An Ancient Treasure

Wednesday evening, our family visited Grandpa Grimes, Uncle Bob, and my parents in Meadville, Pennsylvania. After going out for supper we went back to the house to talk and look over the boxes of things grandpa is trying to get rid of. He and Uncle Bob saved a treasure for me—an 1828 Bible which belonged to grandpa’s great uncle, Moses Grimes. (I think that’s right but am not sure because there are two relatives named Moses.) The inside cover has several names written in it, including: Moses, his daughter Deborah (1839), Bert Grimes (1842), J. Ernest Grimes (my great grandfather), Robert G. Grimes, Sr. (1974), and Robert G. Grimes, Jr. (2006).

No genealogies were included in this Bible, but tucked away in the back cover was a copy of the National Sunday School Teacher lesson paper for January 1872. The lesson for January 14 proposes this central truth for Hebrews 4:11-16: Jesus is the perfect Mediator between us and God.

In the last lesson we learned that Jesus is the exalted Savior, elevated to be our Lord and King that he might send us blessings. In this lesson we are to find him standing as a loving Mediator between us and God. The connection of the first three verses and the great central truth to be taught is not at once obvious. The course of thought seems to be: We are in danger of losing the rest of heaven through unbelief; God’s word searches us as a sharp, piercing sword, and exposes all our unfitness for that rest, but in Jesus we have a divine and compassionate Mediator, who feels and pities our infirmities.

It is obvious that the lessons are geared toward the self-motivated Bible student as this first paragraph is followed by no less than 39 questions, such as:

Why is heaven called a rest?
How does unbelief prevent our entering heaven?
In what sense is the Word of God quick and living?
How has Jesus as our High Priest made atonement for us?
What is meant by holding fast our profession or confession?
What does Christ’s mediation procure us at this throne?
Why do we need mercy?

After all the questions, the lesson ends with an “easy” question:

Describe Alexandria in Egypt, to which the Epistle to the Hebrews is supposed to have been sent.

Not bad for a 134 year old Sunday School lesson. By the way, if you’d like to order a lesson, the back page offers them for “One cent each, or 75 cents per hundred. In packes of ten or more, can be ordered by the month of year without the TEACHER. ADAMS, BLACKMER, & LYON PUB. CO., Chicago, Ill.” Let me know when you get your’s.

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