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rebuke thee; but in His own name He
I would let nothing come between me and the subject in hand. I wou'd remember that an expert on the ice never tries to skate in two directions at once. One of our great mistakes, while we are young, is that we do not attend strictly to what we are about just then, at that particular moment. We do not bend our energies close enough to what we are doing or learning. We wander into a half-interest only, and so never acquire fully what is needful for us to become master of. The practice of being habitually attentive is one easily obtained, if we begin early enough. I often hear grown-up people say: "I couldn't fix my attention on the sermon, or book, although I wished to do so. And the reason is, a habit of attention was never formed in youth. Let me A great man says:-If I were a boy tell you a sad instance of a neglected again, I would practice preseverance power of concentration. A friend asked oftener, and never give a thing up beme once to lend him an interesting book, cause it was hard or inconvenient to do something that would enchain his attenit. When I think of mathematics, Ition; for he said he was losing the power blush at the recollection of how often I "caved in," years ago. There is no trait more valuable than a determina
28. We should delight in spreading Christ's fame abroad.
ADVICE TO BOYS.
to read. After a few days he brought back the volume, saying it was no doubt a work of great value and beauty; but that the will to enjoy it had gone from him forever, for other matters would intrude themselves on the page he was trying to understand and enjoy, and rows of figures constantly marshalled themselves on the margin, adding themselves up at the bottom of the leaf.
tion to persevere when the right thing is to be accomplished. We are all inclined to give up too easily in trying or unpleasant situations, and the point I would establish with myself, if the choice were again within my grasp, would be never to relinquish my hold on a possible success, if mortal strength or brains in If I were to live my life over again, I my case were adequate to the occasion. would pay more attention to the cultiThat was a capital lesson which Profes-vation of memory. I would strengthen sor Faraday taught one of his students in the lecture-room, after some chemical experiments. The lights had been put out in the hall, and by accident some small article dropped on the floor from the professor's hand. The professor lingered behind, endeavoring to pick it up. "Never mind," said the student. "It is of no consequence to-night, sir, whether we find it or no." "That is true," replied the professor; "but it is of grave Consequence to me, as a principle, that I am not foiled in my determination to find it." Perseverance can sometimes equal genius in its results. "There are "There are only two creatures," says the Eastern proverb," who can surmount the Pyramids-the eagle and the snail."
If I were a boy again, I would school myself into a habit of attention oftener.
that faculty by every possible means and on every possible occasion. It takes a little hard work at first to remember things accurately; but memory soon helps itself and gives very little trouble. It only needs early cultivation to become a power. Everybody can acquire it.
"What do you raise your hat to that old fellow for?" asked a boy of another. He's only old Giles, the huckster." "That makes no difference," said the other. other. "The question is not whether he is a gentleman, but whether I sm one; and no true gentleman will be less polite to the man in shabby clothes, or who peddles vegetables than to the man in the counting house."
SECOND SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY.
Power to Heal.-ST. MARK 1: 29-45.
Commit to memory
29. And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
30. But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever; and anon they tell him of her.
31. And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.
32. And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and hem that were possessed with devils.
33. And all the city was gathered together at the door.
34. And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.
35. And in the morning, rising up a gr at while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
36. And Simon and they that were with him followed after him.
37. And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee.
38. And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also; for therefore came I forth.
January 15, 1882.
39. And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.
40. And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
41. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.
42. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.
43. And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away;
44. And saith unto him, See thou say nothing tɔ any man; but go thy way, snow thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
45. But he went out, and began to publish it much and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places; and they came to him from every quarter.
Verses 29-31. Here we have a picture of Jesus in the home of His friends. Even here He has no time for rest. His friends tell him of their trouble. They are in despair; but immediately Jesus removes their fears by healing Peter's mother-in-law. Notice His tenderness; He takes her by the hand and lifts her up. The cure was complete; even the weakness commonly following fever was gone, and she had strength to "minister" unto Him. that is, prepare a meal. 32-34. Here we have a picture of the Great Physician. Crowds of sick came-hobbling on crutches, led, or carried on couches. They returned home well and strong, the former cripples now leaping for joy! 35. Such pity for the suffering ones had He, that He could not sleep and take rest, but rose up in the darkness of high', to pray in secret. What an incentive and encouragement for us 10 "be instant in prayer." 36. True disciples follow their Lord-into the Church, into the homes of the sick, even into the "solitary places," where no churches are, and there find the Saviour. 37-39. The Shepherd rests not, but goes after His sheep. Therefore came He forth." 40. Leprosy was a horrid disease of the flesh and skin, causing them to turn white, crack open and peel off! A leper was regarded as "unclean." So sin affects the soul. This leper believed in Jesus' power, but was in doubt as to his willingness to heal. "If thou art willing," etc., he said, after he had knelt down. 41, 42. Behold the compassion! He touched the loathsome sores, and said, "I am willing! Be thou clean !” According to the leper's faith it was done. 43-45. Go to the priest, Ist, as an act of obedience to the Law; 2d, to show his "gratitude for such deliverance" (Heidelberg Catechism, 2d Ans.); 3d, it was "better for the man's own sp ritual life to cherish his gratitude, than to waste it in many words."
Ques. Whence knowest thou thy misery? I
Verse 29. Into whose house did Jesus go when he had left the synagogue? Was St. Peter a married man? Who was sick? 30. Should we "tell Jesus" when our friends are sick? 31. Did Jesus cure her by the use of medicine? Was she entirely cured, even of the weakness that follows fever? What did she do? 32, 33. Was it lawful to carry the sick to Jesus on the Sabbath day? When did the Sabbath end? Ans. At 6 o'clock. Would it have been prudent to take the sick into the streets when the sun was shining? 34. Was Jesus unable to cure any kind of sickness? Was He willing and able to heal all? Did Paul, like Jesus, forbid the devils to speak? Acts 16. 18. 35. Did Jesus practice, as well as teach,
Ans. Out of the Law of God.
the duty of secret prayer? Matt. 6, 6. Do God's children delight in prayer? 36. Why did the Apostles follow Jesus? 37. Are all men seeking for Jesus now as they should be? 38,39. Whither did He wish to go to preach? Was He not the great Missionary? 40. Of what was leprosy a type? Ans. Of sin. What did the leper say? Was Jesus both able and willing? 41 Would other persons touch a leper? No. Why did Jesus touch him? 42. How long did it take to cure this leper? 43, 44. Did Jesus require the cleansed leper to obey the law? 45. Could he keep the good news shut up in his own bosom? Did his publishing it bring others to Jesus?
29-31. Peter and Andrew dwelt in Capernaum, whither Jesus had also removed after leaving Nazareth. Thus Bethlehem was His birthplace, Nazareth the home of His youth, and Capernaum of his public life.
Simon Peter was a married man, and his having a wife was no obstacle to his being a minister. Nowhere do the Scriptures teach that the clergy should abstain from marriage.
Simon's mother-in-law "lay sick of a fever," implying a prostrate state. Immediately they tell Jesus. They believed in His willingness and power to heal her, but could scarcely have expected an instantaneous cure. It usually requires several weeks before the fever is broken and strength returns. But Jesus used no medicine; only a touch and a lifting up, and immediately the fever left her! Luke, with medical precision, says "it was a great fever." Great must have been the joy of that family, as they saw the mother going about her household duties.
32-34. Ceaseless activity is displayed by the great Worker of miracles. As soon as the sun had set, and thus put an end to the Sabbath of inactivity, crowds of sick and cripples were brought by their friends-some led, others carried. Contrast the picture of their coming with that of their departure! They went with pale and sallow countenances, countenances, surken eyes, shrunken flesh, despondent looks, moaning and groaning. They returned with the color of health on their cheeks, light in their eyes, without numbness in the flesh or aching in the bones, running and leaping and shouting for joy! How light the crutches seemed now, as the restored cripples bore them back as trophies.
And the unfortunates, who had been possessed with unclean spirits, were now free from evil influences, and could cherish new thoughts of the Healer.
But as yet they must hold their peace, lest their testimony should prejudice the people against Jesus. Besides, He needed not their testimony; "His works testified of Him."
35-39. Praying and preaching go
together, in the life of Jesus, and of the true minister. Prayer also belongs to the S. S. teacher. Without it, not much will be accomplished. The promises connected with prayer are manifold. "Men ought always to pray, and not faint."
"Other cities." He refers to Bethsaida, Chorazin and other towns on the shore of the sea of Galilee. Let us go and preach, was His watchword, until He had passed throughout all Galilee.
40-45. Leprosy was of three kinds: (1) the mealy, (2) the white, (3) the black, according to the appearance of the flesh. It was called the botch or plague of Egypt. (Deut. 28: 27.) Its main features were the " appearance of a bright spot on the flesh, whiter than the rest, spreading, inflaming, cracking, and a humor oozing through the cracks, the skin becoming hard, scaly, as white as snow (Ex. 4: 5).
The leper was regarded as unclean, must live without the camp, or city, must not come near any one, must cry out: unclean! when any one approached. What a fit type of sin and its effects-rendering the heart unclean, full of evil, out of which proceed evil thoughts and words and deeds-separating him from fellowship with God and saints, and excluding him from the beautiful city.
The leper in our lesson was in the synagogue. At first this is a surprise to us. But "at the stage in which the leprosy reached its height, and the whole body was covered with the botch and scabs, the man was, by a strange contrast, declared ceremonially clean" (Lev. 13: 13). He might then return to his kindred and take his place with the worshipers in the synagogue, as this one had done.
He had heard of Jesus' power to save, and believed in it; but he did not feel equally certain in regard to His willingness. Hence he says: If thou art willing. Jesus, moved with compassion for the poor sufferer, touched him, and spake the word, and immediately he was cleansed. We may venture to picture the process to our minds: the skin cleansed, the sores closed, the diseased whiteness giving way almost in a moment to the tint of health!
After his great sin, David looked
upon himself as a moral leper; and in the 51st Psalm he prays to God to purge him with hyssop, that he might be clean. "Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." A fit prayer for every sinner, who needs not only pardon, but also cleansing. And after such purification he can say: "Bless the Lord, O my soul *** who for giveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases" (Ps. 103.)
The restored leper's gratitude and excitement constrained him to spread abroad the knowledge of his cure. He seems to have been unable to constrain his feelings.
In the last lesson we saw Jesus choosing apostles and casting out evil spirits. In this lesson we see how He cured fevers and all manner of diseases but especially that most loathsome one of all, leprosy. In our next we shall learn of His restoring a man that had the palsy, and of His power to forgive sins.
1. The cures which Jesus works are complete.
2. Working and praying go together. 3. Jesus is both able and willing to cure your soul of all its diseases.
Question for self-examination: Am I being cured?
MANUAL LABOR IN THE EAST.
FROM VAN LENNEP'S BIBLE LANDS.
Women of the higher classes. particularly in the large cities, spend most of their time within doors. They occupy themselves with the care of their households, and with needlework and fine embroidery, the latter being wrought in a frame supported by four legs, like a small table, which is placed in front of the fair worker as she sits in Oriental fashion upon the divan. Others, like Solomon's thrifty housewife, and like the women portrayed in the ancient sculptures of Egypt, engage in spinning wool, colton, flax, silk, or goats' hair; busily ply the loom, with which many households are still supplied, and
clothe their families with stuffs of home manufacture. They knit woolen socks, in striped or figured patterns, or stockings often exquisitely fine, of the silky Angora goats' hair, worn by ladies of wealth and rank.
There is no disrepute attached to manual labor, and men of wealth and high position do not hesitate to engage in it. Such persons may sometimes be seen plowing or digging with their own hands, or engaged in doing the work of a mason, or some other handicraft; indeed, one of the laws of the Osmanli empire requires every Sultan to learn a trade. and occasionally work at it. It is the pampered sons of the state officials alone who, being brought up in luxury and self-indulgence, spend a life of sloth, until some reverse of fortune compels them to work off their monstrous corpulency by engaging in some useful labor.
THIRD SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY.
Power to Forgive.-Sr. MARK 2:1 17.
1. And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.
2. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them. no, not so much as about the door; and he preached the word unto them.
3. And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.
4. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where be was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
5. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. 6. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,
7. Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
8. And immediately, when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts ?
9. Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?
10. But that ye may know that the Son
January 22, 1882.
of man hath power on earth to forgive
12. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.
13. And he went forth again by the sea-side; and all the multitude resorted unto him and he taught them.
14. And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alpheus siting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.
15. And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many, and they followed him.
16. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?
17. When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
3. CALLING AND ASSOCIATING WITH PUBLICANS. Vs. 13-17.
"The Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins."-Ver. 10.
"To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses."-Daniel 9.9. INSTRUCTION.
Verses 1, 2. In our lesson we find Jesus still in Capernaum-perhaps in Peter's house. His presence was soon known, and crowds gathered about the door, so that no one could enter the house. But on the outside were stairs leading to the roof. The roof was not steep, but flat, and on it people slept during the summer. These facts will explain what follows. 3. Palsy is a loss of the power of motion in any part or parts of the body. Kind friends can bring one another to Jesus. 4. The roof was only a few feet high, and made of tiles and mortar, which was easily removed. Jesus was on the upper floor, and they let the sick man down right in front of Him 5. Jesus frequently healed because of the faith of other people. centurion's servant, and the daughter of the Syro-Phenic an woman. "Their faith." No doubt the palsied man also believed, as his bearers did. Thy sins are forgiven." This he had not expected. Most likely he was penitent, and Jesus read his thoughts. He received more than he sought. A sinner saved is a miracle of grace. We had before learned of Jesus' power to heal; now we learn of His power to pardon. 6, 7. Then, as now, certain persons came to the preaching to criticise. True, no one can forgive sins but God; but Jesus is God. Hence He did not blaspheme. Blasphemies—evil words. 8. Jesus is the Searcher of hearts, who can read the unspoken thoughts and “reasonings." 9-12. Thus Jesus proved that He has power to forgive sins. For the double cure the people glorified God, and were amazed. Receipt of custom. At seaports, where ships come and go, there are custom-houses, where certain taxes are collected for the government. 15. Publicans-the tax-gatherers. They were renegade Jews, who collected taxes from their countrymen and paid it to the Romans. Levi, the publican, became Matthew, the Apostle of Christ. Jesus here shows His compassion for sinners. 16, 17. The scribes were shocked because Jesus a e with sinners. But He gives them a sufficient answer by speaking the proverb in v. 17. 1. Like the palsied man and Levi, you are a sinner and need a Saviour. 2. Jesus came to save sinners. 3. He calls you daily to repent.
Ques. 4. What doth the law of God require of us? Ans. Christ teacheth us that briefly: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind and with all thy strength.
This is the first and great commandment; and the second is like unto this: thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these commands hang all the law and the prophets.
Verses 1, 2. Where did the events of this lesson take place? Whom did the multitudes come to hear? 3, 4. What is palsy? Did this palsied man have faith in Jesus, as those who bore his bed had ? Did their act signify earnestness? 5. What did Jesus say to the sick man? Had he sought more than bodily healing? 6, 7. Can any one but God forgive sins? Is Jesus God? Did He speak blasphemy, then? 8-11. What question does He ask of these reasoners? What did He say to the man that was paralyzed? Did His word restore the
man's power of locomotion? 12. Did this prove His power to forgive sins? 13. Whither does Jesus go next? 14. What other name had Levi? Ans. Matthew. (Matt. 9. 1.) He was a publican, who collected taxes for the Romans. Did Jesus inake him an Apostle? What gospel did he write? 15, 16. Would the strict Jews eat with publicans? Wa Jesus' conduct wrong, or that of the scribes and Pharisees? 17. Who need a physician? Way did Jesus mingle with publicans and sinners? v. 17, latter part.