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Let us learn from this parable to give ourselves to God, and then we shall never live a life of self-indulgence. You know Jesus says, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take
his cross, and follow me.' (Matt. xvi. 24.) You must try while you are children to deny yourselves in little things. This will make it easier to you to give up in great things when you are older.
There is just one more parable about another rich man which I should like you to hear. This man's ground brought forth such large crops that he was puzzled to know where to stow them away. He made up his mind to pull down his barns and to build greater. Now, this was all very well.
. If God give us plenty, He means us to take care of it. But now hear what he said to himself. He made sure he should live many years. He said to his soul,
Soul, take thine ease : eat, drink, and be merry." Like the other rich man, you see, he thought only of himself. But what
did God say to him? “ Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee”. that is, “ This night thou shalt die.”
Why did God call him a fool ? Because he had never thought about getting ready for another world. Remember that none are so foolish as those who neglect their souls. What good could all this man's riches do him when he was called to die? We must learn how little we can reckon on living long. I should like you to learn a text about this :-“Go to now, ye that say, To-day or to-morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain : whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that." (James iv. 13-15.)
JESUS ON HIS WAY TO JERUSALEM.
I am now going to tell you something which shows the love and mercy of Jesus wonderfully. Once, when He was on his way to Jerusalem, He sent his disciples to a village in Samaria, asking the people to receive Him on his journey. The Samaritans would not receive Him because He was going on to Jerusalem, and they so hated the Jews. James and John were very angry, and wanted to call down fire from heaven on them, as Elijah had once done. But Jesus told them they did not know what spirit they were of.
You know He teaches us to love our enemies, to bless them that curse us, and to pray for them that despitefully use us,
and persecute us. (Matt. v. 44.) The meek and lowly Saviour taught us this by his example. Some time after, He was passing through Samaria again. As He was entering a village there met Him ten wretched men who were lepers. One of them was a Samaritan, the other nine were Jews. They cried to Jesus, “ Master, have mercy on us.”
He told them to go and show themselves to the priest. This was what lepers were commanded to do by the law of Moses. I think they must have felt disappointed that Jesus did not cure them at once, as He had done others. But they set out, and as they went they found their leprosy was healed. I am sure you will expect to hear that they all turned back directly to give thanks to Jesus. But, no ! Only one of the ten returned. It was the poor Samaritan who turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God. Jesus asked, “ Were there not ten cleansed, but where are the nine?" Where, indeed ? I am
afraid many cry to God for mercy when they are sick or in trouble, who forget to thank Him when they are relieved. Let us learn that ingratitude is a great sin, and let us be very thankful to our gracious Father for all his mercies.
One day Jesus passed through the town of Jericho. In this town lived a rich man named Zaccheus. He was the chief of the Publicans. Now Zaccheus had a great desire to see Jesus, but this was not an easy matter, for there was a great crowd round the Saviour. Zaccheus, too, was a very short man, which made it more difficult for him. But Zaccheus was really in earnest, so he did not give up for a little difficulty. He ran before the crowd, and climbed up a tree by the road-side. When Jesus came opposite to the tree, He looked up and saw Zaccheus. You know why He looked up, do you not? Oh, yes! the Saviour had seen what was in that man's heart, and He meant to show mercy to Zaccheus. So