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or conversion causes a greater joy in 2 We may mingle with the unfortuheaven, than even your comparatively nate and fallen, when duty calls us there, better lives can effect, since you flatter or, if the motive and aim be to elevate yourselves that you are perfectly and benefit them. righteous,' and need nothing more." 3. The more of Christ we have inThen He would have them to see, that dwelling us, the better will we know if such a joy is felt in heaven over the how to stand towards the publicans and prospect of reclaiming the sinful and sinners of our day. erring souls, He ought the more to deligbt, being on earth, orer the penitence

Single Blessedness. shown by them-yea, much rather than over their proud self-sufficiency, which If it is true that, for the greater numexalted them over any felt need at His ber of us, married life is the perfect life, hand. He continues His discourse by ad- it is equally true that, for others of us, ding another parable of similarim port, the single life is the perfect life. In the the Parable of the Lost Piece of Money. case of men it is superfluous either to

VERSES 8, 9. What woman. The illustrate it by instances, or to support Church of God is represented here by it by argument; especially when we resuch a person. Ten pieces of silver, or member that the solution of the question ten drachmas, which equal ten Roman rests usually with themselves. As for pennies. Souls are represented under unmarried women, wbat a dreary wilsuch coins. The superscription upon deruess this earth would be without each illustrates the image of God, wbich them! In thousands of homes the is yet to be discerned in every buman maiden sister or aunt is the very angel spirit. The longer it remains lost, the of the family, the children's idol, the more is this image covered over in rust secret wonder and delight even of those and dirt. So, too, is the soul buried who too scrupulously use her; by sickover in sin. The lighting of the candle beds and death-beds a divine consoler; represents the proaching of the Gospel the depository of the sweet secrets of in the house, or church. Sweeping the blushing hearts, the tender friend of the house, and seeking diligently, are sym- old, and the poor, and the lonely. Old bols of the efforts made by the kingdom maids, indeed! Why, with certain obof Christ to redeem souls. And here vious exceptions, they are the very salt now joy and gladness shall resound, of the earth, the calm and sweet life of when souls are reclaimed, as well as in the household that is so blessed as to heaven, since true believers, whether in own them; their distinction, to be wanted heaven or on earth, are like-minded. by everybody; their reward, to be useful His hearers must bave keeply felt the to everybody; their home-he enughome-thrust of this pointed parable. gest, warmest place in the hearts that He places, in a few words, His kingdom can love. And if they have a niche to far above the economy of the Pharisees, fill on earth, as none can fill like them, in wbich so narrow and jealous a spirit many of them shall have a crown of reigned, as not to allow them to rejoice surpassing brightness in heaven. Men, over a lost soul redeemed.

and women too, sometimes keep single, Thus did Jesus vindicate His con not so much because no one cares for duct, and, at the same time, teach all them, but because they themselves care men, that they are by nature in a lost for Christ, first and most. The chosen condition; and that the souls who rea- solitariness of an unmarried life is occalize this fact and allow themselves to be sionally the sacrifice of self, secretly, brought home to God, their Father, but deliberately, laid at the feet of Him. through Jesus Christ, the Good Shep- who pleased not Himself; and it has, herd, are more acceptable to Him than and shall bave, its great recompense. those are who know not that they are “ The unmarried woman careth for the far from God.

things of the Lord, that she may be TRUTH8:41. Evil company should holy both in body and spirit.”' Prebe avoided. Persons are judged by sently she will find out, and others also, their associations. Evil communica- that the Lord has cared for her.-Suntions corrupt good manners and morals. I day Magazine. ,

MAY 8.

LESSON XIX,

1881.

Third Sunday after Easter. Luke xv. 11–24.

THE SUBJECT.-THE PRODIGAL SON. KEY-NOTE._"A LITTLE WHILE, AND YEL 17. And when he came to himself, be said, SHALL NOT SEE ME; AND AGAIN A LITTLE How many hired servants of my father's have WHILE, AND YE SHALL SEE ME; BECAUSE bread enough and to spare, and I perish with I GO TO THE FATHER.'--John xvi. 46. | hunger!

18. I will arise and go to my father, and will 11. And he said, A certain man had two say unto him, Father, I have sinned against SODS:

heaven, and before thee, 12. And the younger of them said to his fa 19. And am no more worthy to be called thy ther, Father, give me the portion of goods that son: make me as one of thy hired servants. falleth to me. And he divided unto them his 20 And he arose, and came to his father. But living.

when he was yet a great way off. his father saw 13. And not many days after the younger son him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on gathered all together, and took his journey his neck, and kissed him. into a far country, and there wasted his sub 21. And the son said unto him, Father, I have stance with riotous living.

sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am 14. And when be bad spent all, there arose a no more worthy to be called thy son. mighty famine in that land; and he began to 22. But the father said to his servants, Bring be in want.

forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put 15. And he went and joined himself to a citi a ring on his hand, and shoes on bis feet: zen of tbat country; and he sent him into his 23. And bring bither the fatted calf, and kill fields to feed swine.

it; and let us eat, and be merry: 16. And he would fain bave filled his belly 24. For this my son was dead and is alive with the husks that the swine did eat: and pol again; he was lost, and is found. And they man gave unto him.

I began to be merry.

QUESTIONS.

How does the Key note read? What Parable) 20. How is God represented as feeling and opens for us to-day? What does prodigal | acting towards the Gentiles, and sinners in mean? What name might be given to this general ? narrative, so as to include both sons What 21. Did the son say all he intended to say ? object had Jesus in relating it? verses 1-2.

22. How did the father break forth? What VERSE 11. Whom does this certain mun re is meant by robe, ring, and shoes, in the spipresent? What two nations do the two sons ritual sense ? symbolize ? For which does the younger stand ? VERSES 23-4. How do you interpret the feast The elder

that was made ? 12. What does the younger say? Was it a 25-8. Where was the elder son ? Is it possicustom then to divide the patrimony before the ble to be at home, and yet be alienated in beart? death of the father? How can we apply this Whom did he hear? Whom did he ask about to the Gentile world? To Publicans and sin the festival? How was he affected ? Did the ners ?

feeling of the Jews correspond to such a mind? 13. What does the far country signify in the 29-30. How did he boast of his own obehistory of such people? What is meant by dience? What did he say of his brother? Did riotous living?

he call him a brother? Was this speech uttered, 14. What does the mighty famine illustrate? in substance, against the heathens, publicans

15. May we understand Satan under this and sinners ? certain citizen ? How can such charac ers be 31-32. What did the father say ? Was heasaid to join in league with hin? How was a ven not still open to the Jews after Christ swine-herd regarded by the Jew? Does the would open it for the Gentiles, too? How ought Evil One subject his servants 10 such degrading the Jew to have felt when learning of the plan employment?

of salvation for the whole race? 10. Ís ibe soul of even euch sinners satisfied were both sons in faul ? Had both something by tbe nourishment which is afforded them? to recommend them? Which was in greater How is the hunger of the soul here described ? danger of being lost finally-the unrighteous or Can its bread be obtained away from God ? the self-righteous ? Why is this so?

17. What is meant by coming to one's self ? Are all men unrighteous ? Whose course Of what does the soul then think?

must they follow, in order to obtain righieous8. What does the Son then resolve to do? ness-the elder or the younger's ? What confession is He ready to make ?

What was the fate of the self-righteous, in 19. What sense of humility is realized ? | Christ's day? Does this still arrest all such?

1. The Lord of glory is my light,

And my salva ion too;
God is my strength; nor will I fear

What all my toes can do.

2. One privilege my heart desires ;

O grant me an abode,
Among the churches of Thy saints,

The temples of my God!

REMARKS.The object which our death of the parent. The eldest always Lord had in view, when He related this obtained a double portion. gran: Parable, was to teach the Jews Nature and Reason were the allotand all mankind, that God delights ment for the heathen races, and the more in the penitent humility and natural man. The Jews had these, hearty thankfulness of the singer than along with Revelation, a two-fold inin the cold morality of that soul which heritance. knows no love. It were well to call VERSE 13. Natural religion, the inthis narrative–The Parable of the gredients of which being the light of Elder and Younge.- Son. Under its nature and reason, degenerate not many common name, the younger is made days after, a divorcement from God almost exclusively prominent before us, and His Revelation finds place. The and the elder lost sight of. Yet it was far country illustrates the wandering off surely the intention of Jesus to empha- and the degeneration of the Gentile size the unbrotherly conduct and spirit world or mind. Riotous living is figuraof the Jew—the Pharisees and Scribes tive of the wild, lawless, self-willed,

-towards the Gentiles, the Publicans thinking and doing of God-forsaking and singers. Whilst tbe erring, proali- people and souls, by which the substance gal (spendihrift) course of the latter is ar remaining life, of natural religion faithfully narrated, the domestic, miser- becoures enervated, wasted. Jy spirit of the former is sharply con- ' VERSE 4! A mighty famine, or spirtrasted. Both sons were in the wrong, Litual dearth. for:lows. The soul never of course. But the point Jesus made can cut loose from its own instinct against His accusers (vs. 1-2) was, that convictions, that it was made arte the son who remained at home stood and can alone be satisfied in God. in greater danger of being alienated at Hence all false religions are a proof, heart, at last, than the erratic son, who a felt want. Men and natioans ce

hinns confess learned to appreciate his home by a to this feeling in a thousand ways prolonged absence. Neither son is pre- VERSE 15. A certain citizen mar sented as a faultless model to the true country may represent the “Prine worshipper. And yet, in both there this world”-Satan. He is called was a commendable feature. Not the Mammon in the Gospel. Heathen na going from home, of the younger, would tions and godless souls fall more and Jesus commend; but the way he came more under the power of evil, and stand back, after having been so unfortunate in league with it, as they siok away as to go astray. Nor would Jesus con- from God. A swine herd was a desdemn the elder sop for abiding at home; picable character iu the eyes of a Jew. but the narrow, clannish spirit, which he Such an employment was well calcupursed within himself. It is sad to hear lated to illustrate the low and mean long comments and eloquent sermons service to which Satan subjects bis made over the poor Prodigal; whilst menials. It is not too strong a phrase. the Churl is dismissed with a few VERSE 16. The souls of men and words, by way of couclusion. The Par- nations would fain, gladly, allay their able is of the nature of a climax, and spiritual goawings by the food on wbich presents the chief thing last.

demons survive; but the kingdom of NOTES. VERSE 11. A certain man darkness contains no bread fit for the must be taken as a picture of God, the spirit of man; neither is it animated by Father. The two sons portray Jew and the law of supplying charity. It takes Gentile. Both wings of the human and robs, but never gives. It is the race, represented by these, originally universal experience of the sioner. No one family.

Iman gave unto him. Swine can live on VERSE 12. The younger portrays the husks, and demons on darkness; but Gentile class, as pictured forth by the such nourishment fills not the soul. Publicans and singers. Father, give me VERSE 17. And when he came to himthe portion of goods that falleth to me. self, marks the crisis in the man's lite. The law and custom of the age and A soul or people aside of God is likencountry made it possible for a son to ed to one wb side himself,” out of } ask a share of his patrimony, before the right mind. When a consciousne

such alienation flashes upon the soul, all this commingling with sinners the moment of right reason has dawned, means. and an effort is made to come to one's VERSE 27. John the Baptist had self and God. The thought of a fa- summed up all for him. He might ther, a father's house, its plentiful have understood it all. Doubtless he bread, so much so, that the servants, or did, too; but he would find fault. least ones, can be satisfied - all this VERSE 28. And he was angry. This indicates the awakening in the soul. paints in strong colors the disposition of

VERSE 18. I will arise. The awake- the Pharisee towards the publicans, sinuing is followed by a resolution to re- ners and heathens. He would not go turn. And will say, is symbolical of in, or mingle in the rejoicing throng of the confession which always flows from men and angels, who were happy over the truly penitent spirit, be it of an in the universal reign of Grace. The Fadividual man, or the mass.

ther entreated the Jews warmly and VERSE 19. I am no more worthy to persistently in His own Son Jesus. In be called thy son. A sense of unworthi- Christ, the Father came out. ness overcomes the penitent. Yet the VERSES 29, 30. The Jew is DOW desire to be at home is so strong that heard to laud his merits and righteousthe place of hired servants is willingly ness. He is ungrateful for all bis Faoccupied.

ther did for him. The heathen is VERSE 20. The father is repre- painted in the black ņess of darkness; sented as rising and meeting the singer and God is chided for being so condeon his return; or, the Gentile world. scending as to receive such spirits to Ran-fell on his neck-kissed. What Himsel. strong figures by which to indicate the | VERSES 31, 32. God is made to tell readiness and anxiety of God to save this Jewish child, most kindly, in anmankind!

swer to his unfilial words, that Heaven VERSE 21. And the son said all that is ever yet open for him—that He he had resolved upon, except what the would ever have him with Himself; glad father prevented him from express- and afford him all the grace in His loving (v. 19).

ing heart. “But,” He adds, “Heaven VERSE 22. But the father said, break is large enough for mankind, for the ing in, as it were, ere the penitent son once lost, but now returning heathen bad finished his confession. The best races—for their dead brother even.” robe is Christ's righteousness, which God God, without reproaching him in the would throw around such sculs; the least, declared that it was meet, or natring is a symbol of adoption into His ural for beaven and heavenly disposed family; and shoes on the feet illustrates souls to rejoice over the plan of love the power of grace to walk in the way and grace, by which redemption could of His commandments.

be consummated. Here the narrative VERSES 23, 24. A joyful feast was in closes. The son never fell in with the the East, a proof of reconciliation and feast of joy. At last, the children of oneness. Hence this grand supper, the kingdom were cast out, wbilst pubOur Lord frequently compares His licans and sinners are still pressing kingdom to a great supper.

VERSES 25, 26. Now the elder son- It was a sermon full of warning to the Jew-comes before us. Heaven is the self-righteousness of the Jews, and joyful, God and the angels, over the of encouragement to the penitent, unplan of redemption, by which all men righteous Gentile souls. may be saved-except God's elder Son It remains, ever yet, the same for us,

-Israel of old-Scribes and Pharisees. as we may belong to the one, or the He is in the field-not away from home, other class. Neither is our model, as indeed; but alienated in heart-at home Christians. As such, Jesus stands for and yet not of bome. He knows not us. Still, self-righteousness is more danwhat has been consummated in the fa- gerous than penitent unrighteousness. ther's house, though heaven and earth rejoice over the plan of grace. He asks A HOLY heart labors to exalt Christ the servants, priests and prophets, what in the whole of life.

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KEY-NOTE.—“ALL THINGS THAT THE, my tongue; for I am tormented in this FATHER HATH ARE MINE: THEREFORE SAID flame. I, THAT HE SHALL TAKE OF MINE, AND 25. But Abraham said, Sin, remember that SHALL SHEW IT UNTO YOU."'--John xvi. 15. thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things,

and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he 19. There was a certain rich man, which is comforted, and thou art tormented. was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared 26. And besides all this, between us and you sumptuously every day :

there is a great gulf fixed : so that they which 20. And there was a certain beggar named would pass from hence to you cannot; neither Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of can they pass to us, that would come from sores,

thence. 21. And desiring to be fed with the crumbs 27. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, fawhich fell from the rich man's table : more ther, that thou wouldest send him to my father's over the dogs came and licked his sores.

house: 22. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, 28. For I have five brethren ; that he may and was carried by the angels into Abraham's testify unto them, lest they also come into this bosom : the rich man also died, and was place of torment, buried;

29. Abraham saith unto him, They have Mo. 23. And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being ses and the prophets ; let them hear them. in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and 30. And he said, Nay, father Abraham : but Lazarus in his bosom.

if one went unto the.n from the dead, they will 24. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, | repent. have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he 31. And he said unto him, if they hear not may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool Moses and the prophets, neither will they be

persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

QUESTIONS.

What is our Key-note ? What is our , Did he at once know Lazarus? Whom does Theme?

Abraham represent? VERSE 19. Who is spoken of here? How 24. To whom did he now pray? For whom ? was he clothed ? Who usually wore purple Through whom did he ask for help? Whom garments ? Linen garments? How was bis did he now see that Lazarus was? Gal. iii. 20. table? What nation is represented by the rich 25. How did God (Abraham) answer him? man?

26. What did He say, that prevented the 20. What other character is mentioned ? | good and bad from being in one place, in the What does Lazarus mean? Forsaken. How other world ? was he circumstanced? In what condition was 27. For whom did he then intercede? Where his body ?

was his father's house ? May this represent the Who may Lazarus be made to represent? Is. Temple, too? Who was to be sent ? Chap liii.

28. Why was Lazirus to go? 21. What was Lazarus anxious for? What 29. What was the answer now? What were creatures r-lieved him? What nations did the they to render, to Moses and the Prophets ? Jews call dogs? Do you know of any heathens 30. What did he reply? who were more fa 'orably inclined to Christ 31. Could one from the dead do more towards than those of His own nation ?

changing men's hearts than the Law and Gospel 22. Who died first? Whither was Lazarus of Gid? Do we not think so, sometimes ? taken ? By whom? What place is Abraham's For whose benefit was this Parable first spobosom May all this still be said of Christ ? ken? Has it not an application for every What became of the rich man! Did the down ! believer too? Does it not apply to every man, fall of the Jewish people occur before or after

as well ? the death of Christ?

What great lessou may rich men learn from 23. Where did the rich man open his eyes ? it ? verse 9. Whom did he see? Who was with Abraham ? But is it not too much applied to such cha

racters ?

1. There is a blessed Home

Beyond this land of woe,
Where trials never come,

Nor tears of sorrow flow;

2. Where faith is lost in sight,

And patient hope is crowned,
And everlasting light

Its glory throws around.

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