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Samuel, to give your health and strength, your whole lives, to the service of your Maker; and, like Daniel, to own your God before all people. To do this, it is not needful that your lives should be put in danger to serve Him, or that you should talk a great deal about the duties you owe to your God. Let it be known, by your kindness and gentleness to all around you, by your love of truth, and hatred of a lie, by your industry in all your duties, and your cheerful obedience to your parents and teachers; that it is your delight to walk in the ways of the Lord, and to follow the commandments of Him who hath said, "Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
(1) "Reconciled:" to reconcile, means to make
friends those who were not so before.
(2) "Fugitive:" one who has fled from his home or country.
"Vagabond:" a wanderer, one who has no home.
"Spies:" men who search into the affairs of others: when one country is at war with another, men are often sent among their enemies, who will quietly observe all that is going on, and then return, and, by informing their countrymen, put them upon their guard against their plans; these men are called spies.
"Was not:" they could not say Joseph was dead, because they had last seen him alive, yet, for any thing they knew to the contrary, he might not now be living; they little thought
that it was to this very brother they were speaking.
"Without blemish :" without spot or stain, quite young and whole: thus we see the very best of their flock was to be given to the Lord. This may teach us to give our time, talents, health, strength, and the best of all that we have, to serve Him! nothing should be kept back; and greatly does it please our Heavenly Father when little children try to serve Him, and walk in His ways.
(7) "Unleavened:" unleavened bread is made without leaven or yeast, and is not at all pleasant to eat, being very heavy: they were told to eat it that night, partly, perhaps, to remind them of the toil and hardships they had met with in Egypt, and also to shew that so hasty was their flight, that they had not time to let their bread stand to become light and good.
(8) "Hyssop:" the name of this plant, in the Hebrew language, denotes cleansing, and it was used by this people for sprinkling holy things and places, for which purpose it is well adapted, as it grows in bunches, and puts out many suckers from a single root. Solomon is said to have written a work on botany, in which he has spoken of all plants, from the cedar, in Lebanon, to the hyssop, which springeth out of the wall. Isaac Ben Omran, an Arabian author, says, that the hyssop grows in great plenty upon the mountains about Jerusalem.
Harris's Natural History of the Bible. Types:" a type is a person or thing having so great resemblance to something to come, that it would ever put us in mind of it. Thus it had
been promised to Adam and Eve, that Jesus Christ should come into the world and lay down His life an offering for sin; and the many burnt offerings, or sacrifices, as they are sometimes called, made use of by the people of Israel in their worship, were types or signs of that Saviour who was to come. When the high priest went into the holy place, he took from the people two young goats; one was killed, and its fat offered upon the altar for the sins of the people, but the other was saved alive, and, with his hands laid on the head of the animal, did the priest confess to the Almighty the sins of all Israel. Hence the goat that was slain was called a sin offering, and upon the head of the other were laid the transgressions of the people, this was called the scape-goat, and was then led out into the wilderness as proof that the sins of the people were put away from them, and should be no more remembered. The slain goat was thus a type of the Saviour, whose life was given for all mankind; and does not the scape-goat, which carried away on its head the sins of the people, call to your minds the death and sufferings of Jesus Christ the Son of God, who bore the weight of our sins in His own body on the cross, and became our sacrifice for sin? Thus Christians of the present day, when they worship God, do not offer the blood of sheep and goats, and other animals, as a sacrifice for their transgressions, but they venture to approach their Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus, whose blood they plead as their only sacrifice for sin, and who stands at the right hand of the throne of God to intercede for all who come unto the Father by Him.