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Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's."
AND the Lord sent Nathan unto David; and he went unto him, and said unto him:
"There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had nourished and brought up; and it grew up together with him; and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.
"And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come unto him."
And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan ;
"As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity."
And Nathan said unto David, "Thou art the man.'
Parable of the Prodigal Son.
THE parable of the prodigal is no less beautiful and pathetic, than it is instructive and consolatory. It sets before us, in the most striking view, the progress and the fatal consequences of vice, on the one hand; and, on the other, the paternal readinesss of our Almighty Father to receive the returning penitent to pardon and mercy. It is peculiarly instructive to youth; and would become very instrumental to preserve them from the pernicious allurements of sin and folly, if they would seriously reflect upon it; if they would contemplate, in the example of the prodigal before them, the nature and the effects of those vices which brought him to extreme distress, and which will ever bring to distress all those who indulge them.
A certain man had two sons: and the youngest of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me.' And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after, the youngest son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land, and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and, he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, 'How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger?' I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.' And he arose, and came to his father.
But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.' But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat, and be merry. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to be merry.
Now his elder son, was in the field, and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him,
Thy brother is come, and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.' And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. And he answering, said to his father, Lo these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandments, and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this thy son was come, who hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.' And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again and was lost and is found.'
The Atheist-His stupendous attainments, if he knows there is no God.
How wonderful the process by which a man can grow to the immense intelligence that can know that
there is no God. What and what lights are necessary for this stupendous attainment! This intelligence involves the very attributes of Divinity, while a God is denied. For unless this man is om nipresent, unless he is at this moment in every place in the universe, he cannot know but there may be in some place manifestations of a Deity by which even he would be overpowered. If he does not know absolutely every agent in the universe, the one that he does not know may be God. If he is not himself the chief agent in the universe, and does not know what is so, that which is so may be God. If he is not in absolute possession of all the propositions that constitute universal truth, the one which he wants may be, that there is a God. If he cannot with certainty assign the cause of all that he perceives to exist, that cause may be a God. If he does not know every thing that has been done in the immeasurable ages that are past, some things may have been done by a God. Thus, unless he knows all things, that is, unless he precludes another Deity by being one himself, he cannot know that the Being whose existence he rejects, does not exist. But he must know that he does not exist, else he deserves equal contempt and compassion for the temerity with which he firmly avows his rejection and acts accordingly. And yet a man of ordinary age and intelligence may present himself to you with the avowal of being thus distinguished from the crowd; and if he would describe the manner in which he has attained this eminence, you would feel a melancholy interest in contemplating that process of which the result is so portentous..
Surely the creature that thus lifts his voice, and defies all invisible power within the possibilities of infinity, challinging whatever unknown being may hear him, and who may, if he will, appropriate that title of Almighty which is pronounced in scorn, to evince his existence, by his vengeance; surely this man was not as yesterday a little child, that would tremble and ory at the approach of a dimunitive reptile.
Reflections on the Omnipresence of the Deity, and the thoughtlessness of man.
IT is a cause for wonder and sorrow, to see millions of rational creatures growing into their permanent habits, under the conforming efficacy of every thing which they ought to resist, and receiving no part of those habits from impressions of the Supreme Object. They are content that a narrow scene of a diminutive world, with its atoms and evils, should. usurp and deprave and finish their education for immortality, while the Infinite Spirit is here, whose transforming companionship would exalt them into his sons, and lead them into eternity in his likeness..
Oh why is it so possible that this greatest inhabitant of every place where men are living, should be the last whose society they seek, or of whose being constantly near them they feel the importance? Why is. it possible to be surrounded with the intelligent Reality which exists wherever we are, with attributes that are infinite, and not feel respecting all other things which may be attempting to press on our minds and affect their character, as if they retained with difficulty their shadows of existence, and were continually on the point of vanishing into nothing? Why is this. stupendous Intelligence so retired and silent, while present, over all the scenes of the earth, and in all the paths and abodes of men? Why does he keep his glory invisible behind the shades and visions of the material world? Why does not this latent glory sometimes beam forth with such a manifestation as could never be forgotten, nor ever he remembered with out an emotion of religious fear? And why, in contempt of all that he has displayed to excite either fear or love, is it still possible for a rational creature so to live, that it must finally come to an interview with him in. a character completed by the full assemblage of those