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is where good people unite for a good object, for the Lord Jesus himself is in their midst. His sacred, invisible presence softens and strengthens their hearts. This is the great blessing of the church of Christ, that, with all its faults, it offers to every struggling soul, however lowly, forlorn, and weak, this "good society," this “good company," so that they are no longer wholly lonely or forlorn.
Let us surround our souls with all good things, good companionship, good books, good work, — for these strengthen and encourage the good side of our life.
But the best and highest of all influences is that which comes to us when we walk daily in the presence of our heavenly Father; when we are able to talk with him as with a friend; when we know that he loves us, and that his spirit is ready to help us. Plutarch tells us that Pericles, almost the greatest of the orators of Greece, never went into a public meeting to speak to the people, without asking the gods to help him say the right thing, and to keep him from saying the wrong. We, every morning, enter on a new day, in which we are to meet unknown dangers, duties, opportunities, in which we may do good or evil to those around us. What a difference it would make if we should, every morning, look up, open our hearts, and seek for guidance, good influence, a good spirit, from that divine Power who is always waiting to be gracious ! · Waiting to be gracious ;" waiting till we give him
an opportunity of blessing us ; knocking at the door of our heart till we are willing to open it to that which is most tender and blessed in the universe. Of all goodness, his is the goodness which is most ready to help us. Other goodness hesitates and lingers. His is waiting to be gracious. The goodness of our best friends sometimes grows weary, but his is never tired out by our folly or our sin. The best and noblest human heart is not always prepared to meet our emergency ; but God's love is at hand, in all its fulness, every hour.
Let us surround ourselves with all this human and superhuman help, thus to meet the exigencies of our life.
THE GOOD SAMARITAN.
“Who is my neighbor ?”.
THE THE lawyer was not asking this question for information, but rather to find out what Jesus
There was nothing wrong in this. Jesus himself often asked questions in the same way,
- not for information, but to lead his disciples to search into their own minds. This is one way of teaching, and a very ancient one. It is called the catechetical method of instruction. Socrates used it almost exclusively. By asking a series of carefully arranged questions, he compelled his disciples to search their own minds to the bottom, and find out what they really knew and believed, and what they did not. Jesus did the same. Thus, he said to Philip, “Whence shall we buy bread for these to eat ?” “And this,” adds the Evangelist, " he said to prove him, for he himself knew what he would do.” The word here translated prove is the Greek word reipácw, elsewhere usually translated tempt. Twenty-nine times it is translated tempt, and eight times examine, try, prove, assay. It