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did our Lord express on this occasion? The great danger attending the possession of riches. Το what danger is a rich man exposed? To the danger of not entering the kingdom of heaven. What is here meant by "the kingdom of heaven"? The future state of glory. Why are riches such a snare, that a man who possesses them is in danger of losing heaven on their account? Because it is difficult to employ them well, when they are possessed; and to resign them, when they are called for. When are riches well employed? When they are spent in doing good. When are riches well resigned? When they are given up for Christ's sake. Is it generally believed that riches are a snare to the soul? No; very few believe it. What makes you think that it is believed by so few ? Because almost all mankind are grasping after riches. What would be the effect, if it were generally believed, that riches are a snare to the soul? It would moderate our earthly desires; and prevent most of the crimes that are committed in the world. What change would be wrought by it among the poor? It would make them contented. And what change would it produce among the rich? It would make them liberal. 24. How did our Lord further express the danger attending riches? “And again I say unto you, 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 God." What is a camel? See iii. 4. What is meant by the words, "It is easier for a

camel to go through the eye of a needle"? It was a proverb, used to express things impossible.* What is meant by a proverb? See vii. 3. Were Eastern proverbs very strong and figurative? Yes.+ Would it be a natural impossibility for a camel to go through the eye of a needle? Yes, quite so. 25. To whom had our Lord addressed that important truth respecting the danger of riches? To his disciples. Were they rich in this world? No; they were poor. What was their first impression, on hearing that riches are such hinderances in the way to heaven ? "When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, who then can be saved ?" Why were they so much amazed? Because they had always imagined that the rich could get to heaven more easily than others. What made them think so? Because the rich have so much more power to get good, and to do good. Is wealth, then, a very great talent, with which some are entrusted? Yes. Does observation show, that the rich generally get more good, and diffuse more good, than others? No. that accounted for? It is owing to the deceitfulness of riches. Was it a mistake in the apostles to suppose that the rich get to heaven more easily than the poor? Yes. Did not one of them give a more correct view of the subject, in his subsequent writings? Yes; in the epistle of James it is

How is

In like manner the Hindoos speak of an elephant passing through the eye of a needle. The elephant was not known in Judea.

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written, Hearken, my beloved brethren, hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?* Do we sometimes err in this matter, like the disciples? Yes. When do we fall into the same error? When we vainly imagine that we should serve God better if we were rich.

26. How has the Evangelist here described the manner of our Lord's reply to his disciples? "But Jesus beheld them." What is meant by his beholding them? That he looked at them earnestly, and with an eye of pity. Why did our Lord's countenance assume such an expression of earnestness and pity? Because his disciples were indulging in carnal reasoning, and forgetting the mighty power of God. What had they said, which savoured of carnal reasoning? "Who then can be saved?” How did our Lord reprove their unbelief? He said unto them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." What is here said to be impossible for any human creature to effect? The salvation of the soul. What makes the salvation of the soul so difficult, and, to creatures, impossible? The blindness of the understanding; the hardness of heart; the stubbornness of the will; and the earthliness of the affections. What is necessary for the removal of these obstacles? The almighty energy of divine grace.

Is any thing too hard for the Lord?

James ii. 5.


What can his grace do for the salvation of the soul? It can enlighten the blind understanding; soften the hard heard; renew the stubborn will; and detach the affections from this world.

27. When the disciples observed, that the young ruler would not give up his possessions for Christ's sake, what came into their minds? The thought of what they had given up for Christ's sake. Who among them spoke about it? "Peter." What did he say?

"Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have, therefore?" What had most of them forsaken? Only a few boats and nets, and the profits of their fishing. Was that much to give up? It was little in itself, but to them it was everything. Was there not some degree of selfcomplacency in the declaration, "We have forsaken all, and followed thee"? Yes. What does this circumstance show us? It shows us our own picture, as in a glass. In what respect does it exhibit a likeness of ourselves? In this-that we are very apt to over-rate our services and losses for Christ's sake. Did our Lord reprove his disciples for so doing? No. Why did he not reprove them? Because he, who knew their hearts, saw that their obedience was sincere. What did they now wish our Lord to tell them ? The nature of the reward they should have, and when they were to receive it.

28. Did our Lord promise them a reward in this life, or in the life to come? In both; especially in the life to come. To whom did our Lord make the


promise? To those who had followed him. What did he promise them? Great honour and happiness. How is that honour figuratively expressed? “Ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

Will all the redeemed share in the same honour? Yes; they all unite in the song, Thou hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth.* When did our Lord promise to invest them with this princely honour? "In the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory." What is the meaning of "regeneration"? It signifies making new. How is it applied in the New Testament? Sometimes to the making of the heart new; and (in this verse) to the making of all things new. Is it foretold that all things shall be made new? Yes; He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. How will all

things be made new? By the destruction of sin, death, and the curse. What effect will be produced by the destruction of sin, death, and the curse? Order and happiness will prevail through all the ranks of the blessed. Will it be an immense reward to be permitted to share in the final triumphs of the Redeemer's cause? Yes, truly. 29. Is there not also a present recompence attached to following the Saviour without reserve? What is the amount promised? "A hundred fold." What is a hundred fold? A hundred times more.


*Rev. v. 9, 10, upon the new earth; i. e. the new state of things, As in Tit. iii. 5. Rev. xxi. 5.

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