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Onward, in thy Saviour's path,
CALL OF NATHANAEL, AND OTHERS.
JOHN I. 35.
AGAIN, the next day after, John stood, and two of his disciples; and looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) Where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day. It was about the tenth hour. One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias; (which is, being interpreted, the Christ.) And he brought him to Jesus. When Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, a stone. The day following, he would go forth into Galilee; and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow
Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and said unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God, thou art the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig-tree, believest thou? Thou shalt see greater things than these. And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
"Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Mistaken man! Why should you thus brand a whole city with unworthiness? Why be slow to place confidence in the merit of any portion of your race? Yet how often do we fall into the same error! If we have found anything blameable in the character of a few individuals, we ascribe the same defect to their whole class, or sect, or nation: and should any of those we have thus condemned, afford proof of excellence, how ready are we to exclaim, in incredulous surprise, "Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Rather should we rejoice to see what is good everywhere, and con
sider ourselves happy when we are able to think better than before, of a man or a class of men.
But the error of Nathanael was not that of a perverted heart. Open and sincere, and exhibiting this sincerity in the very avowal of his prejudice, he was "an Israelite indeed,” a worthy descendent of Abraham, "the father of the faithful." The Saviour not only forgives his hasty judgment, but greets him with marked benignity. Thus will the true disciple of Jesus forgive the prejudice with which others, through ignorance, may regard him; and honor and love them for those excellences which he observes in their character, though they fail to appreciate the merits of his own.
Oh, darkly on the path of life
The pilgrim holds his course of strife;
The distant prospect to attain ;
And Prejudice will rise between
And doubt's dark clouds enfold the scene.
Father of lights! to Thee we pray
Thus when thy Sun in glory springs,
AND the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there. And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six water-pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the water-pots with And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast; and they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, (and knew not whence it was, but the servants which drew the water knew,) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse; but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory, and his disciples believed on him. After this, he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples, and they continued there not many days.
Benevolent Saviour! pleased to behold the innocent pleasures of the bridal circle, pleased to lend the sanction of thy presence to the holy tie which unites two kindred hearts! how has thy religion been misunderstood! True happiness and true piety are inseparable. The relations of social life, the affections of parent and child, of brothers and sisters, of friendship, of wedded love, all the gentler emotions, as they tend to develope what is amiable in us, tend to make us love and serve God better; and the love and the service of him lend a richer charm to the endearment of social intercourse. Friendship and affection are holy things. The truly religious heart must have room for these heavenly guests; and where these are, there, in greater or less strength, but ever unextinguished, is the principle of Religion. If there is a blessing, for which we ought to be grateful to God, it is for our friends. How desolate would life be without them! How kind is that heavenly Friend who hath granted them to us, and who beholds with an approving smile, the union of heart with heart among his happy children.
Incarnate Word! who, wont to dwell
Oh when our soul from care is free,
So may such joy, chastised and pure,