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Coming of Christ Br REV. JAMES M. CRAY. D. D Da cf & Moody BiUa faasiaM. , TEXT "Waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Cnrist." 1st Corinthians 1:7. ( !3 - These words of Paul to the Corin thians expressed' the attitude of that church, and they should ex press, the attitude of the whole church of Jesus Christ everywhere and always. By the church we mean regenerated men and women, true believers on the name of our Lord Jsus Christ. What Does It Mean? There is much confusion as to what is meant by the Second Comiixg of Christ, and yet the scriptures clearly teach that he Is coming again In a -personal and visible Bense. What oth er' interpretation can be given to the words of the angels spoken to the waiting disciples on Mt. Olivet Just after the ascension of our Lord? "Ye men of Calilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, -which Is taken up from you Into fbeaven, shall so come in like manner tfiti ye have seen him go into heaven." (Act3 1:11.) All the orthodox creeds of the hurch have taught this, although there is a difference of opinion among igood Christians as to the time when. !he ehall come. For example, the scriptures speak -of a thousand years when peace and rrighteousneBB shall prevail over the earth, known mostly as the millenni uam; and there are those who think that the Lord will not come until .after that period, while others be ll ieve that he will come before It. 'This latter is my judgment, for I cannot Bee how there can be a mil lennium until he comes to introduce .and make it a possibility. This judgment is based upon the Iteaching of both the Old and New 'Testaments, but specifically upon our Lord's command to "Watch," because Iwe know not the day nor the hour (when he shall return. A friend of mine used to spend his (summers in New Hampshire, and one (day he said to his little children that (business called him to Boston. They Iwere very much disappointed to have 'him go, and he cheered them up by inaying that he would return 'again, and jthat they should watch for him. As l consequence, his train had hardly drawn out of the station when they Iran to their mother and asked her to jwash their hands and faces, and comb itheir hair, that they might run down (again and wait for the incoming train ion which they expected him to return. (This they did continually at train time Ifrom day to day, until he did return; )so that afterwards their mother said (she had never known them to show (such an Interest in soap and water in their lives. It is for a result not un like this that our Lord would keep us in the spirit of expectancy, for as the apostle John says, "Every man (that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." - (1st John 3:3.) Sometimes It Is asked what is the practical value of preaching on. the Second Coming of Christ? We have (already stated one answer to that question In the effect of the hope on the personal character of the believer, but in addition to that It can be Bald that there is not a single Christian grace or virtue named in the New Testament with which that hope is not connected- Three hundred times la it mentioned there, thus showing as Its Importance In the Christian scheme, and the need of giving it Its rightful place in all our Christian thinking and doing. Andrew Bonar'a Crown. i That dear old- Scottish saint. An Mrew Bonar, once visited this country, and when he was' returning they gave him a farewell meeting in New York. Several eulogistic speeches were made, and one speaker in closing said, ""Brethren, think of the 'crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give him at that- day." And when he sat down. Dr. Bonar arose, and walking to the front of the pulpit, concluded that quo. tatlon from Paul's second letter to Timothy adding, "And not to me only, out unto all them also that love his appearing." There are at least three crowns that are promised that faith ful believer In the life to come, but this crown belongs alone to them who love our Lord's appearance. Are we counted in that blessed number? "Do thou my soul keep watch, bmn lest thou la sleep sink down. lest thou be given o'er to death, and toss the aolden crown., , And yet how shall we watch ex icept by living a life daily In the will fot God. But how do men know the fwill of God except as they learn of it Jin the -Bible where It has been re pealed ? Nor. is the simple reading of rlhe Bible enough, unless the Holy Spirit shall Interpret it to our under standings, and apply It to our heart. Thta he does In answer to ovr suppli cations, hence I exhort you to a Ufa of real piety. . I PC HE reign of Herod had nearly ended V . . . : I .1 Td T" 1 a s- wnen idq ai&gi ari" . lem and asked: "Where is he that is born king of the Jews? . For we have seen his star In the east, and are come to worship him." The news that a true "king of the Jews." a possible rival, was born, and that his birth had been herald ed by celestial phenomena, caused Herod much concern. He summoned to him the scribes and learned men. When they' were questioned where the king was to be born they answered: "In Bethlehem of Judea; for thus it is written by the prophet. And thou, Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda; for out of thee shall come a governor, that shall rule my people Israel." According to the authorized version It is then stated in the New Testament that "Herod, when he had privily called the wise men. inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said. Go and search diligently for the young child; and when we have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also, When they had heard the king, they da parted; and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till It came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy." That is the whole story of the Star of Bethle hem as it is simply and directly told In the sec ond chapter of the gospel according to St. Mat thew. It was a cloister fancy of the dark ages, hand ed down through centuries, that led the Chris tion world to regard the Star of the East as a miraculous luminary, akin to the pillar of fir, that guided the children of Israel in the wilder ness a luminary especially created for the sole purpose of leading the Magi to the birthplace of Christ. The modern Christian is more apt to regard the star as a natural phenomenon and ' ililliiSSil ASM 7.., Hi JSZflT to seek a scientific explanation of its sudden appearance, not for the purpose of casting doubt upon the narrative of Matthew, but of giv ing it astronomical support. Who were these wise men. thesn Magi, of whom St. Matthew speaks? They came from the east, they said, and the east, according to the geo graphical knowledge of Matthew's day. was Chaldea. Persia, and that Arabian des ert where -the sons of Ishmaek roamed. In that east of. which they spoke, star-gazing was to some nations a religious observation, to others a mystical traditional rite. The pseudo-science of astrology out of which our modern science of, astronomy was slowly evolved was. thus engen dered. Exegetes of the New Testament narra tive hold these Magi to have been astrologers, members - of that strange, non-national, privi leged priesthood whose office It was to watch the sky each day and each night, to note the position and apparent motion of the sun from dawn to dark, and to predict those changes in planetary positions which. In that day of as-' trologlcal superstition, were supposed to - shape and reveal the destinies of kings and nations. In them science came an early worshipper at the feet of Christ To ancient as well as mediaeval astrologers, certain groupings of the stars and planets had a fixed prophetic significance. The planets were named in accordance with their supposed Influence. Mercury, always lurking near the sun, furtively gleaming In the morning or .eve ning, was the patron- of tricksters, knaves, and thieves. Mars, flaming in red, was the symbol of war, the guardian of heroes and warriors. If the Magi were astrologers who believed in stellar Influences, the apparition of the Star of Bethlehem most have been an astronomical phenomenon- But no ordinary astronomical phenomenon could have enticed these practiced star-gazers from their temples. We must, there fore. And some celestial event sufficiently extra ordinary to warrant a journey from Chaldea or Persia to BelSlehem. , When the Magi arrived In Jerusalem. Herod was within a few weeks .of his death. The mas sacre of the babes of Bethlehem was one of his last cruel deeds. When he inquired diligently what time the star appeared, the reply was evi dently such that he felt It necessary to kill all male Infants "from two years old and Under." It Is probable, therefore, that the Magi first saw the star two years before their arrival In Jeru salem. Herod died in B. C 4. Hence the Star of Bethlehem must have appeared about two years before that date- We must discover. If we can, an exceptional stellar event near B. C. 6 with which It may be identified. Johann Kepler, In his peculiar genius (for he showed that the births of Enoch. Moses. Cyrus. Caesar. Charlemagne, and Luther were preceded by important astrological events), led the way In calling attention to the astronomical phenomena - that preceded the birth of Christ. He pointed out that there must have been a conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn at about the time fit Christ's birth, and even made a few pre liminary calculations to prove his case. The con junction occurred In the sign Pisces, from time immemorial Identified with the destinies of Israel. A conjunction In that sign always signi fied the rising of some mighty master of the Jewish race. Such a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn occurs once In about 800 years. It was. therefore, sufficiently extraordinary in Kepler's eyes to herald the birth of a Messiah. Not until 1S26 was Kepler's suggestion seri ously considered by astronomers. In that year Professor Ideler. of Berlin, computed the posl-' tions of Jupiter and Saturn and proved that they were actually in conjunction In 7 B. C. His cal culations showed that they at no time over lapped to form a single star, but that they were separated by a distance equal to the apparent diameter of the moon. Accordingly, Ideler had the temerity to suppose that the wise men saw the two planets aa one star, because they, were miraculously near-sighted. In justice to Ideler. it must be stated that he abandoned his theory when Encke. in 1831, repeated the calculations and found that the- actual distance between Jupi ter and Saturn, when nearest each other In B. C. 7. was more than the apparent diameter of the moon. . Apart from the fact that Jupiter and Saturn were never sufficiently near each other to he seen as one body, two planets in conjunction can hardly be called a star. Nor Is it likely that experienced Chaldean astrologers would ' so re gard it. Moreover, there "were other planetary " conjunctions at about the same time. Professor Stockwell has demonstrated that a conjunction . of Venus and Mars occurred on May 8th. B. C. 8. about fifty days less than two years before Herod's death. Becanso fHe, mandate for the slaughter of the infants was issued some time before Herod's death. Pro fessor Stockwell advances the suppo sition that this conjunction was the Star of - Bethlehem. Since conjunc tions occurred so frequently, it is difficult to; understand why more of them did not call forth Chaldean or Persian deputations. Because of these fatal objections to any . theory which regarded the Star of Bethlehem merely as a con junction of two planets, the late Prof. R. A Proctor cast about for other celestial phenomena and final ly decided that the wise men might have been guided by a comet. There Is much to be said In favor ol tne suDDosition. Comets are discovered nowadays at the rate of two or three a vear. Not all of them are particu larly brilliant; but it is not ' incon ceivable that in Biblical times com ets occasionally appeared that were brilliant enough to strike terror into superstitious hearts. Indeed, before Edmund Halley proved mav me iaw PT-avi tatlon applied to the comet which bears his name and which has revisited the earth at intervals ef seventy-one and one-half to sev enty-nine years, comets were regara- ed as divine messengers, as omens or good -or evil, and particularly as naromgers of pestilence and war. To a poetic eastern peo ple who revered the stars as symbols especially set in the heavens for the guidance of men. comets were undoubtedly awesome visitors. The Chaldeans. Persians and Jews were astronomic ally no more enlightened than the mediaeval Christians, and if at the fall of Constantinople in 1453 all Christendom was alarmed at the ap pearance of a comet (a comet which - we ' now know to have been Halley's), It la highly prob able that the Orient was no less Impressed by these sudden visitations. Comprising, as it does, a nucleus, a -"coma" or envelope surrounding the nucleus and measuring from' twenty thousand to one million miles in diameter, and a long tail which streams behind the nucleus for sixty to a hundred million miles or more, a comet Is one of the most mysteriously beautiful celestial ap paritions that ever meets the eye. But whether or not the Star of Bethlehem really was such an apparition no one can affirm with certainty.,; An astronomer can merely state that the Idea is not untenable and that it is less objectionable than the conjunction hypothesis. Lastly, the theory has been proposed that the Star of Bethlehem was what is called a "new" star or "nova," a star which suddenly flares up in the heavens .'and fades away again to its former magnitude after the lapse of weeks or months. Such new stars are not altogether rare. Ten appeared between B. C. 134 and the end of the fifteenth century. Since the fifteenth cen tury no less than sixteen have been recorded. In our own time they are discovered with fair frequency. , . . Even before the invention ' of the telescope such new stars were studied by astronomers. Apart from the astronomical evidence In favor of the theory that the Star of Bethlehem was a nova, poetically, at least. It seems singularly fit ting that a matchless orb blazing forth In sud den magnificence should have marked not only the birth of a Messiah whose destiny It was to save mankind by his own suffering and to make ; this a new world by purging it of evil, but also the birth of a new sun with embryonic planets wheeling about It in shining clouds of gas and stellar dust. - A HIDDEN DANCED It is a duty of the kidneys to rid the blood of nrio acid, an irritating poison that is con stantly forming in side. When the kid neys fail, uric acid causes rheumatic attacks, headache, dizziness, gravel, urinary troubles, weak eyes, dropsy or heart disease. Doan's Kidney Pills help the kid neys fight oS nric acid b ringing new strength to weak kidneys and relief from backache and urinary ills. A MICHIGAN CASE. Mrs. O. W. Burger, 40S Sherman Ave.. Cwunna, Mich., sayi: 'The pains through the strati of my back were ao severe that sometimes I could not get out of a chair. If I stooped, I would nearly topple over. I had awful dizzv spells and my house work was a burden. Doan's Kidney Pills helped me from the first and continued use entirely cured me." Cat Doaa's at Any Drna Star. EOe a Box DO AN'S K?uNLiY FOSTER-MILBURN CO.. Buffalo. Now York WANTED TO FINISH THE JOB Pride In His Work, Not Tender Heart, Was What Induced ihe Chauffeur to Return. - They were going along the publ! highway at a leisurely rate of fort miles per hour, when a decrepit hei and mnfitpr Ktstrtori trt rin t Vi r Vi i r V o . - special cross the road. The front and hind wheels on tho ' right side struck the poor, old, stiff joiuted rooster amidships, and with one squawk he succumbed. . Immediately the man at the steering wheel started to slow down and to look about for a place to turn. His solicitous wil turod to her seatmate and said: "Isn't that just like his tender heart? He won't be satisfied unless he goes back and settles for that rooster. He just can't bear to feel he has injured anyone or anything." Then louder, to her husband, she said: "George, remember that an- pointment. We haven't any time to go back for anything." Glancing at the clock near his feet and at the speedometer near by, he sighed and said: . "You're right, Jennie; but-1 just' know if I had turned back I could have killed that old hen just as easy as I did the rooster." Judge. One Fisherman's Idea. First Angler Look, this fish was almost caught before; see the broken hook in its mouth. . Second Angler It should have had sense enough to steer clear of hooks after that. - . First Angler Oh, come, you can't expect a fish to exhibit more sense than a human being. No Call for Anxiety. The citizen put the solicited coin In the hand of the tramp. 'And now I want your assurance," he said, "that this money will not be used for any unworthy or unnecessary purpose. The tramp drew back.' "You don't think fr a .minute that I'd waste it on food an clothes, do you?" he indignantly demanded. Protecting Valuable Interests. "Why do you charge so much extra for putting in a load of coal?" 'Well," , replied - the dealer, "you know coal is coal, and while it costs a little more. It is better to have any body that handles it bonded." The man who- tA It AA an fntomat In public schools, good roads, religion or politics isn't even a satisfactory has- It's a genuine surprise party If any one has a good time at it. . Model Breakfast has charming flavour and wholesome nourishment Post Toasties and Cream. This delightful food, made of Indian Corn, is really fas cinating. Corn, says Dr. Hutchison, a noted English authority, is ohe of the ideal foods. As made into Post Toast ies, it is most attractive to the palate. The Memory Lingers" Sold by grocers Packages 1 0 and 1 5 cts. PosUna Cereal Co, lij Banls Creek, Mick.