dear young friends, be wholehearted for Christ; give up yourselves to Him. He will make your lives happy and bright if you are wholly given to Him. But, remember, you cannot serve God and mammon.