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in that scene, and myriads of their children, shared also in the long horror of that siege, which, for its unutterable fearfulness, stands unparalleled in the story of mankind.-FARRAR.
On flowery beds of ease,
And sailed through bloody seas ? This, then, was one good thing the martyrs did for the world—they changed the Cross of Christ from an emblem of horror and infamy to the proudest of all symbols, to be woven in gold on the banners of armies, and set in gems on the crowns of kings. And another grand thing they did was to set the loftiest of all examples ; to bear witness to the most necessary of all truths--that there is, in life, something better than ease and comfort, more delightful than pleasure, more "golden than gold,” that the “life is more than meat, and the body than raiment." Such men, as has well been said, “create an epidemic of nobleness.” Men become better and greater from gazing at their example, more ready to do and dare; more willing to lift their eyes out of the mire of selfishness, and the dust of anxiety and toil; more brave to try whether they, too, cannot “scale the toppling crags of duty," and hold converse with those their loftier brethren upon the
Through the darknesses and disappointments of life, amid the wars and miseries of history, these high examples glide ever before us like a pillar of fire. And thus their power of example by death becomes a power of influence in life.-FARRAR.
John, saw the holy city.--REVELATION xxi. 2.
Sweet place, sweet place alone
Earth's but a sorry tent,
Come near and bless us when we wake,
Ere through the world our way we take. The angels of time and opportunity are with us now, and now we may unclench from their conquered hands garlands of immortal flowers. Yet with beating wing and soundless footfall they are ever bearing us onward—bearing us through a dark river, and to an unknown land. We stand with our feet in the wave, and noiselessly the river of life broadens, deepens, lengthens, rises silently to our ankles, to our knees, to our necks, flows over our heads, and hurries more and more, while we regard it not, its rapid waters eager to sweep us on to the great eternal deeps. Ob, reverence and use aright the hours which as they perish are imputed to you. Regard each new day as a fresh unstained gift from God, and wrestling with it earnestly from its earliest dawn, say to it, “I will not let thee go unless thou bless me.” Hallow it, while it is yet unstained and innocent, in your morning prayer; for prayer, too, is an angel—an angel whose wing is strong as an eagle's; an angel “who moves the arms of Him who moves the world ;” an angel who can turn sinners into penitents, and penitents into saints. Be prayerful, and you will be happy and innocent, and noble too.-FARRAR.
Jesus stood by the lake of Gennesaret.—LUKE v. 1.
The lake of Gennesareth, with its glittering crystal and fringe of flowering oleanders, lies, still unchanged, in the bosom of the hills, reflecting every varying gleam of the atmosphere like an opal set in emeralds. The waters are still as beautiful in their clearness as when the boat of Peter lay rocking on their ripples, and Jesus gazed into their crystal depths; the cup-like basin still seems to overflow with its flood of sunlight; the air is still balmy with natural perfumes; the turtle dove still murmurs in the valleys, and the pelican fishes in the waves; and there are palms and green fields, and streams, and grey heaps of ruins. And what it has lost in population and activity it has gained in solemnity and interest. If every vestige of human habitation should disappear from beside it, and the jackal and the hyena should howl about the shattered fragments of the synagogues where once Christ taught, yet the fact that He chose it as the scene of His opening ministry will give a sense of sacredness and pathos to its lonely waters till time shall be no more.--FARRAR.
Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance
with me.-LUKE xii. 13.
Almost stern was the Lord's rebuke to the man's egregious self-absorption. He seems to have been one of those not uncommon characters to whom the whole universe is pervaded by self, and he seems to have considered that the main object of the Messiah's coming would be to secure for him a share of his inheritance, and to overrule this unmanageable brother. Jesus at once dispelled his miserably carnal expectations, and then warned him, and all who heard, to be beware of letting the narrow horizon of earthly comforts span their hopes. How brief, yet how rich in significance, is that little parable which He told them, of the rich fool who, in his greedy, God-forgetting, presumptuous selfishness, would do this and that, and who, as though there were no such thing as death, and as though the soul could live by bread, thought that “my fruits,” and “my goods,” and “my barns,” and “to eat and drink and be merry," could for many years to come sustain what was left him of a soul, but to whom from heaven pealed, as a terrible echo to his words, the heart-thrilling sentence of awful irony, “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee.”-FARRAR.