What The Grashoppers Did

DEAR CHILDREN: Would you believe that the

grasshoppers could ever stop the cars those 

swiftly running chariots that the Prophet Nahum

 so graphically describes, that will be "in the day

 of His preparation" the sixth day of the world, 

the Friday of our earth's history? Does it not 

seem impossible that such small creatures could

 produce such a great result? Yet nevertheless it

 was done. Some years since the grasshoppers

 were very thick in New York State, and did 

immense damage to vegetation; we could 

scarcely keep our garden alive almost constantly

 driving them off. One day the report came that 

the grasshoppers had stopped the cars. I laughed

 at the idea and thought it only a take-off on the

 mischief they were doing to the country; but the

 report was confirmed beyond doubt, that the 

grasshoppers evidently had not been satisfied 

with devouring whole fields of grain, even 

coming into houses and eating clothes, but had

 sharpened  their appetites on the great iron 

rails, compelling the mighty engine to stop in his


And how do you suppose this daring feat was 


 Not by a delegation of a few of the

largest and bravest old grasshoppers boldly 

marching up and disputing the right of way with

 the fierce, snorting, puffing, blowing engine; but

 in acting on the wise plan that in union there is

 strength, immense numbers of them filled the

 track, and as the engine rushed over, crushing 

the foremost ranks, a slime was produced which

 caused the wheels to slip, and thus the cars 

were stopped by the grasshoppers!

I have often heard in prayer and conference 

meetings  the brethren express themselves 

desirous that all obstructions might be removed,

 that the car of salvation might move forward. 

Now, to my mind,this is a very expressive figure.

 The Lord will not work for his people if they 

harbor sin in their hearts, whether in the form of

 an Achan, a golden wedge, or a Babylonish 

garment, but the track must be cleared.

There are two classes of sins commission and

omission, and either will be effectual in hindering

the car of salvation. There is a collective and

 individual view to take of this matter the latter

 is what more particularly concerns us. We must

 see to it that we do not allow little things to 

divert us from doing right; little omissions of

 duty, so small at first as to be hardly noticed,

 persisted  in, will finally prevent the salvation 

of our souls  like the cars stopped by the 

grasshoppers, we shall come to a dead stand.

If I see a little child inattentive from time to time

to what his parents and teachers say about his

 duty to God and man, I fear that, in his case the

 grasshoppers will stop the cars, or that they will

 never commence to move. If I see a young 

brother or a young sister neglectful of 

"overcoming by the word of their testimony," I 

fear the grasshoppers have gathered on their 

track. If I see the largest part of a congregation,

 who meet for the social means of grace, present

 the appearance of uninterested spectators,

having neither part nor lot in the matter, I think

 of the grasshoppers that stopped the cars.

Finally, children and youth, let us be diligent in

our different spheres of life, fall not out of the 

way, but walk in the way of His commandments.

M. H. L.

Battle Creek, Mich.