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PRACTICAL. Vers. 9–14. God gives abundant proofs of that which he wishes us to believe. 2. Jesus manifests himself especially to the penitent, sorrowing sinner, who has learned to love much.
3. In early days, as now, many in the Church were slow to perceive the glory and blessings of the gospel.
4. Vers. 15, 16. The commission of Christ to his Church: its field is the world; its work is to preach the gospel ; its congregation embraces every creature ; its offer is a free and full salvation ; the condition of salvation is faith in Christ, and confession of and consecration to him : the consequence of rejecting Christ's salvation is eternal condemnation. - Abbott.
5. Vers. 17, 18. Signs and wonders ever attest the preaching of the gospel : wonderful experiences, wonderful changes of heart and character, wonderful effects of education, thought, life, happiness, prosperity, in nations who believe.
6. Ver. 19. Christ ascended to heaven, that he might be the ever-present, omnipresent Saviour.
SUGGESTIONS TO TEACHERS. The subject of to-day's lesson is The DUTY OF PREACHING THE GOSPEL TO ALL THE WORLD. (1) Proofs of the gospel, vers. 9-14, by means of the infallible proofs that Jesus rose again. The number of times Jesús appeared, for 40 days, to hundreds of people, overcoming doubts. (2) The mission of the gospel, ver. 15: What is the gospel ? To whom to be preached? By whom? Have we done it? The blessed effects on all of doing it. (3) The effects of the gospel, vers. 16-20: on those who believe ; on those who refuse to believe; the signs that followed; the present wonders of the gospel; the ascension.
REVIEW. For this last review it may be well to take, as it were, a bird's-eye view of the life of Christ, and impress upon the scholars the main incidents of his life, Icaving a picture which never can be effaced. Below is given a series of questions, showing one way in which this general view of Christ's life may be set forth.
SUBJECT — The Life of Christ. 1. His carly life. When and where was Jesus born? His mother's name? Give three incidents of his early life. In what place did he live? (or how many years ? What was his occupation? When and where was he baptized ?
II. His ministry. Ilow old was Jesus when he began his public ministry? How long did it last? In what places was most of it spent? What other countries did he visit? Name the chief cities in which he taught. Name two mountains, a lake, and a river, connected with his life.
III. His teachings. What sermon of Jesus is recorded ? In what way did he do most of his teaching? Name some of the principle parables he spoke. Give some of his illustrations, II.: 7,12 ; III.:1, 6, 9, 10. What were some of the things against which he warned men? What were some of the leading truths he taught?
IV. His miracles. Name some of the principal miracles. Against what evils and cne. mies of man were they directed? Were they all miracles of help and blessing? What spiritual truths did his miracles teach? As to what needs and dangers of the present day do they show Christ's power to satisfy and guard ?
v. Personal incidents. On what occasion did Christ spend a night in prayer? When and where was his true nature revealed ? When and where did he choose his apostles? What was done to Christ at a supper? On what occasion only did Christ ride? What two gardens are rendered immortal by Christ's sufferings ?
VÍ. The great sacrifice. By whom was Jesus betrayed ? where? By whom was he condemned ? On what occasions was he mocked? Where was he crucified ? times did he speak on the cross? How long did the crucifixion last? What happened at its close? Where was Jesus buried ?
VII. The resurrection and the life. How long was Jesus in the tomb ? When did he rise ? Who saw him first? How many times did he appear? For how long? What was his last message to the Church? What was his last act on earth? When did he ascend to God ?
GOLDEN TEXT. The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. — ISA. II: 9.
TIME. - Isaiah's ministry extended from about 762 to 700 B. C.
PLACE. — Isaiah prophesied in the kingdom of Judah during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.
INTRODUCTION. This chapter gave the people of Judah a glimpse of “the good time coming," - a vision of the promised triumph of God's kingdom, to cheer them in their discouragement, and to inspire a new motive for serving and obeying God.
1. And there shall come forth a rod and he shall not judge after the sight out of the stem of a Jesse, and a 3 branch of his eyes, neither reprove after the shall grow out of his roots :
hearing of his ears : And the Spirit of the LORD shall 4. But with righteousness shall he rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom judge the poor, and reprove with equity and understanding, the spirit of coun- for the meek of the earth : and he sel and might, the spirit of knowledge shall @ smite the earth with the rod of his and of the fear of the LORD;
mouth, and with the breath of his lips 3. And shall make him of quick shall he slay the wicked. understanding in the fear of the LORD: 1 Isa. 53: 2. Zech. 6: 12.
3 Isa. 4: 2. Jer. 23: 5.
Isa. 61:1. Matt. 3: 16. John 1: 32, 33; 3: 34. 5 Ps. 72: 2 4. Rev. 19: 11. © Job 4:9 Mal. 4: 6.
Rev. 5: 5
2 Acts 13:23.
2 Thess. 2:8.
EXPLANATORY. 1. The Personal Qualities of the Messiah. — Vers. 1-5. In the last chapter the destruction of Assyria, the power oppressing Judah, is likened to the cutting-down of a forest, never to be renewed. In this verse the misfortunes of Judah are contrasted with this ; the Judah forest shall sprout again. Shall come forth a rod. A shoot. Out of the stem. The stock or stump left in the ground after the tree is cut down. A branch. A slender shoot or twig. That it should be from the hewn-down stock of Jesse, implied that the once ennobled line of David had sunk to the level of common life, the family domain at Bethlehem. - Cook. This passage applies to Jesus Christ, who sprang from the family of Jesse at its lowest state. He was of the royal line of David.
2. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him. In him the Spirit of the Lord should have an abiding resting-place. His sacred body should be the true temple in which the fulness of the Godhead should dwell. - Cook. Wisdom, understanding. Theoretical and practical wisdom. Christ was the wisdom of God, in saving men. Counsel and might. The ability to plan and the ability to execute. - Alexander. Knowledge. The perfect knowledge of the whole will and counsel of God, especially that which concerns the salvation of men; also of the hidden and secret things of the hearts of men. Pool. Fear of the Lord. Not the fear of diffidence or horror, but of reverence; a care to please him. — Pool.
3: Of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord. Infallible sagacity or power of discerning good and evil would render him superior to the illusions of the senses. — Alexander. Religion makes one of quick understanding in knowing right and wrong; gives one a sensitive moral nature. Not judge after the sight of the eyes. He will not judge by appearance, but by the reality; not be misled in his judgments by rank, wealth, popular opinion, or pretence of virtue, but act according to right and truth. "It means also, he shall not be short-sighted in his views, nor“ despair under the most discouraging circumstances." — Alexander. Reprove. Censure, decide causes.
4. With righteousness shall he judge the poor. That is, he shall see that impartial justice is done them. He would be the friend and patron of the poor. - Barnes. This
5. And 'righteousness shall be the together : and the lion shall eat straw girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the like the ox. girdle of his reins.
8. And the sucking child shall play 6. 2 The wolf also shall dwell with the on the hole of the asp, and the weaned lamb, and the leopard shall lie down child shall put his hand on the cockawith the kid; and the calf and the trice's den. young lion and the fatling together; 9. 3 They shall not hurt nor destroy and a little child shall lead them. in all my holy mountain : for the earth
7. And the cow and the bear shall shall be full of the knowledge of the feed; their young ones shall lie down LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
1 Eph. 6: 14. 2(Isa. 65: 23. Ezek. 34: 25. 3 Job 5:23. Isa. 2:4; 35: 9. is the royal quality of a true ting. Equity. Impartiality. The meek. The humble, the lower class, referring to those who are usually passed by or oppressed by those in power. - Barnes. Smite the earth. The world or people of the world in contradistinction to his people chosen out of the world; hence the same as "the wicked" in the following parallel clause. Rod of his mouth . breath of his lips. His words shall be like a staff for the punishment of the wicked. The breath of his lips means that which goeth forth from his lips, — his doctrines, his commands, his decisions. All this is descriptive of a ruler who by his commands and decisions effectually subdues and punishes the wicked. That is, he does justice to all. — Barnes. Paul (2 Thess. 2:8) applies these words to the destruction of anti-Christ at the coming of Christ. - Alexander. Slay the wicked. He will destroy those who refuse to leave their wickedness. He will destroy the wickedness of the others, destroying the wicked by changing them into the good.
5. Righteousness shall be the girdle. The loose flowing robe was confined by a girdle in any active labor or running. The virtues of righteousness and justice would adhere to the Messiah as closely and inseparably as the garment does to the body to which it is girded. The figure of representing the virtues as clothing is common in the Scriptures. Barnes. Reins. The inward parts of the body around which a girdle usually goes.
II. The Characteristics of the Messiah's Kingdom. - Vers. 6-9. These verses contain a highly figurative description of the Messiah's kingdom, and the change in the nature and actions of men produced by it.
6. Wolf ... lamb, etc. It has been pointed out (Rev. J. C. Wood, Bible Animals, P. 35), that, while the wolf as a rule attacks sheep-folds, a leopard can follow the goat along the precipices where no wolf would venture ; and the lion will carry off oxen, which neither leopard or wolf could move. - Cook. Kid. The young of the goat. Those men who oppress and prey on the weaker will cease from their evil nature. There will be peace, security, prosperity, and liberty and love. The wolf class are the cross, ill-tempered, quarrelsome. The leopard class are the cruel, insidious, fierce. The lion class, the proud, the strong; those who use greatness and wealth for oppression. — From Newton's Rills from the Fountain of Life. A little child. Mind and conscience shall still govern; and the smallest and weakest shall be perfectly secure in all their rights.
7. Lion eat straw like the ox. Representing a change in the dispositions of men as great as if the lion were to lose his natural appetite for blood, and to live on the usual food of the ox. – Barnes. Those who have lived by wrong and oppression shall obtain their living in a righteous way.
8. Play on the hole of the asp. The asp is a small, malignantly poisonous serpent. The cockatrice. The great viper. Cook. A deadly serpent. The very worst men, those who now tempt and ruin innocence, will be changed. The children can go anywhere, and not be led into ruin as now.
9. All my holy mountain. Mount Zion, the kingdom of the Messiah, which shall fill the whole carth (Dan. 2: 35, 45). The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord. A living, experimental, practical knowledge. - Lange. The heatlien all converted; all nations believing and receiving the benefits of the gospel. As the waters cover the sea. The world shall be full of the knowledge and love of God as the waters cover the bed of the sea in cvery part, every depth, every inlet and bay.
WHEN SHALL THESE THINGS LE? (1) This is a picture of the Messiah's kingdom as a wholc, from beginning to end. (2) It is partially fulfilled wherever the gospel is preached, in multitudes of homes, churches, and communities, — almost perfectly in some hearts. (3) It is a promise of the complete evangelization of the world, that which the gospel is bringing, and for which each of us should labor and pray. Every one who becomes a Christian is helping on this blessed time. Each one should cherish in his own heart and life these things which will make earth a heaven when all shall receive and love them.