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MY DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS:
THIS little book is intended to assist you in understanding a part of the Bible. I invite you to read carefully with me several passages in the book of Matthew, and see if the comment which you will find after the passages of Scripture will help you to understand them better than you did before: see if you are better acquainted with the character and teachings of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. If so, you may prize the knowledge above "the wealth of worlds;" if not, I may have failed in commenting, or you in reading-but the Word of God is still pure, and all are guilty of great sin who read it with a careless eye, and an unfeeling heart. Have you thought how necessary it is that you should not only read, but understand and feel the truth of the Bible? Perhaps you study it in the Sabbath school, and it may be you read it with your parents, or listen to hear them read it morning and evening,—but do you think every time you hear or read a passage, "now what
is the meaning of this? Does it apply to me? and what should it lead me to do?" I once knew a poor woman who had a large family of little children to take care of, so that she had to work from morning till night, and could not often get time to read a chapter in the Bible; but she told me that she always opened that good book in the morning, and read a few verses, and those precious words she tried to keep in her mind all day.. Sometimes, in the midst of her cares and labors, she forgot them, and then she would look for a moment in her opened Bible again;—“ and you cannot think," said she, "how sweet the word of God is to me." This poor woman felt that the Bible was her only guide to heaven, and though her hands were employed all the day, and she had many cares and sorrows, she desired to understand the word of God, and be prepared to go, when she died, to that happy place where there is no sin or poverty, sickness or death. Equally anxious should you be to remember, understand and feel the word of God. Never forget that the Bible is the book-the only book—which your Heavenly Father has given to direct you how to escape from everlasting punishment, and find the home of the righteous, where all is peace and love.
THE BIRTH OF OUR SAVIOUR.
MATTHEW ii. 1-12.
1. Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2. Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
3. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
4. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
5. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea; for thus it is written by the prophet,
6. And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
7. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
8. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
9. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they had seen in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
10. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
11. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
12. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
In reading the passage of Scripture which you see above, you soon come to the precious name of Jesus. This is the name which you should
know and love better than all others. JESUS is the name which should sound sweeter to you than the names of your brothers and sisters, or even those of your father and mother; and it is to assist you in learning how good and lovely Jesus is, and how much he has done for you, that this Sabbath school book is prepared.
If you were to read the whole ole through, you would find a great deal in all the books about the Saviour of the world, that is, Jesus Christ ;— but each of the four first books of the New Testament, gives a particular account of him. They are four histories of his life and death, written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; four good men who lived at the time our Saviour was on earth, and the most of them went about with him, hearing his gracious words, and seeing his wonderful works. These men wrote as the Holy Spirit directed. They all give the same general account of Jesus, yet there are some particulars related by some of them which others do not give. They all loved the Saviour, and took pleasure in writing about him; but it was God who directed them to write, and he inspired, that is, he taught them. exactly what they ought to write, because he intended that we should know, and all who have the Bible should know, the true history of Jesus Christ. Therefore, remember, when you read the Testament with me, or when you read any part of the Bible, that the words you read came from God; they are his words written by the hand of a man; and remember too, if you neglect to read the Bible, or if you refuse to make it the guide of your life, you despise the God who made you