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39. Christ taught them, by this illustration, that their hearts must be first cleansed before the conduct can be right and holy.-VERSB 27. Sepulchres were often white-washed, that they might be distinctly seen, and appear more beautiful. Why were the Pharisees compared to them? Because their outward conduct appeared well, but their hearts were full of hypocrisy, envy, pride, rottenness. Luke xi. 44; Acts xxiii. 3. VERSE 29. Why did they build the tombs of the prophets? They adorned them as a proof of their extraordinary piety, and their great veneration for their memory. Our Lord showed that all this was mere pretence, and that in practice they were as wicked as those who killed the prophets. 1 Thess. ii. 15.- VERSE 32. What did the Saviour refer to here? He predicted his own death by their hands.--VERSE 33. What is a serpent an emblem of? Subtlety, and cunning, and hypocrisy. Matt. iii. 7, xii. 34. They were a wicked race, like poisonous reptiles, with a corrupt and evil nature. This was not an expression of anger, but a true description of their character.
IMPROVEMENT. Show that by nature we are all corrupt and wicked, and liable to the damnation of hell. Romans iii. 10-24.
Afternoon Reading, Exod. viii.
CONVERSATION ON THE SUBJECT,
We shall commence this afternoon the history of nonconformity in England. It will take us some time to go through it; but it will be very
useful. We shall take Palmer's Catechism as our chief guide, going through it in question and answer.
How many religions are there in the world? Four; the pagan (or heathen), the Jewish, the Mahometan, and the Christian. Besides these, multitudes in all parts of Europe are deists, who have not, as such, any form of religion or public worship. They profess to believe in God, and many of them in a future state, as the dictates of reason,
but deny all revelation. Who are generally comprehended under the name of Christians? All who profess to receive the religion of Jesus Christ as divine. What is the grand division which has taken place among Christians ? Christians (in the western part of Europe) are divided into papists and protestants. In the Eastern part there is a third denomination, viz. those of the Greek church, which, in many respects, particularly in its ceremonies, resembles that of Rome. Who are called papists? Those who are in communion with the church of Rome, often called Roman catholics, but more properly papists, because of their sub
jection to the Pope, whom the greater part of them receive and honour as Christ's vicar and universal bishop. What does the word “ Pope' mean? Father. It comes from the Latin word papa, a name at first given to all bishops, but afterwards appropriated to the Bishop of Rome, when he usurped the office of universal bishop. Who are meant by the term "protestants"? This name was given to those who first publicly protested against the errors of popery; viz. at Spire in Germany, 1529 ; and from them it has been, to this day, applied to those Christians in general (in the west) who are not papists. Are the protestants in England united in their faith and manner of worship? No; they are divided into conformists and nonconformists; or, as they are commonly called, churchmen and dissenters. Who are called conformists, or churchmen? Those who conform to that mode of worship, and form of church-government, which are established and supported in England by the state. Who are intended by the term dissenters? Those protestants in general who do not conform to the Established church, but meet for divine worship in places of their own; more especially those of the three following denominations :-Presbyterians, Independents, and Baptists.* How long have there been dissenters in England? In a just sense of the word there were dissenters in England long before the reformation took place here. What do you mean by the Reformation? The renouncing of popery, which for many ages was the established religion of this country, and of almost all Europe.
Morning Reading, 1 Kings xx.
Morning Lesson, Matt. xxiii. 34—39.
NOTES ON THE LESSON.
VERSE 34. Who was the first martyr? Stephen. Acts vii. 39. See also an account of the martyr James, Acts xii. 1, 2. What was scourging? Striking with a rod which had three lashes, and inflicted three stripes at once. Paul was scourged in this way
five times. See 2 Cor. xi. 24, 25. What does "persecute" mean? To vex, annoy, oppress, or injure on account of religion. This was fulfilled in the case of nearly all the apostles, and most of the disciples of Christ.–VERSE 35. By whom was Abel slain? Gen. iv. 8. Who
* So commonly called, for brevity's sake; but more justly Antipædobaptists. Another considerable body of dissenters (though not generally included in that term) are distinguished by the name of Quakers, who first appeared about the year 1650.
was Zacharias? It is not known with certainty; but probably it was the Zechariah whose death is recorded in 2 Chron. xxiv. 20, 21. He is there called the son of Jehoiada; but it was common among the Jews to have two names.- .-VERSE 36. The destruction of Jerusalem took place about forty years after this was spoken.VERSE 37. See Luke xix. 41-44. Why did Christ weep over Jerusalem? Because he knew the dreadful evils which were to come upon that guilty city. He was probably returning from the temple when he uttered this beautiful lament; and, on passing over the Mount of Olives, would have a magnificent view of the city.VERSE 38. What house was this? The temple, the chief ornament of Jerusalem.—VERSE 39. Have the Jews yet acknowledged Christ as their deliverer ? No; they were offered salvation, but they rejected it, and, as a punishment for their unbelief, heavy judgments were inflicted upon them; but the days are coming when they shall look upon Him whom they have pierced and mourn, and receive him as their Saviour, Rom. xi. 25—32.
IMPROVEMENT.-If Jesus wept over Jerusalem, how does it become us to be concerned about the salvation of the Jews, and to pray for their conversion.
Afternoon Reading, 1 Kings XX.
Afternoon Lesson, Matt. xxiv. l--8.
NOTES ON THE LESSON.
VERSE 1. See also Mark xiii. and Luke xxi. 5–38. What were these buildings ? The surrounding courts, porches, and other edifices connected with the temple. When was this prediction fulfilled? About forty years afterwards. Jerusalem was taken by Titus, A.D. 73. Many of the stones were of enormous size-seventy feet long.–VERSE 3. What were the names of these disciples ? Mark xiii. 3.-VERSE 4. Eph. v. 6. Josephus, a Jewish historian, says that there were many who came, claiming to be the Messiah, and deceived the people.
“The land was overrun with magicians, seducers, and impostors, who drew the people after them, in multitudes, into solitudes and deserts, to see the signs and miracles which they promised to show by the power of God. See also Jeremiah xiv. 14; John v. 43.-VERSE 6. There were four emperors who suffered violent deaths in eighteen months. What are rumours of wars? Threatened wars. What end did Christ refer to ? The end of the Jewish economy. The destruction of Jerusalem would not follow immediately.-VERBB 7. What is a famine ? A scarcity of food. Was this prediction fulfilled? Yes ; multitudes perished from want ; the plague swept off as many; and several large cities were destroyed by earthquakes. 2 Chron. xv. 6; Zech. xiv. 13.-VERSE 8. What did this refer to? To their own destruction.
IMPROVEMENT. Contrast the peaceful and happy state of our times, with these awful judgments upon Jerusalem, and dwell upon our greater privileges and responsibilities.
" A KISS FOR A BLOW."
Suggested by reading an excellent Little Book bearing this title.
What makes little children quite happy and good,
A. A. W.
DAVIS AND HASLER, Crane Court, Fleet street.
BUNYAN in jail is still a pastor, and not unmindful of his flock. He cannot pay his pastoral visits; but he knows how to use his pen, and so he contrives to keep up a pleasant and edifying intercourse with his people. The walls of his prison seem to say that he must curtail his duties, and there is no reasoning against stone walls; but his goose quill becomes a kind of curate, and