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ognizes the reasonableness of Israel's re- writings of the prophets in the Old Tesquest at that moment, but seeing that tament. They were punished with pesthe same necessity exists always, promi- tilence and famine, with war and capses to raise up, not merely a single pro- tivity. From this we may learn how phet afterwards, but a line of prophets, Christian people ought to regard the who shall serve as organs for the reve- words of their pastors and teachers. lation of His will in time to come. I These now occupy the place of the will put my words into his mouth, and prophets. They are God's instruments he shall speak unto them. The office of for the instruction and edification of His the prophet is to serve as a medium for people. They speak in the name of the revelation of God's word. God puts Christ (Luke x. 16), and can therefore His word into the mouth of the prophet, not be despised with impunity. that is, He communicates to the prophet, Verse 20. There are two classes of in a way which it is difficult to describe, false prophets distinguished here: first, His counsel and His truth, and the pro- such as speak falsely in the name of the phet announces these to the people. Lord, and secondly, such as speak in the God cannot make Himself known to name of other (false) gods; and both men otherwise than through man. But classes are threatened with the punishHe cannot make Himself known to all ment of death. An example of the men, because there is not in all a sus- / first kind we have in 1. Kings xxii. 6, ceptibility for such revelation. The where false prophets, speaking in the prophet must be especially endowed and name of the Lord, but under the influtrained for his office of mediating God's ence of a lying spirit (ver. 22), encourrevelation. But no single prophet, and age Abab and Jehoshaphat to go to war no series of mere human prophets, can against the king of Syria. To this class serve for the perfect revelation of God. of false prophets belong all false and The only perfect Mediator of God is heretical teachers, who speak in the Jesus Christ. In Him the fulness of name of God things that are not true. the Godhead is revealed bodily. See All who pervert God's word, whether John i. 14; Col. ii. 9. But even this consciously or unconsciously, are really fact does not do away with the necessity false prophets. Even the Sunday School of a prophetic office in the Christian teacher who, from carelessness or from Church. "The members of the Church perverseness, inculcates error instead of are not all prophets, as little as the peo divine truth, comes under this designaple of Israel were all prophets (Num. tion, and is guilty of a great sin. An xi. 29). Hence there is need of men example of the second kind of false prowho are especially chosen and endowed phets we have in the prophets of Baal for the purpose of carrying forward (1 Kings xviii. 19), whose object was to Christ's mediatorial work among men. seduce the Israelites from the worship of This necessity is met in the institution of Jehovah to the worship of the false god. the ministry.
To this class belong all persons who laVerse 19. As the prophet was the bor for the overthrow of the Christian organ and messenger, the embassador of religion, no matter by what names they God, it was the duty of the people to may be known, whether as atheists, infilisten to him as to the voice of Goddels, scientists, philosophers or spiritualHimself. In this verse God's vengeance ists. Both classes, the one labyring to is tbreatened against those who do not corrupt Christianity, the other to destroy hear and obey the words of God spoken it, are largely represented in our time. by the prophet. I will require it of them. This may be regarded as a sign of the says God, that is, I will not suffer them approaching end of this world and of to go unpunished for it. How unmind- the second coming of Christ. Compare ful the people of Israel were of their Matt. xxiv. 11 and 2. Peter ii. 1. The duty iu this regard we learn from the fact that great corruptions of religion complaints of the prophets themselves, are in progress, and that infidelity is a striking instance of wbich we have in greatly on the increase, need therefore Jer. xxv. 4. And how God punished pot surprise or alarm us. It was told His people for their neglect of the words us in advance. Robert Ingersoll can get of the prophets, we also learn from the more people to listen to bis vulgar wit than the most eloquent preacher can get and leisurely paid the bill. As she to listen to the Gospel ; and on Sunday entered a neighboring store for somemorning more men and boys may be thing else, she suddenly missed her seen loafing around street corners and portemonnaie. Diligent search was abou t tavern doors, than are found in made, but it was not to be found in this Sunday School and church. That is store, neither in the street, nor in the sad, but it is not a thing that ought to store where the bill was paid. cause us any doubt in regard to the While they were still discussing the
. subject, a servant in livery came in, Verses 21-22. In these verses direc- bringing in his hand the “ Russian tions are given for the detection of false leather," which the lady immediately prophets. If the thing (which the pro- recognized as her lost property. phet speaks) follow not, nor come to pass, “Did you find the portemonnaie ?”' that is the thing which the Lord hath not she asked. spoken. This test, however, applies only “At your command, no, I did not ; to prophets speaking in the name of the it was Telo.” Lord, and then only where their words “Who is Telo ?” pertain to the immediate future, or are “At your command, the Baroness' strictly predictive. For the detection of dog." false prophets speaking in the name of And, in fact, it appeared that Telo, other gods, other directions are given in the sagacious spaniel, had found the Deut. xii. 1-5. Here it is presumed portemonnaie on the sidewalk, and with that, by means of diabolic or demonic clever instinct had carried it into the agency, the signs given by the false pro- house and up the stairs, asked for enphet may be fulfilled. That is no evi- trance at the glass-door, and finding his dence of his being a true prophet, if his mistress, had with great delight carewords are not in harmony with God's fully given it to her. On opening it law, and with the general tenor of di- the Baroness found the clue, and vine revelation. Even wicked men and thereby the clue by which it was immefalse prophets may sometimes perform diately returned to the owner. The wonders and show signs, but if their doc- husband of the latter went the next trine is not in barmony with God's morning to a butcher's shop, and seword, they are not to be feared, but lected two of the finest sausages for the courageously rejected. Hence in the excellent dog, wrapped them up, and New Testament we are directed to dis- sent them to the house in the Konigstinguish false teachers from true by con- strass, together with a piece of money templating their“ fruits ” (Matt. vii. 16) and the following little verse : or studying their works, and by considering whether their doctrine is in agree-' To Telo, the honorable finder. ment with the “analogy of faith” (Rom. Please give the accompanying Wurst; xii. 6), with the “ form of sound words"
And the servant will need no reminder
Of a Trinkgeld for possible thirst. (2 Tim. i. 13), with “ the faith once delivered to the saints" (Jude 3), and whether“ it is according to godliness” (1 Tim. vi. 3–5).
CLOUDY days are many ; bright days are few; we must catch each ray of
sunlight as it comes. In the east An Honorable Finder. clouds gather, and as they roll they
hide the distant shores from our sight.
The cloud that hides our future never A correspondent of the Advance, lifts—blessed shadow! Who would writing from Stuttgart, Germany, re- wish to see one step along the way? lates an interesting incident that re- An Unseen Hand will guide us safely to cently occurred in that city :
the other side, if we take firm hold and A lady stepped into a well-known cast our care on Him. Better to lean fashionable store in the Konigsstrasse, than to labor; better to trust than to the other day, made some purchases, see.
1881. Third Sunday in Advent. hal. 11:2-10. KEY-NOTE: “We have found him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did
write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
Cor. 4; 1-5.
Last Days of Moses.—Deut. xxxii. 44-52.
44. And Moses came and spake all the words , unto mount Nebo, which is in the land of of this song in the ears of the people, he, and Moab, that is over against Jericho; and behold Hoshea the son of Nup.
the land of Canaan, which I give unto the 45. And Moses made an end of speaking all children of Israel for a possession : these words to all Israel.
50. And die in the mount whither thou goest 46. And he said unto them, Set your hearts up, and be gathered unto thy people ; as Aaron unto all the words which I testify among you thy brother died in mount Hor, and was gathtbis day, which ye shall command your children ered unto his people, to observe to do, all the words of this law.
51. Because ye transgressed against me among 47. For it is not a vain thing for you ; be the children of Israel at the waters of Meribahcause it is your life: and through this thing ye Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye shall prolong your days in the land, whither ye
sanctified me not in the midst of the children of go over Jordan to possess it.
Israel. 48. And the Lord spake unto Moses that 52. Yet thou shalt see the land before thee; self same day, saying,
but thou shalt not go thither unto the land 49. Get thee up into this mountain Abarim,' which I give the children of Israel.
What is this Sunday called ? Which advent | How are we justified and saved ? Rom. iii. 24; of Christ does it contemplate ? Was the coming Eph. ii. 8. Are we then absolved from the neof Christ foretold in the Old Testament? What cessity of keeping the law ? Rom. iii. 31. What is said in the key note? How does Jesus in temporal blessing is here promised to those who the Gospel for the day prove that He is the keep the law ? Does Christian piety also secure promised Christ? How is the Epistle related earthly happiness? 1 Tim. iv. 3. to the subject of the Gospel ? Who will judge Verses 48-50. Whither does the Lord here all men ?
command Moses to go? Had the same direction What is the subject of our lesson to-day? been given ou a former occasion ? Num. xxvii. Who was Moses? How long had he been the 12-13. Where are the mountains of Abarim ? leader of the children of Israel? Is it likely To what particular mountain peak was he to that Moses himself is the author of this account go? What else is this mountain called ? Dent. of his own death?
iii. 27. Could he see much of the land of CaVERSE 44. What is said in this verse? Where naan from thence? What was to happen to did Moses come from? Deut, xxxi. 14. Where Moses in mount Nebo ? What is meant by the were the people at this time? What is meant phrase gathered unto thy people When and by the expression this song verses 1-43. where had Aaron died ? Nam. xxxiii. 38. What is the subject of this prophetic song ? VERSES 51-52. Why were Moses and Aaron Who was with Moses ? What does Hoshea or not permitted to go into the land of promise ? Joshua mean? What was his relation to Moses Where did that offence occur? When ? What and to Israel ?
was the occasion thereof? Wherein did it conVERSES 45-46. What is Moses here said to sist? Num. xx. 1-13. Could it be any satisfac. have ended? What does the expression all tion to Moses to see the land which he was not these words mean? What does Moses command to possess ? From Moses' failure to see his life's the Israelites to do in regard to this law ? | labors crowned with success in this world, what Were the Israelites elsewhere enjoined to in may we infer in regard to another world ? struct their children in the doctrines and duties Did Moses afterwards obey these directions in. of religion? Deut. xi. 19. How should children regard to his death? Deut. xxxiv. 1. When esteem such instruction ? Prov. j. 8; and iv. 1. did he die ? verse 5. Was there any one with Should children obey their parents in religious him when he died ? Who buried him? verse 6. matters?
Was his grave ever known? Why was it conVERSE 47. Is it a useless thing to observe | cealed ? How old was Moses when he died ? God's law? What benefits does it confer? | verse 7. What was said of his natural powers at Could the Jews be saved by keeping the law ? that time? Can we be saved by keeping it ? Rom. iii, 20.
1. God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform :
| 2. Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
And works His sov’reign will.
NOTES —The third Sunday in Advent composition contained in verses 1-43 of contemplates the first coming of Christ, this chapter, which is a prophecy of or His manifestation in the flesh, as the Israel's future sins, punishments and fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. final deliverance, concluding with a The idea of Christ is ibe ruling idea of glimpse even of the salvation of the the Old Testament. Moses, in the law, Gentiles, in the words, quoted by St. and the prophets, wrote of Him. In Paul, Rom. xv. 10, “Rejoice, () ye nathe Gospel for this day Jesus proves tions, with His people.” Hoshea (deHimself to be the Christ, the Messiah of liverance) afterwards called Joshua (JeOld Testament prophecy, by appealing hovah his deliverer or helper), was the to His miraculous works. Christ's com- minister and assistant of Moses during ing in the flesh is the ground of His sec- the life-time of the latter; afterwards ond coming in glory, or His coming to he became his successor and the leader execute judgment. Hence the Epistle of the children of Israel in their invafor to-day again refers to judgment. sion of Canaan and the settlement there. “ Judge nothing before the time, until He was the son of Nun and of the tribe the Lord come, who both will bring to of Ephraim. light the hidden things of darkness, and VERS. 45–46. All these words. The will make manifest the counsels of the laws and ordinances contained in this heart.”
book of Deuteronomy. Set your hearts The last days of Moses. In our les- unto all the words, i. e. remember, love son to-day we study the end of Moses, and keep them. Ye shall command your the man whom God raised up as the children. The duty of parents carefulinstrument for the deliverance of His ly to instruct their children in the docpeople from their Egyptian bondage, and trines and duties of religion, is enforced as a medium for the communication of also in Deut. xi. 19: “And ye shall His law to them, and who served as the teach them (the words of the Lord) leader of the children of Israel during your children, speaking of them when a period of forty years, namely, from thou sittest in thine house, and when the time of their exodus from Egypt to thou walkest by the way, when thou the eve of their entrance into Canaan. liest down and when thou risest up." Those who worry themselves over the From this we see that, when obedient to question, how Moses could have written their law, the conversation of the Israelthis account of his own death, may be ites, in their households, in their labors, reminded of the fact that the account in their journeys and in their leisure, does not claim to have been written by must generally have been of a religious him. The notion of the Mosaic author- character. Among the Israelites parship of Deuteronomy as a whole rests ents and children were, without excepupon nothing but a late Jewish tradition, tion, comprehended in the covenant of and bas been given up by the most God; and it was the duty of Jewish thoughtful Christian scholars in modern parents, as it is the duty of Christian times. Many things in it were, no doubt, parents now, to bring up their children written by him originally; and these in the nurture and admonition of the were afterwards collected and filled up Lord. The duty of children in referby some holy man, who spake as he was ence to the religious instruction of their moved by the Holy Ghost.
parents, is stated in Prov. i. 8 and iv. 1. VERSE 44. And Moses came. He Children who do not obey their parents came probably from the tabernacle, in religious matters, for example, childwhither he and Joshua had gone to re- ren who do not, at the request of their ceive communications from Jehovah. parents, attend church, Sunday School, The time of this occurrence was the last catechising, etc., are guilty of a violamonth of the fortieth year after the tion of the fifth commandinent. exodus, when the people of Israel were VER. 47. For it is not a vain (empty, encamped among the acacia groves useless) thing. Instead of being a vain (Abel-Shittim) in the plain of Moab, or useless thing, the observance of God's not far from the Jordan, over against law and of the duties of religion is the Jericho (Deut. i. 1-3. Num. xxv. 1, most important thing that one can do. ard xxxiii. 49). This song. The poetic As the soul is of more importance :
the body, so it is a far more important are given : “ Moses went unto the mounthing to be religious and pious, than to tain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah.” Pisbe rich, beautiful or great. It is your gah was probably the name of one of life. The observance of God's law is the more prominent mountains of the the condition of all present and future Abarim range, and Nebo the highest happiness. The Jews could not be saved, point of Pisgah. And behold the land any more than we can be, by keeping of Canaan. From the elevated top of the law. We are justified and saved by Pisgah much of the land of Canaan was grace, through faith, in Jesus Christ, in sight. One could see as far as the who was manifested in the fullness of mountains of Hermon and Lebanon in time, and became the propitiation of the north, the Mediterranean sea in the our sins; and the Jews were saved by west, and the desert of Arabia in the grace, through faith, in the same Christ, south. See Deut. xxxiv. 1-2. And be who was, however, yet to come, of whom gathered unto thy people. This phrase, their prophets spake, and of whom their used so often in the Old Testament as law contained various types and shadows. an equivalent for dying, does not signify And the Jews were to keep the law, be- simply that the body of the dead is cause the saving grace of Jehovah had buried in the tombs of his kindred, already been secured to them in His which was not the case with the body of covenant. God says, “I am the Lord Moses, but that the soul joins the comthy God," and then for this reason en pany of the departed souls in the other joins the people of Israel to keep His world (Sheol, Hades, the world of decommandments. In the same way we parted spirits). The phrase implies the are bound to keep the law, although we immortality of the soul, and asserts the are not saved by the law. Grace does re-upion of friends in the future state. not make the law void, but establish it. As daron thy brother. Aaron died at (Rom. iii. 31). This refers, however, Mount Hor, in the center of the mounespecially to the moral and spiritual tain chain of Seir, which extends from principles of the divine law, which are the Dead Sea to the eastern gulf of the as immutable as the divine being itself. Red Sea. The time when his death ocAnd through this thing (keeping the curred, according to Num. xxxii. 38, words of God) ye shall prolong your days was the fortieth year after the exodus, in the land, etc. The chief benefits of the same year in which Moses died. religion are spiritual and eternal. It VERS. 51–52. Because ye trespassed looks mainly to the world to come, but against me, etc. The offence here refertbe present world is not ignored. Re-red to took place at Kadesh, in the ligion promises earthly advantages — wilderness of Zin, in the first month of long life, safety, plenty, prosperity, peace the third year after the exodus (accord
-and these are especially made promi- ing to Lange-according to otbers, in nent in the Old Testament, though they the fortieth year). See Num. xx. 1-13. are not forgotten in the new. See 1 When the Israelites arrived in this desert Tim. iv. 8.
region, they found no water, and they VERS. 48-50. Get thee up into this chode or strove with Moses, saying, mountain. This direction is recorded “Would to God we had died when our also in Num. xxvii. 12–13, though it is brethren died before the Lord.” In not certain that the occasion there re-consequence of this strife the place was ferred to, is not the same as that which afterwards called Meribah (strife) of is mentioned in our lesson. At any Kadesh. When, on this occasion, Moses rate the location and scene are the same and Aaror besought the Lord for help, on both occasions, and there could not He commanded them to speak to the have been much difference either in the rock, promising that water should flow time. Abarim. A mountain range east forth in abundance. But Moses, instead of the Jordan, extending from the brook of speaking to the rock, lifted his hand Heshbon south to the river Arnon, in the and impatiently smote the rock twice territory of Moab. Unto Mount Nebo. with his rod. And for this act of disIn Deut. iii. 27 the mountain which obedience, which, of course, presupposes Moses was directed to ascend, is called some measure of unbelief, Moses and Pisgah; while in xxxiy. 1 both names | Aaron were not permitted to bring the