Skip to main content

14 THE WELSH WEEKLY. July 8, 1892. Ver. 3. Are ye so foolish? " Are you so very irra¬ tional and senseless?" The Christ that was ■' placarded " was practically ignored by them. This made progress in the Divine Life utterly impossible. To seek spiritual ends through carnal means was to violate the order of true progress. Having begun in the Spirit, &c. After having made a start—after entering into Christian life. When the words "having begun" and "made perfect" occur together, they are (so Lightfoot says) employed of religious ceremonials. Are ye now made perfect? "Are ye brought to completion ? " Lightfoot takes this in the sense of " giving oneself up to"—to come to an end in the flesh. So also margin of E.V. But Bengel, Alford, and Ellicott, on the other hand, think the meaning is " finished "—" are ye brought to completion ? " (Elli¬ cott.) By the flesh. " In the flesh." E.V. The Galatians sought perfection in the sphere of the mere material—the sphere in which the life under the law moved. "'Spirit' and 'flesh' designate, not Christianity and Judaism themselves, but the specific agencies of life in Christianity and Judaism." (Meyer.) The hope of attaining to perfection in the flesh meant a relapse into sin and open opposition to God. Ver. 4. Have ye suffered so many things in vain ? " Did ye ''suffer, &c." E.V. The Galatians now abandon what had cost,them much suffering already. It is hardly consistent with New Testament usage to take this " suffering " to mean spiritual experience. Nor are we warranted in regarding it a,s " receiving benefits " because its Greek equivalent would not suit in this connection. Bengel, on the strength of iv. 13, translates it thus : "You patiently endured me," and Meyer refers it to the exactions of the Judaisers. This is Lightfoot's comment : " Eeferring to the persecu¬ tions endured by them .... The history indeed says nothing of the persecution in Galatia, but then it is equally silent on all that relates to the condition of the Galatian Churches ; and while the converts to the faith in Pisidia and Lycaonia on the one side, and in proconsular Asia on the other, were exposed to suffering, it is improbable that the Galatians alone should have escaped." If it be yet in vain. The Apostle here manifests the spirit of that charity which " hopeth all things." He trusts that things are not so bad as they seem. The folly of the Galatians lay in their having re¬ course again to a religious materialism which they themselves discarded as inadequate and futile. Their error was not merely the error of children, but of grown-up men, who began again to betray a taste for childish things. Prior to their reaction to Judaism, Paul's teaching had for the time profoundly affected them. But, evidently, these new convictions were not deep-seated, so it is easy to understand that they should soon begin to gravitate back again to their old religious beliefs. They grew weary of the demands of the Christian life, they sighed for the time when they could have the satisfaction of having complied with all the demands of the law and then have done with it. So they fall back upon easy expedients to secure salva¬ tion and to win the badge of Divine favour. In their folly they forgot that straight is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and long and diffi¬ cult is the path to moral and spiritual perfection. INTERNATIONAL LESSON. THE FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH. (July 17.) Golden Text.—The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.—Acts ii. 47. Time.—Sunday, May 28, ad. 30. The Feast of Pente¬ cost, "Whit Sunday. The same day as the last lesson, but continuing into the days following. Place.—Jerusalem, in the vicinity of the upper room where the disciples met. Rulers.—Tiberius Cassar, " Emperor of Rome (17); Pontius Pilate, Governor of Judea (5) ; Herod Antipas, of Galilee (34) ; Caiaphas, High Priest (6).—-Peloubet. Ver. 37. Now when they heard this. Which Peter had been saying. They were pricked. Pierced as a sharp instrument, causing sharp and sudden pain. " They were Btung with remorse " In their hearts. Their conscience and moral nature. The sense of their guilt and danger came upon them unexpectedly with over¬ whelming power.—Jacobus. And said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles. The meeting now evi¬ dently broke up into fragments, personal conversation with inquirers following the public sermon. An inquiry meeting is not truly a new method.—Abbott. Men and brethren. This friendly, courteous address showed how already the people's hearts were moved.—Cook. What shall we do? Convinced that the nation had put its Messiah to death, the people were overwhelmed with both sorrow and perplexity. They could not undo the deed; what could they do ?—Abbott. Ver. 38. Repent. The word repentance means simply "change of mind," the reversal of a man's controlling thoughts, feelings, and aims of life. Repentance, then, is the turning of the whole soul from self to God, and involves the breaking off from a selfish, sinful course of life, and the entrance upon a life of obedience, trust, and supreme devotion to God.—Bible Reader's Commentary. And be baptized. The additional outward requirement of baptism was designed as an expression of their faith in Jesus as Messiah and Saviour, and of their open consecra¬ tion to His service.—Bible Reader's Commentary. Every one of you. There are no exceptions. It is Christ's command, that whosoever believes in Him should publicly profess- their faith by baptism (Matt, xxviii. 19). In the name Of Jesus Christ. By His authority, acknowledging His-claims, subscribing to His doctrines, engaging in His service,: relying on His merits.—Alexander. Jesus (Saviour) Christ (the Messiah). It has been noted that, in the Apostolic Epistles, Christ is spoken of only 22 times by His human name, Jesus, and 701 times by some form of expression that acknowledges His divinity.—Cook. For the remission of sins is not merely (1) " in order to the forgiveness of sins," but also (2) for the putting(away of sins, the entire cleansing of the heart from actual sin.— Abbott. And ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. That is, on the conditions already explained, they should receive that same gift, the manifestation of which they beheld in the Apostle3 and other disciples.—Abbott. Ver. 39. For the promise. Of the Holy Spirit, and of salvation, contained in Joel, and quoted in verses 17-21. Unto you, and to your children. He specifies those for whom the promise was intended: (1) it concerns "you," that is, Israelites; (2) also "your children"; it is not restricted to the present moment, but extends to the generations in Israel yet unborn ; (3) further, all nations, Gentiles, whom God shall summon.—Lechler. Unto you. Lest they should doubt of pardon and grace, their sin being so great.—Pool. To your children. Because every one's first care is'and should be for their families and descendants.—4 WoM. And to all that are afar off. All Gentile nations.' The near are Jews, the afar off Gentiles (Isa. lvii. 19, Zech. vi. 15, Eph. ii. 13, 17). Even as many as the Lord our God shall call. The promise belongs to every one whom God calls unto him (Rev. Ver.). It does not declare that every one who is called accepts the call, but that this promise is for all, Jews and Gentiles. It reachfs as far as the invitation. None are called to less than thi?; and all that are called may claim this promise as theirs.—Peloubet. Ver. 40. And with many other words, &c. Hence we learn that there is no attempt made by the writer of the Acts to produce more than the substance and character of what was here said.—Cambridge Bible. Did he testify. The usual word in the Greek for " bearing witness," with the addition of a prefix dia, which gives the force of solemnly, earnestly. And exhort. The order of these words, especially the dependence of exhortation upon testimony or instruction, is worthy of note.—D. G. Butler. Save yourselves. By taking hold of the offered salva¬ tion, and believing on Christ. From this untoward (crooked) generation. The meaning is, both from the evil influence of and also from the condemnation pro¬ nounced against the Jewish nation. Ver. 41. They that gladly received. The word ren¬ dered gladly means " freely," " cheerfully," "joyfully"; it implies that they did it without compulsion and with joy. Religion is not compulsion. They who become Christians do it cheerfully, and do it rejoicing in the privilege of becoming reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.— Barnes. Ver. 42. And they (the 3000 converts) continued stead¬ fastly. The one Greek word is expressed by the English verb and adverb. They persevered in, and gave earnest attention to, their training in the Christian life. This is one of the best signs of true conversion. Their training was fourfold.—Peloubet. In the Apostles' doctrine, i.e., the teaching of the Apostles in the truths of their religion, and in the words and life of Jesus, and in the practical duties of religion. And (in) fellowship. The original signifies literally a sharing in common. Here it probably implies both fel¬ lowship in spiritual things, a participation with each other in Christian sympathy and experience, and also practical charity.—Abbott. Breaking of bread is the earliest New Testament phrase for the Lord's Supper, and thus the second sacrament took its place along with baptism in the Christian community from the begin¬ ning.— Professor Lindsay. And in prayers. Probably here social gatherings for prayer, not merely individual prayers, are intended.—Abbott. Ver. 43. Fear came upon every soul. The fear was an awe, " a reverential astonishment" (Alford), in the pre¬ sence of the mysterious power that had wrought such strange change in the belief and the character of multitudes. Many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. This general description includes the miracles described more in detail in subsequent chapters (chap.3,18; 12, 15, 16). The term wonders refers to their effect on the minds of eye-witnesses; signs, to the purpose which they were intended to serve, as proofs of the divine mission (John 5 : 36; 10 : 25 ; Heb. 2 : 4).—Cook. Ver. 44. And all that believed were to¬ gether. They had one central home; they "constituted a social community by themselves, separated from the rest of the people, not by local and physical barriers, but by their own mutual sympathies.' And had all things common. Looked upon thei possessions not as their own, but held them as subject tr the use of the church as they were needed.—Hackett. o Ver. 45. Sold their possessions ** and goods. Possessions: immovable property,—lands, houses. Goods: movable, personal property.—Plumptre. Parted them to all. Not to only, but as every man had need. These verbs (sold, parted) are in the imperfect tense, indicating that the sale and distribution took place from time to time, as special occasions of distress or want called for them.—Ellicott. Ver. 46. And they, continuing daily (according to the prayer, " Give us day by day our daily bread ") with one accord in the temple. The wisdom of the Church of the first days was conspicuously shown in their reverent love for the temple of their fathers.—Schaff. And break¬ ing bread. See on verse 42. It was the common meal, eaten together, and closing with the Lord's Supper. From house to house. Or, at home, as in the Rev. Ver. Did eat their meat, i.e. took their food, their ordinary meals. —Cambridge Bible. Singleness of heart. This means with a sincere and pure heart. Ver. 47. Praising God. Their whole life was a life of praise.—Alexander. And having favour with all the people. The people are here in contrast with the Jewish ecclesiastics. See chap. iv. 1-4. The joy, the liberal giving, the exalted lives, all had a tendency to make the disciples popular for a time. And the Lord (Christ). All the conversions were the Lord's doings. Added to the church. Not to the Church, which words were wanting in the best MSS.; but to himself, or to them, as in the Rev. Ver. (Chaps, v. 14; xi. 24).—Abbott. Daily. The Lamb's book of life has a page for every day, and names in every page.—Arnot. Such as should be saved. Or, those that were being saved. R.V. Luke's phraseology agrees with the doctrine of progressive sanctifbation, or of growth in grace.—Dr. Hovey. I. B. R. A. (International Bible Reading Association.) Dailyporttons for week ending July 17, 1892. July 11. M.—Acts 2, 37-47. „ 12. Tu.—Acts 4, 31-37. ' 13. W.—Acts 6, 1-7. „ 14. Th.—1 Tim. 3, 1-13. „ 15. F.—Acts 15, 1-11. „ 16. S.—Eph. 4, 1-14. ,. 17. S.—1 Pet. 2, 1-10. Gor. 11. Llun Actau 2, 37-47. „ 12. Maw. Actau 4, 31-37. ,, 13. Mer. Actau 6, 1-7 „ 14. Iau. 1 Tim. 3, 1-13. „ 15. Gw. Actau 15, 1-11. „ 16. Sad. Eph. 4, 1-14. „ 17. Sal. 1 Pedr. 2, 1-10. The 1st Christian Church. Of one mind. Appointment of Deacons, Faithful Office-bearers. The Gentiles received. Unity of the Church. The people of God. Yr eglwys Gristionogol Gyntaf O un galon. Dewisiad diaconiaid Swyddogion ffyddlawn. Darbyniad y Cenhelloedd. Undeb yr Eglwys. Pob i Dduvv. THE CHILDREN'S CORNER. PLENTY OF TIME. Plenty of tims—plenty of time ! O what a foolish and treacherous chime! With so much to see, and so much to be taught, And the battle with evil each day to be fought; With wonders above us, beneath and around, Which SBges are seeking to mark and expound, With work to be done in our fast-passing prime, Can ever there be for us " plenty of time ? " Our schooling at most lasts a few score of years, Spent in sunshine and shadow, in smiles or in tears ; While none are quite equal, howe'er they be classed, And judgments too often are faultily passed. 'Twixt eternity past and its future to stand, Like a child sea-surrounded on one speck of land; There to work out the duties that make life sublime, Oh, surely there cannot be " plenty of time! " —Chambers' Journal. WHAT A LITTLE CLOUD DID. One sunny day a little Cloud went sailing through the sky. " Oh, how lovely it is up here 1" she said. ■ Away off on the wind came another Cloud, not so soft and fleecy, but cross looking and dark. " Guess I'll chase that little white Cloud and spoil her fun," said the cross Cloud. " Oh, dear ! " said the little white Cloud, as she felt a shock all through her. Then she looked up and saw the cross Cloud coming right after her. She began to cry, and soon fell away in drops. A thirsty Rose looked up and caught them right in her beautiful heart. "You dear rain drops!" said the Rose; and they nestled down deeper in her leaves and felt comforted. Then the Rose raised her head and said, "I would have died if you had not come." So then the rain-drops said, " It is better to be here comforting the poor Rose than sailing up there with nothing to do," and they looked up and caught a sun¬ beam, and sparkled so brightly that little rainbows shone all through them, and the Rose said, " I was never so beautiful before! " The dark Cloud sailed away, and never knew that she had sent the little white Cloud to keep the Rose from dying. She did not know how useful little things can be.—Harper's Young People. CURE FOR EARACHE. Onion-juice is one of the most effective remedies for earache. To prepare: Wrap a large onion in heavy wrapping-paper, wet it thoroughly and roast in the coals. When tender, strip off the skin and squeeze out the juice by twisting in a thin cloth. Bottle and save for use. When needed, pour one or two drops in a spoon, warm a little and drop into the ear. Afterwards put in a bit of warm cotton to exclude the air. It rarely, if ever, fails to effect a speedy cure. Why do we grow so little in grace ? It is because we do not use our intellect to meditate upon the forces of the unseen world amidst which we live, or our will to draw upon them.—Gore's " Bampton Lecture."