« FöregåendeFortsätt »
bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son? And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself : whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land ; but unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath; and they rose up, and thrust hirn out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill, whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he, passing through the midst of them, went his way; and he came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the Sabbath days.
How striking, how dignified, is the short address of Jesus, as he commences his preaching in his own city! But the inhabitants, though they admired at first, the gracious words of the Saviour, could not bear the high tone in which he spoke of his commission, and justified himself for not performing wonders among them. Pride prevented them from listening to his instructions,-mortified pride, in not having been themselves selected, as the witnesses of his previous miracles. How often does a similar pride deprive us of happiness, when it stands ready for our acceptance ! The thought that another is preferred to ourselves, that we, though favoured, are not sufficiently distinguished above others, such feelings make us unkind to our friends, ungrateful to our benefactors, and lead us to murmur against the providence of God.
The men of Nazareth, too, despised the Saviour for his poverty, and want of extraordinary advantages of education; for they knew not, that he had been taught from above, and that
upon him had been poured forth the Spirit without mea
God often uses instruments, seemingly the most humble, to declare his will; and it is sometimes from the lowliest lips that we hear the divinest lessons of virtue, the wisest rules of happiness.
The race that long in darkness pined,
Have seen a glorious light;
In death's surrounding night.
To hail thy rise, thou better Sun !
The gathering nations come,
The harvest treasures home.
To us a child of hope is born,
To us a son is given;
Him, all the hosts of heaven.
His name shall be the Prince of Peace,
Whose rule shall stretch abroad,
The great and mighty Lord.
His power, increasing, still shall spread;
His reign no end shall know ;
CALL OF PETER, AND OTHERS.
MATT. Iv. 18. And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea ; for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, meliuing their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship, and their father, and followed him. And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria ; and they brought unto him all sick people, that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy ; and he healed them. And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan.
It apears from John i. 42. (Section 1x.) that our Saviour had already conversed with Simon and Andrew, and conferred upon the former the name of Cephas, or Peter, signifying
a rock.” He now summons them to quit their employments and follow him. The instruments of God in diffusing Christianity were humble men, and among them the distinguished apostle whose call is here recorded, pursued an unpretending occupation for his support. Yet was he chosen, while the proud, the wealthy, and the educated were passed by; and for what? For his sincerity, his boldness, the warmth of his affections, the faithfulness of his heart. These were treasures which the brightest acquirements of his nation's sages could not equal. Let the humble Christian strive after these treasures. Let him not envy the pageantry of kings, the fame of conquerors; for men, whose glory is more lasting than that of princes, were clothed in no costly robes, but those of justice and piety. And let not the child of fortune and cultivation look down with scorn on those whose station is inferior to his own; for they who taught the gospel to mankind, rose from obscurity; and never, in the exercise of their holy functions, wasted a thought of envy on the splendours of earth. Those splendours were too low and transient to be compared with the inheritance they looked for, incorruptible, undefiled, and which fadeth not away,
The wind was hushed on Galilee,
As near its waveless flood,
An humble fisher stood.
A voice was heard; as on the lake
Is heard the whispering breeze;
The grandeur of the seas.
Years passed away ;-the humble man
Who stood unheeding there,
The fisher's tranquil care.
Him, palaces of eastern pride
Now hailed, an honoured guest;
He spoke of heavenly rest.
He bore, through perils far and near
His Saviour's holy name :
To indolence or shame.
That Saviour's presence cheered his breast
Through every varied scene :
In martyrdom serene.
Lord! while thy holy servant's lot
In various scenes we view,
Which bore him stedfast through,
SERMON ON THE MOUNT.
MATT. V. And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain ; and when he was set, his disciples came unto him : and he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn ; for they shall