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whom had become robbers. All the people knew this, and our Lord always took care that his lessons were such as would strike on their attention, and awaken it to thoughtful reflection.
So this man "fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead." A sad state this for any man to be in-robbed of his money, wounded, bleeding, and almost dying. Perhaps he could not move-he could only listen and look. At length he hears footsteps—it may be one of the robbers coming back to kill him outright, lest he should recover, and be the means of bringing them to justice. But his fears are quelled, and his hopes are excited; for it is not a robber, but a priest ! Now he shall be helped to get up, and be conducted to a place of safety. His wounds will be tenderly treated, and he will again return to his own house, and all there will be too glad that he is alive to care anything about the money of which he has been robbed. The priest draws nearer and
His deliverance is at hand. He sees him—but he turns his head and walks by on the other side. Unfeeling man! And a priest too !-a teacher of that law which says, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Seest thou not thy brother there bleeding and helpless—he is not a hated Samaritan, or a despised Gentile, but a son of Abraham--wilt thou not help himn? No: he passes on with proud priestly dignity and leaves the poor wounded traveller to bleed away his life. Verily thou dost not love thy neighbour !
Then the wounded man nearly faints with horror at such a display of cruel neglect. “Can it be,” he exclaims to the
hard rocks around him, “that he who taught me the law, and presented my offerings at the altar-he who professed to be my spiritual guide and comforter, will thus leave me to die? Oh God of Abraham save me !"
So again his eyes close, and he thinks hard things of man, but loses not his confidence in God. And now his ears, ever wakeful, tell him that other steps are approaching. Half opening his failing eyes, he sees a Levite approaching. “Ah! now," he thinks, for he can speak no longer, “I shall find a friend. A proud priest may belie his religious professions-many have done so before-but do Levite, who mixes more with the people, will show compassion, and come and help me." The Levite arrived at the spot, and turning out of his way, he came up to him and “looked on him." But surely this will not be all that he will do-surely he will not, like that unfeeling priest, pass on, and leave the poor traveller to die! Alas! he does; for without speaking a word, he "passed by on the other side.” Verily, thou dost not love thy neighbour !
Great were the fears of the wretched sufferer, as a projecting rock hid from his view the hard-hearted Levite, passing on his way. “Now I must die;" he said in his heart, “and go the way of all the earth !" Thoughts of the eternal world now occupied his mind with such overwhelming power, that his money, his wife, his children, his friends, and his own pains, were all forgotten.
He hears again the sound of footsteps ; but his eyes can see no longer-his head swims in dizzy visions—he faints ! By and bye he recovers, and opening his eyes, he sees one stand bending over him with affectionate kindness. He is not a priest or a Levite-he is a stranger. And now that stranger, having bound up his wounds, "pouring in oil and wine," has “set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn;" what he did there beside, you read in the sacred narrative.
So Jesus Christ answered the question--"Who is my neigbour ?” and the lawyer who asked the question was silenced. And well he might, for who could gainsay such a reply.
The lesson taught by our Lord is this every man is your neighbour-Englishman or Frenchman, Indian or Africanand you should show your love to all by doing good to all, and thus shew yourselves to be the children of our Father in heaven.
The Lord Jesus had another design; he wished to teach this pharisaic lawyer, that the religious pretensions of the Priests and Levites were good for nothing, and worse—they were hypocritical. They esteemed themselves to be righteous, and despised others, especially the Samaritans. When they wished to say the bitterest thing they could think of against our Lord himself, it was, “Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil.” The Samaritans were an abomination to the Jews. “ All the prejudice that ever grew out of caste, colour, name, or nation, combined into one intense sentiment of
repugnance, were nothing to the inherent irreconcilable hatred which the Jews entertained against this unfortunate people. For it was a hatred set on fire by religious zeal and Jewish intolerance, pursuing the poor Samaritan with a curse that burned
down into his grave. His presence was pollution: no religious Jew would enter bis habitation, or drink from his well, or eat from his table, or touch anything that belonged to him. He would exchange with him no salutation or expression of civility. Every avenue of reconciliation was closed; the privilege of repentance was denied him; the hope of pardon was cut off ; for he was the only being on earth who could not attain to the communion of the Jews by a conversion to their faith. These bigots could not stop here; they would fain consign his soul to annihilation, and sink bis grave beneath the bearing of the archangel's voice. Presumptuous profanity! they launched an anathema against his sleeping dust, and excommunicated his body from the resurrection of the dead !" We need not wonder that the disciples marvelled when they found their Lord talking with the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well. And yet our Lord 80 managed this parable as to make the lawyer confess that the hated Samaritan was the best man of the three. And so it is, and so it ever will be, that although man may set up his pretensions to goodness and sanctity above his fellows, yet all his pretensions are good for nothing if love to God and love to man be not found burning on the altar of his heart. No other sacrifice will God accept than that of hearty service. In coming to God, and in serving God, you must always do so with all your heart. All pretences and shams
kind are neither acceptable to God, nor serviceable to men. In doing good to everybody, do it with all your heart and soul, and then both God and man will bless you.
THE HUMMING BIRD.
THESE beautiful little birds include an immense variety, upwards of two hundred; but the whole tribe, although diversified by an infinite variety of colouring and minute differences in structure, may yet be conprehended under one general description, embracing the more prominent features of the family. They swarm in the tropical portions of the New World, in the great archipelago of islands lying between Florida and
the mouth of the Orinoco, and s on the continent of America, till it passes the tropic of
Capricorn. They are the smallest, but the most brilliant of birds, whose gorgeous drapery has been compared to the emerald, and the topaz, and the sunbeam: and so far have emblems been employed to illustrate their beauty, that after every intelligible similitude has been exhausted, they have been said to exceed “the hue of roses steeped in liquid fire !" But they are justly celebrated for the rich lustre of their plumage, and the bright plates formed by scaly feathers on their throat and head. The sizes of the different species