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soul; and she even thought it hard that Mary did not leave her place at our Lord's feet, and help her in her hospitable work. Indeed she came to Jesus with a kind of complaint against Mary, saying, "Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve

alone ?"

Let us never forget the reply which our Lord made: for "Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things, but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her." No doubt these solemn and affectionate words went to the heart of Martha; and I wish they might reach our hearts too. Martha's employment was a very happy one; it was that of waiting on our Lord; and yet even that became sinful, if it occupied too much of her time and thoughts, and made her forgetful of her own soul. How few of our employments would bear to be compared to hers! How much more care then is necessary in our case, that our hearts be not too much taken up even with the best or most innocent of our occupations, so as to make us forget the only thing which is comparatively important, the care of our never dying souls.

How blessed and happy a thing it would be for us, if our love for our Lord Jesus Christ were more than our love for all things else beside. Our kind parents and friends, our own brothers and sisters, our sweet home, our pleasant books, our innocent pleasures, all these may be dear, very dear to us, for God has given them all, and may bless all. But to sit at Jesus' feet should be dearer than all beside. Oh! for a place for each one of us with Mary there! Like her

may we look to Him for instruction, and learn from His holy word for this is that better part which shall never, no never be taken away from us.

I will tell you now of another interesting circumstance which happened whilst our Lord was engaged in His journeyings from place to place, during the last few months of His ministry.

It was customary among the more wealthy Jews to make religious feasts; and their intention, no doubt, in this was at first pious and charitable. They were sometimes given even on the Sabbath-day, and, as we find our Lord occasionally honouring them with His own presence, we may be quite sure that there was no-thing about them contrary to the intention of that sacred rest. It was at such a feast as this that we find our Lord during His last visit to Galilee. It was in the house too of one of the chief Pharisees; for our Lord never refused to eat either with them or the Publicans, when by so doing He might have an opportunity of doing good. He went therefore on this occasion into a Pharisee's house to eat bread on the Sabbath day, though He knew that every word and every action would be narrowly watched, if not by His host, at least by the friends of the Pharisee. Now, when our Lord was in the house, a man presented himself before him who had a dropsy. He did not ask Jesus to cure him; for perhaps he was afraid of asking Him to perform a miracle on the Sabbath day; but Jesus, with His wonted compassion, immediately thought of healing him. He knew however that for such an act the Pharisees and lawyers would accuse Him, according to their false notions, of breaking the Sabbath; for they would not allow even

a suffering fellow creature to be healed on the Lord's day; though, when their own property or their own convenience was concerned, they had no fears about breaking the Sabbath. Our Lord, therefore, before He attempted to heal the sick man, put the plain question to them "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day ?"

E. I wonder what they said.

M. They were ashamed perhaps to say, No; lest they should be charged, as they justly might have been, with unfeeling cruelty: yet they had not the charity or the wisdom, to say, Yes. Christ however healed the poor sufferer, and sent him away; and then He said to the Pharisees, "Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the Sabbath-day?" show ing them plainly their selfishness and inconsistency; since they would venture to save an animal from perishing on the Sabbath, but for a suffering fellow creature would have no consideration.

Here then we are taught, that to relieve sickness or misery is not to profane the day of sacred rest; that such a work is not only permitted, because it is necessary, but acceptable in the sight of God, because it is charitable.

Having performed this cure, and corrected the error of the Pharisees, our Lord observed that the guests who had been invited to this repast were choosing each for himself the highest and best places at the table, and He did not consider even this circumstance unworthy of His notice.

Our dispositions, and principles, and tempers are [Second Series.]


all important in the sight of our Lord Jesus Christ; and they may show themselves in small, as well as in great things. Indeed the actions of our life are made up of things comparatively trifling; and if we only practise the rules of the Gospel on great occasions, we may neglect them the chief part of our lives. The Christian graces would not then be cultivated by us at all. Clearly this would not be right. We must be careful in all things, small as well as great, to feel and act as Christ has taught us in His holy word. Hence, Edward, the importance of really good manners; such manners I mean, as show that gentleness, and humility, and absence of selfishness, on which the politeness we see in the world professes to be founded. But, in reality, I fear these lovely tempers and feelings are seldom, or ever found, but in those whose hearts have been renewed by the Spirit of God, and who act continually in all their ways from Christian principles, as well as in a Christian manner. He that knows that he ought never to exalt himself, will not do it even at a social repast. Such a disposition, if encouraged then would soon show itself in more serious matters; whilst the person, who practises humility and self-denial, and modesty and kindness in all the little opportunities of daily life, will be likely to show them too on much greater occasions. Remember, my child, that nothing is unimportant where principle can be put in practice; and principle, that is, the determination to choose what is right in God's sight, ought to pervade every thing we do, and think, and say. Remember too that it is in small things we prepare ourselves for greater. It is

by daily practice that you accomplish any difficult thing which you wish to learn; and it is only by practising day by day all that is lovely and good, that we may become at last, through divine grace, "thoroughly furnished unto every good work."

There was another virtue taught us by our blessed Lord whilst He was dining at the house of the Pharisee. This was hospitality. Now, hospitality, in the religious sense of the word, is not shown by giving great entertainments to our friends and rich neighbours, who can repay us again, but by receiving and providing for those who need our help, and who cannot return our kindness. Therefore our Lord said to the Pharisee, and through him to us, "When thou makest a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours, lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the halt, and the blind, and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee; for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just."

E. Mamma, was not Abraham hospitable when he received the angels that came to him?

M. Yes; St. Paul reminds us of his example, when he says, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for by so doing some have entertained angels unawares." We have many instances of real hospitality in the Bible, such as the kindness shown by the Shunamite to Elisha, that of the poor widow who divided with Elijah her last handful of meal, and her last drop of oil. And in every case mentioned, we find the blessing of God accompanying the kind and hospitable act.

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