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fond of ; but if they loved Christ, how happy were they then to think of the things they had learned respecting Him and His salvation. Seek earnestly for that peace which the Saviour has made through the blood of his cross ; see Col. i. 20. which even little children are invited to come to Him to obtain. Great shall be the peace of such children; see Isa. liv. 13. My dear children, love Christ; and, when with your companions, also remember to follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord, Heb. xii. 14.
But to return to the eastern methods of saluting. They bowed very low, as Jacob did, Gen. xxxiii. 3. and
his sons, xlii. 6. which shows what is meant by stooping with the face to the earth, and bowing.
David did so, 1 Sam. xxiv. See also Gen. xlii, 6.
There are some children who behave rudely, and do not show proper respect, either in their words or their manners, to their parents or other persons, but such children are ignorant and untaught; and if I have seen a child respectful and well behaved, I have always found that he went to school, or was well taught at home.
Some time ayo at a village many miles from London, I observed that most of the little boys and girls made bows or courtesies, and answered in a respectful manner when spoken to; but the great boys and girls were very ill behaved. I recollect 1 spoke three times to one lad, about seventeen, before he answered, and then it was in a very rude manner.
Some kind ladies had set up a Sunday school two or three years before ; most of the younger
children went to it, but the elder ones thought themselves too old ; this explained the difference.
But do not only think about what other people's opinion of your outward behaviour may be ; remember that there is One who knoweth your hearts ; go to Him in prayer, worship Him, and pray to Him to give you new hearts, which will love Him and hate evil ways.
When the people, in former times, came to 'kings or princes, they fell down before them : Cornelius did so when Peter came to him, Acts x. 25. and Esther, before Ahasuerus, viii. 3. These customs now appear to us very strange ; but remember, there is One before whom we are to cast ourselves like the woman of Canaan,
25. and the woman who touched the hem of Christ's garment, Luke viii. 47. praying, “Lord, help us.”
AMONG eastern nations it always has been usual to bring presents when people visit one another ; they never appear before a prince or great man without having something to offer. We find many instances of this in the Bible ; as Jacob ; see Gen. xliii. 11. also Ehud, Hazael, Naaman, A bigail, the wife of Jeroboam, also the wise men who came from the east to see Jesus Christ, and many others. This is a mark of respect which is always necessary, and however small or mean the gift may be, it is accepted as a proof of attention. Thus, 1 Sam. ix. 7. we observe Saul's anxiety ; “if we go, what shall we bring the man of God ?—there is not a present ?” &c. At length his servant, producing the fourth part of a shekel, (about sixpence,) said, “that will I give to the man of God.” Modern travellers tell us that, even when poor people visit, they bring a flower or a fruit, or some such trifle. One person tells us of a present of fifty radishes ; and when Bruce the Abyssinian traveller had agreed, at the request of a chief, to take a poor sick Arab with him for a great distance, the poor man presented him with a dirty cloth, containing about ten dates. Upon this Mr. B. remarks, that he mentions this to show how important and necessary presents are considered in the east ; whether they be dates or dia. monds, a man thinks it necessary to offer something ; this may explain Rab-shakeh's advice, 2 Kings xviii. 31.
The higher the rank of the persons to whom the present was brought the greater it ought to be. The queen of Sheba, Naaman, and Berodach Baladan offered large presents. Thus, the offering of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, all of which were very precious, presented by the wise men of the east, was a mark of their high respect for Him to whose presence they were led by the wondrous star which had appeared.
There is always much attention to forms in the east. In visiting, the place, and even the method of sitting, are matters of importance. The seat at the corner of the room is most honorable, and visiters are placed there to whom it is intended to show particular respect. Conversation is generally very reserved and grave. It appears to have been so in ancient times ; see Prov. x, 19. and many other texts in that book.
When a person visited another, he did not rudely enter the house at once, but he stood at the door and called aloud, or knocked, and waited till he was admitted ; see 2 Kings v. 9. Acts x. 17. xii. 13, 16. This is alluded to in those beautiful texts, Rev. iii. 20. Matt. vii. 7.
My dear readers, Christ is, as it were, waiting and knocking at the door of your hearts; will not you admit him? Beware of refusing him or neglecting to receive him.
When visiters were persons of rank or importance, it was usual to send persons to meet them, as Balak sent the princes of Moab to meet Baalam, Numb. xxii. 15.
Visitors were always received with respect, and atten. tion was always shown to them at parting. Abraham showed great respect to his three angelic visitors. On the arrival of guests, water was brought to wash their feet and hands, Gen. xviii. 4. xix. 2. and they were often anointed with oils, Ps. xxiii. 5. This was the custom in our Saviour's time; we read that Mary Magdalene broke an alabaster box, or bottle, full of precious ointment, and poured it upon his head and his feet. The words Christ spoke to Simon respecting her be. haviour, shows what was the proper and respectful man. ner of receiving guests, which Simon seems to have neglected : “Seest thou this woman ? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss; but this wo. man since I came in hath
not ceased to kiss my feet. My
head with oil thou didst not anoint; but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment,” Matt. xxvi. 7. Luke vii. 44, &c.; see also Prov. xxvii. 9.
When guests are departing, it is the custom to burn perfumes (perhaps referred to Dan. ii. 46.) or sometimes they are sprinkled with sweet-scented water. Bruce describes having been wetted to the skin with orangeflower water thrown over him as a mark of honor, when he was leaving the presence of a great man. were ambassadors or persons of rank, it was usual to give them clothes, as mentioned before, and a great many garments were kept ready for this purpose. Joseph gave raiment to his brethren, Gen. xlv. 22; see also Judges xiv. 12, 19 2 Kings v. Rev. vi. 11. &c.
To this custom for great men to bestow raiment upon their guests, our Lord refers, Matt. xxii. It was usual