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children of Israel in Canaan, being well imagine them to have been models doomed to die in the wilderness. Yet of Phidias and Praxiteles. Their large thou shalt see the land before thee. This eyes, black as jet, sparkle with glances showing him the land which he was not of fire, while the long, silky eylasbes to inberit, could not have been a mean- soften the expression and give a dreamy ingless act on the part of God. There appearance of melancholy. Their teeth must have been a peculiar satisfaction are small, white and well set, a fine, in his view of the land, which served to regular profile, a pale olive complexion confirm his faith, and to prepare his and a tall, elegant figure realize an acsoul for the great change which was he- complished type of distinction. As to fore him. There is at first view some- the women, they seem to have left phything melancholy in this closing scene sical perfection to the men; some posin the life of Moses. Moses is not per- sess fine eyes and hair, but as a rule mitted to see his life's labors crowned they have bad figures, and some defect with success. And this is the case with in face that generally spoils the goodthousands of other men, who die before featured. It is among them, however, they seem to have fulfilled their mission, that the old oriental customs are most and before they have enjoyed the fruits strictly preserved; while the men are of their toil. Such men's lives would gradually undergoing the process of be a tremendous failure, if they ended civilization they, in a moral point of with their departure out of this world. view, remain stationary, and are just as But they live beyond, and they reap they were fifty years ago. It may, inthe reward of their work here.
deed, be said that, with the exception Moses' obedience to these directions, of Athens, the women possess po indiand his mysterious death, are recorded vidual existence, and count as nothing in chapter xxxiv. Moses was not trang- in society. The men have reserved lated like Enoch and Elijah. He died, every privilege for themselves, leaving being a hundred and twenty years old, to their help-mate the care of the home when as yet his eye was not dim nor his and family. In the town, where servants natural force abated. The burial of are kept, they are of the poorest class of Moses is distinctly mentioned; but it is peasants, who know nothing and receive not clear who buried him. The subject miserable wages. The families are of the sentence, he buried him (ver. 6) generally large-seven or eight little may have for its antecedent Jeho- children demanding a mother's constant vah, but it may also be indefinite, and attention. The morning begins by the statement may simply mean that directing the work of each servant, resome one buried him. Joshua may have peating the same thing a hundred times, been with bim when he died, and may scolding, screaming, and even beating also have buried him. If he had not them, to be understood. In the evenbeen buried by the hands of a friend, ing when the children are sleeping, if how then could the general locality of there remains some little time, the poor, his grave, a valley in the land of Moab, worn-out, mother sits down to her spinover against Beth-Peor, have become ning-wheel to spin, to sew or knit, or, known? It was only the precise spot if it he summer time, to look after her of bis sepulchre that was unknown. cocoons, happy if she has not to do the For what reason it was concealed we do work of her incompetent servant over not know. Some have supposed that again.-Anon. Moses, although he died, was shortly after raised from the dead, and that this accounts for his appearance on the mount | It was a colored preacher who said to of transfiguration. Matt. xvii. 3. his flock last Christmas Day: “We
have a collection to make this morning,
and for de glory of heaben, whichever Grecian Beauty
of you stole Mister Jones' turkeys don't
put anything on the plate.” One who Much has been said in praise of Gre- was there says, “ Every blessed niggah cian beauty, and the men are handsome in de church came down with the in every sense of the word. We might rocks."
DEC. 18. .
1881. Fourth Sunday in Advent. Jobuli10-34 KEY-NOTE: “Prepare ye the way of the Lord."
LESSON LI. "Will; 4-.
1. Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith, shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodyour God.
| liness thereof as the flower of the field : 2. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and 7. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth ; cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath re surely the people is grass. ceived of the Lord's hand double for all her 8. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth : sins.
but the word of our God shall stand forever. 3. The voice of him that crieth in the wil. L 9. O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get derness. Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make thee up into the high mountain : 0 Jerusalem. straight in the desert & highway for our that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with God.
strength ; lift it up, be not afraid ; say unto 4. Every valley shall be exalted, and every the cities of Judah, Behold your God ! mountain and bill shall be made low: and the 10. Behold, the Lord God will come with crooked shall be made straight, and the rough strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him : places plain :
behold his reward is with him, and his work 5. And the glory of the Lord shall be re before him. vealed, and all flesh shall see it together : for 11. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd : the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and 6. The voice said, Cry. And he said, What | carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead
those that are with young.
seg grass and towers to minh
QUESTIONS. What is the name of this Sunday? What is the Lord? What guarantee is there given for its key-note ? What is the Church preparing the fulfillment of this prophecy? Was this for now? What must we do in order that prophecy absolutely fulfilled in Israel's deliver. Christ may be born in us? In what frame of ence from Babylon ? To what else does it mind then should we spend the season before refer? Matt. iii. 3; John i. 23. How did John us ?
the Baptist serve to prepare the way of the What is the subject of our Lesson to day? In Lord ? How must we prepare it? what book of Scripture is it contained ? Who VERSES 6-8. Whose voice said, Cry! Who was Isaiah? When did he live and prophesy ? | was he that said, What shall I cry? What is Isa. i. 1. What prophecy does he utter in the meant by the term all flesh! To what is all chapter preceding our lesson? verses 6-7. What mankind compared here? In wbat respect ? was the cause of the Babylonian captivity ? What c
lowers to wither? Were When did it begin ? (B. C. 588). How long did the people of Israel as perishable as other men ? it continue? Jer. xxix. 10. What was the con- What is the purpose of this reference to human dition of Jerusalem and of the Jews during frailty ? What endures forever? What is this time?
meant by word of God here? Wbat does St. VERSES 1-2. When was this prophecy ut. Peter say of this word ? 1 Pet. i. 24–25. tered? To what period of time does it refer? 9. Who is addressed in this verse? What do What is God represented as saying? Who are Zion and Jerusalem represent? What is meant God's people? Who is to comfort them? Why? by good tidings? Who brings these? What What announcement is to be made to Jerusa are Zion and Jerusalem commanded to do? lem? What reason is given for the two facts! What are they to say to the cities of Judah ? announced? Was the punishment of Jerusa Why? lem greater than she deserved? Why then is VERSES 10–11. What was the coming of the it said that she had received double for all her Lord God here spoken of? How is His power sins?
expressed here? How His righteousness ? How · VERSES 3-5. Whose voice is this that cries? | His gentleness? Of what is Israel's redemption Who is to prepare the way of the Lord ? Where from Babylon a type ? When did the Christian is it to be prepared ? For what purpose ? What redemption begin? Is the Christian redempis said of the mountains and hills? What of tion as yet finished ? When will the Lord come the rough and crooked places? What does to finish it? How will He come then ? Matt. this mean? Who removed all the obstacles in xxiv. 30; Rev. xxii. 12. How may we prepare the way of Israel's return from captivity ? | the way for that coming ? How did all this serve to reveal the glory of
1. Jesus, Thy Church with longing eyes
For Thine expected coming waits. When will the promised light arise,
And glory beam from Zion's gates ?
2. O come and reign o'er all the land ;
Let Satan from his throne be hurled, All nations bow at Thy command,
And grace revive a dying world.
Notes.—The Fourth Sunday in Ado namely, from B. C. 588.to 518. Durvent is the day of preparation for the ing this period Jerusalem was in desolaright celebration of the birth of Christ tion, and the Jews were in a state of at the approaching festival of the Na- military captivity, in which they were tivity. The Gospel is the account of no doubt often treated with great rigor, the testimony of John the Baptist to so that they spent much of their time the delegation of the Jewish Sanhedrim. in sighing for their native land. See Ps. The key note of the day is expressed in cxxxvii. The Babylonian captivity, the words of the prophet, in which John like Israel's bondage in Egypt, was a the Baptist also sums up the object and time of humiliation and suffering which aim of his own mission : Prepare ye the the Jews never forgot, and which may way of the Lord. In many ways the serve as a figure of man's bondage Church is now preparing for Christmas. under the power of sin and death. Old and young are busy in contributing VERS. 1-2. The prophecies beginning to the pleasure and happiness of the here (unless, as some suppose, they beseason. Churches are decorated with long to another prophet) were probably evergreens and flowers, houses are put delivered toward the close of Isaiah's in order, Christmas-trees are gotten | life. The sickness of Hezekiab, which ready, delicacies are prepared, presents occasioned the embassy of Merodachfor friends are selected and hidden away. Baladan, above spoken of, occurred This busy outward preparation ought to about fifteen years before Hezekiah's remind us of the necessity also of in-death; and if the death of the propbet ward preparation of the heart, by occurred about the same time, these repentance and faith, in order that prophecies concerning future deliverChrist may be born within us by the ance must have been published during Spirit, and dwell in us as the hope of the last fourteen or fifteen years of bis glory. The frame of mind in which life; that is, between 711 and 696 B. C. we ought to spend this whole season, is The time to which the prophecy conwell expressed in the epistle for the day:tained in our lesson refers, is the end of “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again the Babylonish captivity, when God is I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation about to redeem the people of Israel be known unto all men. The Lord is and bring them back again into their at hand.”
own land. Comfort. The original word The Promised Redemption. The sub- here used means to express grief or comject of our Lesson today is the redemp-passion, to sympathize with and console tion promised to the captive Israelites one. Ye. The persons who are to do in Babylon by the prophet Isaiah, and this are not named. The Septuagint the still more glorious redemption in puts in the word priests here, as if they the fulness of time, of which Israel's were the ones addressed. Perhaps it is deliverance from Babylon was but a better to understand prophets. My peotype. The prophet Isaiah lived in the ple. Israel, though puuished on account eighth century B. C. His prophetic of its sing, and groaning in captivity, is activity began in the last year of the still God's people. The covenant which reign of Uzziah, and continued proba- God established with them is an everbly to the close of the reign of Hezekiah, lasting covenant. The reason that the that is, from 759 to about 696 B. C. In prophets are now called upon to comthe chapter preceding our lesson, on fort Israel, and to speak comfortably occasion of the congratulatory embassy and kindly to Jerusalem, is expressed of Merodach-Baladan, to whom Heze in the following two statements : her kiah showed all bis treasures, Isaiah warfare is accomplished, that is, the time (in verses 6, 7,) predicted the approach of her trial and sorrow is ended; and ing Babylonian captivity of the Jews, her iniquities are pardoned. And the which came upon them in consequence reason for these two facts is contained in of their religious and moral corruption, the following: she hath received from and in consequence of their leaning the Lord's hand double for all her sins, upon the surrounding world-powers for which does not mean that the punishprotection and safety, and which con- ment of Jerusalem was really greater tinued during a period of seventy years, than she deserved, for then God would
be unjust, but is only a human way of is to our redemption in Christ. Hence saying that God regretted the misfor-John the Baptist, the forerunner of tunes which had come upon her, just as Christ, who was sent into the world a father may regret the punishment that Christ might be made manifest, which he is forced to inflict upon a dis- referring to this prophecy, declared the obedient son, and after it is over, fear aim of his mission to be to prepare the that it has been too severe. God speaks way of the Lord. This he did by calling thus after a human manner in order to men to repentance and leading them to show His great tenderness for His peo- believe in Jesus as the Christ. We
prepare the way of the Lord in whatVERs. 3–5. The voice of him that cri- ever we do to advance His kingdom in eth. It is not said whose voice this is; ourselves or in the world. and we can, therefore, only say that it VERS. 6-8. The voice said, Cry. The belonged to some heavenly messenger. sarve voice that bad been heard before. Nor is it said whence it comes ; for the And he, (or it) answered. The voice phrase in the wilderness belongs not to of the same or another heavenly mescrying, but to prepare. In the wilderness senger. All flesh, i. e. all mankind. Is prepare ye the way of the Lord. The grass, &c. Mankind here is compared to imagery here is derived from the oriental grass and to the flowers of the field, in custom of sending out men to repair respect of the uncertainty, brevity, the roads and secure accommodations frailty and vanity which characterize for a monarch, when he is about to all human life. This comparison is a travel through his dominions. The favorite one not only in prophecy, but Lord here is about to come to His peo- also in poetry. It is found in Homer, ple in order to free them from their the old Greek, who flourished probably captivity and bring them back into a century earlier than the time of Isaiah. their own country, and His servants | The spirit (breath, wind) of the Lord are charged to prepare the way before bloweth upon it. As the hot, scorching Him in the wilderness, and make wind of the desert causes the grass to straight a highway in the desert. The wither and the flowers to fade, so the terms wilderness and desert denote the punitive judgments of God consume the same thing, namely, the desert region race of mortal men. Comp. Isa. Ixiv. 6. lying to the east of Palestine, through Surely the people is grass, i. e. as grass. which the returning Jews would have The people of Israel, as well as other to pass. Every valley shall be exalted, men, are subject to this law of speedy and every mountain, &c. This is no decay and death. But for what purlonger command, but prediction, and pose is this reference to human frailty signifies that every obstacle in the way bere? In order to keep alive faith of the returning Jews shall be removed, even though God's promises may be and every hindrance overcome. The long delayed. Generations may pass Lord was about to do this Himself. The away, but the word of our God shall glory of the Lord shall be revealed. The stand forever, and the fulfillment of its deliverance of the Jews from captivity, promises must come at last. The conand their restoration to their own coun- temporaries of the prophet did not live try, in spite of all difficulties and ob- to see its fulfillment, and the generation stacles, was a glorious manifestation of tbat returned from Babylon did not live the power and wisdom of Israel's God. to see its complete fulfillment ; but five For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it centuries later St. Peter, referring to This is a guarantee for the fulfillment of this passage of Isaiah, and to the perthis prophecy. What God hath spoken manence of God's word which is here or decreed must come to pass. But now declared, says, “ And this is the word this prophecy, whose primary reference which by the gospel is preached unto is undoubtedly to the return from you.” (1 Pet. i. 24, 25). St. Peter's Babylon, was fulfilled only relatively meaning is that frail men can attain to in that event, and refers therefore to a real being, to everlasting life, only by greater and more glorious deliverance being made partakers (being born or redemption, in which it shall be ful- again) of the undying, over-abiding filled absolutely. Its ultimate reference word of God.
Ver. 9. O Zion, &c. Zion and Jeru- come again in the clouds of heaven, salem here are personified and addressed | with power and great glory, (Matt. as living persons, representing the col. xxiv. 30), and when His reward shall lective body of God's prophets, priests be with Him, to give every man accordand servants, who serve as leaders of ing as his work shall be. By earnestly the entire body of God's people. That laboring for the spread of Christ's bringest good tidings, i. e. tidings of kingdom, and the perfecting of the redemption, of security, of peace and body of the saints, we may help to preof happiness. The Septuagint here uses pare the way for that coming of Christ the same word (evaggelizomenos) which in glory, and thus may we hasten the the angel uses (Luke ii. 10), when an- day of the Lord-not hasten unto itnouncing the birth of Christ. Say unto according to 2 Peter, iii. 12. the cities of Judah. Jerusalem is the head of the cities of Judah. It is her
Three Wishes. mission to point them to their God, that they may trust Him and obey
BY H, FRANCIS LIESTER. Him. Behold your God, i. e. Jehovah
Three little maidens out on the grass coming to save His people. How little
Had gambolled the hours away; Jerusalem fulfilled this mission of point- | The summer was sweet, and the hours were ing out to the Jews their God, we learn
fleet, from the Gospels, especially such pas- |
Gwendolen, Maud and May.
They had worked at their play the liveloug day sages as Matt. xxi. 11, and John i. 11. |
As hard as maidens can; VERS. 10, 11. Behold, the Lord will So when six little feet were tired with the heat come. This coming of the Lord refers Then three little tongues began. primarily to the manifestation of His “ What shall we do next?” cried the three, agency in the restoration of the Jews. perplexed, Every act of deliverance of God's peo
“ For we really must have more fun."
And they all thought deep, till a plan did leap ple, and every act of judgment upon
Full blown from the brain of one. His enemies, is in a certain sense a “Let us ask of the Fairies " _'twas Maud that coming of the Lord. The deliverance exclaimed from Babylon was such a coming. In The tallest and fairest was shewhat follows there are expressed three
pressed three “ Let us ask them to grant whatever we want, distinct attributes, namely, His power, o And what did they ask for ?"
And to list to wishes three !” His righteousness, and His gentleness.
began, With strong hand, &c. Declaration of
| The sweet little maiden May;
the His power. Nothing can hinder Him. The weakest was she, but her spirit was free No work is too hard for Him. His And as gentle as the day; enemies, and the enemies of His people,
" Oh, Fairy Queen, whom I never have seen, can not prevent Him from accomplish
I hope I address you aright
| If you have one to spare, I should like to wear ing His people's salvation. His reward |
A dress of invisible white !" is with him, &c. Declaration of His
Then the second one prayed for the fairies' aid, righteousness. He comes to reward | And a different wish had she; every man according to his work. This Maud was her name, and she felt no shame, will be the case especially when He
For she knew what her wish would be. shall come in the last day to execute
Her limbs they were long, she was rosy and
strong, judgment. Rev. xxii. 12. He shall Such a maid as men extol, feed his flock . . . gather the lambs Yet she begged for a prize that would shock ... gently lead those that give suck. the wiseDeclaration of His gentleness. The
“ A wonderful Magic Doll!" strong one, the mighty judge, who shall / “ Now, you are the eldest, and what do you
want, reward His enemies according to their
Little Gwendolen, “faithful and true;' sins, is the gentle shepherd who takes | With your face like a saint, and your manners the tenderest care of His people.
so quaint, Israel's redemption from Babylon is Now what shall be done for you ? " & type or prophecy of the Christian “Oh, Fairies,” she said, “ let me cut off the head redemption, which began with the man
| Or a giant that sups upon men;
Let me grow strong and bold, like the heroes ifestation of Christ in the flesh, and
of old, which will be finished when He shall For now I'am only ten!"