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LESSON VII. May 14, 1882.

Fifth Sunday after Easter.

I. Second Feeding Of The MultiTudes. Twice Jetus miraculously fed the famishing crowds who had followed Him, and were cut off from temporal supplies. Mark gives us both accounts. The two miracles were performed iu different places, and for different people. In the one case there were 5,000 men, in the other 4,000; the number of loaves, fishes and baskets of fragments was also different.

Yet in many respects the two miracles wpre alike, and should be studied together. Lesson 3d, 2J Q larter, contains the account of the first miracle of the kind, and the teacher should consult the comments iu Guardian for April. The firmer miracle took place on the northern coast of the Sea of Galilee among \heJews; this one was on the em-tern roast of the sea, among the heathen of Decapolis.

A few point' only need to be noticed here. V. 4. From whence is the question of perplexed mortals. Some have thought the disciples' words imply an utter lack of faith in the possibility of feeding so many; which would be strange and surprising, after having witnessed the former miracle of multiplying bread. It is rather likely that they meant to say: from whence, unless Thou shouldd again supply their needs by a miracle. "They only put a modest but suggestive whence t Their eyes then watch every movement of His lip and hand!" (Whedon). They looked to Him for supplies. He then teaches them to use what they have. "How many loaves have ye 1"

II. Seeking Signs.

The Pharisees did not desire a sign to confirm and strengthen their faith in Christ; for they were without faith. They demanded a sign which, they supposed, He could not show, in order to destroy the people's faith in Him.

A sign from heaven they called for, as though the signs on earth were inadequate to strengthen faith. Jesus appealed to His works; "The works that I do, they testify of Me." But not to unbelieving persons. Unbelief is blind to the meaning of Christ's works and words.

Ye1, "signs in the skies indeed there were. At His birth was the star. The angels announced from the skies His nativity. The dove from the skies descended upon Him. Voices from heaven at different times acknowledged Him Son of God Finally, at His crucifixion darkness at mid-day and earthquake gave witness to Him."— ( Whedon )

Tempting Him—not trying to lead Him to sin or to evil, but to put His power to the proof, implying that they put no faith in His pretensions.

Vs. 12, 13. He sighed deeply, because they were incurably diseased in mind and heart, and determined to accept no proper evidence. Indignation was, perhaps, mingled with pity, and He left them to their unbelief.

True faith is seldom, if ever, awakened by signs in heaven or on earth. A temporary awe and fear of God may be produced, but it soon pa?ses away. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." And if men hear not Moses and the prophets, nor yet Christ and the Apostles, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. We must believe in Jesus for His own sake, and for the sake of His words and works. If these do not persuade us that He is the Son of God, no outside evidence can convince us. Signs addressed to the senses are insufficient; arguments addressed to the cold intellect are equally inadequate; only the moral evidence, which appeals to a susceptible heart, enables us to say: "Iknow whom I have believed." (2 Tim. 1: 12). The Christian religion, with its moral and spiritual influ3nces, is its own best evidence.

III. The Leaven Of Hypocrisy And Unbelief.

Leaven is a household article with which all are familiar. In the Scriptures it is frequently used ai an illustration of the influence of doctrine, teaching, example. Sometimes, as here, it is the type of false doctrine; at other times it signifies the gospel itself.

1) . It works silently and secretly. Its presence can scarcely be detected, save by its effects.

2) . Its influence goes on increasing without interruption, until the whole mass is leavened.

Jesus warns against the influences of three classes of m^n: the Pharisees, Herrd, and (See Mat hew 16: 6) the Sadducees. The leaven of the Pharisees was that of "superstition, consisting in phylacteries, phrase*, aDd observances, and little else." Tue leaven of the Sadducees was that of unbelief in the spiritual world and the spiritual side of man's life (they believed not in the existence of angels, and of a spirit, nor in the resurrection). That of Herod was the subordinating of religion to •political ends. The three used religious observances as a cloak to cover their self-se -king, and hence one characteristic was common to the three—namely, hypocrisy. Beware of formalism, skepticism and wnrldliness.

Vs. 17-21. The disciple* mistook Jesus' meaning—they substituted the outward, literal, for the inward, spiritual meaning. He was speaking of doctrine and life, they were thinking of bread for the body. Jesus' words are spirit and life. John 6: 63.

THE PORCELAIN TEMPLE OFSHINSEN.

A reminiscence of Hankow.

BY HELEN H. 8. THOMPSON.

At last I have realized the dream of my childhood—and a hope of riper years—that my feet might stand in the very heart of China.

Could it really be myself, in this strange walled old city,—in the dirtiest, most crowded streets I ever saw? Elbowed by the heaving masses, I found it difficult to follow my coolie guide, who was leading me rapidly toward the famous porcelain temple.

Soon he pointed upward to the most dazzling, beautiful sight I ever beheld, —more beautiful than anything I had ever expected to see in this world.

Imagine a building three hundred feet square, its walls all paneled, its sides and eaves full of friezes, richly embossed, its columns crowded with chapiters and cornices, images of men and birds and beasts, from life-size to a foot in length; its roof broken up into turrets aud towers, rising one above another fifty feet high ; every shoulder of the roof rounded and turned upward again, ending in some immense figure

of fish or reptile; and imagine all this— pillars, chapiters, cornices, friezes, thousands of figures, turrets, tiles, roofs, everything, of the finest porcelain, all richly tinted with fifty hues; the scene burating upon your vision in the midst of the indescribable filth of a Clrnese city, as the afternoon sun of a cloudless sky shines full upon it—and you have the picture.

I stood eutranced, enraptured, and should have been riveted to the spot but for the surging throng who pressed against me.

Anchoring at last against an opposite wall, I feasted long oa the vision before me. Changing positions again acd again, I retreated step by step down au alley only three feet wide, at right angles to the front of this inimitable palace; and, crowding up with my guide, soon came to a gate two feet wide through which the masses were trying to press. So great was the pressure, that, after fifteen minutes of waiting, I abandoned the attempt, as only two persons had succeeded in squeezing through.

From my guide, and corroborated by my friends of the mission, I learned that this is a Tanist temple, which has been in process of erection for many years, and is but recently completed. It cost a million and a quarter of dollars, which, in China, equals fifteen millions with us!

It is built in honor of the hero Shinspn, who lived in the Hanchau dynasty, eighteen hundred years ago, and who is reputed to have saved his people from a frightful flood, and to have received, as his reward from the gods, an elixir of life and the pill of incorruption. This Temple built in his honor, is style! "The Temple of the Myriad Ages of Longevity." The inside is filled (I am told) with the choicest wood-carving to be found in China. Historical plays are daily performed there, with the hope of pleasing the departed hero.

There are other temples built in Shinsen's honor; but this is the most famous, and is supposed to be the finest porcelain structure ever erected, excelling even the famous towers of Nankin. One can better imagine what heaven will be, from having seen this beautiful vision !— Christian Intelligencer.

SUNDAY AFTER ASCENSION DAY.

Lesson vni.

May 21,1882.

Seeing and Confessing the Christ. Mabk 8: 22-33.

Commit to memory vertet 27-29.

22. And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto Jam, and besought him to touch him.

23. And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes,and put hislands upon him, he apked him il he paw aught.

•H. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.

25. Alter that lie put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.

26. And he sent him away to his house, paying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.

27. And Jesus went on t, and his disciples, into the towns of Cwsarea Philippi j and by the way he aalced his disciples, saying unto theui, Who do men say that I am J

And they answered, John tile Baptist i sa^Eliaa;

11 and others, One of the

but

prophets.

29. And he saith unto them, But who say ye that I am 1 And Peter answereth and sailh unto him, Thou art the Christ.

3». And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.

31. And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must puffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

32. And he spake that saying openly. And Peler took him, and began to robuke him.

33. But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, paying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourept not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.

{1. THE BLIND MAX RECEIVES SIGHT. Vs. 22 26.
«. CONFESSING JESUS TO BE THE CHRIST. Vs. 27-30. [31-33,
3. DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF THE CHRIST FORETOLD. Vs.

GOL.DEN.TEXT i « Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God." Matt. 1G: 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 dearly—perfect Bight. 28. Eliot, Elijah. 29. Christ, the Anointed, Messiah. 33. Satan, adversary, tempter. He had tempted Jesus not to sutler for sins when in the wilderness.

CATECHISM.

Ours. 21. What is true faith?

Ans. True faith is not only a certain knowledge, whereby I hold for truth all that God has revealed to us in His word, but also an assured confidence, which the Holy Ghost

works by the gospel in my heart; that not only to others, but to me also, remission of sins, everlasting righteousness, and salvation, are freely given by God, merely of grace, only for the sake of Christ's merits.

QUESTIONS.

Verse 22. Who was brought to Christ?

23. W hy did He lead him out of that town 1 How did Jesus heal him?

2-1. Was bis sight fully restored at once? In what is this miracle different from the previous ones?

25. Why did He make him look up? What was the result?

26. Was that town worthy to hear of Christ's works? How had it treated Him?

27. What question does Jesus ask? Is thi8 still the great question t

28. What various answers do men give?

29. What is the believer's answer? Does

Mark record the whole of Peter's answer?
(See Malt. 10: 16).

30. Was that the proper time and place to announce the Messiahship of Jesus?

31. What does Jesus foretell? Was He willing to endure all these things? For whose sakes?

32. Did Peter expect and desire a suffering Saviour? Did he look for a temporal King, as did the other Jews? Was it immodest to rebuke, the Master?

33. Did Peter deserve the rebuke? Did Satan want Christ to die for sinners? Was Peter unintentionally taking Satan's side? Whose part are you taking?

LESSON Vin. May 21, 1882.

Sunday after Ascension Day.

I. The Blind Man Receives Sight.

We have here a miracle which differs somewhat from other miracles, because it was progressive or gradual, and not instantaneous.

Vs. 22. The people who brought the blind man to Christ performed an aot of kindness, and their example should be an incentive to all to bring their friends to Him for blessing.

V. 23. As in the ca«e of the deaf stammerer (Lesson 6), Jesus took this man also aside. The tenderness of the Master is seen in His taking the man by the hand, and personally leading him. No doubt this personal contact inspired the man with confidence in the Guide. The Healer did not need to use any means to restore sight, for a word of His was sufficient; but He made use of the spittle to stimulate the man's faith; and in proportion as that grew, the work of restoration was to go forward. So Christ willed it to be.

V. 24. Vision was partially restored, but it was indistinct. I see men as trees walking. Even the restoration of partial sight must have greatly encouraged and cheered him, and increased his desire for entire healing, and quickened His faith in Jesus. Then He put His hands upon him a second time, when the man saw clearly. "Our Lord, in this whole process of hslf-curing, and then wholly curing, shows that the result is completely at His command. He can perform the work without word or sign; at other times, with an instantaneous word; at others still, with a word and sign; and finally, as here, with word and sign arresting the completion as He pleases." (See Quarterly).

IT. Confessing Jesus As Christ.

V. 27. "The blind receive their sight;" this was one of the evidences bv which Je3us convinced the Baptist of His Messiahship. It was now proper to bring the Apostles to a spiritual insight into the Person of Christ. Have their eyes been gradually opened to see who their Teacher really was? First He asks what opinion others have of Him. Who do men say that I am?

V. 28. Their answer gives the several opinions entertained by the contemporaries of Jesus. Such conflicting answers are ever given by the world. But we follow not the creed of meo, but the Creed of the ApostUs.

V. 29. Wlio sayve that I am? The question was addressed to all the Apo ties, not to any one alone. Naturally one would speak first; and the ever-ready Peter, the eldest of th»ra, answers for all. Thou art the Christ, Matthew (16: 16) records the whole answer: the Son of the Living God. Jesus " had nevjr spoken openly of His Messiah-ship. John, indeed, had borne testimony to Him, and to those who could receive it He had indirectly intimated that He was the S>n of God. But it was His will that the revelation should dawn gradually on the minds of His children ; that it should spring more from the truths He spake and the life He lived, than from the wonders which He wrought. It was in the Son of Mm that they were to recognize the Son of God." (Farrar).

The answer of the Apostle3 brings out both the human and divine natures of the Lord: Thou, the Son of Man, art also the Son of God. Two natures, but one person (Thou). This is the central theme of Christianity. (See Quarterly).

V. 30. The time had not yet come to make this known; and, moreover, the Apostles did not yet know the second fundamental article of the faith, namely: Salvation by the crucifixion and resurrection of the Cirist.

III. His Death And Resurrection Foretold.

In verse 31 Jesus adds certain other articles to the creed of the Apostles:

"Suffered, etc and rose again."

The nature of His Person they now understood; the nature of His mission was yet unknown. They did not expect a suffering Messiah, but a great King. Jesus now proceeds to complete their knowhdge of Him.

Observe the gradual development of His teaching. Step by step He becomes "the Author and Fioisher of their faith." "First, He simply proclaims, the Kingdom of heaven is ai hand; then He explains the p'inciplts and laws of that Kingdom in the Serroon on the Mount; then, in the parables, He seta forth in figures the nature of its progress and the obstacles it will encounter ; but by gradual acquaintance with Him the disciples have come to the full faith that He is the Messiah, the Son of God;" and then He foretells the coming suffering, and victory through death and the resurrection.

V. 33. But they understood none of these latter things. One even rebuked his Master, as though he would set Him right. '' Peter's impulse was founded on a love for Christ which could not bear the thought of His rejection and crucifixion. But it was the disciple's duly to listen to, not instruct, the Master." (L. Abbott).

Satan hud tempted Jesus not to tread the painful way of the cross, and now Peter does it also. Both are adversaries, therefore (the literal meaning of the w ird Satau). Peter was the adversary of Christ, in not strengthening II im for the suffering, but trying to dissuade Him from it.

Savored not, etc. God's ways are not our ways. He has taught us that the way of the cross is the way of light. (Via crucis, via lucis).

TRUE HEROISM.:

The Rev. E. J. Beck, the Bishop of Newfoundland's Commissary, relates an heroic incident furnished him from that colony: "A poor boy, whose name no one knows, but we may hope that it i3 in the Book of Life, found three little children who, like himself, had been washed from the many wrecks, wandering along the dreary coast in the driving sleet. They were crying bitterly, having been parted from their parents, and not knowing whether they were drowned or saved. The poor lad took them to a sheltered spot, plucked moss for them, and made them a rude but soft bed, and then taking off his own coat to cover them, sat by them all the night long, soothing their terror until they fell asleep. In the morning, leaving them still sleeping, he went in search of the parents, and to his great joy found them looking for their children, whom they had given up for dead. He directed them where to find them, and then went on himself to try

and find some place of shelter and refreshment. But when the parents were returning from their recovered little ones, they found their brave preserver lying quite dead upon the snow, not far from where they parted from him. The long exposure in his exhausted state was too much for his littlestrength, and having saved his little iharge—a stranger to them as they to him—he lay down to die.

LOVING DARKNESS.

Centuries ago a Greek noble was confined in an underground dungeon, for treason. No ray of light ever entered his prison ; and as the years passed he gradually became reconciled to his lot. At last, when he was an old man, the prison doors were thrown open, and he was told that he waa free. He stepped out into the blinding light, aud stepped back at once with the entreaty that he should be allowed to spend the rest of his life in the darkness of his dungeon. The proffered blessing of freedom and light was refused, and his remaining days passed away in self-chosen darkness and captivity. Under the law, the bond-servant who refused the proffered blessing of liberty, forfeited his freedom forever (Deut. 15: 16, 17). So they who reject the proffered ble>sings of Christ forfeit forever all cla m on those blessings.—Sunday Scliool Times.

TEACH THEM HYMNS.

Teach the children hymns. Not little ditties about Robert Raikes and the glories of the Sunday School, nor rollicking songs expressive of a kind of religious rapture which they do not feel. Let them commit to memory such grand old hymns as "All hail the power of Jesus' name," "Jesus, lover of my soul," "Rock of Ages, cleft for me," " I love thy kingdom, Lord," and others like them. Teach them to pray in the words of such hymns when they go to bed and when they rise up. Thus they will daily receive spiritual food; their higher nature will gain strength and fibre, until they come to " the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."

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