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deeper impression on her mind. He did not reprove her for being hospitable, and providing suitable entertainment, but He reproved her for being “careful,”—that is, too anxious, and too much engrossed with temporal things. It was not wrong to be engaged in household duties, but it was wrong to be so engaged as to neglect spiritual things. Her engagements occupied her whole time and attention, while she was neglecting her soul.
The affairs of the world may be important, and must be attended to, but they ought to be subordinated to the instructions of Christ, and the salvation of the soul, which are far more important. Martha was troubled.” Her mind was perplexed “about many things,” and things of only temporary moment, while she should have attended to one thing at a time. Jesus was giving instructions of lasting importance, and, for any thing she knew, this might be her only opportunity of enjoying them; hence they should have been first attended to, and the many things afterwards. If I have worldly matters demanding my care, let me attend to them at the proper time, but never let them exclude religion, or make me lose a golden opportunity of attending to the instructions of Jesus. While my hands are busy about the things of this life, may not my heart be in heaven.
Martha admonished—“One thing is needful.” This “one thing” refers to the soul. The soul
is ignorant, proud, and self-righteous, and the
one thing” it needs is instruction instruction from Christ, His word and ordinances. The soul is sinful, and sin is a deadly disease, and the
one thing” it needs is salvation-salvation through the merits of Christ, and salvation as presented in the gospel. The soul is miserable, exposed to danger, and this danger is imminent, and the “one thing” it needs is happinesshappiness in the possession of Christ, happiness here, and happiness hereafter. The soul is troubled with many things, but should not neglect its own salvation, which is the one thing needful. Martha required to feel that religion was the chief thing, and, probably, she profited by this admonition, for in her after intercourse with Jesus, her character and conduct were lovely and commendable. Religion, then, is needed by all, should be attended to by all, and is lovely in all. Every female, especially, should make it her principal ornament. Attention to the world makes the female gay, proud, and unamiable, but attention to religion makes her tenderness more tender, and her loveliness more lovely. If we would be approved of Christ, we must be humble learners at His feet, we must listen readily and attentively to His word, and we must believe in Him as our Saviour. Reader, let not the world exclude thee from Jesus, nor the cares of life press thee down to the earth.
"Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from
her."-Luke x. 42.
Religion is a good thing-religion is voluntary -and religion is permanent.
Religion is a good thing—“That good part.” The word "part” may refer to the place occupied by Mary, “She sat at Jesus' feet;" or, it may refer to the portion of which she made choice, “ The Lord is my portion, saith my soul, therefore shall I hope in Him.” Whichever it refers to, it indicated her piety-her religionher devotedness to Christ. Religion is a good thing, because it saves the soul. The soul is the noblest part of our being, but sin has made it a temple in ruins. It may be saved by attending to the instructions of Jesus. Though we should gain the whole world, if we lose the coul, then all is lost. Shall the Great Teacher speak to us as never man spake, and shall we refuse His instructions ? “ He that sinneth against Me wrongeth his own soul.” Religion is a good thing, because it makes us happy. It dislodges from the mind over-carefulness about the world -over-anxiety about the things of time. It drives away the horrors of conscious guilt-it removes the sting of death-it dispels the alarms
of a day of reckoning. It does more,-it fills the soul with sweet peace, blessed hope, and holy love.
6" Whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.” Religion is a good thing, because it puts us in a position to glorify God and benefit others. It is like leaven hid in the meal, diffusing itself, and influencing all around. It is a flame burning in our hearts, that will burst forth, and spread from heart to heart, and house to house, till it enlighten and warm all around us. Thus religion is a double blessing. It blesses us when we receive, and it blesses us when we give it.
Religion is voluntary—“Mary hath chosen that good part.” The Lord Jesus will have no one pressed or bribed to enter His service. It must be from choice and moral suasion. Scripture testimony makes this plain. Moses saith, “I have set before you life and death; therefore choose life.” “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted ? Scripture examples make it equally plain. Paul 16 not disobedient to the heavenly vision.” Joshua said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” And Mary voluntarily chose “that good part.” The fact, that we are responsible and accountable beings, proves the same thing. We have power to “refuse the evil and choose the good.” We are so responsible for the choice of religion, that if we believe not, we must perish. The work of Christ, the love of the Father, and the influences of the
Holy Spirit, are within our reach, and render our responsibility complete. We must therefore embrace religion as if we could do it wholly ourselves, while, at the same time, we are to look up for the aid of the Holy Spirit. “O my soul, hast thou said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord?”
Religion is permanent—“Which shall not be taken away from her.” Religion is another term for faith in Christ. Now faith is an abiding grace. It abides in the heart, and it abides in the Church, and infallibly secures salvation. “ He that believeth hath everlasting life.” Religion consists in having the possession of Christ as a portion. “He that hath the Son hath life.” If we have riches, they may soon take wing and fly away. If we have friends, God may soon change their countenances and take them away. But the work of Christ secures the permanency of religion. He carries on and completes what He begins. “I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.” The promise of Christ also secures it. “And this is the promise that He hath promised us, even eternal life.” The experience of all His followers, in every age, testifies, “ There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken; all came to pass. And the power of Christ shall accomplish it, “neither shall any pluck them out of my hand.” The world cannot. Satan cannot. Death cannot.