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need of healing." After the boys had looked at the painting for some time in silence, Frank asked Mr. Birman to what country the painter belonged.
Mr. Birman. He was an American, named Benjamin West, and was born in Pennsylvania; he went to England with his family, and gained great praise as a painter; he died there a few years since.—This picture he sent as a present to the hospital.
Robert. How bad that child looks, which the man in the picture is holding up in his
Mr. Birman. That is a picture of the child, which is mentioned in the ninth chapter of Mark. His father brought him to Jesu to be cured, and said, “If thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us and help us.” Do either of you, my lads, read the scriptures with such attention, as to be able to tell me, what Jesus said to this distressed parent?
Frank. I remember, sir: “ Jesus said unto him, if thou canst believe all things are possible to him that believeth."
Harry. I remember it, too, for I answered questions on the chapter, in the bible class.
Mr. Birman. Then you can repeat what the father of the child said, in reply to the Saviour.
Harry. Yes—"And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said, with tears, " Lord, I believe; help then, my unbelief.?
Mr. Birman. You know “all scripture is profitable for instruction;" now, my little lad, can you tell me what this account may teach us?
Robert. I do not know, sir, for Jesus is not here now for us to go to him to be cured, when we are sick.
Mr. Birman. But we all have a sickness, that no one but Jesus can cure.
Robert. I do not know what you mean, sir.
Harry. I think I domis it the sickness of sin, sir?
Mr. Birman. Sin is the cause of it; in paradise, before sin entered, we do not read of sickness. But, sin
“ Brought death into the world and all our wa.”
The sickness of the soul, is what Jeremiah the prophet laments, when he asks, “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician thereP” Jesus is the all-powerful physician of souls; he can give the healing balm which will cleanse them from sin's corroding dis
But the diseased soul must seek the physician, and his promise is, “Whosoever cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.”
Robert. Bat we are not wicked, sir; so our souls are not sick.
Mr. Birman. Do you never do any thing that you
know is wrong? do you never break any of the commandments of God, but keep them always as Jesus Christ taught that they must be kept, “ with all
heart?" Robert. I do not steal, sir, or swear, or disobey my father and mother.
Mr. Birman. That is well, but do you never feel a wish, even to do what
know would displease God?
Robert held down his head and did not an
Mr. Birman. What you feel now, my little fellow, is a proof that your soul is not in
perfect health; for if it was, you would be able to say that you never in thought, word, or deed, disobeyed, or even wished to disobey God; but no one can venture to say so, because every one is in some degree disordered by sin: and, if we say that we have no sin,” the word of God tells
US, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." Now, if you had lived when Jesus was on earth in a body, (such as the painter has there tried to give a picture of,) and you had been in pain with some disease, do
would have gone to Jesus and have asked him to cure you?
Robert. Yes, I am sure I would, for I do not like to be sick.
Mr. Birman. Well, Jesus is now earth; not in a body as he was then, but his spirit is every where present, and you can go to him, and ask him to cure your heart of a sickness that will increase until it occasions death, if Jesus does not cure it.
Robert. I thought you said it was the soul had that sickness; now sir, you say, the heart.
Mr. Birman. said heart, because I thought you would understand that best, but I mean the same thing as soul; and when you read in the scriptures of the heart and the soul, you may understand the words as meaning what you call your heart. Now, tell me how your heart differs from your body?
Robert. My heart is what I think with, and what I wish with, and what I can learn with.
Mr. Birman. And your heart or soul is to give an account to God of “the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or evil.” You remember, I suppose, reading in the Bible, “the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” You have told me what you mean by your heart or soul; now, can you tell me what the death of the soul means?
Robert. No, sir, I do not know exactly.
Mr. Birman. Perhaps one of you, who are older, can tell me.
Harry. I think, sir, it is different from the death of the body, because death makes the body free from feeling, but the soul never dies so as to be without feeling.