« PreviousContinue »
which was 2
1 But when the Phår'i-sees, when they 34.
heard that he had put the Săd'ducees to silence, they were gathered themselves together. 35. And one of them,
a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36. Master, which is the great commandment in the law ?
Jesus 37. And he
said unto him, 3 Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38. This is the great and heat commandment. second is like
4 Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40. 5 On these two commandments hangers the thhole law, and the prophets.
4 Lev. 19: 18 ; Matt. 19: 19; Mark 12 : 31; 3 Deut. 6:5; Luke 10: 27.
5 Matt. 7 : 12 ; 1 Tim. 1: 5.
unto it, unto it is this,
I Mark 12 : 28. 2 Luke 1o: 25.
Luke 10 : 27
On the other hand any denial of the fact of the resurrection, or any attempt to discredit the Scripture law referred to, would give the Pharisees another reason for putting Jesus out
of the way
THE ANSWER was complete and convincing. The absurdity was a mere invention of the Sadducees, a false inference; while the Scripture really taught the truth of the resurrection and the life.
THE GREAT TRUTH brought into prominence, and made clearer, was the reality of life beyond the grave, its spiritual nature, and the continuity of that life and the life here.
III. A Question of Conflicting Duties. – Vs. 34-40. THE QUESTION. 35. A lawyer, a scribe, a student and teacher of the law, asked, Master, which is the great Commandment of the Law ? Tempting him, testing him to see what kind of an answer the wise teacher would give to one of the stock questions which divided the Jewish teachers into rival schools, for he realized that Jesus had answered wisely the Sadducee's question (Mark).
36. Which is the great commandment in the law ? Which, in the Greek, is not the common relative pronoun; but, “ what kind of," " what by nature, by its decisive and noble quality," is the great commandment, the one that stands first in importance? Is it a ceremonial, or a moral precept? Is it a duty to God, or to man?
THE ANSWER. 37. Jesus said unto him, quoting, with the addition, reported by Mark, from Deut. 6:4, 5, the very words which "every devout Jew recited twice every day; and the Jews do it to this day,” and which they inscribed on the parchment enclosed in their phylacteries, and wore on their foreheads and arms during prayer.
Jesus began his answer by stating the great fact that the Lord our God the Lord is one. This describes and designates the God we are to love supremely. Jehovah, the God of Israel, is the one absolute, self-existent, eternal God, and he alone. He is the Creator, Ruler, Preserver, Guide, Saviour, Father, Source of all good. One of the best services science has done for religion is the completeness of the proof that there is but one God, by proving the unity of material, of force, of government throughout the known universe. The unity of moral law is another unassailable proof.
No Unitarian can insist upon the absolute unity of God with more earnestness and emphasis than do the Trinitarians. We believe in ONE God and only one.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God. Love is an all-inclusive affection, embracing not only every other affection proper to its object, but all that is proper to be done to its object; for as love spontaneously seeks to please its object, so, in the case of men to God, it is the native wellspring of a voluntary obedience. Such love can go out only toward a person. It is the tenderest, the most unselfish, the most divine, of all affections. Such, then, is the affection in which the essence of the divine law is declared to consist. With, or from, all thy heart, the general word for the inner man. It is the seat of the desires, passions, affections, emotions. With all thy soul. The life principle, the center of will and personality. With all thy mind. It is to be an intelligent love, from free choice under the direction of the reason and the judgment. Mark adds from Deuteronomy, with all thy might, “representing the outgoings and energies of all the powers.
38. This is the first and great commandment. It is the sum of the first table of the law. It stands supremely first. It is the fountain and source of all virtue.
the Phår'i-sees were gathered together, Jesus asked them: & question, 42. Saying. What think of
Christ? whose son is he? saying,
They say unto him, The son of David. 43. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit
call him Lord, saying, 44. 2 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till
I make thine enemies
thy footstool ? 45. If David then him Lord, how is he his son ?
46. 3 And no was able to answer him a word, 4 neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questiones.
underneath thy feet!
1 Mark 12 : 35; Luke 20: 41.
3 Luke 14: 6.
REASONS FOR LOVING GOD SUPREMELY. (1) He is supremely good; he is the sum of all good. He that loves God loves all that is good, and hates all that is evil. (2) He is not only good, but lovable. His goodness is attractive; it is worthy of love. (3) All we have and are we owe to him; and the only way in which we can make any return is to love him and obey him in love. That is all that is ours to give; to withhold it is unutter. ably mean. (4) “ The best thing in man is love, and God wants the best." (5) Such love not only honors God, but elevates man. Love is the most ennobling act of the soul; and the nobler and higher the object and the more intense the love, so much the more is the one who thus loves ennobled, purified, enlarged, exalted in nature. (6) In him are found all that ought to move the highest affections of men.
The second, better as R.V., “a second like unto it is ” Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. That is the measure of our love to our neighbor, and expresses the kind and quality of our love as expressed in action.
This love is the principle in the heart from which flows the Golden Rule in practice, “ Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to
(Matt. 7: 12). Note (1) that the religious side must come first, as the inspiration to perform our duties toward man. Love to God our Father will necessarily lead to love to our fellow men, his children.
Note (2) when our hearts are filled with love to God and man, then they are no longer restraints, but guides as to the way our love should express itself. They are like fences by the roadside, showing us the way to go. We obey them as freely as the bird sings. They are as natural to us as breathing.
in v. 34•
Joy is duty,' - so with golden lore
“But one bright peak still rises far above, The Hebrew rabbis taught in days of yore,
And there the Master stands whose name is Love,
Life is divine when duty is a joy.'" IV. Jesus Asks the Pharisees a Question Concerning the Messiah. - Vs. 4146. By this question brings out the truth in such a way as should be a forcible argument in favor of their receiving him as their Messiah.
THE QUESTION. What think ye of (the) Christ? Whose Son is he? 41. The Pharisees were gathered together, to consult what course to take next, as Then Jesus asked them his question concerning their idea of their promised Messiah.
They answered The son of David. This was the truth but not the whole truth. To bring this out Jesus asked again 43. How then doth David in spirit. Mark says, Ву the Holy Ghost," by inspiration of God. Call him Lord, quoting from Psa. 110: 1. “This psalm is oftener quoted in the New Testament as Messianic than is any other portion of the Old Testament."
44. Saying, the Lord (Jehovah in the Hebrew) said unto my Lord, “to my sovereign Lord, the Messiah, the son of David." Sit thou on my right hand, as my co-regent. This verse is quoted in 1 Cor. 15: 25; Heb. 1: 13; 10: 12, 13, as applying to the Messiah, as was the universal Jewish opinion.
45. If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? There was only one answer: that in his human nature he was David's son, but as the Son of God he was his Lord. The Messiah was both. Jesus was both. Therefore Jesus was the Messiah.
ILLUSTRATION. The Sunday School Times gives the following good story from Berlin to illustrate this. At a gathering there, not long ago, a pompous colonel met a young officer unknown to him, “whose only decoration was a large medallion set in brilliants."
The colonel asked, rather scornfully, “ Lieutenant, what is that concern you have on?” “An order, Colonel," said the young man modestly. “ An order! Not a Prussian one. I know of no such," retorted the colonel. “An English order, Colonel,” said the young man mildly. “ And who in the world gave it to you? “My grandmother," the young man said, with a twinkle in his blue eyes.
The old colonel began to think the young man was making game of him the story adds, and so he inquired, with no manifestation of respect, surely, “ And who may your grandmother be?" To his utter astonishment and dismay, the answer quietly came, “ Queen Victoria of England.”
That was designation sufficient. It was an identification that needed no explanation or comment.
When the Saviour asked the assembled Pharisees, “What think ye of the Christ? whose son is he ?” they did well to reply, “ The son of David.” But grander and better was the identification when the disciples were asked, “ But who say ye that I am ?” and the answer was given, “ The son of the living God.”
LESSON XIII. - September 25.
TEMPERANCE LESSON. - Galatians 5: 15-26.
COMMIT vs. 22, 23. GOLDEN TEXT. - If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Gal. 5: 25.
15. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that be not consumed one of another.
say, then, 1 Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other ;
cannot do the things that ye would.
18. But if ye be led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
3 80 that ye may not
* V. 25; Rom. 6 : 12.
2 Rom. 7 : 23:
3 Rom. 7: 15.
4 Rom. 6: 14.
In the First Quarter of this year our Temperance Lesson was on the Golden
Rule. Taking, as the basis of our method, Spurgeon's story of the escape of the Golden Rule from the walls of the church into the business houses of the city, we studied some of the AdvenTURES OF THE GOLDEN Rule in its pursuit of Temperance.
To-day we will continue these Adventures, in the hope that every boy and girl will be a Golden Rule Hero, in this warfare against Intemperance, always standing up for the right.
Thus they will be prepared to utter the “ Everlasting NO against intemperance and " the Everlasting YES "on the side of God and righteousness and temperance; and take the pledge as Hamilcar in olden story made his son Hannibal take the oath against the Romans.
First. The Adventure with Apollyon the great Dragon that fought against Bun. yan’s Pilgrim, in order to prevent him from reaching the Holy City which symbolized a heavenly character, a heaven of eternal life, an earth transformed into heaven.
APOLLYON. In the lesson appointed for to-day we have a characterization of Apollyon, “the foul fiend,” “ a monster hideous to behold, clothed with scales, with wings like a
forewarn you, even
; Adultery, 19. Now 1 the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness.
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, a heresies, 20.
idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, 21.
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like : of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that ? they which such
practise things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22. But 3 the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, 4 gentleness, 5 5 goodness,
faithfulness, 23. meekness: temperance : ? against such there is no law. 24. And they that are of Christ Jesus
have crucified the flesh with the and lusts
1 Cor. 3: 3; Eph. 5: 3.
4 Col. 3: 12.
1 1 Tim. 1:9.
dragon, feet like a bear, and a mouth like a lion,” amid fire and smoke throwing “ flaming darts as thick as hail.”
These are his works: Adultery,
And such like.
Of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal. 5: 19–21).
Now it is well known that Intemperance fosters all these evils, incites to them, is their co-partner.
THE GOLDEN RULE is not only described by the Beatitudes, the Sermon on the Mount, the Ten Commandments, the picture of heaven in the last two chapters of Revelation, and in the character of Jesus; but its features are given in detail in the following verses of the lesson:
But the fruit of the Spirit is
Against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (Gal. 5: 22-24).
Now between these there is eternal warfare.
READ in concert Eph. 6: 10–18. JOHN L. SULLIVAN'S ADVICE. “Some years ago, in an article in the New York Journal, John L. Sullivan said: 'Remember, young man, that if you couldn't lick John L. Sullivan, you can't lick the thing that is stronger than he is. Leave whisky alone.' Sullivan was not the kind of man from whom one expects moral teaching, but when the great fighter admits that whisky defeated him and took him into captivity, he becomes an object-lesson for every young man." - Rev. Herbert E. Thomas, Moncton, N. B.
“He who can guard 'gainst the low baits of sense,
Will find Temptation's arrows hurtless strike
1 If we live in the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also walk. 26. ? Let us not be desirous of vainglory, provoking one another, envying one another.
IV. 16; Rom. 8 : 4, 5.
2 Phil. 2: 3
Second Adventure. With the Newspapers and Reporters. The Golden Rule, that is the spirit which wants to do to others as we would have them do to us, the spirit that will make sacrifices in order to know how to help others - enlisted the newspapers and the reporters on its side.
A TEMPERANCE USE OF THE NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES. We find in that wide awake and most suggestive magazine The Sunday School Executive (Elgin, Ill.) the following interesting methods:
“ There can be no inspiration without information. Hence the teacher and class should be constantly collecting temperance material. A month before the temperance lesson she should be directed to say to her class, ' I want you all to clip from the daily papers every article of news concerning the effect of the saloon or drink. Paste these on a strip of cloth, and we will see who has the longest strip on Temperance Sunday.'
“The superintendent can draw on a long width of muslin a series of doors, writing on each door the name of the organization that is closed to the users of cigarettes. The following was compiled by Mrs. Z. F. Stevens: • Athletic clubs, business colleges, Union Pacific Railroad, Omaha schools, Swift's Packing Co., Marshall Field, life insurance companies, Lehigh Valley Railroad, United States Army, United States Navy, Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co., C., R. I. & P. R. Ř., Central R. R., Ayers' Sarsaparilla Co., Wanamaker's, Western Union Telegraph Co.,' etc.”
AN EXERCISE IN “ EXHIBITS.” “ In the New Century Teacher for November, 1908, was an article entitled " Their Exhibits.' It told how a teacher asked her scholars to look about during the week for proofs of the evils wrought by the liquor habit. There were some rather unique exhibits': one boy brought his bicycle tire that had been cut by a drunken man; others told stories of what they had seen.
“ This same plan could be utilized for a general exercise on Temperance Sunday. For a first attempt, special arrangements would probably have to be made with individuals or with teachers in order to insure definite reports or exhibits.' To carry the plan to perfection, the superintendent or a committee should confer with those who are to furnish the object lessons, and see that they are ready to go to the platform and able to do their part clearly and completely, see that they are fully provided with materials, and that suitable arrangement of the platform is made. A question or two by the superintendent may be effective in bringing out the point to be emphasized.
“Our Sunday school worked hard to secure the enforcement, by election, of the local option law in our town and county, and Temperance Day each quarter was devoted largely to formulating practical plans. After election, which resulted in the driving out of the saloons, it was necessary to change our Temperance Day program, but we follow the same practical plan.
“ Plans for Temperance Day are made at least two weeks in advance. The work is in charge of a special committee appointed by the superintendent. A few of the special features of one Temperance Day's program, after our town went dry,' were the following:
“ One scholar read a paper in which a list of new stores and places of business established in the places occupied by the saloons was given.
“ Another gave facts and figures showing the increase in the population of the town, particularly of new people who had been attracted to the place through its having no saloons.
“ Another read a splendid paper, carefully prepared, showing the increased expenditure on the part of laborers and workingmen for house furnishings and comforts for the home, with money that had formerly been spent for liquor.
“ Still another pictured the general improvement of the town in a civic way, both in law and order, the falling off of business of the police court, and the betterment of homes, yards, and streets.
“ An attractive feature of the day was the display of enlarged photographs of the corners and sections of business blocks that had been improved by the driving out of the saloons." - Hubert H. Henderson.
Third. The Adventure with the Presidents of the United States. Twentythree hundred years ago, the question arose whether the Athenians should grant Demos