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Parable of the Wedding Guests

BY P. PRIOLO, A RECENT ITALIAN ARTIST.

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Then said the King to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.Matthew, 22, 13.

WHE Pharisees felt their helplessness to oppose Jesus.

“Perceive ye,” they said to one another, “how

ye prevail nothing ? behold, the world is gone after him.” Even foreigners in the city crowded to hear and see this marvellous man. A Voice from Heaven sounded like thunder through the streets announcing the coming of Judgment. The humbled priesthood came to Jesus entreating He would explain to them the sources of His miraculous power.

Yet the Master knew they had no real wish to follow Him; they sought only to maintain their own power, by destroying Him. Therefore Ile answered them with questions, showing how all honest men had accepted the miracles of John; but they had rejected them. They might have been first at the feast, but had chosen to be last. Then He told them the parable of the king who summoned the chief among his people to a wedding feast. The guests came not; so the king slew them and threw open his doors to all men, “both bad and good,” summoned in from the highways. Even among these, the king found one so indifferent to the honor done him that he refused to put on a wedding garment. Him also the king cast forth from the feast; “for many are called but few are chosen." Thus all men are welcomed to God's teaching but many refuse to listen; and even among those who hearken

there are some who take little heed.

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ACTS V-THE APOSTLES SCOURGED

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themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.

37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and ali, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.

38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:

39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.

40 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

41 | And they departed from the presence of the counsel, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

Chapter 6

1 The apostles, desirous to have the poor regarded for their bodily sustenance, as also careful themselves to dispense the word of God, the food of the soul, 3 appoint the office of deaconship to seven chosen men. 5 Of whom Stephen, a man full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost, is one. 12 'Who is taken of those, whom he confounded in disputing, 13 and after falsely accused of blasphemy against the law and the temple.

ND in ihose days when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the

Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

9 { Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the

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ACTS VIGSTEPHEN THE DEACON

synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.

10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.

11 Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.

12 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council,

13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:

14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.

15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.

Chapter 7 1 Stephen, permitted to answer to the accusation of blasphemy, 2 sheweth that Abraham worshipped God rightly, and how God chose the fathers, 20 before Moses was born, and before the tabernacles and temples were built: 37 that Moses himself witnessed of Christ: 44 and that all outward ceremonies were ordained according to the heavenly pattern, to last but for a time: 51 reprehending their rebellion, and murdering of Christ, the Just One, whom the prophets foretold should come into the world. 54 Whereupon they stone him to death, who commended his soul lo Jesus, and humbly prayeth for them.

HEN said the high priest, Are these things so?

2 And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The

God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,

3 And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee.

4 Then came he out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell.

5 And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.

6 And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years.

7 And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place.

8 And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs.

9 And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him,

10 And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.

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