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rather to rejoice that their names were written in heaven.
Shortly after, our Lord departed from Jerusalem, towards Galilee. In the beginning of this journey, he entered a small village, called Bethany, on the farthest part of mount Olivet, about two miles east of Jerusalem, and went into the house of a certain woman, named Martha, who, with her sister Mary, and Lazarus their brother, joyfully received him. Mary continued with Jesus, attending to his conversation, while Martha was busy in preparing for his entertainment. Martha, vexed at her sister's not helping her, said, Lord, dost not thou care that my sister hath left me to serve alone; bid her therefore that she help me. Jesus said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things; but one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Lucy. Surely, aunt, our Lord does not mean that we must not concern ourselves about any worldly affairs.
Aunt. By no means: but we are not to pursue them with anxiety, as if our happiness centered in them. Our Lord did not condemn the hospitality of Martha, but gave her to understand, that her care and toil respected matters of far less concern than her sister's. Our Lord, after going from place to place, for about two months, returned again to Jerusalem, at the feast of dedication, which lasted eight days. It was instituted by Judas Maccabeus, in memory of his dedication of the temple, after he had cleared the altar of the horrid profanations of Antiochus Epiphanes ; a particular account of which I shall give you in the Jewish history.
Our Lord, walking along the streets on a sabbathday, saw a poor man, who had been blind from his birth: and he said to his disciples, I must work the work of Him that sent me while it is day'; for the night cometh when no man can work.
Maria. But day always succeeds night, and what is left undone one day may be done another.
Aunt. Our Lord certainly meant the night of death, instructing us not to put off doing good to another opportunity, as that may never arrive: for when death comes, time with us is no inore. But, to return: Our Lord spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, with which he anointed the eyes of the blind man: and he said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.
Lucy. One should think clay was more calculated to make a man blind than to restore him to sight.
Aunt. Our Lord thereby shewed that the most unlikely means would be efficacious, when he appoints and blesses them. The man did as Jesus had commanded, and came to his neighbours, seeing.
Maria. How surprised they must be !
Aunt. Some said it was he, others said it was like him: the man determined the matter, by saying, I am he. Then they inquired how his eyes were opened, and, being informed, they took him to the pharisees, who interrogated him; to whom he told the simple fact. Some of them cried out, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbathday; others said, How can a man that is a sinner, do such miracles? Being thus divided in their sen- . timents, they appealed to the man, to know what he thought of the person who had opened his eyes. He replied, that he believed him to be a prophet. Some then suggested that he had not been blind; upon which his parents were called, and examined: they avowed him to be their son, and that he was born blind, but the means by which he obtained his sight, they denied any knowledge of, fearing the Jews, who had already agreed, if any confessed that Jesus was Christ, he should be put out of the
synagogue: they therefore referred the matter to their son, saying, He is of age, ask him. The son being again called, was told to give God the glory, seeing that this man was a sinner. He answered, he knew nothing about that; but this he knew, that, whereas he was once blind, he now saw. As they continued to question him, he said unto them, Will ye also be his disciples? Then they reviled him, saying, Thou. art his disciple, but we are Moses' disciples; we know that God spake unto Moses; but, as for this fellow, we know not whence he is. The man replied, This is wonderful, that ye should doubt whence he is, when he hath opened mine eyes: if this man were not of God, he could not do these things? Upon this, their anger arose, and they said, Dost thou teach us? Then they cast him out, or excommunicated him.
Maria. Then what became of him?
Aunt. Our blessed Lord knew the testimony which he had borne of him, and how he had been treated by the Jews. And when he found him, he said, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? The man' replied, Who is he, Lord? Jesus said, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe.
Lucy: He had before acknowledged Jesus as a prophet.
Aunt. But he now revered him as the chief of prophets, the expected Messiah.
Aunt. BEFORE the conclusion of the feast, it being winter, our Saviour walked in the magnificent portico, commonly called Solomon's Porch, probably to be skreened from the inclemency of the weather. Here the Jews assembled round him, desiring him plainly to tell them if he were the Christ. Our Lord condescended to answer them in the fullest manner, declaring that He and his Father
Maria. Did they, upon this, acknowledge him to be the Christ?
Aunt. No; in a rage they took up stones to stone him. Jesus asked thein for which of his good works they stoned him? They answered, Not for any good work, but for blasphemy, because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus replied by appealing to his works, as an evidence which should command their belief, they being real proofs that He was in his Father, and his Father in him. George. Did this
their rage? Aunt. No: they sought to take him, but he Escaped out of their hands. Shortly after, he de
parted out of the city, and went over the river Jordan to Bethabara, where John had formerly baptized. And many resorted to him, and said, John did no miracle; but all things that John spake of this man were true.
We are now arrived at the fourth year (as it is generally computed) of Christ's public ministry. While Jesus abode in this place, he was followed by numbers of people, whom he taught and cured of their distempers. Some of them, seeing the compassion of Jesus, brought their little children, that he might bless them; but the disciples rebuked them, at which our Lord was displeased, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And he took them in his arms, and blessed thein. This is an encouragement to parents to bring their children to Christ.
Maria. How are children to be taken to Christ, now he is in heaven:
Aunt. By faith and prayer; not only once, but continually. About this time, our Lord received a message from Martha and Mary, informing him that their brother Lazarus, whom he loved, was sick.
Maria. Did our Lord go to Lazarus ?
Aunt. Not immediately ; but he said to his disciples, probably in the hearing of the messenger, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God.
George. What unust his sisters think when he actually died :
Aunt. That is impossible for us to say: but they certainly expected great things from our Lord,