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Chap. xx, ver. 6.—And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle ?
The pious and eloquent Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Down, said one day to a lady of his acquaintance, who had been very neglectful of the education of her son, “ Madam, if you do not choose to fill your boy's head with something, believe me the devil will.” The Spanish proverb says strongly, “ The devil tempts every man, but an idle man tempts the devil.”
Chap. xx, ver. 21, 22.—She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask.
A fond father was in great distress for a favorite child, whom he apprehended to be dying in its infancy. Several of his friends endeavoured to assuage his grief, but he refused to be comforted. At length the minister on whom he attended offered to pray with him, and desired him to compose his mind, and give up his favorite son to the divine disposal, since there was no probable hope of his recovery. He replied, “ I cannot give bim up; and it is my importunate request that God would spare this child to me, whatever may be the consequence.” He had his desire; the child recovered, and grew up, if possible, more and more his darling : but he lived to be a tborn in his side, and to pierce bis heart with many sorrows. For just as he came to maturity, he robbed his excellent master, whom before he had often injured. He was seized by the hand of justice, tried, condemned, and died one of the most hardened wretches that ever went out of life in that ignominious manner. Upon the fatal day of execution, the mourning father was made to remember his former rash petition with grief and
tears; and humbled in the dust, confessed his folly and his sin.
Chap. xxi, ver. 16.—And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise ?
A Sabbath school having been opened near Hereford, a laboring man, who had a large family, sent his children there for the benefit of instruction; the good effects of which soon appeared. It happened that, very near to this man's house, a place was opened for the worship of God, where service was performed every Sabbath evening at seven o'clock; and this man and part of his family were in the habit of attending regularly. One Sabbath evening, the weather being very snowy, the man thought it prudent to leave his children at home, and went alone. Some of these young ones, doubtless, were much disappointed in not being permitted to accompany their father, and thought they would have a meeting amongst themselves. The father, on his return home, was surprised at seeing a light up stairs in his cottage, and thought that the children must be retiring to bed. He opened the door of the cottage, and went softly up stairs, wben, to his astonishment, he heard his youngest daughter, a child not more than six years old, in humble strains pouring forth her prayers to that God, through whose tender mercy it was that she had been taught to “ remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." When she had finished her prayer, she called upon one of her little brothers to pray, (for they were met together for that purpose,) and thus they finished this blessed day; experiencing, it is hoped, the blessedoess of that promise,“ Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there will I be in the midst of them."
Chap: xxii, ver. 11.--And when the king
came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on the wedding garment.
A person who had been for some time laboring under mental dejection, having dressed himself one Sabbath morning for church, and finding he had a few minutes to spend previous to leaving the house, took up his Bible with a view of reading a portion of Scripture. The first passage that caught his eye, was the above,“ And when the king came in to see the guests,” &c. The words strongly impressed his mind, particularly as connected with the design be had of obserying the ordinance of the Lord's Supper that day. When leaving his pew to go to the communion table, they recurred with such discouraging force to his recollection, as to prevent his going forward, and led him to return to his seat. He afterwards considered it as wrong, in having yielded so far to groundless apprehensions, and that a comparison of our state and cbaracter with the word of God, is the rational and proper way of ascertaining our fitness or unfitness to approach the table of the Lord.
Chap. xxii, ver. 21. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's; and unto God the things that are God's.
A boy about nine years of age, who attended a Sabbath School at Sunderland, requested his mother not to allow his brother to bring home any thing that was smuggled when he went to sea. “Why do you wish that, my child ?" said the mother. He answered, “ Because my catechism says it is wrong." The mother replied, “ But that is only the word of a man.” He said, “ Mother, is it the word of a man which said, • Render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's ?!” This reply entirely silenced the mother; but his father, still attempting to defend the practice of smuggling, the boy said to him, “ Father, whether is it worse to rob one or to rob many ?" By these questions and an
swers, the boy silenced both his parents on the subject of smuggling
Chap. xxiii, ver. 13.-Ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men : for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
A child of nine years old, in St. Giles', London, had gone for a long time to a school, in which the children of Roman Catholics are taught by Protestants to read the Bible. The little girl was taken very ill, and when there seemed no hope of her getting better, her parents sent for a Popish Priest. When he came, he thus spoke to her:-" Child, you are in an awful state; you are just going to die. I beg you, before you depart, to make your dying request to your father and mother, that they will not send your brothers and sisters to the school that you went to." The little girl raised herself up in bed, and said, “ My dear father and mother, I make it my dying request that you WILL send my brothers and sisters to that school; for there I was first taught that I was a sinner, and that I must depend alone upon Jesus Christ for salvation." She then laid her head back, and expired.
Chap. xxiii, ver. 24.-Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
A Neapolitan shepherd came in anguish to his priest : “ Father, have mercy on a miserable sinner! It is the holy season of lent; and while I was busy at work, some whey spurting from the cheese-press, flew into my mouth, and, wretched man ! I swallowed it. Free my distressed conscience from its agonies, by absolving me from my guilt!” “ Have you no other sins to confess?” said bis spiritual guide. “No; I do not know that I have committed any other.” “ There are," said the priest, “ many robberies and murders from time to time committed on your mountains, and I have reason to believe you are one of the persons
concerned in them.” “Yes,” he replied, “ I am ; but these are never accounted a crime: it is a thing practised by us all, and there needs no confession on that account.”
Chap. xxiv, ver. 36.—But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
At a village not many miles from London, a woman was endeavoring to vend some printed trash, which she said contained a prophecy, that on the approaching Whit-monday, the world would be at an end. On hearing this, a girl about seven years of age, standing at the door of her father's house, ran in somewhat alarmed, and telling her mother wbat the woman had been saying, asked her whether she believed it? A sister of the little girl, between nine and ten years of age, who had been educated in a Sabbath scool, happening to be present, could not refrain from speaking : “Ann," said she, you must not mind what the woman has been saying; she, I am sure, cannot know when the world is to be at an end; for, don't you remember what the word of God says, • Of that day and bour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only?''
Chap. xxiv, ver. 46.—Blessed is that servant whom his lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing.
For some time previous to his decease, Bishop Jewel had a presage of its near approach, which excited in bim greater diligence in the duties of his office, admonishing and exhorting the people committed to his charge more strictly, and preaching more frequently. By which restless labor and watchful cares he brought his feeble body so low, that as be rode to preach at Lacock, in Wiltshire, a gentleman, kindly admonished bim to return home, for his health and strength's sake; saying, that such fatigue might