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with forgiving sins ? If Christ's words had power in the one case, they would in the other also.—VERSE 8. Why did not the multitude glorify Christ instead of God? Because they had heard of miracles before, and had been taught that God was really the author of them. They had not yet learnt that Christ was God as well as man.
IMPROVEMENT. 1, Picture the whole scene before your class : 2, Dwell upon the universal power of Christ. He heals both the body and the soul : 3, Notice the duty of praising God in our hearts, or glorifying him whenever we see his power.
Afternoon Reading, Gen. xii.
Afternoon Lesson, Matt. ix. 9—13.
NOTES ON THE LESSON.
Verse 9. Wher.ce did Jesus pass ? Verse 1. What Matthew was this ? The Evangelist. What name do Mark aud Luke give him ? Mark ii. 14. Luke v. 27. What is meant by the receipt of custom? The place where the publicans took the taxes from the people. Why did Matthew obey so promptly ? He could not resist Christ's authority.- VERSE 10. In whose house ? Mark ii. 15. What is meant here by sinners? Men noted as sinners: offenders against the law.Verse 11. Were the pharisees letter men than the publicans and sinners ? They were perhaps more decent outwardly, but were equally sinful in the sight of God. How does God judge then? By the heart. 1 Thess. ii. 4.-Verse 12. What is meant by whole ? Well, or in good health. What did Christ wish them to understand by this ? That the good did not need a Saviour, but the wicked.Verse 13. What prophecy did Christ refer to ? Hosea vi. 6. Did Christ mean that any were righteous ? No. Rom. iii. 10. But he said this to reprove the pharisees who thought themselves so. Luke xviii. 9.
IMPROVEMENT. Notice Christ's condescension-the guilt of all in the sight of God—the folly of cherishing a proud pharisaical spiritthe joy which Christ's announcement of himself as the Saviour of sinners ought to produce in us. 1 Tim. i. 15.
Morning Lesson, Matt. ix. 14-17.
NOTES ON THE LESSON.
VERSE 14. How often were the Jew's commanded to fast? Zech. viii. 19. How often did the pharisees fast ? Luke xviii. 12. Why did they fast so often ? Matt. vi. 16. Do any other of the evangelists relate this ? Mark ü. 18. Luke v. 33.- VERSE 15. Why does Jesus use the word " mourn ?" Because a day of fasting was a day of abstinence and mourning. What did Christ intend by this illustration ? That it is unnatural for those who in reality rejoice, to put on the appearance of mourning.–Verse 16. What did he intend by this second illustration? That the spiritual doctrines of his kingdom could not be joined with the old rites of the pharisees.Verse 17. Of what were the bottles used among the Jews made? Of the skins of beasts. What does this illustration mean? when new wine is put into old bottles, both the wine runs out and the bottles are broken; so when the spiritual doctrines of Christ are mixed with the old rites of the Jews, the former lose their spirituality, and the latter become unmeaning.
IMPROVEMENT. Dwell upon the spirituality of the doctrines which Christ published, and the necessity of regarding all outward acts of devotion as means to an end.
Afternoon Reading, Gen. xiii.
Afternoon Lesson, Matt. ix. 18—26.
NOTES ON THE LESSON.
say this ?
Verse 18. Who was the Ruler ? Mark v. 22. How old was the daughter ? Luke viii. 42. What does the ruler mean by saying “ she is even now dead ?” She was so ill that she must be, by this time, dead. Why should the ruler beseech him to lay his hands upon her? It was customary for the Jewish prophets to lay their hands on the persons on whom they conferred favours. 2 Kings v. 11.VERSE 19. Did many follow Christ ? Mark v. 24.-Verse 20. Where was Christ at this time ? On the way to the house of Jairus. Had any command been given respecting the hem of the garment ? Num. xv. 38–40.-VERSE 21. From what feeling did the woman
From faith in Christ.–Verse 22. What other circumstances did the other evangelists relate ? Mark v. 30–33. Luke vii. 45-47.-VERSE 23. Why did the minstrels and the people make a noise ? They were hired to wail and increase the grief. 2 Chron. xxxv. 25.—Verse 24. Was she dead? Yes. Why then did Christ say, “ she is not dead ?" To teach that there is life even when dead -the soul still lives. John xi. 11.-VERSE 25. Who were with him at the time ? Luke viii. 51. What command followed? Luke viii. 55.-Verse 26. Did he perform these miracles for the sake of fame? No.
IMPROVEMent. Dwell upon, 1, The power of Christ in raising up the dead : And 2, His kindness and grace to all who were in distress : 3, The imperishable nature of the soul.
NOTES ON THE LESSON.
Verse 27. From what place ? From the house of Jairus. What prophecy was there that Christ should be of the family of David ? Is. xi. 1. Jer. xxiii.5. What did they mean by saying, “have mercy upon us ?” Show mercy to us by giving us our sight.—VERSE 28. Could Christ open the eyes of the blind ? Matt. xix. 26. Why did they believe that he could do this? Because probably they had heard of Christ's having even raised the dead to life.-Verse 29. Is there any other instance of Christ's having touched the eyes of the blind? Matt. xx. 34. How did they show their faith? By calling upon him to do what man could not do.-Verse 30. Why did Christ charge them not to tell any man?
Matt. xii. 16–19. Isaiah xlii. 2.-VERSE 31. Why did they spread abroad his fame? Because they were grateful to Christ for having restored their sight-and because they were anxious that others should also be healed by him.
IMPROVEMENT. Dwell upon the necessity of faith to obtain blessings from Christ, and of gratitude for every blessing received.
Afternoon Reading, Gen. xiv. Afternoon Subject, The Bible our only sure
guide in matters of religion.
CONVERSATION ON THE SUBJECT.
Why do you come to the Sabbath school? That I may be taught in the scriptures. What makes you value the scriptures so much ? Because they are divine. Do you mean by this answer that the scriptures speak to us in the name God? Yes: they reveal his will, and contain truth only. But were not the scriptures written by men ? Yes. How then are they divine ? God taught those who wrote them, what to write. How did God do this ? By his Spirit which moved them when they wrote. What part of scripture says so ? Many parts. Mention some and read them to me. 2 Tim. iii. 16, 17. 2 Pet. i. 19-21. Rom. xv. 4. 1 Cor. x. 11. Acts xxviii. 25. Heb. iii. 7; ix. 8; X. 15. Rom. xi. 1. 2 Peter iii. 2.
[The teacher should study these and other passages, and show how they bear upon the subject.] Then we are to consider the Bible as the word of God? Yes. And if so, must it not be taken as our only guide in all our religious concerns ? Certainly: it cannot guide us wrong. But do you not think that some things may have been omitted which nevertheless may be important ? No: for we are sure that if God is kind enough to teach us by his word, he will teach us thoroughly. “As for God his way is perfect.” Ps. xviii. 30. Then
suppose some other religious book claims to be true, how do you decide whether it is ? By comparing it with the Bible. Have you any scripture precept requiring you to do this ? Yes. Isaiah viii. 20. And suppose some person tells you that you ought to do this and to do that in religion, or to believe this and that, how do you act ? pare what he says with the scriptures, and if what he says agrees with scripture I feel bound to do and believe as he says : if not, I reject what he says. Well, we leave this subject at present, and shall follow it another time.
IMPROVEMENT. Dwell upon the goodness of God in becoming our teacher, and the importance of being “ doers” as well as “hearers” of his word.
NOTES ON THE LESSON.
VERSE 32. To whom did they bring the dumb man ? Was he afflicted in any other way? Yes, he was possessed with a devil. Why was he brought to Christ? His great power and compassion spread abroad his fame. Matt. viii. 16, 17. Mark i. 32, 33.VERSE 33. Was the power of Christ exercised upon this evil spirit ? We are told the devil was cast out and the dumb spake. Most likely the first words of the dumb man would be words of gratitude to him who had loosed his tongue. What did the multitudes think of this wonderful cure? They marvelled or wondered greatly. In what words did they express their astonishment ? “ It was never so seen in Israel.” They had never seen an evil spirit cast out by the Saviour, and thought that such miracles were not performed in their country.—Verse 34. Who also stood looking on? The Pharisees, who were ever near to watch with evil eyes the works of Christ. Did they join in the wonder of the multitudes ? No. They showed what was in their hearts by saying that Jesus cast out devils through the prince of the devils. See also Matt. xii. 24–30. Was not this language very foolish? Yes. For it was not likely that Beelzebub would oppose himself. Was it not sinful language? Yes. It was a kind of blasphemy against Christ.
IMPROVEMENT. Dwell upon the promptness of Christ's compassion, the greatness of his forbearance, and the sin of being prejudiced against him as were the Pharisees.
Afternoon Reading, Gen. xv. Afternoon Lesson, Matt. ix. 35–38.
NOTES ON THE LESSON. VERSE 35. Where did Jesus go? About all the cities and villages. Mark vi. 6; Luke xiii. 22. Why did Christ thus visit these places ? To teach in the synagogues and to preach the gospel to the people. Did the Saviour teach and preach only ? No. Wherever he journeyed he healed the sick and cured those who were diseased. Mark vi. 56. Let the teacher dwell upon the beautiful picture presented in this reference.-VERSE 36. How was the heart of Christ moved when he saw the multitudes ? He was moved with compassion towards them. Why?
Because they fainted, or were tired and lay down,” and were scattered abroad. What did their condition remind him of? 'Sheep having no shepherd.” How so? When sheep are without shepherd they have lost their guide and defence. They wander widely apart and are easily a prey to wild beasts. Is this figure found in other parts of scripture ? Yes. Numb. xxvii. 17; 1 Kings xxii. 17; Ezek. xxxiv. 5, 6, &c.—Verse 37. What did Christ mean by the hardest? The ingathering of his disciples. How was it plenteous ? There were many multitudes to be taught and made disciples. Who were the labourers ? Those who taught and instructed and guided the people. How were they few ? Christ and his apostles were the only ones at that time.—VERSE 38. What is implied in this direction? That God alone can raise up proper teachers, and that we must pray him to do so.
IMPROVEMent. Notice 1, The unwearied benevolence of Christ : 2, The enlightened pity of Christ: 3, The importance of prayer to God for a proper supply of gospel ministers and teachers. Request the class to pray on behalf of the teachers.
NOTES ON THE LESSON. Verse 1. Which were “their cities ?John i. 44.-VERSE 2. Why was John in prison ? Matt. xiv. 3, 4.-VERSE 3. Why did John ask this question ? That his disciples might not mistake him for the Messiah. Did John ever tell his hearers that he was the Messiah ? John i. 20, 21, 29.—VERSE 4. Did Christ at that time perform any miracles ? Luke vii. 21. How was this an answer to the question ? John x. 25.–VERSE 5. How did the fact that the poor had the gospel preached to them prove him to be the Messiah? In fulfilment of prophecy. Isaiah lxi. 1.-VERSE 6. What is it to be offended in Christ ? Not to follow him, because either of his own poverty or the poverty of his disciples.
IMPROVEMENT. Dwell upon the duty of following Christ and the sin of rejecting him.