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THE NEW MAGAZINE FOR SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS.
Published Monthly, price One Penny. No. 1 now ready.
A Storehouse of Material for Working
Sunday School Teachers. OUR Title and Emblem will indicate clearly our object in seeking to estabush this new Magazine for Sunday School Teachers. We wish to see every school in the land a hive of earnest workers. This our desire we shall da our best to enable teachers to realise. With the abundant resources at our command, we believe we shall be able to help them to do their work more pleasantly and successfully. By the aid of many able writers, including amongst their number names well known in the Sunday-school world, we Shall, month by month, supply the earnest with wholesome stimulus, direct the searcher after truth where he may find his reward, and enable the working teacher to find and rightly use the best material for his work.
The following general contents will indicate the scope and object of “THE
school work. Explanations of difficult texts, and expositions of those parts of Scrip
ture usually under study in Sunday-schools. “Additional Notes” on Scripture lessons for each Sunday in the year.
(These notes are not intended to supersede those issued by the Sundayschool Union, but to supply additional hints and material for class pre
paration, and should be seen by those teachers who use the “Notes.") Suggestive outline addresses for the aid of those who have to take the
"desk.” Short notices of good books specially helpful to teachers, or connected
with their work. Answers to correspondents, notes and queries, rare quotations, and
gleanings for the use of teachers, &c., &c. ruly resolved that no effort shall be spared on our part to assist all who in nur schools are striving to do their work “as unto the Lord,” we appeal to cachers of Great Britain to support earnestly this effort to aid them in
THE EDITORS. Teachers who wish to see the first number of "The Hive," should send two
stamps for a specimen copy to the Publisher. LONDON: ELLIOT STOCK, 62, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C.
their good work.
“A good book is the precious life-blood of a Master spirit.”—MILTON.
- PROFESSOR EADIE'S “ CRUDEN” IS THE BEST. CRUDEN'S CONCORDANCE TO THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.
By the Rev. JOHN EADIE, D.D., LL.D. With an Introduction by Rev. Dr. King. This has long and deservedly borne the reputation of being the completest and best edition extant, and the present reduction in price will also cause it to be by far the cheapest published. Twenty-eighth
Edition. Large post 8vo. 576 pages. Handsomely bound; reduced to 3s. 6d. CREATION'S TESTIMONY TO ITS GOD; the Accordance of
Science, Pbilosophy, and Revelation; a Manual of the Evidences of Natural and Revealed Religion, with especial Reference to the Progress of Science and Advance of Knowledge. By the Rev. Tuomas RAGG. Eleventh Edition, revised and enlarged, in handsome cloth, bevelled boards, 5s. EADIE'S (Professor) BIBLICAL CYCLOPÆDIA; or, Dictionary of
Eastern Antiquities, Geography, Natural History, Sacred Annals and Biography, and Biblical Literature. With Maps and numerous Illustrations. Eighth Edition, revised, post 8vo. 78. 6d. cloth. EADIE'S (Professor) DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE FOR THE
USE OF YOUNG PERSONS. With 120 Illustrations. Eighth Edition, small 8vo. 2s. 60., cloth. RELIGIOUS AND MORAL ANECDOTES. These Anecdotes relate to no trifing subject; and they have been selected, not only for amusement, but for instruction.
of the rising generation they will be found highly useful. With an Introductory Essay by the Rev. GEORGE CHEEVER, D.D. Crown 8vo, clota, 3s. 6d. DR. SPENCER THOMSON'S DOMESTIC MAGAZINE. A Dictionary of Domestic Medicine and Household Surgery, invaluable to Heads of families, particularly in remote districts, in emigrant ships, and in the Colonies. In cloth, 8€. 6d. THE SIDEREAL HEAVENS, and other subjects connected with Astronomy, as illustrative of the character of the Deity, and of an infinity of other worlds. By Thomas Dick, LL.D., author of the“ Christian Philosopher," &c. New Edition, printed on toned paper, handsomely bound, with gilt edges, price 5s. CELESTIAL SCENERY; or, the Wonders of the Planetary System
Displayed, including all new discoveries. This work is ir:tended for general readers, presenting to their view in an attractive manner snblime objects of contemplation. By Thomas Dick, LL.D.
New Edition, printed on toned paper, handsomely bound, with gilt edges, price 5s. GRIFFIN'S FIVE SHILLING OCTAVO SERIES. The cheapest,
Books ever published, suitable alike for the library or presentation. [A list sent on application. EADIE'S (Professor) CLASSIFIED BIBLE ; An Analysis of the Holy
Scriptures. Illustrated with Maps. Third Edition, post 8vo., handsome cloth antique, 8s. 60.; morocco, 15s. “We have only to add our unqualified commendation of a work of real excellence to every Biblical student.”—Christian Times. KITTO’S (Rev. John, D.D.) MOUNTAINS, RIVEPS, LAKES, AND
VALLEYS OF THE HOLY LAND. with Illustrations. Square, cloth, neat, 2s. 60. PROFESSOR CRAIK'S MANUAL OF ENGLISH LITERATURE
for the use of Colleges and Schools, selected from the larger work. Third Edition. Crown 8vo. 78. 6d. cloth. THE BOOK OF DATES. A Treasury of Universal Reference, from the Earliest Periods to the Present Time, arranged Chronologically and Alphabetically. Onc Volume, large 8vo, 10s. 6d., cloth.
LONDON : CHARLES GRIFFIN & Co., STATIONERS' HALL COURT.
Built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself
being the chief corner-stone."
SKETCHES OF CHARACTER AT THE CROSS OF CHRIST.
BY THE REV. JAMES MURSELL. NO. I.-THE MALEFACTORS; OR, PENITENCE AND IMPENITENCE
AT THE CROSS OF CHRIST.
Few things are more striking to a thoughtful reader of the life of our Lord than the power he possessed of laying bare the secret character of those who approached him. He not only “knew what was in man," he revealed men to themselves, and compelled them, in spite of themselves, to betray themselves to others. And he did this, not by elaborate arguments or vehement appeals, but by a word, sometimes it almost seemed by a look. The power seemed to lie, not so much in what he did or said, as in himself, in his own divine purity, truth, and love. He was well called “the light,” for darkness could not keep its secrets in his presence. Whatever was in a man came out, involuntarily, as soon as he stood face to face with Christ. Hypocrisy was stripped of its disguise, and slunk away to hide its nakedness ; dishonest sophistry found itself detected and exposed by one glance of his eye or one word of his lip; the self-righteousness which lurked in the heart of more candid inquirers was revealed and rebuked, and the sores of the spiritual lepers who came to him were uncovered and probed, that they might be tenderly and effectually healed. This searching, revealing power of Christ over the hearts of men is one of the deepest and mightiest proofs of his deity. It was this that made Nathanael cry, « Rabbi, thou art the Son of God," and drew from the Samaritan woman the wondering testimony, "Come, see a man which told me all things that ever I did ; is not this the Christ ?." We feel, as we read such passages in the life of our Lord, that It will not be merely by the process of a formal judgment, but by the power of a living discrimination, that “we shall all be made manifest before the judgment seat of Christ,"
Our Lord never possessed this power more fully, or manifested it more wonderfully, than when he hung upon the Cross. Never was he, by this token, more thoroughly himself, more unmistakably divine, than when he seemed most utterly conquered and helpless. No outward weakness or shame could despoil him of this symbol of his divinity, this mark that he was the Son to whòm all judgment had been committed by the Father. The motley crowd that gathered round the Cross were all discriminated and divided into classes, as the character of each betrayed itself beneath the Ithuriel touch of the strange scene on which all were gazing. Nor is it a mere fancy which sees in the disposition and relation of men towards Christ, as shown in their different conduct upon Calvary, a type of their disposition and relation towards him, as shown by their treatment of Christ crucified. As the character and spiritual condition of men was discrimimated and revealed by the actual spectacle of the Cross, so might we expect, so do we find, their character and condition to be discriminated and revealed by thatGospel, which is but the spectacle of the Cross rehearsed, expounded, and enforced. Still the life and words, but most of all the death, of Christ, try and judge men, becoming by the very force of this discrimination, to some "a savour of death unto death," and to others, "a savour of life unto life.” It is the purpose of this brief series of papers to illustrate this thought by a few instances, selected on the ground of their adaptation to usefulness from the many which present themselves to us in our study of the story of the crucifixion. And it seems not unnatural to begin with those two who were in closest neighbourhood to the divine sufferer, being, outwardly at least, the fellows of his sufferings ; those in whose association with him in his death we are bidden to see the fulfilment of the prophetic words, “He was numbered with the transgressors." ..
How clearly the evidences of a true conversion to God show themiselves in the conduct and language of the penitent thief! His words are few indeed ; but his was no state, and that was no hour, for long speeches. The very urgency of his case forbade this ; what was to be said and done must be said and done quickly. And words spoken at such a consummate crisis of a man's history have a depth and a sincerity about them, a concentration of meaning and truth, which words uttered on common-place occasions are too apt to lack. We may be sure that the heart of the speaker is in every syllable he utters. See, then, how spiritual and full is his acknowledgment of guilt. It is not of mere crime and crucifixion that he speaks, but of sin and its desert in the eyes of a holy God. “Dost not thou fear God ?” This is language like his who cried, “ Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done evil in thy sight, that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest." For he, too, vindicates the justice of his condemnation, and owns the sovereign claims of God and his law, which by his sin he had set at nought. And how wonderful is his discernment of the greatness and the saving power of Christ! Whether he had ever known Jesus before, we cannot tell; but evidently this is his first real,
spiritual recognition of him as the Saviour. And I think it is well nigh the greatest marvel in that scene of marvels, this faith, born at such an hour in such a heart, and able at once clearly to recognise and firmly to lay hold of the Redeemer, just when the rejection and contempt of men had reached its climax, and when the trust of the disciples themselves was numbed and paralysed by disappointment and grief. This eye that sees the glory and royalty of Jesus right through the shame that hides it from others, this heart that trusts his redeeming power even while the taunt is ringing in his ears, “ Himself he cannot save," can be from none other than the Spirit of God. And the spirituality of his faith is evinced in its lowliness and simplicity. “Remember me”-that touching, comprehensive plea—bespeaks how utterly he has renounced all other hope. “If thou forget me I am lost.” It útters his deep sense of unworthiness ; “I ask not, am not worthy to ask, great things, but let me have a place in thy recollection, do not forget me, even me, when thou comest into thy kingdom.” And yet, in another view, it illustrates the boldness and directness of simple faith. Why should he wish to be remembered ? Sarely, we might think, after such a life as his, to be forgotten by the Judge was the more natural prayer. But faith, renouncing all dream of worthiness, is not daunted by sense of unworthiness. Apprehending the love of Christ, casting itself on His mercy and grace, it dares ask to be remembered, assured that to be remembered by Him is to be saved.
Have we not here, then, the authentic marks of the regenerating work of the Spirit of God ? You and I, my brother, need wish for no brighter evidence of grace, no clearer witness of the Spirit, than this poor man had in his deep and bumbling consciousness of sin, his clear discernment of the glory and power of the crucified Saviour, his lowly, self-renouncing, unhesitating trust in that Saviour's love, his courage to confess the Lord when all else forsook and despised him. Let us learn not unduly to distrust sudden and remarkable conversions; but rather to rejoice that there is present in the midst of a sinful world a power which can thus, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,” change and reverse the whole current of a life, transform the sinner to a saint, and make the man who seemed ripe for Hell a meet candidate for Heaven.
Space will not permit us, as we could have wished, to dwell upon the answer of our Lord. Let us only notice, in a few hasty words, the undisturbed consciousness of divine royalty which it reveals—a consciousness as calm and full on the Cross as on the Throne ; a royalty so entirely spiritual, so completely his own, as to be supremely independent of all outward ignominy. Mark, too, how prompt and full is Christ's response to the appeal of penitence. No hesitation ; no upbraiding ; no putting on probation ; the very prayer is almost stopped on the lip of the suppliant by the immediateness of the Saviour's answer. And after what a generous fashion that answer interprets the penitent's modest plea, doing for him exceeding abundantly above all he asked or thought. "Remember me," is all the request : “ Thou shalt be with me in Paradise,” tbno overwhelming reply. “ Remember me when thou comest," is the