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We do rot know very much of this evangelist. He was a Jew by birth, and very soon a convert to the Christian religion. Others say, he had been a Gentile. It is supposed, too, that he was one of our Lord's seventy disciples. He is the only evangelist who mentions the commission given by Christ to them, chap. 10: 1-20. It is likely that he is the Lucius mentioned in Rom. 16: 21. If so, he was related to St. Paul. He is also mentioned in Acts 11: 20 and 13: 1. It is believed that St. Luke was one of the two whom our Lord met on the way to Emmaus, Luke 24: 1335. St. Paul styles him his fellow-laborer, Philem. v. 24. He is mentioned as the beloved physician, Col. 4: 14. All traditions make him a physician. There is also a legend which attributes to him great skill in the art of painting.
He accompanied St. Paul to Macedonia, Acts 16: 3, 4; 20: 27 and 28. He was with St. Paul at Rome, during his imprisonment. In Jerusalem, it is believed, he collected many particulars for his Oospel and Book of Acts. He finished his writings in Greece, and there dedicalrd them to Theophilus, an honorable Christian friend of his of that country. He is said to have died at the age of eighty-four. We do not know when his Gospel record was published —perhaps fifteen or twenty years after the Ascension of our Lord.
Little Carl's Christmas Eve.
"Come inI" shouted together the host and hostess of a little German wayside inn near the banks of the Rhine, and not. far below .the city of Basle, and the borders of Switzerland. It was Christmas Eve, and a tempestu
ous night. The wind was raving round the little inn, and tearing away at the windows and doors, as though mad to get at the brave little light within, and extinguish it without mercy. The snow was falling fast, drifting and driving, obstructing the highway, blinding the eyes of man and beast.
The " come in" of the host and hostess was in answer to a loud, hurried rap at the door, by which there immediately entered two travelers. One, by his military dress, seemed a soldier, and the other appeared to be his servant. General Wallenstein was on his way from Carlsruhe, to his home in Basle. He had been delayed several hours by an accident to his post-carriage and by the storm, and now found himself obliged to stop for the night at this lonely and comfortless little inn.
When the officer threw aside his plumed hat and military cloak of rich fur, and strode up to the fire, with his epaulettes flashing in the light, and his sword knocking against his heels cling, clang, the gruff host was greatly impressed with his importance, and willingly went out to assist the postillion in the care of the horses. As for the old hostess, she bustled about with wonderful activity to prepare supper for the great man.
"Ho, Carl!" she cried, "thou young Rhine-sprite, thou water-imp, run to the wood for another bundle of fagots! Away, haste thee, or I'll give thee back to thy elfin kinsfolk, who are ever howling for thee I"
At these strange, sharp words, a wildlooking boy started up from a dusky corner of the room, where he had been lying with his head pillowed on a great tawny Swiss dog, and darted out of the door. He was coarsely dressed and barefooted; yet there was something uncommon about him—something grand, yet familiar in his look, which struck | the traveler strangely. I
"la that your child?" he asked.
"No, indeed," said the old dame; "lam a poor woman, and have seen trouble in my time; but blessed be the saints!—I'm not the mother of waterimps."
"Why do you call the boy a waterimp?"
"I call him so, your excellency," said the woman, sinking her shrill voice into an awe-struck tone, "because he came from the water, and belongs to the water. He floated down the Rhine in the great flood, four years ago come spring, a mere baby, that could barely tell his name, perched on the roof of a little chalet, in the night, amid thunder, lightning and rain! Now it is plain that no human child could have lived through that. My good man spied him I in the morning early, and took him off \ in his boat. I took him in pity; but 11 have always been afraid of him, and every flood-time I think the Rhine is coming for his own again."
The traveler seemed deeply interested, and well he might be; for in the very flood of which the superstitious old dame spoke, his only child, an infant boy, had been lost, with his nurse, whose cottage on the river-bank below Basle had been swept away by night
"Was the child alone on the roof of the chalet?" he asked, in an agitated tone.
"Yes," said the hostess, "all but an old dog, who seemed to belong to him."
"That dog must have dragged him on to the roof, and saved him!" exclaimed the general; "is he yet alive?''
"Yes, just alive. He must be very old, for he is almost stone-blind and deaf. My good man would have put him out of the way long ago, but for Carl; and as he shares his meals, and makes his bed with him, I suppose it is no loss to keep the brute."
"Show me the dog!" said the officer, with authority.
"Here he lies, your excellency," said the dame. "We call him Eljen-lmnd" (elf-dog).
General Wallenstein bent over the dog, touched him gently, and shouted in his ear his old name of "Leon." The dog had not forgotten it; he knew
that voice, the touch of that hand. With a plaintive, joyful cry, he sprang up to the breast of his old master, nestled about blindly for his hands, and licked them unreproved; then sunk down, as though faint with joy, at his master's feet. The brave soldier was overcome with emotion; tears fell fast from his eyes. "Faithful creature," he exclaimed, "you have saved my child, and given him back to me." And kneeling down, he laid his hand on the head of the poor old dog and blessed him.
Just at this moment the door opened, and little Carl appeared, toiling up the steps with his arms full of fagots, his cheerful face smiling brave defiance to winter winds, and night, and snow.
"Come hither, Carl," said the soldier. The boy flung down his fagots, and drew near.
"Dost thou know who I am 1"
"Ah, no—the good Christmas King, perhaps," said the little lad, looking full of innocent wonderment.
"Alas, poor child, how shouldst thou remember me!" exclaimed General Wallenstein, sadly. Then clasping him to his arms, he said: "But I remember thee; thou art my boy, my dear, longlost boy! Look in my face: embrace me; I am thy father 1"
"No, surely," said the child, sorely bewildered, "that cannot be, for they tell me the Rhine is my father."
The soldier smiled through his tears, and soon was able to convince his little son that he had a better father than the old river that had carried him away from his tender parents. He told him of a loving mother who yet sorrowed for him, and of a blue-eyed sister, who would rejoice when he came. Carl listened, and wondered, and laughed, and when he comprehended it all, slid from bis father's arms, and ran to embrace old Leon.
The next morning early, General Wallenstein, after having generously rewarded the innkeeper and his wife for having given a home, though a poor one, to his little son, departed for Basle. In his arms he carried Carl, carefully wrapped in his warm fur cloak, and if sometimes the little bare feet of the child were thrust out from their covering, it was ouly to bury themselves in the shaggy coat of old Leon, who lay snugly curled up in the bottom of the carriage.
I will not attempt to tell you of the deep joy of Carl's mother, nor of the wild delight of his little sister, for I think such things are quite beyond any one's telling; but altogether, it was to the Wallensteins a Christmas time to thank God for, and they did thank Him.—Stories of Many Lands.
Many English surnames express the county, estate, or residence of their original bearers; as Burgoyne, from Burgundy; Cornell or Cornwallis, from Cornwall; Fleming, from Flanders, Gaskin and Gaseoyne, from Gascony; Hanway, from Hainault; Polack, from Poland; Welsh, Walsh and Wallis, from Wales; Coombs, Campton, Clayton, Sutton, Preston, Washington, from towns in the county of Sussex, England.
The pre6x atte or at, softened to a or an, has helped to form a number of names. Thus, if a man lived on a moor, he would call himsslf Attemoor, or Atmoor; if near a gate, Attegate, or Atgate. John atte the Oaks was in due time shortened into John Noaks; Peter at the Seven Oaks into Peter Snooks.
In Old English, applegarth meant orchard; whence Applegate and Appleton; chase, a forest; clive, a cliff; clough, a ravine; cobb a harbor; whence these names.
The root of the ubiquitous Smith is the Anglo-Saxon smitan, to smite. It was applied primarily to blacksmiths, wheelwrights, carpenters, masons, and smiters or strikers in general.
Baker, Taylor, Butler, Coleman (coal-man), Drager, Cowper (cooper), Cutler, Miller, and the rest plainly denote occupations
Lorrimer is a maker of spurs and bridle bits; Arkwright, a maker of chests; Lander, contracted from lavandier, a washerman; Banister, the keeper of a bath; Kidder, a huckster; Wait, a minstrel; Crocker, a potter.
Such names as Baxter and Bagster are the feminine of Baker; Webster of
webber or weaver; which shows that these trades were first followed by women, and that when men began to take them up they for some time kept the feminine names.
The termination Ward indicates a keeper, as Durward'doorkeeper; Hayward, keeper of the town cattle; Woodward, forest keeper.
Surnames now apparently meaningless had meaning in old English and provincial dialects. Brock, for instance, signifies badger; Talbot, mastiff; Todd, fox; Culver, pigeon; Henshew, young heron ; Coke, cook.—N. Y. Times.
Christmas in Ancient Times.
Baronius gives the following account of one of the earliest commemorations of Christmas of which we have authentic record. He says: "While the persecution raged under Diocletian, the tyrant, finding multitudes of Christians, young and old, met together to celebrate Christ's nativity, commanded the church door to be shut, and fire put to it, which reduced them and the church to ashes"
This atrocious tragedy of persecution and crime occured at Nicomedia in the third century, and will serve as an illustration of many others perpetrated by the Emperors of Pagan Borne in the early centuries of the Christian era. What changes have occurred since then, and what a contrast between the commemoration of Chnstmas then and now!
Then Christians were obliged to worship in secret to avoid persecution and death, and Pagan Rome was mistress of nearly all the world, over which she ruled with iron sway. Then, all who worshiped the crucified Nazarene were hated, despised, feared, trampled upon, and visited with all manner of cruelties, tortures and death. In the caves and galleries of the Catacombs beneath the earth, were almost the only places where they could worship unmolested; and even there they were sometimes betrayed by false brethren and traitors, through whom they were arrested and made to grace the gory games of the brutalized Romans, and were either torn to pieces by wild beasts, or " butchered to make a Roman holiday," as gladiators in the Coliseum.
Sunday after New Year. Luke i. 5-17. TrtE Subject.—THE ANGEL'S WHISPER TO ZACHARIAS.
KEY-NOTE.—" Let Us Go Even Now Unto Bethlehem, And Bee This Thing Which Is Come To Pass, Which The Lord Hath
MADE KNOWN UNTO U8.''—Luke il. 15.
5. There was in the days of Herod the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and i er name was Elisabeth.
6. And they were both righteous before Qod, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
7. And they had no child, because <hat Elisabeth was barren; and they both were now well stricken in years.
8. And it came to pass, that, while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course,
9. According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
10. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without, at the time of incense.
11. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
12. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13. But the angel said unto him. Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
14. And thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice at his birth.
15. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink: and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
16. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
17. And be shall'go before h m in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
What constitutes our Kby-note? Can yon repeat it from memory?
Whose Gospel do we commence to study with the opening year? Did St. Luke write another inspired Book? For whom did the Evangelist directly write the Gotpel and the Acts f Luke i. 3; Acta i. 1.
What is the theme for our lesson? Does St. Luke likewise begin his Gospel with this household?
Vbkse 5. Who was king over Judea at this time? How long before Christ was horn did he ascend the throne? 40 B. c. What offic had Zachariat t What does of the course of Abiah signify? 1 Chron. xxiv. 1, &c.; 2 Kings xi. 7; 2 Chron. xxiii. 8. Who was his wife? Of what great line was Elisabeth?
6. What is said of their characters? What is the difference between commandments and ordinance* t
7. Did any children belong to this house? Did they desire any?
8-9. What is meant by the phrase before God T How do you understand, in the order of kit course t What is incentc t What did it represent in worship? Rev. viii. 1.
10. Where was the multitude? Without what?
11. What messenger appeared now?
12. How was Zacharias affected 1 Why?
13. What did the angel say? Had this household likely prayed for a son? What were they to call him? What does John mean?
14. To whom was joy to come by John?
15. In whose sight was John to be great? Who is meant by the Lord here? From what was he to abstain? What sect did he luely join? Numb 6th Chap. By whom was he to be filled? When, already? 44 v.
16. Whom was he to turn to the Lord ? How?
17. In whose spirit was he to labor? How was he like Elijah? Compare 1 Kings xxi. 17, and Matt. xiv. 4. What change waa his preaching to effect in Itrael?
Whose forerunner, then, was John? What doe* he make himself like? John i. 23.
Application.—In what respect is this saintly couple an example to every household? verse 6. When does a household walk after the commandments and ordinances? What sort of a life wdl then result?
In what respect should the Church imitate the ancient Israel, since Christ stands at the right hand of God, making intercession for us? verses 9-10.
Is the office and mission of St. John the Baptist still performed for us and all men, through God's Word? verses 16-17. For whose advent does the Gospel prepare as, then?
Remark.—Since the selections for a full six-months are chosen from the Gospel of St. Luke, a short account of the writer of this Gospel is furnished in the Sunday-school Department of the Guardian, to which we modestly refer the teacher.
General Notes —With the odor of joyous Christmas around us, let us in the spirit of the Gospel for this Lord's Day, go with the devout shepherds, to the very, ground-work of the Christian religion—we mean, the mystery of the Incarnation—when and where the Son of God became the Son of Man. Yea, let us, with St. Luke, as our guide, even study the preliminary witnesses to this great event in the world's history, and learn to sing the preludinjr canticles of Gabriel, of Zacharias and Elizabeth, of Mary, of the angels, and of Simeon Were all their inspired utterances set after the style of modern hymns and poetical effusions, we could then more plainly see what a Jubilee, Heaven and Earth, Man and Angels, joined in raising over the Lord's Advent. And it is by looking into the meaning and spirit of these extraordinary preludes, that we are the better enabled to appreciate the fact for which these prepared the way—God manifest in the flesh.
These heavenly hymns we will sing for one month. The incident, prior to the advent of our Lord on earth, and with which St. Luke thought it well to commence his treatise for the " most excellent Theophilus"—chap, i: 1-4 refers to the revelation of the angel to the saintly pair—Zacharias And ElizaBeth—the parents of St. John the Baptist, our Lord's immediate forerunner.
Comments.—Verse 5.—The days of Herod, were forty years earlier than the Christian era. He was a foreigner, an Idumean by birth, and only professed to be a convert to the Jewish religion, in order the more readily to be appointed king over the province of Judea, by the Roman government. Thus, for the first time, the throne of Judah was occupied by one who was not a Jew. From this fact it was already plain, that the prophecy of Jacob, Gen. xlii. 10, was now about to fulfill itself, since the sceptre had departed from Judah; and that now another saying would be verified, the coming of the
governor from Bethlehem, who was to> rule Israel. Mic. v. 1-2. Zacharias is famous as the father of a noble son, John the Baptist. He is spoken of aa belonging to the course of Abiah, or the eighth class of the twenty-four into which King David had already divided the numerous priestly order, 1 Chron. 24: 1, etc. Each family served one week (2 Chron. 23: 8, and 2 Kiogs 11: 7; see also 1 Chron. 24: 10, for Abiah's station. Elizabeth was likewise of a priestly line, a de-cendant of the great high-priest Aaron. From both sides, then, John was nobly descended.
Verse 6.—The characters of both are briefly but pointedly indicated. It was a couple upright and holy in spirit and conduct. Commandments may here mean the moral law, while ordinances can be interpreted to mean the ceremonial and judicial enactments
Verse 7.—And they had no ehild. This onlv their household lacked, it seems. They heartily desired an heir, v. 12.
Verses 8 9-—Before God, means in the Temple, at the altar, where God was accustomed to manifest His presence in former periods. It had fallen to Zacharias, by lot, to burn incense, on this occasion. The smoke of incense represented the prayers of the church.
Verse 10.— The whole multitude were praying without. They could not enter the priest's apartment. Yet they must join in the service. See Psa. cxli. 2; Rev. viii. 1. Incense was burned twice a dav. Ex. 30: 7, 8.
Verse 11.— There appeared — an angel of the Lord. There had not been a prophecy, nor an angelic ministry for four hundred years.
Verse 12.—Zacharias—was troubled. Perplexed and astonished was he at this sudden and unexpected apparition. Fear fell upon him, because this messenger might proclaim punishment on the people, because of their sins.
Verse 13.—Fear not. How often is this cheering word uttered in the Gospel. An answer to his prayer is promised him. The name John is likewise foretold. It signifies—Of God's favor.
Verse 14.—Thou shalt have joy, etc. In his own household happiness should now abound. And many shall rejoice. Besides his heart and house, Israel