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The Little Printer Missionary - Selected

A ragged printer's boy, who lived in Constantinople, was in the habit of carrying the proof-sheets to the English editor during the noon lunch-time. The editor was a busy man, and exchanged no words, except such as were necessary, with him. The boy was faithful, doing all that he was bidden, promptly and to the best of his ability, but he was ragged, and so dirty as to be positively repulsive. This annoyed the editor; but, as he was no worse in this respect than most of the boys of his class, the busy man did not urge him to improve his personal appearance, much as he would have enjoyed the change. But one morning the boy came in with clean face, hands, and garments. Not a trace of the old filth was to be seen about his person; and so great was the change that his master did not recognize him.

"Why, you are a new boy entirely!" he said when convinced of the lad's identity.

"I am going away, back to my own home." said the boy, quickly, "and I came to ask a favor of you. Will you pray for me after I am gone?"

"Pray for you!" exclaimed the editor.

"Yes," returned the boy. "You think I am a heathen, but I am not. I have been attending chapel and Sunday-school in the Bible house. I have learned to read and to write, and, best of all, I have learned to love Jesus, and am trying to be his boy. But I cannot stay here while my father, mother, brothers, and sisters do not know about him. So I go back to my own village to tell friends and neighbors about him. I don't know much yet, and I want you to pray that I may be helped when I try to tell my people what he is to me."

"And it is because you are going away that you have washed and fixed yourself up so well?" asked the editor, thinking what a fine boy clothes and cleanliness had made of him.

"It is because I am Christ's boy now," was the answer. "I want to be clean and to have my clothes whole in honor of the Master I am trying to serve."

"I hope your friends will receive as much from Christ's love as you have," said the man.

"And you will pray for them and for me?" urged the boy.

The man promised; and, full of hope, the lad started on his long walk homeward, to tell the story of the cross to the dear ones there, in his own wretched home first, and afterward to the neighbors among whom he had spent his childhood days.—Selected.


  Ready to go, ready to wait,
  Ready a gap to fill;
  Ready for service, small or great,
  Ready to do His will.

Phillips Brooks