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know that the imposition of hands was used by the Jews in the invocation of the Holy Ghost, by such as stood in any superior relation to children, or were esteemed of peculiar sanctity. This passage is introduced into our baptismal service for infants, and seems to sanction as strongly as anything could do, short of a positive command, the custom which has prevailed from the introduction of Christianity, of admitting children into the visible Church by baptism, under the new dispensation, as they had been by circumcision under the Patriarchal, and Mosaic. Let us learn from this passage the vast importance, the imperative duty, of religious instruction of our childrenof beginning from their very earliest years to deal with them as having souls to be lost, or saved. Let us make them acquainted with the Bible as soon as they are able to understand anything. Let us pray with them, and pray for them, and teach them to pray for themselves. We may be sure that Jesus will look with favour upon our endeavours, and be ready to bless them; we may be sure that such endeavours will not be in vain, the seed sown in infancy is often found after many days. "Train up a child," says Solomon, " in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."-Proverbs xxii. 6.

SECTION CXLIV.

And when he was gone forth into the way, there came a certain ruler running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, "Thou shalt do no

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murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, "One thing thou lackest go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven and come, take up the cross, and follow me." And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he saith unto his disciples, "How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!" And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, "Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? And Jesus looking upon them saith, "With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.”

This is a very interesting narrative, and full of instruction. The young ruler evidently came to Jesus with incipient faith, and from the nature of his application, he must have assured himself that He was a teacher sent from God, though he had not recognised in Him the Messiah and we are here taught how our Lord was accustomed to deal with His disciples, and with all others who listened to Him, and gave proof of incipient faith. The mode by which He rewarded, and encouraged their faith, was not generally by an explicit declaration of Gospel truth, but rather by answers calculated to awaken enquiry, and search after further light and in some instances this was the result, as for example, in the case of the Syrophenician woman. On the other hand, instances of the failure of His kind endeavours have also

been left on the sacred record, for the purpose of keeping alive the awakening truth, that although God be working with us, and within us, yet we must work out the salvation He has purchased for us, or that work will not be perfected in us. We may observe that in our Lord's reply to the young man's question there is not the slightest notice of the subject of his enquiry. Taking advantage of a phrase of courtesy which the young man had used when addressing Him, our Lord answers, why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is God. Observe He does not reject the epithet "good," as being unworthy of it, but reminds the young man of that which he already knew, that God only is good. Had he pondered this answer in his heart, it must have led him, as was doubtless intended by our Lord, to the great truth, that although none was good but God, yet He who stood before Him was good, and this because He was the Christ, the Son of God, Immanuel. No suitable remark being elicited from him thus addressed, Jesus changed the course of His instruction as if to find some other access to his heart, and understanding, and knowing him to be wrapped up in his veneration for the Mosaic Law, He tells him, "Thou knowest the commandments, if thou wilt enter into life, keep them." But even this attempt failed, and only produced the dull reply, "All these have I observed from my youth." What an instance have we here of the self ignorance of man. At first sight there was much that was promising in this man's case, he shewed anxiety about his soul's welfare, while those around him were careless, and indifferent; showed a disposition to reverence our Lord by kneeling to Him, while the Scribes, and Pharisees, despised Him ;

yet all this time he was profoundly ignorant of his own heart. He heard our Lord recite those commandments which comprise our duty to our neighbour, and at once declares, "All these have I observed from my youth." The searching nature of the moral law, its application to our thoughts, and words, as well as actions, he was utterly unacquainted with. The spiritual blindness here exhibited is alas but too common. Multitudes of Christians, in the present day, have no idea of their own sinfulness in the sight of God. They flatter themselves that they have never done anything very wicked, they have never murdered, or committed adultery, or stolen, or borne false witness, they cannot surely be in much danger of missing Heaven. They forget the Holy nature of that God with whom they have to do; they forget how often they break His law in temper, or imagination, even when their outward conduct is correct. Let us beware of this

state of mind. Let us pray to the Holy Spirit to convince us of sin, to shew us our own hearts, to shew us God's holiness, and our need of Christ to save us.

SECTION CXLV.

Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, "Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to

come eternal life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last first. For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last : for many be called, but few chosen."

Our Lord's advice to the young Ruler to dispose of his possessions, and take up the cross, and follow Him, led the Apostles to reflect that what had been recommended to him, they had done, left all, and followed Christ. And Peter, with his usual forwardness, and apparently with some self-complacency, asked what would be their reward? As his motives were substantially right, our Lord overlooked their alloy, and assured them that when He should sit on His glorious throne they should be honoured in a

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