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ther words of the angel, and tells also that there was a second angel there, who remained silent. (Luke 24: 4).
And now mankind has received the first tilings of the Resurrection. The Sua of Righteousness has arisen with healing in His wings! Such good news must not be kept concealed from a sorrowful world. Go your way and tell His disciples. They had often heard Him say He would rise again, but did not seem to realize what He meant. They must now hear that the resurrection is an accomplished fact.
Tell Peter especially, for he is sad and despondent, because he denied his Lord. He will know by the message that he is not rejected.
He goeth before you into Galilee. The Shepherd will gather His scattered flock again; and where, but in Galilee, the scene of their early labors? There shall ye see Him. You shall not only be hearers of good tidings from the lips of others, but shall see Him with your own eyes, and handle Him.
As He said unto you. He had foretold His resurrection; and this was recalled to their mind by the angel. Dismiss your unbelief. And they went out quickly, &c. They were overawed. They went to see a lifeless body, and found an empty tomb; they heard an angel speak, and the tidings were too good to be believed: The Lord is risen. They said nothing to any man-that is, on their way to the disciples. They tarried not on the road, because they were in haste to tell the good news. They were to be the first heralds of the Resurrection.
See in this an illustration of the Spirit which should always actuate the disciples of Christ.
"St. Nicholas!" who was he? No
Ye seek Jesus. God and angels know what we are seeking. Well for them who seek Jesus! Jesus of Nazareththis was a pointed allusion to His extreme humiliation. "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Ye seek Him which was crucified. But "why"topic of the times" is more prominent seek ye the Living among the dead? just now than this kindly Saint. It He is not here." (Luke 24: 6). were a pity, knowing him so well, not to know more about him. His home, it is said, was in Asia Minor. He lived about the time of St. Augustine. He was a bishop. His benevolence was unlimited, and was continually sending him out on errands of unexpected kindness. If some noble family had fallen into misfortune and poverty, it was his special delight, in an unknown disguise, to surprise them with the means of relief. His gifts, discriminatingly distributed on every side, in spite of his attempts at self-concealment, made him famous; until, after a while, his good deeds having been, perhaps, cousiderably magnified as men retold the delightful story of them, he came to be taken as the personal embodiment of the gift-giving spirit of Christianity itself.
And now is heard the most joyful announcement ever made on earth, on a par with that other glorious message heard on Bethlehem's plains: "Unto you is born this day a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord!" HE IS RISEN! He is not here: behold the place where they laid Him. The victory over death
has been won at last.
AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE.
A flash of light, a merry hum,
And peals of rippling laughter sweet,
A strangely fir tree rears its head,
With stars and tapers all ablaze;
The childish eyes are sparkling bright,
Then to their gifts they turn once more,
No cares, no fears, a happy time
Of laughter--tears that cannot stay-
THIRD SUNDAY IN ADVENT.
AFTER JESUS' RESURRECTION. MARK 16: 9-20.
9. Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the world, and preach the gospel] to every the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out creature. of whom he had cast seven devils.
10. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.
11. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
12. After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.
13. And they went and told it unto the residue; neither believed they them.
14. Afterwards he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
15. And he said unto them, Go ye into all
December 17, 1882.
1. HIS APPEARANCES. Vs. 9-14.
16. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be
believe; In my
19. So then, after the Lord had spoken unto them, " he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
20. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
GOLDEN TEXT: “And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." V. 15.
Ques. 51. What profit is this glory of Christ, our Head, unto us?
Ans. First, that by His Holy Spirit He pour
Verse 9. The first day of the week, the first Christian Sun y. Appeared first to Mary. (See John 20: 11-17). Seven devils, not merely did one demon afflict her. This does not mean that she was a greater sinner than others, or a dissolute woman. It was her affliction, not her sin. 10. Them that had been with Him-His disciples. Mourned, because they still thought was dead. 11. Believed not; slow of heart to believe. 12. Unto two, as they went maus, (Luke). 13. Unto the residue, to the eleven. Neither believed; no wonder He uphraided them. (14.) 15-16. Go ** preach; this is the Apostolic Commission. Believe and be bap'iz đ -these are the conditions of salvation. 17-18. Signs, to call out and confirm faith in Christ. 19. Received up into heaven-His Ascension. Right hand-place of honor, power, and glory. 20. They went, no longer sat, doubting and mourning.
(Read MATT. 28: 9-20. LUKE 24: 12-53. JOHN 20 and 21. 1 Cor. 15: 4-8.) The Appearances of Jesus: 1. To Mary. 2. To the women. 3. To two going to Emmaus. 4. To Peter. 5. To ten Apostles in an upper room. (First Sunday). 6. To the eleven (Thomas now present). 7. To seven Apostles at the Sea of Tiberias. 8. To eleven Apostles on a mountain in Galilee. 9. To 500 brethren at once. 10. To James. 11. When He ascended into heaven. 12. To Stephen," I see heaven opened, and Jesus standing, &c." 13. To Paul near Damascus. 14. To John on the Isle of Patmos. (Rev. 1: 13-20).
Verse 9. To whom did the Risen Redeemer first show Himself? What had He done for her? Was her faith in Him strong? Her love? Was she specially wicked, or only afflicted?
To whom did IIe next appear? (See list). 10. To whom did Mary tell the good news? How many women followed her example? Why were the disciples mourning?
11. Why did the disciples not believe? Had He not often told them He would rise again?
12. To whom did He make a third appearance? Whither were they going? Did you read the account in Luke? How was He "made known to them?"
13. What did the two do? How far was it? Was their witness believed? To whom did He then appear privately? 14. Where was the 12th disciple, Judas? What does "upbraid" mean? Are the wit
eth out heavenly graces upon us, His mem[bers; and then, that by His power He defends and preserves us against all His enemies. QUESTIONS.
nesses of the resurrection worthy of belief? Does Mark mention all the appearances? How many in all do we know of? (See list).
15. What great command did Jesus give? 16. What are the conditions of salvation? What condemns a man?
17-18. Can you enumerate the signs that followed the first preaching? Are these signs needed now? Does preaching produce similar spiritual effects and signs in our days?
19. On what day of the week did He ascend? How many days after Easter? How many days did He then linger on earth? (Acts 1: 3). What does "the right hand of God" mean?
20. What did they do? Have they successors in office? Does the work still make progress? Who works with true preachers? What does "Amen" mean?
LESSON HYMN: “Our Lord is risen from the dead."
Dec. 17, 1882. rewarded; for she lingered at the tomb until she should receive some explanation of the mystery. Magdalene, that is, of the town of Magdala. Out of whom He had cast seven devils. What is meant by this explanatory statement? Centuries ago it was suggested that Mary was a dissolute woman; the story was repeated, until it became the general opinion; and Mary came to stand as the type of a reclaimed prostitute. Now, this is grossly unjust to the memory of Mary. There is not a word in all the Scripture that even intimates that she had ever been a lewd woman.
In the early part of the year we had the subject of demoniacal possessions for our study, and we learned that certain persons, through some misfortune, or through physical and mental weakness, became subject to Satanic influences; the heart, will and conscience not consenting to such mastery, but protesting against it; by the exercise of strong faith in Jesus, such persons were delivered from Satan's power. Mary was one who had been thus afflicted; and, in response to her faith in the Lord, He gave her deliverance. Her devotion to Jesus thenceforth was so great that nothing could separate her from Him; she lingered at the cross, and she hastened to the tomb; and to her Jesus first showed Himself after His resurrection.
Third Sunday in Advent.
I. THE APPEARANCES OF JESUS AFTER
Jesus was not visible to the ordinary gaze of men after He rose from the dead. By His death He passed out of and beyond the order of nature; and His resurrection was not a coming back into this order, but it was His entrance upon a glorified, spiritual state of existence. His human nature was raised to a higher stage of life than that which it previously occupied. It lived henceforth in the Spiritual world.
Consequently mankind could not see the Risen One. To them He was the Unseen. But Christ could manifest Himself to those who had known Him when He tarried in the flesh whilst in the form of a servant. On how many occasions He may have made Himself known we cannot tell. The Scriptures tell us of a number of such appearances, or revelations, of Jesus to His chosen
He re ained on the earth forty days after the Resurrection, as we learn from the opening words of the Acts. The number is significant. Moses, the Lawgiver, was forty days on the Mount; and now Christ, the giver of the new Law, "the Mediator of a new and better covenant," tarried 40 days with His disciples and spake of " the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God." (Acts 1:3).
On the lesson leaf we have given a list of the appearances of Jesus, so far as they are recorded. Doubtless He was seen more frequently; for John tells us at the close of His gospel, that he had not attempted to write all, but merely mentioned a few instances of Christ's manifestations of Himself. "Even when most closely touching the material and earthly, He is always seen speaking and acting only as a spirit, coming suddenly, revealing Himself in an imperceptibly increasing completeness which culminates at last in some unmistakeable sign, and presently vanishing as suddenly as He appeared."- Geikie.
When Jesus was risen He appeared to Mary Magdalene. Great honor was put upon Mary by this fact, and indeed upon her sex. Her loving devotion was
their recognition, and then revealed the technical phrase for official duty, and does not convey to our ears its full meaning and beauty: proclaim the good news, the glad tidings of salvation.
Himself in the breaking of breadwhich was a significant act, typifiying His body broken, yet having power to impart life and strength.
These two told it unto the residue, neither believed they them. The testi mony of two male witnesses met with no more credence than that of the women. But "their skepticism affords just ground for our belief. Their testimony is the testimony of incredulous and scrutinizing witnesses."-Whedon.
To every creature, or to the whole creation, to all kinds and conditions of men. This command has been partially complied with; the gospel is preached in 235 languages, on every continent, and in most of the islands; but many nations still refuse to accept the glad tidings.
Go, preach; such is the great missionary charter. The Christian dare not say no. The command is positive. The promise is cheering: Lo, I am with you alway. And the conditions of salvation are plainly given; faith, and baptism. He that believeth and is bap tized shall be saved. He that has faith in Christ, and trusts Himself to Him, and then publicly confesses that faith in Baptism, and enters upon a new life of devotion to the Triune God, shall be saved.
Afterward He appeared unto the eleven. Judas being no longer among the Apostles, they are called no longer the Twelve, but the Eleven. Yet only ten were really present; Thomas was absent at this first meeting. Eleven was the official number at this time. In 1 Cor. 15: 5 they are still called the Twelve, Paul taking no notice of the well-known history of Judas.
As they sat at meat. He ate with them, too; not because He needed food, but to convince them of the reality of His human body. They thought He was only a Spirit. At this feast He opened their eyes to understand the prophecies, showing that He must die and rise again, according to the prophets. Bernard says: "If He condescended so far as to appear to them where they sat at meat, much more reason have we to expect His gracious presence where we are prostrated in prayer."
He upbraided them with their unbelief It is wrong to reject the testimony of true witnesses; their words are entitled to a hearing; there will be time to investigate afterwards, and prove their truth or error.
He that believeth not shall be damned. Unbelief here means, not doubt or perplexity, but a refusal to open the heart to the influence of a living Saviour-a rejection of God's offer.
Damned, literally, judged against, condemned; and thus subjected to eternal ruin or perdition.
Signs shall follow. At first outward testimony was needed to confirm the word. In Acts we read that this took place on many occasions. "Should occasion arise for its fulfilment, there can be no doubt that it will be made good in our own or any other time. But we must remember that signs are not needed where Christianity is professed; nor by missionaries who are backed by the influence of powerful Christian nations." This-Alford.
II. THE APOSTOLIC COMMISSION.
Preach the Gospel, This has become
Cast out devils. "Their first miracle should be that signal work which typified the great work of Christ in expelling evil and its author from the soul of man, and from the world, namely, the casting out of devils."-Whedon.
Speak with new tongues-an intimation of the miracle of Pentecost, when the disciples were enabled to preach in many languages; a gift which remained with the early Church. See 1 Cor 12: 10. Men preach in all tongues to-day.
They shall take up serpents. "The
powerful grace of God enables the faithful Christian to handle unharmed the evil things of this life, and perform its secular business, which bite other men, and kill them."
If they drink any deadly thing. "The cup of temptation and trial which poisons the soul of the unregenerate is drained by the faithful truster in Christ unhurt. And from all the ailments of which men sicken and die, the power of the resurrection shall completely heal them."- Whedon. Christianity is itself a greater sign than any the Apostles wrought."-Abbott.
III. THE ASCENSION.
He was received up into. This was the last stage in the glorification of Christ. We need not enlarge upon it here; it will come up after New Year again in our lessons on the Acts.
The stockings were hung in the corner,
Tall Fred's and dear little Mabel's
Christmas is near at hand, and, no doubt, many of our youthful readers are asking themselves, "What shall; I give to papa and mamma, and to my brothers and sisters?" Or, perhaps, they slily wonder what Aunt Mary, or some other kind friend, has provided for them. We are told in the Bible that "the Lord gave gifts unto men," and it is very right to give gifts to each other on the anniversary of His birth; but we
And Will's with its scarlet toe.
The good-night kisses were given;
The evening prayers were said;
And the quiet that reigned in the parlor told should not limit them to our own house
That the children had gone to bed.
Then up rose Will, indignant
And visions of Christmas bliss ;
holds and to those who can repay us. Remember what the Lord says with reference to the guests whom we ought to invite to our feasts (Luke 14: 12). Do you not know some poor sufferer who would be cheered by a token of remembrance? Can you not provide a garment for a shivering child, or in some other way perform an act of unpretentious charity? It is with reference to such works of mercy that the Lord says: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me.' Matt. 25, 40.
ST. NICHOLAS. Illustrated Monthly Magazine for Young People. November, 1882. This number of this justly popular Magazine is before us. It is fully up to the standard it aims to maintain. It is full of interesting reading matter for young folks, and is finely illustrated. Published by the Century Co., New York.