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of the people who were gathered around him on the mountain, or any person who reads his words now; you who read this little book, or I who write it. "These sayings" means the precepts or doctrine which he had just been delivering to them, and which are written for us to read in these three chapters. "And doeth them." Here is the difficulty and the danger. It was no doubt very easy for those people who heard Jesus preach to listen to his words. Perhaps they took pleasure in looking on his heavenly countenance, and were charm*ed with his mild, persuasive voice; and it may be they were even pleased with his pure, benevolent doctrine while they heard him speak, but when they went away to their homes, I fear many of them did not do as he directed them. It is easy for us to read these sayings of the Saviour, and while we read them our hearts acknowledge that they are good, and we know it would make us happy to obey them, but do we remember to do them at all times, and in all places? If we do these sayings we shall indulge in no anger; we shall swear not at all; we shall love, not our friends only, but our enemies also; we shall be kind and obliging to all around us, and do by others just as we would like to have them do by us; we shall not give half our thoughts to the world, and half to God, but it will be our first desire to please our Heavenly Father. This would be doing the sayings of our Saviour; and he says of the person who does them, "I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a rock." To liken, is to compare, or represent one thing by another. The Saviour was so kind and condescending that

he often taught his hearers about spiritual things, such as they could not easily understand, by comparing them with natural things, such as they saw around them. At this time, to make his instructions plain to those who heard him, and plain for you and me who now read them, Jesus used the comparison of the two houses, one built on a rock, and the other on the sand.

A house, you know, is a dwelling to keep us safe and comfortable. It is not built for one day merely, but we prepare it for night and day, for winter and summer, for the fair and the stormy weather; and here we take our furniture and our families, and call it our home. Should not such a building be placed on a firm foundation? The wise man, our Saviour says, built his house on a rock, and when the rain descended, the winds blew, and the floods came, though they beat upon that house it fell not, because it was founded upon a rock. Now, my dear reader, the truths of the Bible, especially the doctrine of Christ, and the instructions of our Saviour, are a rock on which you may build your spiritual house-your house for eternity. You may hereafter encounter many storms; the floods of adversity may beat upon you; but if you are built on this rock, if your faith and hope be fastened to this foundation you can never fall, because Jesus will love, protect, and keep you safely by his mighty power.

In the twenty-sixth verse, Jesus compares such persons as hear his sayings and do them not, to a foolish man who built his house upon the sand This man, too, designed his house for a place of safety and comfort. He carried thither his dearest

friends, and his most valuable property. He meant it should long stand for his secure and happy home; but, O how unwise he was to build it on the sand! In the calmest days of sunshine it was no more pleasant than the wise man's house, which he had placed on a rock, and when the first heavy wind came it began to totter, and ere long, when "the rains descended, the floods came, and the winds blew, it fell, and great was the fall of it."

Let us think what this falling house, with all its beauty and grandeur, with all its vast treasures of life and happiness within, is made to represent. The loss of an immortal soul! Jesus teaches us by this familiar illustration that those who love and obey the precepts of the gospel, that is, those who believe in Jesus and take him for their Saviour, will be safe and happy through all the trials of life, and even in the hour of death; but those who trust in any other righteousness than that of Jesus Christ will be lost for ever. No wonder that Jesus said of the foolish man's house, "Great was the fall of it." To build our hopes of heaven on a false foundation, and find ourselves deceived at last; to feel that our soul, which can never die, has taken its final portion with the lost, must be a fall so fearful that even the Saviour's illustration does not enable us fully to realize it.

Dear children, if you live long on earth, you will find many things to entice you to build for eternity on the sliding sand. The vanity of the world, your gay companions, and your own wicked hearts, will lead you to depend on some other foundation than the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Besides this, you are in danger of neglecting all

religion, and thus scarcely thinking on what foundation your house is placed until the storm begins to beat, and then it is too late. Now, while you are very young, trust in the Saviour, and ask him to guide you through life, and prepare you for the happiness of heaven.

CHAPTER IX.

ESUS TEACHING IN PARABLES.
The Parable of the Sower.

MATT. xiii. 1-8.

1. The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea-side.

2. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

3. And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow:

4. And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way-side, and the fowls came, and devoured them up.

5. Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth; and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:

6. And when the sun was up they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

7. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up and choked them.

8. But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundred-fold, some sixty-fold, some thirty-fold.

You here perceive, my young friends, that Jesus seated himself by the sea-side, that is, by the shore of the sea of Galilee; and that " great multitudes were gathered together unto him." In the last chapter you may learn that the Pharisees sought to

destroy the Saviour, but great numbers of the people who lived in that country did not feel like the Pharisees. They believed that Jesus was a great and good Teacher, though I suppose they did not all know that he was the Son of God. They felt that he spoke with wisdom and love, and believed that he was able to work miracles, therefore they followed him from place to place, and listened to hear when he spoke, and asked him to heal them when they were sick. So many people collected around the Saviour as he sat on the sea-shore, that he went into a ship and sat, while the whole multitude stood on the shore.

You have thought of Jesus as he sat on the mountain side, preaching the gospel of peace to the multitude; now think of him, still ready to do good-anxious that all who came might hear his word; leaving the land, and going into a vessel instead of a pulpit, so that the people might gather along the shore, and all be able to hear. The sea-breezes gently play around the ship, while his sweet voice echoes across the moving waters, and the waves ripple along the pebbly shore,—while men, women and children stand eagerly gazing on his mild countenance, as they treasure up the gracious words that fall from his lips.

"He spake many things to them in parables." Perhaps you do not understand what a parable is. It is a kind of story, natural in its parts, and told to show, in a plain and interesting manner, some important truth. In our country it is not common to speak in this manner, but in Asia, where the Saviour lived, it was very common. The parable is that of the sower, and shows, by the seed on

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