« ForrigeFortsæt »
elders of the church. Occasionally we enrich our collection of curiosities by adding the card of one of these friends; in fashion thus-a" Rey. A. B.-, Pastor of the Christian Church, Street, etc. But perhaps R. H. has not gone far enough yet to meet with this kind of thing. If he has, and has “taken a side,” we hope it is, and ever will be, in direct opposition to all this progress out of apostolic Christianity. As to the term Progression we suggest that it be abandoned and that Retrogression be substituted ; and applied faithfully and lovingly to all who are for moving off the apostolic lines, that is to say, to all such who profess to have returned to New Testament Christianity,
R. H. insists that the Progressionists and those who cry out against them are pretty much alike. If so, so much the worse ; but our position is not affected thereby. We go against admitted acts, which we hold to be departures from apostolic Christianity, without respect to this party or that. We quote well-known brethren in America who complain of such departures not as indicating that we take sides with those we thus quote, but as affording proof that the evils exist. If they who thus complain are in some less degree tainted with the same evils, or in certain instances become identified therewith, that is no reason why wo should not cry aloud against all deviation from New Testament principles.
NOTES FOR THE SUNDAY SCHOOL.
INTERNATIONAL SERIES OF LESSONS.
April 4. ISRAEL'S PROMISE.- Joshua xxiv. 19-23. The conclusion of a vast solemnity-give outline of lesson for last Sunday. The people fervently promise to serve God, v. 18. “Ye cannot,” v. 19. They were not then in a state to serve God acceptably, having still among them "strange gods,” v. 23; possibly images or teraphim, such as the gods of Laban, Gen. xxxi. The Lord holy" and jealous, not forgiving the sins of those who forsake Him and serve strange gods, v. 19, 20.
Not the evil passion we call jealousy, but righteous to vindicate the divine glory. The people more deliberately choose to serve God, and are thereupon called to put away their images or gods, v. 23, which no doubt, though not recorded, was then done. God will punish departure from Him, as instanced by the case of Achan and others ; but forgiving the truly repentant. Ps. ciii. 8-14. “Joshua made a covenant," v. 25renewed the covenant of Sinai, as Moses had done. Deut. xxxi. 66 Statute and Ordinance." See Ex. XV. 25. “ Book of the Law.”—The Pentateuch, which probably Joshua completed, to which the Book of Joshua serves as an appendis. The stone-witness, .v. 27, to keep in their minds the pledge then made.
NOTE.—The resolve to serve God, however earnestly made, should result from due déliberation.' Resolutions too often pass off with the excitement. We cannot servo God with a divided heart. All idols must be put away. We worship not images, but are often tempted to neglect God's commands for worldly pleasure and profit, which becomes as idolatry to us. God will surely punish unpardoned sin. Pardon can be had only by those who truly repent. Those who thus repent -forsake their erils and reform. Israel had Statutes and Ordinances and the Book, to remind them of their covenant and duty, so have those who now give themselves to God.
QUESTIONS.-1. Why could not Israel serve God? 2. Did the people still determine to serve God? 3. Whom will God punish for sin, and whom will He pardon? 4. What does repentance produce ? 5. What was done to remind Israel of their promise to serve God ? 6. What Book have we to guide us ? 7. What Ordinances have we rominding us of the Lord Jesus and what He has done for us?
Observer, Apr. 1, '75.
April 11. THE PROMISE BROKEN.—Judges ii. 1-16. Give outline of the covenant recorded in the lesson of last Sunday. “ An Angel of the Lord,” v. 1. Properly “ The” Angel. The prophets speaking for God say:
• Thus saith the Lord,” but THE angel speaks as God: “I made you to go up out of Egypt," etc. “ Ye have not obeyed my voice," v. 2. So the covenant was broken. “ Wherefore I also said” v. 3, rather “I have now said " it on account of their sin. God would not drive out their enemies, but left them as a thorn and a snare. They name the place Bochim, which means weepers. “ All that generation," v. 10, the people who were men at the time of the conquest. “ Gathered unto their fathers," and phrases nearly identical in other texts are equivalent to dead and buried. “ Knew not the Lord," arising from their neglect of His word and ordinances, and therefore sinful ignorance. “ Did evil in the sight of the Lord.” This phrase in the historical books denotes falling into idolatry. It is found seven times in Judges as descriptive of the seven apostacies of Israel. Baalim,” the plural of Baal, and refers to the images of Baal, which they set up to worship, as does Ashtaroth, v. 13, to those of the Goddess Astarte. “ The anger of the Lord” surely overtakes the persistently disobedient, v. 14-16. “The Lord raised up Judges," who were deliverers. The era of the Judges lasted some 450 years. Acts xiii. 20.
NOTE.—Israel often when punishment came upon them, wept, resolved to reform, and offered sacrifice, but almost as often their resolutions failed. God often lets wrong doers find punishment in the very wrongs they commit. When He does not the recompense is only laid up for another time ; punishment that follows sin in this life is no guarantee that God will not further punish in eternity.
QUESTIONS.—1. Did the people keep the solemn covenant they made with God? 2. Did the next generation know the Lord? 3. Was their not knowing Him a sin? 4. Why was it a sin ? 5. Have we the means of knowing God and Jesus ? 6. How can we know the Lord and His will towards us ? 7. Shall we be guilty if we neglect to obtain this knowledge ? 8. What will be the result of that neglect ?
April 18. THE CALL OF GIDEON.-Judges vi. 11-19, 36-40. “ An Angel".
“ The Angel," as noted last lesson. “ To hide it from the Midianites." They were so oppressed and robbed that they had to conceal their wheat. All this came from their own sin.
“ Gideon" a poor farmer's son called of God to deliver Israel. His humility, v. 15. His enquiry as to the miracles he had heard that God wrought for Israel in former times, v. 13. “ The Lord looked upon him," most likely with some special outbeaming of divine radiance, givirg him to understand that he was listening to the command of God. The gracious look conferred strength;
“ Go in this thy might.” God's strength had become his might. “ Have I not sent thee?" “ Shew me a sign that thou talkest with me." He thus secures evidence that he was not merely in a dream, v. 18-21. The second sign, v. 36, not indicating want of faith in God's power, but want of assurance that he really had God's command.
NOTE.-God generally selects feeble instruments for His great works. Gideon's boldness in destroying his father's altar. Faith the source of his strength. Heb. xi. 32. God's imparted strength is enough to render successful His weakest instruments. We have enemies to overcome and evils to conquer. There is divine power for our help. We must seek it in God's way.
QUESTIONS.— 1. Why did Gideon thrash his corn in secret ? 2. Why was this distress permitted ? 3. What did the angel of the Lord say to Gideon ? 4. What did Gideon say in reply? 5. What signs did he ask of God ? 6. Why did he ask them? 7. What was the source of Gideon's strength ? 8. Will faith in God mako us strong to overcome evil ? 9. How must we seek God's help?
April 25. GIDEON'S ARMY.-Judges vii. 1-8, 16-23. “ Jerubbaal,” a name given to Gideon, c. vi. 32. “The people too many," v. 2. God designs to show that He and not the people, saved Israel. “ Whosoever is fearful
afraid, let him return." The greater part do 80 and leave only 10,000. They are too many. The water test, v. 4-6. Only 300 remain, who took the trumpets, pitchers, and lamps
(rather firebrands) of the people who had left, so that every man had one of each. Their enemies are estimated at 135,000. The three companies of 100 each, compass the camp, each man with his firebrand concealed in his pitcher, so as to approach in darkness. Suddenly they blow their trumpets, brake their pitchers, 60
Observer, Apr. 1, '75.
that their lights flashed out. This was near midnight, when the camp was in darkness. The sounding of so many trumpets would give the impression of an immense army, the result was fear and panic on the part of the Midianites, and so “the Lord set every man's sword against his fellow.” So complete was the ruin that Midian no longer appears in history, while Israel's deliverance by Gideon is celebrated for ages. See 1 Sam. xii. 11 ; Ps. lxxxiii. 11 ; Isa. ix. 4 ; Heb. xi.
NOTE.—God will not work by a proud people. He calls for His purposes the humble and weak. He also dismisses the fearful; and such are excluded from the New Jerusalem. Rev. xxi. 8. Faith in God gives courage ; fearfulness results from unbelief. The might and numbers of God's enemies are as nothing to Him. He can disperse them, even with a few trumpets, lamps and pitchers. He can make the wicked flee when no one pursues.
QUESTIONS.—1. What new name was given to Gideon ? 2. Why did God refuse to let all the men attack the Midianites ? 3. How many went ? 4. How were they divided ? 5. What did each carry ? 6. What did they shout ? 7. How were their enemies' slain ? 8. What gives true courage ? 9. What will be the fate of the fearful ?
THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN.-No. II.
CHILDREN at an early age should begin to teach the child to provide begin to learn the use of money, for its own wants, and meet the and this they can only do by exigencies of its daily life. And having money to use. Let a small there need be no wide difference sum be given at stated intervals, between the boys and the girls in and the child made to feel that it this matter. The boy, no less is his to keep, to spend, or to give than the girl, can be taught to away; that to the extent of his take pleasure in a neatly kept allowance he is capitalist, and as room, in orderly closets, and tastemuch at liberty to choose his fully arranged drawers ; to have a investments as any grown man. place for everything, and everyThe traffic in marbles and other thing in its place; to know what small articles of personal property garments will be needed for the shows that the spirit of trade is no coming season. less active in the boy than in the As for the girl, I see no reason man; and the little girl's desire to why she should not be taught the select the objects of her charity, use of a hammer and saw, to drive and to provide for her dolls, a nail, tighten a screw, or put up a indicates the capacity for a practi- shelf in her room. She should if cal education that ought not to be possible have a garden, and be neglected. This independence taught to make acquaintance with does not preclude counsel, which nature, in her good health_and the child will be quite as ready to ability to endure fatigue. Each ask as the parent to give, but that should be taught what is traditionthe money and its use may be a ally proper for the sex to which he means of education; the final or she belongs, but I should be decision must rest with the child. very far from saying only this and
At a much earlier age than is nothing more. customary, I would have parents We know many persons who live
Observer, Apr. 1, "75.
80 uneasily in their bodies that, and no number of pockets is they seem rather the chance adequate to the satisfactory tenants of a night than authorized bestowal of his hands. He fancies proprietors, and legitimate life all eyes are upon him, and his very owners; whose souls and bodies blood turns mutinous and flies in
so badly adjusted to one the face without just cause or another, that they are constantly provocation. It is his right to be getting in their own way, and unconscious ; to develope from helplessly stumbling over their within outward as sweetly and own toes. Almost every family unostentatiously as a flower; not has its members who walk over to be thrust into notice by having things without seeing them, who his sayings and doings repeated in never hear till they are addressed his presence, nor snubbed into a second time, whose hands are so silence and conscious inferiority helpless or so clumsy that they by being constantly reminded that might almost as well have been children should be seen and not made hoofs or fins. The child heard.” Hardly anything is more should be taught that his ears, essential in the management of eyes, hands, all the organs of his children than the kindly ignoring body, all the faculties of his mind, eye that does not notice too much. are his servants, and that it is his I pity the child who is the centre business to see to it that they of a blindly doting or injudiserve him faithfully—that they ciously critical family-whose report accurately what is passing every saying is repeated, every act about him, and respond promptly commented upon, and where, in and fully to his demands. Such consequence, naturalness is imsentences as “I didn't notice," “I possible. heard, but I don't remember," We all know how it fared with have no business in a child's the bean that, after being planted, vocabulary. He should be taught was dug up every morning to see to apprehend clearly that to say if it had begun to grow, and which, “I forgot" is only another way of after having made a brave struggle saying “I did not care enough to for life and got its head above remember.” Educate the faculties ground, was declared out of order, to prompt action, teach the senses and ruthlessly pulled up and to respond fully to every impres- turned upside down. sion made upon them.
Much of our interference with give a command or communicate children is no less impertinent, a thought to a child, secure his and in its results no less mischiev. attention, use the simplest and ous. Nature abhors meddling; most direct terms, and do not to reverent co-operation she yields often repeat them. Superfluous her happiest results ; but she will words demoralizing, and not be diverted from her purpose iteration a bid for inattention. by your homilies, nor submit her Some of us are born clods; more plans for your revision. Handof us become so through vicious maiden of the great Architect, she training. Make a child self-con- never loses sight of the original scious, and you have established intention. If you thwart her, it is an enduring feud between him and at your peril, and she leaves on his capabilities ; henceforth his your hands the work you have feet are an embarrassment to him, I spoiled.
Observer, Apr. 1, '75.
The child in his normal condi- referred to, one who will listen tion is an embodied interrogation. patiently, who will help the
He cannot wait for the eyes imperfect utterance, shed light on alone to report the objects about the confused impression, and him; every finger-tip is pressed place in the hand the clue that into the service and made to convey will lead to the just conclusion. tidings to the eager intelligence. “I don't like Mrs. D,” says the His greatest need is a wise and little boy who has sat quietly tender intrepreter; some one to observant through the morning walk beside him and explain the call of a visitor.
“ Little boys significance of what he sees and mustn't talk about not liking hears, to distinguish between the people,” says the well-intentioned inportant and the unimportant, but unwise mother. A better the high and the low, the near and course would be to learn upon the far. Do we realize what we what the antipathy rests. are doing when we sit stolid and The intuitions of a child are dumb under a child's question, seldom at fault, and in the brief allowing the keen intelligence to summing up contained in the be blunted against our indifference, words, “ I like or I don't like Mr. the glowing enthusiasm to be So and So,” there is often a subtle damped by our apathy, the buoyant analysis of character of which we hope crippled by our unbelief ? should do well to learn the secret. Having eyes we see not, having No one would expect fulness of héars we hear not, and standing muscle or strength of sinew in a before the great wonder-book of limb that was denied freedom of God's universe, we watch the turn- action; but is it not equally absurd ing of its leaves with scarcely an to expect intelligent opinion and emotion. Verily, we need to be soundness of judgment from the taught of the child.
adult whose childhood has been What one is, determines his spent in enforced repression, and possessions, and whether the child the non-use of its powers of obsershall be beggar or prince depends vation and reflection? upon the training of his faculties The child has a right to ask and the education that he receives. questions and to be fairly answered; In the fairy story, it was only the not to be snubbed as if he were children of the king who were guilty of an impertinence, nor invested with the golden key to ignored as though his desire for which all doors swung open, but information were of no consequence, every child is of the blood royal, nor misled as if it did not signify heir of the King of kings, a prince whether true or false impressions in his own right, lord of a province were made upon his mind. peculiarly his own, for the unlock- He has a right to be taught, and ing of all whose treasures he to be made certain, when any should carry the golden key. asked-for information is withheld,
As it is the child's right to that it is only deferred till he is observe, it is also his right to older and better prepared to receive arrive at conclusions ; in other it. words, to have opinions and to Answering a child's questions is express them- not at all times, sowing the seeds of its future nor in all places, but to the wise character. The slight impression and tender intrepreter already of to-day may become a rule of