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Title: Mother Stories from the New Testament - A Book of the Best Stories from the New Testament that Mothers can tell their Children
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
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[Illustration: Front Cover]

[Illustration: LITTLE ONES SHOULD BE BROUGHT TO HIM.]



MOTHER

STORIES

FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT


A Book of the Best Stories from the
New Testament That Mothers
Can Tell Their Children


With Forty-five Illustrations

PHILADELPHIA
HENRY ALTEMUS COMPANY



ALTEMUS' MOTHER STORIES SERIES

       *       *       *       *       *

MOTHER STORIES
A Book of the Best Stories that Mothers can tell their Children

MOTHER NURSERY RHYMES AND TALES
A Book of the Best Nursery Rhymes and Tales that Mothers can tell
their Children

MOTHER FAIRY TALES
A Book of the Best Fairy Tales that Mothers can tell their Children

MOTHER NATURE STORIES
A Book of the Best Nature Stories that Mothers can tell their Children

MOTHER STORIES FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT
A Book of the Best Old Testament Stories that Mothers can tell their
Children

MOTHER STORIES FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT
A Book of the Best New Testament Stories that Mothers can tell their
Children

MOTHER BEDTIME STORIES
A Book of the Best Bedtime Stories that Mothers can tell their
Children

MOTHER ANIMAL STORIES
A Book of the Best Animal Stories that Mothers can tell their Children

MOTHER BIRD STORIES
A Book of the Best Bird Stories that Mothers can tell their Children

MOTHER SANTA CLAUS STORIES
A Book of the Best Santa Claus Stories that Mothers can tell their
Children

Profusely illustrated and handsomely bound in cloth, with
ornamentation in colors

$1.00 PER VOLUME

  COPYRIGHT 1906 BY HOWARD E. ALTEMUS
  PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA



CONTENTS.


                                                        PAGE
THE WISE MEN'S VISIT                                       7

THE ANGEL'S TIDINGS                                       10

JESUS IN THE TEMPLE                                       12

THE WONDERFUL DRAUGHT OF FISHES                           14

THE HOUSE BUILT UPON THE SAND                             16

HEALING THE CENTURION'S SERVANT                           18

ANOINTING THE FEET OF JESUS                               20

THE RICH FOOL                                             22

THE UNFRUITFUL TREE                                       24

SOWING THE SEED                                           26

THE ENEMY SOWING TARES                                    28

THE PARABLE OF THE LEAVEN                                 30

SEEKING FOR HIDDEN TREASURE                               32

THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE                                  34

THE PARABLE OF THE NET                                    36

THE MAN POSSESSED BY DEVILS                               38

CURING THE INCURABLE                                      40

JAIRUS' DAUGHTER                                          42

THE TWO BLIND MEN                                         44

FEEDING FIVE THOUSAND                                     46

CHRIST WALKING ON THE SEA                                 48

THE WOMAN OF CANAAN                                       50

PETER AND THE TRIBUTE MONEY                               52

THE GOOD SAMARITAN                                        54

IMPORTUNITY REWARDED                                      56

THE UNMERCIFUL SERVANT                                    58

THE GOOD SHEPHERD                                         60

THE LOST PIECE OF MONEY                                   62

THE PRODIGAL SON                                          64

PETER'S WIFE'S MOTHER CURED                               66

THE UNJUST STEWARD                                        68

THE RICH MAN AND THE BEGGAR                               70

"AVENGE ME OF MY ADVERSARY"                               72

THE PHARISEE AND THE TAX-GATHERER                         74

THE LABORERS IN THE VINEYARD                              76

THE BARREN FIG TREE                                       78

THE WICKED HUSBANDMAN                                     80

WITHOUT THE WEDDING GARMENT                               82

THE FOOLISH VIRGINS                                       84

THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS                                86

MAN WITH THE WITHERED HAND                                88

JESUS ASCENDS TO HEAVEN                                   90

THE PHILIPPIAN JAILER                                     92

TIMOTHY AND HIS MOTHER EUNICE                             94

CHRIST BLESSING THE CHILDREN                              96

[Illustration]



NEW TESTAMENT STORIES

THE WISE MEN'S VISIT.


The birth of Jesus Christ was announced by two remarkable events: the
coming of wise men from the East, and the appearance of angels to some
shepherds at Bethlehem.

The wise men were probably astronomers; and in watching the stars they
had seen one that had led them to leave their own country, and take a
long journey to Jerusalem. Most likely they rode on camels, and their
journey was a tedious one. But at last they reached Jerusalem, where
they inquired 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."
Tidings of these inquiries were brought to King Herod, and when he
heard them he was much troubled. He was a wicked king; and feared that
if another king had been born, he would grow up and take the crown
away. Herod was also cruel and treacherous, and while pretending to
act rightly, often did many evil things. And now he intended to
destroy the infant King, who might one day take his sceptre away.

So he first sent for the learned men of the Jews, the chief priests
and scribes, and demanded of them where Christ should be born; and
when they had replied that it was to be in Bethlehem, he secretly
called the wise men before him, and inquired of them what time the
star appeared. After getting the information he needed, he dismissed
the wise men, bidding them to go to Bethlehem "and search diligently
for the young child; and when ye have found Him," said Herod, "bring
me word again, that I may come and worship Him also."

So the wise men left King Herod and Jerusalem, and journeyed onward
towards Bethlehem; and the star which they had seen in the East went
before them, till it came and stood over where the young child lay.
And when they saw the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy, for
they knew they had found Him whom they had come so far to seek.

But the wise men did not bring Herod word where Jesus was; and he was
so angry that shortly afterwards he sent his soldiers, and slew all
the children under two years of age that were in Bethlehem and its
neighbourhood. He thought by so doing to kill Jesus among them, but
God prevented him from doing so.

[Illustration: THE WISE MEN BEFORE THE KING.]



THE ANGEL'S TIDINGS.


It was night. In the fields near Bethlehem a company of shepherds kept
watch over their flocks. Probably they were holy men, and often
thought of God in the stillness of the early morn. And now they may
have been thinking of the coming of the promised Messiah.

While watching their flocks, the angel of the Lord came to these
shepherds, and a dazzling light shone round about them. They were much
afraid; but the angel said, "Fear not; for behold I bring you good
tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is
born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the
Lord." And suddenly there was with the angel a great multitude of the
heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, good will toward men."

When the angels had departed, the shepherds returned to Bethlehem; and
there, in a stable, they found the infant Jesus, lying in a manger,
watched over and cared for by His mother Mary and Joseph. And so great
was the surprise and joy of the shepherds that they went out and told
all they met of the wondrous things which they had seen.

Shortly after the visit of the shepherds, the wise men from the East
reached Bethlehem, and in a house they found Joseph, and Mary, and
Jesus. Then they fell down and worshipped Jesus, opening the treasures
they had brought, and offering Him precious gifts, gold and
frankincense and myrrh. But God warned them not to go back to Herod,
to tell him where the new-born King of the Jews was, and they returned
to their own country another way.

[Illustration: THE SHEPHERDS WORSHIPPING THE INFANT JESUS.]



JESUS IN THE TEMPLE.


When Jesus was twelve years of age, His parents took Him with them to
Jerusalem to the feast of the Passover. Great numbers journeyed from
different parts to keep this feast; and travelled in companies or
caravans, the women and old men riding on asses or mules, and the rest
going on foot. Thus Joseph and Mary, with Jesus, left Nazareth, and
with many others journeyed to Jerusalem, where they kept the Passover.

When the feast was ended, as they returned homewards, Joseph and Mary
discovered that Jesus was missing; but supposing Him to have been
somewhere among the company, they continued their first day's short
journey. When, however, evening came, and the caravan halted, and
Jesus was nowhere to be found, His parents sorrowfully returned to
Jerusalem seeking Him. At last, on the third day, they went to the
Temple, and found Jesus sitting in the midst of the aged and learned
Jewish doctors, both hearing them and asking them questions. "And all
that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers."

His parents were amazed when they saw Jesus in such company. But Mary,
while she rejoiced at finding Him, gently said, "Son, why hast Thou
thus dealt with us? Behold Thy father and I have sought Thee
sorrowing." Jesus replied, "How is it that ye sought Me? Wist ye not
that I must be about My Father's business?"

Jesus was the Son of God, and doing God's work was being about His
Father's business. Years afterwards He said, "I came not to do Mine
own will, but the will of Him that sent Me."

[Illustration: "SON, WHY HAST THOU THUS DEALT WITH US?"]



THE WONDERFUL DRAUGHT OF FISHES


One day, as the crowds pressed round Him to hear the Word of God,
Jesus came to the Lake of Gennesaret and saw two boats drawn up on the
shore. Now one of these belonged to a man named Simon Peter, who was
at the water's edge washing his nets. Jesus entered into this boat and
asked Simon to push it off from the land a little. Then He sat down
and taught the people from the boat. And when He had done speaking to
them He said to Simon, "Launch out into the deep, and let down your
nets for a draught of fishes." Simon, answering Him, said, "Master, we
have toiled all through the night and have taken nothing, but as you
wish it I will let down the net again." And they let down the net into
the sea, but it enclosed so great a multitude of fishes that they
could not draw them up; and the net brake. Then Simon beckoned to his
partners, James and John, who were in the other boat, that they should
come and help them. And they came and filled both boats with the
fishes, so that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw it he fell down before Jesus, saying, "Depart
from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." For he and all that were with
him were astonished at the marvellous draught of fishes which they had
taken. And Jesus said unto Simon, "Fear not, Simon Peter; from
henceforth thou shalt be a fisher of men." Meaning that he was to go
about winning souls for God, instead of being a fisherman.

And when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all they
had and followed Christ.

[Illustration: THE WONDERFUL DRAUGHT OF FISHES.]



THE HOUSE BUILT UPON THE SAND.


What a foolish man the builder of the house shown in our picture must
have been! Of course, when the wind blew and the waves dashed against
his house, it would fall. Look how the sea has washed the foundation
away, and how the roof is falling in! And the people; see how they are
fleeing to save their lives! And all this calamity because he built
his house upon the sand. But the other house, shown in the distance:
how firmly that stands! What a bold front it offers to the waves, and
how safely it resists the fury of the storm. Its foundations are sure,
because they rest upon the solid rock.

Jesus had been teaching the people. He had taught them many wonderful
truths, which you will find written in the fifth, sixth, and seventh
chapters of Matthew; and in closing He said, "Whosoever heareth these
sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man who
built his house upon a rock. And the rain descended, and the floods
came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not,
for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these
sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish
man which built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and
the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it
fell, and great was the fall of it." The lesson Jesus sought to
impress upon the people by this parable was, that it is not enough
simply to hear what He says. Many will do that; but it is only those
who remember Christ's commandments and keep them, whose work will
stand when the time of trial comes.

[Illustration: THE HOUSE BUILT UPON THE SAND.]



HEALING THE CENTURION'S SERVANT.


Jesus entered into Capernaum, a city by the Sea of Galilee, and while
He was there a certain Centurion, or captain in the Roman army, had a
favourite servant who was sick of the palsy and in great pain. When
this Roman heard of Jesus, he sought the Jewish elders and implored
them to go to Christ and beseech Him to cure the sick servant. And the
elders came to Jesus and besought Him urgently to do this miracle,
saying, "He is a worthy man, this Roman captain, for he loveth the
Jews and hath built us a synagogue."

So Jesus went with them, and when He had come near the house, the
Centurion himself came to meet Him, saying, "Lord, trouble not
Thyself, for I am not worthy that Thou shouldest enter my house. Speak
the word only, and this sickness shall depart and my servant be made
whole. For I am a man under authority of the Emperor, having many
soldiers under me, and I say unto this man, 'Go,' and he goeth; to
another, 'Come,' and he cometh, and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he
doeth it. Wherefore, if I can so readily command my servants to do my
bidding, I know that if Thou biddest this sickness to go out from my
servant it will surely go."

Jesus marvelled at the man's words, and said to His followers,
"Verily, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in
all Israel." And to the Centurion He said, "Go thy way; and as thou
hast believed, so be it done unto thee." And his servant was healed in
the selfsame hour, and when those that had been sent returned to the
house, they found the servant whole that had been sick.

[Illustration: CHRIST AND THE CENTURION.]



ANOINTING THE FEET OF JESUS.


On one occasion, a proud Pharisee, whose name was Simon, invited Jesus
to eat with him. But the invitation was a cold one. There was no kiss
of welcome, no water to bathe His hot and dusty feet, no perfumed
ointment for His head: nothing but a bare admission to a vacant place
at the table was granted to Jesus. But there He reclined, His left
elbow resting on a cushion, and His feet projecting beyond the edge of
the couch.

Now it happened that a poor, sinful woman was passing, who,
discovering that Jesus was in the house, timidly entered, and stood
behind Him. She had an alabaster box of ointment, and, as she looked
on Jesus, she wept. Her tears fell upon His feet; so, stooping down,
she tenderly wiped them away with her long hair; then she kissed the
Saviour's feet, and anointed them with the fragrant ointment. This was
done as a token of respect and love.

But an evil eye had noted the kindly act; and the proud Pharisee
thought within himself, if Jesus were the prophet He professes to be,
He would certainly have known that the woman was a great sinner, and
would not have allowed her to touch Him. But Jesus came to save
sinners. He loves them, though He hates their sins. He rebuked the
haughty Simon; and showed him how he had neglected the commonest rites
of hospitality towards his guest, while this poor woman had treated
Jesus with the greatest reverence. Then Jesus said, "Her sins which
are many are forgiven, for she loved much"; and He bade her go in
peace.

[Illustration: ANOINTING THE FEET OF JESUS.]



THE RICH FOOL.


There was a certain rich man who owned much land. And his fields and
vineyards were so productive that when the time of harvest came, he
had not room enough to store his corn and fruits. So after much
thought he said, "This will I do. I will pull down my barns and build
greater ones, and there will I store all my fruits and my goods. Then
I can say to myself, 'I have great store of goods laid up, enough for
many years; now I can take mine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.'"

But God said unto him, "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be
required of thee; then whose shall those things be which thou hast
hoarded?"

Jesus says it shall be so with all those who set their minds upon
storing up riches in this world, rather than laying up treasures in
heaven by pleasing God and working in His service. Death will come
when they least expect it, and they will have to leave all their
earthly riches, and go where no treasure has been laid up for them.

And He said unto His disciples, "Take no thought for your life, what
ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on; for the life
is more than meat, and the body more than raiment. For all these
things do the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knoweth
that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of
God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, for it is
the Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what ye have
and give alms; provide yourselves a treasure in the heavens that
faileth not, where no thief approacheth, or moth corrupteth."

[Illustration: THE RICH FOOL.]



THE UNFRUITFUL TREE.


A certain man had a fig-tree planted in his vineyard, and he came and
sought fruit thereon, but found none. Then he called to the gardener
who attended to his vineyard, and said to him, "Behold these three
years I come seeking fruit on this fig-tree, and find none. Cut it
down. Why does it encumber the ground?"

The gardener answered him and said, "Lord, let it alone this year
also, till I shall dig about it and manure it. And if it bear fruit
then, it is well; but if not, then, after that, thou shalt cut it
down."

In this parable the vineyard means the world, and the fig-tree ungodly
people whose lives do not produce good works--do not produce fruit in
the service of God. The Lord of the vineyard, that is, God, would
destroy such people, but Christ intercedes in their behalf, that time
for repentance may be given. "He is not willing that any should
perish, but that all should come to repentance." Christ came and
sought to change men's hearts, and make their lives fruitful for God.
The warning has been given, and when the Lord of the vineyard comes
again to seek good fruit the unfruitful trees shall be destroyed.

    Am I a barren tree, dear Lord?
    A cumberer of the ground.
    Oh! give me grace to fruitful be,
    And in Thy work abound.

[Illustration: THE UNFRUITFUL TREE.]



SOWING THE SEED.


A sower went out to sow his seed, and as he sowed some fell by the
wayside and was trodden down, and birds came and devoured it. And some
fell upon a rocky place, where there was not much soil, and as soon as
it sprang up it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some
fell among thorns and weeds, and they sprang up with it and choked it.
But other fell on good ground, and sprang up bearing ears, some with
thirty, some sixty, some a hundred seeds.

When Jesus had told this parable, His disciples asked Him to explain
it to them. He said that the seed is the Word of God. The wayside
signifies the people who hear the Word but do not understand it, and
Satan comes and takes all thought of it out of their hearts as quickly
as the birds devour the seeds. The rocky places without much earth
denote those who, when they hear the Word, receive it with great joy
and profession of faith; but it never takes deep root in their hearts,
and when they are tempted they fall away and the good seed in their
hearts is withered up. The thorns and weeds are the pleasures and
riches of this life, which root so deeply and strongly in men's hearts
that the good seed has no chance, and is soon killed off.

But the good ground is the hearts of good people, who remember God's
Word and try, every day of their lives, to do as He wishes us to do,
and to live holy and useful lives. The seed falling upon their hearts
becomes strongly rooted and grows up vigorously, bearing good fruit.

What shall be said of _your_ heart, my young friend? Is it like the
wayside? the rocky place? the thorny ground? or like a good field that
has been well prepared for the seed?

[Illustration: SOWING THE SEED.]



THE ENEMY SOWING TARES.


A certain man sowed good seed in his field, but in the night, whilst
men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went
his way. When the wheat-blade had sprung up and showed the ear, then
appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came to
him and said, "Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? Whence
then come these tares?"

He said unto them, "An enemy hath done this." Then the servants asked,
"Shall we go, then, and gather them up?" But he said, "Nay, lest
whilst you gather up the tares, you root up the wheat with them. Let
both grow together until the harvest, and in that time I will say to
the reapers, 'Gather ye together first the tares and bind them into
bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.'"

Jesus' disciples asked Him to explain this parable to them, and He
said: "The field represents the world, and He that sowed the good seed
is Christ Himself. The good seed is the Word He preached; the wheat
plants are the good people who believe in Christ and do as He teaches.
The enemy who sows the bad seed is Satan, and the tares that spring
from them are wicked people who follow the promptings of the evil one
in their hearts. The harvest is the end of the world, and the reapers
are the angels of God. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned
in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world with wicked
people. Christ shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out
of His Kingdom all things that offend and them that do evil, and shall
cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing
of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the
kingdom of their Father."

    "For the Lord our God shall come,
    And shall take His harvest home;
    From His field shall in that day
    All offences purge away;

    "Give His angels charge at last
    In the fire the tares to cast,
    But the fruitful grain to store
    In His garner evermore."

[Illustration: THE ENEMY SOWING TARES.]



THE PARABLE OF THE LEAVEN.


Christ said that the kingdom of heaven could be likened unto leaven
(or yeast), which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour,
till the whole was leavened.

Now, this leaven, or yeast, is composed of tiny little plants, each
one so small that it cannot possibly be seen by the sharpest eye
except through a very powerful microscope. So small are they that it
would require three thousand of them, placed close together, side by
side, to make up the length of one inch. Like all other plants they
require food, and they find this in the dough they are placed in. You
know that all things are made up of atoms of chemical substances so
wonderfully blended together that only the chemist can separate them,
and when he has separated them they appear very different. Well, in
flour there are certain things so blended, and the yeast-plant takes
one kind of substance as food, and in doing so sets free another
substance called carbonic acid gas. This gas bubbles up and makes the
heavy dough spongy and light. If it were not for these tiny bubbles of
gas your bread would be as heavy and close as suet pudding. This is
the reason why yeast is put into dough for making bread or cake. One
of the most remarkable things about this yeast is, that when it gets
into any substance that contains its food, it at once begins to give
off buds, which, in a few moments, become full-sized and break away.
So rapid is this increase, that if a single yeast-plant were to be put
into a great mass of dough it would very quickly leaven the whole
mass.

And so it is with the love of God. When once it gets into our hearts
it will keep on growing until all our life is filled with it, and we
try in all things to please Him.

[Illustration: THE PARABLE OF THE LEAVEN.]



SEEKING FOR HIDDEN TREASURE.


The people of Canaan, both in ancient and modern days, have made a
practice of hiding their treasures. This they have done to secure them
in times of danger. When invaders flocked into the land, the people
buried their gold and jewels, and fled. And often they died, or were
overtaken by their enemies and killed, so that they were unable to
return and regain their buried riches. Earthquakes also have taken
place, destroying towns and villages, and burying all the riches in
them beneath their ruins. Thus there is much hidden treasure in
Canaan, and numbers of the inhabitants spend their time seeking
diligently and anxiously for it.

Our artist shows us a man who is thus seeking. He has heard that in
old times a great treasure was hidden in a particular field. So he
digs away patiently in various places until, at last, he finds out
that what he heard is quite true. He is sure the treasure is _there_;
and his desire is to become possessed of the field, so that he may
obtain the buried riches. He is willing to sell all that he has if by
so doing he may buy that field. So he hastens home, and gathers
together the whole of his property and sells it. Then he takes his
money to the man who has the land for sale, and buys the field of him.
Thus he becomes possessed of the treasure he has sought after. Jesus
says that the Kingdom of Heaven is like that treasure. It is so
precious, that when a man finds out its value, and knows how it can be
obtained, he will be willing to give up everything he has for it--all
his companions, pleasures, sins, riches--indeed everything he
possesses, in order to gain this great treasure.

[Illustration: THE TREASURE HID IN A FIELD.]



THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE.


Very similar to the parable of the Hidden Treasure is this one of the
merchant seeking goodly pearls.

"The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchantman seeking goodly
pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold
all that he had, and bought it."

In the picture we see the merchant on the sea-shore, where he has
waited for the landing of these sailors from another country. He asks
them if they have any goodly pearls for sale, and one man opens his
box and takes out this "pearl of great price." It is just the kind of
pearl the merchant had been seeking, so he quickly produces his two
bags of gold and offers them to the man for his pearl. But the man
smiles. "What! part with so large and so beautiful a pearl for two
bags of gold?" He could not think of it. The pearl is again placed in
its box, and the merchant has to go away disappointed. But the longing
to have that pearl is too great. A thought occurs to him. He will go
home and sell all that is his, and the money he shall thus obtain,
added to his two bags of gold, will surely buy the precious jewel.

And so it is with men when they seek that pearl of pearls, the
forgiveness of God. They will give up a great deal in order to obtain
it, but they find that God requires them to give up everything that is
sinful or worldly. And if their hearts are really set upon obtaining
it, they will do as this merchant did, and part with everything that
would hinder them from coming to God, or walking in the way that leads
to heaven.

[Illustration: THE MERCHANT SEEKING GOODLY PEARLS.]



THE PARABLE OF THE NET.


These fishermen have just returned to shore with their net full of
fish. Now this is not a casting-net, which is thrown out from the boat
and drawn in again, but a drag-net which is of great length, and which
is drawn constantly through the water until it is well filled with
fish. It is then hauled up to the shore, and the fishermen sit around
it, and take out the fish. Many of these, of course, are unfit for
food, or not liked. They cast those into the sea again, but the good
fish which they can sell for food are carefully placed in vessels
brought for the purpose.

Christ said, "The kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast
into the sea, and gathered every kind (of fish): which, when it was
full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into
vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the
world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among
the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There shall be
wailing and gnashing of teeth."

At another time Jesus taught His disciples the same truth; when He
spake of His coming and of the gathering of all nations before Him,
the good entering into eternal life, but the wicked being cast away.
"When the Son of Man shall come in His glory," said Jesus, "and all
the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His
glory. And before Him shall be gathered all nations; and He shall
separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from
the goats. And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats
on the left."

[Illustration: THE PARABLE OF THE NET.]



THE MAN POSSESSED BY DEVILS.


One day Jesus came with His disciples in a boat to the country of the
Gadarenes, near Galilee. They landed near the tombs, that is, caverns
cut into the rock, where the dead were buried. And there met them a
man, who, for a long time, had been possessed by many unclean spirits.
He lived in the tombs and wore no clothes. He had been so fierce and
wild that his friends had been obliged to chain him up, but he had
burst his fetters, and the devils had driven him out to the tombs.

Jesus bade the unclean spirits to come out of the man. And when the
man caught sight of Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before Him,
saying, "What have I to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of God most
high? I beseech Thee to torment me not."

And Jesus asked him his name. And he said, "Legion," because many
devils were in him. They besought Jesus that He would not make them go
into the sea, but would let them enter into a herd of swine that were
feeding on the cliffs close by. He suffered them to do so, and the
devils went out of the man and entered into the pigs, and the whole
herd ran violently over the cliff into the water and were drowned. And
when the herdsmen saw what was done, they fled into the city and told
all the people. Then the people came out to Jesus, and they saw the
man that had been possessed, clothed and in his right mind, sitting at
the feet of Jesus. And they that had seen it told them by what means
the man had been healed, and they were afraid. The man out of whom the
devils had departed, besought Him that he might stay with Jesus, but
He sent him away, saying, "Return to thy house, and show what great
things God hath done unto thee." And he went his way and published
throughout the city what great things Jesus had done unto him.

[Illustration: THE MAN POSSESSED BY DEVILS.]



CURING THE INCURABLE.


Jesus went into Capernaum, followed by a great crowd of people, and
among them was a woman who for twelve years had suffered from a
disease which no doctor could cure, though she had consulted many, and
spent all her wealth upon them. She had said within herself, "If I
could but touch His garment I should be made well." So she pressed
through the crowd, and put out her arm and touched the hem of His
garment, and immediately she was made well.

Then Jesus, turning round to His disciples, said, "Who touched Me?"
But they all denied that they had done so, and Peter and they that
were with him said, "Master, the multitude throng Thee and press Thee,
and yet Thou sayest, Who touched Me!" They were surprised that Jesus
should make such an enquiry, seeing that so many were crowding round
Him, and pressing against Him. But Jesus said, "Somebody hath touched
Me, for I perceive that healing virtue hath gone out of Me."

When the woman saw that Jesus knew what she had done, and that she
could not be hidden in the crowd, she came trembling, and, falling
down before Him, she declared unto Him before all the people why she
had touched Him, and how she had been healed at once. And He said unto
her, "Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. Go
in peace, and be healed of thy illness."

Jesus wishes us to trust in Him. We suffer from a terrible
disease--the disease of sin, which no doctor can cure; but Jesus will
heal us and take away our sin if we trust in Him.

[Illustration: CURED BY TOUCHING HIS GARMENT.]



JAIRUS' DAUGHTER.


Jairus was one of the rulers of the Jewish church, or synagogue, and
he had a daughter who had been very ill and was now at the point of
death. She was an only daughter, and was twelve years of age. So
hearing that Jesus was near, he came to Him, and, falling down before
Him, implored Jesus to come and see her.

And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did His disciples. Soon
there came running to them a messenger from the ruler's house, who
said to Jairus, "Thy daughter is already dead; do not trouble the
master." But when Jesus heard it He turned to Jairus and said, "Fear
not. Only believe, and she shall be restored to life."

When they came to the ruler's house they saw the minstrels and many
people who were making much noise and lamentation for the dead girl,
as was the custom. Jesus said unto them, "Make way; weep not, for the
maiden is not dead, but sleepeth;" but they laughed Him to scorn,
knowing that she was dead. And He put them all out of the room, all
but Peter and James and John, and the mother and father of the maiden.
Then He took her by the hand, and called to her, saying, "Maid, arise."
And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway; and He commanded
her parents to give her food.

Her parents were astonished when they saw their daughter raised to
life and able to eat, but Jesus charged them that they should tell no
man what He had done. But the fame of the miracle He had wrought went
abroad unto all that land.

[Illustration: JAIRUS' DAUGHTER.]



THE TWO BLIND MEN.


When Jesus had left the house of the ruler Jairus, there followed Him
two blind men. They called out to Him, "Thou Son of David, have mercy
upon us."

Then Jesus looked at them, and asked if they really believed that He
had power to cure them and give them back their sight. And they said
unto Him, "Yea, Lord." Then He touched their eyes, and said unto them,
"According to your faith, so be it unto you." And immediately they
opened their eyes and were able to see. Jesus charged them to let no
man know what He had done. But when they were departed they spread His
fame abroad over all that country.

Another time Christ and His disciples were coming away from Jericho,
followed by a large crowd of people. And there was sitting by the
wayside a blind beggar, Bartimeus by name; and when he heard the noise
of the multitude, he asked what it meant. They answered him, "Jesus of
Nazareth passeth by." Then he cried out in a loud voice, saying,
"Jesus, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me." The people tried to keep
him from calling out, but he would not be quiet. He was determined
that Christ should see him. And Jesus stood still, and commanded them
to call him. So he arose and cast away his outer garment and came to
Jesus. When Jesus asked what he would have done to him, he answered,
"Lord, that I might receive my sight." And Jesus said unto him, "Go
thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole." And he received his sight at
once, and followed Jesus, praising Him.

[Illustration: THE TWO BLIND MEN.]



FEEDING FIVE THOUSAND.


One day Jesus went on board a ship and sailed to another part of the
coast, where He and His disciples might have rest. For the people in
the cities crowded them so closely that they did not even have time to
eat. They landed, and went into a desert place; but the people had
seen them depart, and marked which way the ship sailed. Then they all
flocked out of the cities and came on foot to the place where Jesus
was. When Jesus saw what a great number of people had come, He had
compassion on them, and spoke to them, and healed their sick. But in
the evening the disciples came to Jesus and said, "This is a desert
place, and the day has gone; send the people away, that they may go
into the villages and buy food."

Jesus was too kind to send them away hungry like that. He said, "They
need not depart; give ye them food to eat." But they said to Him, "We
have here but five loaves and two fishes, which we have just purchased
of a lad." He said, "Bring them to Me." Then He told the people to sit
down on the grass; and He took the five loaves and the two fishes,
and, looking up to heaven, blessed them and broke them into pieces.
The disciples carried the bread and fish to the people and they all
ate and had plenty, although there were about five thousand men,
besides women and children. And yet, when the disciples took up the
fragments that were left, these fragments filled twelve baskets. How
kind was Jesus! He not only taught the people and healed their sick,
but He fed them when out in the desert place and hungry.

[Illustration: FEEDING FIVE THOUSAND.]



CHRIST WALKING ON THE SEA.


When the people had seen the miracle that Christ did in feeding so
many with so few loaves, they felt sure that He was one of the old
prophets that had come again, and they would have taken Him by force
to make Him king. So He sent His disciples by boat towards Capernaum,
and He went, alone, up into a mountain to pray.

When it was dark, the disciples found themselves alone upon the sea,
opposed to strong winds, which tossed the boat upon high waves. Then
Jesus went out to them, walking upon the waves; but when the disciples
saw Him they thought it was a spirit, and cried out with fear. But
Jesus said, "Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid." Peter answered
Him, saying, "Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the
water." And He said, "Come," and Peter stepped over the boat's side
and walked on the water towards Christ. But when he saw the angry
waves around him and heard the roaring of the winds, Peter was afraid
and began to sink. He cried out, "Lord, save me." And Jesus,
stretching out His hand, caught him, and said, "O thou of little
faith, why didst thou fear?"

When Jesus and Peter had got into the boat, the wind dropped, the sea
became calm and the waves still, and immediately they were at the
place where they wanted to land. Then they worshipped him, saying,
"Truly Thou art the Son of God." And they came into the land of
Gennesaret, where the people knew Him and brought to Him all that were
sick, or blind, or lame, that they might touch His garment and be made
well.

[Illustration: CHRIST WALKING ON THE SEA.]



THE WOMAN OF CANAAN.


Jesus came unto the borders of Tyre and Sidon, where the people were
not Jews, but Gentiles. And there came to Him a woman of Canaan, who
cried out to Him, saying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou son of
David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil." She besought Him
to cast out this evil spirit from her daughter. But He answered not a
word, and His disciples counselled Him to send her away. Then He told
her He was not sent unto the Gentiles, but unto the lost sheep of
Israel; meaning the Jews. This was said to try her faith. Then she
came and worshipped Him, saying, "Lord, help me." But He said, "It is
not meet to take the children's food and to cast it to dogs;" meaning
that His help was due rather to the Jews than to the Gentiles. And she
said, "Truth, Lord, yet the dogs sometimes eat of the crumbs which
fall from their masters' table;" meaning that, though she was a
Gentile, she believed in Him as the Son of God.

Then Jesus answered, and said unto her, "O woman, great is thy faith;
be it unto thee even as thou desirest. Go thy way; the devil has gone
out of thy daughter." And when she was come to her house she found her
daughter made whole and laid upon the bed.

Jesus, with His knowledge of our hearts, knew the faith this poor
woman had, and tried it so that it might shine the brighter. Then He
granted her the blessing she had asked Him for; and how she must have
rejoiced when she reached home and found her daughter quite well and
restored to her right mind.

[Illustration: THE WOMAN OF CANAAN.]



PETER AND THE TRIBUTE-MONEY.


It was a part of the Jewish law that all strangers passing among the
Jews should pay to the priests of the Temple an offering to the Lord,
or tribute-money as it was called.

Soon after our Lord's Transfiguration He came to Capernaum, together
with His disciples. When they had entered the city, there came to them
the priests who usually collected this tribute-money, and they said
unto Peter, "Doth not thy Master pay tribute?" And he answered, "Yes."
But when they had come to the house, Jesus said to Peter, "What
thinkest thou, Simon? Of whom do they take tribute; of their own
people or of strangers?" And Peter answered Him, "Of strangers."

Jesus saith unto him, "Then their own people are free; but lest we
should offend them by not paying, go thou down to the sea, and cast in
thy hook and line, and take up the first fish that taketh the hook
into his mouth. And when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a
piece of money there. Take it and give it unto the priests as tribute
for Me and for thee." And Peter went down to the sea and cast in his
line, and took a big fish. And when he had opened its mouth he found
the piece of silver, and took it to the men in payment of the tribute.

This tribute was collected to pay the expenses of the Temple worship.
Jesus sought to show that, as He himself was the Son of God, the King
for whose service the tribute was paid, He might justly be exempted
from paying it; yet to save giving offence He miraculously provided
the piece of money to pay tribute for Himself and Peter.

[Illustration: PETER AND THE TRIBUTE-MONEY.]



THE GOOD SAMARITAN.


As Jesus was talking to His disciples, a certain lawyer stood up and
asked, "Who is my neighbour?" And Jesus answered by telling them this
story:--

A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among
thieves, who robbed him, stripped him of his clothes, and, wounding
him, left him on the road half dead. By chance there came a priest
that way, and, as a teacher of religion to men, he should have stopped
to help the poor man. Instead of this, he pretended not to see, and
passed by on the other side of the road. Then there came by a Levite,
who also, as an official of the church, should have given help. But he
merely came and looked on the injured man, and passed on the other
side as the priest had done.

Afterwards there came by a Samaritan, and, when he caught sight of the
wounded Jew, he went over to him and was very sorry for him. Now the
Jews hated the Samaritans, and were their enemies, so that it would
not have been surprising if he, also, had done as the priest and the
Levite did. But, no! Though it was his enemy, he could not pass him by
and leave him on the road, perhaps to die. He examined his wounds and
bound them up; doing all that he could to soothe them. Then he lifted
him carefully on his own beast, and brought him to the nearest inn,
and took care of him through the night. The next day, when the
Samaritan departed, he paid the man who kept the inn, and said to him,
"Take care of this poor man until he is well, and whatever it may cost
for his lodging and food, that I will pay thee when I come again."

"Which of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell
among thieves?" The lawyer answered, "He that showed mercy unto him."
Then said Jesus, "Go, and do thou likewise."

[Illustration: THE GOOD SAMARITAN.]



IMPORTUNITY REWARDED.


One day Jesus was asked by His disciples to teach them to pray. So
Jesus taught them the prayer we all know so well, beginning with "Our
Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name." But Jesus told
them it was not enough to pray: they must not get tired of praying,
even if they failed to receive quickly the things they asked for. They
must keep on asking, until God in His own time and manner should grant
them what He saw to be good. This great lesson Jesus taught them by
the following parable:--

"Which of you shall have a friend," said Jesus, "and shall go unto him
at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves, for a
friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set
before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not,
the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot
rise and give thee. I say unto you," said Jesus, "though he will not
rise and give him because he is his friend, yet because of his
importunity (continued asking) he will rise and give him as many as he
needeth."

Then Jesus told His disciples, and He tells us too, "Ask, and it shall
be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened
unto you." For, said He, "every one that asketh receiveth; and he that
seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." If we
ask for those things that God sees to be good for us, we may certainly
expect to receive them. Let us ask God to keep us every day; and to
give us such things as He knows will be for our good.

[Illustration: IMPORTUNITY REWARDED.]



THE UNMERCIFUL SERVANT.


A certain King took account of his servants and began to reckon what
they owed him. And there was brought to him one that owed him nearly
_ten million dollars_. But as he had not the money to pay, the King
commanded that he should be sold, together with his wife and children
and everything that he had, that payment might be made. Then the
servant fell down before the King and worshipped him, saying, "Lord,
have patience with me, and I will pay thee all." Then the King had
compassion on his servant, and loosed him, and forgave him his debt.

But when that servant had gone out from the presence of the King, he
found a fellow-servant who owed him a little over _fifteen dollars_,
and he laid hands on him and seized him by the throat, saying, "Pay me
that which thou owest." And his fellow-servant fell down at his feet
and implored him, saying, "Have patience with me, and I will pay thee
all." And he would not have patience, but cast his fellow-servant into
prison till he should pay the debt.

When his other fellow-servants saw what had been done they were very
sorry, and came to their King to tell him all about it. Then the King
called the unmerciful servant to him, and said, "O thou wicked
servant; I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me.
Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow-servant,
even as I had pity on thee?"

And the King was wroth, and delivered him up to the tormentors, till
he should pay all that was due unto him.

So likewise, says Christ, shall our Heavenly Father do also unto us if
from our hearts we forgive not every one that trespasses against us.

  "Forgive us our trespasses, _as we forgive them that trespass
  against us_."

[Illustration: THE UNMERCIFUL SERVANT.]



THE GOOD SHEPHERD.


In one of His beautiful parables, Jesus compares Himself to a
shepherd. "I am the good shepherd," says He, "the good shepherd giveth
his life for the sheep." And Jesus tells how the hired servant who
cares for nothing but his wages, runs away when the wolf comes; but
how the faithful shepherd, when robbers threaten his flock, or wild
beasts attack them, defends his sheep bravely, often laying down his
life for their sake. Jesus also speaks of how the shepherd knows his
sheep by name; and how, when he goes before them, they will follow
him, because they know his voice, but that they will not follow
strangers. And the Bible, speaking of Jesus Himself, says, "He shall
carry the lambs in His bosom," or His arms, like the kind shepherd is
doing in our picture.

Now, why does Jesus call Himself the "good shepherd," and the Bible
speak of Him as carrying the little lambs? Is it not because He loves
us; because He knows each one of us; because He gave His life for us
when He died on the cross, and has gone to heaven showing us the way
thither; because He calls us to follow Him; and because He is so
willing to lead even the tiny ones, and shield them from harm, just
like the good shepherd carries the poor wee lamb? But Jesus asks one
thing of us in return for all His kindness and care, and that one
thing is our love. Are we giving Him our love now? Are we asking Him
to lead us, and keep us safe from harm? May we seek to follow Him and
to know His voice.

[Illustration: THE SHEPHERD AND THE LAMBS.]



THE LOST PIECE OF MONEY.


Jesus had been preaching to a crowd of publicans and sinners. The
publicans of those days were the collectors of taxes for the Romans,
and it was a constant complaint against them that they exacted more
from the people than they had any right to do. So they were looked
upon as wicked men, although they were not all bad. Now the Scribes
and Pharisees, who made a great show of religion, so far as outward
forms went, were greatly shocked at seeing Christ sitting with
publicans, and said, "This man receiveth sinners and eateth with
them."

Then Jesus asked them, "What man of you, if he has a hundred sheep,
and loses one of them, does not leave the ninety and nine in the
wilderness, and go after the lost one, until he has found it? And when
he has found it, he lays it upon his shoulders and takes it home,
rejoicing; and calls together his friends and neighbours, saying unto
them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.'

"I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner
that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons which need
no repentance.

"Again, what woman if she has ten pieces of money, and loses one, does
not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently until she
finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends
and neighbours, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece
of money which I had lost.'

"Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of God's
angels over one sinner that repenteth."

[Illustration: THE LOST PIECE OF MONEY.]



THE PRODIGAL SON.


A certain man had two sons, and the younger of them said to his
father, "Father, give me the portion of thy wealth that would fall to
me at thy death." He did so, and a few days after the younger son
gathered all his wealth together and journeyed into a far country.
There he met with evil companions, and wasted his money in riotous
living. When he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that
land, and he began to be in want of bread to eat. So he went and hired
himself to a man of that country, who sent him into the fields to feed
his pigs. And he was so hungry that he would have been glad to have
eaten the coarse food such as the swine eat; but no one gave it to
him.

His sufferings brought him to his senses, and he thought how foolish
he had been, for he remembered that his father's servants had food
enough and to spare, whilst his father's son was perishing with
hunger. He said, "I will leave this land and go to my father and tell
him how I have sinned against heaven and him. I will tell him I am no
longer worthy to be called his son, and will implore him to make me
one of his hired servants." And he arose and went towards his father's
house, but when he was still a great way off, his father saw him, and
was sorry for him, and ran and embraced him. Then he told his father
how he had sinned and had lost his title to be called the old man's
son, but the father was so glad to have his son come back repentant,
that he told his servants to bring the best clothing and a ring to put
on his son. And he made a great feast, and they were merry, for he
said, "This is my son that was as one dead to me and is now alive
again; he was lost and is found."

[Illustration: THE RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL.]

But the elder son was very angry, and would not go in to the feast,
but said to his father, "Lo, these many years have I served thee, and
never offended or disobeyed thee, and thou hast never made a feast for
me and my friends; but now this thy other son has come back, that has
wasted thy wealth in riotous living, thou hast made a great feast for
him." And his father said, "Son, thou art ever with me, and all I have
is thine. It is right that we should make merry and be glad, for this
thy brother was as one dead to us and is alive again; he was lost and
is found."

       *       *       *       *       *



PETER'S WIFE'S MOTHER CURED.


After Jesus had left the Centurion He went to the house of his
disciple Peter, and there He saw Peter's wife's mother, laid on a bed,
sick with fever. And He took her by the hand and lifted her up. The
fever left her and she was cured. She rose up from her bed and
attended upon them.

That evening, when the sun was setting, they brought to Jesus all
those that were ill, and many that were possessed with devils. And He
cast out the devils by His word, and healed all those that were sick.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "At even, ere the sun had set,
    The sick, O Lord, around Thee lay;
    Oh, in what divers pains they met,
    Oh, with what joy they went away!"

[Illustration: PETER'S WIFE'S MOTHER.]



THE UNJUST STEWARD.


    See where the steward, worldly wise,
    With wicked cunning in his eyes,
    Shows his lord's debtors how to cheat
    His master of his oil and wheat.

    "A hundred measures dost thou owe
    Of oil? My friend, 'tis scarcely so:
    Here, take thy bill and quick indite
    Fifty: that puts the matter right."

    "A hundred measures is _thy_ debt
    Of corn? My friend, thou dost forget:
    Here, take thy bill, and write fourscore;
    Surely thou owest nothing more."

    Thus wickedly he would provide
    Houses in which he might abide,
    When for his former acts unjust
    He from his stewardship was thrust.

    And when his master heard, he smiled,
    Though of his goods he was beguiled:
    Nor did he e'en forbear to praise
    The crafty foresight of his ways.

    The children of this world, alas!
    The children of the light surpass,
    In planning methods to provide
    For ills from which they cannot hide.

    And so our Master bids us take
    The money which He gives, and make
    Friends with our riches for the day
    When earthly treasures flee away.

    That when we leave our house below,
    And into unknown regions go,
    Through Jesus, we may find above
    An everlasting home of love.

    Do I my little store expend
    For such a wise and prudent end;
    Or only think of my own gain,
    And not of others' want and pain?

    Lord, by Thy Spirit, make me wise
    Above my selfishness to rise,
    And something daily give away
    To find again in Thy great day!

        RICHARD WILTON, M.A.

[Illustration: THE UNJUST STEWARD.]



THE RICH MAN AND THE BEGGAR.


There was a certain rich man who was clothed in rich silks and fine
linen, and feasted on costly food each day. There was also a poor
beggar, who was ragged and hungry, and covered with sores. His name
was Lazarus, and they laid him at the rich man's gate, for he desired
to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the well-supplied table. And
even the dogs had pity on him, for they came and licked his sores.

And it came to pass that the beggar died, and the angels carried him
away to heaven, where he was no longer clothed in rags, but in
glorious array. Neither was he hungry, for he sat with Abraham and
leaned upon his bosom.

The rich man also died, and was buried. He was not carried to heaven,
but went to a place of torment, where he lifted up his eyes, and in
the distance saw Abraham with Lazarus on his bosom. And he cried and
said, "Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may
dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am
tormented in these flames." But Abraham said, "Son, remember that thou
in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, whilst Lazarus had only
evil things; and now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. Beside
all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed."

Then said the rich man, "I pray thee therefore, father, that thou
wouldest send him to my father's house; for I have five brethren. Let
him go to them and testify unto them, that they may repent, lest they
also come into this place of torment." Abraham said unto him, "They
have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them." And he said, "Nay,
father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will
repent." But Abraham said, "If they hear not Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."

[Illustration: THE RICH MAN AND THE BEGGAR.]



"AVENGE ME OF MY ADVERSARY."


In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared
for man. And in the same city there was a widow that had an enemy, and
he had done her an injury. And she came to the judge and implored him,
saying, "Give me justice; avenge me of my adversary." But he would
not. Then the widow came to him every day and cried, "Give me
justice;" but still he would not for a long while. At last he became
wearied of her constant cry, and he said within himself, "Though I
fear not God nor care for man, yet, because this widow troubleth me
with her complaint, I will avenge her; lest by her continual coming
she weary me."

And Jesus said, "Hear what the unjust judge saith. And if he, who was
an unjust judge and a wicked man, would grant the widow's petition,
because she asked so often, will not God, who is good and just, give
His children what is good and right for them? Shall not God avenge His
own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with
them?"

In this parable Jesus impressed upon his disciples the truth that,
although great trials might come upon them, and their lives be in
peril, yet they were not to lose faith in God, or be disappointed
because their prayers were not answered at once. They were to keep on
praying; asking God for such things as were right, and trusting that
He would preserve them amidst all their enemies; and in His own way
make them to triumph over their foes. Whatever is best for His people,
God will give them. He cares for the sparrows, and, even more, for
those who love Him.

[Illustration: THE UNJUST JUDGE.]



THE PHARISEE AND THE TAX-GATHERER.


The tax-gatherers in those days were called Publicans. They were
reputed to be very unjust, exacting from people more than the law
required them to pay, and other wickedness was charged against them.
Of course, there were good men among them; St. Matthew was a
tax-gatherer before Jesus called him to follow Him. The Pharisees
studied the Scriptures and explained them to the people, but they did
not follow the teachings of Scripture. They were proud, and pretended
they were more religious than other men, but it was _only_ pretense.
Jesus compared them to whited sepulchres, and said they were
hypocrites, who led the people astray.

A Pharisee and a Publican went up into the Temple to pray. The
Pharisee stood in a part of the Temple where all could see him, and
prayed thus: "O God, I thank Thee that I am not like other men, who
are unjust, and who take more than belongs to them. I thank Thee that
I am not like this Publican. I fast twice a week; I give to the
priests and Levites a tenth part of all I possess." But the Publican,
who knew that he was wicked, and felt sorry for it, stood afar off in
a quiet part of the Temple where none would see him. He bowed his head
and beat upon his breast, saying, "God be merciful to me a sinner."

Jesus said that this Publican went to his home more forgiven than the
Pharisee, for every one that is proud and thinks much of himself shall
be put down, and he that humbleth himself and is sorry for his sins,
shall be exalted. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the
earth," says Jesus.

[Illustration: THE PHARISEE AND THE TAX-GATHERER.]



THE LABOURERS IN THE VINEYARD.


    "Go, work within my vineyard's bound,
    At eve your 'penny'[1] shall be found:"
    So spake the vineyard's lord, and they
    Began to toil at break of day.

    For hours the sun had shown his face,
    When idlers in the market-place
    Once and again were sent within
    The vineyard's wall their wage to win.

    Nay, when but one short hour remains
    Before the sun its goal attains,
    More loiterers hear the Lord's command
    And set to work with willing hand.

    The steward came at close of day
    Their wage to reckon and to pay;
    And they whose toil could scarcely tire,
    Received a penny for their hire.

    But they who the day's burden bore
    And noonday heat, expected more:
    And murmur'd that the generous lord
    To all one penny should accord.

    But he replied, "I wrong not you;
    I give you the full wages due;
    And why should you my bounty blame,
    In paying these beyond their claim?"

    Lord, to Thy vineyard Thou dost call
    The least, the youngest of us all:
    To each Thou dost assign a task,
    From each some service Thou dost ask.

    How kind such feeble hands to use;
    Such pleasant work I needs must choose:
    I ask no wages, Lord, from thee,
    For Thou hast given Thyself for me.

    When I remember all Thy grace,
    I cannot loiter in my place:
    And when I think of all my sin,
    What wages can I hope to win?

    Thanks, Lord, if yet my years are few,
    And I retain the early dew:
    Oh, keep me through the noonday heat,
    And cheer me with Thy presence sweet.

    For if I have Thy presence, Lord,
    'Tis an exceeding great reward;
    And if at last I see Thy face,
    'Tis not of merit, but of grace.

    And, oh, what will that "penny" be
    Which Thou wilt then bestow on me?
    A glorious image it will bear,
    Thy own dear Self, Lord, will be there!

        RICHARD WILTON, M.A.

       *       *       *       *       *

FOOTNOTES:

[1] The penny, or _denarius_, was a silver coin, stamped with
the image of the Roman Emperor, and worth about 16 cents of our money.
It was a full ordinary day's wage at that time.

[Illustration: THE LABOURERS IN THE VINEYARD.]



THE BARREN FIG-TREE.


In the morning, when Jesus had left Bethany and was coming towards
Jerusalem, He was hungry. Seeing a fig-tree afar off, covered with
leaves, He came to it, hoping to find some fruit on it. But the tree
was a young one, and had not yet commenced to bear fruit. And He found
thereon nothing but leaves. Then He said unto it, "Let no fruit grow
on thee henceforward for ever." And the fig-tree withered away and was
dead from the roots. When the disciples saw it, they marvelled,
saying, "How soon the fig-tree is withered away!"

Jesus answered, and said unto them, "Verily I say unto you, if ye have
faith and doubt not, ye shall not only do as I have done to this
fig-tree, but, also, if ye shall say unto this mountain, 'Be thou
removed and be cast into the sea,' it shall be done. And all things,
whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believe that ye will receive them,
and ye shall have them. And when ye are praying, forgive any that have
injured you, that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you
your trespasses against Him. But if ye do not forgive, neither will
your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."

How strange it seems that Jesus, who was gentle and kind, should
pronounce a curse on this fig-tree, and cause it to wither away. Why
did He do so? Because He wished to impress upon His disciples the
terrible danger of unfruitfulness. If we are the disciples of Jesus,
we must bear good fruit; we must be loving, kind, and gentle, and try,
like Him, to be always doing good.

[Illustration: THE BARREN FIG-TREE.]



THE WICKED HUSBANDMEN.


One day when the priests and elders of the Temple were asking
questions of Jesus, He told them this parable.

There was a certain man who had a vineyard which was hedged or walled
round, and had a tower. But he was going away into a country far off,
so he let the vineyard to a number of husbandmen, or labourers, who
were to give him part of the fruit of the vines. When the time had
come that the fruit was ripe, he sent his servants to the husbandmen
that he might receive his share. But the wicked husbandmen took his
servants, and slew one, and beat another, and stoned the third. Then
he sent other servants, more than before, but the husbandmen served
them as they had done the others. Last of all he sent his own son,
saying, "They will reverence my son." But when those wicked men saw
him coming, they said among themselves, "This is the heir to all the
vineyard; come, let us kill him and seize on his inheritance." So they
caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.

Then Jesus said to the priests and elders, "When the Lord of the
vineyard cometh, what will he do unto these husbandmen?" And they
answered, "He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let
out his vineyard to others, who shall render him the fruits in their
season."

In this parable the owner of the vineyard means God; the vineyard
Canaan, and the husbandmen are the Jews, who had promised to obey Him,
but had not done so. He had sent His prophets among them, to warn
them, but these had been killed. At last He sent His only Son, but
they would not own Him as such, and soon they would kill Him. When the
priests heard this they knew it referred to them, and they were very
angry and would have taken Him and killed Him, but they were afraid of
the people, who took Jesus to be a prophet.

[Illustration: THE WICKED HUSBANDMEN.]



THE WEDDING GARMENT.


There was a certain King who gave a great feast upon the occasion of
his son's wedding. And he sent out his servants to bring in those that
had been invited, but they would not come. Then he sent forth other
servants, saying, "Tell them which were bidden, 'Behold, I have
prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things
are ready. Come unto the feast.'" But they made light of the message
and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his warehouse; others
took the servants and slew them.

When the King heard what had been done, he was very angry, and sent
out his army to destroy the murderers, and burn up their city. Then
said he to the servants, "The wedding is ready, but they which were
bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and all ye
shall find, bid them come to the marriage." So they gathered together
as many as they could find. And upon each one, as he entered the
house, was put a beautiful marriage garment, which the King had
prepared. But when the people were all seated, and the King had
entered the house, he saw there a man that had not on a wedding
garment, and he said unto him, "Friend, how camest thou in hither
without a wedding garment?" And the man was speechless, for the
garment had been offered to him at first, but he had refused it. Then
said the King to the servants, "Bind him hand and foot, and take him
away and cast him into outer darkness."

In this parable, the King means God, who gave the feast for His Son,
Jesus Christ. Those who were first asked were the Jews, who refused to
believe in Christ. Those who were afterwards brought in, signify the
people who have since listened to His Word, and believed in Him. The
one without the wedding garment is any one that pretends to accept the
invitation to be one of God's people, but in his heart does not
believe in Christ.

[Illustration: WITHOUT THE WEDDING GARMENT.]



THE FOOLISH VIRGINS.


In certain parts of the East it is the custom for a man when he is
married to bring home his bride at night, and for his relatives and
friends to go out with lamps and torches and music to meet him.

Ten young women had been invited to meet the bridegroom with their
lamps burning and to sit down with him at the wedding-feast. Five of
them were wise and five were foolish. The wise ones took a supply of
oil in case their lamps should burn out before the bridegroom arrived;
the foolish five took no oil but what was in their lamps. But before
the bridegroom came they all fell asleep.

At midnight there was a cry, "Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out
to meet him." But five lamps had almost burnt out, and the foolish
virgins said unto the wise, "Give us of your oil, for our lamps are
gone out." But the wise ones answered, "Not so; lest there be not
enough for us and for you. Go ye, rather, to them that sell, and buy
for yourselves." And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and
they that were ready went in with him to the marriage-feast, and the
door was shut.

Afterwards, came also the other virgins, saying, "Lord, Lord, open the
door to us." But he answered and said, "Verily I say unto you, I know
you not," and would not open the door to them.

In this parable the bridegroom means Jesus returning to earth, on the
Day of Judgment. The ten virgins are the people of this world, some of
whom have their hearts full of the love of God and keep their lamps
burning with a steady and bright light; that is, they fulfil God's
commandments and obey the teachings of Christ. The others have not
this love in their hearts, and are not prepared for Christ's coming.
Their lamps give out a feeble light and soon will go out.

[Illustration: THE FOOLISH VIRGINS.]



THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS


One day Jesus told His disciples this parable or story.

A certain nobleman was called away to a far country to be appointed
king of it, and to return after a time. And he called his servants
unto him, and charged them with the care of his goods and treasure,
giving to each man according to his ability to use the same. To one
servant he gave five talents, to another two, and to another only one.
And straightway he left them, and departed upon his journey. Then the
man that had five talents went and traded with them, and did so well
that in time the profits amounted to five talents more, making ten
altogether. And he that had received two talents, also traded with
his, and added two other talents to them by way of profit. But he that
had had but one talent went away and covered it up in a cloth and hid
it away.

After a long time the nobleman came back and called his servants to
him, and asked them for the treasure he had entrusted to their
keeping. And he that had received five talents, brought ten, and said,
"Lord, behold, I have gained five other talents beside them." And his
lord said, "Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been
faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things.
Enter thou into the joy of thy lord." And to him that had two talents,
and brought back four, the lord said the same words. Then came he that
had received but one talent and had hid it; and he said, "Lord, I knew
thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and I
was afraid, and went and hid thy talent, and lo, here thou hast that
which is thine." His lord said unto him, "Thou wicked and slothful
servant. Thou knewest that I reaped where I had not sown; thou
oughtest therefore to have put my money in the bank, that I might have
received mine own with interest for its use. Take therefore the
talent from him, and give it unto him that hath ten; and take the
unprofitable servant and cast him into the outer darkness."

Now the talent here mentioned was an eastern sum of money (nearly one
thousand dollars), but it really means the powers and opportunities
for doing good that God has given to all of us. One day we shall all
be called upon to give an account of the talents entrusted to our
keeping, and woe be to those who have abused their stewardship by
hiding their talent away. But those who have done good, according to
the power and opportunity given to them, shall be received into
everlasting joy by Christ the Lord.

[Illustration: THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS.]

       *       *       *       *       *



MAN WITH THE WITHERED HAND.


One Sabbath-day Jesus went into the synagogue, and there He saw a man
that had a withered hand. By some means the muscles had lost their
power, and he could neither use his hand nor stretch it out. And the
Pharisees watched Jesus, to see if He would heal this man on the
Sabbath, that they might bring a charge against Him of breaking the
law. They asked Him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath-day?" and He
replied by asking who among them, if he had a sheep which had fallen
into a pit on the Sabbath-day, would not lay hold on it, and lift it
out. "How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is
lawful to do good on the Sabbath-day."

Then said He to the man, "Stretch forth thine hand." And he stretched
it forth, and it was made whole and healthy like the other.

Then the Pharisees went out and held a council against Him, to
consider how they might destroy Him; but when Jesus knew it, He
withdrew Himself from that part, and great multitudes followed Him,
and He healed them all.

[Illustration: THE WITHERED HAND.]



JESUS ASCENDS TO HEAVEN.


Jesus had been cruelly put to death. His hands, which had been placed
on the heads of little children when He blessed them, had been nailed
to a cross of wood; and cruel nails had been driven through his feet.
And hanging on the cross, Jesus had died. But on the third day He had
risen from the tomb, and for forty days He had remained upon the
earth, meeting frequently with His disciples. At the end of that time
Jesus led the eleven apostles from Jerusalem towards Bethany; and when
near that village, and away from the multitude, He spoke to them,
promising that they should be made bold by the Holy Spirit, and
receive power to witness for Him both to the Jews and Gentiles. Then,
the Bible tells us, "He lifted up His hands and blessed them. And it
came to pass, while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and
carried up into heaven." And as He went up, a cloud received Him out
of their sight.

The apostles fell down and worshipped Jesus, looking steadfastly after
Him as He went up; and as they did so, two angels in white garments
stood by them, and said, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up
into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven,
shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven." Then
the apostles returned to Jerusalem.

Yes, Jesus has ascended to heaven, and now He sits at the right hand
of God; but He tells us that He will come again, and take those that
love Him to dwell with Him in His glorious home for ever and ever. "I
go to prepare a place for you," Jesus says.

[Illustration: JESUS ASCENDING TO HEAVEN.]



THE PHILIPPIAN JAILER.


Paul and Silas were in prison. They had done no wrong, but wicked men
had taken them before the magistrates; and the magistrates had caused
them to be severely beaten, and afterwards had sent them to prison,
where they were securely fastened in an inner dungeon, and their feet
made fast in the stocks. This was a most painful position for Paul and
Silas. But they were not unhappy. They prayed to God, and sang praises
to Him; and they sang so heartily that the other prisoners heard them.
It was midnight, and all was dark in the prison. But suddenly there
was an earthquake; so that the foundations of the prison were shaken,
all the doors were opened, and every one's bonds were loosed. All the
prisoners might have run away had they been minded to do so.

The keeper of the prison had been sleeping, but the earthquake awoke
him. When he saw the doors open, he supposed that all the prisoners
had fled; and knowing how severely he would be punished on that
account, he drew his sword to kill himself. Paul knew this, and called
out loudly, "Do thyself no harm, for we are all here." Then the
keeper, who but a little while before had cruelly treated Paul and
Silas, came trembling, and fell down before them, and said, "Sirs,
what must I do to be saved?" He was afraid because of his sins; and
wanted to know how he might be saved from the fearful consequences of
sin. Paul's answer was, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou
shalt be saved." Then Paul and Silas spoke to him about Jesus. He
believed, and was baptized; and the next morning the two disciples
were set at liberty.

[Illustration: THE PHILIPPIAN JAILOR BEFORE PAUL AND SILAS.]



TIMOTHY AND HIS MOTHER EUNICE.


Timothy was a youthful and earnest disciple of Jesus Christ, whom Paul
loved dearly. Paul had found him during one of his missionary
journeys, and, discovering how highly he was esteemed as a Christian,
had selected him as his assistant. Afterward Timothy became Paul's
companion in travel, and the first bishop of Ephesus. While Timothy
was at Ephesus, Paul wrote two letters to him. They are contained in
the Bible, and are called the Epistles to Timothy. In them Paul says
many kind and wise things, giving Timothy directions how to act in his
high Christian office. But Paul also speaks of Timothy's early days,
and of his mother and grandmother. These were both good women, who
loved God, and diligently studied the Holy Scriptures. The mother's
name was Eunice. She was a Jewess. The grandmother's name was Lois.
Both loved the little boy Timothy, or Timotheus as he was called, and
they sought to instil into his young mind and heart the love of God
and the knowledge of His holy Word. In our picture we see Eunice
teaching her son. She has not a bound Bible, but a manuscript, wound
round small rollers. From this she reads to Timothy; while Lois, the
aged grandmother, sits by.

Paul warned Timothy not to forget the teaching of his good mother and
grandmother; and especially to value his knowledge of the Scriptures.
Because, said Paul, "they are able to make thee wise unto salvation."
Many young folks have good mothers and grandmothers, who love to teach
them about Jesus. Are they receiving this teaching as Timothy did, and
being made wise unto salvation?

[Illustration: LOIS, EUNICE AND TIMOTHY.]



CHRIST BLESSING THE CHILDREN.

(_See_ Frontispiece).


Jesus had left Galilee, and was journeying toward Jerusalem, where He
was to be put to death. He was in the country beyond Jordan, called
Peræa, and had been speaking some very wise words to the Pharisees,
and also to His disciples, when some women came to Him, bringing
infants and young children that He might put His hands upon them and
pray for them. The disciples thinking probably that Jesus, who had so
many important things to attend to, would not wish to be troubled by
women bringing their children, rebuked them for so doing. But Jesus
loved children. So, when He saw the disciples about to send them away,
He was displeased; and, calling the disciples to Him, He said, "Suffer
little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is
the kingdom of God." Then, we are told, Jesus "took them up in His
arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them." How kind was Jesus!
and how willing that the little ones should be brought to Him! And He
is the same now. May all our young readers learn to love Him, and find
for themselves how willing He is to love and bless them.


       *       *       *       *       *





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