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DANTE'S "Vita Nuova" has hardly anything more mystical than this, written by Jonathan Edwards of his betrothed: "They say there is a young lady in New Haven who is beloved of that Great Being who makes and rules the world, and that there are certain seasons in which this Great Being, in some way or other, comes to her and fills her mind with exceeding sweet delight, and that she hardly cares for anything except to meditate on Him. She has a singular purity in her affections; is most just and conscientious in all her conduct; and you could not persuade her to do anything wrong or sinful if you would give her all this world, lest she should offend this Great Being. She is of a wonderful calmness, sweetness, and universal benevolence, especially after this great God has manifested Himself to her mind. She will sometimes go about from place to place singing sweetly, and seems to be always full of joy and pleasure, and no one knows for what. She loves to be alone, walking in the fields and groves, and seems to have some one invisible always talking with her." He married this dear girl at seventeen, and of their blessed union, in the second generation, came Aaron Burr.-Christian Intelligencer.
wiser and humbler; and he now even goes to the opposite extreme of refusing to obey when the Lord would send him. The undertaking seems too great for him, and he presents all sorts of excuses with a view of escaping from the responsibility which it involves. Certainly I will be with thee. This assurance ought at once to have determined his course, for with God's help we can do all things. This shall be a token unto thee ..... ye shall serve God upon this mountain. The token is the success of the enterprise itself. But how could that be a token, that is, a sign of success? The language means, according to Bush, "Go now and try; and you shall find by the event that I have sent you."
VERSES 13-14. What is his name? Moses had so little confidence in himself now that he would undertake nothing of himself. Whatever he might do, he would do only in the name and by the authority of God. And the divine name was to accredit him also to his people. Hitherto God had been known and invoked by different names, such as El (strong one), El Elion (most high), El Shaddai (almighty), and especially Elohim, the plural of Eloah. The name Jehovah seems also to have been known before this time, but not used very much. I AM THAT I AM. The self-existent, the eternal, the unchangeable One, who, because He is A FATHER and his little son were unchangeable, keeps His covenant and once riding along a familiar road with performs His promises; hence, the cove- a gentle horse. To gratify the child nant God, or God of revelation. There the father placed the reins in his hand, is a similarity between the self-descrip- but at the same time, unseen, retained tion of God here and the language used his own hold on them. As they rode by our Lord in John viii. 58: "Be- on they saw approaching them, at terfore Abraham was, I am," from which ific speed, a runaway team. The danwe may infer that the being, the subject ger was great and imminent. But the speaking, is the same in both cases. father guided his horse so that a colliClosely connected with this self-utter- sion was avoided, and the danger ance of God, and in Hebrew almost identical with it in form, is the word Jehovah or Jahveh, which occurs very often in the Old Testament, and in our English Bibles is, with a few exceptions, translated Lord. The name Jehovah, accordingly, designates God as the selfexistent, unchanging, ever-living God, who reveals Himself, enters in covenant with men, and keeps His covenant promises.
When all was over, the little son looked up to his father, and with choked utterance said, "I thought I was driving, but I wasn't, was I, papa?"
So often does the child of God, when some peril has been escaped, or some deliverance has been vouchsafed in ways unforeseen and unthought of, have occasion to say, "Father, I thought I was driving, but I wasn't." It is blessed to feel that the reins are in the hands of One mightier and wiser than we are.
Sixth Sunday after Trinity.
KEY-NOTE: (6 According to His mercy He saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost."
Moses and Aaron.-Exod. iv. 27—v. 4.
27. And the Lord 'said unto Aaron, Go into the wilderness to meet Moses. And he went, and met him in the mount of God, and kissed him.
28. And Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord who had sent him, and all the signs which he had commanded him.
29. And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel: 30. And Aaron spake all the words which the Lord had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people.
31. And the people believed: and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.
What is the Key-note for this day? How is it related to the Gospel and Epistle for the day? Is there any benefit in having been baptized? What is required of those who have been baptized?
What is the subject of our lesson to-day? What relationship existed between Moses and Aaron? Which was the older of the two?
1. Jesus! I live to Thee,
VERSES 27-28. What did the Lord say to Aaron ? Did he go? Where did he meet Moses? What is meant by the mount of God? What was Moses doing when Aaron met him? What did Moses tell Aaron? What signs are referred to? verses 1-9. What are signs? For what purpose were these given to Moses?
The loveliest and best;
VERS. 29-31. Whither did Moses and Aaron go? Whom did they gather together? What is meant by elders here? Why did they assemble these? Who spoke to them? Why did Aaron speak? vs. 13-16. What did he say? chap. iii. 15-17. What signs did he do? How were the people affected when they heard and saw these things? What did they do? Was this as Moses had expected? But was it as God had promised?
VERSE 1. To whom did Moses and Aaron now go? What was the proper name of this Pharaoh? Where did Pharaoh probably reside at this time? Where was Zoan? What did they say to Pharaoh? What does the word Lord stand for here? Do you remember what Jehovah means? Why is Jehovah called God of
My life in Thee, Thy life in me, In Thy blest love I rest.
1. And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.
2. And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.
3. And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the Lord our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword.
4. And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens.
Israel? Why does Jehovah call Israel His people? When was the covenant established? What was the token thereof? What sacrament now corresponds with circumcision? Do all who are baptized now belong to the people of God? For what purp se does Jehovah demand the liberation of Israel? What is meant by feast here?
VER. 2. What answer did Pharaoh give to the demand of Moses and Aaron? What did he mean by his question? What by saving, 1 know not the Lord? What sort of gods did Poaraoh know? What did he probably believe concerning Jehovah? Was his ignorance of Jehovah itself a sin?
2. Jesus! I live to Thee,
VER. 3. What did Moses and Aaron here say? Who were the Hebrews? What is meant by the term God of the Hebrews? Whither do they ask permission to go? What was the length of a three days' journey? What did they assign as the end of this journey? Was their demand to go into the wilderness for this purpose a reasonable one?
VER. 4. What does the king of Egypt say? What does the word let here mean? What mandate did he utter? What then was the result of this first application to Pharaoh? verses 6-9. Was this as God had foretold? Chap. iii. 19. Would it have been better, then, if no effort had been made to deliver Israel? Is the effort at deliverance from sin often painful too? Is this painfulness salutary?
NOTES. The key-note expresses the the chiefs of families or tribes, who· theme of the Epistle for the day, in were generally old men. The Israelites which we are taught how that "better in Egypt preserved their own national righteousness," spoken of in the Gospel, organization. As a body they were subis to be obtained. By baptism, the ject to the Egyptian government, while "washing of regeneration," we are as individuals they obeyed leaders or made members of Christ (baptized into officers of their own people. Any Christ), and therefore partakers of the movement in behalf of the people must merits of His atoning death, and of the therefore be submitted to the elders or power of His risen life; and what is chiefs, and their influence and co-operarequired of us now is that "henceforth tion must first of all be secured. And we should not serve sin," or that we Aaron spake. The last excuse that should "reckon ourselves to be dead in- Moses made for not accepting the divine deed unto sin, but alive unto God commission, was, that he was not elothrough Jesus Christ." quent, but slow of speech and slow of tongue. For this reason God appointed Aaron to be speaker on public occasions, while Moses was the organ for divine communication. "He shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God." In accordance with this arrangement Aaron appears here as speaker, while the subject-matter of his discourse proceeds from Moses. And did the signs. Performed the miracles mentioned above. In the sight of the people. The elders, with whom there may have been assembled also many of
VERSES 27-28. Aaron. A brother of Moses, three years older than the latter, now accordingly eighty-three years of age. He was a man of more eloquence and more popular talents than Moses, but of less force and decision of character. He had hitherto spent his life in Egypt, and knew all about the afflictions of his people; and, like his brother Moses, he no doubt, longed and prayed for their deliverance. The Lord said, Go into the wilderness. Out of his desire for the salvation of his people there grew a desire to go to meet Moses. the common people. And the people beThis was the condition of the divine lieved. This was contrary to the expecrevelation. The wilderness is the desert tation of Moses. He remembered the of Sinai. He met him in the mount of disastrous failure of his effort forty years God. Moses, after much hesitation, before. He knew that by long bondhad returned the flock to Jethro and age their spirit had been broken; and started to go to Egypt. At first he took he knew, too, that their religious faith along his wife and children, but for some was weak. Therefore he said, They will reason he seems to have changed his not believe me, nor hearken unto my purpose and to have sent them back voice. But God had promised him a again to Jethro; and he had now ar- favorable reception; and according to rived again at Mount Horeb, on his that promise it now happened. The journey to Egypt, when Aaron met him. Lord had visited the children of Israel. Moses told Aaron all the words of the During the period of their residence in Lord. The promises and commands Egypt the Israelites preserved, in a meawhich Jehovah had given him. And sure at least, the faith and worship of all the signs. The miracles of the rod, the God of their fathers. But this of the leprous hand and of the water, seems not to have been a period of great related in verses 1-9. A sign, in the religious activity. After the first genesense in which the word is here used, is ration was gone, there were no more a miracle attesting the presence of some prophets in Israel, no more revelations, supernatural power. Moses was fur- no more signs, and miracles, and visions. nished with miraculous power in order to But now the Lord had visited His peoaccredit him to the king of Egypt as ple, a new period of religious activity Jehovah's messenger. bad commenced, and the people now were ready to believe and to worship. Revivals of the Church, like the Reformation in the sixteenth century, can not be made by the will of man. They must wait until the Lord visits His peo
VERSES 29-31. Moses and Aaron went. They first went to Goshen in Egypt where the great body of the Israelites were still living. And gathered together all the elders. The elders were
ple. Then the leaders will be provided, and the people will be ready to hear.
VERSE 1. And afterward. After their meeting with the elders and chief men among the Israelites. Went in, and told Pharaoh. They went into the capital, and then into the palace of the king. This Pharaoh, it will be remembered, was called Amenophis. He is called Menephtha, on Egyptian monuments, and is said to have been a son of Rameses II. at the beginning of whose reign, as we remember, Moses was born. The residence of the Egyptian kings, at this time, seems to have been Zoan or Tanis, in lower Egypt, on the eastern side of the Tanitic arm of the Nile. There Moses and Aaron met Pharaoh, and there most of the marvellous events connected with the history of the Exodus occurred. Compare Ps. lxxviii. 12. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel. It will be remembered that the word Lord is a translation of Jehovah, which is connected with that self designation of God, "I am that I am," and served afterwards as a proper name for the eternal, selfexistent, living God of revelation, who had entered into covenant with Israel. The time with which we have here to do was an age of Polytheism. Many gods were acknowledged and believed. Every nation or tribe had its own god or gods, to which it gave proper names, thus distinguishing them from the gods of other nations or tribes. Thus the names of some of the Egyptian gods were Osiris, Isis, Serapis, Mnevis; while Baal and Moloch were favorite names for their imaginary divinities among the Canaanites. In this condition of things it was necessary that the Hebrews also should have a proper name for their God; and that name was Jehovah, than which a better could not have been used, as it expresses the eternal, self-existent being of God, in distinction from the merely imaginary divinities of the heathen. Jehovah, however, is called the God of Israel, not simply because Israel is the only people that knows Him, but because He has become their God in the covenant of circumcision. Therefore also Jehovah calls Israel His people, let my people go. For the history of the institution of the covenant of circumcision, see Gen. xvii. The sacrament now corresponding to circumcision, and
serving as the token of the covenant, is baptism; and all who are baptized belong to the people of God. That they may hold a feast unto me. The first demand is not for an unconditional surrender of the people, but simply for a temporary furlough, with a view to celebrating a religious festival, consisting in worship and sacrifice. VERSE 2. Who is the Lord? I know not the Lord. No doubt Pharaoh was perfectly honest in saying that he did not know the Lord or Jehovah. He had probably never heard the name of Jehovah until now. But his declaration here is not an expression of disbelief in the existence of Jehovah. He probably looked upon Jehovah, as he looked upon any one of his own gods, as being only one among many, the national god of the Israelites, who if he ever did amount to much, had now lost his power and was not of much account. He probably measured the diguity of Jehovah by the dignity of the Israelites groaning under their burdens, from whom he thought he had not much to fear. But this ignorance itself was something sinful. Not to know the Lord, is a state of ignorance in which no one can long remain without fault. Besides, Pharaoh as a Polytheist, a believer in many gods, was as much obliged to grant freedom of worship to the Israelites, as to any other part of his subjects. His conduct, therefore, possesses the quality of tyrannical intolerance.
VERSE 3. The God of the Hebrews. Hebrews is another name for the children of Israel, especially the one by which foreigners were in the habit of designating them. Here Moses and Aaron use the term by which Pharaoh himself has been accustomed to designate the people of Israel. Three days' journey. A three days' journey, encumbered with women, children, and cattle, could not be more than forty-five or fifty miles; and this distance would bring them into the desert of the Sinaitic peninsula, beyond the borders of Egypt. Sacrifice unto the Lord our God. This demand was a reasonable one even from an Egyptian standpoint. The Egyptians would have admitted that it was necessary for the Hebrews to worship their god, where and in what manner he might choose to demand. But
this the laws regulating religion in Egypt did not permit them to do there. In Egypt the Hebrews could have sacrificed only to Egyptian gods. In order to sacrifice to Jehovah they must go beyond the borders of Egypt. Hence the request to be permitted to go into the wilderness was a reasonable
VERSE 4. Wherefore do ye let the people from their work? i. e. Wherefore do ye hinder the people from their work? Pharaoh looks upon the demand simply as a device for obtaining respite from their labors. He thinks all they are after is to gain a holiday. and therefore roughly orders them off to their burdens. He regards Moses and Aaron as demagogues, who, if they were left alone, would cause the Egyptians much loss, and who must therefore be put down without much ceremony. The immediate result of this first application to Pharaoh, then, was not a favorable one. Their burdens, instead of being diminished, were increased. Compare verses 6-9. This was as God had foretold. See chap. iii. 19, 20. To many shortsighted Israelites it may have seemed that it would have been better if no effort at all had been made for their deliverance. Their condition now
were closed. As one who ministered to the sufferer bent over him, he at first thought him dead; but the white lips moved, and slowly in weak tones he repeated:
The Soldier's Prayer.
It was the evening after a great tle. Among the many who bowed to the conqueror death that night was a youth in the first freshness of mature life. The strong limbs lay listless, and the dark hair was matted with gore on the pale broad forehead. His eyes
The prayer of childhood was the his mother's knee in infancy, and he of manhood. He learned it at prayer life ebbed away on a distant battlewhispered it in dying, when his manly field. God bless the saintly words, loved and repeated alike by high and low, and poor, wise and ignorant, old and them with the holy fervor of the dying young. Happy the soul that can repeat
soldier.-Dr. H. Bonar.
was worse than before. But after all it was not so. Their burdens were increased for a little while, but only that they might be thrown off altogether. This is a type of our deliverance from sin, and of the effects which the Gospel often produces. Christ said, "I came not to send peace on earth, but a sword." But after the conflict, after all, comes peace. The process of repentance is a painful one. The "mortification of the old man" is not a pleasant process, but
A YOUNG lady has a Sunday-school class of rather bright boys, ranging
is the necessary condition of the "quick-between seven and nine years. Recently ening of the new man," and is there- she requested each pupil to come on the fore a salutary process. following Sunday with some passage of Scripture bearing on love. The lads heeded the request, and in turn recited their verses bearing upon that popular topic; such as "Love your enemies," bat-"Little children, love one another," etc. The teacher said to the boy whose turn came last: Well, Robbie, what is your verse?" Rising, he responded, "Song of Solomon, second chapter, fifth verse: Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples; for I am sick of love.'"