Mark 12:41-44
Great Texts of the Bible
All that She Had

And he sat down over against the treasury, and beheld how the multitude cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a poor widow, and she cast in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, This poor widow cast in more than all they which are casting into the treasury: for they all did cast in of their superfluity; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.—Mark 12:41-44.

This beautiful incident, as recorded by the evangelists St. Mark and St. Luke, is immediately followed by Christ’s prophecy of the overthrow of the Temple. We have before us a picture-study in contrasts.

1. A scene Within the Temple.—It occurred in the Women’s Court, where the Treasury, or the thirteen brazen chests, popularly known as “the Trumpets,” were kept. The offerings cast at certain seasons into these “Trumpets” were devoted mainly to the maintenance of the sacred building and to defraying the expenses of Divine worship. To this fund every pious Jew was expected to contribute. Before the birth of Christ a movement had been inaugurated by Herod the Great for the completion and adornment of the Temple, and the furtherance of this work of national piety was regarded as a patriotic as well as a religious duty. This public giving was part of the established routine of the holy place, and the publicity of it was, no doubt, calculated upon as a spur to generosity. The religious Jew of those days was not above parading his good deeds, and if he gave a handsome sum to the Temple fund he preferred to do it in the presence of admiring spectators and with a certain amount of dramatic effect. Those rich men had no idea that the eyes of “the Judge of quick and dead” were resting upon them. And this, of course, is quite as true of the poor widow, concerning whom our Lord spoke those penetrating words of appreciation and foresight, as it was of the self-satisfied givers of large sums.

2. The Temple from Without.—We in these days of modern civilisation, and with our colder northern temperament, can perhaps scarcely realise the pride and glory of the Jewish heart in that wonderful structure. It was associated with the antiquity of their nation, and seemed to stand like a visible link connecting them with their glorious forefathers of the olden time. Around it clustered all those emotions of patriotism which burned so fiercely in the Hebrew nature; while with its awful Holy of Holies and mystic altars, it became the symbol of the sublime worship of the one Jehovah which had for ages made their nation stand in lonely pre-eminence as the single witness for the true Lord of men. So that the trinity of emotions—Nationality, Patriotism, Devotion—which marked the national character of the Jews, were all centred on that Temple at Jerusalem.

In the disciples these feelings must have existed, but they had become softened, and in one sense deepened, by the influence of the Saviour. The grandeur of the Temple had excited the awe and wonder of their boyhood, but their associations with it had been strengthened by the change wrought in them through the companionship of Christ. He had told them of the Father in heaven; and as they worshipped before the veil that hid the burning glory, His house became more truly the house of God. He had told them of a Kingdom of heaven; and as they heard on the great feast days the Psalms of David rolling through its archways, they must have felt more than ever that that kingdom was near. So that on that evening, as they were going out with Christ to the Mount of Olives, and the gold and marble of the Temple shone resplendent in the setting sun, it was most natural that their enthusiasm should burst forth in the admiring cry—“Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!”

3. These two pictures taken together present a significant contrast. While the disciples were wondering at the majestic carved stone-work as a great offering dedicated by man to God, Christ had seen in the trembling gift of the widow an offering equally great in the eye of heaven—the offering of a loyal heart. Others, too, had brought their offerings, gifts which in the world’s eye might even be comparable to the glorious stones, while presumably this poor woman’s offering had passed unnoticed save by the eyes of One in whose estimation she had brought “more than all.” The stones of the Temple and the widow’s heart! The disciples saw God’s dwelling-place in the house of stone, with its Holy of Holies and altar of sacrifice; Christ saw it in the devoted heart of a widow. This idea characterised all His teaching; it is the inner motive and heart, as He constantly proclaimed, that God regards, and it is in the spirit that He must be served. “The hour cometh when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” This poor woman, unknown and unnoticed except by the Divine eye, had come in her poverty, and had given all she had for God’s service—there was the true altar of sacrifice.

I asked an art critic why he did not consider a certain painting under observation a real work of art. He answered: It lacks enthusiasm. I think the artist who painted it was not enthusiastic and not positive enough. The result shows in a painting which just misses being good.1 [Note: E. W. Wilcox.]

4. She was simply one of a crowd, and as uninteresting and unpromising probably as are the members of any crowd; but the fact that she was, outwardly at least, uninteresting, makes it interesting that Christ was interested in her, and it is one of the features of our Lord’s character that He was impressed by unpromising people. Whoever it might be that He was dealing with He seemed to feel that He had a good deal to go upon. No one, we should say, appeared to Him ordinary. We cannot fail to have been struck with what must have seemed to us the apparently haphazard way in which He selected His disciples. It would seem as though any one whom He ran across, as He was walking along the edge of the Sea of Galilee, would answer well enough for a disciple, and so for an apostle—not, be it understood, as a disparagement of the position which He selected them to fill, but as a recognition that even “common” men were so uncommon as to be inherently able to fill the position. He could doubtless have continued His walk along the seaside and have selected another twelve just as competent as the first twelve, if He had cared at that time to have so many. And certainly it is not venturing much to presume that He could have come into any of our cities and congregations, and have found a dozen people with natural qualifications that would have made them as capable as Peter, James, and John, and the rest, to lay, in co-operation with Himself, the foundations of the Christian Church.

The moon and the stars are commonplace things,

And the flower that blooms and the bird that sings;

But dark were the world and sad our lot

If the flowers failed and the sun shone not;

And God, who studies each separate soul,

Out of commonplace lives makes His beautiful whole.1 [Note: Susan Coolidge.]

The subject may conveniently be treated in two parts:

Christ’s Unerring Judgment

  Opportunity and Responsibility


Christ’s Unerring Judgment

1. There is not so much difference between a bat’s eye and an eagle’s as there is between the insight, as we call it, of ordinary men and the insight of Jesus. The whole universe and every detail of it becomes changed to our eyes directly we catch a glimpse of any part from the standpoint of Jesus Christ How tawdry are the pomps and the magnificences which we admire, and how splendid are the lowly eternities which we despise.

A public meeting was held at a certain English town in the interests of Foreign Missions. The chairman was reading out a list of donors. “Mr. So-and-So, a hundred guineas.” Tremendous cheering. “Mr. So-and-So, £50.” Great cheering. “Mr. So-and-So, £20.” Much cheering. “Mr. So-and-Song of Solomon , 6 d.” No cheering. Not being pleased at this cool reception of a gift which probably cost as much sacrifice, or possibly more than any of the foregoing, the chairman, amidst breathless silence, exclaimed: “Hush, I think I hear the clapping of the pierced hands.” The audience keenly felt the rebuke.1 [Note: J. H. Jowett.]

So with the Lord: He takes and He refuses,

Finds Him ambassadors whom men deny,

Wise ones nor mighty for his saints He chooses,

No, such as John or Gideon or I.

He as He wills shall solder and shall sunder,

Slay in a day and quicken in an hour,

Tune Him a music from the Sons of Thunder,

Forge and transform my passion into power.2 [Note: F. W. H. Myers, St. Paul.]

2. The beauty of the poor widow’s act, commended by our Lord, lay in its entire unconsciousness of self, and of the moral value of what she was doing. We all see that both the moral and the æsthetic quality of her act would have sunk to a much lower level if she had known that the eyes of the promised Messiah of her race were upon her, or that her modest offering would be spoken of in distant climes and future ages wherever the story of man’s redemption should be told. In that case the elements of calculation and of reward would have mingled with her motives.

It matters not what we seem to be to ourselves or others, but only how God looks upon us when we pray to Him. This you may take as the test and proof of anything you say, do, or think; and of the real importance of any event that happens to you: What difference does it make when you come to appear before God in prayer? Will it render you more acceptable or not? Let any one notice each day—there can be no better rule or safeguard—what will render him in his hours of prayer most acceptable with God. There can be no better standard or measure of the real value of all things than this.

I thank Thee I am not my own,

But have to live in Thee alone,

Each passing day, each passing hour,

To live in Thy great power.

Whate’er to-day, to-morrow brings,

’Tis all Thine Hand, Thine orderings.3 [Note: Ibid.]

3. The extravagance of love.—It undoubtedly was an imprudent thing for a woman to do, for perhaps at a later hour of the same day she was unable to meet the necessities of her subsistence; but a beautiful intention we like all the better if it is not too careful and too calculating. Her act is like that of Mary when she broke her alabaster cruse and poured the costly spikenard on her Saviour’s head. If Mary had been more economical with the spikenard less of its fragrance might have floated down to our own day. Both acts were extravagant and reckless, but their very recklessness is one of their charms.

I was preaching a missionary sermon in the village of L’Original, in the province of Quebec, to a congregation of forty. A student who was with me pointed out an old Roman Catholic lady who had come to hear the missionary sermon. My subject was “China and her need.” At the close of the sermon this lady rose and left the building. I feared that I had said something which gave her offence. But while we were singing the last hymn she returned, walked to the front of the church and handed a piece of money to the steward, who afterwards told me what she said, and they were precious words. “Take that and give it to that man for China, and may God bless him and save the heathen. I only have thirty cents, five of which I brought with me for collection, but when I heard of China’s need I thought I would go home and get the twenty-five cents and give it, and keep the five cents for myself.” I shall ever see in that old lady, whose name is unknown to me, a facsimile of that “certain poor widow” casting her two mites into the treasury, and I believe that the word of commendation from the Christ will be no less in the one case than in the other.1 [Note: G. I. Campbell.]

In the long run all love is paid by love,

Though undervalued by the hosts of earth;

The great eternal government above

Keeps strict account and will redeem its worth.

Give thy love freely; do not count the cost;

So beautiful a thing is never lost

In the long run.2 [Note: Ella Wheeler Wilcox.]

4. Another thought which the story told by the Evangelist may suggest to us is that each single life is an offertory, a contribution, made to the great sum of human influences and examples. Every day, in our business and in our time of leisure, by the words we speak, by the force of our example, direct or indirect, by the unconscious revelations we make of our true selves, by the standards we apply to our own conduct and that of our fellow-men, by the opinions we express, the aims we pursue, the moral principles we support or discourage, we are casting something of our own into that invisible treasury which will abide there as a witness for or against us.

Some faint resemblance to this idea of a common treasury to which all in their several ways contribute may be seen in the demands and expectations of men and women when united in social groups. What the writers of the New Testament call “the world” has its own code of unwritten laws, together with its own peculiar sanctions. If you desire to stand well with “people in society” you must contribute something towards the general stock of comfort, of pleasure, or of amusement—something that ordinary minds, not overburdened with intelligence, can appreciate. Either you must be rich, and spend your money freely in lavish entertainments, in which case much will be forgiven you; or you must have a reputation for being clever; or you must have done something remarkable; or you must possess the happy knack of saying or doing the right thing in awkward situations. In one way or another, by self-assertion or by tact and adroitness, you must prove yourself to be an important social unit, and then you may count upon your special contribution to the world’s treasury being stamped with approval. The unpardonable offence is to be a cipher, to stand for nothing that a materialised society values or cares for. It is in this way that the vulgarised minds interpret the Gospel precepts, “Give, and it shall be given to you.” “To him that hath shall be given, and he shall have more abundantly.” The rich and powerful are welcome as the “benefactors” of society, and society rewards them with its smiles. Modest and humble goodness may pass by with its slender offering, rich only in the coin of love and self-sacrifice, but such coinage has no appreciable value in the eyes of the “children of this world.” They are not concerned to ask whether your motives are pure and disinterested or whether your so-called “charity” is but a form of self-advertisement. All they care to know is how much you are able to give as your solid contribution to the material wealth and enjoyment of this life, which are, in their judgment, the only things that have any real value.1 [Note: J. W. Shepard.]


Opportunity and Responsibility

i. The Value of Sacrifice

Christ had looked on the woman who, with her heart bowed in desolation and sorrow, had given her all to God, and He declared that, small as that was in itself, it was the truest and greatest offering that could be made. Here we find a great principle. The greatness of the outward act of surrender is nothing,—the perfectness of the inner spirit is alone of value in the eye of God. This is a truth which we seldom fully realise, and yet it is one which, if realised, would transform our whole life. We are perpetually prone to measure sacrifice by the outward appearance, while Christ points to the least act which is done with the surrender of the heart’s life as the greatest sacrifice of all. Doubtless this is partly because the external greatness of a sacrifice gratifies our self-glorying spirit—we like to do a thing which seems to be a great dedication, and which flatters our self-love by its greatness. Or it is partly because it is far easier to us to do a great thing which does not necessitate self-surrender than to do a small thing which demands it. We call it a great thing, and rightly so, to spend a life in toilsome service, to give up home and friends and live in strange lands, forgetting that this may not involve more sacrifice than patiently to bear our lot, wherever it may be, than to perform the constant but unnoticed self-denials of an obscure life, and accept without murmuring the unknown and unrewarded toils of each day. This tendency pervades all our judgments. We judge men’s acts by their outward forms rather than by the spirit which impelled them—we are so apt to regard only the great Temple stones. The principle uttered by Christ with regard to the widow’s gift reverses our common notions; before it, our distinctions between great and small vanish. It is the all—the very heart of the offerer that God asks for, the outward form of the sacrifice is of little worth. There are many unknown heroes and silent martyrs now whom the world passes by. It is not the great outward act, but the perfect yielding of the soul, that constitutes the sacrifice which God will not despise.

In the worship described in the vision in the Apocalypse “the four-and-twenty elders fall down before him that sat upon the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne” (Revelation 4:10). They lay their crowns, the symbol of their attainments, at the feet of Him that sitteth upon the throne; and while these glorified saints are thus offering themselves in delighted homage in heaven amidst surroundings that tell of perfect joy and peace, some poor struggling Christian upon earth has broken away with tears and an aching heart from what he loves most, that he may do more thoroughly what he believes to be the will of God. The principle that moves both is the same—sacrifice and self-oblation; only here the will is being purified and cleansed, loosening itself with pain from the creatures to which it clings inordinately, that in faith, and often with little sensible love, it may give itself to God. There, in that picture in heaven, we see the result; there is no more need of struggle or effort, the will is free, bound for ever into the will of God, and it is the joy of the soul for eternity to cast itself and all it possesses at the feet of its Creator.

“What can I spare?” we say:

“Ah, this and this,

From mine array

I am not like to miss:

And here are crumbs to feed some hungry one:

They do but grow a cumbrance on my shelf”:—

And yet, one reads, our Father gave His Son,

Our Master gave Himself.1 [Note: Frederick Langbridge.]

ii. The Sacrifice of our Substance

St. Paul says, “We are not our own, we are bought with a price”; therefore, strictly speaking, we have nothing to give, and yet it is true that Christ, who gives us all, condescends to receive back our gifts. Observe, however, how our Lord receives them, observe how He passes judgment on those who cast their gifts into His treasury. He does not condemn the rich who that day brought their offerings. He does not say how much they ought to have given, whether or not they ought to have given more; but He makes no honourable mention of them. One of the evils of our day is an ostentatious parade of what rich persons give for charitable and religious purposes. This kind of parade is in direct opposition to our Lord’s conduct on the occasion before us. He did not call the attention of the disciples to what He saw till this poor widow had cast in her two mites. The sums which the rich men gave are not named at all. How unlike is this precious passage in New Testament history to what is too common in modern reports, where the larger sums, with their donors’ names, are specified first, and then the lesser ones are massed in one amount under the head of small sums!

Christ sees the workman’s sixpence, and how much it is in relation to his weekly wages. The subscription of a thousand pounds from “many who are rich” is not, in His eyes, half so much. The offerings of the very poor make a deep impression on His heart. He specially calls the attention of the disciples to the greatness of least gifts. He excites their reverence and wonder by speaking of a poor widow who had cast in “more than all.” To the treasury of the Temple her offering was next to nothing, but it was very great in the sight of God. How easily and reasonably she might have said, “My two mites are much to me, but they will not make the treasury noticeably richer: I will keep them for my own need”; instead of which, she kept her need, and gave her money, all that she had. And Jesus has built her an eternal monument: she cast in more than they all.

“Poor widow” indeed! but in a sense quite different from that in which Christ uses the words. Her name is unknown, her deed immortal, but verily she hath been made a packhorse for more stinginess than any other character of history. Surely we may well be thankful that her name is not known, else we would have had societies bearing it while belying her character. We talk about our “mite,” of course referring to her, and there is no near relationship between the two. She did not foretell, or after tell, what she gave. We do both. She gave two mites, we give what we call a mite—and generally speaking it is, but not much like the widow’s. “She of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living”; but we of our superfluity cast in what we happen to have with us or feel like giving, and this is a mite, but rarely all our living. Usually it does not affect our living in the least.

“I would my gift were worthier!” sighed the Greek,

As on he goaded to the temple-door

His spotted bullock. “Ever of our store

Doth Zeus require the best; and fat and sleek

The ox I vowed to him (no brindled streak,

No fleck of dun) when through the breaker’s roar

He bore me safe that day, to Naxos’ shore;

And now, my gratitude, how seeming weak!

But here be chalk-pits. What if I should white

The blotches, hiding all unfitness so?

The victim in the people’s eyes would show

Better therefor;—the sacrificial rite

Be quicklier granted at thus fair a sight,

And the great Zeus himself might never know.”

We have a God who knows. And yet we dare

On His consuming altar-coals to lay

(Driven by the prick of conscience to obey)

The whited sacrifice, the hollow prayer,

In place of what we vowed, in our despair,

Of best and holiest;—glad no mortal may

Pierce through the cheat, and hoping half to stay

That Eye before whose search all souls are bare!

Nay, rather;—let us bring the victim-heart,

Defiled, unworthy, blemished though it be,

And fling it on the flame, entreating,—“See,

I blush to know how vile in every part

Is this my gift, through sin’s delusive art,

Yet ’tis the best that I can offer Thee!”1 [Note: Margaret J. Preston.]

iii. The Sacrifice of Ourselves

1. What do we mean by the word ourselves? Christ has said, “Whosoever would save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s shall save it. For what doth it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? For what should a man give in exchange for his life?” This, then, is what we mean by ourselves: our time, our talents, our desires, our affections, in short, all that which makes up our life; and Christ has taught us that nothing short of ourselves is an offering worthy of Him. This may be called the ideal way of looking at the subject.

“Two mites, which make a farthing.” Is that merely the Evangelist’s explanation, or is he quoting Christ? It would have been like Him to give the equation; for no one reckons as He the value of human love. She had two mites. Had she had the farthing in one piece it might have been different; but while there are two pieces there is always room for a double heart. It is not in money only that we are tempted to halve with God. Our talents, our time, our love, our conscience—let us keep half and give God the other!1 [Note: H. Elvet Lewis.]

I beheld Him

Bleeding on the accursed tree:

Heard Him pray, “Forgive them, Father!”

And my wistful heart said faintly,

“Some of self, and some of Thee!”

I once read a book which suggested that the words, “My Master,” should be worn next the heart, next the will, sinking into the very springs of both, deeper every day. The writer says: “Let us get up every morning with this for the instantaneous thought that my Master wakes me. I wake, I rise, His property. Before I go out to plow, or feed, or whatever it may be, upon His domain, let me, with reverent and deep joy, go into His private chamber, as it were, and avow Him as my Master, my Possessor; absolute, not constitutional; supremely entitled to order me about all day, and, if He pleases, not to thank me at the close.”2 [Note: D. Farncomb, The Vision of His Face, 70.]

That He had always been governed by love without selfish views; and that having resolved to make the love of God the end of all his actions, he had found good reason to be well satisfied with his method. That he was pleased, when he could take up a straw from the ground for the love of God, seeking Him only, and nothing else, not even His gifts.3 [Note: Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God, 8.]

2. Three practical lessons arise.

(1) A lesson of duty.—We are so tempted to say, “Had we only great opportunities of service, were we only free from these passing cares, we would dedicate our lives to God.” Meanwhile this wonderful life is passing, never to return, and nothing is done. Every man may be spiritually heroic. Beneath every trouble or disappointment, small and insignificant as they may seem, lies God’s opportunity.

Believe that the work you are appointed to do is God’s work, and you will always find scope for the heavenly spirit, and for living out the principle which Christ indicated when He pointed to the widow’s mite. It is true that this makes life a very difficult thing,—it is supremely hard to live to God in small things. But forget not that He who saw the widow’s offering sees you, and He who guides the stars binds up the broken heart.1 [Note: K. L. Hull.]

There is a great deal in the Bible about things we might be inclined to call “trifles.” I think God wants to remind us at every turn that He is carefully taking note of all the little details of life. Nearly two thousand years ago a man was doing a lowly act of service—just carrying a pitcher of water into a house in Jerusalem. How little he thought, as he walked along the street, that this trifling everyday action would never be forgotten. How little he imagined that God was weaving him and his pitcher into the most wonderful story the world has ever known. Two of the Evangelists mention that man, who was doing a servant’s work, just before the greatest of the Jewish Passovers was kept, as if they wished to impress us with God’s attention to common things. They may seem trifling to us, but nothing is trifling to Him.2 [Note: D. Farncomb, The Vision of His Face, 99.]

Jesus hath many lovers of His Heavenly Kingdom, but few bearers of His cross. He hath many desirous of consolation, but few of tribulation. All desire to rejoice with Him; few are willing to endure anything for Him or with Him. But they who love Jesus for the sake of Jesus, and not for some special comfort of their own, bless Him in all tribulation and anguish of heart, as well as in the state of highest comfort.3 [Note: Thomas à Kempis.]

That we ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, for He regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.4 [Note: Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God, 22.]

(2) A lesson of encouragement.—Live to God in all things—consider no sacrifice too great or too small—do your best in everything as in His sight, and you will find Him everywhere. “The trivial round, the common task,” will be glorified with a heavenly spirit, and the great stones in God’s temple of the world will shine with the radiance of Divinity. Thus you will be revealing the Divine life to the world. Men and women consecrated to God in all things are the living temples of the Lord, through which His presence is manifested. Ask not, “Where is my work in the battle of the ages?” It is there, close to your side, if “whatsoever your hand finds to do, you do it with your might.”

“He called unto him his disciples.” Why did He not call the widow also? His “well done” would have transfigured her whole life. Christ values the deed, and the soul that shines through it, too highly to spoil them by praising too soon. He keeps His “well done” till we are fit to hear it. Who can tell the patience of His love? the self-restraint of His sympathy? There must be many a weary servant of His, with disappointed hands and bleeding heart, who almost wins Him to divulge, too soon, the healing secret of “that great day,” but He is wise, and longsuffering, hushing the whispers of heaven lest they reach our ears too soon. He let her return into the shadow of her lonely life and win her obscure victories in the strength of her own soul; some morning, when the angels hear, He will say—“I saw it.” And she will only bow her head lower, in adoring wonder. The soldier must come home for his medal; the worker must wait till evening for his wages. What He gives now is a sense of peace within, a feeling of victory over self.1 [Note: H. Elvet Lewis.]

It is enough! With Him no good is lost;

All has its own just value: All the cost—

The sacrifice by which our work is done—

Revealed before Him stand:

Already in His hand

The fragments have been gathered into one.2 [Note: E. H. Divall, A Believer’s Rest, 137.]

(3) A lesson of warning.—The Jews had come to see God only in the Temple at Jerusalem. As a consequence they became formalists—the surrender of their souls was forgotten, and the splendid Temple fell! So now and ever; forget the Divinity of all life, and the temple of your soul will become desolate.3 [Note: E. L. Hull.] A service which is merely formal becomes degrading; it seeks a reward outside itself. But when Christ fills the temple of the soul, all service is based on love and brings its own reward.

Love is the greatest thing that God can give us, for Himself is Love; and it is the greatest thing we can give to God, for it will also give ourselves, and carry with it all that is ours. Let our love be firm, constant, and inseparable; not coming and returning like the tide, but descending like a never-failing river, ever running into the ocean of Divine excellency, passing on in the channels of duty and a constant obedience, and never ceasing to be what it is, till it comes to what it desires to be; still being a river till it be turned into a sea, and vastness, even the immensity of a blessed eternity.1 [Note: Jeremy Taylor.]

I into life so full of love was sent,

That all the shadows which fall on the way

Of every human being could not stay,

But fled before the light my spirit lent.

They said, “You are too jubilant and glad;

The world is full of sorrow and of wrong,

Full soon your lips shall breathe forth sighs—not song!”

The days wear on, and yet I am not sad.

They said, “Too free you give your soul’s rare wine;

The world will quaff, but it will not repay.”

Yet into the emptied flagons, day by day,

True hearts pour back a nectar as divine.

Thy heritage! Is it not love’s estate?

Look to it, then, and keep its soil well tilled.

I hold that my best wishes are fulfilled,

Because I love so much, and will not hate.2 [Note: Ella Wheeler Wilcox.]

All that She Had


Horton (R. F.), The Cartoons of St. Mark, 249.

Hull (E. L.), Sermons Preached at King’s Lynn, 3rd Ser., 213.

Lewis (H. Elvet), in Women of the Bible, ii. 195.

M‘Neill (J.), Regent Square Pulpit, ii. 65.

Maturin (B. W.), Some Principles and Practices of the Spiritual Life, 73.

Pulsford (J.), Loyally to Christ, 60.

Purves (P. C), The Divine Cure for Heart Trouble, 113.

Shepard (J. W.), Light and Life, 192.

Christian World Pulpit, xix. 44 (Walters); lxiv. 179 (Parkhurst).

Treasury, xxi. 479 (Hallock).

The Great Texts of the Bible - James Hastings

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