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THE SECOND TEMPLE.

, GOLDEN TEXT. They praised the Lord because the foundation of the house of

the Lord was laid.—Ezra iii. 11.

EZRA iii. 8, 10–13. Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the Lord.

And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the Lord, after the ordinance of David king of Israel.

And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the Lord ; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.

But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:

So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.

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THE PRODIGAL.

GOLDEN TEXT.
I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely.

HOSEA xiv. 4.

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LUKE xv. 11–20.
And he said, A certain man had two sons :

And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living

And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land ; and he began to be in want.

And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger !

I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee.

And am no more worthy to be called thy son : make me as one of thy hired servants.

And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed hiin.

NEHEMIAH'S PRAYER.

GOLDEN TEXT.
Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.

PSALM cviii. 12.

NEHEMIAH i. 3–7 ; 11. AND they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.

And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,

And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments :

Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.

We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer.

THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS.

GOLDEN TEXT. How hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the

kingdom of God !—MARK X. 24.

LUKE xvi. 19-26. THERE was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day :

And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom : the rich man also died, and was buried ; :

And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in bis bosom.

And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things : but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed : so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

READING THE LAW.

GOLDEN TEXT. Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of

Thy law.—Psalm cxix. 18.

NEHEMIAH viii. 1–3; 5, 6, 8. And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel.

And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.

And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before · the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law..

And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people ; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:

And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all. the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands : and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.

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