« PreviousContinue »
kindness to others, returning good for evil. And your fruit should "remain." You have seen bad fruit come on a tree, and remain with the good fruit for a while. Then it withers and drops off. Just so with actions that seem good at first, but which do not spring from a right motive-sincere love to Christ, and the wish to please him. Such actions are like bad fruit they show that the branch is good for nothing. But good fruit remains. Little kindnesses remain in the mind of those who receive them, and bring forth increase like good seed; one good action leads to another. How the disciples went and brought forth fruit, telling others about Jesus, shining like lights in the world, lighting men to Christ. So may a child be a light among his companions, for "even a child is known by his doings."
The last text that I shall give you is from St. John's first Epistle, the fourth chapter and the tenth verse: "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." You may have seen a naughty child, cared for and provided for by its parents, yet making no return of gratitude and love. Such conduct is enough to make any one turn away and say, "I will have nothing to do with that ungrateful child." But God does not say so of us, though we have made him no return for his goodness-perhaps have not even given him thanks.
What do we think of a little child when we see him turn away rebellious from his best friend? We have often done so with God. Are not some of you doing so now? Are you among the children who
QUESTIONS ON THE PARABLES OF OUR LORD. 279 will not come to Christ, who stand like the stubborn child at the gate?
Shall this continue, dear children? Should not the thought of God's love lead you to love him? What but his love gives you the Sunday school, causes your teachers to care for you, your minister to take such pains in teaching you the way to heaven? Oh, pray for a grateful heart to return this love. Pray that you may love him, because he first loved you. Do not forget what I have said; but look again when you go home at the texts which you have found this morning, and ask that God the Holy Spirit would write them upon your heart.
QUESTIONS ON THE PARABLES OF OUR
Matt. xxi. 33-46; see also Mark xii. 1--12; Luke xx. 9-19.
33. WHERE was this parable delivered ?-What is a vineyard P-Who is meant by the householder ?-What is represented by the vineyard? Is. v. 7.-Who are the husbandmen in it?
34. What is meant by the time of fruit ?-Who are denoted by the servants ?
35. What transactions are here referred to ?Mention the case in 2 Chron. xxiv. 21.—What is said of them in Heb. xi. 37?
36. What is the leading idea in this verse?
37. How many sons had the householder ?-How does the evangelist Mark style his son P-To whom
does the description apply?-How is he to be reverenced? John v. 23.
38. What inheritance did they mean?-To whom does an inheritance belong?
39. How was Christ cast out of the vineyard?
40. To whom was this question addressed ? verse 23. What was the design of it?
41. Why did they make this reply ?-Who were condemned by it?
42. What Scriptures are here spoken of ?—To what passage did Jesus allude ?-What is meant by the head of the corner? Is. xxviii. 16.
43. What is here meant by the kingdom of God? -Who are intended by the nation spoken of? Acts xxviii. 28.—When was this prediction fulfilled ?
44. To what stone does our Lord here refer ? verse 42.- What is meant by falling on it ?—What is meant by being broken?
45. Who were the Pharisees ?-What others does Luke mention ?
46. What offended them at this time P-When did they seek to lay hands on him?
How very few young people feel sufficiently thankful for the advantages they enjoy in obtaining pleasure and profit from books! Before the art of printing was discovered, young people were very ignorant respecting a hundred things of which they may now easily become well informed.
It is true that sometimes they might hear from their parents and friends what they, in their turn, had heard from others. A shipwrecked sailor might tell them of the dangers of the sea; a one-legged soldier might recount the wonders of foreign climes, in which he had
fought and bled; and a merchant might speak of the barbarous people with whom he had traded; but these opportunities could not often occur, so that whatever was passing in the wide world, they could know but very little about it. Few people could then afford to buy written books, and still fewer were learned enough to write them.
How different is the case now! If a young person wishes to know all about his own country-its mountains, rivers, productions and manufactories; if he wishes to hear about shipwrecks and disasters on the mighty ocean, or of the inhabitants, manners, and customs of distant climes, all this information is to be got from books.
The art of printing has placed within our reach interesting accounts of the four quarters of the globe, so that no one need be altogether ignorant of the remotest countries, or of the most barbarous people.
The Arab of the desert, the negro of the Gold Coast, the Indian of Canada, the Hottentot of South Africa, and the Esquimaux of North America, are all brought before us in books; we see their pictures, we learn how they act in war and peace, and are able to form a more correct idea of the inhabitants of the world.
Books make us acquainted with the extent of countries, the height of mountains, the length of rivers, and with the animal, vegetable, and mineral creation. How little should we know of the produc tions of different countries, if it were not for books! Mariners might sail round the world, travellers might visit_distant climes, the whale might be harpooned in