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one day be resting amid the loved fruits of godly labors on earth ? Blessed are they that rest from their labors, and their works follow them.
But the death of Dorcas, so apparently disastrous, was with the Lord. He knew what ķe would do. Parts of his ways " we may sometimes discern, and in the lamented death and sudden resurrection of this eminent lady, God was not without his designs of mercy; for it was known throughout all Joppa. She who had so fully honored Christ in her life and character, was admitted to the high privilege of being made a subject of his resurrection power before the eyes of multitudes who knew her; of whom many, as they saw the sight, believed in the Lord. In her life, she was an instrument of many temporal blessings and comforts ; in her death and her recall, she was the occasion of a great turning to the Lord.
Lydia, Priscilla, Phebr, Tryphena, Tryphosa,
At the head of this chapter is written a cluster of names standing on the New Testament pages, and written in the book of life. They were holy women-friends of the apostle Paul-and helpers, in their sphere, in the great work to which he dedicated his vast energies.
Lydia, " whose heart the Lord opened that she attended to the things which were spoken of Paul,” became, under his preaching, a convert to Christ. Hence we wonder not that her doors were thrown open for the entertainment of the Apostle during his stay at Philippi; nor are we surprised at the earnestness and warmth with which she urged him to accept her Christian hospitalities. Well, it was a privilege indeed, when one might welcome within their dwelling an apostle of the Lord Jesus. And yet a greater privilege is ours, if the Master himself will come to us and take up his abode with us, and forever animate us with his spirit and his life.
Priscilla was another of the privileged ones that was permitted to entertain, in her house, the Apostle of the Gentiles. Paul first found her and her husband at Corinth, they having been directed by Claudius to depart, with other Jews, from the city of Rome. They accompanied the Apostle to Ephesus, where, after a time, they appear to have returned again to Rome. While they were at Ephesus, and after Paul departed from that city, Apollos, an eloquent man, and mighty in the Scriptures, arrived. Being not yet fully initiated into the dispensation of the Spirit, Aquila and Priscilla, when they had heard him, "took him unto them, and expounded to him the way of God more perfectly.” A beautiful picture this! Apollos was mighty in the Scriptures-fervent in spirit-eloquent in speech-teaching diligently the things of God-being instructed in the way of the Lord so far as to the baptism of John. Yet it remained for Priscilla and her husband to introduce this eminent man to a more accurate knowledge of the Gospel-to enlighten him in respect to the full dispensation of the Spirit, which, since the day of Pentecost, had been granted to the world.
Happy are those pious women who, by their diligence and faithfulness in the things of God, become competent to give important instructions, even to able ministers of the gospel. Priscilla's experience had been conversant with a higher baptism than that of John, and to that higher baptism and experience was she instrumental in leading the eloquent Apollos. He could teach her in most respects, as a Jew-as concerning the Old Testament Scriptures--as far as to the extent of John's ministry, Apollos was much her superior; but as touching the way which “ exceeded in glory,” she was the superior of Apollos, and became his instructress and helper. *
Phebe, also, is to be classed in the holy sisterhood. Beautiful things are written of her by the apostle's pen. He styles her a servant of the church at Cenchrea-a sister beloved--a succorer of many others, as well as of himself, and commends her to the Christian sympathies and aid of the Roman Christians, whom, for some reason, she appears to have visited.
* " There are many of the humblest babes of faith in corners of obscurity here and there, who really know more, and have a truer science of God, than some who are most distinguished among the Christian doctors.”—Dr. Bushnell on “ Dogma and Spirit.”
“A succorer of many." Eminent commendation-excellent character! We ask no more. We place her at once aside the beautiful Dorcas, and think of her as one of the angels in human shape that walk this earth, soothing myriads of sorrows, charming away sickness, staying up sinking hearts and hands that hang down, putting to flight despondencies, waking a thousand smiles and joys, and gladdening life's shadows with perpetual gleams of holy sunshine.
Tryphena and Tryphosa, likewise, receive the salutations of the apostle, accompanied with the pleasant commendation that they were laborers in the Lord.
The beloved Persis, too, “labored much in the Lord.”
These holy women were not idle disciples. There was a sphere of action in which they could with propriety move, and thus they became important “helpers" in promoting the great cause of salvation. They were not spectators, faultfinders, drones; they were among the most efficient laborers in the same cause in which the apostles were employed. They knew the
of the Lord, and were capable of instructing others, and of aiding them to enter and walk in the same highway of holiness,
*** Having noticed in the preceding pages certain specific and prominent females brought to view in the Holy Scriptures, it remains that we conclude our sketches with a brief analysis of two or three abstract characters alluded to on the inspired page.
The Frrtful Woman. . Such a woman is named in the sacred writings, and her description is nearly what follows.
She brawls. She opens her mouth wide, and her voice is harsh and shrill, and is heard afar, and passes without, and agitates the streets. It is a coarse voice, for it is a coarse and low mind that is roaring through it. When she performs, all the house rings again, from foundation to garret; so that, should the confounded husband attempt to seek refuge in the housetop, and in the corner thereof,—according to the suggestion of the wise man,-he would, by no means, escape the amazing sound.
She contends. It is true, woman should be slow to dispute ; and she, especially, should leave off contention before it be meddled with. Yet the fretful woman has never learned effectually this great lesson. She is contentious, and even against the one with whom a wise woman will scarcely ever dispute-her own husband. In her strife of words, she knows how to yield nothing, save all her attractiveness and power. She seems