« AnteriorContinuar »
77, GREAT QUEEN STREET, LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS;
AND BY ALL BOOKSELLERS.
Make me to hear with joy
Thy kind forgiving voice;
That so the bones which Thou hast broke
May with fresh strength rejoice.
A broken spirit is
By Gad most highly prized:
By Him a broken contrite heart
Shall never be despised.
PHARISEE AND THE PUBLICAN.
"And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a Publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this Publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the Publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
"I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."-LUKE Xviii. 9-14.
Do you know what is here meant by a Pharisee? The term comes from a Hebrew word which means "separate."
The Pharisees were men who thought they ought to be kept separate from all the rest of the Jews.lt nogu
They used to wear long robes all embroidered with texts, and they made a great show of being charitable and religious.
They walked about as if they meant to say, "Get out of my way, I am holier than thou; stand aside, and let me pass." And all the common people looked up to them as if they were quite another race of beings.
The Publican in this story did not mean a man who kept a public-house. It was the name given to the tax-gatherers.
I believe nobody likes paying taxes, but then we feel that it is necessary that we should all do a little towards defraying the expenses of a great country.
How can we provide ships, or pay our soldiers and sailors, and keep up our national defences, unless there is a collection of made throughout the whole population?
It would not do to let any one pay just what he pleased. Some might give a good sum, perhaps, and others nothing at all; so that to make fair play, taxes are levied by the House of Commons.
As Members of Parliament know more about the subject than we do, and spend a great deal of time and trouble in doing the best they can for us and for the country, we will take it for granted that they manage matters, upon the whole, as
fairly as possible, and we will not grumble more than we can help: still, as I said before, nobody ever seems very much pleased to see the taxgatherer coming round, with his little book, to collect the money.
But if taxes are unpopular in England, they were still more so in the land of Judea in the time of our Saviour. For the Jews had been conquered by the Romans, and instead of the money going to keep up their own army and navy and public institutions, it all went into another country: just as if we had been conquered by the French, and were obliged to raise large sums of money to send to the Emperor Napoleon at Paris.
Would not that seem ten times worse than paying taxes to our own Government? So the Jews thought; and they hated the very sight of these tax-gatherers.
Yet nobody dared to resist them, because they were in the service of the Romans; so they behaved as ill as they pleased, and ground down the Jews, till it was no wonder that they hated them.
But because a certain class of persons has a bad name, it by no means follows that each individual in that class must be bad too.
There are good and bad in every class. Rich