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REMARKS —The first Christian Con- in different parts of the City of Jerusagregation followed as the result of St. lem, at the hands of the several AposPeter's sermon. It was composed wholly tles, about three thousand souls left of converts from the Jewish Church, the Jewish Church and became Curisand may be called the Mother-Congre- tians. tion of Christendom.
VERSE 42. And they continued in COMMENTS.—VERSE 37. Now when their new faith steadfastly, or firmly. they had heard the Sermon of St. Peter, They exhibited their zeal in four differthey were pricked in their hearts, or ent ways: 1) In living the doctrines of pierced through by the truth of his dis- the Apostles; 2) In remaining in the course, which he proved by the sayings fellowship of charity and love towards of their own Prophets, and by facts each other; 3) In the breaking of bread, which they could not gainsay. Instead or celebrating the Lord's Supper; and of becoming angry, they were penitent 4) In prayers, or observing all their and turned to Peter and the rest of the devotional duties in private and in Apostles, whom they acknowledged as public. Men and brethren, that is, as wise and Such was the life and spirit of the charitable advisers. “What shall we do?" first congregation of Christ. O, that was the great question with them. They such marks were to be noted in all the felt that the awful crime of slaying Jesus members of every Church of Christ! Christ would draw after it a very heavy And the Lord added to the church punishment. How were they to escape daily such as should be saved from their the penalty ?
sins, by repentance and faith, even as VERSE 38. Peter prescribes the duties He does to-day. Such as join the for them to perform: 1) Repent : Realize Church, and do not realize that they your sin: deplore it heartily; confess are in a saving relation to God, are not it; pray for mer:y; And 2) be bap- properly added of God to His people. tized ... in the nnme of Jesus Christ : We have learned 1) When and where Acknowledge the Gospel of Christ, by the first Christian Congregation was becoming His disciples in that you founded; 2) how the first harvest of submit to the rite of Baptism. Notice, souls was gathered into the kingdom of too, that St. Peter requires this of all - Christ; and, 3) what spirit pervaded every one of you.
the Mother-Church. The Christian Then he assures them, two results Church is a Divine kingdom. We show will follow: 1) The remission of sins ; our faith by submitting to the Gospel And 2) the gift of the Holy Ghost : the in Baptism. By virtue of the Grace implanting of God's life in their souls. vouchsafed to us, we are enabled to lead
VERSE 39. For the promise of Joel, penitent lives. Thus holiness and salthe prophet, whose words he had been vation result. quoting, is to you, the Jews, and to your VERSE 43. And fear came upon vvery children, or offspring; and to all that soul that tarried in Jerusalem, because are afar off-the Gentiles; even as many of such events which were occurring. The as the Lord our God shall call, by the many wonders and signs which were preaching of the Gospel in the course done by the Apostles, besides, helped to of time.
bring bome to all the Jews that this VERSE 40. And with many other work was of God. words, which are not recorded here, he | VERSE 44. And all that believed, or continued to testify, or prove the truth had become Christians, were together, of his words, and to exhort, or beseech that is, were united in spirit and mind. them, saying: Save yourselves from this It is not likely that more than three untoward (opposing generation — the thousand souls were in one place conJewish nation, which was soon to be stantly. And had all things common. destroyed.
Just as the Jews, during their FestivalVERSE 41. Then they that gladly re- seasons, entertained each other muceived his word, or that portion of his tually, so the first Christian community hearers wbich were. ready and willing made one family of themselves, and to obey bis counsels, at once became shared beds, homes and tables, while converts to Christ. On the same day, they tarried there.
VERSE 45. Some of the wealthier on his shoulders and resting there, until ones even sold their possessions and goods, ber strength becoming exhausted, she in order to aid such as were in want. said, “I can hold on no longer!” “ Try They parted, or divided to all, as every a little longer," was the response of the man had need.
wearied and agonized husband, “ let us VERSE 46. They continuing daily sing, Rock of Ages.'” And as the sweet with one accord, or one mind, in the strains floated over those troubled waters temple, at the regular hours of prayer, reaching the ears of the sinking and and took their meals in companies, be- dying, little did they know, those sweet tween the hours of worship, under each singers of Israel, whom they comforted. others' roofs. And thus they wor- But lo! as they sang, one after another shiped, ate and lodged, experiencing of the exhausted ones were seen raising great gladness and unanimity.
their heads above the overwhelming VERSE 47. Praising God for the faith waves, joining with a last effort in this He had wrought in their souls, and sweet, dying, pleading prayer, having favour with all the people, on ac
“Rock of Ages, cleft for me count of their simple, pure and Christ
Let me hide myself in Thee.” like lives.
With the song seemed to come strength ; another and yet another was encouraged to renewed effort.
Soon in the distance a boat was seen The Ministry of the Hymns.
approaching! Could they hold out a BY MRS. S. K. BRANDEGER. little longer? Singing still, they tried,
and soon, with superhuman strength, From a beautiful volume, published
a laid hold of the life-boat, upon which by the American Tract Society, entitled
they were borne in safety to land. “Story of the Hymns," we make the
This is no fiction; it was related by following extract:
the singer himself, who said he“ believed The hymns of Luther." says St Toplady s sweet ‘Rock of Ages' saved Coleridge, "did as much for the Refor- many
he Reiar: many another beside himself and wife.” mation as did his translation of the
| And this was only salvation from Bible. They were indeed the battle-cry |
temporal death! But methinks, from and trumpet-call of the Reformation ;
" the bright world yonder the good Topthe children bummed them in the cot
lady must be rejoicing that God ever tage, the martyrs sung them on the
taught him to write that hymn, which sco ffold.”
has helped save so many from cternal After his death, when his friend Mel
death as, catching its spirit, they have ancthon heard a little maid singing on
learned to cast themselves alone for help the streets of Weimar Luther's grand
on that dear “Rock of Ages" — cleft, hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is our God,”
sinner, for them, for you and for me, and he said, “Sing on, my maid, for you
which ever stands rent asunder that it little know whom you comfort.”
may shelter tbose who utter the cry Such a beautiful incident illustrative “Let me hide thyself in thee.” of this thought was recently given by
Chr. Intelligencer. Rev. Mr. Boole, of Asbury Park, from his own pulpit, that we venture to reproduce it for the benefit of others.
OLD gentleman (military man) conOn board the ill-fated steamer “Sea- versing with smart-looking Irishman; wanhaka” was one of the Fisk Univer- “ Wounded in the Crimea, were you? sity singers. Before leaving the bur- Badly?” Irishman: “The bullet hit ning steamer and committing bimself to me in the chist, here, surr, an' the merciless waves, he carefully fastend came out at me back!'Old gentleman : upon himself and wife life-preservers. " Come, cme, Pat, that won't do! Why, Some one cruelly dragged away that of it would have gone right through your the wife, leaving her without hope, ex- heart, man!” Irishman : "Och, faith cept as she could cling to her husband. me heart was in me mouth at the toime, This she did, placing her hands firmly surr!”
Second Sunday after Trinity. Acts xi. 19-26.
THE SUBJECT.-THE CHURCH IN ANTIOCH.-(THE FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN
KEY-NOTE." I SAY UNTO YOU, THAT, 22. Then tidings of these things came unto LIKEWISE JOY SHALL BE IN HEAVEN OVER the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: ONE SINNER THAT REPENTETH, MORE THAN and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go OVER NINETY AND NINE JUST PERSONS, I as far as Antioch. WHICH NEED NO REPENTANCE.”—Luke xy. 7. 1 23. Who, when he came, and had seen the
| grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, 19. Now they which were scattered abroad | that with purpose of heart they would cleave upon the persecution that arose about Stephen unto the Lord. travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and 24. For he was a good man, and full of the Antioch, preaching the word unto the Jews Holy Ghost and of faith : and much people was only.
added unto the Lord. 20. And some of them were men of Cyprus 25. Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to and Cyrene, which, when tbey were come to seek Saul: Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching 26. And when he had found him, he brought the Lord Jesus.
him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a 21. And the hand of the Lord was with them : | whole year they assembled themselves with and a great number believed, and turned unto the church, and taught much people. And the the Lord.
| disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
Of what Church did our last lesson treat ? , St. Peter admitted before ? chap. x. Did the Of what Church does this lesson treat? Of Christians at Antioch likely, follow his example what Faith had the members of the Church in 21. What is meant by the hand of the Lord ! Jerusalem been before their conversion ? Of Did this show that the Lord approved of exwhat people were the members of the congrega tending the Gospel to the Heathens ? tion in Antioch? verses 1 and 20. In what two 22. What Church heard of the events at Ancities, then, were the Mother-congregations for tioch? Whom did the Apostles then send the Jewish and Gentile world established ? thither? Who was Burnabasi chap. iv. 36.
VERSE 19. Who were scattered abroad ? 23. How was he affected ? What did he do Why? Who was Stephen ? chap. vi, 1-6. What for them? was his end ? chap. vii. 58-60. What place does 24. What was the character of Barnabas ? St. Stephen hold among the Christian martyrs ? 25. For whom did Barnabas send? Who To what several places did the persecuted was Saul, C Christians fiee? What did these fugitives con 26. How long' did both labor here? What tinue doing, wherever they came to? What name originated here ? Did the name CHRISgood resulted from the persecution, then? To TIAN come from the followers of Christ them whom only did they preach the Gospel ? Why? selves ? Did the Jews confer it on them? Who
20. From what countries were some of those must then have given them the name ? For at Antioch? To whom did these preach ? | what two facts did the Church in Antioch be. Were the Grecians Jeus or Gentiles ? Is this come noted in all time? the first notice we have of Gentiles being ad | Why art thou called a Christian --Heidelberg mitted into the Christian Church? Whom had | Catechism, Question xxxii.
REMARKS.—Antioch was the capital southern coast of the sea. Being of Syria, a country lying adjacent to natives of these places, and having India on the North. The city lay been converted to the Gospel, these about 250 miles off Jerusalem. Jeru- commenced to labor with the Grecians, salem and Antioch are remarkable for who were Gentiles. Thus was founded being the two cities in which the two in Antioch the first Christian Church, Mother Congregations were founded in into which converted heathens were the Apostolic age. In the former admitted. On this account the Church place the first Christian Congregation in Antioch became especially noted. for the Jews was founded; whilst in tbe VERSE 21.-By the hand of the Lord latter the first Christian Congregation is intended the power of His Spirit. for the Gentiles was established. How The phrases, finger of God and arm of the door was opened for the Gospel into God (Luke xi. 20; Job xl. 9), mean the Heathen world, we may now see, by the same thing. God approved of the studying the origin of this first Mission act of extending the Gospel into ary Church.
heathen lands, in a marked manner. COMMENTS.— VERSE 19. Now they, Many Gentiles believed in Jesus as the who had been converted to Christianity Christ, and joined His Church now in the City of Jerusalem, were scattered founded in this city. The door was abroad, and were obliged to flee in now opened, and souls from afar pressed every direction, on account of the great into His Kingdom. and cruel persecution, or outbreak of VERSE 22.---The tidings, or news, hatred against the Christians on the that a new congregation had been espart of the Jews. The zeal of Stephen tablished in Antioch, and of Gentiles was the immediate occasion of this as well as of Jews, reached the ear of rage. Who he was, we learn in Chaps. the Mother Church in Jerusalem. The vi. vii. viii.
Apostles sent Barnabas (chap. iv. 36), In their flight they sought out such a zealous minister, thither, with proper places outside of Judea as had become instructions, no doubt, how to establish the dwelling-places of their former and organize all things on a sure founacquaintances and Jewish brethren, dation. Such counsel was needed, we whom they supposed to be less enraged may easily believe. against them than those residing in VERSE 23. Being himself a Grecian Jerusalem. Phænice lay along the Jew, and native of Cyprus (chap. iv, Mediterranean Sea, and Cyprus was an 36–7) he exhorted the Church in their Island in the Sua; whilst Antioch lay familiar tongue, advising and encourfarther north. But wherever these aging all to remain faithful and steadflying Christians tarried, they continued fast in their new religion. preaching the Gospel. They fled for VERSE 24. His character is given their lives, but did not deny their faith. us in these few words. With such a In this way the persecution did great preacher, and around such a flock, we good, since the gospel sparks were scat- need not wonder at the rapid growth of tered about. God knows how to over- this Church. rule the wrath of man and Satan. | VERSE 25.–The increase of the
But these Christians had not yet membership rendered niore ministerial learned that the Gospel of Christ was help necessary. Barnabas now thought intended for all mankind, and so they of his former countryman, and now confined their intercourse and preaching converted Saul. He had been a violent to the Jews only. It was here, however, persecutor of the Christians, but having in Antioch, and very soon after, that himself become a believer in Christ, they learned, how Peter had baptized after a most wonderful manner (chap. Cornelius, the first Gentile soul (chap. ix.), he was obliged to hide among his x.), and thus taught them that Chris- friends at his native place, Tursus, the tianity was meant for the whole world, capital of Cilicia, in Asia Minor. for Jews and Gentiles.
Being learned in the Greek and Latin VERSE 20.— And some of them, who tongues, he was a suitable man for this bad arrived at Antioch, were men of post. Cyprus and Cyrene--a country on the VERSE 26.-A whole year both labored for the extension of the Gospel recent life in the tropics, he said: “No in Antioch. And from this city, natural object in that region bad more afterwards, Paul undertook his great attraction to me than the stately palmmissionary tours into other countries. tree, with its graceful form and its reAntioch became the great head-quar- freshing shade. And the maoner of its ters of the Gentile Mission.
growth is recalled to me as I see these And the disciples were called Chris- successive college classes, in their repretians first in Antioch. This is an im- sentatives here to-day. Out of the heart portant record. It tells us of the time of the palm-tree there comes a cluster and place in which the name CHRIS- of young leaves — like the graduating TIAN first originated. Before this class of to-day — standing together for pame became known, the followers of a time above all about them, and then Christ were called by different names. separating, without losing all connection They usually called themselves “Dis- with the parent stock, to spread into an ciples," - Believers," “ Saints,"«Breth. encircling frieze which is to be covered in ren." The Jews called them “Gali- turn by the next unfolding cluster from leans,'' “Nazarenes.” Now, however, above, and so the growth of the tree, the unconverted Gentiles in Antioch like that of the college, is marked by conferred the name CARISTIANS upon the successive courses of unfoldeu leaves, them, since they followed CHRIST as the younger ones seeming to stretch Leader. It was given in mockery, and themselves over the others to shield as a witty. nick-pame, by the heathen them from the sun and storm, lest they Antiocheans. It was at once adopted should wither and fall too soon. Oh, universally, and became an honorable how grateful was the shade of the palmand immortal name.
tree to one who was weary in that dry For two things, then, the Church in and thirsty land! But dearer far to Antioch is noted. 1. Because this was me, my friends, than all else which I the first Christian congregation into came to enjoy in the tropics, was the whose bosom Gentile converts were ad- shelter of a tree which I there found mitted. 2. Because the noble name planted by the rivers of living water, CHRISTIAN originated in this city and which had been started into its beautiwas first applied to the followers of our ful growth under the shadow of Trinity Lord.
College walls." By this time the colThe Heidelberg Catechism tells us lege alumni were aroused, and they lissomething about this name, in the xxxii. tened with bated breath to the musical Question.
flow of words that followed. “It was " Why art thou called a Christian ? wbile I lay on a bed of sickness, far Because I am a member of Christ by from home and frierds, seemingly called faith, and thus am a partaker of His to die uncared for and alone, that there anointing, that so I may confess His came to my bedside one of God's dear name, and present myself a living children - a Brother in Christ—to look sacrifice of thanksgiving to Him; and with sympathy into my eyes, to speak also that with a free and good con- words of comfort to my heavy ears, to science I may fight against Sin and fan my fevered brow, and to miogle bis Satan in this life, and afterwards reign thoughts with mine, until, as we held with Hiin eternally over all creatures," sweet converse together in Christ Jesus,
I came to love him as if we had been A Happy Illustration, born of the same mother, and nourished
at the same breast. His fellowsbip and Dr. Beadle on one occasion made an bis prayers gave me new comfort and address at the close of the Commence- new life; and now, as I stand here bement dinner of Trinity College. He fore the alumni of his Alma Mater, I was known to but few of the alumni say with all my heart, God bless Jobn present. There was no expectation Du Bois, of the class of 1854.” The aroused before his speech. He had effect of this climax was irresistible. been passing some months in the West The classmates of Du Bois led in de. Indies for his health ; and, during that monstrative applause, as the other class time, had been quite ill. Referring to ses joined in with cheers.