One incident of this time I must record here, because of the lasting impression made upon my religious life. Our family, like all others of peasant rank in the land were plunged into deep distress and felt the pinch severely, through the failure of the potato, the badness of other crops, and the ransom-price of food. Our father had gone off with work to Hawick, and would return next evening with money and supplies; but meantime the meal barrel ran low, and our dear mother, too proud and too sensitive to let any one know, or to ask aid from any quarter, coaxed us all to rest, assuring us that she had told God everything and that He would send us plenty in the morning. Next day, with the carrier from Lockerbie, came a present from her father, who, knowing nothing of her circumstances or of this special trial, had been moved of God to send at that particular nick of time a love-offering to his daughter, such as they still send to each other in those kindly Scottish shires -- a bag of new potatoes, a stone of the first ground of meal or flour, or the earliest homemade cheese of the season -- which largely supplied all our need. My mother seeing our surprise at such an answer to her prayers took us around her knees, thanked God for His goodness, and said to us:

"O my children, love your Heavenly Father, tell Him in faith and prayer all your needs, and He will supply your wants so far as it shall be for your good and His glory."


The Story of John G. Paton Told for Young Folks or, Thirty Years among South Sea Cannibals by James Paton. New York: A. L. Burt Company, Publishers, [1892].


JOHN GIBSON PATON (1824-1907). Scottish missionary to the New Hebrides (Vanuatu).