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ognizes the reasonableness of Israel's re-writings of the prophets in the Old Testament. They were punished with pestilence and famine, with war and captivity. From this we may learn how Christian people ought to regard the words of their pastors and teachers. These now occupy the place of the prophets. They are God's instruments for the instruction and edification of His people. They speak in the name of Christ (Luke x. 16), and can therefore not be despised with impunity.
Verse 20. There are two classes of false prophets distinguished here: first, such as speak falsely in the name of the Lord, and secondly, such as speak in the name of other (false) gods; and both classes are threatened with the punishment of death. An example of the first kind we have in 1. Kings xxii. 6, where false prophets, speaking in the name of the Lord, but under the influence of a lying spirit (ver. 22), encourage Ahab and Jehoshaphat to go to war against the king of Syria. To this class of false prophets belong all false and heretical teachers, who speak in the name of God things that are not true. All who pervert God's word, whether consciously or unconsciously, are really false prophets. Even the Sunday School teacher who, from carelessness or from perverseness, inculcates error instead of divine truth, comes under this designation, and is guilty of a great sin. An example of the second kind of false prophets we have in the prophets of Baal (1 Kings xviii. 19), whose object was to seduce the Israelites from the worship of Jehovah to the worship of the false god. To this class belong all persons who labor for the overthrow of the Christian religion, no matter by what names they may be known, whether as atheists, infidels, scientists, philosophers or spiritualists. Both classes, the one laboring to corrupt Christianity, the other to destroy it, are largely represented in our time. This may be regarded as a sign of the approaching end of this world and of the second coming of Christ. Compare Matt. xxiv. 11 and 2. Peter ii. 1. The fact that great corruptions of religion are in progress, and that infidelity is greatly on the increase, need therefore not surprise or alarm us. It was told us in advance. Robert Ingersoll can get more people to listen to his vulgar wit
quest at that moment, but seeing that
Verse 19. As the prophet was the organ and messenger, the embassador of God, it was the duty of the people to listen to him as to the voice of God Himself. In this verse God's Vengeance is threatened against those who do not hear and obey the words of God spoken by the prophet. I will require it of them, says God, that is, I will not suffer them to go unpunished for it. How unmindful the people of Israel were of their duty in this regard we learn from the complaints of the prophets themselves, a striking instance of which we have in Jer. xxv. 4. And how God punished His people for their neglect of the words of the prophets, we also learn from the
than the most eloquent preacher can get and leisurely paid the bill. As she to listen to the Gospel; and on Sunday entered a neighboring store for somemorning more men and boys may be thing else, she suddenly missed her seen loafing around street corners and portemonnaie. Diligent search was about tavern doors, than are found in made, but it was not to be found in this Sunday School and church. That is store, neither in the street, nor in the sad, but it is not a thing that ought to store where the bill was paid. cause us any doubt in regard to the truth of our holy religion.
While they were still discussing the subject, a servant in livery came in, bringing in his hand the "Russian leather," which the lady immediately recognized as her lost property.
"Did you find the portemonnaie ?" she asked.
And, in fact, it appeared that Telo,
Verses 21-22. In these verses directions are given for the detection of false prophets. If the thing (which the prophet speaks) follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken. This test, however, applies only to prophets speaking in the name of the Lord, and then only where their words pertain to the immediate future, or are strictly predictive. For the detection of false prophets speaking in the name of other gods, other directions are given in the sagacious spaniel, had found the Deut. xiii. 1-5. Here it is presumed portemonnaie on the sidewalk, and with that, by means of diabolic or demonic clever instinct had carried it into the agency, the signs given by the false pro- house and up the stairs, asked for enphet may be fulfilled. That is no evi- trance at the glass-door, and finding his dence of his being a true prophet, if his mistress, had with great delight carewords are not in harmony with God's fully given it to her. On opening it law, and with the general tenor of di- the Baroness found the clue, and vine revelation. Even wicked men and thereby the clue by which it was immefalse prophets may sometimes perform diately returned to the owner. The wonders and show signs, but if their doc- husband of the latter went the next trine is not in harmony with God's morning to a butcher's shop, and seword, they are not to be feared, but lected two of the finest sausages for the courageously rejected. Hence in the excellent dog, wrapped them up, and New Testament we are directed to dis- sent them to the house in the Konigstinguish false teachers from true by con- strass, together with a piece of money templating their " fruits " (Matt. vii. 16) and the following little verse : or studying their works, and by considering whether their doctrine is in agreement with the "analogy of faith" (Rom. xii. 6), with the "form of sound words" (2 Tim. i. 13), with "the faith once delivered to the saints" (Jude 3), and whether it is according to godliness" (1 Tim. vi. 3-5).
An Honorable Finder.
A correspondent of the Advance, writing from Stuttgart, Germany, relates an interesting incident that recently occurred in that city:
"At your command, no, I did not; it was Telo."
"Who is Telo ?"
"At your command, the Baroness' dog."
To Telo, the honorable finder,
Please give the accompanying Wurst; And the servant will need no reminder Of a Trinkgeld for possible thirst.
CLOUDY days are many; bright days are few; we must catch each ray of sunlight as it comes. In the east clouds gather, and as they roll they hide the distant shores from our sight. The cloud that hides our future never lifts-blessed shadow ! Who would wish to see one step along the way? An Unseen Hand will guide us safely to the other side, if we take firm hold and cast our care on Him. Better to lean trust than to
A lady stepped into a well-known fashionable store in the Konigsstrasse, than to labor; better to the other day, made some purchases, see.
Third Sunday in Advent. Mat. 11;2-10.
KEY-NOTE: "We have found him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
1 Cor. 4; 1-5.
Last Days of Moses.-Deut. xxxii. 44-52.
VERSE 44. What is said in this verse? Where did Moses come from? Deut. xxxi. 14. Where were the people at this time? What is meant by the expression this song? verses 1-43. What is the subject of this prophetic song? Who was with Moses? What does Hoshea or Joshua mean? What was his relation to Moses and to Israel?
VERSES 45-46. What is Moses here said to have ended? What does the expression all these words mean? What does Moses command the Israelites to do in regard to this law? Were the Israelites elsewhere enjoined to instruct their children in the doctrines and duties of religion? Deut. xi. 19. How should children esteem such instruction? Prov. i. 8; and iv. 1. Should children obey their parents in religious matters?
VERSE 47. Is it a useless thing to observe God's law? What benefits does it confer? Could the Jews be saved by keeping the law? Can we be saved by keeping it? Rom. iii. 20.
1. God moves in a mysterious way,
How are we justified and saved? Rom. iii. 24; Eph. ii. 8. Are we then absolved from the necessity of keeping the law? Rom. iii. 31. What temporal blessing is here promised to those who keep the law? Does Christian piety also secure earthly happiness? 1 Tim. iv. 8.
VERSES 48-50. Whither does the Lord here command Moses to go? Had the same direction been given on a former occasion? Num. xxvii. 12-13. Where are the mountains of Abarim? To what particular mountain peak was he to go? What else is this mountain called? Deut. iii. 27. Could he see much of the land of Canaan from thence? What was to happen to Moses in mount Nebo? What is meant by the phrase gathered unto thy people? When and where had Aaron died? Num. xxxiii. 38.
VERSES 51-52. Why were Moses and Aaron not permitted to go into the land of promise? Where did that offence occur? When? What was the occasion thereof? Wherein did it consist? Num. xx. 1-13. Could it be any satisfaction to Moses to see the land which he was not to possess? From Moses' failure to see his life's labors crowned with success in this world, what may we infer in regard to another world?
Did Moses afterwards obey these directions in. regard to his death? Deut. xxxiv. 1. When did he die? verse 5. Was there any one with him when he died? Who buried him? verse 6. Was his grave ever known? Why was it concealed? How old was Moses when he died? verse 7. What was said of his natural powers at that time?
2. Deep in unfathomable mines
He treasures up His bright designs,
NOTES -The third Sunday in Advent contemplates the first coming of Christ, or His manifestation in the flesh, as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. The idea of Christ is the ruling idea of the Old Testament. Moses, in the law, and the prophets, wrote of Him. In the Gospel for this day Jesus proves Himself to be the Christ, the Messiah of Old Testament prophecy, by appealing to His miraculous works. Christ's coming in the flesh is the ground of His second coming in glory, or His coming to execute judgment. Hence the Epistle for to-day again refers to judgment. "Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the heart."
composition contained in verses 1-43 of this chapter, which is a prophecy of Israel's future sins, punishments and final deliverance, concluding with a glimpse even of the salvation of the Gentiles, in the words, quoted by St. Paul, Rom. xv. 10, "Rejoice, O ye nations, with His people." Hoshea (deliverance) afterwards called Joshua (Jehovah his deliverer or helper), was the minister and assistant of Moses during the life-time of the latter; afterwards he became his successor and the leader of the children of Israel in their invasion of Canaan and the settlement there. He was the son of Nun and of the tribe of Ephraim.
VERS. 45-46. All these words. The laws and ordinances contained in this book of Deuteronomy. Set your hearts unto all the words, i. e. remember, love and keep them. Ye shall command your children. The duty of parents carefully to instruct their children in the doctrines and duties of religion, is enforced also in Deut. xi. 19: "And ye shall teach them (the words of the Lord) your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down and when thou risest up." From this we see that, when obedient to their law, the conversation of the Israelites, in their households, in their labors, in their journeys and in their leisure, must generally have been of a religious character. Among the Israelites parents and children were, without exception, comprehended in the covenant of God; and it was the duty of Jewish parents, as it is the duty of Christian parents now, to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The duty of children in reference to the religious instruction of their parents, is stated in Prov. i. 8 and iv. 1. Children who do not obey their parents
The last days of Moses. In our lesson to-day we study the end of Moses, the man whom God raised up as the instrument for the deliverance of His people from their Egyptian bondage, and as a medium for the communication of His law to them, and who served as the leader of the children of Israel during a period of forty years, namely, from the time of their exodus from Egypt to the eve of their entrance into Canaan. Those who worry themselves over the question, how Moses could have written this account of his own death, may be reminded of the fact that the account does not claim to have been written by him. The notion of the Mosaic authorship of Deuteronomy as a whole rests upon nothing but a late Jewish tradition, and has been given up by the most thoughtful Christian scholars in modern times. Many things in it were, no doubt, written by him originally; and these were afterwards collected and filled up by some holy man, who spake as he was moved by the Holy Ghost.
VERSE 44. And Moses came. He came probably from the tabernacle, in religious matters, for example, childwhither he and Joshua had gone to re-ren who do not, at the request of their ceive communications from Jehovah. parents, attend church, Sunday School, The time of this occurrence was the last catechising, etc., are guilty of a violamonth of the fortieth year after the tion of the fifth commandment. exodus, when the people of Israel were encamped among the acacia groves (Abel-Shittim) in the plain of Moab, not far from the Jordan, over against law and of the duties of religion is the Jericho (Deut. i. 1-3. Num. xxv. 1, most important thing that one can do. ard xxxiii. 49). This song. The poetic As the soul is of more importance than
VER. 47. For it is not a vain (empty, useless) thing. Instead of being a vain or useless thing, the observance of God's
the body, so it is a far more important thing to be religious and pious, than to be rich, beautiful or great. It is your life. The observance of God's law is the condition of all present and future happiness. The Jews could not be saved, any more than we can be, by keeping the law. We are justified and saved by grace, through faith, in Jesus Christ, who was manifested in the fullness of time, and became the propitiation of our sins; and the Jews were saved by grace, through faith, in the same Christ, who was, however, yet to come, of whom their prophets spake, and of whom their law contained various types and shadows. And the Jews were to keep the law, because the saving grace of Jehovah had already been secured to them in His covenant. God says, "I am the Lord thy God," and then for this reason en joins the people of Israel to keep His commandments. In the same way we are bound to keep the law, although we are not saved by the law. Grace does not make the law void, but establish it (Rom. iii. 31). This refers, however, especially to the moral and spiritual principles of the divine law, which are as immutable as the divine being itself. And through this thing (keeping the words of God) ye shall prolong your days in the land, etc. The chief benefits of religion are spiritual and eternal. It looks mainly to the world to come, but the present world is not ignored. Religion promises earthly advantageslong life, safety, plenty, prosperity, peace -and these are especially made prominent in the Old Testament, though they are not forgotten in the new. See 1 Tim. iv. 8.
VERS. 48-50. Get thee up into this mountain. This direction is recorded also in Num. xxvii. 12-13, though it is not certain that the occasion there referred to, is not the same as that which is mentioned in our lesson. At any rate the location and scene are the same on both occasions, and there could not have been much difference either in the time. Abarim. A mountain range east of the Jordan, extending from the brook Heshbon south to the river Arnon, in the territory of Moab. Unto Mount Nebo. In Deut. iii. 27 the mountain which Moses was directed to ascend, is called Pisgah; while in xxxiv. 1 both names
are given: "Moses went unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah." Pisgah was probably the name of one of the more prominent mountains of the Abarim range, and Nebo the highest point of Pisgah. And behold the land of Canaan. From the elevated top of Pisgah much of the land of Canaan was in sight. One could see as far as the mountains of Hermon and Lebanon in the north, the Mediterranean sea in the west, and the desert of Arabia in the south. See Deut. xxxiv. 1-2. And be gathered unto thy people. This phrase, used so often in the Old Testament as an equivalent for dying, does not signify simply that the body of the dead is buried in the tombs of his kindred, which was not the case with the body of Moses, but that the soul joins the company of the departed souls in the other world (Sheol, Hades, the world of departed spirits). The phrase implies the immortality of the soul, and asserts the re-union of friends in the future state. As Aaron thy brother. Aaron died at Mount Hor, in the center of the mountain chain of Seir, which extends from the Dead Sea to the eastern gulf of the Red Sea. The time when his death occurred, according to Num. xxxiii. 38, was the fortieth year after the exodus, the same year in which Moses died.
VERS. 51-52. Because ye trespassed against me, etc. The offence here referred to took place at Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin, in the first month of the third year after the exodus (according to Lange-according to others, in the fortieth year). See Num. xx. 1-13. When the Israelites arrived in this desert region, they found no water, and they chode or strove with Moses, saying, “Would to God we had died when our brethren died before the Lord." In consequence of this strife the place was afterwards called Meribah (strife) of Kadesh. When, on this occasion, Moses and Aaron besought the Lord for help, He commanded them to speak to the rock, promising that water should flow forth in abundance. But Moses, instead of speaking to the rock, lifted his hand and impatiently smote the rock twice with his rod. And for this act of disobedience, which, of course, presupposes some measure of unbelief, Moses and Aaron were not permitted to bring the