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acknowledged Head of the universal household, he stooped, took upon him the form of a servant, and did joyfully a servant's duty; ministering, with amazing humility, unwearying fidelity, and matchless grace, to the lowest and least of his wide family. At the wedding-feast of Cana, or beside the sepulcher of Bethany; in the upper chamber, washing his disciples' feet, or at the shore of Galilee, discoursing in words of wisdom to listening thousands ; at the well of Samaria, or the pool of Bethesda; blessing the innocent children, or looking down with pitying eye upon the prostrate Magdalene; conversing with learned doctors in the temple, or hanging beside condemned malefactors on the cross,
- he was ever the same tender, loving, gentle, sympathizing, beneficent Jesus. And why? Not merely for the gratification of his own royal nature; not alone because the wants and woes of mankind were so imperative; but “leaving us an example, that we should follow his steps.”
The office of cup-bearer in the ancient Oriental court was one of great distinction. It brought the servant into constant and intimate relations with his royal master, and gave him pre-eminent opportunities for evincing his own and testing his sovereign's affection. Bearing the cup from the king's hand to those designated as the recipients of his favor was also a high honor and privilege.
Are we disciples of Jesus? Then are we thereby constituted officers of the heavenly household, and each one promoted to the dignity and privilege of cup-bearer to the King of kings. To no imposing earthly court do we belong. Before no human sovereign robed in purple and crowned with a jeweled diadem, yet corrupt and dying, do we kneel. Ours is the honor to bear to the lips of the eternal and pure Majesty of heaven, in the person of his elect, the blessed and blessing waters of LOVE.
O sacred, consecrated cup! O precious, healing draught! It cures all human maladies! It assuages all mortal woes! It satisfies the thirsty soul! It quickens the languishing pulse! It stimulates the exhausted energies! It renovates the whole being ! With humble, joyful hands we receive it, Lord Jesus, from thee, and in thy name go forth and impart.
We are called to imitate the Lord of glory in the prominent features of his character and his course on earth, and to be, with him, benefactors of the world. His life had a twofold form of goodness, - on the one hand taking from us the burden of our sins and miseries, himself to bear them as a rugged cross; and on the other, in exchange for this, returning to us a cup overflowing with divine blessings. In both these characters we are called to imitate him. In a word, the Lord makes each disciple not only a cross-bearer, but also a cup-bearer.
The commission of the disciple runs thus: “Ye are the light of the world, ye are the salt of the earth;" which, being interpreted, means, "Go, my disciple, from the foot of the cross, where your sins are freely forgiven, - go out to a world filled with the needy and the suffering. I have opened fountains in the desert, of living, life-giving water, for their relief. You can reach them. Go, then, with this golden cup I put into your hands. Carry it to them brimming full, and see that at last you bring it home to heaven, well worn, kissed by the thirsty lips, blessed by the bcnedictions, of my poor little suffering ones. I do not call you merely to save your own soul, but to diffuse my bounties and blessings where they are so much needed. See, then, that you render in a good account of its use when you, at the end, return it to me. You will find there is not a day when it can not be used; even the days when you yourself are among the chief of sufferers. Go, my beloved, my blood-bought disciples,-go, bless the world, as I have done, by your unsought, unwearied charity.”
Living for others is the appointed end of our exist
We learn this first and most clearly from the example of our Lord, who, as a perfect man, showed us the true end of life. In the contemplation of his official work as Mediator, we often forget the common scope and purpose of his life as our Example. Looking at him in the garden and on the cross, we fail to catch the inspiration of his attitude in the house and by the way. He has skill for human bodies as well as pardon for the soul.
He feeds the hungry; he notices blind beggars by the wayside; he is at home in the dwelling of the poor; the Magdalen sits welcome at his feet; the outcast publican has courtesy and kind advice from him. Like this pure life of Christ, our lives must bear these same relations of philanthropy. The world, in every associated scene, is full of want and sorrow; and he who has a good to offer, or a joy to tell, is commanded by the law of Christ to draw near to those who need him.
R. R. Booth.
God now tries his Church, not, as of old, with persecution, but with opportunity, with stirring calls to labor, with promises of glorious results, if she has faith and love sufficient to fulfill the gospel law of life.
Lisette was on her way to the convent school. Today she was dressed in her best, for there was to be a service in honor of the mother of Jesus, in the chapel of the convent. Lisette was a Roman Catholic, and had been taught to believe that the mother of Jesus can see us all the time, and hear our prayers, just as Jesus himself does. She opened a little covered basket which she had in her hand, and showed us the flowers. The basket was lined with the fragrant leaves of geraniums, whose scarlet and crimson blossoms were mingled with fairy-bells and sprays of fuchsia, while in the center was one cream-white calla-lily. These were the flowers which had blossomed in the little kitchen windows of Lisette's home.
“What are you going to do with these?” asked Jessie.
“I shall lay them at the feet of Mary and the child Jesus, in the church," answered Lisette.