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ANECDOTE OF A REFORMED MINISTER. | preached a sermon on the proper observ
Many of the older people
ance of the Lord's Day, in which he ook occasion to reprove the people for desecrating the day by their shameful contentions concerning a secular subject. After the services not another word was
said; the people felt ashamed of their conduct and quietly went home. The teacher went on teaching as before, and the pastor employed his influence in gently removing the prejudices of his people. In a few years another generation appeared upon the scene, which had no difficulty in believing that the earth revolves around the sun.
THE FRUITFUL TREE.
Some think that life should have no strife,
But I do not.
The tree, deep in the forest shades,
Rev. John Gobrecht, who was pastor of Zion's Church, Allentown, more than fifty years ago, bore the reputation of being an exceedingly prudent man. This characteristic is well illustrated by an incident which is said to have happened during his early ministry. He had an appointment to preach in a country church. When he arrived there, on Sunday morning, he found the people gathered around the scho 1house, near the church, evidently very much excited. While waiting for the minister they had begun to quarrel on a question of astronomy. The schoolmaster, who was also organist of the church, was said to have taught the children, that the earth revolved around the sun. believed such a doctrine to be absurd and unscriptural, and had no hesitation in declaring that the teacher ought to be immediately dismissed. A younger party, who had been better educated, attempted to defend him, but found it difficult to give reasons for accepting a doctrine which they evidently did not fully understand. The two parties had wrangled until they seemed to be on the verge of a personal conflict, but on the arrival of the minister they appealed to him to decide the question. It was very evident that they severally sought his influence in support of preconceived notions, and that all he could say would not have changed the mind of a single individual. The pastor was an intelligent man, and of course entertained a scientific view of the subject; but he WE ARE NATURAL BELIEVERS.felt at once that to attempt to decide the Truth, or the connection between cause We are question would accomplish no real good and effect, alone interests us. and might greatly increa-e the prevail- prsuaded that a thread runs through. ing excitement. He therefore simply all things; all worlds are strung on it, said: "These things do not concern our as beads; and men, and events, and salvation. Let us go into the church life come to us only because of that and worship God." Silently the whole thread; they pass and repass, only that congregation followed him into its place we may know the direction and continof worship; and there the pastor uity of that line.— Christian Intelligencer.
Some think that life should be all strife,
But I do not.
The tree out on the prairie plain,
And so do I.
The tree that in the garden grows,
-Edward B. Haskell (16 years old).
HOW THEY FOOLED HIM.
BY THE EDITOR.
Some boys have excellent capacities for acquiring knowledge, but are lamentably deficient in wisdom. Tom. Williams was a boy of this sort. While he attended primary school he had no difficulty in leading his class. His teachers were astonished at his progress, and felt certain that he would some day do great things. After a while he was sent away to school, and there it was seen at once that he might easily stand "head and shoulders" above any student in the institution. This did not suit a set of lazy boys, who would have had to work hard to keep close in his rear, and they at once undertook to fool him. They told him that the good scholars were always stupid fellows, who wasted their time in hard study, when they might be enjoying themselves, and making themselves generally popular. The good opinion of the teachers, they said, was a thing which was prized by no one but a set of miserable "suckers." So they fooled him, and when the day of graduation came, Tom ranked lower than men who had not tithe of his ability.
After a while Tom entered a profession. He might easily have achieved eminence, but young men, very much like those he had met at school, gathered round him, and persuaded him that folks are not liked when they "try to be smarter than their neighbors." "Hard study," they said, "does not pay, and the man who studies least is sure to be most successful." Tom believed them, and is now creeping along at the foot of his profession when he might easily be standing at the top. So they fooled him again. Tom Williams had been reared in a Christian home. His early training had not been enti ely wasted, and for a while, after reaching
manhood he attended church and Sunday-school. He meant to do well, but his old companions knew his weak ness, and once more they succeeded in fooling him. When they saw that he began to take an interest in the church they called him a "bigot," or something worse. It was precisely the course which they had pursued at school, and it produced the same results. Tom began to neglect his religious duties, and to court popularity by imitating the worst of his associates.
Tom Williams is but a type of thousands of young men who fail to realize the fact that life is a school preparatory to a higher career and that it is the part of wisdom to make the best use of our opportunities. How do such persons expect to stand the final examination?
FOURTH SUNDAY BEFORE ADVENT.
November 5, 1882.
JESUS BEFORE THE COUNCIL.-MARK 14: 55–72.
55. And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none.
56. For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together.
57. And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying,
58. We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I
will build another made without hands.
59. But neither so did their witness agree together. 60. And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
61. But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?
62. And Jesus said, I am; and ye shall see the son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 63. Then the high priest rent his clothes,; and saith, What need we any further witnesses ?.
64. Ye have heard the blasphemy; what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.
65 And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy; and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.
cotneth one of the maids of the high priest:
67. And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with
Jesus of Nazareth.
68. But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.
69. And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them.
70. And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again, to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.
71. But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.
72. And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon he wept.
GOLDEN TEXT: “He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth." Is. 53: 3.
Verse 55. Sought witnesses—i. e. "false witnesses." Two were needed. To put Him to death. -not to get at the truth in a fair trial. 58. Destroy this temple: He meant His body. (John 2: 19). 60. Answerest Thou nothing! It is often useless to reply to slander. 61. Art Thou the Christ? i. e. The Messiah king? The Blessed: GOD. 62. I am; Jesus' own claim of being the Saviour, and Son of God. Also the JUDGE. 63. Rent His clothes, in token of horror and indignation. 64, Blasphemy-evil speaking against God. 65. Prophesy-tell who smote thee. 66-68. Cock crew, about midnight. Peter's first denial of Christ. 69-70. Denied it. again, second denial. Speech agreeth; the Galileean brogue was apparent. 71-72. The third denial was with curses, A sad, deep fall. Second cock crowing, about 3 or 4 o'clock. He wept; a warning to us all.
Ques. 45. What doth the Resurrection of Christ profit us?
Ans. First: by His resurrection He hath overcome death, that He might make us partakers of that righteousness which He had pur
chased for us by His death. Secondly, we are also by His power raised up to a new life, And lastly, the resurrection of Christ is a sure pledge of our blessed resurrection.
Verse 55. Where was this Council held? Who presided over it? Was this the first, or second stage of His trial? What did the council seek? Did they find true witnesses? How many did their law require? (Deut. 17: 6).
56-59. What kind of witnesses came? What was lacking in their testimony? What particular charge did they bring at last? What temple did Jesus mean?
60-62. What did Caiaphas say about Christ's silence? Why did Jesus not answer? See Golden text also. What direct appeal did the priest next make? What was Christ's reply? What did He thus claim to be? What else? 63-64. Why did Caiaphas rend his clothes? What sin did he charge against Jesus? Was it true or false? What did the council vote?
65. How was Jesus treated? Who did it? Does a decent court ever allow such things? Did Jesus know beforehand that He would be treated thus? (See Mark 10; 33-34).
66-68. Where was Peter at the end of last lesson? Who charged him with being a follower of Christ? What did he do? Was that manly? Of what sin was he guilty? At what hour of the night was this?
69-72. How often did Peter deny? Had the number of times been foretold? What language did he use at last? Of what sin was he now guilty? What betrayed him? At what hour, about, is the second cock-crowing? What did Peter then recollect? What did he do? What led to this? (Luke 22: 61).,
"How oft, alas! this wretched heart."
"I'm not ashamed to own my Lord."
Fourth Sunday before Advent.
Nov. 5, 1882. Will you give no explanation of the words used by you? Does your silence give consent to the charge of hostility to the temple?
I. THE FALSE WITNESSES.
All the Council-the Sanbedrin. The But He held His peace, and answered judges sat on cushions in a half circle, nothing. (1). He showed His patience Caiaphas in the centre, and the oldest under slander, and gave us an example: next to him on each side. The Prisoner" When He was reviled, He reviled not stood before the high priest; and now again." (2). Nor would He explain the the trial, wrongly so-called, began. meaning of His words at such a time They sought for witnesses; this was the and place, and before such an audience. more necessary, because no one appeared He held His peace. "When He anwho had aught to charge against Jesus. swered not, He was silent as the sheep; They must rake up the slums, as it were, when He answered, He taught as the to find men who would swear to a false- Shepherd." (Augustine). hood. They found none-that is, none who knew anything that was really against Him. It was necessary to have two witnesses; and their testimony must agree. They could not find such witnesses. Verse 56 explains this. Many bare false witness against Him, but their witness agreed not together. Then was the time for a certain clique to be heard. We heard Him say, I will destroy this temple, &c. Jesus had not said so; but, Destroy this temple, &c. That is, if His enemies would destroy the temple, He would rebuild it in three days. He spake of His body, however, not of the Jewish house of worship. There was surely no hostility to the temple in this -nothing that could condemn Jesus. Even on this matter their story did not agree. It is not easy for error and false hood to be consistent with themselves; but Truth is consistent, every part agreeing with every other, like a beautiful palace.
II. THE FAITHFUL WITNESS.
Again the high priest asked Him, Art Thou the Christ? He and all the Jews were expecting the Messiah; but could this be He. the Son of the Blessed? Tell us so, if Thou art. Hear the answer of "the Faithful Witness: I am. Thus He testified that He was the Messiah, the Anointed One of God, the Son of the Father. He did so under oath; for the high priest had said: I adjure thee by the living God, tell us, etc." Jesus gave His answer at the peril of His life, fully knowing what meaning the council would attach to His words-namely, that they were blasphemous. He knew, too, what meaning all believers to the end of time would give to His wordsnamely, that He is Divine, the Savior of men, and worthy of worship and Divine honor. Ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, etc. "The Son of the Blessed is also "the Son of Man;" He who is now degraded before an earthly judge will "come in the clouds of heaven," as Judge of the living and the dead.
The high priest and the council were The answer of Jesus was enough for baffled in their efforts to find any testi- the purposes of Caiaphas; he rent his mony against Jesus sufficient to justify clothes, in sign of utter abhorrence. a sentence of death. But they would What need we any farther witnesses! not give up the attempt; they would He pronounced Christ's reply blasphemy put Him on the witness stand, and ex--that is, because a Man claimed Divine tort some word from His lips which they could pervert, so as to prove Him guilty of blasphemy. The high priest stood up and asked Jesus, etc. This was an attempt to make the Prisoner implicate Himself—" a proceeding utterly abhorrent to the spirit and practice of the English law, though familiar to the codes and courts of other nations, both in ancient and in modern times." (Alexander). Answerest thou nothing?
Sonship and honor. What think ye? Guilty of death, was their reply. Did they all think so? Then Joseph and Nicodemus must have been absent, or else their protest was silent, or drowned by the clamor; for they consented not unto His death.
But the Jews were not allowed to put any one to death; the Romans had the exclusive power over life and death. All that the council could do, however,
was done: they spit upon Him, mocked
Amesburg, Mass., U. S., 9 mo. 15, 1881.
Him, and struck Him with the palms of JOHN LANGDON BANYTHON, Esq.,
their hands. Thus ended the second stage of the trial.
III. THE FALLEN WITNESS.-On this occasion Peter, (the rock,) showed but little of the stability of the rock. He was in the company of enemies and felt afraid; no doubt he also felt ashamed of his Galilean origin. Even 6. maid" caused him to quail, and deuy his Master. The cock crew, a warning to him. The maid persisted in her claim that he was a follower of Jesus, and now began to tell it to them that stood by. This increased his alarm, and he denied it again. Then they that stood by took up the charge: Surely thou art one of them, and **thy speech agreeth thereto. His Galilean brogue betrayed him. And he denied with curses, and thus became "the faithless witness." A second time the cock crew, and Peter recollected the words of Jesus, and his own boast: "though all should forsake, yet will I never." His heart melts, and he weeps bitter tears of shame and sorrow. It is said that he, all his life long, rose at the cock crowing, and prayed. Do likewise, when you deny your Lord.
THE AMENDE HONORABLE.
Since the death of Longfellow," the Quaker poet," Whittier, is generally regarded as holding the highest position in American literature. In a letter just published in a London periodical, he proves that he possesses a greatness of character which is worthy of his genius. In one of his early poems, "Mogy Megone," he had reflected on the character of John Bonython, one of the early settlers of Maine, and it must be confessed that he had some historical authority for his unfavorable remarks. Recently one of Bouython's remote descendants, living in Australia, wrote to Mr. Whittier, inquiring for the sources of his information, and suggesting that if there was no sufficient proof for his statements, that the fact might be stated in a note in subsequent editions of his works. In reply he received the following generous letter:
Dear Friend,-Thy letter has just reached
The poem referred to was written in my boyish days, when I knew little of colonial history or anything else, and was included in my published writings by my publisher against my wishes. I think thou art right in regard to John Bonython. I knew nothing of him save what I found in the Hist. of Saco, and supposed the name and race extinct, as I never heard of the name on this side of the water. If possible, I shall have the entire poem omitted-if not, I will cheerfully add the note suggested. I thank thee for calling my attendo injustice to any one, living or dead. tion to the matter, as I would not knowingly I am, very truly, thy friend,