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account for this by the law of gravitation. But what have I gained here more than a term? Does it convey to my mind any idea of the nature of that mysterious and invisible chain which draws all things to a common centre ?-Pursuing the track of the naturalist, I have learned to distinguish the animal, the vegetable, and the mineral kingdoms, and to divide these into their distinct tribes and families;-but can I tell, after all this toil, whence a single blade of grass derives its vitality? Could the most minute researches, enable me to discover the exquisite pencil that paints the flower of the field? and have I ever detected the secret that gives their brilliant dye to the ruby and the emerald, or the art that enamels the delicate shell?—I observe the sagacity of animals-I call it instinct, and speculate upon its various degrees of approximation to the reason of man; but, after all, I know as little of the cogitations of the brute as he does of mine. When I see a flight of birds overhead, performing their evolutions, or steering their course to some distant settlement, their signals and cries are as unintelligible to me as are the learned languages to an unlettered mechanic: I understand as little of their policy and laws as they do of Blackstone's Commentaries.1
Alas! then, what have I gained by my laborious researches but an humbling conviction of my weakness and ignorance! Of how little has man, at his best estate, to boast! What folly in him to glory in his contracted powers, or to value himself upon his imperfect acquisitions!"
"Well!" exclaimed a young lady, just returned from school, "my education is at last finished: indeed it would be strange if, after five years' hard application, anything were left incomplete. Happily, it is all over now, and I have nothing to do but exercise my various accomplishments.
“Let me see !—as to French I am mistress of that, and speak it, if possible, with more fluency than English; Italian I can read with ease, and pronounce very well, as well at least, and better than any of my friends; and that is all one need wish for in Italian. Music I have learned till I am perfectly sick of it. But, now that we have a grand piano, it will be delightful to play when we have company. And then there are my Italian songs, which every body allows I
1 W. Blackstone, a distinguished lawyer, author of "Commentaries on the laws of England," born in London, 1723, died 1780.
sing with taste, and as it is what so few people can pretend to, I am particularly glad that I can. My drawings are universally admired, especially the shells and flowers, which are beautiful, certainly besides this, I have a decided taste in all kinds of fancy ornaments. And then, my dancing and waltzing, in which our master himself owned that he could take me no farther ;-just the figure for it certainly! it would be unpardonable if I did not excel. As to common things, geography, and history, and poetry, and philosophy, thank my stars, I have got through them all! so that I may consider myself not only perfectly accomplished, but also thoroughly well informed.
Well to be sure, how much I have fagged through; the only wonder is that one head can contain it all!"
12. How long had the young lady spent in her education?
13. How long the sage?
14. In what state was her education in her own eyes?
15. What of her French, Italian, Music, Drawing, Dancing?
16. Name the common things which she had got through.
17. Was it ignorance or knowledge that gave rise to her self-satisfied state of mind?
18. Which of these persons do you admire, and wish to imitate?
19. Does this lesson bring any anecdote of Sir Isaac Newton to your mind?
20. Which of you will relate it to me?
WHEN Jesus was a child of twelve years of age, it is particu larly recorded of him, that he was subject or obedient to his parents, his real mother and reputed father.1 It is true, he knew at that time that God himself was his Father, for, said he, "Wist ye not that I must be about my father's business?"2 And knowing God to be his Father, he could not but know likewise that he was infinitely above his mother; yea, that she could never have borne him, had not himself first made and supported her. Yet, howsoever, though as God he was Father to her, yet as man she was mother to him, and therefore he honoured and obeyed both her and him to whom she was espoused. Neither did he only respect his mother whilst he was here, but he took care of her, too, when he was going hence. Yea, all the pains he suffered upon the cross could not make him forget his duty to her that bore him: but seeing her standing by the cross, as himself hung on it, he committed her to the care of his beloved disciple, who "took her to his own home."3 Now as our Saviour did, so are we bound to carry ourselves to our earthly parents, whatsoever their temper or condition be in this world. Though God hath blessed some of us perhaps with greater estates than ever he blessed them, yet we must not think ourselves above them, nor be at all the less respectful to them. Christ, we see, was infinitely above his mother, yet as she was his mother he was both subject and respectful to her. He was not ashamed to own her as she stood by the cross, but in the view and hearing of all there present, gave his disciple a charge to take care of her, leaving us an example, that such amongst us as have parents provide for them if they need it, as for our children, both while we live and when we come to die.
And as he was to his natural so was he too to his civil parents, the magistrates under which he lived, submissive and faithful; for though, as he was God, he was infinitely above them in heaven, yet, as he was man, he was below them on earth, having committed all civil power into their hands, without reserving any at all for himself. So that, though
1 Luke, ii, 51.
2 Luke, ii 49.
John, xix. 27.
they received their commission from him, yet now himself could not act without receiving a commission from them. And therefore, having no commission from them to do it, he would not intrench so much upon their privilege and power as to determine the controversy betwixt the two brethren contending about their inheritance. "Man," saith he, "who made me a judge or a divider over you?" And to show his submission to the civil magistrate as highly as possibly he could, rather than offend them he wrought a miracle to pay the tax which they had charged upon him. And when the officers were sent to take him, though he had more than twelve legions of angels at his service to have fought for him if he had pleased, yet he would not employ them, nor suffer his own disciples to make any resistance. He was also as lowly and respectful to the lowest, as he was to the highest that he conversed with: he affected no titles of honour, nor gaped after popular air, but submitted himself to the meanest services that he could, for the good of others, even to the washing his own disciples' feet, and all to teach us that we can never think too lowly of ourselves, nor do anything that is beneath us; propounding himself as our example, especially in this particular: "Learn of me," saith he, "for I am meek and lowly in heart."4
His humility also was the more remarkable, in that his bounty and goodness to others was so great, for "he went about doing good."5 By him, as himself said, "the blind received their sight, and the lame walked, the lepers were cleansed, and the deaf heard, the dead were raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached unto them." Yea it is observable, that we never read of any person whatsoever that came to him, desiring any kindness or favour of him, but he still received it, and that whether he was friend or foe. For indeed, though he had many inveterate and implacable enemies in the world, yet he bore no grudge or malice against them, but expressed as much love and favour for them as to his greatest friends. Insomuch, that when they had gotten him upon the cross, and fastened his hands and feet unto it, in the midst of all that pain and torment which they put him to, he still prayed for them."
Oh! how happy, how blessed a people should we be, could
1 Luke, xii. 15.
2 Matt. xvii. 27. 3 Matt. xxvii. 52, 53. 4 Matt. xi. 29. 5 Acts, x. 38. 6 Matt. xi. 5. 7 Luke, xxiii, 34.
we but follow our blessed Saviour in this particular! How well would it be with us, could we but be thus loving to one another, as Christ was to all, even his most bitter enemies! We may assure ourselves it is not only our misery, but our sin too, unless we be so. And our sin will be the greater, now we know our Master's pleasure, unless we do it. And therefore, let all such amongst us as desire to carry ourselves as Christ himself did, and as becometh his disciples in the world, begin here.
Be submissive and obedient both to our parents and governors, humble in our own sight, despise none, but be charitable, loving, and good to all; by this shall all men know that we are Christ's disciples indeed.
1. Of whom was Jesus Christ the Son? | trates? 2. Name his reputed father and his real motber.
3. In what respect was Christ infinitely above his mother?
4. In what was he below her?
5. How did he behave as man to his mother?
.6. What proof of his love to her did he give while hanging on the cross.
7. Explain the words "carry ourselves to our earthly parents."
8. Does that son however great he may become, imitate Jesus, who is ashamed of his poor parents?
9. Who are our civil parents? 10. Who gives rulers their authority? 11. What is Christ called in 1 Timothy, vi. 15?
12. How was Christ under the magis
13. What instances are given of his submission to them?
14. What proof of deep humility did he give his disciples?
15. Who will report to me the sweet words of Matt. xi, 28, 29, 30?
16. What miracles of healing was Christ constantly working?
17. Did he refuse acts of kindness, even to enemies?
18. Repeat his prayer for those who crucified him.
19. Would it not be a happy world if men were to copy Christ's example in all things?
20. How may a true disciple be known? 21. Who will quote to me the verses referred to in this lesson?
X.—EVIDENCES OF THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD.