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NOTES FOR THE SUNDAY SCHOOL.
Observer, Jan. I, '75.
Room" lessons. To the readers of the “ Ecclesiastical Observer, in this first issue of 1875, we send forth a loving greeting, heartily wishing them “ A Happy New Year.”
“ These times and seasons we do truly love ;
They count the miles our wandering footsteps rove
NOTES FOR THE SUNDAY SCHOOL.
BIBLE The International Lessons for the first half of this year range from the death of Moses to the death of Samuel_about 45 years—the era of THE JUDGES. (Acts xiii. 20.)
JANUARY 3. JOSHUA ENCOURAGED.—Joshua i. 1-17. Moses had died. Israel were encamped upon the plain of Moab—the Jordan before them.-
For thirty days after his death they had thus mourned and rested. (Deut. xxxiv. 8.), “ The Lord spake unto Joshua." 1. 1. How ? Most likely directly, as to the prophets generally, yet not as to Moses. “ Moses the Servant of the Lord”-in a high and special servitude. Deut. xxxiv. 5. Faithful as a servant, in all God's house. Heb. ii 5. Joshua Minister to Moses-holding high position under him. Appointed to lead the people into the land when Moses was set aside. Deut. i. 34-39. Justice and Mercy therein commingle. “ Go over Jordan.” How? He who had divided the Red Sea will
way. The promise. v. 3-6. The land was theirs to possess because of God's right to give. (“: The earth_is the Lord's ”). The inhabitants were dispossessed on account of wickedness. Ex. xxiii. 32 ; xxxiv. 12; Num. xxxij. -52; Gen. xv. 16. The range of country-bounded on the West by the Great sea (Mediterranean), on the East by the Euphrates ; on the North by Lebanon ; on the South by the Wilderness (Arabian Desert). “ Hittites"—the people of northern Canaan and Phænicia, but the name seems used here for the Canaanites in general, as in 1 Kings x. 29. « No man able to withstand.” Why? See v. 5.
Note the exhortation.-"Be strong." God had given all that was needful to that end. So with us. If not strong the fault is our own. Upon what does strength depend ? See v. 8. For what is the strength required ? See v. 7
QUESTIONS FOR THE CLASS.-1. How long had Moses been dead ? Why not permitted to enter the land ? 3. How did Joshua know he was to lead the people ? 4. How is the land described ? 5. What was the work of Joshua ? 6. What promises were given to cheer him? 7. What was he commanded to be? 8. How could be obtain strength ? 9. Of whom was he reminded as an example of God's abiding help? On what occasions did God wonderfully appear to the help of Moses ? 11. What have we to conquer ? 12. Can God help us ; and will He do so ?
JANUARY 10. CROSSING THE JORDAN.—Joshua iii. 1-6, 14-17. “From Shittim to Jordan"--from the upper terraces of the Jordan Valley, some six miles from the river. Verses 1-6 contain instructions for the passage-14-17 record the passing over. To follow the ARK a distance of more than-half-a-mile ; not that they might nover come near, but that in descending into the sloped bed of the river they might see the miracle. The Ark contained the Pot of Manna ; the Rod of Aaron; the Tables of the Law. “ Jordan overflowed all its banks”—No place at which it could be forded.” When the priests' feet were dipped into the water it walled up. waters which came down from above, rose up in a heap.” The river's course from the Lake of Tiberias is a fall of some 600 feet. The Ark carried on dry ground to the midst, could be seen by the people, and stood till Israel had all safely passed through.
Observer, Jan. 1, "76.
NOTE.—Christ our Ark and Safety.—Israel fell before enemies when without the Ark; we fall when without Christ. God manifested Himself to Israel from the lid (Mercy seat) of the Ark; more fully manifested to us in Christ, the true Mercy seat. The contents, also, of the Ark speak of Him-the Golden Pot of Manna ; Jesus the true bread which came down from heaven—the Rod of Aaron which budded ; Jesus in resurrection, life, and power—the Tables of the Law; fulfilled by and in Himthe Mercy Seat sprinkled with blood ; He shed His blood for us.
QUESTIONS.-1. By what power were the waters heaped up?—2. What became of the Ark while the people passed through ?-3. Of what was the Ark a type ?4. What did it contain ?-In what did the Manna represent Christ ?–6. In what did the Rod of Aaron represent Him ?–7. What was the cover of the Ark called? 8. Who is our Mercy seat ?
JANUARY 17. MEMORIAL STONES. Joshua iv. 1-9; 19-24. “ Take you twelve men." Each tribe to select one-said to be done by Joshua because commanded by Him. “ A sign to your children. v. 6-8. The first erection in the land of promise a monument to God. Another monument set up by Joshua, v, 9. Seen at low-water NOTE.—The means which God appoints for the destruction of Jericho--the ark, ram’s horns, and seven days marching round its wall ; and that is enough—not a stone touched, and the walls shall fall. Learn that God is never destitute of means that we may trust Him at all times ; that He knoweth how to help the righteous, and that He will.
“ This day"—the time when the Book of Joshua was written; likely soon after the conquest of Canaan. Prepared for war,” on “the plains of Jericho." These plains were the higher terrace, of the Jordan valley, not far short of seven miles broad. The mountains recede from the river and leave a level space at one time partly covered by a forest of palms; hence the name, "City of Palms.” Deut. uxiv. 3. The Lord magnified Joshua.” Moses had led them through the Red Sea. It was fit that in the same way Joshua should bring them through the Jordan. Both men were called and sent of God; and when God sends any one in His name He gives proof of His sending.
NOTE.- Death is often compared to a river, and often termed “the Jordan of death.”—Our Ark and our Joshua, in the person of God's Son, have passed over; we have to follow-He will bring His obedient ones safely through, both life and death. The stones set by Israel told to future generations of safe passage through the Jordan. We have monuments of the passage of Jesus through death and the grave. 1. The Lord's Supper, of His Death. 2. Baptism (Immersion), of His Burial. 3. The Lord's day, of His Resurrection. These have been observed ever since the events which they commemorate ; are sure proofs that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again.
QUESTIONS.-1. How many monuments were set up when Israel passed over Jordan ? 2. Did God.command both ? 3. Were they seen afterwards, and if so till when ? 4. Where did the people encamp after crossing Jordan ? 5. In what way did God magnify Joshua, as He did Moses ? 6. What is often likened to a river and to Jordan ? 7. Wbo is prefigured by the Ark and by Joshua ? 8. What monuments are there of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus ? 9. What does the Lord's Supper represent ? 10. What does Baptism represent ? 11. How does Baptism represert a burial ? 12. What does the Lord's day commemorate ?
JANUARY 24. PREPARATION FOR CONQUEST. Joshua v. 10; vi. 5. The Passover kept.
“On the fourteenth of the month,” as enjoined. Ex. xii. 6; Deut. xvi. 6. Their earliest act in the land was the observance of a divinely appointed festival. How good to begin all great works by a complete acknowledgement of God. The Passover commemorated their deliverance from Egypt. Thus the commencement and end of their pilgrimage were before them. “The morrow after the Passover" they ate of the corn of the land. v. 11. The next day the manna ceased. God does not work miracles when not needed. The term passover is sometimes used for the lamb slain on the evening of the 14th Nisan, sometimes for the paschal meal, sometimes for the whole eight days' festival. It here means the first great day of the eight, the Sabbath of the first holy convocation. “ Christ our Passover" 1 Cor. v. 7. “ The Captain of the host of the Lord.” The appearance to Joshua was that of
The command of v. 15 indicates more. Ex. iii. 5. The host of heaven, not Israel. 1 King xxii. 19. The captain, or prince (so Sar is rendered in Dan. I. 13.) of the angelic host was to lead Israel in their coming wars. Ex. xxiii. 20. As God spoke to Moses from the burning bush, so now He speaks to Joshua as the prince of the host of heaven. The substance of the announcement is seen in vi. 2-5.
QUESTIONS.-1. When was the Passover kept ?_ 2. What did it commemorate ? 3. Who is our Passover ? 4. Who appeared to Joshua, sword in hand ? 5. What did he first require Joshua to do? 6. What did the Lord command Joshua to do to the city of Jericho ? 7. What do we learn of God's power by such commands ?
JANUARY 31. JERICHO TAKEN vi. 6-20. Israel had now to begin the conquest of Canaan, city by city. Jericho, with its lofty walls and well-fenced gates, was impregnable to a people reared in the desert and destitute of engines of war for taking fortified cities. Indeed, looked at in the light of ordinary warfare, Israel was but rushing to certain death. But in the first conflict God's power is shown ; the walls fall without a blow and the people are rendered powerless by alarm.
Describe here the compassing of the City. The trumpets. The horn of the ram solid and not suitable for such use. Better translated “ Cornets of Soundings," or, of “ Jubilee,"—they were the curved horns used for introducing the Jubilee and Sabbatical year.
The Ark, as the seat of God's special presence, carried round the devoted city.
Note, that “ By faith the walls of Jericho fell dawn." Heb. xi. Not by faith alone. Faith produced obedience. Had the people be lieved and not compassed the city, or not sounded the horns, or not carried the Ark, or not shouted, or gone round only six days, or six times each day the walls would have remained, and God would bave punished His disobedient people. Faith is made perfect by obedience, and is only counted as it produces that result. Rahab was saved by her faith ; but only because faith led her to do as commanded. So now you can be saved by faith, but only as faith leads you to obey Jesus.
QUESTIONS.—Could the Israelites have taken Jericho by their own arms and valour ? 2. Why not? 3. What would be the effect upon other countries of God thus throwing down the strong walls ?_4. How many days did they compass the city ? 5. How many times in all ? 6. How was the procession arranged ? 7. What was the result ? 8. What became of the inhabitants ? 9. Why did God sentence them to be destroyed ? 10. What should this teach us ? 11. Why is it said that the walls fell down by faith? 12. How does faith save us ?
LINDALL, DEC. 11.-I have seen a brief | Lindall-in-Furness on November 4th, and notice in the E. O. for this month of the found our Bro. McDougall very poorly Lord's work in this district, which I and very anxious about a meeting to be trust will stimulate the faith and call | held that night at Southergate, Kirkby, forth the sympathy and prayers of the about seven miles from Lindall. Though brethren in every place that the good I felt a little weary with my long journey work of conversion may go on until the I started on foot. There were not less praises of Jesus shall go up from every than sixty persons, of all ages, closely homestead along these hills and through | packed in Bro. Tyson's kitchen. It these valleys. I am sure it would have was joyful work to preach the word of made every Christian to rejoice to have life ; so eager and attentive were they to been present at many of the meetings it catch every word. A number of young has been my privilege to attend during | men came forward asking the important the last five weeks. Having left Banff, question “What must I do to be saved?" with my wife and daughter, I arrived at I have no doubt but some of these in
Observer, Jan. 1, '76.
quirers gladly received the Bible answer, churches on that day; that whenever as some of them were shortly after bap practicable, arrangements be made for tized into Christ and are now going on holding a week of special services for their way rejoicing. The next day Bro. preaching the gospel and winning souls to McDougall came from Lindall, and a the Saviour. Dear brethren 1 submit Bible inquiry meeting was held at the these suggestions for your prayerful conchapel, which is over two miles from sideration. May the Lord guide us, and Southergate, and though the night was teach us so to live and labour that His dark and stormy and the roads dirty name may be glorified, and many who nearly one hundred persons were present. are now without God and without hope The subject given to Bro. McDougall for be won to Jesus. I may have something that night was the salvation of the robber to say next month about a channel for on the cross, a subject often used in the outflow of that Christian liberality order to show that men are saved with which I trust will spring up in the hearts out baptism. From the beginning of the of the brethren upon a review of the past meeting to its close, the interest mani- mercies and blessings. Above everything fested by almost every person present was else let us each and all trust more fully remarkable, and as I listened to the clear in Jesus ; live nearer to Him; be more and powerful exposition of Bible teaching earnest and faithful in prayer, with careon the question of salvation, I could have ful private reading of God's word. Let wished that all the people in this district us preach the word, be instant in season had been present. May the Lord spare and out of season; giving all the praise the life of our brother for many years to and glory to Him to whom alone it is come, so that many souls may be won to due ; and if spared to enter upon and Jesus through his labours. Since the see the end of 1875, doubtless we shall be last notice in the E. O. twelve young able to say that it has been one of the persons have confessed their faith in the happiest years of our life.-Wishing all Lord Jesus Christ. Ten of these have readers a happy new year, I remain, truly been baptised, and the others will (D.V.) in Jesus.
W. HINDLE. be to-morrow. They will make about LIVERPOOL.--Since the Annual Meetfifty additions to the churches in the ing, we have been cheered in witnessing Furness district since the middle of eight persons put on the Lord in baptism; Sept., and I feel sure that if the brethren seren of whom have been added to the here continue to live in such peace and church here, and one, a native of Wrexlove as I have seen since my arrival the ham, has united with the church in that blessing of the Lord will come down upon town, having been led to obey the Lord them yet more abundantly. I do earnestly while on a visit to one of her relations, desire the brethren who may read this to who is a member of the church here. join in heartfelt praise to the Lord for We have also had much pleasure in much blessing and success in my work receiving into our fellowship an elderly for Him'in Carlisle, Craigston, Banff and brother, formerly connected with a numother parts of Scotland, as well as in this ber of baptized believers, who many years district and in Wales during 1874. And ago, met together as a church in this I think I am right in saying that Bren. town, and had John Bo for their Abercrombie and McDougall will join me pastor,a name well known to some of the in this request for praise to our Lord. brethren here; others are inquiring ; Before I conclude allow me to suggest to may the Lord soon add them to His all the brethren in Great Britain to set Church.
T. CARRUTHERS. apart the second Lord's day in 1875 as a LIMEHOUSE (near Bow, London).day of thanksgiving and praise to God Here we are raising our Ebenezer ; for for past mercies. Let the elders arrange the Lord is helping us in this corner of special meetings for prayer on that day. His vineyard, and we are beginning to Let there be confession of past unfaith reap that upon which we have bestowed fulness, and humiliation with a more much labour. Since our last, we report complete consecration of ourselves, our five additions: one baptized believer, talents and prosperity to the Lord. Let and, in Nov., four by baptism into Jesus ; thank offerings be freely and joyfully in all, three brethren and two sisters. presented by all His stewards, whether For some time now we have been working it be pence or pounds, hundreds or a tract district, and are now getting short thousands. I would suggest also that of tracts. As the brethren are all workaddresses on Bible holiness and entire ing men, some very poor, we shall gladly consecration to God be delivered in all the I receive any old or new tracts richer dis
ciples may further send us to add unto each other up in our most holy faith.
A Mutual Improvement Class Wherever churches adopt practices, or is newly begun, from which we hope great continue practicing things long since things. Brethren, pray for us, and all adopsed, for which no warrant of scripture such, struggling along in populous neigh can be given, they can no longer conbourhoods amidst inany discouragements, sistently plead for an unqualified return that new doors of usefulness may be to Christianity. Sectarianism, wherever opened for us, and that we may have found, has a qualified imitation, but we wisdom and grace to enter them in Jesus want it unqualified.-J. GRINSTEAD.
J. ADAM. AUSTRALIA, ADELAIDE, 26th Sept.-On NOTTINGHAM, LANGLEY AND UNDER- the 1st of the month, Bro. M. W. Green WOOD.-I have just completed a month's left us to return to his labours in Victoria, service in these places, and have pleasure and has now gone to Sandhurst for three in reporting that the word of truth had a months. Up to the time of his leaving, good and attentive hearing. Six pro- nine persons were added to the church fessed faith in the Lord Jesus and were who have not been previously reported. baptized in North Sherwood Street | Bro. W. H. Martin, accompanied by wife chapel, and one at Langley. Another and child, reached Adelaide on the 18th friend, previously baptized, was also inst. He was evidently suffering from added to the church at North Sherwood overwork; but by taking rest, and through Street.-Southport, Nov. 16, 8. H. C. change of air and scenery, is now regaining
BATH.-We have received a copy of strength He has already taken his place circular, issued from Bristol and Bath, in the hearts of the brethren as a clear calling for a meeting to appoint a com- and faithful preacher of the "old, old mittee, &c., for the Southern Division, in story." Since last report, four have been which the places named are included. added to the church here. We have also a note intimating that a ENFIELD.-Meetings in this place are young man, with whom we had converse well attended. The interest is increasing. on our recent visit to Bath, has been Bro. W. H. Martin has preached here baptized by Bro. Davis, at Pontypool, several evenings consecutively, and on the creating some stir, and leading to a small 25th two came forward and made the church asking to be recognized. Also, “good confession."
A. T. M. that a young lady whom we were able to HINDMARSH.-On August 27th our help, by teaching, has been immersed. annual tea meeting took place. Owing to One, also, was to be immersed on the the unfavourable state of the weather following Lord's day, at Nettleton, by many that would have been with us were Bro. H. Thomas.
prevented; some 350 however sat down LEEDS.—We have had the pleasnre of to tea. The public meeting was presided baptizing another into the name of Father, over by Bro. P. Santo; Bro Colbourne Son and Holy Spirit. The brother has read the report of the church, showing an been a methodist for years, but about two increase during the year of 77, and also years ago he was led to give up all reading stated that £300, during the same time, but the Bible. Soon he began to compare had been paid off the building, leaving Methodism with Apostolic Christianity. | £100 more to pay; the present number The result is already before you. His of members is 308. Brethren Green, reason for desiring to join us, was because Magarey, Strang, Day, Hussey, Mr. we profess to be given up to the Scriptures.. McEwin (congregationalist), and Bro. May we show that it is not a mere pro- J. Laurie, addressed the meeting. During fession ; for is it not by the word which the past month three have been added to He has spoken, that we are judged at the our number, two by faith and obedience, last day? I think this matter of being and one restored.
J. C. given up wholly to the Scriptures, should MALLALA, September 25.-Since last be made very prominent amongst us, as it month, ten persons have witnessed a good seems to me to be the only ground which confession and put ou the Lord Jesus in we can consistently and successfully plead. this place.
G. D. It is not because our practices are better STRATHALBYN.— On Tuesday evening, than those of denominationalists (although 22nd inst, tea and public meetings were good fruit is seen in that particular, held here to welcome Bro. John Strang, call it egotism who may), but because evangelist, from Glasgow, to his new having no other rule than the word of field of labour, in Strathalbyn and surGod, we can give up error when able to rounding districts. The public meeting see it, so that we can, in reality, build I was presided over by Bro. T. Magarey.