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8.9

and of driving the dams tenderly when they were with young, says:

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd :
He shall gather the lambs with his arm,
And
carry

them in his bosom,

And shall gently lead those that are with young. Isa. xl. 11. The young, the weary,

and the weak believer alike shall know his tender care. See also Jer. xxiii. 3,4; Ezek. xxxiv. 23; Zech. xii.7. Our Lord himself, having reference to these passages, in John, chap.

after delineating the duties of a faithful shepherd, in which he makes some interesting allusions to oriental usages — such as calling the sheep by name, the shepherd going before while they follow, and their recognising and obeying his voice—asserted, before the enraged Jews, who were well acquainted with prophecy, that he was “the Good Shepherd;" after which, he characterized his sheep, showed what love he bears to them, and described their eternal safety under his protection. After his resurrection, he charged his disciples, and all his ministers after them, to feed his sheep and his lambs.

The strongest proof which our Lord has given of his being "the Good Shepherd,” is his death on the cross. He had power to retain his life; but he saw mankind going astray like “lost sheep,” and he offered to die for their redemption. Looking at the greatness of his love, therefore, what solid ground does the Christian possess for confidence and rejoicing! He may say :

The Lord is my Shepherd, no want shall I know ;

I feed in green pastures, safe-folded I rest;
He leadeth my soul where the still waters flow,

Restores ine when wandering, redeems when opprest. And, looking to the future, when he will be surrounded by the thick shadows of death, he may still exclaim with exultation :

Through the valley and shadow of death though I stray,

Since Thou art my Guardian, no evil I fear ;
Thy rod shall defend me, thy staff be my stay,
No harm can befall, with my Comforter near.

MONTGOMERY. Through the sacrifice of Christ the valley of the shadow of death opens a vista to heaven, to the sight of the dying Christian.

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