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quite an illiterate man, and therefore did not care for books; he replied, “ There is only one book in the place, which some prisoner must have left behind.” What sort of a book is it?" inquired Nathan. The keeper replied, “I have never read it, but I have just looked into it here and there; and I saw that it contained various histories, narratives, and letters.” Nathan was delighted to hear this, and begged him to let him have the book at once.

Nathan eagerly opened the book, but was struck, nay alarmed, on reading the title, which was, “The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” His first impression was, “ This book I dare not read, for it is opposed to my religion ;” and he was about to return it, when the thought struck him; What harm can it do me, if I read what is related in the book of the Christians ? When I am acquainted with the New Testament, I shall be all the better able to confute the Christians.” With the view of collecting fresh weapons against Christianity, Nathan commenced reading the New Testament.

The aversion which he felt towards Jesus of Nazareth gradually subsided; the more he read, the more deeply was he impressed with profound esteem for him who taught the people with such wisdom, and did such mighty works. He had been accustomed to look upon Jesus in a far different light, even in the false light in which his Rabbinical teachers had represented the founder of the Christian religion to him from his tenderest years; now, however, Nathan was convinced that Jesus was no deceiver, animated by hostile sentiments towards Israel. The perfect harmony between the teaching of Jesus and his life and death, opened Nathan's eyes, so that he began to see in him something more than a mere teacher or law. giver. So powerful was this impression, that he was fearful of reading more; but his desire to know how the disciples fared after the death of their Master was so great, that he commenced the perusal of the Acts of the Apostles. The wonderful change which took place in them after the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, the powerful testimony of these simple, and formerly timid men, the mighty effects of the first sermon of the · Apostle Peter, and the conversion of the three thousand Jews on the day of Pentecost, moved him still more deeply. Surely nothing short of thorough conviction of the resurrection of Christ, could have constrained them thus undauntedly, in Jerusalem itself, and even before the Chief Council, to preach the name of Jesus, and boldly to proclaim the remission of sins through Him, whom the same Council had accused as a malefactor, and caused to be condemned and crucified. He was also much struck with the fact that frequently as the Apostles were taken before the Chief Council; repeatedly as they were brought for trial before magistrates, they were not once charged with being liars when they testified of the resurrection of Christ. They were threatened, they were commanded not to teach or to speak in the name of Jesus ; they were scourged, and even the learned Rabbi Gamaliel could give no other advice to the Council, than “Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it: lest haply ye be found even to fight against God." (Acts v. 38, 39.) All this presented itself with

overpowering conviction to the mind of the inquiring Israelite. One narrative, however, brought a full conviction to his mind that Jesus was the Messiah. This was the history of the conversion of Paul. When he had read it, he cried out,

-“ As surely as thou the God of Abraham livest, so surely is Jesus of Nazareth the Messiah-the Son of the living God !". As Saul on the road to Damascus fell trembling to the earth and cried, “ Lord, what wilt thou have me to do,” so did Nathan throw himself upon his knees on the floor of his prison, and pour out his supplications to the invisible, but ever-present God, crying out in anguish of spirit, “0, Jesus, thou true Messiah and Prophet, I will be thy disciple; have mercy on me, have mercy on me, as thou hadst upon Saul and the thief on the cross. Intercede for me, even as thou didst for thy betrayers and murderers.”

From this memorable time, the New Testament became the constant study of this enlightened and highly-favoured sinner; he read it over and over again, and continued diligent in prayer. His ardent longing to be delivered from prison grew increasingly strong, because he desired to make a public profession of his faith, and to be incorporated by baptism with Christ and his Church. Conscious of his innocence, he did not for a moment doubt that God would assuredly by some unforeseen means bring it to light, and prove

him to be guiltless of the crime laid to his charge. But his faith was to be proved, and his patience to be exercised in the furnace of affliction. Nathan had lain in prison for sixteen months; the judges could not pronounce him innocent, for no proof of it had been adduced, and unable any longer to defer the sentence, they were constrained to pass it, thoug

it was couched in terms as mild as possible. He was condemned to be publicly whipped three times, and to suffer one year's imprisonment with hard labour. Nathan heard his sentence with tears in his eyes, but perfectly resigned to the will of God, and to his fatherly chastisement, he returned composedly to his cell.

On the day appointed for the first infliction of his disgraceful punishment, the prisoner was brought to the Senate-house to be publicly whipped. A vast concourse of spectators had already assembled to witness this ignominious punishment; suddenly the air resounded with the cry, “Nathan is not to be whipped, he is innocent ! he is innocent!” The people looked at each other in amazement. How can it be? Have the judges been deceived ? or has the real murderer of Eleazer surrendered ? The one said this, and the other that, and the eager, inquisitive crowd gradually dispersed. Many murmured that they had waited so long for nothing; others, that they had wasted their time; for, unhappily, there are beings so inhuman that they find pleasure in the pains and tortures inflicted on their fellow-men. Not a few, however, returned home rejoicing in the hope that the innocence of Nathan was now brought to light, and that too, just at the very moment when the long-suspended sentence was about to be inflicted. All surmise respecting this sudden change was, however, soon dispelled by the public announcement made by the court that a messenger had arrived from the court of justice at P-, with the information that, " the murderer of Eleazer the Jew, had been discovered and arrested, and had already acknowledged his crime.

(To be continued.)


(Continued from page 65.) THE SABBATH.-First mentioned in ScriptureGen. ii. 2.

To-morrow, which is the Sabbath of the Lord -Exod. xvi. 23.

The seventh day, which is the Sabbath-Exod. xvi. 26.

See, for the Lord hath given thee the Sabbath -Exod. xvi. 29.

Remember the Sabbath-day, to keep it holyExod. xx. 8.

Repeated and work prohibited—Exod. xxxi. 13. Again, kindling fire prohibited—Ex. xxxv. 2. Again, ordered to be kept—Lev. xxiii. 3.

The Sabbath-breaker stoned to death-Num. xv. 32.

Offering thereon-Num. xxvii. 9.

Keep the Sabbath-day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee-Deut. v. 12.

Covenant not to sell or buy on the SabbathNeh. x. 31.

Gates of Jerusalem shut during Sabbath, to put a stop to traffic thereon-Neh. xiii. 15.

Blessed is the man that keepeth the SabbathIsa. lvi. 2.

The Sabbath a delight—Isa. lviii. 13.

Bear no burdens on the Sabbath-day–Jer. xvii. 21.

NEw Moon.—Kept now as a minor festival, but by the following passages of Scripture appears to have been kept more sacredly in former times.

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