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heaven, and everybody will see Him. Then you will see His hands that had the nails in them, and His side that was pierced, and you will hear Him say kind words to all that love Him.
Do you think you shall be like the
disciples, and be " glad” when you see the Lord ? Ask Him now to teach you to love and to please Him, and then you will be “glad" to see Him; and that gladness will last for ever.
LESSONS FOR JUNIOR CLASSES.
| through the Psalms we find the harp Revelation xviii. 22.
used as a sign of joy. “We hanged our
harps on the willows ;” “How can we My dear young friends, I am rejoiced to sing the Lord's song in a strange meet you all again on the first Sunday land?” (Ps. cxxxvii.) The hearts of the of a new year.
I am grateful to the Israelites were greatly troubled; so they Lord that He has spared us to follow up used not their harps. our good work. Our subject to-day will In 1 Chron. xxv. you read of six perbe about harps.
sons who prophesied with harps, and of The passage I have taken is the last others who took the timbrel and harp place where harps are mentioned. Can and rejoiced (Job xxi. 12). Then again you tell me where in the Bible the harp you read (Ps. viii. 2), “bring hither the is first named ? Read Gen. iv. 21. pleasant harp with the psaltery.” Isaiah
The ancient harp “was composed of also tells you (Isa. xxiv. 8) that “the a base, or hollow sounding belly, with joy of the harp ceaseth ;” and Ezekiel two branches raised on the sides of it, to
says “ the sound of the harp shall be which were fastened three, or six, or nine heard no more (Ezek. xxvi. 13). The strings, which when played on with the harp is also used as a signal for breakfingers or a bow-string made a very ing one of God's commandments: the agreeable sound.”
king Nebuchadnezzar made an image of Harps were used both in sacred and gold, and sent a herald round, who secular music. Read 2 Sam. vi. 5 and cried with a loud voice, “ To you it is Gen. xxxi. 37.
commanded, 0 people, nations, and David in the Psalms says the harp languages, that at what time ye hear shall be used to praise the Lord (Ps. the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, xxxiii. 2), " Praise the Lord with the sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all harp;" and again in Psalm xliii. 40, kinds of music, ye fall down and wor• Yea, on the harp will I praise Thee, O ship the golden image that Nebuchadmy God.”
nezzar the king hath set up." Harps are used in the Bible in con- What commandment was at that nection with both joy and sorrow. Can time broken ?-(The second.) Read you tell me the name of a king of Israel, Exod. xx. whose mind was in trouble, before whom We learned from the Bible at the the harp was played, to give him joy commencement of this lesson that Jubal and gladness ?-(Saul, the first king of was the father of those that handled the Israel.)
harp. Can you tell me who he was ? And who played on the harp before -Jubal was a descendant of Cain; his him? Was it not David, the son of father was Lamech, and his mother Jesse, who took care of his father's Adah (Gen. iv. 19). sheep, and who after Saul's death be- Is a harp ever mentioned in the came king of Israel ? Read 1 Sam. xvi. Gospels ?-No; it is not named in the 17-23.
Gospels, but in Corinthians and RevelaJob says " his harp was turned to
tion. From the many times St. John mourning” (Job xxx. 31); and all sees harps in heaven, we may consider
it a holy, sacred instrument; for the saints in heaven use the harp.
Though harps are not mentioned in the Gospels, we must not think that Jesus did not approve of music; for if we look at Matt. xxvi. 30 and Mark xiy. 26, we find “when they had sung a hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives.”
I may here mention that the word “hymn" is never mentioned in the Old Testament, and but four times in the New; the two we have named, and in Eph. v. 19, and Col. iii. 16.
The Greeks and the Romans, I may tell you, learned the use of the harp from Eastern nations. In the Bible the saints are likened to harpers, because with holy skill they praise the Lord for His goodness (Rev. V. 8 and xiv. 2). We must emulate their example, and praise God for all His goodness to us in this enlightened age.
M. R. P.
HONOUR TO GOD. “ Them that honour Me I will honour, and they that despise Me shall be lightly esteemed."-1 Sam. ii. 30. To whom does the word " them” refer in our text ?—(To all.) Quite right; then follow the words, “ that honour Me." Whom are we to honour then ? -(God.) Yes; and which of you can tell me what is meant by honouring God ?-(Keeping His commandments.) Right; and especially the third commandment. Who was it that set us the example of keeping God's commandments ?--(Jesus Christ.)
Yes; prove this from Scripture.—(John xv. 10.)
Now, suppose that you were in God's house, and that during worship you saw some boys and girls laughing and talking, and endeavouring by every means in their power to make those who were near them to forget they were in God's house and join in their wicked conduct, would that be honouring God? —(No.) What then would it be?(Dishonouring God.)
Quite right. Now will one of you please repeat a passage of Scripture, to
show how we should conduct ourselves in God's house.—(“God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about Him :" Ps. lxxxix. 7.)
Yes; and that means we are not to laugh and talk. Our language ought to be like king David, “How amiable are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts !
soul longeth, yea even fainteth, for the courts of the Lord,” etc. (Ps. lxxxiv. 1, 2).
What did our Saviour call the house of God ?—“My house is a house of prayer:” Luke xix. 46.)
There are many boys and girls who go to God's house, and, instead of praying to Him, laugh and talk, and so mock God instead of worshipping Him. When in God's house, it is not half attention we should give, but whole. If you were to ask an earthly friend to do you sonte great favour, you would ask very earnestly; and why should not your best Friend, your Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, have your first and best attention? God has a great deal more to give than we can ask Him for ; yes, far more than all our earthly friends can give or think of giving.
Which of you can repeat a passage of Scripture to show that we are to be justified or condemned, according to our words ?-("For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned :" Matt. xii. 37.)
Very good; now I want you to take notice in that sentence of the word “thy.” It does not say by the words of thy companion thou shalt be judged, but “ by thy words,” or by thy actions. Now please open your Bibles at 2 Cor. v. 10, and read; and now quote a passage of Scripture to show that Christians are expected to be as candlesticks or lights in the world (Matt. v. 16).
Do you remember the names of the three Hebrew young men mentioned in the Bible, who, rather than dishonour God, suffered themselves to be thrown into the burning fiery furnace ?—(Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.)
Can you name a young king mentioned in the Bible, noted for honouring
commit some fault against myself, I should hate and condemn the fault you had committed; but I should not cease to love you, and be kind to you, and do you all the good in my power.
Which of you can quote a passage of Scripture to show that God's love is always the same ?- (“I have loved thee with an everlasting love.")
Yes; and there is another that says, “ The mountains may depart, and the hills be removed; but My loving kindness shall not depart from thee." All that we can about God's love being everlasting is, that it has always been and will never have an end.
So long, then, as you, my dear little friends continue in sin and wickedness, so long will you be lightly esteemed ; but the instant you earnestly repent and ask God for forgiveness for Christ's sake, then will God highly esteem you. Oh, then, let me entreat you to endeavour to honour your best Friend, commit yourselves to His watchful care, trust Him, and He will never deceive you.
God, and who was like a good missionary ?—(Josiah.)
The next portion of our text says, “I will honour.” God not only honours the lives of those who serve Him in their early years, but honours them in death, and gives them crowns in heaven to wear that shall never fade away. Think of the precious crown of our beloved Queen, the sovereign of our dear native land, the land of Gospel light. But what is that crown compared with the crown which many millions are now doubtless wearing in heaven?
This crown is mentioned in the Bible by several names. Can you mention some of them ?--The crown of victory, the crown of life, the crown of righteousness, and the crown of glory.
The next part of our text says, “ And they that despise Me." What is meant by despising any one ?-(Showing dislike or scorn.) Yes; and only think what a fearful thing it must be to scorn our best Friend.
Now there are many ways by which we may despise or scorn Almighty God. We may do so by refusing to hear or read His holy book, the Bible, by not going to His house of prayer, by breaking the Sabbath, by ridiculing those who try to please God, by laughing at those who go to the Sundayschool ; and how many thousands there are who despise Him by rejecting His dearly beloved Son, Jesus Christ, who left His throne in heaven and came down upon earth and suffered so much, and bled and died for all who believe on Him.
Will one of you please give me a distinct prophecy that Jesus Christ should be despised ? — (Isa. liii. 3.) When the poor fishermen were sent by Christ to make His Gospel known, how did the people receive them ?-(They despised them.)
The last portion of our text says, "shall be lightly esteemed.”. What does this expression mean?—(To think very little of them.) Yes ; but we must try to understand that God does not cease to love us because we despise and scorn Him. To explain it in a simple manner to you: if one of you were to
PAUL AT ANTIOCH.
Acts xiii. PAUL and his companion, Barnabas,
on a preaching tour, and they came to Antioch in Pisidia. On the Sabbath morning they went into the synagogue and sat down. of you ever in a synagogue? I have been two or three times in one. In the body is a kind of raised platform, from which the ministers read the service and the law, in Hebrew of course. Only men sit in the body, and women in the gallery. They don't have their scriptures printed in the form of a book, as our Bible, but written on parchment, on two rollers, and they unroll just as much as they want to read. Every now and then one and another is called out of the congregation to read; and after the reading and service are all over a sermon is preached.
I. The fifteenth verse.
The two strangers, Paul and Barnabas, were soon noticed; and the rulers of the synagogue, who, like our churchwardens, superintended the affairs of the synagogue, invited them to address the congregation. Perhaps Paul was known, and they were curious to hear him preach. We may be quite sure Paul was very glad to have the opportunity of preaching Jesus to his Jewish brethren.
II. The sixteenth verse.
Paul stood up, and beckoned with his hand, his usual manner of commanding attention, and said, “Men of Israel ! " Although Paul was specially the “apostle of the Gentiles,” the Jews must first reject or put the Gospel away from them before he turns to the Gentiles.
“And ye that fear God;" Gentiles, probably proselytes who had given up idolatry, but were not really Israelites.
III. The seventeenth and two following verses.
In these verses Paul engages the attention of his Jewish hearers by reminding them how God had selected them to be His peculiar people, His chosen people; and how He had, by the hand of Moses, delivered their forefathers from Egyptian bondage, divided the Red Sea, drowned their enemies, borne with their murmurings against Him and Moses for forty years in the wilderness, and after dividing the river Jordan, had, by the hand of Joshua, given them possession of the promised land.” By thus going over the history of the Israelites, he showed his hearers that he, in common with them, believed the Scriptures.
Why, do you think, did not Paul begin at once to preach Jesus to his congregation ? In all probability they would not have listened to him ; but having first enlisted their sympathies by telling them what they were always pleased to hear, that they were God's “ chosen people,” he then began to tell them that the long-expected Messiah had come, that He, according to God's promise, was descended from David.
IV. The twenty-fourth and twentyfifth verses.
What John is spoken of here?-John the Baptist; he was sent to prepare the
coming of Jesus, as our ministers are now sent to prepare the way for Christ's second coming. How did John prepare the people for Jesus ?-By preaching, saying, I am not He that shall come, but there cometh One mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose. One day a Stranger came to John to be baptized. Though a distant relative, John does not seem to know Him ; and lo! while they were coming up out of the water the heavens opened, and they heard a voice saying, “ This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased ;' then John knew who it was he had been baptizing, for this was the promised sign by which he was to know the Messiah. Upon whomsoever thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.” And the very next day John proclaimed Jesus to be " the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world."
V. The twenty-sixth and three following verses.
Salvation is here offered to all who will accept it, whether Jew or Gentile.
Paul here preaches “Christ crucified." He does not accuse his hearers of crucifying Jesus, as Peter did on the day of Pentecost, because it was the Jews in Jerusalem who were guilty, and not these in Antioch. He shows how they had ignorantly fulfilled the Scriptures, and buried Him in the grave of Joseph of Arimathea, thinking and hoping that that was the end of the despised Nazarene.
VI. The thirtieth and seven following How many days was Jesus seen after His resurrection ?-Forty. Was He only seen by the apostles ?-Nay, but by five hundred brethren at once; therefore so many could not be deceived on that point, that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead.
The apostle declares that the promises of a Messiah have been all fulfilled in Jesus, and that His resurrection was the completion, or crowning point; and he quotes some of these promises from the Psalms.
VII. The thirty-eighth verse.
Paul now preaches what are the bene- what they have obtained by good confits to be derived from the death of duct and industry. I dare say when you Jesus. Tell me one.- :-(Forgiveness of see and hear all this, many of you wish sins.) Does Jesus then forgive sins that you too had a reward; and I hope while we are on earth ? Give me some that you will all strive for, and obtain texts to prove this.—Matt. ix. 6; John one during the present year. viii. 11; 1 John i. 9; and many more. But to-day I am going to speak to We read (Acts v. 31) that God hath ex- you of another reward—a lasting realted Him to be a Prince and a Saviour ward, a great reward, and a sure reward, for that very purpose, to give repentance which each of you may win if you really and forgiveness of sins.
wish it. Has He forgiven yours? if not, why Now take your Bibles, and see what not? Don't you think you need for- they say about this wonderful reward; giveness? Don't you sin every day of and let us find out who gives it, and how your lives? “ Ask, and ye shall receive." it can be obtained. It has long been Read, when you go home, the forty-first promised; old and young, rich and poor, Psalm ; and then if, from your heart, kings and beggars, Abraham and Moses, you pray that prayer, God will as surely who lived so long ago, and some whom forgive you as He forgave David.
we ourselves have known, have sought While Paul was preaching, many of it, obtained it, and now enjoy it. It is the Jews walked out of the synagogue ; both a present and a future reward, as but the Gentiles were anxious that Paul David knew (Ps. xix. 11; lviii. 11). should preach again. Accordingly, the [Explain here the happiness and advanfollowing Sabbath crowds came to hear tage of keeping God's commandments : him, especially of Gentiles.
1 Tim. iv. 8.] raised the envy of the Jews that Paul Earthly rewards can often only be and Barnabas were obliged to leave their won by a few, and may sometimes be coasts.
given to those who do not really deserve We have now seen how faithfully them; but He who gives this reward Paul preached that Gospel he once makes no mistakes. He judges accordlaboured to destroy; and though we are ing to every man's work; and all who not called upon to stand up and preach, seek such reward find it (see 1 Cor.iii. 8; yet may not we confess Christ before His Rev. xi. 18; Heb. xi. 6). Well indeed do enemies? Let us never be ashamed to His people know that'eternal life is His speak a word for Jesus; let us imitate gift (Rom. vi. 23), and that each one of Paul's boldness, and never be
them is but an unprofitable servant (Luke
xvii. 10); but yet their Master, in His " Ashamed of Jesus, of that Friend
free love and mercy, deigns as a loving On whom my hopes of heaven depend! No:when I blush, be this my shame,
Father to reward even His children's That I no more revere His name.
smallest service of love (Matt. x. 41, 42; ADA.
Prov. xxv. 22; Luke vi. 35).
Earthly rewards can also only gene
rally be obtained by pains and perseveTHE GREAT REWARD.
rance. The idle and careless have little
chance of them; and, dear children, if I want to speak to you to-day, dear you would win this bright reward, it children, about rewards. You know must be by patient continuance in wellhow often, at the end of the year, the doing (Rom. ii. 6, 7). And oh, if men schools meet to see the rewards given will even risk life itself for earthly glory; to those who have deserved them. You if they will give up home and friends to hear their names called; you see them win rewards which, after all, can only last return to their seats with the books in for a time (illustrate by examples known their hands; and you imagine how joy- to children], is not this great reward fully they will carry them home, and worth striving for? It was the hope of how pleased their parents will be to see this which gave Moses strength to leave