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First Sunday after Trinity.
June 11, 1882. strove to destroy the child, since he was no longer to possess him. Verses 20-22. How long? From infancy the poor child was thus tormented. If Thou canst do anything, he now says to Christ. This was the language of doubt, almost of despair, rather than of faith.
In our last lesson we learned of Christ's glory, when He received the homage of saints and the testimony of His Father; now we see Him again in the vale of tears, doing good to suffering mankind, and bearing patiently with their infirmities.
In the valley there was a crowd gathered around the disciples, and disputing with them. There was still something remarkable in the appearance of our Saviour, which amazed the people, and drew them around Him. Jesus silenced the Scribes, by asking them what they were disputing about. Before they were able to explain their conduct, one of the multitude said, Master, I have brought to Thee my son,' And then he describes what ailed the afflicted child. What a picture of human woe and misery!
Then he tells how he had brought his son to the disciples of Christ, and they could not cast out the evil spirit. They could not! What is this but a tale of human weakness? Men cannot cast out Satan. Even disciples at times fail in their attempt to subdue the evil powers of the world.
Jesus sighed because of men's unbelief: "O faithless generation," etc. It is evident that the failure was the result of unbelief; the disciples themselves not exercising much of it, and the father himself was doubtful whether his son could be cured. No wonder they all doubted, when so many evils afflicted the boy: "deafness, dumbness, frenzy, and possession of the devil-and all these from the cradle!"
The father said: "Master, I have brought to THEE my son; for Thy disciples could not cure him." And Jesus replied: "Bring him unto ME." "Of ten this is the direction of Christ to the sin-sick soul. The minister has failed to give comfort; the failure is itself a call from the Lord to Himself."-(Abbott). Straightway the spirit tare him. The devil does not willingly leave his victims. Sins and evil habits make their power felt most, when men try to break loose from them. Satan has great wrath when his time is short. (Read Revelation 12: 12.) See how the evil spirit
But Jesus assures him that there is no inability on the part of the Divine Healer. I can heal, but canst thou believe? "All things are possible to him that believeth." The healing can be wrought, but only in answer to a humble, child-like trust. "Hence may be learned a useful doctrine, that it is not the Lord who prevents His blessings from flowing to us, but that, on account of our weak faith, it comes to us only in drops."-(Calvin.)
The father's faith in Christ was now awakened, and he cried: "Lord, I believe," etc. The little faith needed to be strengthened: "Help Thou mine unbelief."
25-27. Christ's power is here seen; 1), a power to overcome evil, and 2), a power to restore to newness of life. The cure was perfect.
28-32. Why could not we cast him out? So Christians often ask, when they find themselves unable to overcome sin. This kind ** by prayer and fasting. Different degrees of evil require different degrees of earnest effort. (On fasting, etc., see Quarterly Notes.)
Jesus again foretells His sufferings, death and resurrection. That, in reality, was the only way of casting out Satan's possession of earth.
A WEIGHTY TESTIMONY.-Having carefully observed one of the greatest hospitals in London for a quarter of a century, I have come to the deliberate conclusion that seven cases out of ten are owing to drink,-not to drunkenness, for that is often comparatively harmless, but to the constant undermining process. Three-fourths of the disorders of fashionable life arise from alcohol; and when I consider the consequences to posterity of the transmission of the hereditary taint, I sometimes feel inclined to give up my profession, that I may preach a crusade against the enemies of the human race.-Dr. Andrew Clark, in London Lancet.
SECOND SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.
The Childlike Believer.
MARK 9: 33-50.
Commit to memory verses 35-37.
33. And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?
34. But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.
35. And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
36. And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,
37. Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.
38. And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
39. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
40. For he that is not against us is on our part. 41. For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
June 18, 1882.
42. And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
13. And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
44. Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
45. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the tire that never shall be quenched:
46. Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
47. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
48. Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
49. For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.
50. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost its saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.
GOLDEN TEXT: "I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit." Isaiah 57: 15.
Verses 33-34. In the house, probably Peter's. Disputed, perhaps because only the three were taken to witness the transfiguration. The greatest, still imagining He would set up an earthly Kingdom. 35. Desire, determine. Servant of all, the amount of work determines each one's position. 36-37. A child, humble, gentle and without haughtiness. Receiveth. Christ and the Father in a little child. 38-40. Forbade him, intolerance, denominational rivalry and exclusiveness. On our part, are all that believe in Jesus and labor in His name. Give cup of water, the smallest act of charity shall be rewarded. 42. Offend, cause to stumble and sin. Better, if he had died in infancy. 43-48. Cut off hand, etc., etc., the nearest and dearest things must be given up if they keep us from Christ and heaven. Hell-gehenna, place of torment. Worm, torturing conscience. Not quenched, endless punishment. 49-50. Salt, which preserves meat from corruption. Salt in yourselves, God's grace in your hearts. Fire; the fire of the Spirit here saves from fire of pain hereafter.
Ques. 25. Since there is but one divine essence, why speakest thou of Father, Son and Holy Ghost?
Ans. Because God hath so revealed Himself in His word, that these three distinct persons are the only true and eternal God.
Verses 33-34. What dispute had the disciples by the way? What led to it? Is such ambition and haughtiness a quality of the Christian?
35-37. On what virtuę does Jesus teach a lesson? In what Spirit does God dwell? (See Golden Text). Who "made himself of no reputation?" (See Philippians 2: 6-8). Was He highly exalted? What is the rule for being greatest? In what must a Christian resemble a child? How early may a child become a believer? Whom do believing parents, teachers and ministers receive along with the child they instruct?
38-41. Did the disciples do wrong in rebuking the man? Must we oppose every one
who does not "follow us?" Was this bigotry and intolerance rebuked by Christ? What lesson is taught? Is there neutrality in religion? (See Luke 11: 23). What virtue is commended in ver. 41? Which is the greatest of virtues ?
42-48. What are we to avoid? Can "little ones believe" in Christ? Is it a sin to cause, not only others, but ourselves to stumble? What do hand, feet and eye represent? (See Instruction). Is it better to suffer loss here than hereafter? What do "worm" and "fire" signify?
49-50. Of what is salt the symbol? Of what fire should we be possessors? Which should we shun?
Vs. 42-50. Jesus warns against giving offences-that is, causing any one to fall from the faith, or to renounce his belief in Christ, or to cease laboring in His Church. It is also a warning against seducing weak believers, by undermining their integrity. Many adults are but Christ's little ones-mere babes and beginners in grace. Hinder not, but assist them, for they believe in Christ.
V. 33, 34. In the house-possibly this was Peter's home, which was in Caper- But we may be free of giving offense naum. "What we too eagerly dispute to others, and yet offend ourselves. Hence by the way, amid the stir and excitement Jesus says: "if thy hand offend thec." of the world, is often rectified in the A man depends upon his hand in all house, in the calm second thought and his works; that hand he relies upon, self-examination of the closet.' perhaps even to the forgetting of God. What dispute, etc.? Their dispute It becomes his trust, his idol. Or it did not take place within His hearing, may take liberties with the rights and yet He knew of it. Greatest-vainly privileges of others. Cut it off, then. imagining that He was about to set up That is, cease to rely upon it, restrain an earthly kingdom. The Gospel re- it. Hand, foot and eye are the nearest cords the faults of the disciples, as a and dearest personal treasures. A warning to us not to commit the same. man's right hand may denote his cunV. 35. Called the twelve. The first out-ning, on which he depends, or his posbreak of ambition and strife must be sessions. The foot may denote his swiftchecked at once. Jesus ever calls men ness in running to evil. His eye lusts to account for their haughty actions. after what it sees. Deny all these senses If any man desire to be first, etc. He and organs, rather than let them offend that exalteth himself shall be humbled. against you and drag you down to hell. Exaltation comes by humble service, by (See Quarterly). being "servant of all."
V. 36. He took a child. Christ's love for children was often manifested. This act of taking a child teaches that all true religion begins in childhood, or in awakening the childlike disposition in an adult. The Church wisely takes the child.
V. 37. Receiving the child is the receiving of Christ also, and of His Father. The Creator and Redeemer dwell in it; for it does not reject God.
Vs 38-41. John now feels reproved, and makes a confession that he and the others had acted in a haughty manner. The man was casting out devils-a good work, certainly. Moreover, he did it in Christ's name; then he must have been a believer in Christ. But he followeth not us! Here is the language of bigotry and denominational intolerance. Jesus rebuked His disciples, and thereby has taught us all not to hinder a good work, though it may not be done by our party. Forbid him not. Vs. 40 and 41 contain much encouragement for the Church.
Hell-gehenna, the valley of Hinnom, south-west of Jerusalem. Here it means the place of torment. Worm denotes memory and conscience, which never die, but reproach and torment the wicked forever. That inward fire is unquenchable.
Salt and fire are symbols of God's presence and purity. Fire purifies; God's Spirit cleanses the heart. Salt preserves from corruption; so God's grace in the heart preserves it from unholiness, and from final destruction.
A true Christian should have the innocence of a child, the courage of a man, the wisdom of a sage, and the heart of an angel.--Augustus Lafontaine. The thoughts of good men are angelic whispers.-Jean Paul.
A good man carries the key of heaven in his heart.-Lafontaine.
God must be happy because He can forgive sinners.--Jean Paul.
Supt. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin and in his own house. (Mark 6: 4).
School. And He could there do no mighty work, save that He laid His hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. (6: 5).
Supt. If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. (1 Cor. 15: 14).
Sch. But now is Christ risen from the
dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. (1 Cor. 15: 20).
Supt. And they did all eat, and were filled.
Sch. And they that did eat of the
loaves were about five thousand men.
Supt. When they saw Him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out.
Sch. Immediately He talked with them, and said unto them: Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.
Supt. There is nothing from without a man that, entering into him, can defile him.
Sch. Evil things come from within and defile the man.
June 25, 1882
Supt. The Lord is good to all.
Supt. Beware of the leaven of the
Sch. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
Supt. Who say ye that I am?
Sch. Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
Supt. Who-oever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
Sch. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose
his life for My sake and the gospel's,
the same shall save it.
whom I am well pleased. Hear ye Him. Supt. This is my beloved Son, in Sch. And they saw no man any more, save Jesus only.
Supt. If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. Sch. Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.
Supt. I dwell in the high aud holy place.
Sch. With Him also who is of a contrite and humble spirit.
GOLDEN TEXT: "Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs." Acts 2: 22.
Ques. 26. What believest thou when thou sayest, "I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth?
2. Who first rose from the dead, to die no more? On what day?
3. How often did Jesus miraculously feed the multitudes?
Ans. That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, (who of nothing made heaven and earth, with all that is in them, who likewise upholds and governs the same by His eternal counsel and providence), is for the sake of Christ His Son, my God and my Father; on whom I rely so entirely that I have no doubt He will provide me with all things necessary for soul and body; and further, that He will make whatever evils He sends upon me in this valley of tears turn out to my advantage; for He is able to do it, being almighty God, pleship? Are you a true disciple? and willing, being a faithful Father.
4. Who walked upon the sea? What effect had this upon the Apostles?
5. Must we obey, the traditions of men, or God's word? What defiles a man?
6. What woman was so strong a believer in Jesus? What was done to a deaf stammerer ?
Recite in concert the SUBJECT and GOLDEN TEXT of all the lessons. CATECHISM, Ques. 14 to 26.
Lesson 1. How many Apostles did Jesus send forth? What power did He give them?
7. With what is hypocrisy compared? 8. What confession did the Apostles make? Of what is it the basis?
9. What are the conditions of disci
10. What occurred on Mount Hermon? What did God's voice declare?
11. What miracle did Jesus work when He came down from the Mount? What did He say about faith?
12. Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Christ? With whom does God dwell? etc., etc.
LA SALLE AND TONTI.
The Hard Fate of Pioneer Explorers.
BY REV. CYRUS CORT.
In my former article I told of the settlement of the French colony around Fort St. Louis, in the fall of 1682, two hundred years ago, under the auspices of La Salle. Robert Cavalier, or La Salle, as he is known in history, was born at Rouen, of wealthy parentage, and was educated for the priesthood. He had fine mental and physical powers, and was of an enterprising and adventurous disposition. His large fortune was spent in exploring expeditions, and much of it lost through misplaced confidence in treacherous subordinates, and finally he was assassinated by some of them amid the wilds of Texas. In 1669 he built the first large vessel that ever navigated the upper Lakes, and sailed from Niagara Falls, where his vessel, the Griffio, had been built, to Mackinaw Straits. At the harbor of St. Ignace, it was loaded with a valuable cargo of furs, and started back to Niagara, but was never heard from again. La Salle believed that the crew had disposed of the cargo for their own benefit, and bad then left the country. After dispatching the Griffin La Salle proceeded to the Illinois river, which he reached after great hardships.
that was doubtless intended to involve him in the calamity that came upon the mythological father of the craft, old Vulcan himself, who was twice hurled out of heaven by the Olympian deities.
During the winter the priests gathered a supply of wild grapes, and put the juice in the communion cask. But, alas! when hot weather came, the wine soured, and when Father Gabriel sought to administer the Sacrament, at La Vantum, next summer, to Tonti, the three soldiers and their squaw wives, together with Chassagoc and the few surviving converts of Marquette who remained faithful to the ordinances of the Christian profession, he was greatly chagrined to find the wine unfit to be used in the miracle of Transubstantiation.
On the 3d of January, 1680, La Salle landed at the Indian village on the west bank of Peoria Lake. A fort was built, which, on account of the desertion of some of his men, and gloomy prospects in general, he called Creve Caur (Broken Heart). Early in the spring La Salle returned to Canada for men aud supplies. Soon after he left, most of his soldiers deserted and the fort had to be abandoned.
But there was one man of a different stamp, to whom, as Dr. Sparks says, history can never do justice. The discoveries and settlement of the great West were largely due to his selfex-sacrificing spirit. Henry de Tonti, the lieutenant of La Salle, was of noble Italian birth, and a man of the Christopher Columbus order. His ancestors had settled at Rouen, France, after taking part in an unsuccessful attempt at revolution in Italy. Tonti had a military education, and served five years as captain in the National Guards. In the Sicilian war his right hand was shot off, but it was replaced
On New Year's day, 1680, the plorers spent the day in camp, midway between La Vantum and Peoria. Father Hennepin preached, and Mass was said, but when he came to open the vessel that contained the wine for the holy Sacrament he was horrified to find it empty. The blacksmith (La Forge) had smuggled the contents on the way. For this sacrilegious act the indignant priest pronounced a curee against him