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leadeth me beside the still waters. The flocks grew familiar with rules of order. Every one received a name, and knew the voice of the shepherd. When he went from one place to another, he called his flock together, and marched before them, with his faithful dog by his side. If one strayed away, then the shepherd left the flock, and searched for him until he was found. If danger approached, the faithful shepherd would even lay down his life for his sheep. With a knowledge of these facts, we see the great force and beauty of the parables of the Lost Sheep, and the Shepherd and his Flock.*
In the parable of which our motto forms a part, the good Shepherd evidently intended to draw a contrast between himself and the unfaithful shepherd. He says, '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.' In order to present this still more forcibly, we have thought proper to present the following parallel :
Good Shepherd. 1. Flees in danger. John x. 1. Giveth his life. John X. 11.
12. 2. Feeds himself. Ezek. xxxiv. 1 2. Feeds his flock. Isa. xl. 11.
8. 3. Divides the flock. Ib. 3. Gathers them. Ib. 4. Cruel. Ib.
4. Tender. Ib.
It follows, then, that if Christ be the good Shepherd, mankind are his sheep. In this light the Scriptures represent man: 'All we like sheep have gone astray.'+
And what an exact resemblance
† Isa. liii. 6.
* See title DOOR OF THE SHEEP.
there is between this animal and man. Like the sheep, he is feeble, defenceless, and liable to a thousand accidents. Like the sheep, he is prone to wander from the fold; and not only so, having once gone astray, he leads others into the same situation. But, then, the very fact that he has 'gone astray,' proves that he has a fold, and belongs to a shepherd. And here we learn at once the great work which the good Shepherd came to accomplish. How many gracious promises rush into the mind. Hear Jehovah, speaking by the mouth of the prophet: “As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. *** I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel. * * * I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick.'t In what an admirable and tender manner does this language present the Lord of the universe. He bends down from his high throne and beholds a world that has gone astray. He sends his Son to bring it back to Him. The good Shepherd appears, commences his work. To illustrate and enforce it, he institutes a parable, remarkable for its beauty and simplicity: What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath
* Ezek. xxxiv. 12-16.
found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, That likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance.'* The good Shepherd here undoubtedly intended to represent himself. What a blessed work! I see him wending his way along the hill-sides; up the craggy cliff; then upon the mountain; then far down in the dreary valley; then in the impervious desert. He delays not. He is out at sultry noon, amid the scorching, burning sands; when the world is slumbering, he is out, amidst the darkness of the night, still on his way. He braves the sweeping tempest and the pitiless storm. He hungers and thirsts; he is faint and weary; yet he delays not. He calleth his sheep by name. Till, at last, the good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.' What unexampled diligence! What inexpressible tenderness! What unwearied patience!
* Thine eyes in me the sheep behold
Now listens, if, perchance, its ear
Thus will the good Shepherd pursue his work, till the last wanderer is brought home to the fold.
* Luke xv, 4-7.
When on earth, he gathered some of his flock. He carried the lambs in his bosom. But he said, in view of the great work which lay before him, '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. Now the flock is scattered upon the mountains and in the deserts. Now there are numerous folds, and many shepherds; but then there will be but 'one fold and one Shepherd.' Their wanderings and their weariness will
There will be no thief or robber to climb up another way,' to terrify, rob, and spoil the floek. No. It will be a fold into which no enemy can enter, and from which no friend will ever depart. He will make us to lie down in the green pastures,' and lead us beside the still waters. Our labors will be at an end, and our sorrows cease. The voice of praise and thanksgiving will be heard continually. All will behold the face of the good Shepherd. "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.' He shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of water, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.'
"There is a fold whence none can stray.
And pastures ever green,
Or night, is never seen.
Far up the everlasting hills,
In God's own light it lies;
With joy that never dies.'
"The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from be
tween his feet, until Shiloh come: and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
Gen. xlix. 10.
This word occurs in twenty-four instances, but this is the only place where it is applied to a person. This is a very remarkable passage, and critics have given to it a variety of renderings, but, among them all, we have seen no one that looks more plausible than the view taken by Bishop Newton. He says, the word shebet, which we translate sceptre, signifies a rod or staff of any kind, and particularly the rod or staff which belonged to each tribe as an ensign of their authority; and thence it is transferred to signify a tribe, as being united under one rod or staff of government, or a ruler of a tribe. And the same writer says, 'by the term lawgiver, we may understand a judge.' 'Nor a judge from between his feet, until Shiloh come.' Almost all commentators agree that this refers to the coming of the Messiah. The Vulgar Latin translates it, 'Qui mittendus est: He who is to be sent.' The LXX translate, the things reserved for him. In the Samaritan text, it is pacificus, the peace-maker; and to whom can we apply that title so well as to the Messiah, who is called Prince of Peace, and at whose birth was sung the heavenly anthem, 'Glory to God in the highest;