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fully contrasts the righteous with the wicked, and sets the Lord above them both.
But turn to Psalm xxiii., and see the difference. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want,” &c. Throughout, it is the breathing of a devout soul of his confidence and his portion in Jehovah. But how out of place for an unconverted man, woman, or child, to use such words. The
copy of a text once given out to a school to be committed to memory now lies before me. It is, “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake."
I might also refer to some of the hymns used in the Sunday school as most inappropriate and untrue, as the utterance of unconverted youths. I suppose many of us have been shocked by hearing thoughtless children singing in their play
“I can believe, I do believe,
That Jesus died for me," &c. Happily the refrain has been worn threadbare, and is now generally laid aside. But thousands
. were taught to sing this in their Sunday schools.
What effect can all this have on the children except to lead them to think that they are almost Christians, if not quite ? I am aware that some of my fellow-workers think that they are in the parents' place, and they would quote Ephesians vi. Ā, which exhorts parents to bring up their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” I never could see how children could be brought up by anything that could bear upon them for two hours per week, while their parents were bringing them up after quite another fashion, during the other 166 hours.
God can, of course, bless what they hear in the Sunday school, and convert them; but this
is quite another thing from the teachers bringing
I doubt not that those teachers who think they take the parents' place, believe that the scholars need to be converted, and the gospel of God's grace is the appointed means for this, though God can, of course, use any other part of His word. I would exhort them, therefore, to let the gospel have free course in our Sunday schools, rather than the attempt to educate the scholars, though that education may be what is called christian. When the children are Christians, then their christian education, properly speaking, begins.
THE LIGHT OF THE GOLDEN CANDLE
STICK. Question-Did the lamps of the golden candlestick burn night and day? Exodus xxvii. 20 says the lamps should burn always ;' but chapter xxx. 8 says, "When Aaron lighteth the lamps at
“ even :" and Leviticus directs Aaron to order the lamps “from the evening unto the morning.' ” These latter passages seem to imply that the lamps burnt in the night only; how then is the “always” of Exodus xxvii. 20 to be understood ? X.
It is a very common thought that the lamps in the tabernacle burned night and day, but we think if all the passages that speak of it are collected together it will be seen that they burnt only in the night. Thus in Exodus xxx. we read of Aaron dressing the lamps every morning, and lighting them at even. Instead of “lighting,” the margin reads “causeth to ascend,” or “setteth up.”
The same word is not used for “ lighting” and dressing." "If the lamps were alight perpetually, the dressing only would be needed. That the word used for “ lighting" signifies “igniting,” and not causing to ascend by fresh oil or trimming, is evident from Exodus xxv. 37, where after speaking of how the candlestick was to be made, it says, 66 and thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof, and they shall light the seven lamps thereof." The same word is also used in Exodus xl. 4, 25, where nothing but igniting can be the meaning,
In the days of Samuel it was doubtless the same, for we read in 1 Samuel iii. 3, that God spoke to Samuel “ere the lamp of God went out,” which would be early in the morning.
The lamps were burning while the light of the sun was absent. Now it is all night (Rom. xiii. 12), and we need the light of heaven perpetually.
"O MADMEN." MR. EDITOR,
Will you please explain the meaning of “O Madmen," in Jeremiah xlviii. 2? I see Cruden places it under the same heading as “hare I need of mad men,” in 1 Samuel xxi. 15; but if the meaning is the same, why is the word madmen printed with a capital M° in Jeremiah ? and who are the madmen ?
PHILO. The word in the original is quite different in the two places. In Samuel it signifies raving,"
“one who raves,” as we say of a madman : but in Jeremiah 'the word is not
; translated at all; it is simply turned into English. Without the points it is MDMN; and with the vowel points, it is “Madmen.” There can be no doubt, therefore, that it is the name of some place in Moab; but as it is not named elsewhere, it cannot be identified. It should have been placed by Cruden among the proper names.
FAINT NO T.
“Be not weary in well-doing, for in due season ye shall reap if
ye faint not.”
And as yet hast little seen.
Of the Saviour's cross and shame
And they now His love may claim.
On to good ground may it fall;
It at last will hear the call.
Oft felt faint and weary here;
Pity for them drew His tears.
Thou art call’d to do the same;
'Twill bring glory to His name.
Precious seed which thou hast sown :
In thy loving Saviour's crown.
Telling all thy griefs to Him :
Help from Him these souls to win. E. R.
NOTES ON SCRIPTURE.
MATTHEW xxiv. 29.
VERSES 29-30. Immediately after the tribulation there will be great signs in heaven-those high in power shall be brought down and destroyed-and there shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven : then shall the tribes of the earth mourn, and the Son of man come to the earth in great glory. It will be seen that this refers rather to the second question of the disciples, “What shall be the sign of thy coming ?”
This, as we have seen, is not when Christ comes for His saints—for which there is to be no sign; but when He comes to the earth, causing all to mourn at the sight of Him.
Verses 31-35. Verse 31 shews that God will gather together His elect, which refers here to Israel, as in verse 22. Compare Revelation vii., where the angels are not allowed to hurt the earth until the 144,000 of Israel are sealed ; Israel are to be gathered both for judgment and for blessing.
Respecting things on the earth there will be signs for those who have eyes to see them, even as the time of summer is known by the putting forth of leaves. Verse 34 says, “this generation shall not pass
, away until all these things be fulfilled.” The word
generation” has caused many to try and apply the prophecy to the destruction of Jerusalem ; but it says," all these things," and surely the Son of man has not yet been seen returning in the clouds of heaven in great power and great glory. The word “generation” must therefore not be taken as a mere lifetime, but as a race—the race of unbeliev