(MacDuff, "Memories of Gennesaret" 1887)
While Jesus was in the Temple, He watched
the rich people putting their gifts into the
collection box. Then a poor widow came by
and dropped in two pennies. "I assure you,"
He said, "this poor widow has given more
than all the rest of them. For they have
given a tiny part of their surplus, but she,
poor as she is, has given everything she has."
He is unworthy of the name of Christian, whose
every thought begins, centers, and terminates in
self; a cold, frigid icicle, chilling all who come
within his reach; when he gives, giving grudgingly;
and what he gives, costing him no sacrifice.
Sacrifice of some sort, either of substance, or time,
or personal effort, is necessarily involved in every
deed of true beneficence.
It was not the gifts of costly munificence, thrown
with supercilious air into the Treasury, which the
Savior valued; but the widow's two pennies, the
little earnings which a grateful, giving heart doled
out of her poverty, and which made her evening's
meal simpler and scantier than otherwise it would
Let us learn anew, the lesson of self sacrifice.
The world, with its millions of starving outcasts;
are famishing in spiritual destitution! Have we,
abridged our own comforts to minister to theirs?
Is it not the duty of each to ask, before God, "What
can I spare? Is there no needless expenditure; no
lavish waste; no foolish luxuriance; nothing that
could be spared in my house or my table, in my
social feasts, that, instead of going to feed and
pamper that love of extravagance which is
running wild in all modern society, could go to
help reach the unsaved?