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of enjoying mercy. But God deals with us in great mercy, and never, in this life, punishes us as our transgressions deserve; although he is grieved that we are so in love with sin, and so willing to disobey him. If we are sorry for our sins, and believe in Jesus, and give ourselves away to him, he will not remember that we have offended him, and will love us as freely as if we had never been his enemies. Ask Jesus to give you his spirit; and make you obedient to all his rules, and then you will be kind, affectionate, and forgiving to all around you.
OUR SAVIOUR'S LOVE FOR LITTLE CHILDREN.
13. Then there were brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray; and the disciples rebuked them.
14. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. 15. And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.
We have seen that multitudes of men and women were constantly coming to the Saviour, as he went about doing good, and we know that children were among the vast number that he supplied with food on the mountain; but we have not yet noticed anything that Jesus said to little children. You will learn from the verses above that his love and mercy were not all bestowed on grown people. "There were brought unto him," that is to Jesus, "little children." It is probable the parents, or
some other kind friends to the children, led or brought them to Jesus. Many of my readers know well that if the Saviour were now on earth their fond, pious parents would wish to lead them to him. Many, I hope, have parents who daily ask the blessed Saviour in prayer to look in pity on you, and make you his obedient children. These parents, though they lived more than eighteen hundred years ago, and lived too many thousands of miles from this country, loved their children as your parents love you; and the little ones were the same kind of playful, thoughtless little creatures as we see every day; sometimes doing wrong, and sometimes right, and each of them needing that Jesus should give them a new heart and right spirit. We know not the age of these children. In Mark they are called young children, and in Luke infants; but neither of these expressions is used in Scripture to denote particularly either very little children, or those of considerable age. They only mean any age of childhood. Perhaps some of these little ones were of the age of some who are able to read this book. : It It appears that the disciples thought it very improper to bring children to Jesus, and they rebuked or reproved those who brought them. I suppose they thought it very intrusive to bring little chil dren to the mighty Saviour, and request him who was able to work miracles to notice them; and it may be that the parents were hastening away with their children, afraid that Jesus too would rebuke them. But Jesus was not like man. He loved every human being. The lame, the blind, the sick, the tender little ones all shared in his love
and compassion. And Jesus said, "Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not." As if he had said, "Do not send little children away from me. Let them gather around me. I love them. I love to take them in my arms, and teach them, and give them my blessing." And then he adds, "Of such is the kingdom of heaven." This means perhaps, that such persons as are christians, and finally enjoy heaven, show while on earth mild, teachable dispositions; and look up to their Heavenly Father to guide them in all things, as little children depend on their parents for direction.
In the fifteenth verse it is said, "He laid his hands on them, and departed." In the same account given by Mark it is said, "And he took them up in his arms and blessed them." He gave the children the blessing which their parents asked for them. In the thirteenth verse it is said they brought them "that Jesus should put his hands on them and pray. We learn from the Old Testament, and from other ancient books, that the Jews thought very much of having the ceremony of laying the hands on the head with prayer performed by a prophet, or pious teacher. Perhaps it was this kind of blessing that the friends of these children sought for them; but it may be that they believed that Jesus was able to give them new hearts, and prepare them for the happiness of heaven; and it may be that the Saviour bestowed on them this blessing, even if their friends asked only that they might enjoy health, and the happiness of this world.
We are sure that Jesus blessed them, and we
know that any blessing from the wise and holy Saviour is very precious-but as we look back on this lovely group of little ones, and see them gathering around the meek, benevolent Saviour, we cannot bear to think that their friends sought for them any blessing less than the best of blessings" the pearl of great price." Of all the children who have ever lived on earth they were the most highly honored; and we cannot bear to think that they should be brought to the Saviour's arms without the prayer being offered by their friends, (if they were too young to pray for themselves) that they should receive his spirit, and become his children. And when we think of you, dear children of this christian country, children of the Sabbath school, we cannot bear to think that you should live, where you hear the doctrines of Jesus spoken by his ministers, and have his word to read every day, and are invited to ask his blessing in prayer, without seeking first of all that best of gifts which he alone can bestow. Jesus says, "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.' And the wise Solomon, who was inspired by God, says, "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth."
Your pious friends, your Sabbath school teacher, and the minister who labors for your good, have all commended you to Jesus. You have been brought to him by the strong desires of your friends, as these little children were, that he may bestow on you his blessing-yet do not depend on this. See what encouragement this account affords you to come to him yourself. The same kind Saviour who took these children up in his
arms, and blessed them, though the disciples frowned upon them, is no less willing to receive you. He is watching over you every day, and giving you all the good things you enjoy. Will you not lay down your book at this moment, and go away where none but God can see you, and ask the Saviour to take you for his child, and make you such an one as he can love.
THE RICH YOUNG MAN.
MATT. xix. 16-22.
16. And behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17. And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
18. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19. Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
20. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
21. Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
22. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
A PERSON came to Jesus calling him "Good Master," and desiring to be informed what good thing he could do to obtain eternal life, or be taken to heaven when he died. From the twentieth and twenty-second verses we learn that this