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The track of the Bible down through the ages and abroad through the earth, has been luminous and replete with saving health.
When we send missionaries to heathen countries, we arm them with that wondrous book ; and just in proportion as they are able to make the people understand it, they succeed in their mission. Accordingly they teach it, and preach it, and live it; and by their living sacrifice, thus raise the poor heathen up to a perception of its splendid truths. The Christians of this country send out one million and a half of Bibles in all languages, yearly, to all quarters of the globe ; and they desire above all things that all may be taught to read it, and that all who can read may be supplied each with a copy of the Holy Scriptures. It is something gained to get the Book of God into a man's hand. There is, however, a great distance between the hand and the heart-an infinite distance, that may possibly never be got over. But once a man begins to read the book which he holds in his hand, there is hope that the truth will fly to the understanding, the conscience, the undying soul, with its transforming efficacy, and will make of the most ignorant heathens living witnesses of God and His Christ.
C. M. C.
(To be continued.)
THE RIGHT SIDE OF FIFTY. The Rev. Mr. Venn, while on his way one Sabbath morning to meet an appointment for preaching, fell in with a brother clergyman who was on a similar errand, but in somewhat different spirit. Various topics of discourse came up, but those of a spiritual charac were by no means to the taste of the stranger. He made observations on various objects that engaged his attention, and among other things began to speak of their respective ages. Looking in Mr. Venn's face, he said, “Sir, I think you are on the wrong side of fifty.”
“On the wrong side of fifty!” said Mr. Venn; “no, sir, I am on the right side of fifty."
“Surely,” said the other, "you must be turned of fifty."
“Yes, sir; but I am on the right side of fifty, for I am nearer my crown of glory.”
This unexpected explanation put an end to further conversation.
THE GARDEN OF AGONY.
south, at the distance of eight or ten rods beyond
of Gethsemane. The ground begins to rise here, and we stand at the western foot of Olivet. It is the spot above every other which the visitor must be anxious to see. It is the one which I sought out before any other, on my arrival at Jerusalem, and the one of which I took my last formal view on the morning of my departure. The tradition which places the agony and betrayal of the Saviour here, has a great amount of evidence in its support. Eusebius, bishop of Cæsarea, who lived almost early enough to have taken by the hand some aged Christian who had seen the companions of the apostles, speaks of the garden as well known; and Jerome, about fifty years later, repeats the same testimony, and describes the situation of the spot in accordance with the present locality. There is no proof that the tradition has ever wavered. The indications in the New Testament favour entirely the same view. When it is said that “ Jesus went forth with His disciples beyond the brook Kedron, where was garden” (John xviii. 1), it is implied that He did not go far up the Mount of Olives, but reached the place which He had in view soon after crossing the bed of that stream. The garden is named in that passage with reference to the brook, and not the mountain.
The space enclosed as Gethsemane contains about onethird of an acre, and is surrounded by a low wall, covered with white stucco. It is entered by a gate, kept under lock and key, under the control of one of the convents at Jerusalem. The eight olive-trees here are evidently very aged; most of them, though they are still verdant and productive, are so decayed, that heaps of stones have been piled up against their trunks, to keep them from being blown down by the wind. Trees of this class are remarkably long-lived, and it is not impossible that those now here may have sprung from the roots of those which grew there in the days of Christ. Other olive-trees, apparently quite as old, occur just beyond the limits of the enclosure. It may be allowed that the original garden may have been more or less extensive than the present site, or have stood a few rods farther to the north or the south; but far, certainly, from that spot it need not be supposed to have been. We may sit down there, and read the affecting narrative of what the Saviour endured for our redemption, and feel assured that we are near the place where He prayed, “ saying, Father, '
not My will, but Thine be done;" and where, “ being in an agony, He sweat as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
“He bows beneath the sins of men :
In sad Gethsemane ;
'My Father, can this cup remove?'
Lisad Gethsemane ;
In sad Gethsemane ;
The garden has a reservoir, which supplies water for moistening the ground, and cultivating a few flowers. A series of rude pictures may be seen on the interior face of the wall, representing different scenes in the history of Christ's passion, such as the scourging, the mockery of the soldiers, the sinking beneath the cross, and the like. As I sat beneath the olives, and observed how very near the city was, with what perfect ease a person there could survey at a glance the entire length of the eastern wall, and the slope of the hill towards the valley, I could not divest myself of the impression that this local peculiarity should be allowed to explain a passage in the account of the Saviour's apprehension. Every one must have noticed something abrupt in His summons to the disciplesArise, let us be going ; see, he is at hand that doth betray
(Matthew xxvi. 46). It is not improbable that His watchful eye at that moment caught sight of Judas and his accomplices, as they issued from one of the eastern gates, or turned round the northern or southern corner of the walls, in order to descend into the valley. Even if the night was dark, He could have seen the torches which they carried, and could have felt no uncertainty respecting the object of such a movement at that unseasonable hour. This view is not necessary to the explanation of the passage, but it is a natural one, and supplies a connexion between the language and the external circumstances, which aug. ments exceedingly the graphic power of the narrative.
As I was passing near Gethsemane one day, I saw, at a little distance, a shepherd engaged in shearing one of his flock. The animal lay stretched before him on the ground, submitting, without resistance or complaint, to the operation which he was performing. It seemed as if every movement of the shears would lacerate the flesh; the feet were bound; the man's knees were pressed rudely against the sides of the helpless captive. This posture, so irksome, had to be endured for a considerable time before the ample fleece was removed. Yet, during it all, it was wonderful to observe how patient the creature remained ; it struggled not, opened not its mouth. Under ordinary circumstances the incident might not have attracted my attention ; but, being seen in such a place, it spoke to my heart with touching power. How could I forget the prophet's use of that emblem, in describing the spirit of unstirinking submission to appointed suffering, which was to distinguish the Saviour of men, and of which He gave such matchless proof in the agony of the garden! Isaiah (liii. 7) said, with reference to that trait of His character, “ He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.”. Hackett.
OUTLINES OF SABBATH SCHOOL LESSONS.
LIFE OF CHRIST. 1.-JERUSALEM-AT THE POOL OF BETHESDA. TAE MIRACLE AT THE Pool.-(John v. 1-9.) The Jews ACCUSING Christ.—(John v. 10–16.) The Father's WORK GIVEN TO THE SON.-(John v. 17—30.)
II.-NIGH JERUSALEM-CHRIST AND THE JEWS. CHRIST’S WITNESS.—(John v. 31–38.) WARNING OF THE SCRIPTURES.—(John v. 39-47) DISPUTE CONCERNING THE SABBATH.—(Matt. xii. 1-8;
Mark ii. 23–28; Luke vi. 1-5.
III.- FROM JERUSALEM-LAKE OF GENNESARET. HEALING ONE WITH A WITHERED HAND.—(Matt. xii. 9–14;
Mark iii. 1-6; Luke vi. 6–11) HEALING AND TEACHING BY THE SEA.-(Matt. xii. 15–21;
Mark iii. 7-12.) CHOOSING AND SENDING THE APOSTLES.-(Matt. x. 2-4;
Mark iii. 13–19; Luke vi. 12–16.)
IV.-IN CAPERNAUM AND NAIN. THE CENTURION AND HIS SERVANT.—(Matt. viii. 5–13;
Luke vii. 1-10.) Raising the Widow's Son.-(Luke vii. 11-16.) CHRIST'S REPLY TO John THE BAPTIST'S MESSAGE.
(Matt. X. 2–6; Luke vii. 17-23.)
UNBELIEF. How deeply rooted must unbelief be in our hearts, when we are surprised to find our prayers answered—instead of being sure that they will be so, if they are only off-red up in faith, and are in accord with the will of God.-Hare.