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THE WORTH OF A GOOD WIFE.
Who can find a virtuous woman?
Such a treasure had he found, the renowned Teacher, Rabbi Meir. Once through the whole Sabbath he sat in the synagogue instructing the people. But whilst he was absent from his house, his two sons died, both of whom were of great personal beauty and well instructed in the law. His wife carried them into her bed chamber, laid them upon the bed, and covered the corpses with a white cloth. Toward evening the Rabbi returned home.
"Where are my beloved sons ?” he asked, “that I may give them my blessing."
"They have gone to the synagogue," was the answer.
“I looked all around more than once in the Synagogue and saw them not, answered the Rabbi.
Then his wife brought in a goblet, and he praised the Lord, for the Sabbath drew to a close. He drank, and asked again :
“Where are my sons, that they may drink from the cup of blessing?”
“ It is not likely that they are far away,” said his wife, and placed food before him, that he might eat.
He was happy and of a cheerful heart; and when he had prayed after supper, she said to him :
“Rabbi, if you will permit, I would ask you a question ?" "Then say on, my beloved," he replied.
“Some days ago some one gave me several treasures to keep for him, and now he asks to have them again. Shall I return them to him ?"
“ It should not have been necessary that my wife should put this question to me," said Rabbi Meir. “How! would you resist, or show yourself unwilling to return to any one that which is his own ?"
“No," she answered. “Yet I thought it best not to return them till I had informed thee of it ?"
Then she led him up into the bed-chamber, stood before the bed, and removed the white cloth from the bodies of His two sons.
"O, my sons! my son!” loudly exclaimed the father, in deep grief. "My sons ! the light of mine eyes! The lights of my mind ! I was your father, but ye hare taught me in the law !"
Then the mother turned away and wept bitterly. At length she took her husband by the hand, and said:
“Rabbi, didst not thou teach me not unwillingly to return what had been entrusted to me? Bebold the Lord gave them to us; the Lord has taken them away. Blessed be the name of the Lord !"
“Blessed be the name of the Lord !” repeated Rabbi Meir; " and blessed also be his holy name on thy account; for it is written :
' Whosoever findeth a virtuous woman has found a treasure more costly than péarls. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and her tongue is the law of kindpess."
THE INFIDEL AND THE CHRISTIAN CHILD.
"UNCLE BOB" was a great scholar. He had taken degrees both of "physics” and of “divinity,” and was a student of many books besides those handled in colleges. He could quote texts from the scriptures, as well as from the infidel writers. I am sorry to say that he preferred reading the infidel.. His little niece, Nettie, about twelve years of age, was a Christian, and she felt truly sorry for her Uncle Bob, and for all the people who do not love God. She said to him one day, “Uncle, why don't you love God ?"_"I do love my God,” said the infidel. “Who is that, uncle?"-"It is the beautiful--beautiful objects in 18ture and in art.”—“Do you mean the Falls of Niagara and the Crystal Palace ?"-"Well-yes." “Who made the Falls, uncle ?"-"I don't know, Nettie.”—“If you could see the one that made the Falls, uncle, would you love him ?” “If that could be, I should adore him."-"I love him, uncle," said the little girl, "just as well as if I could see him, and I love all who love him. You must read about him in my new Bible, uncle.” “I know the Bible, Nettie. It is nothing but a piece of Jewish mythology. You might as well believe in any other mythologicial history."--" Are there any prophecies in other mythologies, uncle ?""Wellno. "_" All the world knows, uncle, that Bible prophecies have been fulfilled, and I should like to know if any kind of mythology has ever been spread all over the world, and created love, and peace, and joy in people's hearts like the history of oor Saviour ?"_Uncle Bob made no reply. .
SICK persons should not be exacting. In sickness, we should remem ber that it is no slight thing which is of necessity laid on our friends that they should suspend their own employments to attend on us; that they should watch by our side day and night; that they should minister to us when we cannot help ourselves; that they should perform very humble offices for us; that they should devote their time and attention unweariedly to us. And yet, one of the faults into which we are most apt to fall in our sickness, is to exact or expect from them an unreasonable amount of attention and service. In like manner, there should be, in sickness, a willingness to be pleased or satisfied with what is done for us. Nothing is more unreasonable, or more to be guarded against, than a disposition to murmur and complain, because sufficient attention is not bestowed on us. It is to be remembered that the want of comfort in sickness arises from the very fact that we are sick, and that is a thing which our friends can, by no assiduity or attention, wholly relieve.
THE EVENTS OF HOLY WEEK.
The week preceding Easter has always been regarded as a solemn time; and Christians have been in the habit, both before and after the Reformation, of devoting it to earnest and serious meditation and prayer, It is generally called the Holy week. Our forefathers in the German Churches beautifully called it “DIE STILLE WOCHE ”—THE SILENT WEEK, because it was devoted to silent meditation, a kind of inward and quiet communion with the sufferings of Christ.
It has been customary for Christians during this “Silent Week” to follow Christ in all His acts, reading the history of the succesive days harmonized from the several gospels; so that the mind and heart should follow our Saviour in deep sympathy with all his loneliness and sorrow. It is only necessary for a Christian to practice this kind of devotion a single week to be convinced of its happy effect on heart and life. We not only recommend it to the readers of the Guardian but furnish them here a guide, by which they may follow Christ each day, step by step, from His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to His glorious resurrection from the dead on the Sunday following.
PALM SUNDAY, OR THE NEXT SUNDAY BEFORE EASTER. OUR Saviour came to Bethany six days before the Passover, and was received at the house of Simon the leper. Here Lazarus whom He had raised from the dead sat at meat with Him,* Martha served, and Mary anointed Him with the ointment of spikenard.
S. Matt. xxvi. 6. 1 S. Mark xiv. 3. | *S. John xii. 2. Oh Sunday morning Christ sent for the ass's colt and entered into Jerusalem, the people spreading branches of palm trees and their garments in the way, and the children singing Hosannahs.
S. Matt. xxi. 8. | S. Mark xi. 8. | S. Luke xix. 36. | S. John xii. 12 As He came near, He wept over the city. He then drove out the buyers and sellers from the temple, and healed the blind and lame.
Some Greeks then desired to see Jesus, and afterwards, while He spake to His disciples, calling on them to receive Him, a voice *was heard from heaven. Christ then left the city, and went back to Bethany. S. Matt xxi. 12. | S. Mark xi. 11. | S. Luke xix. 41. 1 8. John xii. * 28, 44
MONDAY IN HOLY WEEK. On Monday Christ returned into the city of Jerusalem, and on His way cursed the barren fig-tree.
He went a second time into the temple, and cast out those that bought and sold. The scribes and chief priests then sought to destroy Him, but the evening came, and He went out of the city.
S. Matt. axi. 18. | S. Mark xi. 12. | S. Luke xix. 45. |
TUESDAY IN HOLY WEEK. On Tuesday morning Christ came back to Jerusalem with His disciples, and passing by, saw the barren fig-tree withered away. As He went He discoursed of faith and prayer and forgiveness. S. Matt. xxi. 21. | S. Mark xi. 20. 1
. When in the temple, the scribes and elders questioned Christ's authority. He asked them in reply, of John the Baptist; and spake to them the parables of
The father and his two sons.
S. Matt. xxi. xxii.-S. Mark xi. xii. S. Luke xx. 1. | The Pharisees then sent the Herodiaps with some of the tribute money, to entangle Him in His talk. The Sadducees also asked Him of the resurrection. And the Pharisees tempted Him, asking, Which was the great commandment ?
6. Matt. xxii. 15. | S. Mark xii. 13. I S. Luke xx. 20. | Our Lord then enjoined on the disciples obedience to the scribes and Pharisees who sat in Moses' seat; but warned them not to follow their works, and call no man father or master on earth. He then pronounced the eight woes.
| S. Matt. xxiii. 1, 13. | While He sat near the treasury, the poor widow offered her two mites ; and Christ went out of the temple.
| 8. Mark xii. 41.S. Luke xxi. 1. | As He went out, He addressed the Jews for the last time, foretold the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, and the end of the world. He then spake the parables of
The ten Virgins.
The sheep and the goats.
WEDNESDAY IN HOLY WEEK. Christ foretold His disciples that He would be betrayed and crucified. The chief priests then assembled and took counsel against Him, but were afraid. In the mean time Judas Iscariot, tempted by the devil, promised to betray Him for thirty pieces of silver.
S. Matt. xxvi. I S. Mark xiv. / S. Luke xxii. |
THURSDAY IN HOLY WEEK. Our blessed Lord sent His disciples to prepare the Passover for Him, and having come to supper, He sat down and the twelve with Him. During supper He reproved them for striving which should be greatest, and rising up He washed His disciples' feet.
S. Matt. xxvi. 17. | S. Mark xiv. 12. I S. Luke xxii. 7. I S. John xiii. 1.
He then foretold that Judas would betray Him, and Judas having received the sop, went out. He next warned Peter, and foretold how he would thrice deny Him.
8. Matt. xxvi. 21. I S. Mark xiv. 18. | S. Luke xxiii. 21, 31. | S. John xiii. 18. After this, the Lord took bread and the cup and gave to His Apostles the Sacrament of His Body and Blood, bidding them also,
“ DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME.”
S. Matt. xxvi. 26. / S. Mark xiv. 22. I S. Luke xxii. 19. I He then spake to them many comforting words. He bid them not be troubled. He taught, that He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He promised to send onto them the Holy Ghost the Comforter, and then gave to them His “Peace."
| S. John xiv. 1 The Lord then said, Arise, and let us go hence, and so saying, they sang a bymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.
S. Matt. xxvi. 30. | S. Mark xiv. 26. | S. Luke xxii. 39. | As they went, our Saviour discoursed of Himself as the True Vine ; bade them abide in Him and keep His commandments; He bid them prepare for persecution, but again promised them the gifts of the Comforter, the Spirit of truth. He told them He should soon leave them, and promised that whatever they asked in His name, they should receive and have peace in Him.
| S. John xv. xvi. | Having so spoken, He lifted up His eyes to heaven, and prayed for His people, that all might be one, even as He and the Father are one.
| S. John xvii. 1 Our Lord again warned Peter, and then went with him, and James, and John, to the garden of Gethsemane, where they fell asleep while their Master was in agony. An angel from heaven strengthening Him.
8. Matt. xxvi. 34. , S. Mark xiv. 32. I S. Luke xxii. 39 | S. Joho xviii. 1. Soon after this, Judas came with a multitude of persons and betrayed the Lord. They laid hands on Jesus, and took him. Peter struck off the servant's ear, and the Lord healed it. The disciples forsook Him and fled. And the Lord was led away to Annas, and to Caiaphas the high-priest—where He was examined, condemned, insulted, buffeted, spit upon.
S. Matt. xxvi. 47. | S. Mark xiv. 43. I S. Luke xxii. 47 | 8. John xviii. 2.
While our Lord was thus insulted, Peter was warming himself, and thrice denied his Master.
E. Matt. xxvi. 69. I S. Mark xiv. 66 S. Luke xxii. 56. I S. John xviii. 17.