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IV.

the Surety of peace.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem : they shalt prosper that love thee; peace be within thy walls, prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companion's sake I will now say: Peace be within thy walls.Psalm cxxii. 6, 7.

THE surety for the peace which the Psalmist praises,

is: love, good will, and friendship; and these are demanded by the singer. Therefore the departing priests in the Temple at Jerusalem were wont to bless their successors with the words: May He whose holy Name is called over this house grant in your midst love, brotherhood, peace and friendship. Rabbi Eleazar closed his daily prayer for peace with the words: May the God of our Fathers cause peace, brotherhood, and unity to dwell amongst us at all times. Such peace gives us strength and blessing; and it may be compared to a palace resting on ships; so long as these remain chained to one another, the building is secure, but if they are separated, the house falls asunder. Then only does God abide in our midst, when the feeling of unity binds together the heads and the members of the congregation and the people. Only then can the hour of deliverance approach; then only can Israel fulfill its mission; then only can the Name of God be glorified and reverenced, and He be acknowledged as the Ruler of the world.

JEHUDAH MUSCATO,

(XVI, Century.)

Seek peace

All Scriptural blessings end with peace. Where that is wanting, there is no true blessing.

and pursue it” says the Psalmist; he means: Seek it in thine own place and pursue it in other places.

THE PHARISEES.

V.

the Pillar of Gratitude.

What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes ?

For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel and the men of Judah His pleasant plant; and he looked for justice and behold, oppression ; for right, and behold, outcry.

Isaiah v. 4, 7

JF

F gratitude vanished from the earth there would dis

appear with it one of the foundation pillars of Humanity. In the exercise of love God created the earth. Does He demand no return for the mercies that He bestows on us? Which of us did the Perfect One need, who suffices for Himself? He requires gratitude from us, so that we may be aware of the lofty worth of our existence. The Psalmist calls on all created things, even the inanimate ones, to praise the Lord (Psalm 148). Mankind can never spare that grateful spirit from which the feeling of duty springs; and on making return for that which one man receives from another, depends the continuance of human society. For the main advantage of society is that all members receive benefits at the same time, and share them with one another. As the life of the human body is dependent on constant nutritive changes, so also is the life of humanity. Selfishness pushed to its extreme causes the death of both. When we accept services without returning them, we embitter, by our ingratitude, hearts that are disposed to serve us. Hence is the Talmud right in saying: “The rain, which fructifies all things, falls only on account of the righteous, that is, the thankful; for they alone maintain human society.” As our teacher Simon, the Just, has expressly declared: “ All works of love are only acknowledgments of the love that we receive from God. ISAAC ARAMA.

The wise will remember through a sevenfold birth the hand that wiped away a tear.

HOUGH the benefit be small.

Smaller than a millet-seed, They to whom was done the deed,

See it as a palm tree tall.—Hindu.

VI.

the Fruitful tree.

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.—Prov. xi. 30.

That they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.Isaiah Ixi. 3.

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IN the Talmud likewise the righteous man is likened

to a fruitful tree; his piety is like the cool shade of

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its leafy branches; and in it mankind can find protection in troublous times. And the tree that bears but leaves, and rustles loudly in the wind, is like the noisy boaster; whilst the heavy and muffled tones of the laden fruit tree are the symbols of the life of the pious man, quiet and rich in good deeds. Once the fruitbearing trees were asked: Why do ye not rustle loudly like the others ? And they answered: We need not proclaim our presence; are sought after for our fruits.

And Rabbi Hunah gives another answer: The fruit trees cannot rustle because their fruit is heavy and bends their branches earthwards; whilst the other trees can rustle, for they are not weighed down with fruit.

Also the tree of mighty roots, that stands upright before all the storms, is used to symbolize the pious man; whilst the scoffer is likened to the tree whose roots are few and thin, and which the first storm of winter lays low.

Long was the question argued in the academy of the Pharisees; whether of the two was of greater value, the study of the law or the doing of good works. At length it was decided in favor of the study of the law; inasmuch as this, if pursued in the right spirit, cannot fail to lead to good works, and has its own merit besides.

AUGUST WUENSCHE.

VII.

the Everlasting Armb.

Lift up your eyes on high and behold, who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number; He calleth them all by names; by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power, not one faileth. Why, then, sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel : my way is hid from the Lord and my judgment is passed over from my God ?—Isaiah xl. 26, 27.

WHO then sees and sustains us little mortals made

of dust? Thou, all-gracious One, Thou infinite One, Thou, O God, formest us. Thou seest us, thou lovest us. O brother, raise thy spirit and grasp the greatest thought of man. There where eternity is— there where immensity is, and where right beginsthere an Infinite Spirit spreads out its arms and folds them around the universe of worlds, and bears it and warms it. I and thou, and all men, and all angels, and all worms rest on His bosom. He sees away through the ocean wherein coral-trees full of earths sway to and fro, and sees the little worm that cleaves to the smallest coral—which worm is I—and He gives the worm the nearest drop, and a blissful heart, and a future, and an eye to look up even to Himself-yea, O God, even up to Thee, even to Thy heart.

So long as the word “God” endures in a language will it direct the eyes of men upwards. It is with the

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