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wide is the range of Christian responsibility) we shall have fallen short of our duty, if we go thus far, but no farther. Jesus Christ has given to infancy a language which speaks to all, whatever their age, and whatever their degree. We love childhood. It is well; but we must ask ourselves, why do we love it?For its guilelessness and simplicity ?-We are reminded, then, that if we would enter into the kingdom of heaven, we must be guileless and simple also. For its meekness and gentleness ?-Meekness and gentleness, therefore, must be found in all those who would be greeted as children by the Father which is in heaven. Or do we admire the docility, the tractableness, the submissive obedience of the young?-Does not this remind us that the same dispositions must be acceptable also in the sight of God? and that they must be cultivated till they be made our own, if we wish to be admitted into the number of those who shall walk in the courts of his house? Thus it is not pleasure only, but profit, and that of the
most important kind, which is to be derived from the contemplation of "little children."
And, lastly, consider farther, how constantly these lessons are read to us; with what force and frequency they are urged upon our attention-above all, how they avail themselves of those seasons and opportunities, in which our minds are in the fittest state to be influenced by their appeals. It was an interesting, and perhaps we might say, a beautiful feature in the otherwise monstrous systems of heathen superstition, which imagined the existence of household gods. If ever the breasts of those deluded worshippers were warmed by a single spark of genuine piety, it was not kindled, we may be well assured, by the vain pomps of the procession, by the gorgeous mockeries of the temple, nor by the lusts and licence of the riotous festival. But it was produced in the sacred quietness of home. It was lighted at the altar of those inferior deities, as they were called, whose presence consecrated the hearth, and hallowed all the
offices of domestic privacy. And if these moments of retirement are peculiarly calculated for the reception and improvement of religious impressions, Christianity, the religion of every hour, has provided a powerful means of exciting them. Then it is that "the little children" are in the midst of us. Then it is that Jesus exclaims more emphatically, and with greater effect perhaps than at any other time, "Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."
"See then, my brethren, that ye despise not one of these little ones." See that ye neglect not the lessons which they teach, out of contempt or disregard of the little preachers who enforce them. They are not despicable in themselves, for it has been said of them, and of all Christians who resemble them, "that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of the Father." They are not
Matt. xviii. 10.
despicable as instructors-as patterns for our study and imitation, for it has been said by the same authority-the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ himself-that "of such is the kingdom of God'."
1 Luke xviii. 16.
THE MEANS OF OBTAINING FORGIVENESS OF SINS.
LUKE Vii. 49.
And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
IT is indeed a remarkable scene which the Evangelist has recorded in this passage, a scene exceeding interesting even to those who read, and full of edification to those who will study it. We have already listened to its perusal, let us now examine it more closely, that we may profit by the instruction with which it
You will remember that the preceding portion of the chapter contains an account of some of our Saviour's most striking