網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

Fragments. SCIENCE.-Science in her own | " Life of Christ.” This ranked province is a glorious and welcome among his chief treasures. Within revealer of God's truths. Let her this book, after he had gone home to only be rightly, cautiously, and be with Jesus, was found a card, reverently interpreted.-Roden Noel. dated 16th March, 1885, on which he

AFFLICTION.-If any hard affliction pledges himself to be the Lord's. hath surprised thee, cast one eye He says, “I promise to live as my upon the hand that sent it, and the Saviour's loving child and faithful other upon the sin that brought it; servant all my life." His life was but if thou thankfully receive the mes- short; though long enough to drop sage, he that sent it will discharge a seed here and a seed there in the the messenger.-Francis Quarles. hearts of many around him, and

ENCOURAGEMENT TO TEACHERS. — which, doubtless, shall blossom The head master of one of our throughout the endless ages of Glasgow Board schools sends in the eternity. He was truly a light following :-A little boy, John S. among all his associates-the candle Rorke, aged ten, has been suddenly of the Lord shone wherever he went. called to his rest; and being one of Much beloved by his companions in our scholars, a few notes on his death life, with bleeding hearts at his may be interesting. He was remark- death, they collected in halfpennies able for his fondness of old people, and pennies a sum of money with paying them the utmost rever which they bought a pretty wreath ence, and ready to make sacrifices on for the grave of their dear little their behalf. One old woman (for friend. “Blessed are all they which merly a neighbour) he visited regu- are called to the marriage supper of larly in the Poorhouse, taking with the Lamb.” him some little thing to cheer the “Perhaps the cup was broken here, old body's heart. Among his last

That Heaven's new wine might shine

more clear. visits she gave him a book entitled We praise Thee as the days go on."

Intelligence. GLASGOW SABBATH SCHOOL friends interested in the religious UNION.-The monthly meeting of welfare of the young. Any teacher the Union was held in the Christian or Sabbath school friend would be Institute, on Monday, 8th June—Sir supplied with a copy on making William Collins, president, in the application for it at the Union rooms, chair. There were 45 Directors 70 Bothwell Street, or by sending to present. Reports were read from the secretaries a postal wrapper for the Western, North-Western, and its transmission. *A sub-committee Pollokshaws district Unions. Mr. had been appointed to prepare the Richmond, convener of Publications scheme of lessons for 1886. The Committee, reported that the Forty- committee were most desirous to Eighth Annual Report of the state meet the views of superintendents of Sabbath school instruction in and teachers with regard to the Glasgow and suburbs, comprising the scheme, and any suggestions fortabulated reports of the various warded to them would have their Sabbath school societies, was now careful consideration. Mr Thomas published, and was being circulated Gray, convener of the Teachers' amongst the ministers of the city, Examination Committee, reported the superintendents and secretaries that the committee recommended of the various schools, and other that the proposal made to the directors by the Southern District 24. The business of the evening Union, and remitted to them to was the appointment of the new consider,—viz., “the expediency of committees for the current year, in formulating a uniform scheme of connection with which a proposal Scholars’Examinations for the Union, was made and unanimously adopted, which could be adopted and the that in future the various conveners details carried out by the various shall be appointed, together with the district and affiliated Unions, or by office-bearers, in March. The conindividual Sabbath school societies," veners shall meet and select members —be sent down to the District Unions for their respective committees prefor consideration, with the view of vious to the Union's business ascertaining how far it is likely to meeting in May, at which they shall secure general approval and support. submit their selection for approval. Mr. Alexander Black, convener of WESTERN DISTRICT SABBATH the committee recently formed for SCHOOL UNION.—This Union met on the purpose of promoting temperance Monday, 25th May-Mr. W. J. principles amongst the young, re- Mitchell, vice-president, in the chair ported, that out of 285 societies com- - present 23 directors. The secreprising the Union, 157 had Bands of tary reported that the annual meetHope for the scholars, leaving 128 ing had been held in the hall of which had none. It was agreed to Adelaide Place Church, the attendbring the subject under the notice of ance of teachers being very good, the District Unions, by inviting their and the addresses of a most interco-operation in communicating with esting and practical character. these societies which had none, hy Committees were appointed for the bringing before the teachers the ensuing year,-viz., Visiting, Mr. J. importance of the work, and by Gardner Maclean, convener; Music, offering assistance to those who may Mr. W. H. Murray, convener; be willing to have Bands of Hope Training Classes, Mr. John Fergus, formed. Mr. M Nidder, from the convener; Districts, Mr. R. D. MacDumbarton Union, reported that the Ewan, convener; Annual Sermon, arrangements for the Scottish Na- Mr. Thomas N. Hill, convener. tional Sabbath School Convention, to Messrs. M'Innes, Paterson, and be held there on 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Gillespie, reported on the matters 4th October next, were progressing before the meeting of the General satisfactorily. The following among Union. other subjects would be considered : POLLOKSHAWS UNION. – The -viz., “Missions in connection with quarterly meeting of this Union was Sabbath Schools,” to be introduced held on 27th May, in the Kirk-lane by the Rev. Buchanan Blake; hall, Pollokshaws. The Rev. J. • Sabbath School Buildings,” by J. Anderson Gardiner, of Langside, Honeyman, Esq., Glasgow; “The addressed the meeting. He said he co-operation of parent and pupil took a great interest in Sabbath necessary for successful Sabbath school work, and was glad to have school teaching," by Thomas Morri. the opportunity of addressing a few son, Esq., M.A., LL.D., Glasgow; words of encouragement to those “Infant Classes, and how to teach engaged in it. In the course of his them,” by C. S. Inglis, Esq., Edin- remarks he said he thought the great burgh; and a “Model Lesson ” to point to be sought after in the teachers would be given by Frederick management of a school was to A. Laing, Esq., Glasgow.

make the service attractive. The NORTH-WESTERN DISTRICT SAB- children should feel it to be a great BATH SCHOOL UNION.—This Union pleasure to attend the service, and met on Tuesday, 12th May-present should look forward to it as a treat, consequently he was of opinion that I highly approved of them, but they singing should occupy a prominent must have life in them, as a weakly place. He deprecated too many one was worse than useless. Mr. tasks—these he thought might safely Gardiner was accorded a hearty vote be left to the schoolmasters. Re- of thanks for his inspiriting regarding Sabbath School Unions, he marks.

Notes on the Union's Lesson Scheme for 1885. [These Notes are intended to aid Teachers in their studies at home, and

not to be used in the school while teaching.)

Lesson 132.—July 12. JESUS THE SOURCE OF LIGHT AND FREEDOM.-John viii. 12-36. This lesson is part of that last conversation of Jesus with the Jews, which ended in their seeking to stone Him. It occurred at the feast of Tabernacles, after the incident recorded in the beginning of this chapter. Some interval must have elapsed between that incident and this conversation, for we read in verse 9 that all the people went out, but here the Jews are present again. It occurred in the Treasury, (ver. 20.)

I. We have first Christ's statement that He is the light of the world. Note in this connection what light is, and how it operates. Christ is light, and gives light. He is the source of all light, natural or spiritual. He made the sun, the source of natural light; He is the brightness of His Father's glory, thé revealer of the Father, and so through Him we derive our knowledge of God. Dwell on this idea of light, its diffusive nature, its life-giving properties, and shew that in all these senses Christ is the light. Those who follow Him shall not walk in darkness. What is to follow? It is to imitate, to tread in His steps, to believe on Him.

Now, we have the Jewish objection to this statement, and Christ's answer, (ver. 13-20.) The objection is, that as He bears record of himself, His record is not true. Self-glorification, we say, is no glorification at all. This was the objection. Christ's answer is complete. First, the record I bear is true, for I know. His record regarding himself is based on absolute knowledge of who He was. They were judging after the flesh,-i. e., they were judging Him as if He were a mere man, judging according to the outward appearance; but He knew whence He came—that He was from God, and that what He said was therefore true. But second, even on the principles of their own law His record was true, for the testimony of two is true. He had this testimony, that of himself, and that of His Father. The testimony of His Father had been given at His baptism, and by the mighty works He had been enabled to do. The Jews purposely misunderstand this reference to His Father, and ask with a sneer, Where is thy Father? Note carefully the answer to this sneering question, as given in verse 19, and see in that answer the great truth that the Father is known by the Son. We can have no true knowledge of God save through the Son, (compare chap. i. 18; xiv. 9.)

II. Still anxious for their salvation, Jesus tries them again. He implies plainly that through Him only could they be saved, (ver. 21, and again ver. 24,) and tells them that one day they would seek Him, but could not find Him, because where He was going they could not come. They mistook this again. They supposed He meant to kill himself, and go, like all suicides, to His own place, (Acts i. 25;) but He corrects this error, and assures them that, apart trom faith in Him, there was nothing before them but death, (ver. 24.) Note this verse, and see what was Christ's teaching' on the question of faith, or belief in himself. There can be no mistake as to what that teaching was. If ye believe not, ye shall die in your sins. Wonderful words to be spoken by the despised Galilean. But this is what He said, and let us make no mistake about it. Faith in Him is essential to salvation, as essential now as when Jesus spoke these words. And these were not His own words, for note the deeply important statement in verse 26. He spake simply what He had heard from His Father. So these words are God's words, telling us that in Jesus alone is salvation to be found.

III. But how can salvation be obtained through Him? Only by His death, (ver. 28,) by His being lifted up. This would be the grand crowning evidence of His being from God; His death and resurrection were in accordance with God's plan and purpose,-were no accidents in His life, but were parts of that course of obedience to His Father's will-a doing of those things which pleased Him.

Many believed on Him on hearing these words, and to them Jesus makes two important statements. To be His disciples it was necessary to continue in His word. Mere assent to the truth is not sufficient, there must be continuance in it. Secondly, the truth, which is His word, would make them free; this would be the test of discipleship. What does He mean by their being made free? Evidently the picture is taken from slavery, (ver. 33-36.) So their condition was that of slaves in bondage, unable to free themselves. The truth would break their bonds, deliver them from the oppressor, and set them free-free from sin-free to do what was well-pleasing to God-free from the law-free from condemnation-free to serve God.

“He is the freeman whom the truth makes free,

And all are slaves besides." Observe, finally, how this part of Christ's teaching was misunderstood, and how He shews that there is a worse slavery than human slavery-the slavery of sin.

Memory Exercise-Shorter Catechism 28. —Psalm xliii. 3, 4.

Subject to be proved—Jesus Pleased His Father. Golden Text—"That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”—John i. 9.

NOTES.—Note the word true. It means here, and generally in this Gospel, real in opposition to what is imaginary. We have it in the Catechism, Cbrist took to himself a true body. So, I am the true vine, the true bread, &c. This being its meaning, then we see what John signifies when he calls Jesus the true light. Other lights were not false lights, so far as they went they were reflections of the true light. But Jesus alone was the Light. All light, all truth, all knowledge come from Him. In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. So we can form some conception of John's statement in this verse, that whatever light there is in any one in this world, it comes from Him who is the True Light.

“Our little systems have their day,

They have their day, and cease to be;
They are but broken lights of Thee,
And Thou, O Lord, art more than they."

Lesson 133.—July 19.

The Man Born BLIND.—John ix. 1-38. Note the disciples' question regarding the blind man. They thought the blindness must be the consequence of some special sin. Hence Christ's answer in verse 3. Read Luke xiii. 1-5, and you have two parallel cases. This blind

ness was the means of exhibiting Christ's power. So with the death of Lazarus, (chap. xi. 4.) Note the necessity of Christ's working in verses 4, 5. If this necessity lay on Him, what example may we draw from it? (see Eccles. ix. 10.) Note also the wonderful name Jesus takes to himself—the Light of the World. He is the Sun of Righteousness. He is the Light of life-the Light of men. Is He your light? Have you been brought from darkness into light?

With these remarks Christ cures the blind man. Note the manner of cure; the effect of the cure on the man's neighbours. They could scarcely recognise him. The restoration of his sight had changed his whole aspect. They asked him about the cure, and he told them all. he knew. They then bring him to the Pharisees, who examine him closely, and ask him what his own opinion of Jesus was. He tells them. As the miracle has been performed on the Sabbath, some rode off on this, and at once concluded that, even though the miracle were real, the doer of such a work on the Sabbath-day could not be of God. Others, more candid, admitted that a sinner could not have done it. And so there was a division among them.

Matters were becoming serious. The power of the Pharisees would decline if Christ's power were admitted. And so, pretending to deny the miracle, they sent for the man's parents. Note the three questions put to them, their answer, and the reason for the answer. So far they had gained nothing; and now they have recourse to a low trick, to try and frighten the man into a confession that there had been no miracle. Pretending that they had got some important evidence from his parents, they call him in again, and ask him to give God the glory, for they had discovered that Jesus was a sinner. He refuses to enter on any discussion on this point, but adheres to what he himself knew,- I was blind, now I see. He knows this to be true, and their statement that Jesus was a sinner cannot change that fact. Note how practical knowledge will brush away all sophistries. I was a sinner-I am now saved. If I know that, I may keep my mind easy as to what enemies may say of Christ. Can you give such an answer? You were blind-do you now see? Christ alone can give this light, (Eph. v. 14.)

Unable to shake the man's statement, the Pharisees try to entangle him in contradiction, by cross-examining him, (ver. 26.) But he is not to be so caught. He has told them already, and can only account for their inquisitiveness by supposing that they meant to be His disciples. This went home to the quick, and they lose their temper, and begin to revile the man. They were Moses' disciples. Moses was an accredited witness-one truly sent from God; but as for this fellow, they knew nothing about Him. One last blow the man gives, and that brings matters to a crisis. He expresses his surprise that they, who were the professed guides and teachers of the people, should not know whence one who had done this miracle came. He expresses his own firm believe that God would not have given this power to a sinner, and that Jesus must be from God. This was gall and wormwood to the Pharisees. They first mock the man, and then turn him out of the synagogue. But men might cast him out; Jesus would not. He found him: that implies that He went in search of him. Is not this always His work? Is He not always seeking, always finding? He has been seeking you. Has He found you? Note the question put to the man when found. Dost thou believe? Always 80-faith is the first thing. Believe on whom? _On the Son of God. Even so : this alone can save us. Think of that question, and ask it of yourself—Dost THOU BELIEVE ON THE SON OF GOD ?

Memory Exercise-Shorter Catechism 29.-Psalm xliii. 5.

Subject to be proved-Jesus is Mighty to Save. Golden Text_“Wherefore He is able also to save them to the attermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.”Hebrews vii. 25.

Notes.-Who can be saved by Him?-Those who come unto God by Him. That is the condition. No other way of access but by Him. This runs through

« 上一頁繼續 »