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Mr. T. bluntly answered, “ I have no wish about it." Mr. W. pressed him again; Mr. T. again answered, “ No, sir, it is no pleasure to me at all; and if you knew your duty, it would be pone to you. I have notbing to do with death, my business is to live as long as I can-as well as I can--and serve my master as faithfully as I can, until he shall think proper to call me home.” Mr. W. still urged for an explicit answer to his question, in case the time of death were left to his own choice. Mr. T. replied, “I have no choice about it; I am God's servant, and have engaged to do his business as long as be pleases to continue me therein. But now, brother, let me ask you a question. What do you think I would say, if I was to send my man into the field to plough; and if at noon I should go to the field, and find bim lounging under a tree, and complaining, · Master, the sun is very hot, and the ploughing hard, I am weary of the work you have appointed me, and am overdone with the heat and burden of the day. Do master, let me return home, and be discharged from this hard service?' What would I say? why, that he was a lazy fellow, that it was bis business to do the work that I had appointed him, until I should think fit to call him home.”
Chap. xx, ver. 15, 16.—So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them? He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others.
The awful calamities that came on the Jews, soon after our Saviour's ascension, are well known, and furnish a dreadful illustration of the above passage. At the passover, when it was supposed there were upwards of two millions of people in the city of Jerusalem, the Romans surrounded it with their armies, and cast trenches, and raised walls round it, in order that none might escape. Fierce factions raged within, and destroyed one another. Titus, the Roman
general, earnestly endeavored to persuade the Jews to an advantageous surrender, but they scorned every proposal. From extremity of famine, they were compelled to feed on human flesh, and even noble women were known to murder and devour their own children. Numbers were carried off by the pestilence. After a siege of six months, the city was taken; and, provoked by their obstinacy, the Romans made terrible havoc arnong the inhabitants. The temple was burnt to ashes, and its very foundations ploughed up. In Jerusalein alone, 1,100,000 are said to have perished by the sword, famine, and pestilence, besides multitudes who were destroyed in various parts of the country.
Chap. xx, ver. 24, 25.-Show me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Cesar's. And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Cesar the things which be Cesar's, and unto God the things which be God's.
The preparing and circulating of counterfeit coin, is undoubtedly among the worst species of fraud. In the following instance, the reading of the Scripiures, by the divine blessing, proved an effectual check to this iniquitous practice.
Some time ago, a man travelling in Ireland, being benighted, opened a cabin door, and requested permission to lodge there, which was granted. The poor man who inhabited the house, was, according to his usual custom, reading a chapter of the Bible to bis family. When the stranger was seated, he resumed his reading, and having prayed, the family retired to rest. In the morning, the same thing again took place, which seemed to excite the attention of the stranger. On rising from their knees, the stranger thanked his kind host for bis hospitality, and informed bim that he had travelled into that part of the country in order to attend a fair, for the wicked purpose of passing bad money : That be brought with
bim base coin to the amount of four pounds; that this was the first time he had taken up such a practice, but that what he had heard in the cabin, had made such an impression on his mind, that he had resolved that it should be the last. He then took out of his pocket a small bag, containing the counterfeits, and threw it into the fire.
Chap. xxi, ver. 2, 3, 4.–And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.
The Rev. Dr. Dickson, of Edinburgh, at the Apniversary of the London Missionary Society in 1829, related the following anecdote:- Once when I was soliciting contributions,” says the doctor, “ on behalf of the Scottish Missionary Society, I' preached in Paisley. The next day, I was met by an old and meanly dressed woman, who asked me how I was. I replied, I did not know who she was. She answered, “ Sir, I heard you preach yesterday. I was out of work four days, but Providence relieved me. Now, I do not like to be present at a missionary meeting when I have notbing to give; so I went to some friends, and told them what you had said; so one gave me 6d. another 4d. and another 1d. and several others one half-penny each, making altogether 19£d. I could do nothing less to show my gratitude to God, for the straits from which he has relieved me.” I thought more of that nineteenpence half-penny than of the tens and fifties of pounds I had previously received; for it is the spirit with which it is given that sanctifies the gift. If, then, God bas prospered you more than formerly, I entreat you to act in the spirit of the poor woman of Paisley; and not only to
cheer the hearts of the Christian directors of this institution, but to enable them to cheer the hearts of the inillions of human beings, who, but for you, may never hear of the way to eternal life.”
Chap. xxi, ver. 34.--And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
In that part of the country of the Grisons, which adjoins to the state of Venice, formerly stood the ancient town of Pleuers, built on a rising ground near the foot of a mountain. The situation was considered healthy; the gardens were delightful; and hither the neighboring gentry used to come on Sabbath, and spend the day in all manner of riot and debauchery. Their voluptuousness was great, and the enormity of their crimes was aggravated by their abuse of the blessings of Divine Providence. A lady told Bishop Burnet, that she had heard her mother often repeat some passages of a Protestant minister's sermons, who preached in a little church in the neighborhood of the place. He intimated in his discourse, that nothing but a timely repentance, and the forsaking of their evil ways, would screen them from divine justice, which would soon be executed upon them in a most signal manner. This was good advice, but, alas! it was slighted, and the people continued to go on in the same manner as before.
On the 25th of August, 1618, an inhabitant came, and told them to be gone, for he saw the mountain cleaving, and that it would soon fall upon them; but he was only laughed at. He had a daughter, whom be persuaded to leave all, and go along with bim: but, when she had got out of the town, she recollected that she had not locked the door of a room in which she had left several things of value; she accordingly went back; but in the mean time the mountain fell, and she was buried in the ruins, together with every per.
son there present; not one escaping. The fall of the mountain choking up the river that ran near the bottom, first spread the alarm over the neighboring country. “I could hear no particular character," says Bishop Burnet,“ of the man who escaped, so I must leave the secret reason of so singular preservation to the great discovery at the last day, when those steps of Divine Providence, which we cannot now account for, will be disclosed.”.
Chap. xxii, ver. 20.—Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
“In the twelfth year of my age,” says Mr. Robert Blair, in giving account of his life, “the supper of the Lord having been celebrated in Irvine, I was admirably taken with the sermon; and, my spirit having been likewise greatly ravished with the first exhortation at the table, I earnestly desired to communicate; but having got breakfast, I durst not, for it was then a generally received opinion, that the sacrament behoved to be received fasting; and, being also greatly moved with the second exhortation, I secretly lamented that my bodily breakfast should bereave me of a soul banquet ; but observing these words “after supper,” in the third exhortation, 1 thus reasoned with myself: Did Christ and his disciples celebrate this sacrament after supper, and can it be a fault in me to celebrate the same after breakfast ? Sure it can be none; and so I sat down at the next table, and communicated. This was the Lord's work to bis poor child, to make me his covenanted and sealed servant.”
. Chap. xxii, ver. 35.—And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.
Mr. Mason was an acting magistrate for the county of Surrey; an excellent man, and the author of mavy evangelical works. In reference to the preceding