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Gratitude to Our First Helpers

Gratitude to Our First Helpers

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Published by glennpease

"Andrew first findeth his own brother Simon." — John i. 41.

"Andrew first findeth his own brother Simon." — John i. 41.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 07, 2012
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GRATITUDE TO OUR FIRST HELPERS
BY GEORGE MATHESO"Andrew first findeth his own brother Simon." — John i. 41.AY one who first saw these two brotherswould have predicted the foremost placefor Andrew. It was he that brought out thegenius of Peter. Without him Peter would havebeen nowhere — never heard of in the Church orthe world. It was Andrew who caught theoriginal flame of Christ; Peter only lighted amatch at his brother's fire. One would havesaid, *' This will always be the leading man, thedominant man ; the other must be content to bea satellite." And yet the judgment would havebeen wrong ; Peter was the planet and Andrewthe satellite. Andrew taught Peter to run ;but Peter outstripped him. Andrew lightedPeter's lamp ; but Peter outshone him. Andrewplanted Peter's soul ; but Peter outgrew him.Was Andrew, then, a failure ; did he belie themagnificent promise of his morning ? o ; he246GRATITUDE TO FIRST HELPERS 247fulfilled that promise. He had a particularmission in the world — to find out the genius of others and then to disappear. There are menwhom God raises up for the sake of those
 
who are to follow them. You will meet themamongst the teachers of our Sunday schools andday schools. The relation of the teacher to thepupil is the relation of Andrew to Peter. He isat present ahove his boys ; but in the naturalcourse of things his boys will be above him.Just because they belong to a younger genera-tion, they are likely in the future to see a greaterlight. The teacher's province is to find the placefor each lamp and to set it aglow. Its glow willprobably far surpass his own ; that is what heshould wish, that is what he should strive for.When that happens it will not prove him afailure, but a success. His province is not toplant seeds which will reach the height of pre-sent trees, but to plant seeds which will surpassin growth all the trees of to-day. If he is a goodteacher he lives for his own dwarfing. He is tofind those who will be fit for a coming age, alarger age, an age that will require highercapacities to guide it. Of every boy in his schoolhe would like to say, " He must increase, but Imust decrease." He is a lighter of lamps forthe future — of lamps worthy to gladden moredeveloped eyes than ours.248 GRATITUDE TO FIRST HELPERSMy soul, do not forget those who have foundthee ! Remember, somebody has found thee.Be thou ever so much a Peter, thou hadst onceneed of an Andrew. Somebody started thee — somebody that is now inferior to thee. Thou
 
hast outstripped him, but he gave thee wings.Do not forget Andrew because thou hast out-stripped him — because he is now obscure andunknown. He has fulfilled his mission — andhis mission was to find thee. Give back thedebt that thou owest ! Far as thou hast passedhim by, thou art his debtor. It was his flashthat set thee aflame. It was perhaps a wordspoken by the wayside, perhaps a cloud dis-pelled in the class-room, perhaps a mercyextended to misdeeds. Whatever it was, itremains thine undischarged debt to him. Hefound thee in thy rising ; go back to find himin his setting ! He may be dwelling in agarret. He may be living in a den of poverty.He may be struggling with the wolf at the door,lie may have been left high and dry on the beachby the very tide that was moving to thee, Yetthat beach on which he lies should be sacred tothee. Look back on it betimes from the sea onwhich thy bark is gliding ! Thine eye is habitu-ally on the west — on thy sun's completed glory.Shall it not rest sometimes on the east — on thedays of thy dawn ! Thou hast years of hope ;GRATITUDE TO FIRST HELPERS 249give an hour to memory ! Thou hast a lifetimeof aspiration ; give a moment to retrospect !Thou art flying toward the noonday ; give aglance backward to the morning ! Thou artgoing forward to meet the seraphim ; retracethy steps one mile to greet Andrew ! Thou art

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