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a favor, or the owner of a factory stop a part of the the machinery to rescue a child caught in the
A.D, 28. wheels.
CAPERNAUM. MIRACLES NATURAL TO CHRIST.-If there is
SECOND YEAR a personal God, it is as natural that He should OF PUBLIC
MINISTRY work a miracle, for sufficient reasons, as it is that
THE the owner of a factory should interfere to save a
MINISTRY child who is caught in the machinery. To accept
MIRACLES. a miracle when proved is scientific. Even such scientists as Professor Huxley (Popular Science Monthly) agree to this. It is simply a question of proof. If Jesus was the Son of God, the power to work miracles was a natural accompaniment. He bears the same relation to the powers of nature as a watchmaker does to the watch when he sets the hands to the right time.
PLACE OF MIRACLES.--". Suppose,' says Matthew Arnold, 'I could change the pen with which I write this into a pen-wiper, I should not thus make what I write the truer or more convincing.' Mr. Arnold suggests certain interpretations of the Bible. •The Bible is on my book-shelves, and I take it down and judge for myself whether his interpretation is correct or not. His turning a pen into a pen-wiper would not and ought not to affect my judgment of the correctness of his interpretation. But George Kennan is publishing in the Century Magazine some articles descriptive of exile life in Matthew Siberia ; and before I will read these articles, certainly
Argument. before I will allow myself to be influenced in judgment or conduct by them, I must know that Mr. Kennan has been in Siberia, tells what he has seen and heard, and is not spinning a yarn, Defoe-like, out of his own fertile imagination. The philosopher needs no authentication; his philosophy is its own evidence. But a witness to facts otherwise not known, and perhaps not otherwise discoverable, always requires some authentication. The distinction is perfectly simple; and we act upon it in every day life. Now Christ came as a witness to heavenly facts about God and the immortality and destiny of the soul, and miracles are the authentication of His credibility. They are God's signature to His testimony,'”
-Condensed from the Christian Union.
LIBRARY.-In W. C. Prime's “ Along New England Roads ” (Harpers', 1892), "A Village Discussion,” there is a capital illustration of
18. | Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side.
19. And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
20. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
21. And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
22. But Jesus said unto bim, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
the nature and possibilities of miracles. Also quoted in note to Van Dyke's “Gospel for an Age of Doubt,” pp. 420-424.
MODERN PROOFS.—Jesus Christ is living now, and working as really as when on earth, and in the same directions. He promised his disciples that they should do greater things than He did in Palestine. And this promise has proved true (1) in the number and greatness of the conversions of individuals, (2) In the great moral changes of whole nations. (3) In the physical blessings which He is working through His disciples. Public and private institutions spring up everywhere under the influence of Christianity, as heros and flowers under the genial influences of spring-time. They do not work miracles, but are better than the power of miracles, as the prolonged sunshine is better than a flash of lightning.
18-22. I WILL FOLLOW THEE.—Dr. Wm. Taylor tells a story of some sailors going ashore from their ship, and returning intoxicated;
ime they entered their little boat to row to the ship, but they with the rowed till morning without reaching it. Daylight showed Anchor that they had not loosened the rope that held them to
Down. the wharf. Many a man would follow Christ, but he is fastened by some one sin, some bad habit, some fear or neglect ; but one sin alone, unforsaken, will keep him forever from Christ.
SURFACE OR DEPTHS.-Some people's feelings are touched only as the sea by the winds that ruffle its surface, or as the sunset colors are reflected from its waves, only to pass away when the sun goes down. The deep currents and tides are all unchanged.
WEEDING OUT FRIENDS.—“A shrewd, but somewhat eccentric man says that he once 'weeded out his friends,' by hanging a scarlet 23. 1 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.
24. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves : but he was asleep.
25. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us : we perish.
flag, with a notice of a selling out by auction, from his front door. After this signal of apparent bankruptcy, he tells us that the number of his visitors fell off amazingly, and he had no need of any extra leaves of his dinner-table for some time afterward. His fair-weather friends all deserted him; and by this shrewd device he found out who were the genuine article.-T. L. Cuyler, D.D.
No GOING BACK.—“On a dial of a clock in the palace of Napoleon at Malmaison, the maker has put the words, • Nescit reverti'it does not know how to go backward."
24. THERE AROSE A GREAT TEMPEST.—“Those churches where the Word of God is not awake, are in danger of shipwreck; not that Christ sleeps, but he is slumbering in us, by reason of our sleep. But where faith watches, there is no fear of wreck from the powers of this world.”—Hilary.
REFERENCE. See on xiv. 22, “The Weather-Vane."
LIFE COMPARED TO THE SEA.
“ 'Tis not in man To look unmoved upon that heaving waste which, from horizon to
horizon spread, Meets the o'erarching heavens on every side, blending their hues in
distant faintness there. 'Tis wonderful! And yet, my boy, just such is life. Life is a sea as
fathomless, As wide, as terrible, and yet sometimes as calm and beautiful. The
light of heaven Smiles on it, and 'tis decked with every hue of glory and of joy.
* Anon dark clouds
Arise, contending winds of fate go forth, and Hope sits weeping
o'er a general wreck. And thou must sail upon this sea a long, eventful voyage. The wise
may suffer wreck, The foolish must. Oh, then, be early wise! Learn from the mariner
his skillful artTo ride upon the waves and catch the breeze and dare the threaten
ing storm and trace a path, 'Mid countless dangers, to the destined port, unerringly secure. Oh,
learn from him To station quick-eyed Prudence at the helm, to guard thy sail from
Passion's sudden blasts, And make Religion thy magnetic guide, which, though it trembles
as it lowly lies, Points to the light that changes not,-in heaven.”-Anon.
HISTORIC.-King Canute, at Southampton, taught his courtiers that he had no power over the sea.
Xerxes threw chains into the Hellespont to fetter the waves, “but he lost his army."
“Of Antiochus Ephiphanes, and his pride that had a fall, it is written in the book of Maccabees : •And thus he that a little afore thought he might command the waves of the sea (so proud was he beyond the condition of man) and weigh the high mountains in a balance, was now cast on the ground.'"
“Carlyle,” says Jacox, “made a picturesque application of the royal Dane's injunction to the waves, in his survey of the advancing tide of the French Revolution-grim host marching on, the black-browed Marseillese in the van, with hum and murmur, far-heard, like the ocean tide, drawn up as if by Luna and influences from the great deep of waters, they roll gleaming on; no king, Canute or Louis, can bid them roll back.”
CÆSAREM Vehis.-When Cæsar was crossing a rough stream, and the rowers were becoming frightened, he encouraged them by saying, “ You are carrying Cæsar : you need fear nothing.” So whatever soul carries Christ need not fear the worst storm of trouble or temptation which ever assailed man.
THE VOYAGE OF LIFE.—In each of the series of pictures, “The Voyage of Life," by Cole, there is a guardian angel ; but in the picture
26. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea ; and there was a great calm.
of “ Manhood” this guardian is unseen by the man on the rough tide. Christ is with us, although we do not always see Him. He seems asleep or hidden, but the angels can see that He is ever with us to guide and guard.
THE GREAT GALILEAN
MINISTRY. STILLING THE
26. OH, YE OF LITTLE FAITH.
There sat a pilgrim band,
While evening waned away
From breezy cliff and bay,
“One spake with quivering lip,
Of a fair freighted ship,
But one had wilder woe,
For a fair face long ago,
“ There were some who mourned their youth
With a most loving truth,
And one upon the West,
Turned an eye that would not rest,
“Some talked of vanished gold,
Some of proud honors told,
And one of a green grave,
Beside a foreign wave,