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dogs, oxen under the yoke, the wind-swayed reeds by the water-side, the price of a sparrow, wolves and sheep, doves and serpents, a scattered, shepherdless flock, a city set on a hill, a candle, a bushel measure, salt, a cup of cold water, a door, a thorn bush, thistles, a group of children playing in the market. place:- these are a cluster gathered at random." Someone has said that our Lord's discourses are filled with likes, and surely we cannot do better than to imitate His example.
But while this book is meant primarily for preparation for the Pulpit, the Bible Class or the Prayer Meeting, it will be found adapted for family reading on the Lord's Day, since it abounds in selections from devout and godly men, on the great themes of our Holy Religion.
Who can tell the value of a right thought planted in its appropriate soil, the human mind? A thought is like a seed; it has the precious germ of a new life within it. The seed differs from a nugget of gold or a precious stone. These we can weigh and determine their precise value; but a seed cannot be so weighed and priced; it may be the germ of boundless harvest fields and the food supply of millions yet unborn. So a thought dropped into a prepared heart may result in a harvest over which ministering angels may bend in wonder and praise.
By reference to the indexes it will be found that, independently of the matter that is original, no less than two hundred and fifty persons have been quoted or referred to; five hundred and fifty topics have been presented, and nearly two hundred texts of Scripture illustrated.
Coleridge has said — “Why are not more gems from our great authors scattered over the country? Great books are not in everybody's reach; and though it is better to know them thoroughly than to know them only here and there, yet it is a good work to give a little to those who have neither time nor means to get more. Let every book-worm, when in any fragrant, scarce old tome he discovers a sentence, a story, or an illustration that does his heart good, hasten to give it.” In this connection it is proper to say that the author has aimed to credit every thought to its proper source, and if in any case he has failed to do so, he humbly craves, in the reader, the exercise of that “charity that thinketh no evil.”
May He who has promised that "there shall be an handful of corn in the earth, upon the tops of the mountains, and the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon," bless this garnered grain and multiply it a thousandfold; and for the Sower, may the promise be fulfilled,—“He that goeth forth, and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless return again, with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
“Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen!”
INDEX OF AUTHORS QUOTED.
Carpenter, F. B.,
Fisher, G. P., 314
Longfellow, 165, 448, 464
Geikie, C., 12, 463, 487, 535
127, 168, 204, 211, 225, 251,
331, 347, 376, 458, 490, 501
352, 381, 469, 543