« AnteriorContinuar »
28. And when he was come to the other side into the A.D. 28. country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed
Autumn. with deviis, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so GADARA. that no man might pass by that way.
OF PUBLIC 29. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God ? art thou come
THE hither to torment us before the time?
MINISTRY. 30. And there was a good way off from them a herd of
THE many swine feeding.
CURED. 31. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.
32. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine : and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.
does our daily bread, so as to make them come as much as possible through common-sense ways and human instrumentality. There was one blessing on the wrecked steamer that was beyond human procuring: it was the almost universal lifting up of human souls into the very sunlight of God's presence.”—Gen. 0.0. Howard.
LIBRARY.- Longfellow's “ Building of the Ship,” “Thou, too, sail on, oh Ship of State."
28. Two POSSESSED WITH Devils. MODERN EXAMPLES.-Dr. Nevius, for forty years a missionary in China, has given his observations in a book lately published, “ Demon Possession and Allied Themes" (Revell Co.). He sent a series of inquiries to Protestant missionaries and Chinese Christians, with the result that he found the almost exact counterpart of the gospel accounts, recorded by them, as well as observed by himself.
(1) The victim “during the paroxysms sometimes falls to the ground senseless, or foams at the mouth, presenting symptoms similar to those of epilepsy or hysteria." .
(2) "The duration of the abnormal state varies from a few minutes to several days.”
(3) “ When normal consciousness is restored after one of these attacks, the subject is entirely ignorant of everything which took place during that state.”
(4) “ The most striking characteristic of these cases is that the
33. And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils.
subject evidences another personality, and the normal personality for the time being is partially or wholly dormant.”
(5) “ The new personality presents traits of character utterly different from those which really belong to the subject in his normal state, and this change of character is with rare exceptions in the direction of moral obliquity and impurity.”
(6) “Many persons while demon-possessed give evidence of knowledge which cannot be accounted for in ordinary ways. They often appear to know the Lord Jesus Christ as a divine person, and show an aversion to and fear of him.”
(7) “Many cases have been cured by prayer to Christ or in his name." “So far as we have been able discover, this method of cure has not failed in any case."-Demon Possession, pp. 143-145.
The Scientific Society for Psychical Research is gradually gathering facts which will throw fresh light on this subject.
33. WHAT WAS BEFALLEN THE POSSESSED OF DEVILS. They were clothed and in their right mind (Mark v. 15). This was a parable of the change Jesus works in the souls of men.
REFERENCE. See at xii. 1-8, Plato's comparison of the soul to Glaucus.
THE TRANSFORMED Boy.-Mr. Edward Carswell, in a lecture, spoke of a magician who offered to change any bright boy into an idiot. A mother consented to have him try his power on her son. The boy went forward ; the magician made his passes ; soon the bright look fades away from the boy's face, a vacant stare takes its place, and the boy becomes an idiotic fool. At length the mother asks the magician to change him back again. But to her astonishment, this he could not do. He could turn bright boys into idiots, but had no power to change idiots into bright boys.
THE TRANSFORMING POWER OF CHRIST.-" John Chrysostom ingeniously remarks that the animals which went out of Noah's ark went out the same as they came in. The crow went out a crow; the wolf, a wolf; the fox, a fox. But the church transforms the ani
34. And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus : and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.
mals she receives into her bosom; not by any change in their substance, but by the extirpation of their sin. The magic wand of a Circe formerly metamorphised men into brutes; but the Divine Word changes the brutes into true men. Yea, more than this; it changes them into angels (Isa. ii. 6-9; 1 Cor. vi. 9-11).”—Choice Notes.
and a Bad
34. THEY BESOUGHT HIM THAT HE WOULD DEPART. “If a revival of the Lord's work were sure to interfere with our property interests, isn't it possible that some of us would want the revival postponed ? If we must empty our liquor-casks, or wind up our lotteries, or close our theatres, or abandon our tobacco-raising, as soon as the community felt the impulse of the Lord's presence, is it certain that we should not want the Lord to do his chiel work in the next town? In war-time there was an enterprising New Religion Englander who had a peripatetic embalming establish- Busin ment just at the rear of the Federal army in Virginia. In expressing his growing regret of the terrible consequences of the prolonged hostilities, he said one day,as if in evidence of his selfforgetful patriotism and humanity,—' I tell you, chaplain, I'd be right glad to have peace come, even though it would greatly interfere with my business. That man was just a little improvement on the hog-raising Gergesenes. Are there not some very good persons who would view almost any reform with suspicion if its progress must surely be the death of their present business ?”
- Rev. H. Clay Trumbull, in Sunday-School Times.
1. And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.
2. And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed : and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy : Son, be of good cheer ; thy sins be forgiven thee.
Spring. CAPERNAUM. SECOND YEAR.
THE GREAT GALILEAN MINISTRY.
THE PARALYTIC. e
2. THEY BROUGHT TO Him.-Brought by four (Mark). There are two pictures, often seen, entitled “ The Rock of Ages." In one
of them is a person clinging with both hands to a cross Ofe on a rock in the stormy sea. The other is the same idea,
with the exception that, while with one hand the saved
person is clinging to the cross, with the other she is reaching out and drawing another drowning one from the raging waves to the safety of the cross on the rock. This is the true picture.
Pictures of the Rock of
PERSONAL POWER.-All the later years of my ministry I have kept a record of the experience of those who have united with the church for the purpose of learning the best means of reaching men. One of the questions asked was, “What was the instrumentality by which you were brought to Christ?” And in almost every case some person was the means. On the other hand we have a similar testimony to the power of human instrumentality leading astray in "a report of 600 cases of inebriety in the Kings County (N. Y.) Inebriate Asylum. Of these 600 cases, 458 became inebriates from association, i.e., from going with drinking men and indulging in the habit of treating." .
A MAN SICK OF THE PALSY.
THE PALSY AS A: TYPE OF Sin.-Sin in the soul takes all the forms which paralysis does in the body. (1) Sometimes it takes away or dulls the sense of feeling. Its victims are insensible to the goodness of God, the appeals of reason, the truths of religion. They are, as the Apostle says, “ past feeling." (2) It sometimes weakens the will, so that even when men would do good, evil is present with them. They put off duty; they know, but will not come to a deci
3. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, A.D. 28. This man blasphemeth.
CAPERNAUM. 4. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think
SECOND YEAR. ye evil in your hearts ?
THE 5. For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee ; PARALYTIC. or to say, Arise and walk ?
6. But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.
sion. They become like a patient in one of our city hospitals, described in one of the illustrations below, where the will itself had lost its power of action. (3) Sometimes sin, like what in those days came under the name of palsy, produces a fixed condition of evil with intense tortures of conscience.
MORAL PARALYSIS.—In one of our city hospitals a young woman of beautiful face and form had lain motionless for many months. Except for the brightness of her face and the action of the hands, her body was apparently dead. Yet she spoke with great confidence of her restoration to health at some future time, and was enthusiastic in planning good works then to be executed. A physician remarked that it was the saddest case he had ever witnessed. It was a paralysis, not of the flesh, but of the mind; it was a moral paralysis. The will itself had lost its power of action. She could plan for the future, but not will anything at the present moment. After a few months the inactivity bred fatal disorder and she passed away. This is a picture of the moral paralysis of many.
3. This MAN BLASPHEMETH, “ for who can forgive sins but God only.”
REFERENCE.-viii. 2. “Helplessness of Self-salvation.”
How helpless man is to save himself from the disease of sin may be illustrated by the young man in Paris who was examining a guillotine, and, from curiosity, lay down on the plank under the knife and found himself fastened there unable to escape without aid from others.
5. WHETHER IS EASIER TO SAY, ETC.—“In our Lord's argument it must be carefully noted that he does not ask which is easier, to for