« AnteriorContinuar »
LESSON VII. May 14, 1882. Ye', “signs in the skies indeed Fifth Sunday after Easter.
there were. At His birth was the star. I. SECOND FEEDING OF THE MULTI- The angels announced from the skies TUDES. Twice Jesus miraculously fed His nativity. The dove from the skies the famishing crowds who had followed descended upon Him. Voices from Him, and were cut off from temporal heaven at different times acknowledged supplies. Mark gives us both accounts. Him Son of God. Finally, at His The two miracles were performed in crucifixion darkness at mid-day and different places, and for different people. earthquake gave witness to Him."In the one case there were 5,000 men, (Whedon ) in the other 4,000; the number of Tempting Him--not trying to lead loaves, fishes and baskets of fragments Him to sin or to evil, but to put His was also different.
power to the proof, implying that they Yet in many respects the two miracles put po faith in His pretensions. were alike, and should be studied to- | Vs. 12, 13. He sighed deeply, because getber. Lesson 3d, 21 Quarter, con- they were incurably diseased in mind taius the account of the first miracle of and heart, and determined to accept no the kind, and the teacher should con proper evidence. Indignation was, persult the comments in Guardian for haps, mingled with pity, and He left April. The former miracle took place them to their unbelief. on the northern coast of the Sea of True faith is seliom, if ever, awakGalilee amoug the Jews; this one was ened by sigus in heaven or on earth. on the eastern coast of the sea, among A temporary a we and fear of God may the heathen of Decapolis.
| be produced, but it soon passes away. A few points only need to be noticed “Faith cometh by bearing, and bearing here. V. 4. From whence is the ques- by the word of God.” And if men hear tion of perplexed mortals. Some have not Moses and the prophets, nor yet thought the disciples' words imply an Christ and the Apostles, neither will utter lack of faith in the possibility of they be persuaded, though one rose from feeding so many; which would be the dead. We must believe in Jesus strange and surprising, after haviog for His own sake, and for the sake of witnessed the fornier miracle of multi- His words and works. If these do not plying bread. It is rather likely that persuade us that He is the Son of God, they meant to say: from whence, unless no outside evidence can convince us. Thou shouldst again supply their needs Signs addressed to the senses are insuffiby a miracle. “They only put a modest cient; arguments addressed to the cold but suggestive whence : Their eyes intellect are equally inadequate; only then watch every movement of His lip the moral evidence, which appeals to a and hand!” (Whedon). They looked susceptible heart, enables us to sav: “I to Him for supplies. He then teaches know whom I have believed.” (2 Tim. them to use what they have. “How 1: 12). The Christian religion, with many loaves have ye?”.
its moral and spiritual influences, is its
own best evidence. II. SEEKING Signs. :
III. THE LEAVEN OF HYPOCRISY The Pharisees did not desire a sign AND UNBELIEF. to confirm and strengthen their faith in Leaven is a household article with Christ; for they were without faith. which all are familiar. In the ScripThey demanded a sign which, they sup-tures it is frequently used as an illusposed, He could not show, in order to tration of the influence of doctrine, destroy the people's faith in Him. teaching, example. Sometimes, as here,
A sign from heaven they called for, it is the type of false doctrine; at other as though the signs on earth were in- times it signifies the gospel itself. adequate to strengthen fajih. Jesus 1). It works silently and secretly. appealed to His works; “The works that Its presence can scarcely be detected, I do, they testify of Me." But not to save by its effects. unbelieving persons. Unbelief is blind 2). Its influence goes on increasing to the meaning of Christ's works and without interruption, until the whole words.
I mass is leavened.
Jesus warns against the influences of of fish or reptile; and imagine all thisthree classes of men: the Pharisees, 1 pillars, chapiters, cornices, friezes, Hered, and (See Mathew 16: 6) the thousands of figures, turrets, tiles, roofs, Sadducees. The leaven of the Phari- everything, of the finest porcelain, all sees was that of "superstition, consist richly tinted with fifty hues; the scene ing in phylacteries, phrases, and obsery- bursting upon your vision in the midst ances, and little else.” Toe leaven of of the indescribable filth of a Chinese the Sadducees was that of unbelief in city, as the afternoon sun of a cloudless the spiritual world and the spiritual sky shines full upon it-and you have side of man's life (they believed not in the picture. the existence of angels, and of a spirit, I stood entranced, enraptured, and nor in the resurrection). That of Herod should have been riveted to the spot was the subordinating of religion to but for the surging throng who pressed political ends. The three used religious against me. observances as a cloak to cover their Anchoring at last against an opposite self-se-king, and hence one characteristic wall, I feasted long on the vision before was common to the three--oamely, hy me. Changing positions again acd pocrisy. Beware of formalism, skepti- again, I retreated step by step down an cism and worldliness.
alley only three feet wide, at right Vs. 17-21. The disciples mistook angles to the front of this inimitable Jesus' meaning-they substituted the palace; and, crowding up with my outward, literal, for the inward, spiritual guide, soon came to a gate two feet meaning. He was speaking of doctrine wide through which the masses were tryand life, they were thinking of bread ing to press. So great was the pressure, for the body. Jesus' words are spirit that, after fifteen minutes of waiting, I and life. John 6: 63.
abandoned the attempt, as only two
persons had succeeded in squeezing THE PORCELAIN TEMPLE OF SHINSEN. I through. A reminiscence of Hankow. From my guide, and corroborated
by my friends of the mission, I learned BY HELEN H. S. THOMPSON. that this is a Tanist temple, which has
been in process of erection for many At last I have realized the dream of years, and is but recently completed. my childhood-and a hope of riper It cost a million and a quarter of dolyears—that my feet might stand in the lars, which, in China, equals fifteen very heart of China.
millions with us! Could it really be myself, in this It is built in honor of the hero Shinstrange walled old city,-in the dirtiest, sen, who lived in the Hanchau dynasty, most crowded streets I ever saw ? El- eighteen hundred years ago, and who is bowed by the heaving masses, I found | reputed to have saved his people from a it difficult to follow my coolia guide, frightful flood, and to have received, as who was leading me rapidly toward the his reward from the gods, an elixir of famous porcelain temple.
life and the pill of incorruption. This Soon he pointed upward to the most Temple built in his honor, is style 1 dazzling, beautiful sight I ever beheld, “The Temple of the Myriad Ages of —more beautiful than anything I had Longevity." The inside is filled (I am ever expected to see in this world. told) with the choicest wood-carving to
Imagine a building three hundred be found in China. Historical plays feet square, its walls all paneled, its are daily performed there, with the hope sides and eaves full of friezes, richly em- of pleasing the departed hero. bossed, its columns crowded with chapi. There are other temples built in Shinters and cornices, images of men and sen's honor; but this is the most birds and beasts, from life-size to a foot famous, and is supposed to be the finest in length; its roof broken up into tur- porcelain structure ever erected, excelrets and towers, rising one above an- ling even the famous towers of Nankin. other fifty feet high ; every shoulder of One can better imagine what heaven the roof rounded and turned upward will be, from having seen this beautiful again, ending in some immense figure I vision !--Christian Intelligencer.
SUNDAY AFTER ASCENSION DAY.
May 21, 1882.
Seeing and Confessing the Christ. MARK 8: 22-33.
Commit lo memory verses 27-29. 22. And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring l 28. And they answered, John the Baptist : a lind man unto him, and besought him to touch but some say, Elias ; and others, Oue of the him.
prophets. 23. And he took the blind man by the hand, and 29. And he saith unto them, But who say led him out of the town; and when he had spit on
on 1 ye that I am: And Peter answereth and his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him saith unto him, Thou art the Christ. it he saw aught.
30. And he charged them that they should tell no 24. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, man of him. walking.
31. And he began to teach them, that the Son of 25. After that he put his hands again upon his man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be and saw every man clearly.
killed, and after three days rise again, 26. And he sent him away to his house, saying, 32. And he spake that saying openly. And Peter Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the took bim, and began to rebuke him. town.
33. But when he had turned about and looked on 27. And Jesus went out, and his disciples, his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee into the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and behind me, Satan: for thou savourest liot the things by the way he asked his disciples, saying that be of God, but the things that be of men. unto thein, Who do men say that I am!
| 1. THE BLIND MAN RECEIVES SIGHT. Vs. 22-26. OUTLINE: 2. CONFESSING JESUS TO BE THE CHRIST. Vs. 27-30. (31-33.
( 3. DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF THE CARIST FORETOLD. Vs.
GOLDEN_TEXT: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Matt. 16: 16.
INSTRUCTIONS. Verse 22. Bethsaida, near which He had fed the 5,000. 23. Took * * hand, tenderly leads him. Out of town, because the unbelieving people had rejected Christ, and were not worthy to see the miracle wrought. 24. As trees, partial, imperfect sight. 25. Look up, to exercise his faith, and to use the little sight he had already received. Saw clearly-perfect sight. 28. Elias, Elijah. 29. Christ, the Anointed, Messiah. 33. Satan, adversary, tempter. He had tempted Jesus not to suffer for sins when in the wilderness.
CATECHISM. Ques. 21. What is true faith?
works by the gospel in my heart; that not Ăns. True faith is not only a certain know- only to others, but to me also, remission of ledge, whereby I hold for truth all that God sins, everlasting righteousness, and salvation, has revealed to us in His word, but also an as- are freely given by God, merely of grace, only sured confidence, which the Holy Ghost for the sake of Christ's merits.
QUESTIONS. Verse 22. Who was brought to Christ? | Mark record the whole of Peter's answer ?
23. Why did He lead him out of that (See Matt. 16: 16). town? How did Jesus heal him?
30. Was that the proper time and place to 24. Was his sight fully restored at once ? announce the Messiahship of Jesus? In what is this miracle different from the pre
31. What does Jesus foretell? Was Ho vions ones ?
willing to endure all these things ? For 25. Why did He make him look up?
32. Did Peter expect and desire a suffering What was the result ?
Saviour? Did he look for a temporal King, 26. Was that town worthy to hear of
as did the other Jews ? Was it immodest to Christ's works? How had it treated Him ?
rebuke the Master ? 27. What question does Jesus ask? Is this 33. Did Peter deserve the rebuke? Did still the great question?
Satan want Christ to die for sinners? Was 28. What various answers do men give? Peter unintentionally taking Satan's side ? 29. What is the believer's answer! Does | Whose part are you taking ?
LESSON VIII. May 21, 1882. V. 28. Their answer gives the several
opinions entertained by the contemSunday after Ascension Day.
poraries of Jesus. Such conflicting anI. THE Blind Man RECEIVES Sight. swers are ever given by the world, But
We have here a miracle which differs we follow not the creed of meo, but the somewhat from other miracles, because Creed of the Apostles. it was progressive or gradual, and not V. 29. Who say ye that I am ? The instantaneous.
question was addressed to all the Vs. 22. The people who brought the Apo tles, not to any one alone. Natublind man to Christ performed an art rally one would speak first; and the of kindness, and their example should ever-ready Peter, the eldest of them, be an inrentive to all to bring their answers for all. Thou art the Christ, friends to Him for blessing.
Matthew (16: 16) records the whole V, 23. As in the case of the deaf answer: the Son of the Living God. stammerer (Lesson 6), Jesus took this Jesus “had nev-r spoken openly of His man also aside. The tenderness of the Messiahship. John, indeed, had borne Master is seen in His taking the man testimony to Him, and to those who by the hard, and personally leading could receive it He had indirectly inti. him. No doubt this personal contact mated that He was the Sın of God. inspired the man with confidence in the But it was His will that the revelation Guide. The Healer did not need to should dawn gradually on the minds of use any means to restore sight, for a His children; that it should spring more word of His was sufficient; but He from the truths He spake and the life made use of the spittle to stimulate the He lived, than from the wonders which man's faith; and in proportion as that He wrought. It was in the Son of Man grew, the work of restoration was to go that they were to recognize the Son of forward. So Christ willed it to be. God." (Farrar).
V. 24. Vision was partially restored. The answer of the Apostles brings but it was indistinct. I see men as trees out both the buman and divine natures walking. Even the restoration of par of the Lord: Thou, the Son of Man, tial sight must have greatly encouraged art also the Son of God. Two natures, and cheered him, and increased his debut one person (Thou). This is the sire for entire healing, and quickened central theme of Christianity. (See His faith in Jesus. Then He put His Quarterly). hands upon him a second time, when V. 30. The time had not yet come the man saw clearly. “Our Lord, in to make this known; and, moreover, this whole process of half-curing, and the Apostles did not yet know the then wholly curing, shows that the second fundamental article of the faith, result is completely at His command. namely: Salvation by the crucifixion He can perform the work without word and resurrection of the Christ. or sign; at other times, with an instan- III. His DEATH AND RESURRECTION taneous word ; at others still, with a FORETOLD. word and sign; and finally, as here, In verse 31 Jesus adds certain other with word and sign arresting the com- articles to the creed of the Apostles : pletion as He pleases.” (See Quar- “Suffered, etc,..., and rose again." terly).
The nature of His Person they now un
derstood; the nature of His mission II. CONFESSING JESUS AS CHRIST. was yet unknown. They did not ex
V. 27. “The blind receive their sight;" | pect a suffering Messiah, but a great this was one of the evidences by which King. Jesus now proceeds to complete Jesus convinced the Baptist of His Mes- their knowl+dge of Him. siahship. It was now proper to bring Observe the gradual development of the Apostles to a spiritual insight into His teaching. Step by step He bethe Person of Christ. Have their eyes comes “the Author and Finisher of been gradually opened to see who their their faith.” “First, He simply proTeacher really was? First. He asks claims, the Kingdom of heaven is at what opinion others have of Him. Who hand; then He explains the principles do men say that I am ?
and laws of that Kingdom in the Sermon on the Mount; then, in the para- and find some place of shelter and rebles, He sets forth in figures the nature freshment. But when the parents were of its progress and the obstacles it will returning from their recovered little encounter; but by gradual acquaintance ones, they found their brave preserver with Him the disciples have come to Jying quite dead upon the snow, not far the full faith that He is the Messiah, from where they parted from him. The the Son of God;" and then He fore- long exposure in his exhausted state was tells the coming suffering, and victory too much for his little strength, and havthrough death and the resurrection. liag saved his little charge-a stranger
V. 33. But they understood none of to them as they to him-he lay down to these latter things. One even rebuked die. his Master, as though he would set Him right. “Peter's impulse was founded on a love for Christ which could not
LOVING DARKNESS. bear the thought of His rejection and crucifixion. But it was the disciple's Centuries ago a Greek noble was conduty to listen to, not instruct, the Mas-fined in an underground dungeon, fur ter." (L. Abbott).
treason. No ray of light ever entered Satan had tempted Jesus not to tread his prison ; and as the years passed be the painful way of the cross, and now gradually became reconciled to bis lot. Peter does it also. Both are adversaries, At last, when he was an old man, the therefore (the literal meaning of the prison doors were throwo open, and he wird Satav). Peter was the adversary was told that he was free. He stepped of Christ, in not strengthening Him for out into the blinding light, ard stepped the suffering. but trying to dissuade back at once with the entreaty that he Him from it.
should be allowed to spend the rest of Savorest not, etc. God's ways are not his life in the darkness of bis dungeon. our ways. He has taught us that the The proffered blessing of freedom and way of the cross is the way of light. light was refused, and his remaining (Via crucis, via lucis).
days passed away in self-chosen darkness and captivity. Under the law, the
boud-servant who refused the proffered TRUE HEROISM, ;
blessing of liberty, forfeited his freedom
forever (Deut. 15: 16, 17). So they The Rev. E. J. Beck, the Bishop of who reject the proffered blessings of Newfouodland's Commissary, relates an Christ forfeit forever all cla'm on those heroic incident furnished him from that blessings.-Sunday School Times. colony: “A poor boy, whose name no one knows, but we may hope that it is in the Book of Life, found three little chil
TEACH THEM HYMNS. dren who, like himself, had been washed from the many wrecks, wandering along Teach the children hymus. Not little the dreary coast in the driving sleet. ditlies about Robert Raikes and the glo. They were crying bitterly, having been ries of the Sunday School, nor rollickiog parted from their parents, and not kuow- songs expressive of a kind of religious ing whether they were drowned or saved. raplure which they do not feel. Let them The poor lad took them to a sheltered commit to memory such grand old spot, plucked moss for them, and made hymns as "All hail the power of Jesus' them a rude but soft bed, and then tak- name," "Jesus, lover of my soul." iog off his own coat to cover them, sat“Rock of Ages, cleft for me," "I love by them all the night long, soothing ihy kingdom, Lord," and others like their terror until they fell asleep. In the them. Teach them to pray in the words morning, leaving them still sleeping, he of such hymns when they go to bed and went in search of the parents, and to his when they rise up. Thus they will daily great joy found them looking for their receive spiritual food; their higher på. children, whom they had given up for ture will gain strength and fibre, until dead. He directed them where to find they come to “the measure of the stathem, and then went on himself to try ture of the fulness of Christ.”.