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NOTICE TO CORRESPONDENTS. The matter for each Number of the Magazine requires to be in the hands of the printers not later than the middle of the month before publication. The insertion of communications sent later cannot be guaranteed.
Intelligence. LONDON SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION— | hour agreed upon; the answers to be SECOND SCRIPTURE EXAMINATION FOR in writing. The subject of examinaSUNDAYSCHOOLTEACHERS.—The Sun- tion will be, “The State of Palestine day School Teacher announces that the and the Jewish People in the time of Union has arranged to hold a second Christ; embracing the political divi. Scripture examination in February sions of the country; the topography next. The plan includes local exam- of our Lord's life and ministry; the inations in the principal towns in relations of the Jews to surroundEngland. The examination is to be ing nations; their social habits; and conducted by, printed questions, their religious condition and expectasealed, and only to be opened at the tions.
Notices of Books. THE GATE OF PEARL. Edinburgh : 1tion from the Romanists at the same Oliphant & Co.
time that the Puritans of England An allegorical story, well sustained, and the Covenanters of Scotland were and turned to good account, as a suffering persecution at the hands of vehicle for conveying important in the Romanizing House of Stuart. The struction concerning the winning and narrative is one of stirring interest. wearing of “the pearl of great price.” Blanche Gamonde, a young woman, To some it will enhance the book to passed through a furnace of affliction, learn that it is of American origin, for the truth's sake, with unflinching and is very popular in the United steadfastness of faith. Her brief States. In execution and spirit, it history is an instructive study for may be regarded as a favourable ex- young and old. ample of the style of literature for youthful readers to which it belongs. THEWONDERFUL POCKET; AND OTHER
STORIES. Edinburgh: Oliphant &
Co. BLANCHE GAMONDE: A FRENCH PRO- From the same pen as the Gate of
TESTANT HEROINE. Edinburgh : Pearl. It is a Christmas book for the Oliphant & Co.
boys, as the former is for the girls, A NARRATIVE of Christian fortitude, and embodies a still greater variety which carries us back, in the history of incident and stir, and all in a fine of France, to the Revocation of the spirit. Edict of Nantes, in the year 1685, which, our young readers will remem- DRIFTING AND STEERING. Edinburgh: ber, was three years before the great
Oliphant & Co. British Revolution. The Huguenots THE career of two school-boys is of France were enduring fell persecu- sketched in this story—the one honourable, truthful, industrious; the Night UNTO NIGHT: A Selection other mean, deceitful, dishonest, and of Bible Scenes. By the Rev. lazy, and who began to shew the dark DANIEL MARCH, D.D. London: side of his character by plundering Hamilton, Adams, & Co. Pp. 352. his companion's school exercises, and INCIDENTS in the Old and New Testagaining prizes through false pretences. ments occurring in or connected with The one “steered” his course by night, form the themes of twenty-five principle; the other, for want of it, chapters in this remarkable produc
drifted" from evil to worse. It is tion. The author is new to us, but not difficult to guess the country of recommends himself by a manner of their birth. The story is racy of the treating Scripture subjects which is American soil; and by the same at once fresh and vigorous, often pictoken as travellers tell us that there turesque, and even dramatic; but alare no children in that country, all the ways serious, earnest, and considerate young folk introduced in the book talk above all of the spiritual profit of sike men and women, and sometimes the reader. Few who peruse the like philosophers. Still, it is a capital opening chapter- The Teachings of story for school-boys.
Night,” a beautiful and impressive
meditation, will fail to be attracted LITTLE BLUE MANTLE; OR, THE POOR onwards to the night scenes of Scrip
MAN'S FRIEND. Edinburgh : Oli- ture. The two extracts from the phant & Co.
work which appear in another part The incidents in this little book pro- of the Magazine are intended to illusfess to be real, and to have occurred trate rather the spirit than the style in Paris. The principal character is of the writer. a jeweller, who, having been raised from a humble condition, devoted SHEAVES FROM THE HARVEST-FIELD much of his wealth to the relief of OF SUNDAY SCHOOLS. London: the poor and needy, his primary ob- Morgan & Chase.
Edinburgh: ject being to honour the Lord with Religious Tract and Book Society his substance.
UNDER the above general title we BIBLE WONDERS. By RICHARD NEW- have received two series of neat uni
TON, D.D. Edinburgh: Oliphant form little books, concerning the first & Co.
of which the following statement is THE plan of this book is happily de- given:-“Narratives illustrative of vised and executed. It treats of the the good results of Sunday School “wonderful things” which are to be work” were advertised for some found in the Word of God; and that short time ago, to which a number in a manner well fitted to attract of ladies and gentlemen cordially attention to the study of this inex- responded. The Rev. Norman L. haustible source of wonders. The Walker adjudicated on the manuname of the author is a guarantee for scripts received, and selected the the liveliness and variety of the book, following six as the best:-"Charley which, by its devout and earnest Smeaton;" “Work in Waste Places; spirit, and its never-failing treasury Willie's Good-bye;" “Bread found of apt illustrations, reminds us of after many Days;” “Neddy Bruce, Abbot's Young Christian, a de- or, Happy Changes;” “The Child's servedly favourite production some last Prayer.” The second series conthirty years since. We recommend sists of five, written by the author it as an uncommonly good gift-book of “Recollections of Home Mission for the approaching season, and desire Work,”—viz., “Beautiful Christ;" for it an extensive circulation amongst “My dear, dear Saviour;" “The
Model Son;" “All Saved but One;"'
"The Broken Flowers;", and two was pleased to make of himself to edited by the same author, -viz., Minnie,” (“Beautiful Christ,” pp. 38, "Buds of Grace expanding in Glory," 39, 40, 43): and, fourthly, another "Labours of Love, or, Forty Years' picture of a girl's death-bed, with Experience in the Sunday School.” another vision, thus: “I'm so happy It would have been satisfactory to be this morning; I've seen Jesus.” informed which of these little books “Was't a dream?”—“No, mother, are really to be regarded as “Sheaves I saw Him,” (“Forty Years in the from the Harvest-Field of Sabbath Sabbath School,” pp. 58, 59.) We Schools.” Are not most of them re- had written thus far, when it ocligious fictions? and if so, is it right curred to us to turn up the only to give them forth as the fruits of remaining book by this author, to Sabbath school work? Of the first ascertain whether the same stock group, which are all undoubtedly well topic might not cast up in it also, written, “Work in Waste Places when, lo, it reappeared, for the fifth seems, with certain deductions, the time, in the following highly dramatic only result of genuine labour and shape:—""I've had a great conflict experience; and “Neddy Bruce, or, through this nicht, Margie--a great Happy Changes,” probably embodies conflict.' ‘Have ye, father?—“Ay, some of the realities of home mission lass! Satan came an held up my sins or medical mission work in Edin- afore me--a' the sins that ever I've burgh, the story otherwise being very committed an' oh the sicht was improbable. We frankly own our fearfu'! The scroll that they were dislike to religious novels and novel- written on was that big that every ettes generally, the creations of which bit o' the licht o'heaven was shut often bear the same relation to Christ- oot, an' I couldna deny ane o' them. ian character and conduct that the But just as I was lookin' roun' me heroes of romance bear to men and an' roun' me in a kin' o' despair, women in the common life of this work. Jesus cam',-ay, Jesus cam', Margie, a-day world. Should we have the mis- -an' He took the great scroll oot o' fortune, however, to differ from any of Satan's han' an' row'd it up, and said, our judicious readers in this matter, “I've atoned for these sins, they are we are persuaded that we shall, at all put away. Here,” the narrative least, be of one mind in wishing that, continues, observing the incredulous if such writings are to form part of looks of his wife and the grown-up the intellectual and spiritual pabu- members of the family, who thought lum of the youth of our Sabbath his mind was wandering, he said very schools, we may at least have them emphatically,—'Remember this is no free from sensationalism. In three fanciful thing, it is a REALITY (the of the little books written by the capitals are the author's]; an' Jesus anthor of “Recollections of Home is here i' the noo—in this very roomMission Work,” and in one edited just there,' pointing to a particular by him, we find, first, an account spot.” We are far from saying that of a dying girl who, twice over, fiction may not be usefully employed saw a vision of Christ, (“All Saved as a vehicle for moral and religious but One," pp. 29, 30): secondly, instruction ; but there are topics another account of a dying girl who which ought certainly to be excluded first beheld a vision of angels, and from its sphere-such as professed then a vision of Christ, (“My dear accounts of conversion, descriptions Saviour,” p. 56): thirdly, another of Christian experience, death-bed description of a dying girl, who had scenes, &c. While some of the three visions of Christ, and which “Sheaves" deserve our warmest comthe writer characterizes as a “wonder- mendation, we must, in all honesty, ful manifestation which the Saviour say that the wheat of others much
requires to be winnowed of its chaff. His eager desire for knowledge, his Two of the books, one written and search after it under difficulties, and the other edited by the author of his self-consecration to Christ, pre• Recollections,” are highly interest- sent an instructive example to young ing and useful. One of them, the men. “Buds of Hope" is the title “ Model Son,” narrates the brief of the second book, which gives a career of a youth who went from the touching narrative of two boys, town of Falkland to London, where natives of Cupar, who manifested he ultimately came under religious high degree of Christian attain. convictions, lost his health, and re- ment, and whose remarkable characturned to his native place to die. ters and happy deaths are satisThis young
man's letters to his factorily authenticated. We shall mother exhibit a manly, generous, always be thankful for books like intelligent, and devout character. these latter.
NOTES ON THE UNION'S LESSON SCHEME FOR 1870.
LESSON LI.-DECEMBER 18. JOSEPH ENTERTAINETH HIS BRETHREN.-Genesis xliii. 1-34. I. The second journey to Egypt, 14.—The famine still continued. It was severe in Canaan; and the supply of corn was again exhausted. Jacob wished his sons to go and buy more corn. They know that it is useless to go without Benjamin, and say so. The old man is naturally very loth to allow him go. He is afraid some evil may befall him, and is angry with his sons for having told the Egyptian governor that they had another brother. They again explain how it all came about. They could not but answer his questions; and they could not have told that he would have asked if they had a brother. At last Judah offers to give his life in surety for Benjamin's, which has the effect of overcoming Jacob's reluctance. Notice how God was working, in all this, to bring about His ends. Man proposes, but God disposes. Notice also how Jacob unites means with prayer. He sends a present to the man;" but he also solemnly commends the whole of them to God Almighty. Mark the expression-Almighty. Jacob had had experience already of His power. Had He not delivered him from Laban and from Esau ? and could not He, who was the Almighty, deliver Benjamin from “the man ?" How safe are those who have the Almighty as their friend !—the Almighty, the All-Powerful, who has control over all men and over all things. No fear of Benjamin if God Almighty is his friend. Read Hebrews xiii. 6.
II. The Banquet, 15-34.-On arriving in Egypt, the sons of Jacob were eager to explain about the money which had been found in their sacks' mouth. They apply to the steward, tell him how they had found the money, and how they have brought double money on this occasion. So far so good. They are at least honest men; and the steward calms their fears by telling them that they were not to blame, for he had done it. Learn that honesty is always its own reward. They might have said, “This money is ours ;" but they would not do so. They bring it down again to Egypt. So should we act on all occasions. Notice further how Joseph's influence is being felt in Egypt. The steward (v. 23) knows something of their God, and of their father's God. Joseph, though now high in station, has not forgotten his father's God; and, through him, those who are about him are brought to know God. He was a true missionary. But, in this sense, every one can be a missionary. Every Sabbath school scholar can speak a word for God. The steward further re-assures them by releasing Simeon. They had brought down Benjamin, and Simeon may now be set free. They are now brought into Joseph's house, and all due hospitality is shewn them. How different is Joseph's Treatment of them from that of theirs to him! He receives them into his house, he causes water for their feet to be given them, and does not even forget their asses. Here was heaping coals of fire upon their heads. When they come to know who it is that is doing all this, surely they will loathe themselves for their cruelty to him, and love him for his generosity to them. But Joseph's love was nothing to Christ's for us. He gave himself for us when we were enemies, and with himself He freely gives us all things. How can we refuse to love Him? Notice how wonderfully Joseph's dreams are fulfilled. They bow down their heads and make obeisance to him. Again, mark the strength of Joseph's love for Benjamin. He cannot say much when he sees him, for his heart is too full for words. He prays that God may be gracious to him, and hurriedly leaves the room, and weeps. How true a man is Joseph! Prosperity did not turn his head. He is not ashamed of his brother. He loves him as tenderly as when they both played round his father's tent in the grove of Mamre. Now, this was the mark of a true man; and Joseph weeping at the sight of Benjamin is greater and nobler than Joseph in the second chariot, and with the chain of gold about his neck. Another surprise awaits them. They are placed at table in the order of their ages; and Benjamin is specially honoured. The men marvelled. They looked at one another in amazement, and could not account for it. Soon all was made clear. Joseph was leading them by a way they did not understand ; but he knew the end. So now. God often leads His people in what appear strange ways; but in the end they can say, “He hath done all things well."
Memory Exercise–Shorter Catechism 51.-Psalm cv. 21-24.
Subject to be Proved—God loves a Forgiving Spirit.
Text for Non-Reading Classes. “ And they sat before him, the first-born according to his birth-right, and the youngest according to his youth : and the men marvelled one at another."-Genesis xliii. 33.
LESSON LII.—DECEMBER 25. THE DEATH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST.-Matt. xiv. 1.14. This incident comes in as a parenthesis in the life of Jesus Christ. The powerful words and mighty works of the Saviour, together with the preaching and miracleworking of the twelve disciples, when sent forth by Him, (see Mark vi. 12, 13,) had created a stir-a fame, of which, among others, Herod the tetrarch heard. Instead, however, of hailing the advent of the Messiah, in the person and work of Jesus Christ, his conscience suggests another prophet to his mind, namely, John the Baptist; and with this explanation the Evangelist proceeds to give an account of the death of the forerunner.
I. Refer to John, and recall his work and character, predicted in Isa. xl. 3, and Mal. iii. 6, fulfilled in his preaching, which gathered around him crowds from all classes of society. His greatness was mentioned by the angel, (Luke i. 15,) and testified to by Jesus, (Matt. xi. 11.)
II. Speak particularly of Herod. (1,) He is not to be considered as an ignorant heathen. He was an educated man, and he had listened to the preaching of John, The evangel of his day (see Acts xix. 4) was made known to him, and in outward circumstances he was brought near to the kingdom. He had, however, permitted great and outrageous sin to gain the mastery over him, so slighting the teachings of conscience, and outraging all the dictates of education and knowledge. (2,) Refer here to his relationship to John, whose courage and faithfulness became specially conspicuous. It was comparatively easy to preach to the crowd of Pharisees and Sadducees, of Publicans and soldiers ; it was much more difficult and dangerous to denounce and rebuke individual sin, and, before kings, to testify in behalf of purity and truth. See Luke iii. 19, also Mark'vi. 18, where the "had said,” implies that