It Almost Makes Me Cry

by the American Sunday-School Union

"It almost makes me cry to think of the heathen," said Willie Dudley, as he was standing by his mother's work-table, with his elbow leaning upon it, and his head resting upon his hand. "I don't wonder missionaries go to them." His face was thoughtful and sad, and the tears stood in his eyes.

He had just been looking at two hideous idols, which had been brought from Africa, and his mother had been telling him that the heathen thought they were gods, and prayed to them.

Little Eddie wondered that any people could think these stone images were God. His large, blue eyes looked larger and rounder than ever, they were so filled with amazement at what he heard. He could only say, "Oh, mother! oh, mother!" in tones which indicated surprise, pity, and horror.

Mrs. Dudley told her children that the heathen had not been taught, as we have, that God is a spirit, and that they had never learned the commandment, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in the heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; for I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."

"I don't wonder that the missionaries go to them," was the sentiment on the mind of Willie, as he thought of the ignorance and degradation of the heathen. He loved, himself, to hear about God, and our blessed Saviour, and he knew that God required a pure and spiritual worship. He knew God was the Creator of the world, and that his power and glory could not well be represented or conceived by man. He had often heard of the heathen, and had read about their idols, but to see and handle a stone head which had been actually an object of religious worship, made it seem much more real to him than ever before, that there are many people who have never learned to worship the true God.

Willie has always had a great reverence for his heavenly Father. Several years ago, he was reading a description of one of the idols of the Hindoos. The picture was disgustingly repulsive. He went to Mrs. Dudley with his book, saying, "Mother, I don't like to call g-o-d God here; I want to call it d-o-g, for I don't think it is right to call such a thing by that great name."

Perhaps Willie will some day be a missionary, and preach the glad tidings of salvation to those who are now sitting in darkness, and in the shadow of death. But if he is not a missionary himself, I trust he will never forget to do what he can for those who, far from their homes and their friends, are fulfilling Christ's last command, to "go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."

All Christians cannot be missionaries, but they can all do something to spread a knowledge of true religion throughout the world. They can contribute of their property to this noble purpose. Our heavenly Father accepts the smallest gift, offered in love. We, surely, who live in comfortable homes, and are surrounded by so much that is pleasant, should never forget those who, in foreign lands, are preaching the "unsearchable riches of Christ."

If our Saviour were now upon the earth, I suppose dear children, you think it would be a great pleasure to minister to his wants, and provide him with food or clothing, or any thing he might need. It is delightful to know that what we do for those who love him, he accepts as done to himself. In his Holy Word he says, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me."