"In NOTHING be anxious."
In Matt. 6:25-34, our Lord illustrates this being without anxiety, by telling us to behold the fowls of the air and the lilies of the field, as examples of the sort of life He would have us live. As the birds rejoice in the care of their God and are fed, and as the lilies grow in His sunlight, so must we, without anxiety, and without fear. Let the sparrows speak to us: --
"I am only tiny sparrow,
A bird of low degree;
My life is of little value,
But the dear Lord cares for me.
I have no barn nor storehouse,
I neither sow nor reap;
God gives me a sparrow's portion,
But never a seed to keep.
"I know there are many sparrows;
All over the world they are found;
But our heavenly Father knoweth
When one of us falls to the ground.
"Though small, we are never forgotten;
Though weak, we are never afraid;
For we know the dear Lord keepeth
The life of the creatures he made.
"I fly through the thickest forest,
I light on many a spray;
I have no chart nor compass,
But I never lose my way.
And I fold my wing at twilight
Wherever I happen to be;
For the Father is always watching,
And no harm will come to me.
I am only a little sparrow,
A bird of low degree,
But I know the Father loves me;
Have you less faith than we?"
Hannah Whithall Smith, chapter 3 of her Christian's Secret of a Happy Life
Preface to her book:
"This is not a theological book. I frankly confess I have not been trained in theological schools, and do not understand their methods nor their terms. But the Lord has taught me experimentally and practically certain lessons out of his Word, which have greatly helped me in my Christian life, and have made it a very happy one. And I want to tell my secret, in the best way I can, in order that some others may be helped into a happy life also.
I do not seek to change the theological views of a single individual. I dare say most of my readers know far more about theology than I do myself, and perhaps may discover abundance of what will seem to be theological mistakes. But let me ask that these may be overlooked, and that my reader will try, instead, to get at the experimental point of that which I have tried to say, and if that is practical and helpful, forgive the blundering way in which it is expressed. I have tried to reach the absolute truth which lies at the foundation of all "creeds" and "views," and to bring the soul into those personal relations with God which must exist alike in every form of religion, let the expression of them differ as they may.
I have committed my book to the Lord, and have asked Him to counteract all in it that is wrong, and to let only that which is true find entrance into any heart. It is sent out in tender sympathy and yearning love for all the struggling, weary ones in the Church of Christ, and its message goes right from my heart to theirs. I have given the best I have, and could do no more. May the blessed Holy Spirit use it to teach some of my readers the true secret of a happy life!"
HANNAH WHITALL SMITH, GERMANTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA.