Bekijk het origineel
Bekijk het origineel
(Continued from last issue)
We mean after death has entered your doors and you are called to appear before the judgment seat of God. Then when you are asked what you did with your promise, one time made before God and his church, to instruct or help or cause your child to be instructed in the true and perfect doctrine of salvation to which weighty question you can only answer: “We have broken our promise and encouraged our child to turn her back to Thee and served the world,” to which answer thou shalt hear His sharp voice: “Go away from before my sight thou oathbreakers! Go away from me in that pool that burns with fire and brimstone, in the pool prepared by the devil and his angels.” There, in that place, father and mother! there—oh, that you may still in time come to the true recognition thereof—there you shall eternally remember these Easter days; remember by wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth; then shall you with regret—but alas! too late, forever too late, cry out: “Oh, had we only cast aside our pride and haughtiness and as humble parents turned to the Lord in whose Word it is clearly stated that man by nature thinks he is rich and has no need of anything, but that he does not know he is poor, miserable, blind and naked and in whose Word he swears by Himself that he has no desire in the death of a sinner, but therein that the sinner repent and live.”
We must at this time take leave of father and mother Staalman. This we must yet say, that now and then, even until late at night they could hear noises and it was as if they heard Betsy talking to herself.
More than fifty-two weeks have gone by. Last year Easter came in March, this year in the middle of April. In the meantime much has happened and many changes took place, also in the household of Staalman, who with his wife boasted that they were such respectable people, while they also dressed their daughter in the latest styles and for whom the real estate agent had bowed as a clasp-knife. The man who carried himself as a big business man, became steadliy smaller as time went by and in the month of May when most carpenters are busy, Staalman, although he walked “the fire out of his shoes,” had nothing to do. Wherever he came, it was like knocking against a wall. After searching for a long time and walking as if he was in a dream and having sold a few household articles which they could miss, he said to his wife one day: “I think it will be best wife, if we are to stay on our feet, that I become an ordinary worker again.” When his wife answered that she had the same thoughts for sometime but did not wish to express them, he said, “But it sure will cost me something wife to have to work for someone else again after having been able to come and go as I pleased. I cannot think of it.”
“I can readily understand,” said his wife; “but we cannot go on without any income for we will shortly become as poor as the street.”
On the day father and mother Staalman were thus talking it was in the middle of winter and the chances of obtaining employment were not bright. Drawn by need and want he ventured forth, but in vain, for by the one it was: “It is winter and I had to dismiss a number of my regular men”; by another it was: “I am sorry I cannot place you, if it was spring I would not hesitate as I have a number of jobs in sight,” and by a third one it was: “If I had need of a foreman, I would take you on, but I have a good man now and as an ordinary worker, I am afraid your pride will be against you. If someone else cares to hire you it is up to him, but I am firmly opposed to it.”
When Staalman returned home, his face was set to shed tears instead of laughter. “It is no use, wife! the only thing I know that is still left for me to do, is to make novelties out of the wood that we have and try to sell them at the market place.”
Staalman set to work and made numerous novelties and shortly thereafter, he who a short while previous had walked the streets as a baron, could be seen sitting at the market place trying to dispose of his wares.
Slowly on it could be seen in Staalman that pride cometh before a fall and who exalteth himself shall be abased. But oh! although becoming outwardly abased, still there was no humiliation before God and both man and wife continued in burning enmity against Him of which the now 12 year old Betsy was a witness. After she, as previously related, had received a clear picture that she must be regenerated in order to be resurrected in glory and live eternally with the Lord Jesus, it was always her desire to read the Bible after school or any other time which she found. She also read another book which she had borrowed from Agnes. But this she had to do when father and mother were not around otherwise she would be told: “If you wish to read Betsy, do not borrow books from other people for we have enough nice books in the house which will not spoil you as these do.” What went on in the little girl’s heart who can picture it. This we know, that she oftentimes complained to Agnes that father and mother always scolded her when she spoke or read about the Lord Jesus.
Occasionally she risked it to quietly go home with Agnes, but then it was as if she was in another world. Kleinhart and his wife were so friendly to her and would speak of what a pleasure it is to serve the Lord. They advised her never to speak ill of her parents, but always be polite and Mr. Kleinhart added—it was three days before Easter, in April—”It would be” a privilege if you could pray for your parents that the Lord would be pleased to grant them a new heart,” but at the same time he added, “that, you will never be able to do as long as you have not asked for yourself.” “How does the matter stand Betsy? have you asked the Lord while upon your knees? Tell us how the matter stands. Immediately large tears were observed and Betsy confessed that she had many times asked the Lord for a new heart and was convinced since the previous Easter that without regeneration no one will enter heaven. “And,” she spoke in a pathetic voice, “who knows how short a time I will still live.”
“All the more reason,” said Mr. Kleinhart, “that you should not delay in asking the Lord to grant grace unto your soul. And if that privilege may be yours, how favored you will be and you will surely experience that the Lord Jesus by his suffering, dying and resurrection removed the sting of death and where they who have continued to live in their sins have come upon their sickbed, if they may have one, and are trembling and shuddering for fear of death, to you it will be a happy messenger who will exchange this vale of tears below for the fields of heavenly bliss above; and whereas the first ones will most likely cry out in despair: “Lost! lost! eternally lost! Oh, had I given heed to the voice of the Lord!” for you, it may be a happy occasion, when with many who have fallen asleep in the Lord, you may with outstretched hands and with the brightness of heavenly peace upon your face, you may call out: “Come, Lord Jesus! yea, come quickly.”
“I will promise you, Mr. Kleinhart,” said Betsy, “that I will take your advice and continue to pray to the Lord. But now, I do not dare to stay any longer for if mother should ask me where I was so long, I really will not know what to answer.”
“Well just say you were at our house; we are no man-eaters.”
“O no, Mr. Kleinhart, that I know too well, but I wish I was permitted to come here more often. But you know as well as I, that father and mother call you and all the other people that think as you do, “pious.” Father said only recently that if I went to your home with Agnes I would receive a good thrashing.”
“But your father and mother, my child! can do no more than the Lord will permit. And do you know the words which just came to my mind, Betsy, they are the words of the Lord Jesus: “Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness sake; that is, happy, blessed are they, who, because they confess that the Lord Jesus is the Saviour of poor lost sinners, are continually despised and rejected by man and must at times suffer the loss of their daily bread and as in the time of the martyrs, they had to give up their lives on the scaffold or in the fire.”
“Now that encourages me,” said Betsy, “and when mother asks me where I have been, I will just tell her the truth.” She now departed from Kleinhart and his wife and asked Agnes to walk with her to the corner.
When she came home, it was just as Betsy had surmised. “Naughty girl!” said mother, “Why do you take so long to run a few errands. Where have you been? Tell the truth or you shall be chastised.”
“That I will mother! I went home with Agnes for a while.”
“I thought so; for it was just as if I had a feeling you were there. What do you do by them people?”
“Yes, they are riff-raff, just good enough to spoil other people’s children. And how they get along so well, your father mentioned it only recently, we do not understand.”
“I have heard Agnes say, mother, that her father is always talking about how well the Lord has blessed them.”
“Blessed them! why is he blessed and not others? Surely because he can set his face so long.”
“But mother! Mr. Kleinhart does not have a long face; he is a man as friendly as can be. No mother! then you do not know him very well.”
“I knew him before you did and he has always been such a queer person. But I wish you would keep quiet about them people. If your father comes home and I tell him you were over there, then you know what will happen. While you were over there, the seamstress was here to try your new dress and she waited at least a half hour for you; but no Betsy. She is coming back at 3 o’clock. Look, your dress is over there, it sure will be beautiful when done.”
“Oh, mother! are you again going to talk about that dress ? I have no desire to look at it, much less to put it on.”
“What do you say? And it cost so much money.”
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Bekijk de hele uitgave van donderdag 1 mei 1941
The Banner of Truth | 16 Pagina's
Bekijk de hele uitgave van donderdag 1 mei 1941
The Banner of Truth | 16 Pagina's