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Sabbath Ebenings at Home.
BY THE REV. J. JORDAN, VICAR OF ENSTONE. (Continued from page 245.)
B. C. 1047.
THE SIXTEENTH PROMISE OF A SAVIOUR AS MELCHIZEDEK. PSALM CX. 4.
P.-The hundred and tenth psalm
is another in which David speaks beautifully throughout of the Messiah; but especially in the fourth verse he gives us a promise of the Saviour as a Priest. Read it, and see what his priesthood
was to be?
C.-He was to be of the order of Melchizedek.
P.-Who was this person? C.-He was the King who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him.
P.-St. Paul, in the seventh chapter of the Hebrews, explains to us the nature of Melchizedek's priesthood, from
which we shall understand that of Christ. Turn to it and read the first verse, and tell me first of all whose Priest this person was?
C.-He was the Priest of the most High God.
P.-And so is Christ the Priest of the Most High God, interceding and mediating with him on our behalf. Now what was the interpretation of the name Melchizedek ?
C.-King of righteousness.
P.-And Christ is our righteousness, and as it is said of him in the psalms, "A sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom, thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity, therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." And of what was Melchizedek king?
C.-He was king of Salem.
P.-And this was the proclamation respecting him made at his birth, when the angel informed the shepherds of it; and the host who accompanied him answered, "Peace upon earth."
C.-It is also said of Melchizedek, that he was "without father and without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of years;" how could this be, and how did this apply to Christ?
P.-It does not mean that he was
really without these; but the history tells us nothing respecting his parentage or descent, nor does it tell us when he was born or died; so that as far as we know anything respecting him. these things are not discernible. But with respect to Christ all those things are literally so; for he being God, is without father, mother, and descent, but is self-existent, and he is without beginning of days or end of years, for he is from everlasting to everlasting, Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and for ever!
HOSEA II. 16, 17.
P.-We pass over a long interval of time now before we meet with any new promises of a Saviour. The last we had were of that of David, of whose family according to the flesh the Saviour was to come. But until the times of Jereboam, the son of Joash, king of Israel, and of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, we are not favoured with any. The first we then meet with is that of Hosea, who flourished or lived about 235 years after the time of David, and who was com missioned to give the people of Israel hope of redemption, and deliverance through the land as their Saviour, under the figure of a husband. You may turn to Hosea, ii. 16, 17, and read the promise.
gracious promises relating to our Lord. The first that we meet with is in the P.-Baali means Lord, and they had second chapter, from the first to the called him Lord. fifth verses. Read them over, and we will consider how they refer to our Saviour.
C.-But did the people call God Baali?
C.-What, then, does Ishi mean? P.-It means "husband," which was more endearing name than lord. What does St. Peter say that Sarah alled Abraham ?
C. That she called him lord.
P.-And so wives were accustomed o do, in acknowledgment of their subection; but the name of husband was nore affectionate. God therefore conlescends to promise that he will not be Baali, Lord, to Israel, but Ishi, husband o them. Are there any places in the New Testament in which Christ is represented as a Husband?
C.-I do not remember any.
P.-John the Baptist calls him the Bridegroom, saying, "He that hath the ride is the bridegroom," John iii. 29; and he represents himself as "the son of a certain king, for whom his father made a marriage," Matt. xxii. 2.
Saint Paul also says to his converts, "I have espoused you to one Husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ," 2 Cor. xi. 2. Again; he says, "The husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church and he is the saviour of the body. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church," Ephes. v. 23-32. The church is also called "the Bride, the Lamb's wife," Rev. xxi. 9; and they are said to be "blessed which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb," Rev. xix. 9.
B. C. 760.
THE EIGHTEENTH PROMISE OF A SAVIOUR AS A LAWGIVER.
ISAIAH II. 1-5.
P-We this evening open the prophet Isaiah, who has been appropriately called the evangelical prophet, because his writings are so rich in the most
C.-What are the last times?
P.-The expression means the times of the Gospel, or of that more perfect dispensation which God was to send after that of Moses, and of which the Mosaic was only preparatory. Paul says, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these latter times spoken unto us by his Son," Heb. i. 1, 2.
C.-What is the mountain of the Lord's house?
P.-It means the mountain on which the temple at Jerusalem was. What mountain was that?
P.-Then it means that Mount Sion was to be exalted above all mountains and hills.
C. And how could this happen? P.-Not exactly according to the letter; for what is here spoken is only a figure or image representing what was to be done. The meaning is this: idolaters chose "every high hill, and all the tops of the mountains, to offer sweet savour to their idols on," Ezek. vi. 13; no doubt vainly fancying that because they were high on the earth they must be nearer to heaven, where they thought that their gods dwelt; but the mountain of the Lord's house was to be set above them all; that is, the true religion of Jesus Christ was in the end to overcome all other religions, and to reign supreme in the earth, for all nations were to flow unto it. Now of whom is it here said that this shall be done?
P.-Yes, and in Luke xxiv. 27, and tions, and shall rebuke many people: 45-47, you will find two beautiful and they shall beat their swords into illustrations of his doing so very ex-ploughshares, and their spears into actly. In the first to the two disciples pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift at Emmaus, "beginning at Moses and up sword against nation, neither shall all the prophets, he expounded unto they learn war any more." them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself;" and in the second, "He opened the understanding of his disciples, that they might understand the Scriptures; and said unto them, thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." Thus did the law, and the word of the Lord go forth from Jerusalem, Jesus himself being the LAWGIVER. What does the prophet tell us was to be the character of his laws?
C.-"He shall judge among the na
P.-The characteristic then of his law was, "Peace upon earth, and goodwill toward men,” Luke ii. 14. Accordingly the new commandment he gave them was to "love one another," John xiii. 34. But there was even a better "peace upon earth" than that between men and men which he came to esta blish, and that is peace between God and men, "the peace of God which passeth all understanding." Thus Isaiah says elsewhere, "the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver," xxxiii. 22; and James assures us that "there is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy," James iv. 12.
A.-Really these facts are very striking; but allow me to ask, Is there, sir, no other origin to which they may plausibly be ascribed, but the primeval institution of the Sabbath?
THE PASTOR AND TEACHERS.
Minister.—The inquiry is a very important one, and well worthy of consideration; for if the facts in questions can be assigned to no other origin than that we have adverted to, then the primeval insti
origin. A universal custom must have a common origin. A custom of the greatest antiquity as well as of the greatest universality, mast have one common origin of the greatest antiquity. Now, while no custom is more universal, none is so ancient as the hebdomadal division of time. Of this origin there is no event in profane history which even pretends to furnish any account. There is not, that I am tution of the Sabbath is placed be-aware, any attempt to account for yond dispute, and this point once it by referring it to any event within established, its perpetual obligation the history of any nation. The will follow as a matter of course. I Bible alone furnishes the record in answer, then, there is no other ori- question, and that record is stamped gin for the universal prevalence of with incontrovertible truth. How the hebdomadal division of time, remarkable that the custom should nor for the sanctity ascribed by prevail in almost all nations, both heathen nations to the seventh day, ancient and modern! Though kingbut the scriptural origin. doms have risen and fallen; though empires which once flourished have become obliterated, the traces of
All customs must have some * Weekly.
member that when infidel France wished to obliterate Christianity, she adopted a decade week instead Philosophy is as silent as profane of a septenary period. This is cerhistory in reference to the hebdo-tainly more simple and convenient nadal division of time. That divi- for purposes of calculation; and ion cannot arise from astronomy, there can be no reason why all men or there are no revolutions in the should have determined a mode of leavenly bodies, and no periodical numbering days different from their ppearances in nature, which cor- mode of numbering all other obespond to such a division. The jects, except this one reason, they eriodical revolution of the earth in were led to it by the command of er orbit, affords a natural reason God himself from the very dawn of or the division of time into years. man's existence. This universal The revolution of the moon in her and ancient custom, then, of dividrbit, affords a natural reason for ing time into periods of seven days, the division of the year into months; joined with the fact that the seventh and the diurnal rotation of the earth day was held more sacred than all on her axis, is a natural reason for the rest, irresistibly carries us to lividing time into days; but for the the original Sabbatic institution on division of time into periods of the bright morn when creation's seven days, there is no natural rea- work was completed, and the sons son in any visible motions or ap- of God shouted for joy at the sight pearances which we could conceive of a new and glorious universe. likely to suggest it to man. At the same time it is certain that such a division is not convenient for arithmetical purposes, nor does it conform to the custom which all nations have adopted in their calculations. In all countries men have adopted a decade*-the number ten-as the revolving number; and it is probable that all nations would have adopted the same method of reckoning days by tens instead of by sevens, had they not been guided by a Divine precept. You will re
the primitive Sabbath are still legible and imperishable. God has not left himself without witness.
Superintendent.-I thank you sincerely for this explanation, which to my mind is perfectly conclusive and satisfactory.
With one voice all concurred in expressions of thanks to their respected pastor, and acknowledged that they had listened with the greatest interest and delight to his instructive observations, and hoped in future they should read the Holy Scriptures with deeper interest and pleasure, assured that every part thereof was fraught with instruction and profit, and that the evidence for the primeval institution of the Sabbath was clear as the noon-day sun.
*The universal custom of reckoning by ten as the revolving number, as 10, 20, 30, 40, &c., probably had its origin in the number of our fingers. Most children, when learning to count, make use of their fingers. The same custom still obtains
Minister. I am glad you are so
among some savage tribes; when count-state, that what has been said, is
Superintendent.-Have the kind-
SIR,-The evil which "A Young Teacher" complains of, must, I am afraid, be classed among necessary evils; for a well-conducted Sundayschool, any more than a day-school,
could not be carried on without a system of promotion. Indeed, I am almost inclined to think whether systems of promotion are not ductive of more benefit than harm. I conceive that in the lowest or youngest class, it is the duty of the teacher, as he learns them the a,b,c, which is the key that shall finally unlock to them the treasures of literature; so he instils into them the first principles of religion, which being hereafter expanded, by the blessing of God, upon the waterer in the higher classes, shall bring forth fruit an hundred-fold. Thus, while in the elementary class the scholar learns the simple truths, "God is a Spirit," "God is everywhere," and so on; a step or two higher it would be explained to him that all men are sinners, and of the inestimable love of God in sending his Son into the world to save a lost and ruined world: still higher, and the New Testament reading would | more fully explain and impress this all-important truth upon his mind. Next, would the connection between Old and New Testament
struction which his little flock
needs, and which they can compre hend, and thus produce a similar division of labour in a mechanical benefit, which is accomplished by point of view?
Now, no teacher, however much he loved his charge, would consent to his remaining in an elementary class; and I think it argues little for the humility of "A Young Teacher," or for respect to his coadjutors, when he expresses himself thus: "a diligent and faithful teacher, giving up his affectionate pupils into the hands of one who will, perhaps, destroy all that he has been labouring to build up."
Still an alleviation might be found without affecting the system, and I would suggest, that instead of promotions being made once a quarter, or oftener, (which I believe is the general practice,) once in the halfyear, or year, might be sufficient. This would go far, I think, to meet the difficulty "A Young Teacher" complains of.
I am, very respectfully,
SIR,—In a late Number of The Sunday-school Magazine, "A Young Teacher" alludes to the system of promotions as being an evil in the Sabbath-schools, and in his opinion
proved; and, lastly, in the senior class, while the temptations and dangers of his future career would be faithfully pointed out, he would be affectionately directed to that Saviour, from whence alone salvation cometh. And is there not a great advantage in this mode of tuition? Does not each teacher prepare that particular kind of in
writings be expounded and im-going very far to destroy their good effect. I think so too; and I would suggest, as an improvement, the system followed in the Wesleyan Sunday-school, at Lausanne, Swit zerland, when I was superintendent there.
We found, a few years ago, that it was impossible to transfer scholars from one class to another. Some children were so much attached to