MISS EVANS' COURSE
EUte Superintendent of Schools
, . Draw the Color Line.
Jefferson City, Mo.! The refusal of
Mis Evans, school teacher at Wells
ton, to attcud a teachers' meeting; at
which a colored teacher was present,
Is exciting considerable Interest The
local board endeavored to force Miss
Kvans to attend this meeting, and
when sho persisted In her refusal, call
ed upon County Superintendent An
drae to revoke her certificate. This
was referred to State Superintendent
of Public Schools W. T. Carrlngton,
who approve, the courso of 8upt. An
drae In refusing to revoke the. cer
tificate. Mr. Carrlngton has also written Miss
Evans, telling her the board could not
legally withhold her salary because
she had refused to attend this meet
ing. Mr. Carrlngton, discussing the
"This is a trivial matter to many, no
doubt. In 1891 I took the Initiative
that drew the color line on attendance
at the state teachers' training school,
for which I was roundly abused in
Homo quarters. When I became a
member of the Lincoln Institute board
of regents I took tba position that
there should be no white teachers
there. This was, us I bolleve. In the
Interest of negro education and against
social Intermingling of tha races."
DECIDES TO PAY INTEREST
ON MISSOURI SCHOOL DEBT
State Hoard of Fund Commissioners
Meets find Orders Payment.
Jefferson Clly, Mo.: The Missouri
stale board of fund commissioners,
composed of Gov. Dockery, State
Treasurer Robert 1. WIlllamB, State
Auditor Albert O. Allen and Attorney
General Edward C. Crow, met Satur
day tnorniug, nil the members being
present except Gen. Crow. The board
made an order setting asldo money
with wiilcli to pay tho Interest on the
school certificates of Indebtedness.
This amounts to $187,040 and is to be
distributed among the public schools
of the state when the annual appor
tionment of school moneys Is made.
Thore was also set aside VI5.2C5.98 to
pay the Interest on the seminary certifl.
cates, which goes to tho state unlver
miy at Columbia and the school of
mines and metallurgy at Rolla, making
a total of J222.305.U8. To this is to be
added the semlnnnual Interest paid
on the seminary certificates last July,
amounting to 28.100.91. and making
the total Interest paid on tho school
certiorates aiirt the seminary ccrtltt
EAT CAKES OF POISON.
Kansas City Children Munch Bat-Killing
Kansas City, Mo.: Leonard Adams,
the 8-year-old son of Robert C. Adams,
distributed among bis schoolmates at
Irving school a generous supply of
strychnine and arsenic rat biscuits last
week ana two of the score of children
mado ill bad narrow escapes from
Young Adams picked up soveral of
tho cakes of rat polBon on the counter
In Brlghtwell & Landls' drug store,
thinking they were cookies. Ho munch
ed them on his way to school and
when he arrived there gave his play
mates a share. Fortunately the supply
ran out before any of the children ato
enough to kill them.
Young Adams, Harvey Donaldson,
Stanley Selvel, Gertrude Turner, Doro
thy Kane, Harry Wilkcrson and Paul
Zwelfel all were seriously 111, but the
physicians say they will recover, al
though the Adams and Donaldson boys
were thought to bo beyond recovery
for a time.
DOCTORS DIG UP THE BODY
37ew Testimony to Ba Offered in the
Coates Murder Trial.
St. Joseph, Mo.: A party of doctors
snade a visit to Oakland Cemetery Fri
day night and exhumed the body of
Mrs. Elizabeth Coates.
William Coates Is on trial for the
fourth time for the murder of his
mother. Tho physicians told tho court
Saturday that tho body showed no
signs of having been properly exnm
Ined when tho inquest was held. The
result was to discredit tho theory of
the State that young Coates choked
his mother to death and the defendant
In one of the most remarkable murder
cases ever tried here muy bu discharg
ed in consequence.
Mew Trial Result Of Bonner Opinion
Carthage, Mo.: The decision of the
supreme court In the Bonner case cans
ed the criminal docket in the circuit
court to be arranged and cases already
tried at this term reset for new trial,
New trials will be granted H. C. Lewis
convicted for murderous assault upon
lila wife, on his motion that the Infor
mation was not sworn to by the state's
Attorney. William Click, who was
tried for assault on Officer Led better
art Joplln, and sentenced to ' fifteen
years in the penitentiary, will also
have a new trial on the same grounds.
May Take Belleville Pastorate.
8t Joseph, Mo.: Rev. U. Q. Schell
of the Third Presbyterian church, this
city, Saturday resigned his pastorate
because of differences of opinion of
his congregation on church policy. He
has a call from a church at Belleville.
Liquor Men Win at Poplar Bluff, Mo,
Poplar Bluff, Mo.; At a special elec
tion held her last week on the local
option question the city voted for the
sale of liquors by 557 majority. But
ter county also went wet ,
WILL TRY MATTHEWS
AFTER FARRIS AND SMITH
Judge O raves Bests Case to Conform
With Counsel's Agreement.
Jefferson City, Mo.: The Matthews
senatorial bribery rase goes over till
March 25. When circuit court con
vened last week with Special Judge
W. Graves of Butler on the bench, the
case was called. There was a lively
tilt between Assistant Attorney Gen
eral Sam B. Jeffries for the state and
Judge John W. Booth for the defense.
Mr. Jeffries asked that the case be
reset for a date following the Farris
and Smith cases, as had been agreed
by the counsel on both sides. Mr.
Booth Insisted that the records showed
no such agreement. His client, he urg
ed, was entitled to a speedy trial, and
no attorney had a right to enter into
an agreement, and especially an oral
one, to deprive him of bis constitu
tional rights. He was here demanding
Immediate trial, while there Is nothing
to grant a rontinuanco were he seek
ing it, and notice had been given that
trial would be Insisted on at this time.
Mr. Jeffries said the state had received
no notice that this agreement would
be now disputed, and Insisted that It
be kept. J ml go Graves set the case
for March 25. and court was adjourned
till January 4.
SUES TO HAVE NOTE AND
DEED OF TRUST CANCELED
Widow Alleges Threats and Fraud as
Mexico, Mo.: Mrs. Margaret E. Res-
hears, a widow, living nt Vnmlnlla, this
county, lias entered suit In equity
asalnst F. L. Omhrlo, II. II. Hurt and
O. F. Shawycr, all of Osawntomle,
an., to have a deed of trust on 280
acres of Ralls county (Mo.) land and
four lots In Vandnlia set aside, also
to have a note for $17,334.70 canceled.
tho deed of trust having been drawn
to secure the note.
Mrs. Beshears altegns in her petition.
which was died In this city Saturday,
that her son, C. L. Hutchison of Osa
watoroie. through threats that he
would kill himself with a revolver
while in her presonce, Induced her to
sign the note to settlo a debt which
ho claimed, she says, to have owed
The plaintiff alleges that the son did
not owe Guthrie at tho time the note
was signed and tho deed of trust exe
cuted, and aaks that the deed be set
asldo and the note canceled.
KANSAS CITY HAS NEW
St. Louis Men Are Interested in New
Kansas City. Mo.: Kansas City will
have two telephone systems in opera
tion on January 2. Tho old Bell system
will be competing with tho new Home
Tolephone Company, which offers
cheaper and better service. The old
company has given dissatisfaction for
years. The directors of the Home
Company held a meeting at the com
pany's offices, In the Bryant building,
Saturday. Those who attended the
meeting were Henry Koehler and A.
W. I-amhort of St Louis, E. L. Barbour
of Wausheon, O.; Arnold Kalman of St.
Paul, and J. J. Helm, J. J. Swofford, O.
C. Snyder, Walter S. Dickey and Hugh
Ward of Kansas City. W. R. McCann
and another engineer arc examining
the Home Company's property today
for the Information of Investors, who
are Interested In the company.
STONE GETS A
CHANGE OF VENUE
Stone's Suit Against Chrisman, to Be
Tried in Lafayetts County.
Kansas City, Mo.: Judge Douglass,
In the Circuit Court Saturday after
noon, granted a change of venuo 'to
Lafayette county of the suit brought
by United States Senator W. J. Stone
to recover $10,000 from Judge Chris
man, whlrh he Invested In the old Kan
sas City Times. Tho suit will be tried
before Judge Alexander Graves.
Senator Stone, In his application for
a change of venue, alleged that all five
of the Judges of the Circuit court were
prejudiced, and that he could not get
a fair trial before any of them. The
change was opposed by Judge Chris
man's attorneys, Frank Walsh and
Burglars Dlow Safe.
Leeper, Ma: Burglars entered the
store of J. B. O'Neal at Mill Springs
ore mile south of here, last week.
blew opea the safe and secured $500,
Refuses to Debits With Missouri.
Columbia, Mo.: Missouri university
received notice Saturday from Ne
braska university that the latter de
clines to participate In the annual de
bate with Missouri this year. The two
universities have for a number of
years held debates, and Missouri was
preparing. Nebraska mado no excuse
for declining, but It is taken here as
equivalent to notifying Missouri that
all relations between the two univer
sities must be severed. The relations
between the two institutions have been
strained since last fall.
Clothing Firm Assigns.
St. Joseph, Mo.: . Tho Perkins &
Dorse. Clothing Company filed a volun
tary deed of assignment Saturday, The
firms liabilities are 135,000. with assets
nearly equal to .that amount The
company will be reorganized.
'Wets" Carry New Madrid County,
Moorehouse, Mo.: From unofficial re
ports by telephone It it learned that
the local option election held In New
Madrid county last week resulted In
victory tor tho wets by a majority of
mm taSTM WT-f FTvT
" - ffsiU
Romance of the Year
Time Civil. Ecclesiastical and Astronomical
Date of New Year Variable Equinoxes Alone
All nations and people have a par
ticular epoch from which they date
the era In which they may have lived.
The Romans dated their chronological
events from the founding of the city.
The expression, "The year of Rome,"
or tho letters. A. V. C. (ah urbs con
dlta) refers to that particular epoch.
Tho Mohammedans express their se
quence of time by "the year of the
prophet." The dale Is from the Hejlra,
or the flight of Mohammed from
Mecca (Hejlra Is pronounced Hej-l-ra,
and is an Arabic word meaning flight),
which occurred A. D. 022. The Jews
reckon their dispensation from the
creation of the world, but in reality
their chronology begins with the
Exodus. Moses Intentionally Intro
duced a new calendar, and makes
Ablb their first month. It has been
supposed that the Jewish Sabbath la
the same as the seventh day on which
Cod ended His work, but as Moeos
changed the first month to Abib, he
changed the first day also. The first
day of this new year was the first
day of the first month and the first
day of the first week. The Sabbath
being held on tho seventh day. It must
of necessity have been changed also.
But being changed, it could not be In
correspondence with the seventh day
of creation on which God "rested."
Christians date their epoch from the
birth of Christ, the expression for
which is' the Latin words Anno Dom
ini, or A. D., the initial letters of the
words. Five centuries elapsed before
an attempt was made to authoritative
ly tlx the date of the Nativity. This
was then undertaken by Dionyslus
Exlguus (little), who fixed our present
chronology. It is now generally al
lowed that he was four years out la
his reckoning, and that B. C. 4 is the
correct year. .This corresponds with
the statement by Ireneus and Tortul
Uan that Christ was born about tha
year of Rome 761.
Different nations have begun their
count of time at different parts of the
twenty-four hours. The ancient Ac
cadlans. Babylonians, Syrians, Per
sians, the modern Greeks and the In
habitants of the Balearic isles reckon
their day from sunrise to sunrise. Why
the ancient nations began the day at
sunrise is evident from their early re
ligion, which was Magism. Fire was
a chief object of reverence with them,
and the cun as the grsnd symbol of
their worship received especial venera
tion. Hence t!:ey began their day as
they began their devotions with the
Others, like the Athenians, tho Chi
nese and the Jews have counted tho
day from sunset to sunset. Why the
Jews begin tho day from sunset is
potent from their religion. The char
acteristics ot the Jewish religion are
in sharp contrast to those of other
nations. The aim of Moses was to
wean them from the gro3sncss of
oriental religions. Hence the contrasts
and antitheses. It tho worshipers of
tho elements begin tho day with sun
rise, then the followers of Johovah
will begin theirs with sunsot Moses
can have no concord with error.
The Egyptians and pagan Roman
priests began their day at midnight.
Must European nations follow tho
same rule. Americans have alao adopt
ed the custom. Astronomors, however,
begin tho day at noon, when tho sun
Is on the meridian.
To Hlpparchus, a Greek philosopher,
who flourished about B. C. 150, must
be given the credit of dividing tne
day from midnight to midnight into
twenty-four hours, or two equal por
tions of twelve hours each. This sys
tem prevails generally at the present
day. But astronomers count continu
ously for twenty-four hours.
The week, as all know, consists of
seven days. Christians and Jews
hold this division because God created
tho heaven and the earth (the solar
system) and primordial forms of life
in six days, and "rested" on the
seventh. But It would seem that
pagan nations selected seven days be
cause of the seven planets known to
them, after which they called the
days. The sun and moon were In
cluded . In the planets. They were:
Sun, Mercury, Venus, Moon, Mars,
Jupiter, Saturn. We call three days
of the week directly after the planets
Saturday (Saturn), Sunday (Sun).
Monday (Moon), and four through the
Saxon names for tho others: Tuesday
(TueacoMars), Wednesday (Woden
Mercury), Thursday (Thor Jupi
ter), and Friday (Frlga Venus),
The month,' no doubt, originated
from the phases of the moon. These,
Hharp and well defined, are four In
number: the new moon, first quarter,
full moon and last quarter. Each of
these phases occupies about seven
When you hear the New Tear
Knocking nt the door.
Which, of Mil your wishes,
Would you ark him tor.
If he mid he grant you
One and just no more?
When you hear the New Year
Knocking at the door.
When yon hear the Nuw Year
Knocking at the door,
Constant Customs of New Year's Observance
In Ancient and Modern Times.
ilays, so that from new full moon to
r.ew full moon, there Is something
more thnn twenty-nine days, which Is
called a synodical month, or lunation.
No nation up to the present tlmo
has devised a system of absolute ac
curacy In the measurement of the
colar year. Some ancient nations, such
as the Chaldeans, reckoned the year
as 3G0 days. This Is the principle of
that most ancient aatrouonileal term,
the Zodiac. Tho Zodiac Is a belt en
circling the heavens on each sldo of
the ecliptic, within which the planets
known to the ancient-! always revolve.
It extends eight degreos on each sido
of the ecliptic. It Is divided Into
twelve equal parts, called sigus of the
Zodiac. It is a great cycle, and Is di
vided into 3fi0 degrees, like all cir
cles; hence 3C0 days In the Chaldean
The Egyptians counted 3G5 days In
their year. As the year contains
365 4 days nearly, such systems could
not fall to work great inconvenience,
for the seasons would move round in
a cycle from one tlmo of the year to
the other. Let me make this quite
plain. Take the winter solstice, for
Instance, which happens on Dec. 21.
At the end of four years tho solstice
would be not on Dec. 21, but on Doc.
22. The sun would bo behind time. In
order, therefore, that tho seasons
should occur at the same time In the
civil year, it was necessary to take
recount of this fraction of a day.
Julius Caesar, the great Roman em
peror, determined to rectify the error.
He called the celebrated Egyptian as
tronomer. Soalglnes, to his aid. Sosl
slnes suggested tbs addition of a day
every fourth year. This day was add
ed to February, and Is known to us as
"Leap Year," but to the Romans as
Bissextile (Bis. twlco, scxtus, stxth,
This corrected calendar became
known as the Julian. But as it made
tha year consist of 365 da;-?, 6 hours,
It was in excess of the actual time by
: minute 10.3 seconds. Small as was
this fraction, It accumulated to about
one day In every 134 years.
The calendar needed reform. Time,
civil and ecclesiastical, required re
adjustment. But to urge tho neces
sary change was dangerous, as the
learned Friar Bacon found to his cost.
For pointing out errors In the calendar
he received as a reword for the ad
vocacy of the truth a prison, where he
remained ten years.
As often happens, ecclesiastical
requirements minister to civil neces
sities. Tho immediate cause of the
correction of tho calendar was an
error in the time of observing tho
Kaster festival. The Council of Nice,
in A. D. 325, decreed that Easter is
the Sunday following tho full moon,
next after the Vernal equinox. Owing
to disputes arising from this ilecroo
Pope Hilnrius, in 463, ordered that tho
paschal moon should not be the actual
full moon, but an ideal ono, falling on
the 14th day of the moon by the
metonlc cycle (so-called from Metonl,
a Crock philosopher, who discovered
it. It consists of ninoteen years, at
the end of which the sun is In about
tho same position he was at the be
ginning). In 15S2 it was found that tho real
equinox fell ten days before the nom
inal ono, and from tho error in tho
Metonlc cycle, Easter had got four
days wrong- Then Popo Gregory
XIII reformed tho calendnr, called
utter hl:n tho Gregorian calendar, by
tho aid of Clavlus, a learnod Jesuit.
Tho equinox ot 1582, which should
have fallen on March 21, fell on
March 11. Gregory cut tho (lord Ian
knot by decreeing that Oct. 5 of that
year should bo counted as Oct. 15.
Tho first method of measuring tlmo,
as far as we know, was by moans of
tha obelisk. The pyramids of Egypt
very probably answered the samo pur
pose, Josophus states that Moses
erected, at Hellopolis, In Egypt, a pil
lar for such purposes. "Tho cloudy
pillar" that accompanied the Israel
ites in their forty years' wanderings In
tho wilderness, and which was a "pil
lar of flro by night," mrnt likely an
swered tho same purpose. Pliny states
that an obelisk, now on the Thames
embankment in London, and known
as "Cleopatra's Needle," was erected
by Mesuphres about B. C. 1700, likely
for similar uses. We all know, I hope,
the reference In the Bible to the sun
dial of Aha, about B. C. 740. Accord
ing to St. Jerome, who revised the old
Lutlu lllblo into what is called the
Vulgate Version of tha Holy Scrip
tures. It was pillar erected near a
flight of steps (translated degrees in
the English Bible). Eerosus was the
first to construct a sundial proper, in
B. C. 640 the fir3t recorded in pro
Would you ak for Money
Heaped In golden store?
Remember old Carnegie,
Who ey that wenllh's a bore.
When you hear the New Tear
Knocking at the door.
When you hear the New Year
Knocking nt the door,
Would you wish for Power,
Like monarch! held of yore? ,
Ee (ho t'sor of Russia.
Homnnrded, aft and fore.
When you hear the New Year
Knocking at the door.
When you hear the New Year
Knocking nt the door.
Make the wish that' beat of all.
Re what may In store
'Tie. to keep the old friends,
llcloved of your heart's core.
When you hear the New Year
Knocking ot the door.
John H. McCtroartr.
But sundials are only useful wher
tho sun shines; hence some othei
measures of time beeama a necessity.
The Egyptians were successful In In
venting such a contrivance. They
called it the Clepsydra (kleps, tc
steal, and hudor, water), by whlct
time was measured by a continuous
flow of water ut a uniform motion
The Clepsydra is first mentioned by
Empedocles, who flourished In the
fifth century befe-re Christ. It was
brought to a high degree of perfec
tion by a philosopher of Alexandria,
named C'toaebitis, and continued down
to the inention of clocks, probably In
the fourteenth century. Watches fol
lowed in duo course, till they have
become an almost necessary requisite
of everyday use.
Most pcoplo are under the Impres
sion that the rotation of the earth
has never varied from one complett
turn In twenty-four hours. But this U
an error. Tho motions of both earth
und moon havo not been Invariable
There was a time when tho lunar
month was twenty-nine days instead ol
twenty-seven, as It now is (Sir It
Ball: Time and Tide). The synodlcai
month, therefore, was between thirty
and thirty-ono days. (A synodical
month is tho Interval from one new
moon to the next.) So that primitive
man. reckoning tho month as a synod!
cal period, or lunation, may not have
been so inaccurate as wc In our su
perior wisdom imagine.
Going back from this epoch to the
Infancy of the moon, we como to a
time when tho day and month were
of equal duration about four hours
each! Coins forward to the old age
of the earth, we como to an epoch
when tho day and month are again
equal. But this time. Instead of belni'
tour-hours each, they will be 1,401'
hours. Just think of It! One day last
ing 1,400 hours! When the day will
equal fifty-eight of our present days
what will bo the length of the year?
But we must not stop at a 1,400-bout
day. Going still forward In tho far-off
future, we come to a time when the
face of the earth will bo always
turned to tho sun, as the moon's face
Is now turned to the earth, and as she
will coutinuo to be. Then thero will
be a perpetual day. for the sun shall
never set, literally fulfilling the wordf
of tho prophet: "Thy sun shall nt
more go down, neither shall thy moon
withdraw Itself." (Is. lx:20.) Tht
romance of time! How It fascinates!
The new year has been observed
with fest'.ve rejoicings from remotest
antiquity. Us celebration by religious.
as well as secular observances, pro
vailed generally among the nations ol
antiquity. And Egyptians. Hindus
Chinese, Persians, Jews. Romans and
Mohammedans, although differing
widely as to tho time from which they
reckon tho new yenr, alt regard it wltr
especial Interest of a Joyous kind.
The Chlneso begin tho year at the
Vernal equinox, and make it oue ol
the most splendid festivals. All
classes mingle together, and unite In
thanksgiving for mercies received and
prayers for a genial season and good
With tho Hindus tho first day of the
new year is sacred to Ganesa, the
god tf wisdom, to whom kids and
wild doer are sacrificed amid Illumina
tions ami rejoicings. Among . the
mountainous tribes a buffalo is sac
rificed beforo vast multitudes of peo
ple. Tho Snbcans held a grand festival
on the day the sun entered Arus. one
of tha signs of the Zodiac. Priests
and people marched to the temples
and sacrificed to the planetary gods.
In the British Isles tho Druids be
gan tho year on March 10th, with the
solemn ceremony of cutting tho mis
tletoe from tho sacred oak. On that
day two white bulls wero tied by the
horns. When a Druid, clothed In white
robes, mounted the tree and cut off
the mistletoe, after which the sacri
fices were offered.
Tho Mexicans on new year' day
adorned their houses and tet.plos
and engaged In various religious cere
monies. On such occasion human
sacrifice was offered to propitiate the
In modern times it 1b also an occa
sion of social rejoicing and inter
change of courtesies. In England,
under old style, the year began on
March 25. On the change of date to
Jan. 1, great opposition was offered
by tho people generally. Many really
bo'.leved thoy were being deprived ol
eleven years of their existence.
nev. F. P. Duffy, Seoretary Ameri
can Church Bible Institute.
LESSON II. , .
Ooldcn Text. Repent ye: for the king
dom of heaven I ut hniid. Matt 3:2.
1. The Conditions in Judea when
John Entered upon the 8cene. The
people were restless under the Ro
man dominion and the burdens of a
foreign military power. They longed
to break the yoke, and be free and In
dependent. They were looking for the
promised Deliverer, and the Messianic
times so gloriously foretold by Isaiah.
II. John the Baptist, tho Reformer
and Forerunner of Christ. Vs. 1, 4.
1. "In those days." While Jesus was
living In Nazareth. "Como" (cometh)
"John the Baptist." The present tense
of the revisions gives a vivid picture
of tho scene, when suddenly, like
Elijah of old, wlih an abruptness al
most like a flash of lightning from a
clear sky, John appeared, "a burning
and shining light," among the hills of
Judea. "Preaching." Proclaiming, as
a heruld announcing the coming of the
King, or messages from the King. "In
the wilderness of Judea."
John the Baptist, so called because
he baptized those who repented and
confessed their sins. Baptism was
the most characteristic public feature
of Jils work.
John tho Baptist was born in tho
summer of U. C. 5, about six months
before Jesus, In the hill country of
Judea. His parents wero the priest
Zachurias and his wife Elisabeth, the
cousin of Mary; so that Jesus and
John were second cousins. John was
tho child of prayer and of prophecy.
He wns a Nazlrito, drinking "neither
wine nor strong drink," and was filled
with the Holy Spirit from his birth
III. His Message Repentance, the
Door of Hope. Vs. 2-5. Note that
two reforms in the history of Israel
Illustrate the mission of John. (1)
The reform of Elljuh, when that
prophet brought to repentance and
the service of God the people who
had been led astray Into heathen wor
ship and morals by Ahab. John came
In the spirit and power of Elijah to
do a work similar to Elijah's, so
Christ himself said (Matt. 11:14; 17:
11-13; co:npnro Mai. 4:5. 6; Luke 1:
17). (2) The return of the Jews from
Babylon, as we shall see below.
2. "And saying. Repent." This is
the essential and eternally necessary
condition by which a sinner can enter
tho "kingdom of heaven." that condi
tion of things where God Is the real
King, the laws are those ot heaven,
the spirit of Its members Is that of
heaven. It is the rule of God on earth
as he rules In heaven. Is at band.
In the person of Christ, its King, who
was soon to come and inaugurate a
new era, a new and marvelous devel
opment of that kingdom. This fact
brought a new motive for repentance,
for now It would bo easier to repent,
forgiveness was more assured, tho
blessings were nearer, the inspirations
and helps were stronger.
John was the Authorized Herald
and Messenger.,:. "Fqj this is he that
was Fpoken of by the prophet Esalas"
(the Greek form of Isaiah), in Isa. 40:
3-5. quoted from the Scptuaglni, the
Greek version then In common use.
The message which follows was prin
cipally spoken to tho exiles In Babylon
w. or iv centuries before Christ.
"The voice ot one crying in tne wit
derness." John Is called a voice, be
cause (1) he was the uttcrer of God's
thought. (2) "The whole man was a
sermon." (3) Because the emphasis
lay chiefly In the message, not in the
messenger. (4) Himself weak and In
significant, like a breath, a mere vibra
tion of air, he yet produced a mighty
effect on the souls of men. "Prepare
ye the way of the Lord."
The Appearance of the Prophet. 4.
Raiment of camel's hair. Not the
costly cloth made of the fine hair of
the camel, but n coarse, rough fabric
from the long shaggy hair shod every
year. "A leathern glrdki." The sim
plest girdlo of untanned leather In
contrast with the costly, embroidered
girdles in which Orientals delight.
"His meat was locusts." Tho common
brown locust Is about three inches In
length, and tho general form is that of
a grasshopper. They arc still used as
food. "And wild honey," which
obounds In Palestine, stored In hol
low trees or clefts in the rocks.
His Attractive Power. Therefore
there (v. 6) "went out to him" the
Inhabitants of "Jerusalem," practical
ly the wnolo city, "and all Judea."
They did not all go out at. once, but
kept going and coming. Here we find
a lesson for preachers and teachers.
(1) John spoke to tho hearts and
needs and hopes of the people. They
were hoping for a deliverer from the
Roman yoke, and questioned whether
John might be the one. They were
awakening to a religious hope of the
better Messianic times. (2) The ter
rible denunciations of sin touched
their moral nature, and almost fasci
nated them Into listening. Perhaps,
feeling guilty, they wanted to hear
other men's sins brought to light. (3)
"There was always hopo with the con
demnation. John pointed out a way
of escape It was not the terror of
despair, but of urgency to use the
means of deliverance.
IV. How John Prepared the Way
for Christ. Vs. 6-12 First. By the
Call to Repcntence- There Is no pos
sibility ot entering the kingdom of the
good, but by turning away from, and
renouncing Bin. The darkness must
be left before ono can enter into the
Second. By Baptism ' and Confes
sion. 6. "And were baptised of him
At His Feet.
Thow knoweat, Lord, the weariness
Ot the sad heart that comes to Thee
Cares of to-day and burdens for to
morrow. Blessings Implored and sins to be
I como before Thee at Thy gracious
And lay them at Thy feet; Thou
. knowest, Lord.
in Jordan." Baptism was the visible,
public act of renouncing tho old lire
of sin, and entering upon the new and
holy life that belongs to the kingdom
m vim. n wss a decisive act that
mado it easier to continue In tho new
"Confessing their sins." No on
truly repents who does not also con
fessto God the sins against God, to
man the sins against man, ever also
making restitution as far as possible.
Third. By Warnings. 7. "The Phar
isees." A leading religious Beet who
gloried In keeping the forms of re
ligion, without Its spirit or its holi
ness. "Sadducees." Tho smaller but
Influential sect who denied the future
life and Its motives, and were the em
bodiment of worldllness. "Come to
his baptism." Why? (1) Drawn by
the genercl Interest and excitement.
(2) Perhaps to watch what was going
on, so as to hinder the work If need
be. (3) Possibly with a half-conscious
fueling of sin and need. "O genera
tion" (offspring, brood) "of vipers."
See Christ's description of them In
Matt. 23. "Who hath warned yon?
What mado you think thnt there la
danger, sinco you claim to be so good,
the very elect of God! "Tho wreth to
come." The punishment that must
come upon the guilty nation and the
sinful Individual tiuless they forsook
their sins (Mai. 3:2; 4:6; Luko 21:5
26; Matt. 22:13; Rom. 2:9).
Fourth. By Requiring the Fruits
Meet for Repentance. 8. "Bring forth
therefore," If you really wish to be
saved, and to escope. If you wish to
be baptized. "Fruits meet for repent
ance." The fruits that grow out of
true repentance, and prove It true,
as good fruit proves tho tree to be
Fifth. By Sweeping away False Ex
cuses. !. "And think not to say with
in ycurselves," as a reason ior not
seeing the necessity of repentance
and its fruits In order to enter the
kingdom of heaven. "We have Abra
ham to" (for) "our father." We aro
the direct descendants of Abraham
and Inheritors of the promises mado
to him. Therefore, we already belong
to the kingdom, and do not need re
pentance In order to enter. But this
was an utterly false hope, for "God is
able of these stones," "doubtless
pointing to the stones that lay ou
the shore of Jordan, where he wa
baptizing. May there not be a play
on tho words banlm (children), alian
Im (stones)?" Cambridge Bible. "To
raise up children unto Abraham." Ha
has raisod up millions of such spiri
tual children of Abraham. This em
phasizes the fact that there Is no way
Into the kingdom without repentance.
10. "The ax Is laid" (Is lying)
"unto" (at) "the root of the trees,"
all ready to cut them down when tho
tlmo came. As If a farmer, looking
over his orchard, and seeing a tree
fruitless or with only poor fruit,
should lay his axe at Its rootB for
his servants to Lit the treo down. It
was laid thereiV'.?warning. ' Every
tree which brlngeth not forth good
fruit Is hewn down." Because It takes
the place of something better. "And
cast Into the Arc," a painful and terri
Sixth. By Pointing to the Redeem
er a Greater Power, a Larger Hope.
11. "I indeed baptize you with water.'"
I give you the outward sign and sym
bol. I call you to repentance, but I
cannot give you the new life. But t
point you to one "that cometh after
me," whose forerunner I am, but who
Is so much greater, butter, more
worthy than I, that his "shoes I am
not worthy to bear," nor to unlooso
thc thon','8 by which his sandals are
fastened, the work of tho meanest
slave of the household. "Ho shall
baptize you with the Holy Ghost.'"
(Ghost is old English for "spirit")
The mightiest power in tho universe
for renewing the heart und bringing
In the kingdom of God. "And with
flro." The symbol of tho Holy Spirit.
Seventh. By Declaring the Certain
ty - of the Day of Judgment. 12..
"Whose fan" (winnowing fan) "Is III,
his hand." The fan la not fan in our
sense. It is a broad, light, wooden
shovel, with which tho grain is thrown
up to the breeze, that the wind may
winnow the chaff from tho grain. "He
will throughly.' Old form of thor
oughly, from tho proposition
"through." "Purge." Cleanse tho
chaff and dirt from the good grain.
"His floor." Threshing floor, repre
senting the world with its mingled
good and bad. "His wheat." Tho
good, the true members of his king
dom. "Into the garner." Granary:
the right place for tho wheat; tho
kingdom of heaven. "But
the chuff." The refuse; the useless,
representing all who continue In sin,
unrepentant, good for nothing, harm
ful. Thoso who refuse to bo convert
ed, and thus to bo mado Into good
wheat. "He will burn up
with unquenchable fire." That no
power can put out or enable them to
escape. The only posslblo hope of
wicked men Is in ceasing to be wicked.
There Is a time In the lives ot both In
dividuals aad ot nations when tho
chaff may be changed Into wheat. But
there Is no hope If they remain chaff.
Before the world can become tho
kingdom of God, the wicked must be
removed; either they must become
good, or they must be destroyed.
God's balances weigh every Individ
ual at tho times wheu he feels Inde
pendent of God, as well as when he
feels dependent upon the Divine
As Our Choice Is Made.
Some of the sober reflections in
volved In the passing years come from
the senao of narrowing opportunities.
Things that it would have been en
tirely practicable to attempt tweuty
years ago It would be absurd to con
sider to-day. It Is not that we are
physically weaker than we were then,,
but we mado our choice. Thought ami
skill and habit have taken a certain
set, and wo should have to throw
away the work of years in order to do
differently than we are doing.
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