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26. Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
ignores the distinction between the two kinds of care. 'Casting all your care (jiipi/ivav, R. V., anxiety) upon him, for he careth (avru /dXei) for you,' with a fatherly, tender, and provident care."—M. R. Vincent.
Library.—The brilliant author of *' Master and Men," opens his work on the " Sermon on the Mount " with a chapter entitled " Puzzles," because the contrast between heathen nations and Christian nations is so strange when placed beside the Sermon on the Mount. This writer points out that Jesus calls upon His followers to take no thought for the morrow. But it is in pagan countries that people are most free from care as to the future, while in
Anxieties Christian countries the anxiety is the greatest. There Lands"'"' is more ^ret anc^ care *n a year of New York city life than in a century of Hindoostan. He bids men labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which endureth unto eternal life. Yet it is in Christian countries that men, women, and children toil for the things which perish in the using, while pagan and Moslem countries enjoy far more leisure. He bids them lay up for themselves, not treasures upon earth, but in heaven. Yet Christian nations are distinguished from all others by the accumulation of wealth. Compare the promise in v. 33, and in xix. 29.
26. Behold The Fowls (the Birds), Your Heavenly Father Feedeth Them.—Not in idleness, not by putting food in their mouths while they sit still in the trees and sing and wait; but by providing the food which they can obtain, and providing them with the means of seeing and obtaining food. Not idleness, but industry, is taught us by God's care of the birds. They build nests, they migrate to warmer climes when food fails them in the North, they are up early seeking food.
True Lesson From The Birds.—Augustine said to the monks
who lived by beggary through a misinterpretation of
Augustine this passage: "You must at least be consistent. It is and the r ^ . , , ,
Monks, true you neither sow nor reap; you understand Christ
literally, where toil is to be escaped; by the same reason
you should have no barns; but you have such, in which you make A.D. 28.
Summer. SERMON ON THE MOUNT.
TRUST IN OOD.
27. Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28. And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin;
no scruple about storing the labor of others. If you will be as the birds, what means the preparation of your food, your grinding and your baking? What your reserving apart for to-morrow? It is the anxiety, not the labor, from which you are prohibited."
Library.—Geo. Macdonald's poem, " Consider the Fowls of the Air"; Poem, " The Little Brown Sparrow."
27. One Cubit To His Stature.—<?A«<av, stature, or age. Many a very short person would give a fortune to add a cubit to his stature. I knew one person who said that an increase of stature would have been worth a thousand dollars an inch to him. But nearly every one would be glad to add a cubit to his age, regarding his age, as in Psa. xxxix. 5, as a span, or conceiving of life as a race or journey. One near to death is reported to have said, " Millions of money for an inch of time!"
28. Consider The Lilies.—" A French botanist, who had a commission from the Jardin des Plantes of Paris, told me that after five years of collecting in Syria he seemed as far as ever from completing his work; and that though he had visited TheL"*Uh Buenos Ayres, the Cape of Good Hope, and the Moluccas, yet he found no land which could compare with Syria for its flowers. It is here also that the Huleh lily, which surpasses in loveliness all lilies of the field, has its native home."
—Prof. W. H. Thomson, M.D., in Parables and Their Home.
"The Huleh lily is very Jarge; and the three inner petals meet above, and form a gorgeous canopy, such as art never approached and king never sat under, even in his utmost glory. And when I met this incomparable flower, in all its loveliness, among the oak woods around the north base of Tabor and on the hills of Nazareth, where our Lord spent His youth, I felt assured that it was to this He referred."— W. M. Thomson, in Land and Book.
29. And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
LIBRARY.—“ Parables in Their Home,” by Dr. Wm. H. Thomson, p. 17.
THE LILY here doubtless includes flower of all kinds. “The Jordan valley was now one blaze of beautiful flowers, growing in a profusion not often to be found even in more fertile lands. The ground was literally covered with blossoms; the great red anemone, like a poppy, grew in long tracts on the stony soil ; on the soft marls patches of delicate lavender color were made by the wild stocks; the
retem, or white broom (the juniper of Scripture), was in Flowers
o full blossom, and the rich purple nettles contrasted with Palestine.
fields of kutufy, or yellow St. John's wort. There were also quantities of orange-colored marigolds, long fields of white and purple clover, tall spires of asphodel, and clubs of snap-dragon, purple salvias and white garlic, pink geraniums and cistus, tall white umbelliferous plants, and large chamomile daisies, all set in a border of deep green herbage, which reached the shoulders of the horses. Jordan's banks were covered with flowers, while brown turfali, or tamarisks, and cane-brake line the rushing stream, and the white marl banks stood out in striking contrast.”—Lieut. Conder, R.E.
THE LILY CRITICISED BY THE CORN-A LEGEND.-According to an old legend, the corn once criticised the lily, saying, “One cannot earn a living just by being sweet ;" but the lily only returned a smile, and waited until Jesus passed ; then they both heard Him say to His disciples, “ Children, the life is more than meat, consider the lilies, how beautiful they grow !”
29. SOLOMON IN ALL HIS GLORY, POSSESSING .
“The wealth of Ormus and of Ind,
Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold.' “In two respects this declaration is literally true; first, because his glory was external, glory put on, while that of the flower is its own, a being developed from within ; second, because the beauty of the most perfect fabric is imperfect, and shows itself rough and
30. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith ?
coarse under the microscope, while the beauty of the the flower has no imperfection, but, on the contrary, discloses under the microscope glories unseen by the naked eye."-Abbott.
30. IF GOD SO CLOTHE, ETC.—“Sometimes it is hard to believe that the infinite God, who holds the seas in his hand, and controls the stars in their courses, should care for each individual soul. We are so small, and God's universe is so great! We are but insects on a world which is but a grain of sand to God's Care many of the stars. But it is the greatness of God that "
Things. He cares for the animaculæ that swim in a dewdrop as fish in the ocean, as perfectly as for a world. If God cares for the atoms and the molecules, if He provides for birds and flowers, for the insects of an hour, for the bees, 'the singing masons building roofs of gold,' how much more will He care for the souls and bodies of His children, made in His own likeness !
“I know not where His islands lift
Their fronded palms in air;
Not MARVELS, BUT DAILY CARE.—“God's children were not to trust in miracles and marvels for their daily bread; they were not to be always looking and calling for the extraordinary-manna from the sky, water from the riven rocks. He who clothes the grass of the field will much more clothe them, and by the same power working in the same way.”-H. 7. Van Dyke, D.D.
HOW MUCH MORE CLOTHE You.—“When Bulstrode Whitelock was about to embark as Cromwell's envoy to Sweden, in 1655, he was much disturbed in mind as he rested in Harwich on the preceding night, which was very stormy, while he reflected on the distracted state of the nation. It happened that a confi-,
Whitelock. dential servant slept in an adjacent bed, who, finding" that his master could not sleep, said : Pray, sir, will you give me
31. Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat ? or, What shall we drink ? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
3». (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
leave to ask you a question?' * Certainly.' 'Pray, sir, don't you think God governed the world very well before you came into it?' 'Undoubtedly.' 'And pray, sir, don't you think that He can take care of it while you are in it?' To this question Whitelock had nothing to reply, but turning about soon fell asleep."
Reference. Luther's experience, xi. 1-6.
31. Take No Thought.—One great value of rest from anxiety is expressed in Miss Waring's poem:
"I asked Thee for a thoughtful love
Through constant watching wise,
And wipe the weeping eyes;
To soothe and sympathise."
32. In Luke (xii. 29) the similar passage reads: "Seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye as a ship that is tossed on the waves of a tempestuous sea (p) /icrtupi^ccBc, A. V. be ye of doubtful mind), and your Father knoweth," etc.
—Henry J. Van Dyke.
33. Seek Ye First.—"The first four words of the Bible make a
model motto for every enterprise and labor for man. Prince 'In the beginning, God.' The late Prince Albert, Albert's Queen Victoria's husband, evidently recognized this, FntTrinVos- and began every movement of his life in a devout spirit. borne House. He built a beautiful home on the Isle of Wight, which he called Osborne House. When he and his wife went to live in it he repeated this prayer which Martin Luther had written in German long before: