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of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.” (vi. 26. See, also, LUKE xii. 24.) Surely, if God is thus bountiful and merciful, man should be so too!
The same tender care of God to his creatures is expressed by our Saviour in his reply to the person, who said that he would follow him whithersoever he went: “ The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.” (Matt. viii. 20.; Luke ix. 58.) In connexion with this, though we have passed over the Book of Psalms, I cannot forbear citing that beautiful complaint of the sweet Psalmist of Israel, when obliged to fly from the holy city and the house of the Lord: “The sparrow hath found her a house, and the swallow a nest, where she may lay her young; even thy altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.” (Psalm lxxxiv. iv. 3.) . '
3. Again, our Saviour says, “ Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your Father.” (Matt. X. 29.) “Are not five spar. rows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?" (LUKE xii. 6.) But, if there be this "especial Providence in the fall of a sparrow,” (Hamlet, Act V. Scene 2.) does it not behove us to be careful of them, and to take heed, that none fall by our means, but according to the will of the heavenly Father? .
4. The Sabbath, we know, was appointed as a day of rest to man and beast, and to be kept holy to the Lord our God. But yet, an exception is made to give room for works of mercy to man and beast. Each of us may, “ on the Sabbath, loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering;" (Luke xiii. 15.) or, “ if we shall have an ass, or an ox, or a sheep fallen into a pit," we may “straightway pull him out on the Sabbath. day.” (LUKE xiv. 5.; MATT. xii. 11.)
5. What a variety of beautiful and tender expressions does our Lord use to represent the duty of “the good shepherd,” and his own love to man under that character: “ The sheep hear his voice, and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And, when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him; for they know his voice.” (JOHN x. 3, 4.) "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd; whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep and fleeth; and the wolf catcheth
them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.” (JOHN X. 11-17.) It had been foretold of the Messiah, by the prophet Isaiah, “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead them that are with young.” (xl. 11.) To this we may add the description of "the Lord,” the “good shepherd,” given in the twenty-third Psalm: “The Lord is my shepe herd, therefore can I lack nothing. He shall feed me in a green pasture, and lead me forth beside the waters of comfort." (ver. 1, 2.)
6. As it was the endeavour of our Lord to do everything to promote brotherly love amongst mankind, so it was his way to expose cruelty and hard-heartedness, and to hold up humanity and kindness as the objects of love and imitation. Of this nature was the parable of the Good Samaritan, in which the hardheartedness of the Jewish priest and Levite was exposed, and the compassion and kindness of the Samaritan held up as the object of commendation, of love, and of imitation, to all nations and to all ages. In the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, a similar feeling is excited towards some of the brute creation: The heart of the rich man, hardened by “the deceitfulness of riches,” (Matt. xiii. 22.) suffered Lazarus to lie at his gate hungry and naked, and his sores exposed to open view, and