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24. Shew that Christians ought to make allowance for the weakness of their brethren.
(Rom. xiv. 1, &c. xv. 1.) 25. Prove that the Jews were allowed to pluck ears of corn from a neighbour's field. (23.)
(Deut. xxiii. 25.) 26. Shew the severity of the old Law respecting the Sabbath. (24.)
(Ex. xxxi. 14, 15. xxxv. 2, 3. Num. xv. 32-36.) 27. Prove that we must search the Scriptures in order to understand God's will perfectly. (25, 26.)
(Is. viii. 20. John v. 39. 1 Cor. x. 11. 2 Tim. iii. 16, 17.)
28. Prove that Abiathar was not High Priest at this time, but was so afterwards. (26.)
(1 Sam. xxi. l. 1 Kings ü. 26, 27.) 29. What was the “shew-bread”? and by whom might it be eaten?
(Lev. xxiv. 5—9.) 30. What practical lesson may we draw from David's eating the holy bread without sin?
(Matt. xii. 7. compare Hosea vi. 6.) 31. Shew that the Sabbath was made for man. (27.) (Compare Gen. i. 26, with ii. 3. Also Ex. xxiii. 12. xxxi. 13.
Deut. v. 14. Ez. xx. 12.) 32. Prove that the Christian Sabbath is the Lord's Day. (28.)
(Rev. i. 10.)
“FORGIVE US-AS WE FORGIVE.”
every child is taught to offer, night and morning, the Lord's prayer, but many perhaps do so without knowing for what they are praying. That short prayer comprehends a great deal.
Let us take one petition, and examine it: “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Does every child reflect that when he offers that prayer, he asks God to treat him as he has treated his brothers and sisters, his schoolmates and companions! Have you been unkind,
given blow for blow, or word for word, then your prayer implies a petition that God will not forgive your sins, but punish you as you deserve, that he will bring every act and word into remembrance, and give to each its due reward. Let me tell you how a teacher once taught ber scholars to understand and to offer this prayer.
This teacher had twelve small scholars, they were none of them over ten years of age, and none under five. She had taught them all the Lord's prayer, and every morning and night as she opened and closed her school, all these children knelt and offered with her this prayer. But one day as she was observing these children while at play, she saw them shew unkind and unforgiving dispositions, and the thought came to her mind, that for them to pray that God would forgive them as they forgive others, was to pray for punishment rather than for mercy.
She had often tried to explain to them the meaning of their prayer, but now she must devise some way to make them feel it. She said nothing then, but when the time came for closing the school, and offering their prayer, she gathered them around her as she was accustomed to do, and asked them the usual question, “Have you been good girls to day?"
They stopped, and thought if they had whispered, if they had recited well, if they had come in season, and then with very good-natured faces they all answered, “Yes, we have not whispered, and have recited well." The mark for good behaviour was put down, for all that was true.
“And now you are all ready to offer your prayer?” “Yes, we can say it all.”
“And you are ready to offer that one petition, 'Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors?' Remember what I have told you about it. Remember what it means. Think if, through all this day, you have done as you would be done by; if you have fully forgiven all the unkind treatment which you may have received; think of all that you have done, and then tell me if you are willing to offer that petition.”
The expression of every face was altered in a moment, tears started from the eyes of some, and all were crim
soned with shame. They were silent, and their teacher again said, “ Are you not ready to offer your prayer ? We must ask our Father to forgive us as we have forgiven each other; and he knows all-all our lives and all our hearts."
“Oh no, not now, not yet, not that one,” said the children, "let us say some other prayer: let us say the other one which you taught us, “God be merciful to me a sinner.
“Then you are not willing to say • Our Father' to God, but each must go alone to the throne of grace and say, 'God be merciful to me a sinner. And why can you not pray the Lord's prayer? Have you been more wicked to-day than usual ?”
“No, but we cannot pray so, we did not know that it meant all that."
“I take the reproof, my dear children, which your words imply, and pray God that he will not answer upon you the prayers which you offered in ignorance. But from this night, you must think for yourselves. To forgive truly and sincerely an injury is often very hard, but it must and can be done. It should be forgiven too, when it is received, as fully, as freely, and as promptly as we desire our sins to be forgiven of God.
“True forgiveness also, requires a forgetfulness of the injury received. We often hear the expression, 'I will forgive it, but I cannot forget it. This is not right; no, true forgiveness banishes the remembrance of the deed : you could not one of you love and forgive your playmate, if all the time you were thinking of the blow or the unkind word which she had given you.
And we do not wish God to remember our sins. We
him to blot them out,' to 'remember them not against us,' and so we must do, or we cannot in sincerity pray, 'Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.' Let us think how many injuries our Saviour received, how much he suffered for our sakes, and how many sins we need to have forgiven. Remember this, my children, and now to-night we will offer the publican's prayer, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner.' May we be able to-morrow night to come together and offer the Lord's prayer.” So both teacher and children offered in tears this solitary prayer, “God be merciful to me a sinner.”
Afterwards those children were changed, they were quiet, loving, and forgiving; they had learned to offer the Lord's prayer, they had learned to forgive. And I hope and pray that every child that shall read this, may learn to do the same; learn to be like the child of whom Christ said, “of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
NOTICE OF BOOKS. Life in Earnest. Six Lectures on Christian Activity and
Ardor. By The Rev. James HAMILTON. London: Nisbet. pp. 136. 18mo.
We have been too long in recommending this most valuable treatise to our readers. We do not remember to have met with any thing for a long time so stirring, and so generally useful in enforcing the Apostolic precept, “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” We can only give an extract or two as a specimen, hoping that our readers will be induced to possess the original.
Truly does our Author speak of love to Christ as the grand principle of action:
“Dear brethren, get love to the Lord Jesus, and you have every thing. Union to Jesus is salvation. Love to Jesus is religion. Love to the Lord Jesus is essential and vital Christianity. It is the mainspring of the life of God in the soul of man. It is the all. inclusive germ, which involves within it every other grace. It is the pervasive spirit, without which the most correct demeanour is but dead works, and the seemliest exertions are an elegant futility. Love to Christ is the best incentive to action—the best antidote to idolatry. It adorns the labours which it animates, and hallows the friendships which it overshadows. It is the smell of the ivory wardrobe, the precious perfume of the believer's character, the fragrant mystery which only lingers round those souls which have been to a better clime. Its operation is most marvellous ; for when there is enough of it, it makes the timid bold, and the slothful diligent. It puts eloquence into the stammering tongue, and energy into the withered arm, and ingenuity into the dull lethargic brain. It takes possession of the soul, and a joyous lustre beams in languid eyes, and wings of new obedience sprout from lazy, leaden feet. Love to Christ is the soul's true heroism, which courts gigantic feats, which selects the heaviest loads and the hardest toils, which glories in tribulations, and hugs reproaches, and smiles at
death till the king of terrors smiles again. It is the aliment which feeds assurance, the opiate which lulls suspicions, the oblivious draught which scatters misery, and remembers poverty no more. Love to Jesus is the beauty of the believing soul; it is the elasticity of the willing steps, and the brightness of the glowing countenance. If you would be a happy, a holy, and a useful Christian, you must be an eminently Christ-loving disciple. If you have no love to Jesus at all, then you are none of his. But if you have a little love-ever so little-a little drop, almost frozen in the coldness of your icy heart-oh! seek more. Look to Jesus, and cry for the Spirit till you find your love increasing; till you find it drowning besetting sins; till you find it drowning guilty fearsrising, till it touch that index, and open your closing lips-rising, till every nook and cranny of the soul is filled with it, and all the actions of life and relations of earth are pervaded by it-rising, till it swell up to the brim, and, like the Apostle's love, rush over in a full assurance: “Yes, I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.'”
The Author's illustration of the value of industry is striking :
" The usefulness and happiness of your future life depend very much on the amount of solid learning and graceful accomplishments, and above all, on the extent of Bible knowledge which you presently acquire, and if you be only willing you may acquire as much as ever you please. To use the words of the most philosophic of British artists, "Nothing is denied to well-directed diligence.' Long ago, a little boy was entered at Harrow school. He was put into a class beyond his years, and where all the scholars had the advantage of previous instruction denied to him. His master chid him for his dulness, and all his own efforts could not raise him from the lowest place on the form. But, nothin aunted, he procured the grammars and other elementary books which his class-fellows had gone through in previous terms. He devoted the hours of play, and not a few of the hours of sleep, to the mastering of these; till in a few weeks he gradually began to rise, and it was not long till he shot far a-head of all his companions, and became not only dux of that division, but the pride of Harrow. That boy, whose career began with this fit of energetic application, you may see his statue in St. Paul's Cathedral to-morrow; for he lived to be the greatest oriental scholar of modern Europe, and most of you have heard the name of Sir William Jones. God denies nothing in the way of learning to well-directed diligence. It is possible that you may be rather depressed than stimulated when asked to contemplate some first-rate name in literature or science. When you see the lofty pinnacle of attainment on which that name is now reposing, you feel as if it had been created there rather than had travelled thither. No such thing. The most illustrious in the annals of philosophy, once on a time, knew no more of it than you now do. And how diá he arrive at his peerless proficiency? By dint of diligence, by downright painstaking. . When Newton was asked how he came by those