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And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.
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 ?
And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard : I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up: and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:
And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briars and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
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 judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.
2 Sam. xii. 1–7.-And the Lord sent Nathan unto David. And he came 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 brought and nourished 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 to 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 to David, Thou art the man.
Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul.
JUDGES ix. 8—15.-The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive-tree, Reign thou over us.
But the olive-tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honor God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees ?
And the trees said unto the fig-tree, Come thou, and reign over us.
But the fig-tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees ?
Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and reign over us.
And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees ?
Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, and reign over us.
And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.
Isa. xxxii. 2.–And a man shall be as an hidingplace from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place; as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
Deut. xxxii. 11, 12.-As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:
So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.
JER. xxiii. 29.-Is not my word like as a fire ? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces ?
Ps. cxxiii. 2.-Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a
maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us.
Isa. lv. 8–11.-For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater;
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I send it.
Prov. iv. 18.—The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
Ps. ciii. 11, 12, 13.-For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy towards them that fear him.
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.
PERSONIFICATION. Ps. cxiv.-When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language;
Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion. The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back.
The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs.
What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest ? thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back ?
Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams; and ye little hills, like lambs?
Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of thy God:
APOSTROPHE. Deut. xxxiii. 29.—Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency ! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon the high places.
Matt. xxiii. 37.-0 Jerusalem, Jerusaleni, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not !
Hosea xiii. 9.-0 Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.
Hosea xiii. 14.-) will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; 0 grave, I will be thy destruction.
Deut. xxxii. 6.-Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise ? Is not he thy father that hath bought thee ? hath he not made thee, and established thee ?
Haggai I. 4.- Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste ?
JER. v. 22.–Fear ye not me ? saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it ?
Amos v. 23.-Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wildernes forty years, 0 house of Israel ?
Ps. xciv. 9, 10.-He that planted the ear, shall he not hear ?
He that formed the eye, shall he not see ?
He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct ?
He that teacheth man knowledge, shall not be know?
JER. xiii. 23.-Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots ? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
1 Kings xviji. 27.–And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a God; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.
Deut. xxxii. 36, 37, 38.–For the Lord shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up or left.
And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted, which did cat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings ? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.
Eccles. xi. 9, 10.-Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.
Therefore, remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.
DON'T FORGET YOUR BIRTH-DAY.
There are some moments in the life of every individual, however gay, however thoughtless, when the tide of worldliness and worldly cares will be stopped in its rapid course, and thoughts of another and a better world, will find their way into his bosom. He will then remember and feel, that he has within him a treasure, whose price is far above rubies. His attention will be turned to his immortal nature, and to that long eternity, in which he may, if he will now but make the right choice, be ever advancing in knowledge and holiness.