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They who die in Christ are blest;
Ours then be no thought of grieving;
All their toils and troubles leaving;
Whose pearly recesses the echoes still keep,
It joined in the concert pour'd forth by the deep?
To the waste sandy desert, or dark ivied cave,
It learned long before of the wind and the wave.
They are not of earth, but are exiles while here,
Some sweet treasured notes of their own native sphere.
And the discords of earth may their melody mar;
APRIL 10. — THE NILE, AS DISPLAYING God's
GOODNESS.—Genesis xli. 1–8. BEFORE the Bible was completed, God employed various means to teach man his will, such as (1) inspiration, 2 Sam. xxiii. 2: (2) voices, Dan. iv. 31: (3) angels, Gen. xix. 1-2: (4) visions and dreams, Num. xii. 6. Pharaoh dreamt he was standing by the Nile. This river flows 1,500 miles, and falls by several streams into the Mediterranean : see the map in the March Magazine. It rises every year, and blesses the whole land of Egypt. Bread corn is cast upon its waters, Ecc. xii. I, and sinking into the mud, grows rapidly. Having little or no rain, the Egyptians preserve the water after its overflowings in cisterns, and direct it, as they need it for their gardens, along channels made with the foot, Deut. xi. 10. Seven buffaloes were seen standing in the Nile to cool themselves, and eating the reeds which grew upon the banks of the river. This was a picture of the seven years of plenty which were coming on, and the lean kine were pictures of scarcity. The dream was repeated to inpress it. Seven ears of corn, in that country, often grow on one stem. The east wind, passing over the deserts of Arabia, destroyed the crop, Hosea xiii. 15. Pharaoh was troubled because the Nile was concerned. The plenty came before the famine, yet both were brought by the Nile. When it rose 12 cubits, there was famine; 13 cubits, hunger; 15, sufficiency; 16, luxury; 18, famine. Rivers, seasons, clouds, all are under God's control. It was customary to give a tenth of the produce to the king. Joseph advised double that quantity to be laid up to serve during the years of famine. The dream led to the release of Joseph from prison, to the preventing of starvation, and to the bringing of Israel into Egypt.
QUESTIONS. 1 Can you name several means 5 Why did God cause this
which God employed to dream ?
16 What was its result? 2 What do you know as to the 7 What does it show about
length, rising, use and end God?
8 What duty is taughtin Prov. 3 How is corn sown and the vi. 6-8, Prov. xxvii. 12,
lands watered in Egypt ?! and 1 Tim. vi. 19? 4 What was the nature and 9 How are we to prepare for
meaning of Pharaoh's eternity?
APRIL 17.- THE NILE, AS DISPLAYING God's
ANGER.—Exodus vii. 14–25. This river was worshipped by the Egyptians, and was called holy, blessed, sacred. Mothers often dipped their children in it, thinking it had a divine virtue. A boy and girl were annually sacrificed to it. Probably many of the male Hebrew children were drowned in it. Pharaoh went one morning to it either to bathe or worship. Moses met him, and informed him the river was to be turned to blood : showing him God could turn the river he adored to a curse. The fish, many being sacred, died. The water, hitherto delicious and medicinal, became loathsome, poisonous, and stinking. The magicians, or wicked wise men, pretended to do so too, perhaps by some trick, turning a portion of water red. Pharaoh, therefore, hardened his heart against God. This miracle, the first of ten, appears to have continued a week, perhaps till the next Sabbath, when another one was wrought to honour a day of which God, in the Commandments, gave more direction than of any other institution.
QUESTIONS. 1 How did the Egyptians feel 7 How is the heart savingly
and act toward the Nile? subdued ? 2 What sins did they thus 8 How do the miracles of commit?
Moses and Christ show 3 Why did God inform Pha. the truth of their doc
raoh of all he was going to trine?
do? give two answers. | 9 May each person have 4 Did God wish to curse the the Holy Spirit ? Nile ?
110 Have you set your heart 5 How did Pharaoh regard on what God has done this miracle ?
to convince and convert 6 Are all sinners wilfully you ? Deut. xxxii. 46.
APRIL 24.—THE MARRIAGE AT CANA—John ii. 1–10.
ACCORDING to custom, there was a marriage-feast on the third day after the wedding. This was at Cana, in Galilee, thus described, to distinguish it from other places of the same name. Such feasts usually lasted seven days. The wine was deficient, perhaps, from an unexpected number of guests. Mary looked to her son for a miraculous supply to relieve the happy couple from embarrassment; but he gently rebuked her; showing, that in divine things she could not control him. Near him were six large stone jars, used for the various washings among the Jews, Matt. xv. 22; Mark vii. 25. They were filled to the brim, to prevent delusion. Jesus told the servants to draw some out, and what was drawn out, not, we think the whole quantity, became wine. The governor, or chief guest, whose office it was to taste the wine first, and who from ignorance of the miracle could have had no bias in favour of the miracle, owned it was the best wine. Thus Christ kindly wrought his first miracle. He always gave pleasure when he could do so without sin. The wines used among the Jews were generally unfermented, and we are certain Christ would not obscure his glory by promoting intemperance. We find that to the present day it is customary in the east, at the birth of a child, to fill a jar with thick wine, and keep it in the earth, thus preventing fermentation, until the child marries. At the wedding-feast it is distributed to the guests, and if afterwards more wine is wanted, it is thought inferior to this, not being so ripe. In reference to this miracle, honouring holy marriage and innocent festivity, it has been said,
• Vidit et erubuit lympha pudica Deum.'
The modest water, awed by power divine,
QUESTIONS. 1 Can you describe this feast? 16 How may we secureChrist's 2 Why did Mary address our favour at our weddings
Lord : Luke i. 32. 1 and festivities ? 3 What do you think of pray- 7 Does he wish to make us
ing to the Virgin for her happy in this life and the
influence over Christ ? next? 4 Can you giveseveral proofs 8 What differences are there
that this was a real miracle? between this miracle and 5 What was the result of this the one in the last · Pore miracle? ver.11,Johniii.
2 tion?'. May 1.-Saul's CONVERSION-Acts ix. 1—9.
DAMASCUS was the capital of Syria, about 150 miles from Jerusalem. Saul, who had been aiding in Stephen's death, was full of malice against the Christians. The high-priest and the Jewish council at Jerusalem had authority to examine any persons on religious matters : by the favour of the Romans this authority extended beyond the Holy Land. Saul wished to go as far as Damascus, and bring to Jerusalem for punishment any persons professing the faith of Christ. When near Damascus Christ addressed him, and