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who has wrought us so much injury; let us slay him at once; that will be vengeance worth wreaking; then he will harm us no more. The king of the land, -possibly the Philistines had heard of the anointing; more probably they meant only the first and mightiest man in Israel, or the general of their armies. David overhears their counsels. How can he escape ? Sin leads to sin. He acts a lie. To act a lie is as wrong as to speak one. He pretends that he is mad. Scrabbled,-made marks, or drummed with his fists. Let his spittle fall down upon his beard,—this would convince Achish of the reality of the lunacy. In the East, the beard is regarded with peculiar veneration. Insane persons were looked upon with mingled regard and contempt. Achish dismisses David with scornful pity for the miserable condition of the once famous champion. Ps. xxxiv., the subject of the last Lesson, was composed in commemoration of this escape. Though David had done wrong in fleeing to the Philistines, yet God did not forsake His servant. Seethegenerous compassion and forbearance of our God. So He deals with sincere Christians who are guilty of error and sin.

DAVID IN THE CAVE OF ADULLAM.1 Sam. xxii. 1, 2; 1 Chron. xii. 8-18. The Cave of Adullam was David's next hiding-place. It lay at the foot of the mountains of Judah, not very far from Bethlehem. A few of his own servants had accompanied him in his flight from Saul. His brethren and all his father's house—soon joined themselves to him. They knew their lives were not safe so long as they remained in the power of Saul. The little band swelled rapidly, ver. 2. Speedily, David was at the head of four hundred men. Many of them were not just such associates as he would have chosen, but he must work with the best material he can obtain. This company was the centre round which others accumulated, till, by and by, it became an army. Some of his

companions were of another character. Part of these are described in the extract from 1 Chron. xii, Notice in the description of them in ver. 8; Whose faces were like the faces of lions, -indicates their courage.

Their bearing expressed their undauntedness. Their names follow. One of the least was over an hundred, etc.,—probably this refers to the promotion they received when David came into his kingdom. One instance of their valour is recorded. Some of their heathen neighbours had invaded the land. These brave men swam the Jordan when it was broadest and its flood fiercest; and attacked and conquered the spoilers. Some of David's own tribe joined themselves to him. At first he was suspicious of their intention; offered them alliance if they were indeed his friends, but warned them that God would take vengeance on them if they only desired oppor, tunity to betray him. God moved Amasai to answer in the words of ver. 18. Notice that Amasai distinctly declares his belief that the Lord was on David's side, and assigns that as his main reason for his adhesion to him: Thy God helpeth thee,-if David had God's help, he was certain of success. So God is our Helper in our combats with sin and self and Satan.

The teacher may trace a parallel between David and Jesus. Those who join themselves to Jesus now, will be rewarded when He assumes the kingdom. Let no difficulties or dangers keep us from Him. Let us be valiant for the truth. The names of David's chief warriors are preserved. God keeps a record in which is entered every soldier's name. Where? Is your name written there?

QUESTIONS.-Whither did David go when he parted from Jonathan ? What did he receive? Whither did he flee then ? Was he right? why not? What happened at the court of Achish ? Where was David's next refuge ? Who came to him there? Describe their different characters.



xix. 1-7. INTRODUCTION.—However interesting of the baptisms of John and Jesus might to the ecclesiastical writer the question be, any minute discussion of it in a Sunday-school class would be out of goes on weaving and selling tent-cloth; place. So also of Paul's vow at has no gift at public speech; preaches Cenchrea. Sufficient explanation will Christ at home, over the loom to be found in the Notes. A little meditation

friends and customers; takes his place on our Reflections will prove that there is much didactic value in the Lesson, to

regularly in the synagogue, with his which the attention of the scholars

wife Priscilla. Going as usual on a should be mainly directed.

certain Sabbath, a great surprise meets

them. A stranger Jew rises to address A LONG JOURNEY ENDED.-Ch. xviii. the worshippers : he speaks with 18–22. Sailed thence unto Syria,—not fluent and polished eloquence. Parts without disappointment, for his own of a well-known story drop from intention appears to have been to re- his lips,—the Baptist; repentance; a visit Thessalonica, 1 Thess. iii. 11. Messiah Who has really come,-these Having shaved his head.-See Portfolio. things of the Lord he taught acLeft them there; but he ..,—the visit was curately. But there were other thiugs of such a hasty character that Paul he did not mention, on which Paul would not even halt at the house of dwelt most in his speeches,-Christ his two friends in the town; but, crucified; Christ risen; the power of the leaving them, he went to the syna- Holy Ghost. Who was this stranger ? gogue, which was probably outside the How came he to know so much and city walls. This feast that cometh, -a yet so little? He came from Alexancareful comparison of the seasons for dria,—the home of the Western Jews, sailing customary in these seas, leads and of a culture in which Greciar and to the conclusion that the feast referred Oriental elements strangely mingled. to was Pentecost. See Alford, in loc. Only the baptism of John,-some of the I will return, fulfilled ch. xix. 1. crowds from the banks of the Jordan Saluted the Church,—that is, at Jeru. had returned to their Alexandrian salem. Down to Antioch,-thus his home, and made known the Gospel second missionary journey came to a history just as far as they knew it close. It commenced at Antioch, (ch, themselves: the ministry of John up xv. 35, 36,) and in pursuing it, Paul had to the baptism of Jesus, Luke üi. 15 passed over a great part of Asia Minor 22. After some Sabbaths the tent. and crossed into Greece. He had maker invited the preacher to his planted churches at Philippi, Thessa- home, and led him to the end of the Ionica, Berea, Athens and Corinth, and way of the Lord; the crucified, risen, returned by way of Ephesus, Cæsarea enthroned Redeemer ; the power of and Jerusalem, to the place where he the Spirit; the blessings of redemphad been committed to “the grace of tion. The gifted speaker profited by God,” ch. xv. 40. What a story he the instructions of the tent-maker, and would have to tell after an absence of his gifts became consecrated to the more than three years !

service of the Church. Where did THE THIRD MISSIONARY JOURNEY he go ? How was a welcome secured COMMENCED. - V. 23. Paul started for him there? Read 1 Cor. iü. 6. In with the definite plan of visiting the tropical climes, good seed needs good Churches, and so arranged his route watering, done by hand or by mechan. that he came to them in order. His ical contrivances. Paul had planted” companions are not named, but from the good seed; Apollos "watered" by the Epistles and subsequent notices in a ministry remarkably gifted and in. the Acts, we infer that they were structive; God "prospered," and the certain Greeks who had accompanied harvest of good men at Corinth grew him from Corinth,— Timotheus and apace. Erastus, ch. xix. 22; 2 Cor. i. 1; DISCIPLES OF JOHN.-Ch. xix. 147. Gaius and Aristarchus, Acts xix. 29; The upper coasts.The word “coast perhaps Titus, 2 Cor. xii. 18. A special here has no reference to the sea, but business occupied his attention during is used in its old sense of “ border," this visitation of the Churches,—the and “upper” is “upland," and the ordaining of a collection for the poor reference is to the high lands through saints at Jerusalem, 1 Cor. xvi. 1. which Paul had been travelling, and

APOLLOS. V. 24 – 28. During from which he came down to Ephesus. Paul's absence from Ephesus, Aquila Unto John's baptism,-so these men


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were in the same position as Apollos before the instructions of the tent. maker. By baptism, they had professed repentance and faith in a Messiah that was come, but of the resurrection and of Pentecost they had heard nothing. Paul expounded the meaning of John's baptism; it pointed to One greater than himself Who was to baptize with “the Holy Ghost, and with fire,Matt. iii. 11. Doubtless Paul accompanied this exposition with a statement of the later events of our Lord's life, and the blessings which result from the work of the Spirit in the heart. See Rom. viü. 1, 14-17. Now a second baptism was received, expressing a fuller faith, Matt. xxviii. 19. Further gifts were bestowed by Paul's authority as an Apostle, Acts xix. 6; but these were nothing in comparison with the blessings of the Spirit already experienced in the heart. See Luke x. 20.

REFLECTIONS.-1. Reflection should beget thankfulness.-What did Paul's vow refer to ? Have you reflected on the way God has led you and the mercies He has bestowed upon you ? What should your vow be ? Rom. xii. 1.

2. Note the beauty of gifts and godliness in union.—Apollos was very clever; very eloquent, but the beauty of the man was in the good heart shining through his gifts. The young admire that which wins praise; God loves that which is good.

3. Inquire for "the way of the Lord.-There is such a way; God's design, God's making. The Baptist showed the beginning of it,-repentance; Paul the course of it,-faith in Jesus, and righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

4. The Lord of the way knows all inquirers, and helps them.-Jesus is the Lord: He saw Apollos needing help, and sent Aquila ; the twelve disciples of John, and sent Paul. Little travel. lers, ignorant travellers, wearied tra. vellers, may get help by asking for it.

QUESTIONS.- What did Paul do in Cenchrea? why? To what port did he sail ? What was the course of his journey afterwards? How long had he been absent froin Antioch? What happened at Ephesus whilst Paul was away? Where did Apollos go? What was the position of the twelve disciples of the Baptist?


For repetition, verses 18—20. INTRODUCTION.-Our treatment of the a part. God had a history for His present Lesson is peculiar, and will kingdom; the lives of the Patriarchs, require careful preparation of the teacher

judges and kings of Israel were only before he goes into his class. The

the introductory chapters, the best and scholars are led to give the history themselves, by the use of questions. Then

greatest part was just beginning. God St. Paul gives his own comment upon

had a purpose for His kingdom ; that the history, through his Epistle to the

heaven and earth should be onein Christ, Ephesians. Finally, hints are given for

once crucified, now exalted.

Paul's present application. Thus each para- words are sounding still. The plan has graph of the Lesson is complete in itself. reached England. A great multitude

of saved people have joined the “THE SYNAGOGUE."-V.8. Had Paul heavenly part of the kingdom. Great been at the synagogue before ? ch. xviii. numbers on earth are one with God, 19. Who had carried on the work Jesus, angels and saints. God's plan during Pauls absence in Jerusalem ? ch. takes in the children. “Of such is the xviii. 26. What is said as to the kingdom of God.”. manner of Paul's address ? What word « THE SCHOOL OF TYRANNUS.”—V. shows that the speaking was not all on 9, 10. Paul's words had a double effect; one side ?

What argument was lost in some hearts were melted, others were ? appeal ? How long did this continue ? How did they express their hatred of the Has the letter any memory of this syna

Lord's way?

What course did Paul gogue work ?—Read Ephes. i. 8,9. The take to protect his Master's name, his kingdom of God large; takes in heaven own feelings and the faith of the new and earth. As architects draw out a disciples ? TV hose room did he hire for plan before they erect a building, God the purposes of teaching and worship? had a plan for His great house, the How long did he occupy it? How did world. Palestine and Israel were only the position of Ephesus serve the spread


of the Gospel ? What part of the letter the finished Bible, always there; no.

to_refer to this circumstance ? like Paul's miracles, seen and gone. -Read Ephes. ii. 11-13.

The un

These, like persons met accidentally, believing Jews would follow the de- of whom you ask the way; that, like parting disciples with hard words; a guide-post, always there. Also, the perhaps interrupt Paul's addresses power of the Divine Spirit; arousing in the school-room of Tyrannus. The sermons. Gentiles were altogether an outside “ VAGABOND Jews.” – V. 13–20. race; outside the chosen nation, What name is here given to those Jeus (“commonwealth,”) the covenant of who wandered about to gain a livelihood promise. With many idols, they had by street magic? What name was given no knowledge of God; their supersti. them because they professed to cast out tions contained no promises of mercy, devils? How was their real weakness no prospect for the future life; they shown ? What is meant by curious had no hope. But what blessed news arts? How does it appear that the came to them “in the school of one use of charms, incantations, conjuring, Tyrannus,” both for Jews and Greeks ! had been reduced to a false science ? Jesus was the great Peace-bringer. What did the new converts do with their No enmity now with God, for Jesus books? How much loss did they thus has shed His blood for all. No enmity take upon themselves ? (£1,800.) Are now between Jew and Gentile, Jesus there any allusions in the letter to this was the common Saviour of both.

influence of magic amongst the Ephesians ? How happy a thing is religion! It is -Read Ephes. iv. 14, 18. · Sleight of to be near God, to have peace with men,"—i.c., concealed trickery; crafti. Him, and in one's own heart, and to ness; deception. Then the state of have a loving heart towards every one. mind which gave the pretenders such No happiness like this. Jesus gives it. influence,-a darkened understanding; “ He is our peace.”

ignorance. Thus men became as chil. “ SPECIAL MIRACLES.”_V. 11, 12. dren, frightened at the shifting scenes What do you mean by a miracle ? Can of a magic-lantern, or the explosions you tell some of the modes recorded in the of a chemical experiment. But light New Testament by which miracles were had come, and the converts were to be wrought ? (Touch; voice; will only, as “no more children,' were not to "walk in the healing of the centurion's ser- as other Gentiles walk.” Gospel light vant.) How were they wrought in this secures against dark superstition; case? By whose hands ? By whose opens the intellect to inquire into the power ? Are there any references in the causes of things; preserves the soul letter to these miracles ?--Read Ephes. in calmness. Gospel power nerves iii. 7-9. A little child will write a men to self-denial. letter to his father; mother guides The MESSENGERS.–V. 21, 22. What his hand; the letter is written : the plan had Paul formed in his mind ? hand the child's, the power the What place did Aquila and Priscilla mother's. Just so with Paul and his come from? What decree of Claudius miracles. But why were the miracles would have sent Jews from Rome to the wrought at all? ver. 9. “ To make Eastern cities ? ch. xviii. 2. So Paul, all men see.” People do not notice meeting these Jeros, hearing much of the things without a sign or signal; the great city, forms a determination : what? sign arrests attention; they look and Whom did he despatch to Macedonia ?-see that to which the sign points. So Many years after, Paul saw Rome, as with these miracles; Jew, proselyte, a prisoner, and sent thence other mes. idolater; in prejudice, hope, or oppo- sengers to Ephesus; but the purpose sition; turned, looked, saw Jesus set of their being sent would be the same forth in the midst of Paul's Gospel. in both instances, Ephes. vi. 21, 22. Many signs we have to make us see,


“NO SMALL STIR ABOUT THAT WAY." ---Acts xix. 23—41.

For repetition, verse 26. A TRADE-MEETINO. – V. 23 28. temple dedicated to Diana : two There was in Ephesus a very large hundred and twenty years in building:

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built of purest marble; surrounded by way, and, two of Paul's companions one hundred and twenty-seven columns, (who ?) having been seized, rushed out sixty feet high, thirty-six beautifully into the streets; the press, tumult and carved. Within all this splendour excitement increasing at every step. was an idol! The image of Diana Where were they going? The theatre was of black wood, of which their was not a compact building capable of fables affirmed that it came down from holding some two or three thousand Jupiter, the king of the gods. The people; but a circular space, open to shrines were models of the temple in The sky. The seats were excavated silver, or silver medals with a represen- from the side of a hill, or raised, tation of the temple stamped upon tier after tier, upon arches. Here, fifty them. Demetrius was a merchant and thousand spectators could be accommaster in this trade of shrine-making ; modated, and hither Demetrius, his the craftsmen were modellers, en- craftsmen, and the crowd hurried, with gravers, etc., the “skilled artificers;" the two Christians. What of Paul? Ver. and the “workmen," inferior hands. 30, 31. The Chief of Asia, called What led Demetrius to call this trades'. Asiarchs, were officers chosen by the council together just at that time? Read large towns of the province to have 1 Cor. xvi. 8. This shows that the no charge of the games and ceremonies small stir occurred in the month of held in honour of Diana. They then May, which was wholly devoted to had particular interest in the riot going ceremonies and revelry in connection on, and having found their way into with the temple. The city would be the theatre, detected a bloodthirsty full of people. Now was harvest-time spirit in the crowd there, which led for this craft.

Every visitor must them to send the message recorded, and take back a shrine or a medal. Day thus try to save the life of one whom after day passes; customers very few; they had learned to respect. Meanlittle inquiry for the shrines : what the while a scene of indescribable confusion reason? That Paul! Get up a mob was taking place in the theatre, ver. and a cry, and away with him and 32. The Jews felt themselves in his teaching. So the council is called, danger ; they were well known oppoand Demetrius makes a speech. He nents of idolatry, and the passion now pays an undesigned tribute to the swaying the mass was so decidedly of wonderful success of Paul's ministry. a religious character, that they feared How ? He also lets us

see how

that the trouble which they would active the young Church had been in gladly have seen overtake the Chris. carrying the Gospel, not alone at tians would involve themselves also. Ephesus, but almost throughout the So they put forward a spokesman to province of Asia. The speaker then explain their want of complicity with appeals to the love of gain and the Christians. Who? Perhaps the religious prejudice, ver. 27. The Alexander mentioned 2 Tim. iv. 14, 15. record is ā sketch; fill it up: the Some knew him personally; the impassioned utterance, the gesticula- majority probably recognised his tion and the plaudits, and we can realise nationality by his dress, dialect and the issue; a mob, passion-driven and a physiognomy. A great shout intertelling party-cry, ver. 28.

rupted his would-be defence, and the “NO SMALL STIR." - V. 29–34. The riot reached its height, ver. 34. tradespeople and workmen rush out of A WISE MAGISTRATE.-V. 35-41. the place where they had held their The term town-clerk might be more meeting into the streets, and a crowd fitly rendered “Recorder;" his office gathers at their heels. A cry never resembled that of the mayor of an without power in Ephesus, is again English corporation. He was officially and again raised. What? The mob president of city-meetings, and so took makes for Paul's lodging, probably the his own place on the present occasion. house of Aquila and Priscilla. See He reminds them (ver. 35, 36) that the what Paul says about them, Rom. xvi. city was at the very time crowded with 3, 4. We may suppose that, at the risk pilgrims, and standing forth in her old of their own lives, they kept the angry

glory as “

temple-keeper” of Diana. workmen at bay until some mode of He hints at the impossibility of furnishsecurity for the Apostle had been dis- ing proof of any offence against the covered. Then the crowd had their religion of the State on the part of the

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