TWENTY YEARS OF SERVICE
LOST

On one of the Clyde River Steamers, a Christian man, on his holidays, was giving away tracts. Among others who received one was a gentleman of Scotch descent, who remarked as he received it that he feared such efforts did little permanent good. "I am not opposed to such work," he said, "In my younger days I did a good deal of it myself, but I cannot say that I ever saw any fruit from it."

The tract distributor was somewhat "damped" by that remark, coming from one who evidently was a Christian of many years standing. But he instantly remembered that his own conversion was brought about by means of a tract, which he received when a lad of twelve, as he walked along the street one wintry night. As he passed the door of a Mission Hall, a young man, standing evidently for the purpose of getting passers-by to go in, handed him a tract, and asked him to go inside and hear the Gospel. He did go in and heard words there that awakened him to think of eternity and his state before God, and he went home in deep soul trouble. In his anxiety, he turned to the tract he received, read it, and was saved. The tract distributor told this story to the gentleman who listened with evident interest, and when it was finished he said, "May I ask where this most interesting event took place?" The man named the street, the hall and the very night on which he got the tract, and was invited inside.

The gentleman's eyes filled with tears. He grasped the distributor's hand, and said with great emotion, "It was my work many a night, when a young man newly converted, to stand at that door giving tracts and inviting passers-by; and well I remember inviting in the bright eyed lad that wintry night. But I lost heart soon after that and gave it up; thinking such work was almost useless. Now, after twenty years, God has let me know it was not in vain, and if he spares me to return to the city, I shall by His grace return to the service He gave me long ago, confessing my faithlessness in leaving it." But the twenty intervening years were lost. How many more golden sheaves might have appeared to that Christian worker's account in the day of Christ had he continued in the service that the Lord gave him to do?

"If any man serve me, him will my Father honour."
John 12:26b

Have you heard of John Livingstone, brother of the famous missionary, David Livingstone? John died one of the richest men in Ontario . The two boys grew up together in a simple Scottish home, and both were under the same instruction. The time came when both boys made decisions affecting their whole lives. John decided to make money; David decided to forsake all and follow Christ. John lived in luxury and died in wealth; David died in a miserable hut in Africa . When John died, a brief note was put in the newspapers telling that he was the brother of David Livingstone, the well-known missionary to Africa .