« FöregåendeFortsätt »
serve his people from the corruption of sin.
Now perhaps these wise men from the East were rich men, which was the cause of their being able to make Jesus such rich presents. But there is no one however poor but may make a rich present to Jesus if he will. And what is this rich present? Why your own heart.—Yes, though it is a vile, sinful heart, give it to Jesus : he will not only accept it, but make it holy too, and fit to place amongst his treasures in heaven. Oh! then copy the wise men ; seek Jesus in the Bible, seek him on your knees ; when you have found him as your friend, and your Saviour, you will rejoice; and in giving him your only gift, your heart, you will give him your love, your service, and your obedience.
EXTRACTS FROM BISHOP ANDREWS.
“For verily he took not on him the nature o angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham.”
“ It was much, even but to look after us; to respect us so far, who were not worth the cast of his eye : much to call us back, but more, when we came not, for all that to send after us. For if he had but only been content to give us leave to lay hold on him, to touch but the hem of his garment (himself sitting still, and never calling to us, nor send. ing after us ;) it had been favour enough: far above that we were worth. But not only to send by others, but to come himself after us; to say-get me a body ! will myself after him ; this was exceed. ing much. But yet this is not all,--he gave not over his pursuit, though it were long and laborious, and he full weary; though it cast him into a sweat, a sweat of blood: and so followed, as nothing made him leave following, till he over
“For unto us a child is born, unto us fa son is given.”
“ The child, to impart his human, the Son, his divine, nature. All along his life you shall see these two. At his birth, a cradle for the child ; a star for the Son. A company of shepherds view
ing the child ; a quire of angels celebrating the Son. In his life, hungry himself, to shew the nature of the child; yet feeding five thousand, to shew the power of the Son. At his death, dying on the cross, as the son of Adam; at the same time disposing of paradise, as the Son of God.
« But, thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among tbe thousands of Judea, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me, that is to be ruler in Israel.”
“O thou Bethlehem, and ( thou little Bethlehemite, how do ye both (both place and person) confound the haugh. tiness of many, that yet would be called Christians, and even hear Christ himself. There is in both of you (if it were well taken to heart) enough to prick the swelling, and let out the bad matter of pride, from a many of us, whose look, gesture, gait, and swelling words of vanity are too big for Bethlehem ; whose whole carriage and course is as if they were to be saved by one that came out of the greatcity Nineveh, or Grand Cairo, rather than out of the little hamlet of Bethlehem.”-“ For little Bethlehem's sake, love the virtue that is in it; for the virtue's sake honour it. Honour it: there is a star over it. There is a Savi.
our in it. Honour it, for that which comes out of it; for the fruit it yields. More good comes out of that poor town, than from all the great cities in the world. What good Nazianzen tells us : It gives us our introduction to Paradise. It gives us a guide, if we will follow him, who will bring us thither, 10 our original happiness : nay, further than so, to the days of eternity. And him we must follow, and it we must honour (even this virtue) if ever we mean to come there.”
A SHORT ACCOUNT OF JOHN W .
I am now going to tell you about a little boy whose name was John W-. But lest it should do you no good, pray to God to grant you his blessing, that you may understand what you are reading, and enable you to follow the example of this good little boy, so far as he was enabled to follow Christ ; for depend upon it, that without God's blessing it will all be in vain. John W - was one of the best boys in the
d Infants' School, (over which God has been pleased to place me as master.) I do not recollect that ever I had occasion to be angry with him. He never would play with rude and naughty children, and if there were no good ones near him, he would get
some good little book and read it instead. I remember last fair-time, as I was passing by the house where he lived, I saw him sit. ting on the step with a Bible in his hands, trying to find out a text he had heard a mi. nister preach from at church, on the Sunday before. Now this was much better than go. ing to the fair. John loved his Bible because
it told him about Jesus Christ; when he · was at school, he would often ask me to read
it to him, and if there was a word be did not understand, he would ask me to ex. plain it. Every Monday morning he used to tell me the text, and sometimes part of the sermon. But John was not proud of it: no, he knew that his heart was as wicked as it could be, and that it was all through the grace of God he was such a good boy. For the last five or six months I believe he never went to bed or got up without prayer. He did not merely say his prayers, but he asked God for those things of which he felt the want. I have often heard him pray for a new heart, that God would pardon his sing through Christ, and prepare him for heaven: and once, when one of his school. fellows was very ill, and likely to die, John prayed for him, that if it was God's will, he might get better and come to school again.; but, if he should die, that Christ would take him to heaven: and he would pray for me