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CRICKET CHAT. I

LEDBURY v. WITHINGTON. I

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[ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.] BIBLE…

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[ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.] BIBLE STUDIES CONDUCTED BT PASTOR RUSSELL. I WHERE WERE THE NINE? I I The Lesson:—Luke xvii., 11-19. ) The Text:—"Were there none found that returned to give glory to God, save this alin ?"-v. 18. The essence of to-day's lesson is grati- tude. It is impossible to imagine a perfect being acceptable to God without this qua- lity. We might almost say that the degree of our acceptance with God is measured by our gratitude. It leads to obedience to Di- vine laws and regulations, whether under- stood or not. It leads to self-sacrificing labours in the service of God, and accord- ing to a Divine automatic arrangement has its blessing. Our lesson tells us that the Saviour was approaching Jerusalem by way of I Samaria. It is surmised that this was his last journey to Jerusalem, which eventuated in his death. Ten lepers sitting by the roadside heard that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by, and immediately called to him, as loudly as the hoarse whisper of their disease would permit: "Master, have mercy upon us!" Jesus, although full of compassion, seemed to treat the lepers' appeal coldly. He merely said to them. "Go show your- selves unto the priests." According to God's arrangement vrith the Jews under their Law Covenant, they were to have no sick- nesses except as tl1{'2 would represent sins and the priests were to pass judgment upon cases of lepro&y, determining whether or not the diseas-? were leprosy, etc. Our Lord's direction that the lepers go and show themselves to the priests- implied a heal- ing, and suggested that by the time they would reach the priest they would be ready to have him pronounce them clean. The lepers must have had considerable knowledge of Jesus' power, and must have excrcised great faith; for instead of cry- ing out for instantaneous healing, they started for the priest to have an inspection. Doubtless they hoped that when they would reach him they would be well and would receive a bill of health. They had gone but a short distance when they found them- selves cured. We can well imagine with what joy they hastened to have the priest approve them in order to return to their families. But one of them slowed up, turned back, and fell at the feet of Jesus, giving him thanks. His was a grateful heart: and we cannot doubt that he will re- ceive a great blessing eventually, though not then for he was a Samaritan, an alien I from the commonwealth of Israel. ANOTHER CRUMB OF FAVOUR. I In his case, the healing was a crumb from the children's table; for the rich man had not yet died- God's favour had not yet de- parted from Israel. Jesus had not yet ut- tered the fateful words, "Your house is left unto you desolate- Nay, it was three and a half years after Jesus' death before the individual favour to the Jews termin- ated to such all extent as to permit the Gospel to go to the Gentiles Cornelius being the first accepted to fellowship with God.—Acts x., 1-48. Had the returning one been a Jew, no doubt he would have been invited by Jesus to become hi* follower; but because he was a Samaritan, Jesus merely said, "Arise and go thy way thy faith 'hath made thee whole." Doubtless, when the time came for the opening of the door to the Gentiles, this grateful batuaritan was amongst those who gladly received the message, and made a consecration to God. We are not tr. understand that our Lord's words, "Thy faith hath made thee whole," meant that the man's faith aside from Di- vine power made him wholo; but rather that the posver of God and the faith of the man co-operated for his healing. The nine others who were heated also had faith, and as Jews under the Law Covenant, they might have had more grounds for asking forgiveness than had the Samaritan. TEN HEALED-WHERE WERE THE I NlEr [ Jesus called public attention to the fact that ten were kealed, but that only one had returned to give glory to God. True he had not asked them to come back and acknow- ledge the Divine power that wrought through him. True, they did what he told them to do -went and showed themselves to the priest—and no more, going then about their business. Why did not Jesus, before  ))-.il,,a i n with them, granting the healing, bargain with them, saying, "If I heal you. will you consecrate your lives and become my disciples?" Why did he not take this method of adding to the number of his disciple-i Undoubtedly he was following the spirit of the Father's dealings, which he expTe>vd in the words, "The Father seeketh sucli to worship him as worship him in spirit and in truth." As the Father seeks no others, go the Son seeks no others. The point we make i. that according to the Bible, no attempts were ever made by Jesus and his Apostles to obtain recruits for the army of the Lord by a "hip-hip-hurrah" process. We are not criticising others, but merely calling attention to facts which should have much to do with the guidance of all of God's people who seek to know and to do His will. Let us view the incident of our lesson symbolically. Let the lepers represent sinners who, coming to realise themselves unclean, cry out to the Lord for cleansing, persuaded that s in is injurious and resolved thereafter to walk in the Lord's footsteps, fighting against sin in themselves and everywhere. How many of the thousands whom he has healed, forgiven, and received according to their profession of diticiplesbip, have really hecollw his true followers? How many have forgotten his favour, forgotten their privileges, and after receiving a bless- ing have gone. one to hid field, another to his merchandise. another to pleasure, another to formalism How few have re- mem bered their resolutions in respect to what they would do if their prayers were answered A. REVIVAL IS IN ORDER. I Many Christian people hold that we are living to-day in a time of crucial trial as respects those who have made a covenant witli God. They believe that we are near- ing the time when the Church, the Body of Christ, will be received by the Lord in the rcisurreetion change. As the Apostle wrote, "We must all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eve"; for "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God," and the call of this Gospel Age has been to find those who are to constitute Jesus' asso- ciates in his Kingdom and glory. Of the Jews 3-esu said, in a similar time of testing in the end of their Age, "They knew not the time-, of their visitation." Only a few, comparatively, were in the heart condition of nearness to God which enabled them to understand the character of the times and the change in progress. The thought is that & similar change is upon us 1IOW, which. is being discerned by tho.se whose eyes of understanding are opened. The Samaritan in our lesson seems to re- present a class of grateful followers of the Lord who seek to give him glory in their worded, thoughts and doings, while the majority" of those who have similarly re- ceived his favour pursue the ambitions and pleasures of the present life. Neglecting to take the path which the Master trod, they will not reach the glory, honour' and immortality which he attained and to which he has called thi" d, A lower place must be for them. III a little while, according to the Bible, the glorie. of the Kingdom will be revealed to an astonished world, and the glories of the present condition of affairs will fade away.

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ITHE GLOUCESTER YEOMANRY TRAINING.

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CRICKET FIXTURES. I

Ledbury Produce Market. I

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