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The Messiah's First Disciple. The man whom John and Andrew had “found" to be “the Messias," was indeed the King of the Jews, and as such the humble fisherman in his simplicity called to see Him, and the noble Son of David, realizing his worth, would not let him depart from His presence empty-handed. With kingly grace he gave him three royal presents, the costly robes of repentance and faith, and a ring, in which was set a stone engraved with a new name, destined to become more and more brilliant and precious by use. The prophet of “ Galilee” was indeed “that Prophet " whom Moses foretold God would raise up unto them, and over this man of loving and childlike spirit He threw a portion of His own prophetic apparel, in token that the largest part of it should fall on him when He ascended to heaven. The “gracious preacher of Nazareth received and dismissed His visitor with a breath of His own inspiration as a pledge that he should shortly preach the Gospel with fervor and eloquence unsurpassed. And so, when the Jewish brothers walked away from the dwelling of their Messiah--the dwelling of their Messiah ! He was the incarnate LORD, and though humbled, wherever He dwelt when on earth, there was the Christian church. And so, when they walked away, little did they know, while recalling the looks and tones and words of their King, “the Son of David," that the required "two or three" had met together in the sacred Presence and Name. Small thought had Andrew that while he was calmly looking on, the divinelyappointed teacher had enrolled his brother's name as the chief of the disciples; and far was either from dreaming, as they bade their Messiah farewell, that by His significant words Simon had been set apart as the first partaker of His Divine glory, and the sole sharer in the initial bitterness of His death. Nor did either imagine, that of the twelve living stones which
were to form the foundation of His House, Cephas, the unique, the peculiar, had been selected and approved, and was now to be fitted and tried and set.
And the Messiah? Though as a Saviour He was placed irrevocably under certain laws, yet the right to revoke some of these in favor of His people and cause had been reserved; and this could be done in regard to visible baptism, seeing that through the imparting of His life He is “of God made unto them " circumcision and baptism, as well as “wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption;" and thereby fully justifies His name of “ WONDERFUL." Such being then
” His power and grace, it was most becoming to dispense with the outward application of water on His first twin-disciple, St. Peter; and afterward equally becoming to dispense with another law in the case of His second twin-disciple, St. John the Divine.
And the submissive “Son of man,” who asked all things of “the Father?” Probably, while the retreating footsteps of the visitors died away in the distance, leaving Him to rejoice in the reward of obedience, He thanked His "Father, Lord of heaven and earth,” that in this critical moment had been guided to His dwelling Andrew and Simon; and as the brothers, destined to become the sons of the true Jesse, innocently passed in review before Him whose eyes rested wistfully on the latter, God had further prompted His great Prophet, Priest and King with the words, “ Arise, anoint him: for this is he."
NOTICES OF NEW BOOKS.
The Life of Bishop MATTHEW Simpson, of the METHODIST EPISCOPAL
Church. By George R. Crooks, D.D. Illustrated. New York: Harper & Brothers, Franklin Square. 1890. Price $3.75.
This work is sold by subscription only. Messrs. Garretson & Co., publishers, No. 66 North Fourth Street, Philadelphia, are general agents for the work in Pennsylvania and adjacent States.
The name of the publishers is a sufficient guarantee that the work is prepared in the best style of the printer's art. It is printed in good, clear and sufficiently large type, on good paper and handsomely bound. The illustrations add much to the external merits of the work.
But it is, of course, the matter rather than the form that constitutes the merit and value of this work. The subject is a popular one. The life of such a man as Bishop Simpson is highly interesting, not only to a particular class, as the church to which he belonged, and of which he was an ornament, but to all who can appreciate a great and good character wherever found.
We have read this biography with the greatest interest. It goes far to show that a strong and great man is not, as a rule, the creature of circumstances, but a controller of them. If greatness is in him it will assert itself even in the face of untoward circumstances. Bishop Simpson's boyhood and youth were passed with but little outward help, in a new country, in poverty, and with few and scant educational advantages. He made himself master of the substance of a college course without the advantages of being a regular student and graduate of a college. And it appears that he looked not merely to the idea of utility, as might be expected in the case of one who had to make his own way in life, but he aimed at liberal culture for its own sake, in order to make a man of himself as above mere worldly good in the way of wealth and place.
I am glad, as I write this, to be able to quote the words of President Eliot, of Harvard University, in a speech delivered before the New York Chamber of Commerce on the 18th of November, 1890, in which he says :
"I should not worthily represent here the profession to which I belong if I did not say in closing, that liberal education is an end in