« AnteriorContinuar »
for the Holy One, blessed be His name, not incorrect. “She whose name was has heard my prayer that we should find mercifully spared has borrowed a name Thee and Thou us.' Peter forth with, that is emblazoned in the saddest and with the help of the other two, who had noblest cbarities of Christendom. And let their oars rest idly on the water, yet at first sight nothing would seem turned the boat so that it lay alongside easier than to separate them. The one the one from Magdala. Jesus now rose, is of no certain city; the other of Mag. the mother sank on her knees, but the dala. The one is a namelees and sudden sick woman tried with all her might to apparition, 'a moment seen, then gone break away, and to throw herself into forever'; the other is always mentioned the water on the far side of the boat. by name, and becomes a constant folThe boatmen, however, and John, who lower of the Lord. The one is pure ; had sprung over, held her by the arms, the other impure. The ope is healed of while her mother buried her face in the a mental disease; the other is cleansed long-plaited hair of her child. Her from moral taint. The ope is the comtears bad ceased to flow, she was lost in papion of honorable and pious women, silent prayer.”
and assumes a public place beside the When she looked on Jesus her whole Saviour; the other shrinks into a pribody was violently convulsed. As Jesus vacy that shuns the public gaze. fixed His eyes on her, His look seemed “Not only are these well-marked disto break the sevenfold chain in which tinctions, but each has a sufficient bis. she lay bound. Her convulsions ceased; tory of her own. There was no need to she became quiet, her face became calm, find a preface for the Magdalene's, nor a the wildness of her eyes left her, and close for the sipner's. Each is rounded profuse sweat burst from her brow and off and complete. For the poor woman mingled with her tears. The healed one that wept at Simon's, that story is all we sank down on the spot where her mother care to know. She had sinned, and was had been praying, and muttered, with forgiven. Let the happy life pass into subdued, trembling words, to Jesus, “o friendly obscurity. Let her go in Lord, I am a great sioner; is the door peace,' and let the music of that peaceof repentance still open for me?” ful heart steal out like the nightingale's
“Be comforted, my daughter," an- song in the twilight and from the shade. swered He, “Gud bas no pleasure in the As for the brave and tender woman that dtath of the wicked; thou hast been a watched the sepulchre, her life does not habitation of evil spirits, become now a commence for us till Christ has swept temple of the living God.”
the chords of it with His wonderful The mother exclaimed, -" Thanks to words, and the devil has left her free to Thee, Thou consolation of Israel !" . minister to Him who is the devil's lord.
Jesus continued, “ Return now quickly But somehow the two have grown toto Magdala, and be calm, and give gether into one, and art and legend have thanks to God in silence.”
| helped in the confusion, and century has This attempted Gospel supplement, passed down the tradition to century, by an able, uninspired author, gives us till it has entered into the very heart of an interesting creation of his fancy, and the Church. However it has happened, shsow, too, how very weak all efforts to associations have gathered around the imitate the matchless style of the Bible union too deep to be altogether displaced. must appear.
Hospitals will still be raised for the Mary Magdalene was for centuries worst of buman maladies, and bear the. taken to be the same woman as the Magdalen's name. Correggios and Ti"great sioner," who anointed our Sa- tians of the future will paint the Magviour and washed His feet with her dalen's penitence; a Magdalen will still tears in the bouse of Simon the Phari. stand for the most pathetic type of a see (Luke 7: 36-50). Her name has woman's travail and sorrow; and frailty, from this fact been given to the many shame and dishonor will still fling their institutions for fallen women. Great as shadow on the Magdalen's life. If we the blessed fruits of these Magdalene are to conceive her as she appears in the hospitals have been, it has come to be Scriptures, we must release our minds justly questioned whether this theory is from these powerful associations of cen
The pious ministry of woman shrinks Him, among whom was Mary Magfrom ostentatious parade. The trum- daleve." It was a long weary journey pets of popular applause are never afoot, from sixty to seventy miles. sounded for her as for man. Her many | Again they go along to minister to Him. gentle ministries performed amid the They are with Him as He passes through privacies of the family, and the bearing Jericho, Bethany, and over Olivet. Amid of comfort and hope to the suffering, the whirl of festive excitement at Jeruremain unreported by the press. With salem, and the schemings of the Jews to uncomplaining meekness, and often with arrest Him, Mary Magdalene could unrewarded zeal, she goes about doing have heen with Christ but little the last good to Christ in the person of His few days. But along with the other needy and afflicted people. The humble women, through what anguish must she. group of Galilean women, who min- have passed ! istered to Ch'ist in their way, performed At length the sentence goes forth. as great a Gospel service as did the The day of crucifixion has dawbed. The apostles. Mary the mother of Jesus, narrow streets of the city are thronged Nary the mother of James the Less, with a stream of curious and cruel peoMary Magdalene, Mary and Martha, the ple on their way to Calvary. Will these sisters of Lazarus, Mary the mosher of Galilean women venture among such a John, whose surname was Mark, Joanna ribald mob! Surely, this is no place for the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and women. Come what may, they will be many others, ministered to Him of their near their Lord at all hazards. Somesubstance. It is said that Jesus “ went where in that crowd the limid group try throughout every village and city, to press along, perhaps in sight of their preaching and showing the glad tidings insulted Lord, His face inexpressibly of the kingdom of God; and the twelve sad and covered with blood, His exwere with Him, and certain women, bausted body sinking under the weight which had been healed of evil spirits and of the cross. On Cilvary they perbaps infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out tremblingly stand on the edge of the of whom went seven devils, wbich min- multitude. . Perbaps they hear the istered to him of their substance." (Luke hammer strokes on the spikes as they 8: 1-3.)
are driven through His hands and feet, Nut all of these women followed and every stroke pierces their hearts. Christ from place to place. Some, like At length they see the Saviour's bleedthe sisters at Bethany, were needed at ing form lifted above the crowd, and the home. Only those who had few or no cross put in its place. To the last they pressing home duties to perform, and keep their place, in sight of the agonizpossessed special aptitudes for this kind ing, bleeding Saviour. They bear His of service, were called to the itinerant cries of anguish, and see Him drop His work. They evidently were persons of head and die. Among this cal group considerable culture and of some means Mary Magdalene is a prominent figure, or “substance." With willing minds, as she is in all these delicate ministries. yet doubtless often with weary bodies, Were these women at His burial? Very they walked many miles, with Christ, likely, and saw that His grave-clothes from place to place; their inventive love were procured, and with gentle hands and womanly tact ever devised plans to soft'y tied the papkin around His face render Him comfortable. Now perhaps and laid His head properly. They saw in procuring and preparing food, then how and where His body was laid. What making or mending some garment, but now? Go home and weep? It is all over ever intent to accord Him their tender- now. What can unprotected women do est and most helpful sympathy, joining in a city full of such cruel people? The Him in many a prayer, breathing the next day was the Sabbath. In the temple heavenly atmosphere around Him, and many were singing psalms who yesterday all the while experiencing how much cried, “Crucify Him!" Night dews more they received than they gave. At fall on the blood stains of Calvary. length they start with Him on His last! Meanwhile the women go to some journey; when “many women followed bazaar and buy "sweet spices, that Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto they might come and anoini him"
“ while it was yet dark.” Early on the Down at the cross-roads stood the third day they go to Christ's tomb to village known as “ Arcady Corners." anoint His corpse. Thus must they It was a drowsy little hamlet, con. lavish their fragrant love even on the taining some dozen houses and the inmortal remains of their Saviour. The evitable store and smithy, while standing grateful Magdalen, in her loving haste, to one side in a treeless, unfenced comreaches the tomb first. It is she who mon was the venerable structure known hastens back to meet Peter and John, as the “Arcady Church." Its exand, perhaps with tears, tells them, terior view was depressing; it had “They have taken away the Lord.” blindless windows and an uncovered Now let the men seek Him. No; she stoop, while the absence of spire gave weeps as if her heart would break. it the look of an overgrown schoolAmong this group of women the Mag- house. The paint on its sides was off dalen's name is mentioned first. She in spots, and the shingles on its roof reached the grave first. To her Christ had the appearance of having withappeared first. In the intensity of her stood the storm of years. Just north feeling, but for the gentle prohibition of of it stood a row of old lean-to sheds, Christ, she would have prematurely while on the common Widow Blivins clung to His risen body. He chose her staked her cow, and somebody's geese as the messenger to the disciples, saying, wandered to and fro solemnly gabbling “Go to thy brethren and say unto them, and cropping the scanty herbage. The I ascend unto my Father and your minister felt an ugly siuking of the Father, and my God and your God.” heart, as he stood in the pitiless glare
Was ever another woman made the of a July noon scanning this Lord's bearer of such a message? Where do barn. He put aside the suggestion it we find such a pathetic sight as that of hinted at of unconverted pocket-books this woman, whose wailing love searched and parsimoniousness, and was fain to so eagerly for the dead body of her think it a matter of oversight and Lord ? "And all the while her tears thoughtlessness. were falling like the rain, till through He had come to Acadia from a the wailing sobs she heard a sudden growing town where he had preached sound, a tone, a word, that brought up in a handsome church, substantially all the past. There was a flash f built and nicely decorated, and had memory that revealed Magdala, and the numbered among his hearers critical blue Sea of Galilee, and the day when intellects and fashionable men and He passed and healed with a word the women; but the incisive truths that poor demoniac, and looking up, she saw burned in his heart and were uttered Him in that one gentle word He spoke, from his pulpit displeased some, who that old familiar Mary, to which in an clung tenaciously to the follies of the swer sprung unbidden to her lips the world and yet, by a strange anomaly, quick Rabboni.”
desired a crown and harp in heaven when their coil of life was unwound.
And so it happened that, hetwixt their A Slight Difficulty.
desire for a more soothing gospel lul
laby and his soul's “woe is me if I BY MARGARET H. ECKERSON. speak not the truth,” the tie that bound
them as pastor and people was severed. At a meeting of Classis some deputies
from rural Acadia heard him preach, When the minister pitched his tent and were beset by a desire to have him in Acadia he was prone to judge the come and labor amongst them. Urpeople from their surroundings, as if gently they pleaded with him. As for rose-bushes must needs shelter stingless inducements, their salary could not insects, and pellucid pools gold-fishes: rightly be classed as such, and there for the place was so sequestered and were no educational advantages within peaceful, it seemed that its denizens Acadia's boundaries for the minister's must, to complete the harmony, be sin- young family, but if his Master bad gularly gentle and child-like.
Topened to him this field of labor, he
could not carelessly turn from its fields bly to serve the One who saw the end, white to the harvest. So, with bis lares while he only saw the way! and penates, he journeyed to Acadia. | People now were given to making
free comparisons between the former II.
and the present minister. “I just There were rejoicings amongst the
reckon he's a man as Miss Cox can't Acadians upon this event, so many of
govern,” said Josiah Hart's wife to the them had grown so heartily tired of
better-half of Elder Box. Mrs. Box, their previous pulpit incumbent. Few
tall, sallow and saddened by chronic denied that he had not tried to serve
dyspepsia, nodded her head vigorously. them to the best of his ability for the
"I tell you, if Box had thought for past twelve years, but then his ability
one minute he'd be the Cox creetur was small. Witness the empty pews,
that poor old Rames was, he'd never the non-accession of members, the pre
have used his influence to git him in vailing indifference. So they made
Arcady Church. He was on the lookcommon cause against the poor little out for a man who knows his own
mind.” man, going softly about with his suit of rusty black and bis small, stereotyped
| “Yes, yes, Lizzie," said Mrs. Hart smile. The anxiety to give bread to a
decisively, “and one as can see through numerous family and decently clothe
folks!" "Yes, that's just it, Miss them had grooved wrinkles in his thin
Hart. I says to B)x only yesterday, face, woven nets of crow's feet at his
says I, *Elder, as a church we need temples. How to make one dollar do
such a man to see through Harriet the work of two was oftentimes a dis.
Cox, and set her down in a Christian tressing question that darkened his
way once fur all!'” faith and clouded his mind, even in its
• Just so, Lizzie; I do hate to see
anybody, specially a minister, taken in a devotions. He saw by unmistakable signs
bundle of contraptions. If soniebody that his influence was waning, but still
now would only open his eyes and tell strove piteously to shut his tearful eyes
him what an onchristian, purse-proud, to the fact. The difficulties under
domineerin'creetur she is, on the start!"
, which he labored were perplexing. Some of his members were at swords
But alas, the opening of one's eyes is points with others, and between the
not always a painless operation to the ohposing factions the poor man vi- |
subject. If in gaining koowledge we prated like an oscillating pendulum,
are to incur expulsion from Eden, we anxious to offend neither, and fearful
would fain be content with a lesser wisto deal plainly with them concerning |
dom. It certainly did not add to the the pettiness and lack of Christian love
minister's pleasure, through words and that gave birth to and nourished the
barbed shafts, to be made aware that a discord. Meantime his life was em
trouble inimical to its prosperity coiled bittered, and in his timid efforts to
its chilling folds in the church where please both and keep himself out of
| he had looked to find souls sweet and irouble, he quite laid himself open to
humble, rich in grace, concerned above misinterpret: tion of motive and was
all to do justly, love mercy, and walk called unreliable. Vainly he strove to
humbly with their God. breast the current, while he clung with the tenacity of a feeble nature to the skirts of an unwilling congregation. Winter in Acadia came early, and But the man in him was not extinct, was a long, snow-bound season. The for when at last continued complaints crops all harvested, the fruits garnered, came to his ears and he heard that by the royally-tinted leaves swept by pitihis “hanging on to the church he less winds from the trees, the pools and was robbing it of life, he rose equal to streams filled, the air nipping-then the emergency, resigned his call and | the Acadians got down sleighs and cutwent forth with a deeper, more child-ters, and made ready for snow-storms. like faith in the Father he tried hum- Winter was the farmer's leisure time,
and the season of rural festivities for “ Just the same as we always do," the young. But the one important answered Mrs. Cox. "Some of us must event, barring weddings, was the annual | be sure to bring a roast turkey, and there Donation party.
ought to be three or four biled hams.” “I b'lieve into donations," said the “Folks ginerally calculate to eat thriving owner of the store at the considerable at sich times,” said Mrs. “Corners.” “Yes," he continued, rub- Hart," and the more there's left, th bing his oily palms, "the gospill must better it is fur the dominie's folks. Mrs. be supported !" Backed by the know- Rames used to set great store by what ledge that at such times he always gave was left. What is it you're goin' to a dozen yards of bleached muslin, to be say, Miss Box ?" A look of intelliused in the manifold exigencies of his gence passed between the two women, minister's family, he felt free to expa that Mrs. Cox's black eye caught. tiate on the subject.
“ Them two has hatched up some plan, " That it must,” said father Pugsum, I'll be bound," was her mental conthinking of the barrel of smallish pota- clusion.” toes already sorted out for his gift, “Well, ladies," began Mrs. Box, "and I guess the most on us kalkalate " what I want to say is this : A week to do our share!” Mrs. Gilham, an ago Friday night I was to Jordanville elderly widow, who was buying “a to Elder Greg's donation party. He's pound o' your middlin'tea" at the I the new Methodist minister there, I counter, nodded her astute bead. She suppose you know. Everything went always made it a religious duty to at- off bee-yutiful, and what I was going to tend the donation party, eat a generous speak of particilar, they had an oystersupper, and convey home ample por- stew that everybody liked amazin'. I tions of cake, in return for which she don't know how many I beered speak left a pair of knitted blue yarn mittens about that stew. Now, some of us bev to keep warm the clerical fingers. "I bin thinkin' the matter over, an' we think, to give what is useful is best,” think 'twould be a good idee to hev an she said in her sbrill treble. “Exactly, oyster-stew to our party." There was madam,” said Silas with bis benevolent a visible start. Common as are these smile, “my sentiments exactly. Yes, luscious bivalves in Gotham, they were gentlemen, Mrs. Gilham has hit the a rare treat in Acadia then.. nail squarely. Can I sell you anything. “I, fur one, would just like to know more this morning, madam ?
who ever is goin' to pay to feed a hunOld Amos Tupper, the chief sot in gry crowd with eysters ?”' queried Mrs. Acadia, who was sitting lazily by the Gilham. stove with his froway old head bent, “Mrs. Box, of course," answered had a sudden inspiration to speak. Mrs. Cox, loudly, “ bein' she wants “Say what you will," he quavered, l'em, she must mean to supply 'em ; as “parsons is fortunit men, a salry allers for the coffee—.”. Mrs. B)x crimsoned. comin' in steady without their havin' to “They at Jordanville” she began. dig an' delve furt, and folks besides “ As I said about the coffee,” went on allers ready to give to 'em out of their Mre. Cox, as if Mrs. B)x bad no exisown little basket and store. I wish to tence, “I will give two pounds of the the Lord I was a minister !"
best Java-in fact, we only use the “ You preach a pretty good sermon best, and some one must give another.” just bein' what you are," said the widow | “As I began to explaiu when someausterely. His jaw fell, he winked dis body broke in on me,'' said Mrs. Box, mally at Silas and subsided into his with decision, “they at Jordanville usual vacuity.
paid for them oysters out of the dona
tion money.' IV.
“ We'd best have eystere," said Mrs. The time having been set for the do- Gilham, “there's no sense in letting nation, a bevy of women met at Mrs. them Jordaapille Methodys get the best Hart's to arrange matters. “What o' us !". shall we bring, generally speakin' for A pretty way to do things,” said the supper ?'' asked some one.
Mrs. Cox.“ Now I say, ef Miss Box or