« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
LESSON 12. March 19, 1882. the hem of His garment, according to
St. Luke, 8: 44. The Jews paid a superstitious reverence to the fringe and tassels of the long outward garment, and the woman shared this superstition. v. 28.
Disease and Death Subject to Christ.
Our lessons have been teaching us "how great our sins and miseries are,' and also "how we are delivered" from them. Sin brings sickness, suffering, death and everlasting punishment. Our lesson for to-day presents various aspects of sickness, suffering and death, and also shows us the Good Physician, who not only heals, but brings back the departed spirit to reanimate the lifeless body.
Death is the extreme penalty of sin; its wages; its ripe and bitter fruit. Hence restoring the dead to life is Christ's highest miracle; especially as seen in His own resurrection from the dead. "He was declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead." He has the keys of death and of hell-of bades, the invisible world; and at His command the departed spirit of Jairus' daughter returns to earth.
I. A DISTRESSED FATHER'S EARNEST PLEA FOR HELP.-The lesson contains an account of two miracles. Verses 21 to 23 introduce to us a ruler of the Synagogue, whose daughter was sick. Jairus was one of the board of elders or presbyters, who believed in Jesus. His pressing need and great sorrow led him to throw himself down at Jesus' feet in earnest entreaty, Come and lay Thy hands on her, that she may be healed: and she shall live. Here was strong faith, which prevailed; for Jesus went with him.
II. A SICK WOMAN HEALED. Vs. 24-34. On the way to the house of Jairus there was a detention caused by the press of the multitude. Many thronged Him, but one touched Him in faith-a woman who had been ill for twelve weary years. v. 25. Many physicians had tried in vain to heal her, but she only grew worse; and besides, she had spent all her living and was now poor. v. 26.
In her deplorable condition she heard of a new Physician, and could not come near Him, except in the throng. Here was a faith that overcame all obstacles. v. 27. For she said—that is, to herself. It was a secret expression of her faith. If I may but touch His clothes; that is,
According to her faith it was done unto her. Straightway she was healed of that plague, v. 29. And she felt within herself the healing power.
The miracle was wrought in secret; and it was now to be made known. The cure did not result from any magical virtue in His clothes; He consciously put forth the power to heal: Knowing in Himself, etc., v. 30. He asked the question, not to gain information; for He knew who had touched Him; but to lead the woman to make an open confession-to "make known how great things the Lord had done for her as in the case of the restored demoniac in the last lesson. Those who seek and find the Lord and His blessings in secret, must confess them openly before men. His eyes rested upon the woman; and when she saw that she was known, she fell down before Him, and told Him all the truth, vs. 31-33.
Then He bestowed His benediction upon her, v. 34. How many thousands have been encouraged by this history to draw near to Christ, and touch Him by faith, until they, too, felt within themselves that they were cured of spiritual disease. Daughter-not only a term of endearment, but expressive of the new relation in Christ's spiritual family.
III. THE DEAD RAISED TO LIFE. vs. 35-43. No sooner was the woman healed than the sorrowful message is brought the maid is dead; why trouble
the Master? What a blow to the sorrow-stricken father who was coming with the Healer! He was too late. His heart begins to sink in despair, when Jesus speaks to him reassuring words: Be not afraid, only believe, v. 36.
These words are addressed to all sinsick souls: your Saviour has come; fear not. Taking His three most intimate disciples into the house with Him, He put out the hired mourners, and silenced the excessive weeping and lamentation, vs. 38 and 39. Their weeping was unsubdued by resignation and hope.
Jesus calls the death of the good a sleep. He does not deny the reality of the child's death; but He intimates that it shall be followed by a resurrection, as sleep is by an awakening, v. 39.
They laughed him to scorn. Knowing that she was really dead, and not believing in a resurrection. So the infidel world ever mocks that precious article of our faith: I believe in the resurrection of the body, v. 40.
Talitha cumi-in the ordinary dialect of the people, meaning: maid arise, v. 41. The word was sufficient; she not only arose, but was able to walk, v. 42. With her life, her strength also returned.
IV. THE RESTORRD LIFE NEEDS NOURISHMENT, v. 43. See Quarterly Notes. The soul that is raised to new ness of life needs the bread of life.
There are teacherless classes; he must see that in some way they are supplied. He draws from the adult classes; he consolidates a teacherless class with one whose teacher is present, or he sets a bright boy or girl of the class at its head. Too often he sees no way of caring for some important class except by teaching it He teaches
within itself a good work-but for the time he ceases to superintend his school.
He next turns his eyes to the officers. He sees that the secretary and the librarian are in their places and attending to their duties. He goes to his infant school (if in a separate room), not to distract the attention of the scholars, on to annoy the teachers, but to show his sympathy with both, whilst seeing that all is right, and to assist if assistance is needed. He turns again to the main school and quietly oversees its working. He guards the classes from interruption from without, and, at the same time, is on the alert to remedy internal difficulties. It is well that he keeps a roll-book of his own, with the names of the teachers, if the school is large; or teachers and scholars, if it is of moderate size. He may move slowly and noiselessly along the aisles (boots that squeak are
not lawful in the school), and run his eyes through the several classes as he passes them, with a smile of kindly encouragement for scholar or teacher, should either look up. If a frisky boy or volatile girl is disturbing a class, the eye of the superintendent will bring order. If an arm around a neighbor's neck, or from an adjoining class, is administering a sly twist of a comrade's hair, a tap of the superintendent's finger will bring the offender to terms.
But here is a class whose teacher has "run dry" in fifteen minutes. He was not at the teachers' meeting, and has not got himself filled with the lesson, and so has little to bestow. His boys are reading their papers, or are entertaining themselves and annoying their neighbors. The superintendent takes a seat in the form. He kindly asks how the class is getting on, and tests their progress by asking a few questions on the lesson, calling for the golden text and the catechism. If the teacher be not very stupid, the result of these questions will probably show him that his his teaching that day. work was not all done when he closed
After seeing thus that all is moving his seat where he can still overlook his as it should, the superintendent takes for a few warm words with which he is little army, and compose his thoughts to follow the "teaching hour."
LESSON 13. March 26th, 1882. Fifth Sunday in Lent.
TO SUPERINTENDENTS AND TEACHERS.-The review ought to be made interesting and thorough. Take sufficient time to make yourselves familiar with the twelve lessons. Read carefully the first five chapters of St. Mark, and notice that they present us a series of pictures of Christ at Work. The central truth for the quarter is applicable to all the lessons. "I work." Jno. 5: 17. The golden text brings out the same truth. It is St. Peter's declaration of the Saviour's manner of life: "He went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil.”
9. Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Be still, and know that I am
11. He healed all that were oppressed of the devil.
12. I have the Keys of Death and of hades.
BY REV. J. A. PETERS.
LESSONS OF THE HOLY SEPULCHER. of Cornelius; in their defense before
Felix or Agrippa--this was the gist of their teaching. In their estimation the great text of evidential value was "Jesus and the Resurrection."
Up, and away!
Thy Saviour's gone before.
"All that is good, Thy Saviour dearly bought With His heart's blood And it must there be sought, Where He keeps residence, who rose this
Linger no longer then! up, and away!" So sang the saintly Herbert, whose muse drank so deeply of
"Siloah's brook that flowed Fast by the oracle of God."
It is a pan of victory, and breathes the language of buoyant hope to "all who through fear of death, are all their lifetime subject to bondage." Scepticism, in its derision of Christianity, has at times, thrown out the taunt that "the Christian Church is founded upon an empty tomb." Apologists of the faith have not only submitted to the taunt, but have always gloried in the fact. Nothing in the whole body of Christian revelation, save tho fact of Jesus Himself, has been more precious to the Christian consciousness. In the judgment of St Paul, the resurrection of Christ is the very corner-stone of the whole fabric of Christian teaching. "If Christ be not risen then is our teaching vain." Hence, the historian in his chronicles of the missionary activity of the primitive church, is careful to record that "with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus." Indeed, wherever they preached the good tidings of salvation-whether at Jerusalem, at Antioch, or at Athens; in the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch, or
The locality of the holy sepulcher, which tradition has pointed out as the place where they laid the body of Jesus," is enveloped in uncertainty. When we come, in the light of historical criticism, to test the various theories on this question, which have been suggested by controversial explorers in Palestine, we find that the reliable evidence for any particular theory is exceedingly scanty. All that we do know with any degree of absolute certainty, is contained in the sacred record itself. There we learn that the place was "nigh to the city;" there was a garden in the place where Jesus was crucified; the sepulcher was in the garden, it was a rock-cut tomb, and it was" without the gate." So far does faith lead us, but no further. May God in His wise providence have any design in leaving men in this uncertainty? It looks very much like it.
We are taught by high authority that it is possible to "know Christ after the flesh only." Men may learn habitually to think of Christ, as one who belongs only to human history, and may gather up everything that can illustrate His appearance among men. The idioms of Eastern speech, the scenery of the lakes and hills of Palestine, the flora, the climate, the customs of the unchanging East, all these are sometimes thus summoned by great intellectual skill, that they may place vividly before our imagination the precise circumstances which surrounded the earthly life of Jesus. But, here too often the appreciation of that life really ends. Where Christ is now, what He is, whether He can be approached by us-these are points from which they who know Him after