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"Let his own countrymen take care of him; a wounded or dying Jew can have no claims upon me." But this Samaritan was altogether superior to such feelings as these he knew that, however much we may differ from people in opinion, we should be kind and charitable to all; be ready to help all, Jews, Turks, infidels and heretics. Even brute creatures have a claim upon Our compassion: how much more have men, our fellow beings, whom God made in his own image, whom Jesus Christ came down from Heaven to save! The Priest and the Levite indeed passed by without attempting to assist the wounded man, though he was one of their own countrymen, and though works of charity were especially a part of their sacred office. But the Samaritan could not do it; the love of God was in his heart, and that will show itself by love to our fellow creatures, not in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth: indeed if we do not thus love one another, we have no reason at all to suppose that we really love God. "Whoso hath this world's goods, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?" Happy Samaritan! he gave good proof that he did indeed love God. He stopped, though in the midst of his journey; interrupted his business, however important; ran the risk of being robbed himself; did all he could at the moment to heal the poor man's bruises, and staunch his wounds; then placed him tenderly on his own beast and carried him to an inn. Nor does his kindness cease even there. Arrived at the inn, he continued to provide for him, by placing him under the landlord's care, showing him that he was anxious about him, giving him money to pay for what he would require, and

promising that he would repay the host, when he came again, whatever more he should have spent upon him. In short, neither time, trouble, nor expense did this good Samaritan spare in the work of mercy which he had undertaken. This was indeed neighbourly kindness: he who thus showed mercy, acted truly as a neighbour to him who fell among the thieves. Even the lawyer acknowledged this; and it is to be hoped he went away conscience-struck with his own deficiency; and ashamed to think how far, when it came to the point, he fell short of that charity which the law requires, that perfect love both to God and man, which it expects from each of us.

But we may look at the beautiful picture here given us a little more closely. The narrative is addressed to us, as well as to the lawyer. Have not we too much need to be humbled, as we compare our own daily and hourly feelings and conduct with that of the example before us?

E. I am sure I have, dear Mamma: I have been thinking so all the time.

M. May God convince us all, my child, that we come miserably short of all that He requires of us; that, feeling our own guilt, we may see our need of our Saviour's precious blood to cleanse us from it; and, being aware of our own weakness in the practice of what is good, we may look more earnestly and constantly for the renewing influence of His Holy Spirit. He alone can create in us those lovely tempers which we so admire when we do see them. He alone can take out of our hearts those selfish and uncharitable feelings which destroy our own happiness, and the happiness of those around us. Let us fervently pray

to Him to put the spirit of charity in our heart, that so we may not content ourselves with feelings of pity instead of the practice of mercy, nor be satisfied with perceiving the beauty of the Samaritan's conduct, but may resolutely try to imitate it. Our Lord sets it before us here as a pattern of what he wishes us to practise. Then said Jesus, Go, and do, not merely feel, not merely talk, but "Go, and do thou likewise."

See John xi. 54. Luke x. 1-37.



M. During the short period which remained of our Lord's ministry upon earth, He seems to have been constantly employed in teaching and doing good to men. We are not, indeed, always told what the cities and villages were, which He vouchsafed to visit, nor yet all that He did and said: as St. John says, "If they should be written every one, I suppose the world itself could not contain the things that should be written." Still we have many specimens of His teaching, many proofs of His unwearied labours of love, and many instances of His wonderful patience in bearing with sinners, and inviting them to come to Him. Sometimes we find Him instructing His friends, sometimes reproving His enemies; now showing the Pharisees and lawyers the grievous faults and errors into which they had fallen; and now preparing His own followers for their coming trials and sorrows. One moment He would caution the people against covetousness and worldly

care; at another instant exhort all to be continually on the watch, lest judgments in this world or in the next should overtake them. It is impossible for us to dwell at large on all these things; besides, I hope, by these conversations with you to lead you to search the word of God yourself. My great object is, to give you a taste of that blessed book; to show you what treasures it contains; to set you on a right plan of studying it; and to help you to draw lessons for your own conduct and practice from every page of it. When we shall have gone through the New Testament together, as we have the Old, there will still be many, many things left untold, which you will have the pleasure of reading for yourself. I shall now, however, choose one or two subjects to dwell upon more at length.

E. Thank you, dear Mamma; for, after all, I do love to read these things with you.

M. And you will, I am sure, like to hear a little more of Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus.

In the journey which our Lord was now taking, He came to a village, where these two sisters appear to have been at the time living together in a house belonging to Martha, where Jesus, who had so lately gladdened their hearts by restoring to them their brother, was received no doubt with the most lively gratitude and joy. "O happy house, into which the Son of God vouchsafed to set his foot! O blessed women, who were allowed to entertain the God of heaven! We might well envy them their happiness, if we did not know that the very same favour is vouchsafed to ourselves."

E. How, dear Mamma?

M. There are two ways in which each one of us is

permitted to entertain the Saviour of the world; one, by showing kindness to the poor who belong to Him; and one, by opening our own hearts to welcome Him. Has He not said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me:" and again, "Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any one will open the door, I will come in unto him and sup with him, and he with me." Yes, our Saviour does stand at the door of our hearts, and does, in various ways, knock there continually; sometimes by His Word, sometimes by His Providence, sometimes by His Spirit. Now He tries by sorrow, which He sends for that very purpose, and oftener still by mercies He tries to gain an entrance there. And if we do but open those hearts to Him, and show that we desire Him to be with us, He will be sure to visit our souls with His presence, and to visit us, not for a little while, but to dwell with us for ever. In the house of Martha He staid but for a few short hours; but in the humble and contrite heart He will rest for everlasting '.

But to return to the happy sisters. They both loved our Lord very much, and thought they could not do enough to show their gratitude and affection ; but one showed it in a manner more pleasing to our Saviour than the other. "Mary sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his words." Such an opportunity of being instructed by our Lord was too precious in her view to be lost; but Martha was so anxious to prepare an entertainment for Jesus, that she could not spare time to listen to that teaching, which was able to save her

1 Bishop Hall.

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