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gant and the imprudent to a point beyond which they could no longer obtain credit; and that point was sufficiently near to save the major part of their property to themselves or their children. Where these matters are not regulated, they are always causes of trouble. In other nations the accumulation of wealth on the one hand, and the extension of poverty on the other, go on until the state of things becomes intolerable; and then is a violent redistribution of property. The social disturbances of the old world now have their origin in this cause. Men are never wise enough to manage vast wealth beneficently, so as not to oppress the poor; and the poor are never patient enough to bear oppression and wrong long without resistance. Thus the redistribution of property, and the levelling of rich and poor, which among other nations are brought to pass only through the violence of revolution, were among the Israelites effected through the peaceful restoration of the year of jubilee.

VERSE 17. Ye shall not oppress one another. To secure a just and upright treatment to every Israelite from his brethren was the object of this law. The Israelite was to deal fairly and honestly with his brethren because Jehovah was the common Father of all. Among Christians the golden rule ought to be observed: Do unto others as ye would that they should do unto you. But this is an ideal that is never realized among Christians now, and was never realized among the Israelites of old. In the historical books of the Old Testament there is even no trace of the actual observance of the year of jubilee. We do not know, therefore, to what extent it was observed. But whether observed or not, the institution is there as an idea to be realized in the future. It

served especially as a type of the redemption which has already been accomplished through Christ, and also as a type of the sabbatic rest and peace which remains to the people of God, and which shall be fully realized only in that new heaven and new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.

A Deserved Tribute.

The sympathy for the American nation shown by foreign nations has been very touching. Among the many kind words is this little poem, found in Punch.


So fit to die! With courage calm,
Armed to confront the threatening dart.
Better than skill is such high heart
And helpfuller than healing balm.

So fit to live! With power cool

Equipped to fill his function great, To crush the knaves who shame the State, Place-seeking pests of honest rule.

Equal to either fate he'll prove,

May Heaven's high will incline the scale The way our prayers would fain avail To weight it-to long life and love!

Mr. Bancroft in His Workshop.


Mr. Bancroft's workshop is upon the second floor, in a large square room facing the street. What a place of rest chairs, a great desk in the middle of and study! Great leather and Shaker the room, and all about the walls, books and books; from the ceiling to the floor, on every side, books! an inch of space that is not filled. And he has four rooms like this. The table was strewn with pamphlets, books and bushels of documents and manuscript. have often seen. The picture, as you enter, is one you An old man sitting at his desk at work, and a young secretary opposite copying, verifying and arranging documents, and both encircled by walls of books. Within the four rooms composing his library, Mr. Bancroft

has over twelve thousand volumes. There are larger collections of books in private houses, but Mr. Bancroft's library is remarkable for being more rich in the best editions of ancient select than extensive. It is peculiarly classics, and has almost all the notable works in the modern European languages. The great feature of the library is the manuscripts. No man in the country has such a collection of original documents of a military or political character relating to the country. He began his great historical work in 1825. -The Republic.



First Sunday in Advent.

Mat, 21;8-11,

KEY-NOTE: “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." Mat, II

Row, 13:11-144,



Prophecy of Balaam.-Num. xxiv. 10-19.

10. And Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together: and Balak said unto Balaam, I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed them these three times.

11. Therefore now flee thou to thy place: I thought to promote thee unto great honor; but, lo, the Lord hath kept thee back from honor.

12. And Balaam said unto Balak, Spake I not also to thy messengers which thou sentest unto me, saying,

13. If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I can not go beyond the commandment of the Lord, to do either good or bad of my own mind; but what the Lord saith, that will I speak?

14. And now, behold, I go unto my people: come therefore, and I will advertise thee what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days.

15. And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said:

16. He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the Most High, which saw the vision of the Al mighty, falling into a trance, but having his

eyes open:

17. I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a star out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the comers of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

18. And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly.

19. Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.


What is the name of this Sunday? How is it related to the Church year? What is the Church year? What does Advent mean? How many advents of Christ may we distinguish ? Which of these forms the theme of the present Sunday? What is the key-note?

What is the subject of our lesson to-day? Who was Balaam? Num. xxii. 5. What was his religion? What his character? What was the occasion of his prophecy? Who was Balak? Why did he send for Balaam to curse Israel? Where was Israel at this time? Num. xxii. 1. How long after Israel's departure from Egypt was this? What result did Balak expect from Balaam's curse? Do men really possess power to do mischief to others in this way?

VERSES 10-11. Did Balaam curse Israel? What did he do? How did he bless Israel? How many times did he do this? What are the contents of these prophecies? Num. xxiii. 9-10, 19-24, xxiv. 3-9. How did this affect Balak? Had he any reason to be angry with Balaam? What did he say to Balaam? What does Balak say he proposed to do for Balaam? What does he mean by saying that the Lord kept him back from honor?

VERSES 12-13. What was Balaam's answer to Balak? Was this answer true? Num. xxii. 18. Was Balaam's conduct in the matter then wholly honorable? Did he not know from the first that he would not be allowed to curse Israel? Num. xxii. 12. Should he then have gone to Balak at all? Did his going displease the Lord? How did the Lord manifest His disapprobation? Num. xxii. 22-35. How are we to understand this miracle of the ass? But

why did the Lord afterward give him permis-
sion to go? Why did he desire to go? What
may we infer from this in regard to his charac-
ter? How then could he be a prophet?

VERSE 14. What does Balaam say here?
Does his speech show that he was angry too?
Did he really go to his people now?
did he go? Of what does he inform Balak ?
What is meant by the expression, in the latter

VERSES 15-16. What is meant by parable here? Was his utterance a real prophecy? How did he get his knowledge of the future? Does the Gentile world have its prophetic anticipations of Christ too? How is this prophecy of Balaam related to these?

VERSES 17-19. What was the object of Balaam's vision here? Of what was the star a symbol? When was this prophecy first fulfilled? Who is its ultimate fulfillment? What relation is there between the star of Balaam and the star of the wise men, Matt. ii. 2? What does Balaam say of Moab and Edom? When were these predictions first fulfilled? II Sam. viii. 2, 14. Who is he that shall come out of Jacob, and shall have dominion? What will He do to His enemies?

What became afterwards of Balaam? Num. xxxi. 8. Why did they slay him? Num. xxxi. 16. What was the counsel of Balaam? What is the meaning of Balaam? What is meant by the doctrine of Balaam, Rev. ii. 14? Are there many holding the doctrine of Balaam now? How should we regard them? In what way only can the wicked hurt the righteous?

NOTES.-The first Sunday in Advent belong to the same person; but such is is the first day of the Christian or the representation which the Bible gives Church year. The Church year is a of him. This renowned enchanter was period of time determined, not like the sent for by Balak, the king of Moab, in natural year, by the movements of the order that, by means of his curses or earth around the natural sun, but by spells, he might put a stop to the victorithe movement of the Church about ous progress of the children of Israel, Christ, the Sun of righteousness. Its when, in the fortieth year after their seasons are, therefore, determined by departure from Egypt, these were enthe great facts in the history of the re- camped among the acacia groves in the velation of Christ; and in its order and plains of Moab, over against Jericho, course these facts enter ever anew into after having defeated and slain Sihon the Christian thought and experience of the king of the Amorites, and Og the the Church in order to her edification king of Bashan. Balak entertained the and perfection. The first great fact in superstitious notion that some men have the history of the manifestation of Christ power to do mischief to others by the is His Advent, or coming into the world, utterance of magic formulas or the pracfor which the Old Testament dispensa- tice of magic arts. It was the same notion was a preparation, and of which the tion that underlies the modern belief in Advent season of the Church year is a witchcraft, and in the efficacy, for good celebration. We may distinguish three or evil, of charms and incantations. advents of Christ: an advent in the flesh, There is, of course, no objective power an advent in the spirit, and an advent in these arts. The power which the in glory. The first is past, the second is conjurer exercises, he derives, not from taking place now, the third is still future. his art, but from the superstition of his The advent in the spirit, or the coming victim. A man cannot curse those of Christ into the hearts of men, which whom God has not cursed (Num. xxiii. is the fruit of His coming in the flesh, 8). But if one can produce in another and the prelude of His coming in glory, the conviction that he is the object of an forms the theme of the first Sunday in evil influence, a curse or spell, then that Advent. The key-note expresses the conviction may become the cause of sufsalutation with which the Church ever-fering and trouble. There is no doubt more receives the spiritual advent of that much evil has been done in this her Lord. Hence its use in the commu- wav, and that occasionally even persons nion service, in which Christ's coming have died, not in consequence of any into the hearts of His people is especial- evil power put upon them by others, but ly symbolized. in consequence of their own superstition. This fact explains such notions as those of Balak. Thinking that by the magic power of Balaam he might rid himself of his fear of Israel, Balak sent a delegation of Moabitish and Midianitish princes, together with costly presents, to bring the enchanter from his home among the mountains of Mesopotamia to Moab. Balaam, being warned of God, at first refused to go; but when Balak sent another embas-y of princes more honorable than the former, promising to promote him to great honor, thus exciting his covetous desires and lust for money, he obtained of God permission to go, but only on condition that he shonld speak nothing but the words which God would put in his mouth.

Prophecy of Balaam.-Balaam, the son of Beor, was a native of the northern part of Mesopotamia, the country from which Abraham had come (Num. xxii. 5. Deut. xxiii. 4). He was a believer also in the God of Abraham, whom he worshipped under the names of El Shaddai (Almighty God) and El Elyon (Most High God). His religion was, therefore, the primitive religion of the patriarchs. He possessed something of a prophetic faculty, and had the reputation of being a diviner and enchanter, whose blessings were desired and curses feared. His character was a peculiar mixture of piety and worldliness. He possessed spirituality enough to make a prophet, or at least a diviner, but too much covetousness to permit him to be saved. It may be difficult to conceive how such opposite qualities could

VERS. 10-11.-Thou hast altogether blessed them. Balak was disappointed. Though Balaam had given him no dis

had come at his request, and from the costly sacrifice of seven bullocks and seven rams, which he offered on seven altars, in order to influence God in his favor, Balak expected to obtain his desire, and to hear the prophet pronounce curses upon Israel. But instead of curses, he hears blessings, that is, predictions of future good fortune for Israel.

tinct promise, yet from the fact that he messengers, that, if the latter would give him his house full of silver and gold, he could not go beyond the word of Jehovah to do less or more; but he did not say that Jehovah had already told him that he would not be permitted to curse the people of Israel, because they were blessed. Yet this was the fact, see Num. xxii. 12. The prophet's conduct, therefore, was anything but honorable. He knew from the first that he would not be permitted to curse, and should, therefore, not have thought of going to Balak at all. Though he had obtained a conditional permission to go,


These three times.-Three times and in three different places, namely, in the high place of Baal, in the top of Pisgah, and in the top of Peor, to which Balak brought him in succession, that he might yet his going displeased the Lord, besee different parts of the camp of Israel, cause his motives were not pure, and did he utter his blessings or favorable were every moment growing worse. The prophecies. The contents of these Lord manifested His displeasure by propecies are the future isolation, numbers, frightening his ass on the way, and then, strength and prosperity of Israel, and his when he smote her, by "opening her triumph over his enemies. In conse- mouth to reprove him. Of course this quence of these blessings Balak's wrath language is not to be understood literalwas kindled against Balaam, and he ly. No ass ever spoke human words. clapped his hands for anger. Yet he The mira le here was a subjective one. could not have said that Balaam had The whole occurrence was in the mind of deceived him. All that Balaam had Balaam, and the form of the narrative done was simply to suffer him to de- is only an outward symbolical clothing ceive himself. Morally there was no of this inward occurrence. It was in difference between Bilak and Balam. fact Balaam's troubled conscience that The former thought that he could buy put the reproving words into the mouth the prophet's curses with his money, and of the ass. He knew that he would not move Jehovah in his favor with his be permitted to curse Israel; and he sacrifices; and the latter suffered him to knew that he ought not to have gone to indulge this delusive fancy in the hope Balak at all. But he had set his heart of making gain out of it. And when Ba- on Balak's money, the reward of divinalak found that he was disappointed he tion which the latter had promised him, got very angry. and hence desired to go, and even to curse those whom he knew that God had not cursed. There was a conflict going on in his mind, "his thoughts accusing and excusing one another." Balaam was a "double minded" man, who de sired to please God and mammon. We may conceive of the state of his mind thus: he desired to obey God, but he also desired to get Balak's money; he would effect a compromise between these opposite desires; he would go, and perhaps in some way obtain the reward of divination, but he would take care not to go beyond the express commands of God. We can thus understand why God should be displeased at his going, and yet, in order to give him an opportunity for further development, grant him permission to go. But how could so impure a character be a prophet? In

The Lord has kept thee back from honor-What Balak means is that Balaam's belief in Jehovah and his dependance upon Jehovah, has prevented him from attaining the honor which he proposed to confer upon him. Balak, 1ke all believers in magic arts, thinks the seer, instead of being controlled by Jehovah, ought to control Jehovah by means of his art, and especially by means of his magnificent offerings. The seer's dependance upon Jehovah in his utterances, is a thing which Balak can not understand, and he therefore looks upon him with contempt.

VERS. 12-13.-Spake I not also to thy messengers, etc. This retort of Balaam to Balak's angry speech is strictly true (see Num. xxii. 18), but it is not the whole truth. He did say to Balak's

VERSES 15-16.-Parable. Hebrew máshál, a comparison, proverb; also a poem or song, because the literary productions denoted by the word were expressed in rhythmical form and uttered in a chanting tone. Here it means song or chant, as that was the way in which the seer spoke. Balaam hath said, etc. Literally, the saying, the ora

cle or prophecy of Balaam. Balaam's
prediction is a real prophecy obtained
by a divine operation or afflitus. Which
saw the vision of the Almighty, etc. This
expresses the form of his inspiration.
While his outward eyes were closed, he
was made to foresee by the operation of
the divine Spirit, the future course of
the world's history. There is a founda-
tion for such an operation in the consti-
tution of the world and in the constitu-
tion of the human mind. The world is
a living process, in which one stage al-
ways involves another.
The present,
therefore, is the womb of the future.
The human mind in consequence of its
organic relation to the world, may, in
certain conditions, be able to obtain
glimpses of the plan and tendency of
this process, and thus to prophesy. This
is the thought embodied in the lines of
the poet, which are so often quoted:

"The sunset of life gives me mystical lore, And coming events cast their shadows before." Hence it is that there are prophetic

the same way that wicked men perform miracles (Matt. xxiv. 24, 1 Cor. xiij. 2), for prophecy is a miracle of knowledge. Caiaphas could prophesy because he was high-priest (John xi. 51). This need not seem strange, if we remember that nothing is more common than a disparity between men's knowledge and morals. VERSE 14.-And now, behold. The language shows that Balaam had become excited too. The angry words of Balak have in some measure aroused the ire of the prophet. I go unto my people. Balak had warned him to flee to his place, and the prophet now says, "I go to my people." But he never got to his people. He probably started to go home, and from Num. xxiv. 25 it would seem that he and Balak separated never to meet again. But on his way back he fell in with the neighboring Midianites whom he taught to reduce the Israelites to idolatry; and when afterwards the Midianites were defeated by the Israelites with great slaughter, Balaam was still among them and was intimations of Christ even in the heathen slain (Num. xxxi. 8, 16). I will ad- world. The tendency of the world's vertise, i. e. advise or inform thee. In life is towards Christ, and the prothe latter days. Literally, in the after- foundest heathen minds, when in deep ward of days, or, in the after days. By sympathy with this life, have had their the phrase the latter days we commonly anticipations of Christ. Balaam's prounderstand the time of the end of the phecy was, however, more than this, world, but the prophecy of Balaam does though it rested on this natural basis: not reach so far as that. It covers the there was in it an element also of superperiod beginning with the splendid de- natural revelation. velopment of Israel in the time of David and Solomon, and ends with the decline of the Greek and commencement of the Roman dominion in Asia. Balaam's prophecy is generally regarded as referring to Christ. This is undoubtedly and sceptre. Star out of Jacob etc. The correct. Only we must not suppose star has among all nations served as a that the prophet himself thought of symbol of regal power and splendor. Christ. The whole history of Israel is Here it is a symbol of the royal line of Christological, i. e., typical of Christ David, completing itself in the eternal and tending to the manifestation of royalty of Christ. This prophecy, then, Christ; and as forecasting the course of was first and partially fulfilled in David; that history, Balaam's prophecy also is but its ultimate and complete fulfillChristological. ment is Christ. The star of Balaam has generally been brought into relation to the star of the wise men (Matt. ii. 2). It would, however, be a mistake to suppose that the prophecy of Balaam was known to the wise men. They were original seers like Balaam him-elf, and their star was independent of his. Moab

VERS. 17-19.-I shall see him, etc. Better: I see him though he be not now; I behold him, though he be not nigh. The object of this vision is the prince or king, afterwards represented by the star

. Edom. This prediction was fulfilled by the victories of David over the

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