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black-eyed boy, with long, flowing was about some favour that each hair, seemed as if he could never be was wanting. It so happened that got right, so much tying and turning the child of our neighbour, Andrew, before everything was in order. the fisherman, was standing near,
“Now, I must just whisper to and the Lord beckoned him to come you,” said Aunt Mary, “what all to Him. He was a little frightened this bustle was about. The Lord at first; but won by His kind looks, Jesus Christ had been in the city he went. Then He set him in the where they lived, saying beautiful midst of His disciples, and still and wonderful things, and Zadok keeping hold of his hand, He told and Mary had been among the them (speaking out loud, so that we crowd, listening to His words. They who were at a little distance could had once before seen Him, when He hear quite plainly) that unless they bade them all sit down on the grass, all became little children they could and fed them with five loaves and not enter into the kingdom of heatwo fishes. Now you cannot wonder ven, and that whoever made himself that they wanted to see and hear Him lowly, like the little one near Him, again, and had resolved to follow should be the greatest in the king. Him on His journey. He had gone dom of heaven, and that He should over the water to the other side of always take it that being kind to the river Jordan, and they thought little children, for His sake, was the that by keeping this side, and so same as being kind to Him. Then a taking a shorter cut, they might little while afterwards, He told them meet Him again when He crossed that our Father in heaven had mesthe river into Judea."
sengers standing before His face, After a while Zadok came in from that He sent down to little children his work, and glanced at his wife to help and comfort them.” and children as if he were a little “Why," said Mary, her face glowsurprised.
ing with hope, “if the Saviour comes “Why, Mary," he exclaimed, “you to us as a little child to see whether are surely not going to take the chil we are kind and loving, and keeps dren; they will only be in our way, bright angels to help little children and if there is any crowd will pre- | while they live, and take them to vent our getting near enough to see heaven when they die, it must be and hear."
right. He must give His blessing "Oh yes, indeed,” said Mary, with to our little ones if we ask Him. I a pleading look, “I am sure we must am sure He will." take them. I want the Lord to give Zadok could not resist such words; them His blessing."
he had never heard them before “Give them His blessing! I am He cast one fond, loving glance at sure we must not ask such a thing. the children, and said, "They shal He does not know us, and I am sure go, and let us haste on our journey: He has more than enough to do to So away they started, the road help and bless grown-up people. We winding by the shores of a beautifu inust not be too forward, though He | lake, and almost under the shadov is so kind.”
of the high mountains on the other "Oh, but,” said Mary, “did you side. They had not gone far when not hear what He said about little they saw before them a company o children when He was here only the people moving slowly along the road day before yesterday?"
They soon overtook them, and fount “No," said Zadok, “what was it po three or four men carrying on
“Why, His disciples were quarrel mattress, covered with soft straw, ling, one with the other. We could little sick child. He looked very ill not hear just what they said, but it , and scarcely fit to be out; and hi mother, who walked by his side | hand holding on to his arm; and shading his face from the hot sun, with the other feeling over the lad's looked at him anxiously, yet not | face, as if to make quite sure that without hope.
her brother could see. They stopped “Where are you taking the just a minute as they came upon the child ? " said Mary.
sick child; the girl darted away and "I am following the Lord to see whispered in the ear of the mother if He will heal my child,” said the of the sick child, “Make haste, do mother; "and I am but trusting to not let Him go.” She was too full His great love, for if I fail I am to say anything else, and went boundafraid the journey will be too much ing back to her brother. for my child."
The crowd made way for the litter Mary said no more to her fellow as the men hastened forward with traveller on what was moving her the sick child, while Zadok and Mary, so deeply; but whispering her own knowing their case was less pressing, errand, the two companies passed on | stayed behind until they should retheir way together--the two mothers turn. Those few moments seemed keeping near each other.
hours. Presently the crowd opened When they came to the place again, and, amidst the wonder of all, where they hoped to meet the Sa the poor, sick child, that looked only viour, they found that He was still a minute or two before as if his last on the other side of the river, and hour was come, walked away in full so they had to cross. There was no health; his mother all the while bridge, but large stones at a little raining on him tears of wild joy. distance from each other, over which Zadok and Mary could wait no they walked easily, as the river was longer. Zadok seized little Benny, not very deep.
clearing his way through the crowd Little Benny, the eldest of Mary's to where the Lord was. Mary, with children, wondered how they would | her youngest, kept as close behind get the sick child over; but the men him as she could, but she could not that carried him made nothing of it, | see much, for the great men round and soon bore him over the stream. her; but she felt the Lord was near, The little invalid just-raised his head and she listened eagerly. She could and faintly smiled, as he saw the catch the sound of cold, hard voices cool clear water streaming away in talking very loudly, and then for the sunlight.
a moment all the tongues ceased. The country into which they were What would come next? come was open and level, so that Her heart sank within her as she they could see a long way. And heard an angry voice say, “Keep how their hearts beat when, at a turn back that child.” But in a minute in the road, they could see a crowd all was changed; for a voice she of people standing under the shade could not mistake-so heavenly in of some tall trees! As they drew its sweetness-hushed those angry near the crowd they met a group of sounds, and said, “Suffer the little people coming away. They were children to come unto me, and fortalking very eagerly, and their faces bid them not, for of such is the were beaming with joy. Every one kingdom of heaven.” of them was looking earnestly into In a moment more those blessed the face of a youth of about eighteen, hands were on her children's heads, who was gazing up and about with and His tender, loving look resting bewildered delight, as if the morning on them all. What He said to them light had never broken on him be | was in a soft, low sweet voice, so fore that day. A girl, apparently that no one heard but Zadok and about his own age, was with one Mary and the children.
Ah! what a happy company went | knew what the other was thinking back that day to Capernaum! Mary about. loved her children before; but ever “Is it true $” said one of the chil. after that day she handled them and dren to Aunt Mary. talked to them as if they belonged “Yes,” said Aunt Mary, "very to heaven. In course of time the nearly as I have told it to you, only two boys grew up to be men, and had that I have put in some names; and a boat and fishing nets all their I have told you the story for you to own; but they never forgot that understand that the kind words that day; for often when the gentle winds Jesus said about little children made from Lebanon carried their white the people bring them to Him; and I sails along the lake, they would sit am sure He yearns to give you all a silently and think of the Saviour's blessing now.” words of love and blessing, and each
NOTES OF AN ADDRESS. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock : if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”—Rev. iii. 20.
To some people, this verse only affords an opportunity of discussing certain metaphysical questions about the will. When they have discussed these questions, the verse is exhausted to them; they see nothing else in it. These persons miss its real meaning and intention; the truth it contains is far above, out of their sight. The verse seems wonderfully simple and wonderfully practical; and the way to approach it is the child's way. We shall see more in it, and get more good from it, if we come to it as little children, than if we come as philosophers.
Begin with the word sup. As used in the New Testament, it does not necessarily refer to the last meal of the day, or what we call supper : it will apply to dinner, or to whatever is the principal meal. To eat together, is a sign and seal of friendliness. You feel closer drawn to a person, if he is worth drawing to, even by sitting with him at the table of an inn. You bow to an acquaintance in the street; you shake hands and chat a moment with another ; a friend you invite to your table. In the old days, and in the East, it meant still more to eat together. It brought people into an almost sacred relation. The one could trust the other. It was perfidy of the worst kind when one who had eaten another's bread turned against him. This is the basis of the figure employed here.
Well, you and your family are seated at the family board, and are about to begin. Some one comes to the doorma beggar-some wan: dering person, you cannot tell whom. You do not ask him in; you would not have him sit down at table and eat with you. Perhaps you send something out to him-a slice of bread and cold meat and bic him go away. If he will not go, if he should stand at the door and knock, you are ill-pleased and threaten him with the police. At last he goes away slowly, and you are glad to be rid of him.
Suppose that instead of a beggar, it was an acquaintance—a mere acquaintance—with whom you are polite, and nothing more. Probably he would stay and dine with you if invited; but then there is nothing particular to set before him, and you would rather not ask him; and 80, after a few civilities, you shake hands with him ceremoniously, and wish him a good afternoon.
But suppose it is a very dear friend who comes to the door; one whom you love very greatly, and always feel at home with; you have not seen him for a long time; he lives at a distance and seldom comes your way; you have not been expecting him ; there is no preparation made for him ; his coming is quite a surprise : but you are very glad indeed to see him, and at once and cordially you press him to come in. He does so. You say, “ We have not been looking for you, and there is no preparation made ; but that does not matter in the least; we are all delighted to see you.” You lay aside ceremony, and your friend takes bis place at table with you, and you feel as if an angel had come under your roof.
Now when the blessed Lord comes to a door, everything depends on whether people know Him or not; whether they care for Him or not ; whether they think His fellowship a blessing or not. Often He is unknown. There is no outward glory; when you go to the door, there is only a poor wanderer, as of old, when He was a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and many a time He is repulsed because of the meanness of His disguise. You do not know that the Lord of glory stands before you, and you send Him away, and never dream what you have missed. Or you would not feel at ease with Him ; His presence at table would throw a gloom over your festivity; you do not really care for Him, and would not enjoy His company; and so you let Him go away. Or He brings a cross with Him, and if He were admitted, other guests would have to depart. But if you know Him, and know that His fellowship is more to be desired than all earthly honour, than all earthly good, you bid Him come in: and He does so, and takes His place with you, and fills the very atmosphere with calm, pure, sweet serenity. Into whatever house or heart He enters, it is not with lofty and chilling condescension, but with all the love and ease of a friend. “I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me." No matter how lowly our circumstances and how poor our fare. . Into whatever house or heart He enters, He enters as a living Power, renovating, beautifying, sanctifying; as an undying Joy, making glad with a gladness nothing can disturb; as an immortal Hope, the very “Hope of glory."
He stands and knocks: at what door? We may say—it is common to say—at the door of the heart. He seeks admittance there, that He may dwell in the heart by faith. When God built the heart, he built it "after the similitude of a palace." A glorious and many-chambered palace. Its five gateways opening to the outer world. The chamber of understanding, with its large, elear windows; spacions and magnificent; where the soul sits to think and judge and meditate in the light of truth. The chamber of the affections, looking south ; walls hung with pictures of the living and the dead; the fire of its bearth never suffered to go out; the light coming in through many-coloured glass, and staining the walls with its rich, warm hues; with instruments of music that tremble to the touch like the harp, or that swell like the tones of an organ. The chamber of memory. The chamber of the desires, the strange longings and throbbings that find their highest voice in prayer. The chamber of imagination, lighted from every side as well as from the dome-roof above; looking out to sublimer regions than the earthly; with echoings and voices and risions and flashings of light. The chamber of conscience, in which the awful voice of God is heard. And what may be called the throne room, where the will writes her resolves, and whence she issues her commands and prohibitions. Through sin, this palace (so glorious at first, meet for the visitations of God) has been made desolate. The windows of understanding obscured, the place often filled with lumber. The chamber of the affections filled with images and pictures of vanity; the name of God not named in it. The chamber of memory haunted with the ghosts of buried sins. The chamber of the desires surrendered to the earthly and the human. Imagination debased. The chamber of conscience obscured, and filled with dulling or stupefying vapours. The will corrupted, and dominated by selfishness and passion, and even lust. Now the Lord comes to the door of this many-chambered palace, the heart of man-desiring admittance. Not within the outer door merely, into the lobby or vestibule, but that He may enter into every chamber and restore all things, bringing in truth and peace and hope and joy and love and righteousness and purity, connecting the heart with heaven again. I believe there is no heart here at whose door He has not been knocking. He is knocking at the door of the child, of the young man, of the maiden. Open, O happy young, and let Him in! He is knocking at the door of you, strong men, busy with affairs : of you women, with your children at your knee. He is knocking at the door of the aged, ere the light goes out for ever. In a thousand different ways He is knocking. By disappointments and successes; by sickness and health; by giving and taking away; by enriching and impoverishing; by settling and by emptying from vessel to vessel; as well as by His Spirit. Bid Him come in, for He comes in grace!
"Open the door with shame, if ye have sinned;
Behold, He saith, I stand at the door and knock." und Ar we may say that He knocks at the house-door. He ishes to bi
d into your home, where your dear ones are gathered; wishes to