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mill-stone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." Whom are we to understand by "these little ones"? See x 42.

What is it to offend one of these little ones? To put a stumbling-block before them, or injure them in any way. Does our Lord describe the

exact punishment that awaits those who injure his "little ones"? No; but he says, it would be better to have a mill-stone hung round their neck, and to be cast into the depth of the sea. Would a mill-stone round the neck of a person in the sea certainly sink him? Yes. Was drowning a punishment known among the Jews? Yes; it was well known to the Jews, though it was not practised by them, but by heathen nations. How was the punishment of drowning regarded by the Jews? It passed into a proverb for inevitable ruin.* Can there be any

thing worse, than for a man to have a mill-stone hanged about his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea? Yes; the torments of the soul are far worse than the pains of the body.

7. What did our Lord further say on the subject of offences ? "Woe unto the world because of offences." What are offences?

What is meant by the "woe

See xvi. 23.

that attends these

offences? It includes guilt and misery. Are offences unavoidable? Yes; "for it must needs be that offences come," Why are they so unavoidable? Because the world abounds with tempters, and with

It was also regarded as peculiarly ignominious.

What judgment

persons who set a bad example. is denounced against the man who is the occasion of sin and misery? "Woe to that man by whom the offence cometh." Is there any difference between the woe in the first clause of the verse, and the woe in the last clause? Yes; in the former place it is descriptive, in the latter it is declarative.

8. Do offences or temptations to sin always arise from without? No; they frequently arise from our own senses and members. What are our senses? Seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting and smelling. Are these

May we

senses valuable? Yes; our kind Creator has given them to us as sources of enjoyment. then indulge them freely? No; not without caution, lest they should lead us into sin.

Are our

senses frequent inlets to temptation? Yes. Where are our senses? In our members. What do you

mean by our members? The various parts of our body." For example, where is the sense of seeing? In the eye. What are our members inclined to obey? The law of sin.† What do you mean by the law of sin? The commanding power of sin. When sin thus reigns in our mortal body, how are our members employed? As instruments of unrighteousness unto sin.‡ But when we yield ourselves to God, how are our members employed? As instruments of righteousness unto God. If we have yielded ourselves to God, how are our eyes employed? In beholding the works, and reading

1 Cor. xii. 14. + Rom. vii. 23.

Rom. vi. 13.

the word of God.

How are our tongues em

ployed? In prayer and praise. How are our feet employed? In carrying us to the house of God, and along the path of duty. What members are mentioned in this verse? The hand and the foot. What is said of them? "Wherefore, if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee." What is meant by the hand or the foot offending us? If any thing, as dear to us as the hand or the foot, prove a temptation to sin. Would it be severe pain to have a limb cut off? Very What should we learn from a command

severe.

to do that which would cause us so much pain? See How does our Lord teach us to calculate "It is better for

v. 29.

the advantages of self-denial?

thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire." Will there be any defect or deformity in the bodies of the risen saints? No; they will be fashioned like unto the glorious body of the Saviour.* What then is meant by entering into life halt or maimed? Entering heaven after sore conflicts and sacrifices.

with, and sacrifice?

prove a temptation to sin.

What must we conflict Every thing that would If we do not resolutely

make such sacrifices, what will the end be? We shall be cast into everlasting fire. What does the term "fire" denote? A state of misery.

be a never-ending state? Yes.

Will it

How do you know that? Because it is called unquenchable

fire.t

*Phil. iii. 21.

+ Matt. iii. 12.

9. Did our Lord refer to something still more painful than the cutting off of a limb? Yes; "And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee; it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire." Had our Lord taught this same lesson on a former occasion? Yes; it formed a part of his sermon on the Mount.*

10. Were the disciples in danger of offending, by their spirit and behaviour? Yes. Were they inclined to spare something that ought to have been cut off, or plucked out? Yes. What was that? Their pride and worldly ambition. How did pride and worldly ambition begin to operate on the minds of the apostles? By high thoughts of themselves, and contempt of others. How did our Redeemer caution them to beware, and to look well to their frame of mind? "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones." Who are we to understand by "these little ones ?" See x. 42. What is the first argument which our Lord used, why we should not despise the weakest and meanest of his followers? Because angels do not despise them. What do angels do for Christ's little-ones? They protect+ and bear them up in their arms.‡ Has every

believer a distinct guardian-angel? The Bible does not expressly teach this; but it informs us, that every believer has more than one, when occasion requires.||

* See v. 29.
Ps. xci. 12.

+ Ps. xxxiv. 7.
Luke xvi. 22.

At whose bidding do the angels fly to the help of the saints? At the Lord's bidding.*

And how

Why

Because
Should

do they fly at the Lord's bidding? Swiftly.† are the angels here called "their angels"? they are appointed to wait upon them.‡ we pray to the angels to guard us and help us? No; we are forbidden to worship the angels.|| How are the angels employed, otherwise than as sent forth to minister unto the heirs of salvation? They "do always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven." What does their beholding the face of God denote? Their honour and happiness.

11. By what higher argument are we taught not to despise the weakest and meanest of his followers? By the argument that our Lord himself does not despise them. How do you know that the Lord Jesus does not despise the meanest of his followers? Because he came into the world to save them.

How is that expressed? "For the Son of man is come to save that which is lost." Who are meant by the "lost"? Sinners of the human race. How long is it since the Son of man came into this world to save sinners ?

years.

Nearly two thousand

12. How is the interest of our Redeemer, in the salvation of sinners, set forth? By the pains that a shepherd takes to recover a lost sheep. How did our Lord express this illustration? "How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of

Ps. ciii. 20, 21.
Heb. i. 14.

+ Dan. ix. 21.

Col. ii. 18, and Rev. xix. 10.

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