Imagens da página

21. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

B.C. 5.



culty involved in " God dwelling in the man Christ Jesus," two and yet one person, sometimes spoken of as separate, sometimes as the same, is illustrated in our own persons, and solved there, that being said of the whole which is true only of the soul (as that we are immortal), or again true only of the body (as that we are sick, or die).

21. Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua, "Jehovah—Salvation," the Captain who led the Lord's hosts into the Promised Land. And the same as Joshua the High Priest, who "took an active part in the re-establishment of the civil and religious polity of the Jews on their return from Babylon." "He appears in the vision of Zechariah (ch. iii.) in the court of God, under accusation of Satan, and clad in filthy garments," as a type of sinning and suffering Israel.

2i. He Shall Save His People From Their Sins. Reference. See under v. 17.

In the late Parliament of Religions, at Chicago, the representatives of the various great religions of the world presented the claims of their religions, their highest ideals, their best _ ..

r. ........ , , Parliament

teachings. Every great religion has in its literature lofty or BengloM thoughts, beautiful sentiments, and precepts of high morality. Where then is the superiority of Christianity? In the ideals, and in the moral teachings indeed, but most of all in the fact that while they are pictures more or less perfect of what men ought to be, they have no power to make men live up to their ideals, or practice their ideals. Jesus not only presents the moral standard, but is the way by which men are brought to live up to it, the power that saves men from sin to holiness. "By their EellRl0M fruits ye shall know them." If the speakers from each religion had brought a section of the country trained S1r,tem*under its influences, and placed them side by side with a Christian community, then they would have shown that only Jesus is the power that can " save his people from their sins." Reference. See on xi. 2.

Mr. Moody's Experience In Baltimore.—When Mr. Moody was in Baltimore, in the winter of 1878-9, he preached every Sab

22. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

bath in the penitentiary. There were about 1,000 inmates. It is the custom to give each one who perfectly obeys the rules, and has no black marks for a month, a check which is equivalent to one day off from his sentence. There were usually forty or fifty out of the thousand who would gain their check by good behavior. After Mr. Moody had preached there a few weeks, only one of the thousand failed. The good behavior increased from 40 to 999.

22. FULFILLED-SPOKEN BY THE PROPHET.—This prophecy, like many others, had a partial fulfilment in the days of Ahaz, but more complete in later times, which may be illustrated thus :

[blocks in formation]

23. EMMANUEL, “God with us” to protect, to save, to be a friend. Thus John i. 14: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the

23. Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall biing forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

24. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

[ocr errors]

only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth."

He "tabernacled" among us, dwelt as in a tent, as the divine Presence dwelt in the tabernacle in the wilderness.

*' The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter darkness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home."

Wordsworth, Intimations of Immortality.

"Oh, Friend, we need not rock nor sand
Nor storied stream of Morning Land:
The heavens are glassed in Merimac,
What more could Jordan render back?"

"We lack but open eye and ear
To find the Orient's marvels here."

"Flow on, sweet river, like the stream
Of John's Apocalyptic dream:
This maple ridge shall Horeb be,
Yon green-banked lake our Galilee.

"Henceforth my heart shall sigh no more
For olden time and holier shore;
God's love and blessing then and there
Are now and here and everywhere."

Whit tier. Chapel of the Hermit.

Library.—Dr. Van Dyke's "Gospel for an Age of Doubt," "The Gospel of a Person," and "The Unveiling of the Father."

25. And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

A CONTRASt.—Zola closes his novel, "La Bete Humaine," "With the description of a railway train crowded with soldiers, dragged by an engine whose driver has been killed, dashing at headlong speed into the midnight. The train is the world, we are the freight, fate is the track, death is the darkness, God is the engineer,—who is dead."—Henry Van Dyke, D.D.

25. She Brought Forth Her Firstborn Son.

Date Of The Birth Of Christ.—It is very perplexing to many to find that Jesus was actually born four years before the time from which we count his birth. The simple reason is that no one calculated dates from the birth of Christ till centuries after he was born, and then Dionysius Exiguus, the monk who published the calculations in A.D. 526, made a mistake of four years. He placed the birth of Christ in the year of Rome (u.c.) 754. But Herod the Great, who slew the innocents of Bethlehem, died in April of the year of Rome 750; so that Christ must have been born several months before, or not later than the last of 749. The following table will help to make the matter clear:


It should be carefully noted that the numbers are ordinal, standing for first, second, etc.

Jesus was probably born at the very close of B.C. 5, which would be only four years before our era, for in a week after the 25th of December, B.c. 5, it was January B.c. 4.

Since it is impossible to rectify the dates in all the books and records of the world, we simply apply the true dates to the life of Christ. He was five years old at the close of A.d. I.

The Roman Empire.—In order to understand the material on which Christianity had to work, we give the best statistics available. Lyman's tables give the population of the Roman empire at the time of Christ as 120,000,000, of which 60,000,000 were slaves, 40,000,000 were tributaries and freedmen, and only 20,000,000 were full citizens, or one-sixth of the population. The army numbered 400,000 and the navy 50,000 men. Milman gives the population of Rome, by the census of A.d. 48, at 5,984,000.

Palestine.—Hon. Selah Merrill, in his "Galilee in the Time of Christ," thinks that the population of Palestine was about 6,000,000, and of Galilee 2,000,000.

"Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born,
If he's not born in thee, thy soul is all forlorn.''

Johannes Schaffer.

Library.—Mrs. Browning's poems, "The Virgin Mary to the Child Jesus"; Milton's poems, *'Hymn to the Nativity"; Phillips Brooks' hymns, "O little town of Bethlehem " and "The earth has grown old with its burden of care"; Dr. Sears' hymn, " It came upon the midnight clear"; "The Christ Child in Art," by Henry Van Dyke, D.D.; "The Life of Christ in Art," by Canon F. W. Farrar, D.D.

Pictures.The Annunciation, Murillo, Raphael, Fra. Angelico, Botticelli, Ghiberti, Del Sarto, Rossetti, E. Burne Jones; The Immaculate Conception, Murillo; The Birth of Jesus, Murillo; Holy Night (La Notte), Correggio; The Madonna, Raphael, Murillo, Domenichino, Bellini; The Nativity, Botticelli, Tintoretto, Luini.

Correggio in " La Notte " follows the legends of the Apocryphal Gospels, "The light from the Divine Child as he lies in the straw of the manger irradiates the happy, smiling features of the Virgin." "And lo! the cave was filled with light more beautiful than the glittering of lamps and candles, and brighter than the light of the sun.—Farrar's Christ in Art,

"So above all mothers shone
The Mother of the Blessed one."

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »