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gant and the imprudeat to a point
A Deserved Tribute. beyond which they could no longer obtain credit; and that point was suffi- The sympathy for the American naciently near to save the major part of tion shown by foreign nations has been their property to themselves or their very touching. Among the many kind children. Where these matters are not words is this little poem, found in regulated, they are always causes of Punch. trouble. In other nations the accumu
GARFIELD. lation of wealth on the one hand, and So fit to die! With courage calm, the extension of poverty on the other, Armed to confront the threatening dart. go on until the state of things becomes
· Better than skill is such high heart intolerable; and then is a violent re
And helpfuller than healing balm. distribution of property. The social dis
So fit to live! With power cool turbances of the old world now have Equipped to fill his function great, their origin in this cause. Men are To crush the knaves who shame the State, never wise enough to manage vast
Place-seeking pests of honest rule. wealth beneficently, so as not to oppress
Equal to either fate he'll prove, the poor; and the poor are never pa May Heaven's high will incline the scale tient enough to bear oppression and The way our prayers would fain avail wrong long without resistance. Thus | To weight it-o long life and love! the redistribution of property, and the levelling of rich and poor, which among other nations are brought to pass only
Mr. Bancroft in His Workshop. through the violence of revolution, were among the Israelites effected through
Mr. Bancroft's workshop is upon the the peaceful restoration of the year of
second floor, in a large square room jubilee.
facing the street. What a place of rest VERSE 17. Ye shall not oppress one
and study! Great leather and Shaker another. To secure a just and upright
The chairs, a great desk in the middle of treatment to every Israelite from his
in the room, and all about the walls, brethren was the object of this law.
books and books; from the ceiling to The Israelite was to deal fairly and
the floor, on every side, books! Not honestly with his brethren because Je
an inch of space that is not filled. And hovah was the common Father of all.
he has four rooms like this. The table Among Christians the golden rule
was strewn with pamphlets, books and
bushels of documents and manuscript. ought to be observed : Do unto others as ye would that they should do unto you.
| The picture, as you enter, is one you
have often seen, An old man sitting at But this is an ideal that is never realized among Christians now, and was
his desk at work, and a young secretary never realized among the Israelites of
opposite copying, verifying and arrangold. In the historical books of the Olding documents, and both encircled by Testament there is even no trace of the
walls of books. Within the four rooms actual observance of the year of jubilee.
composing his library, Mr. Bancroft We do not know, therefore, to włat|
has over twelve thousand volumes. extent it was observed. But whether ob
There are larger collections of books served or not, the institution is there as
in private houses, but Mr. Bancrofi's an idea to be realized in the future. It
library is remarkable for being more served especially as a type of the re
select than extensive. It is peculiarly demption which has already been ac
rich in the best editions of ancient complished through Christ, and also as
classics, and has almost all the notable a type of the sabbatic rest and peace
works in the modern European lanwhich remains to the people of God,
guages. The great feature of the library and which shall be fully realized only
is the manuscripts. No man in the in that new heaven and new earth
country has such a collection of original wherein dwelleth righteousness.
documents of a military or political character relating to the country. He began bis great historical work in 1825. - The Republic.
First Sunday in Advent.
KEY-NOTE: "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."
Row, 13, 11-14
Prophecy of Balaam.-Num. xxiv. 10–19.
10. And Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together : and Balak Faid unto Balaam, I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed them these three times.
11. Therefore now flee thou to thy place: I thought to promote thee unto great honor; but, lo, the Lord hath kept thee back from honor.
12. And Balaam said unto Balak, Spake I not also to thy messengers which thou sentest unto me, saying,
13. If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I can not go beyond the commandment of the Lord, to do either good or bad of my own mind; but what the Lord saith, that will I speak ?
14. And now, behold, I go unto my people : come therefore, and I will advertise thee what this people sball do to thy people in the latter days.
15. And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open bath said:
16. He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the Most High, which saw the vision of the Al mighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open:
17. Í shall see him, but not now : I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a star out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall ri.e out of Israel, and shall smite the comers of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.
18. And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly.
19. Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that re. maineth of the city.
Wbat is the name of this Sunday? How is) why did the Lord afterward give him permisit related to the Church year? What is the sion to go? Why did he desire to go? What Church year? What does Advent mean? How may we infer from this in regard to his characmany advents of Christ may we distinguish ? ter? How then could he be a prophet? Which of these forms the theme of the present VERSE 14. What does Balaam say here? Sunday? What is the key.note?
Does his speech show that he was angry too? What is the subject of our lesson to-day ? Did he really go to his people now? Where Who was Balaam ? Num. xxii. 5. What was did he go? Of what does he inform Balak ? his religion? What his character? What was What is meant by the expression, in the latter the occasion of his prophecy? Who was Balak ? Wby did he send for Balaam to curse Israel ? VERSES 15-16. What is meant by parable Where was Israel at this time? Num. xxii. 1. here? Was his utterance a real prophecy ? How long atter Israel's departure from Egypt How did he get his knowledge of the future? was this? What result did Balak expect from Does the Gentile world have its prophetic anBalaam's curse? Do men really possess power ticipations of Christ too? How is this prophecy to do mischief to others in this way?
of Balaam related to these? VERSES 10-11, Did Balaam curse Israel ? VERSES 17-19. What was the object of Ba. What did he do? How did he bless Israel? laam's vision here? Of what was the star & How many times did he do this? What are the symbul? When was this prophecy first fulfilled ? contents of tbese prophecies ? Num. xxiii. 9-10, Who is its ultimate fulfillment? What relation 19-24, xxiv. 3-9.' How did this affect Balak? is there between the star of Balaam and the Had he any reason to be angry with Balaam ? star of the wise men, Matt. ii. 2? What does What did he say to Balaam? What does Ba Balaam say of Moab and Edom? When were lak say he proposed to do for Balaam? Wbat theee predictions first fulfilled ? II Sam. viii. 2, does he mean by saying that the Lord kept him 14. Who is he that shall come out of Jacob, back from honor
and shall have dominion ? What will He do to VERSES 12–13. What was Balaam's answer to His enemies? Balak? Was this answer true ? Num. xxii. What became afterwards of Balaam ? Num. 18. Was Balaam's conduct in the matter then xxxi. 8. Why did they slay him ? Num. xxxi. wholly honorable ? Did he not know from the | 16. What was the counsel of Balaam What first that he would not be allowed to curse is the meaning of Balaam? What is meant by Israel ? Num. xxii. 12. Should he then have the doctrine of Balaam, Rev. ii. 14 ? Are there gone to Balak at all? Did his going displease many holding the doctrine of Balaam now? the Lord ? How did the Lord manifest His dis. How should we regard them? In what way approbation ? Num. xxii. 22-35. How are we only can the wicked hurt the righteous ? to understand this miracle of the ass ? But !
Notes.—The first Sunday in Advent belong to the same person ; but such is is the first day of the Christian or the representation which the Bible gives Church year. The Church year is a of him. This renowned enchanter was period of time determined, not like the sent for by Balak, the king of Moab, in natural year, by the movements of the order that, by means of his curses or earth around the natural sun, but by spells, he might put a stop to the victorithe movement of the Church about ous progress of the children of Israel, Christ, the Sun of righteousness. Its when, in the fortieth year after their stasons are, therefore, determined by departure from Egypt, these were enthe grt at facts in the history of the re-camped among the acacia groves in the velarion of Christ; and in its order and plains of Moab, over against Jericho, course these facts euter ever anew into after having defeated and slain Sihon the Christian thought and experience of the king of the Amorites, and Og the the Church in order to her edification king of Bashan. Balak entertained the and perfection. The first great fart in superstitious potion that some men have the history of the manifestation of Christ power to do mischief to others by the is His Advent, or coming into the world, utterance of magic formulas or the pracfor wbich the Old Testament dispensa- tice of magic arts. It was the same notion was a preparation, and of which the tion that underlies the modern belief in Advent season of the Church year is a witchcraft, and in the efficacy, for good celebration. We may distinguish three or evil, of charms and incantations. advents of Christ: an advent in the flesh, There is, of course, no objective power an advent in the spirit, and an advent in these arts. The power which the in glory. The first is past, the second is conjurer exercises, he derives, not from taking place now, the third is still future. his art, but from the superstition of his The advent in the spirit, or the coming victim. A man cannot curse those of Christ into the hearts of men, which whom God has not cursed (Num. xxiii. is the fruit of His coming in the flesh, 8). But if one can produce in another and the prelude of His coming in glory, the conviction that he is the object of an forms the theme of the first Sunday in evil influence, a curse or spell, then that Advent. The key-note expresses the conviction may become the cause of sufsalutation with which the Church ever- fering and trouble. There is no doubt more receives the spiritual advent of ihat much evil has been done in this her Lord. Hence its use in the commu- way, and that occasionally even persons nion service, in which Christ's coming have died, not in consequence of any into the hearis of His people is especial- | evil power put upon them by others, but ly symbolized.
in consequence of their own superstition. Prophecy of Balaam.- Balaam, the This fact explains such notions as those son of Beor, was a native of the northern of Balak. Thinking that by the magic part of Mesopotamia, the country from power of Balaam he might rid himself which Abraham had come (Num. xxii. of bis fear of Israel, Balak sent a dele5. Deut. xxiii. 4). He was a believer gation of Moabitish and Midianitish also in the God of Abraham, whom he princes, togetber with costly presents, worshipped under the names of El Shad to bring the enchauter from his home dai (Almighty God) and El Elyon among the mountains of Mesopotamia (Most High God). His religion was, to Moab. Balaam, being warned of God, therefore, the primitive religion of the at first refused to go; but when Balak patriarchs. He possessed something of sent another embas-y of princes more a prophetic faculty, and had the repu- honorable than the former, promising to tation of being a diviner and enchanter, promote him to great honor, thus excitwhose blessings were desired and curses ing his covetous desires and lust for feared. His character was a pecnliar money, he obtained of God permission mixture of piety and worldliness. He to go, but only on condition that he possessed spirituality enough to make sbonld speak nuthing but the words a propbet, or at least a diviner, but too which God would put in his mouth. much covetousness to permit him to be VERS. 10-11.— Thou hast altogether saved. It may be difficult to conceive blessed them. Balak was disappointed. how such opposite qualities could | Though Balaam bad given him no distinct promise, yet from the fact that he messengers, that, if the latter would give had come at his request, and from the him his house full of silver and gold, he costly sacrifice of seven bullocks and could not go beyond the word of Jeseyen rams, which he offered on seven hovah to do less or more ; but he did altars, in order to influence God in his not say that Jehovah had already told favor, Balak espected to obtain his him that he would not be permitted to desire, and to hear the prophet pro- curse the people of Israel, because they nounce curses upon Israel. But instead were blessed. Yet this was the fact, of curses, he hears blessings, that is, see Num, xxii. 12. The prophet's conpredictions of future good fortune for duct, therefore, was anything but honorIsrael.
able. He knew from the first that he These three times.-- Three times and would not be permitted to curse, and in three different places, namely, in the should, therefore, not have thought of high place of Baal, in the top of Pisgah, going to Balak at all. Though he had and in the top of Peor, to which Balak obtained a condi:ional permission to go, brought him in succession, that he might yet his going displeased the Lord, besee different parts of the camp of Israel, cause his motives were not pure, and did he utter his blessings or favorable were every moment growing worse. The prophecies. The contents of these Lord manifested His displeasure by propecies are the future isolation, numbers, frightening his ass on the way, and then, strength and prosperity of Israel, and his when he smote her, by “opening her triumph over his enemies. In congo- mouth” to reprove him. Of course this quence of these blessings Balak's wrath language is not to be understood literalwas kindled against Balaam, and he ly. No ass ever spoke human words. clapped his hands for anger. Yet he The miracle here was a subjective one. could not have said that Balaam had The whole occurrence was in the mind of deceived him. All that Balaam had Balaam, and the form of the narrative done was simply to suffer bim to de- is only an outward symbolical clothing ceive himself. Morally there was no 'of this inward occurrence. It was in difference between Bulak and Balam. fact Balaam's troubled conscience that The former thought that he could buy put the reproving words into the mouth the prophet's curses with his money, and of the ass. He knew that he would not move Jehovah in his favor with his be permitted to curse Israel; and he sacrifices; and the latter suffered him to knew that he ought not to have gone to indulge this delusive fancy in the hope Balak at all. But he had set his heart of making gain out of it. And when Ba- on Balak's money, the reward of divinaJak found that he wis disappointed he tion which the latter had promised him, got very angry.
and hence desired to go, and even to The Lord has kept thee back from curse those whom he knew that God had honor.- What Balak means is that Ba- not cursed. There was a conflict going laan's belief in Jehovah and his depend on in his mind, “his thoughts accusing ance upon Jebovah, has prevented him and excusing one another." Balaam from attaining the honor which he pro- was a “ double minded” man, who de. posed to confer upon him. Balak, like sired to please God and mammon. We all believers in magic arts, thinks the may conceive of the state of his mind seer, instead of being controlled by Je- thus: he desired to obey God, but he hovah, ought to control Jehovah by also desired to get Balak's money; he means of his art, and especially by would effect a compromise between these means of his magnificent offerings. The opposite desires; he would go, and perseer's dependance upon Jehovah in bis haps in some way obtain the reward of litteraoces, is a thing which Balak can divination, but he would take care not not understand, and he therefore looks to go beyond the express commands of upon him with contempt.
God. We can thus understand why VERS. 12-13.--Spake I not also to God should be displeased at his going, thy messengers, etc. This retort of Balaam and yet, in order to give him an opportuto Balak's angry speech is strictly true nity for further development, grant him (see Num. xxii. 18), but it is not the permission to go. · But how could so whole truth. He did say to Balak's impure a character be a prophet? In the same way that wicked men perform cle or prophecy of Balaam. Balaam's miracles (Matt. xxiv. 24, 1 Cor. xiii. 2), prediction is a real prophecy obtained for prophecy is a miracle of knowledge. by a divine operation or affl itu. Which Caiaphas could prophesy because he was saw the vision of the Almighty, etc. This high-priest (John xi. 51). This need expresses the form of bis inspiration. not seem strange, if we remember that While his outward eyes were closed, he nothing is more common than a dispari- was made to foresee by the operation of ty between men's knowledge and morals. the divine Spirit, the future course of
VERSE 14.–And now, behold. The the world's history. There is a foundalanguage shows that Balaam had be- tion for such an operation in the consticome excited too. The angry words of tution of the world and in the constituBalak have in some measure aroused tion of the human mind. The world is the ire of the prophet. I go unto my a living process, in which one stage alpeople. Balak' had warned him to flee ways involves another. The present, to his place, and the prophet now says, therefore, is the womb of the future. “I go to my people.” But he never The human mind in consequence of its got to his people. He probably started organic relation to the world, may, in to go home, and from Num. xxiv. 25 it certain conditions, be able to obtain would seem that he and Balak sepa- glimpses of the plan and tendency of rated never to meet again. But on his this process, and thus to prophesy. This way back he fell in with the neighbor- is the thought embodied in the lines of ing Midianites whom he taught to re- the poet, wbich are so ofien quoted: duce the Israelites to idolatry; and when “The sunset of life gives me mystical lore, afterwards the Midianites were defeated And eoming events cast their shadows before.' by the Israelites with great slaughter, Hence it is that there are prophetic Balaam was still among them and was intimations of Christ even in the heathen slain (Num. xxxi. 8, 16). I will ad- world. The tendency of the world's vertise, i. e. advise or inform thee. In life is towards Christ, and the prothe latter days. Literally, in the after- foundest heathen minds, when in deep ward of days, or, in the after days. By sympethy with this life, have had their the phrase the latter days we commonly anticipations of Christ. Balaam's prounderstand the time of the end of the phecy was, however, more than this, world, but the prophecy of Balaam does ihough it rested on this natural basis : not reach so far as that. It covers the there was in it an element also of superperiod beginning with the splendid de natural revelation. velopment of Israel in the time of David VERS. 17-19.-I shall see him, etc. and Solomon, and ends with the decline Better: I see him thouyh he be not now; of the Greek and commencement of the I behold him, though he be not nigh. The Roman dominion in Asia. Balaam's object of this vision is the prince or prophecy is generally regarded as refer- king, afterwards represented by the star ring to Christ. This is undoubtedly and sceptre. Star out of Jacob etc. The correct. Only we must not suppose star has among all nations served as a that the prophet himself thought of symbol of reyal power and splendor. Christ. Tne whole history of Israel is Here it is a symbol of the royal line of Christological, i. e., typical of Christ David, completing itself in the eternal and tending to the manifestation of royalty of Christ. This prophecy, then, Christ; and as forecasting the course of was first and partially fulfilled in David; that history, Balaam's prophecy also is but its ultimate and complete fulfillChristological
ment is Christ. The star of Balaam VERSES 15-16.-- Parable. Hebrew has generally been brought into relation mashal, a comparison, proverb; also a to the star of the wise men (Matt. ii. 2). poem or song, because the literary pro- It would, however, be a mistake to ductions denoted by the word were ex- suppose that the prophecy of Balaam pressed in rhythmical form and uttered was known to the wise men. They were in a chanting tone. Here it means original seers like Balaam him-elf, and song or chant, as that was the way in their star was independent of his. Moab which the seer spoke. Balaam hath ..... Edom. This prediction was fulsaid, etc. Literally, the saying, the ora- filled by the victories of Divid over the