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THE OFFERING OF THE MAO I.
Evebtthisq about Jesus Christ is a paradox. In the line of royalty, and yet born poor; cradled in a manger, yet there admired, reverenced, and worshipped by the rich, the wise, and those who trod the courts of kings. Too poor to feed his disciples, to own a home, to ride in triumph for once, to eat with his friends, or even to own a grave,—these were borrowed for him.
Not able to pay a small tax until the very fish brought money at his bidding; put to death with the outcasts of society, a rich man's new tomb was his burial-place.
How far-reaching is Divine Wisdom! Hundreds of years before Christ, a wicked man uttered the prediction that "A star should arise out of Jacob I" And now, far away on the banks of the Euphrates, where they watched the stars, and measured the heavens, the star arises! Divinely instructed, they hasten towards the tents of Jacob. They cross the long, sandy desert, and come to Jerusalem. At the court of Herod it is announced that strangers, looking like ambassadors, have arrived.
"Let them come before us," says the proud king.
"Sire, the ancient books and traditions have taught us that a great Prince is to be born in this land; and a new star has arisen, as we were watching in the East, and our dreams
tell us the Prince has come. We have come to worship him. Where is he?" And Herod is troubled. All the city is moved! They talk of nothing but the new star.
The strangers move on towards Bethlehem. At dusk the new star, increased in brightness, appears, coming down almost to the earth! The strangers shout in their own tongue, but stop not till the star hangs over an humble dwelling. A prince? A king? Where is the palace? Where the officers of state? Where the rejoicing nation? But their faith staggers not! They find a Babe, but they believe the vision, and opening their treasures, gold and frankincense, acknowledge him a prince and divine.
0 ye, who, not understanding God's ways, think that his plans fill a circle no larger than ours—
Learn that our Father in Heaven is confined to no particular way or method of leading men to his Son. The star, the voice of Balaam, and the troubled tyrant, all lend their aid.
Learn again that God has friends in places where we should not look for them. Though scattered widely, he sends them his promises, and on his seal is written, "The Lord knoweth who are his."
Learn that men are honoured as they honour the Saviour. These men we never hear of but once, we know only of one deed which they performed; but that deed w^) be admired, and will redound to their honour, as long as the world shall endure.
JOHN THE BAPTIST IN THE WILDERNESS. BT H1CAH ASIiEB, M.D.
Aloxo the mountain side,
Along the quiet vale;
And louder than the gale,
The tall pines how their heads;
Far round it* fragrance sheds:
The green palm waves its flowers,
And rocks In echoes speak;
Where murmuring waters break,—
That shades the listening earth,
By the young earthquake's birth,
"I see a new Rose spring to birth,
The day of promise breaking.
All darkness is forsaking.
"0 hail that Fountain, soon to stream I 0 hail that Sun, so soon to beam .' 0 hail that desert just awaking, 0 hail! the night o'er hill-tops breaking While all the darkness turns to gny O men of Israel! hail your King, The old should shout, the children sing, See! the mountains bend before him, Seel the valleys rise to adore him,
0 men of sin, prepare his way I"
Ye deafl ye now glad tidings hear!
Ob. higher jet his star shall rise;
THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT.
As the light of the bright morning broke uver the hills of Judea, a great multitude was seen hastening up the sides of the mountain. All the night long the Son of Man had been on this mountain alone. What prayers he offered, what desires he expressed, what visions he saw,
, we may never know in this world. But early 'the crowds have gathered that they may hear him speak. They have heard that no human tongue ever uttered notes so sweet, that no human voice ever thrilled the heart with such power, leaving its echo in the soul, like some sweet music that seems to hover over the harp that first created the melody, and their hearts whisper that he may be the long-promised Messiah.
Near, and around him stand the many who call themselves his scholars. These he calls to him, and from them selects twelve by name. The multitude wonder. Are these the twelve who are to be generals in his army, marshals in his empire, as he leads out the hosts of Israel to their deliverance? Are these to be his staff officers in that mighty struggle, in
consequence for the new prophet of Nazareth to send out a few illiterate men as heralds of his kingdom. Without education, wealth, genius, the patronage of the rich, or any thing by which they might hope to attract attention. They surrounded their teacher, and were told to go out in his name, and under his sole authority! How eagerly Peter, ardent and headstrong, listened! How timidly did lovely John receive the command! How strong arose the hope in the bosom of the traitor, that he would now have the opportunity to fill his purse! They thought that it was a commission to them to go out and preach the gospel: we see that it embraced the commission of every faithful
preacher of that gospel to the end of the world. They thought Judca and its environs would form the boundaries of their labours; they little knew that on continents then undiscovered, and in languages then uncreated, magnificent churches would bear their names, and they would be invoked as the guardian saints! But those brief instructions form all the commission Christ's servants can ever claim. It was like stamping laws on light and on water, so that the creation of the first rainbow created every rainbow that shall ever hang on the dark clouds. The engineer seems to do but little as he marks out a track, and sets up here and there a stake, but in reality, he is deciding where the multitudes,