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says, “I am the True Vine, and my Father is the husbandman." Our blessed Lord calls himself “ the vine,” and his disciples “ the branches.” “Ye abide in me, and my words abide in you ; ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."
Comment. The whole of the New Testament is full of these beautiful and poetical images, so well adapted to the understanding of those who wish to learn. When we think of Christ as “the Vine," or as the “good Shepherd,” we are better able to understand the character of the Lord of life, who will pity his little flock, if they will take up his cross and follow him.
Question 5.—Who was Bartimeus?
And had not where to lay his head;
Restored the wretched man to sight.” Comment.—The miracle of this man being restored to sight is related in the 10th chapter of Mark. Though he was desired by the people to “hold his peace,” he took no notice of the command, but “he cried the more a great deal.” · His faith, and that alone, gained him the favour of our Lord, who rewarded him with the precious gift of sight. He then arose and followed his best friend, in gratitude for what he had done unto him. Let us follow his example, and praise the Lord for his goodness daily.
Question 6.-What did our Saviour mean when he said, “ It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven?”
Answer.-By the rich man, be meant those who put all their trust in this world's goods, and who lay
up treasures on earth, “ where moth and rust do corrupt," instead of heaven; it will be as difficult for them in such a case, as the simile of the camel and the needle.
Comment.Do not suppose that because some men are rich, that they cannot be good ; those who bestow their riches in a Christian-like spirit, and in the name of Jesus, considering the poor and needy, and not laying up their talents in a napkin, their riches will prove a benefit to others as well as to their own souls. And many examples we have in scripture to this effect.
Question 7.–What death did St. Stephen suffer? Answer.--He was stoned to death. Acts vii.
Comment.-Although this holy man suffered so dreadfully, he died very happy, being full of faith, crying, " Lord Jesus, receive my spirit; " and he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." I fear, in this enlightened age, there are few who, like Stephen, would pray for forgiveness of their enemies; he was called the martyr, as he was the first of the disciples who was murdered.
Question 8.-What is the meaning of the name Jeremiah?
Answer.-It means "exaltation of the Lord.”
Comment.—The Hebrews had names which all conveyed their own particular meaning, many being commanded by God, through his servants, and were well calculated to remind all of their heavenly Father.
NEGLECT OF ISRAEL.
THE following passage in a private letter from a friend-a truly converted Israelite-appeals so forcibly to every Christian feeling, that we cannot resist the inducement to lay it before our readers.
What a glorious result might we not expect, did all who profess Christianity as their religion so feel for Israel! How great my sorrow is at seeing Christians so indifferent to this cause I have not power to describe; but the Lord knows that I have “great heaviness and continual sorrow" in my heart on this account. I do frequently check myself, when filled with a desire to bless and praise my Lord, and to rejoice at his great mercy to me. Ah! I feel confounded at such moments; for I ought to lay down in the dust and weep, and lament for the gross darkness that covers my people, and none to have pity on them. I feel that, if possible, I ought never to have joy in my heart, nor a smile on my countenance.
How did not my heart sink within me; and how sad did I not feel, when, on last Sabbath-day, I approached the Lord's table, and when beholding great numbers of Christ's people thronging up to the altar, and I found myself a solitary Jew! Ah! it was sweet and refreshing to come and feast upon the precious bread and wine prepared for them by Israel and Israel's God. But are there no poor Israelitish wanderers, to whom, out of gratitude, they might have offered the crumbs that fell from their Master's. table? Was that precious blood, of which they then partook, not shed for the Jew too? And can they accuse me of uncharitableness, when I say that they are to be blamed, that, amidst that throng around the Lord's table, there were not a hundred instead of one solitary member of the house of Israel? Oh, I know that to some such language appears harsh, but it is owing to a want of information on this subject.
I see the multitudes of Jews in all parts of the earth perishing for lack of knowledge. I feel convinced that if they heard Jesus preached to them faithfully, and Christianity practised in its purity, they will believe. “ The gospel of Jesus is the power of God unto salvation, to the Jew first.” This is God's word and will; but unbelief keeps us away from them: we do not trust to God's word, we wish to be first convinced, and when the Lord condescends to do even this, even then we refuse to act. Other hindrances come in our way-suspicions as to the reality of conversions. Oh! my dear sister, what will the end of these things be? The sure word of God says, “ Israel shall be saved;" then bave we not reason to tremble for those who have a name to live, who are called by the name of Christ, and yet refuse to do the will of God? Yea, verily. If the Lord, in his most mysterious providence, contrives to save the Jewish people, who are beloved for the fathers' sakes, will those escape who were strictly charged to seek their conversion, but who actually refused to obey this charge?
I could wish to bring this simple but searching question before the Christian world at large. May God in mercy look down upon both Jew and Gentile, and remember not their sins.
FROM FREDERICK MYCONIUS, PASTOR OF GOTHA, AND THE HIGHLY VALUED FRIEND OF LUTHER,
MY DEAR ROSARIUS, I am again so ill as to keep my bed. Not only my voice but all my bodily powers are greatly reduced. Having been, on a former occasion, brought back from the borders of the grave, by the messages, the Jetters, and the prayers of our revered father Luther, I have now lived six years in weakness, and almost in a dying state. I discharged the duties of a living man, and performed, as well as I could, the services of the Lord's house, till the fourth Sunday in advent, when, finding the symptoms of my disease returning upon me, I exhorted the church, with the voice of one crying in the wilderness, and with all the ardour of which I was capable, to remove all hindrances and prepare the way of the Lord in their hearts. I afterwards fell sick, and now lie here silent and satiated with life, so as to wish rather to die than to live, when I can be of no use. I have written to our reverend father, Luther, who has been the person that has hitherto detained me, (and willingly I have been detained to serve the Lord, and assist him, instructing the church, as a mother, herself languid and fainting, admonishes her children,) that if I could,