Some years ago there lived in Jerusalem a Scripture reader. He was an Austrian Jew, and he worked amongst the large Jewish population in Jerusalem. That man had been brought up to a very curious occupation. For years he had maintained himself in a very strange way. His business was this—to take children to school every morning, and to bring them home again in the evening. Each morning he called at the various houses, he led the children out, he carried the little ones, some on his back and some in his arms, he chastised with a stick those who were inclined to play truant, and he landed them all safely at the school-door.
St. Paul, when he went to the Rabbi’s school in Tarsus, was taken there by just such a man as that, a man who was paid by his parents to drive him to school regularly, and to see that he arrived there in good time. This man was called in his day a Paidagogos, or Boy-driver.
Years afterwards, when the apostle was writing to the Galatians, he remembered his old Paidagogos, and he used him as an illustration. He said, in his epistle, that that boy-driver was like the law of God; just what the Paidagogos had done for him, that also the Word of God had done. That man had driven him to the school of the Rabbi, the law of God had driven him to the school of Christ. ’The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ.’
The word schoolmaster does not mean the man who teaches, but it is this very word Paidagogos or Boy-driver.
How, then, does the law of God drive us to Christ? Because it makes us feel that we need saving, that we are sinners and cannot help ourselves, that if ever we are to see the inside of the golden gates of heaven, it must be by learning in the school of Christ, by learning to know Him as our Saviour, our atonement, our all in all.
Lord, save me, or I perish, for I cannot save myself! All my righteousness is as filthy rags, I myself am full of sin. There is no hope for me except in Thee!
So the Law is our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ.
The Secret of Strength.
Who was the strongest person who ever lived? Surely there is no difficulty in answering that question, surely there has never been anyone to compare with Samson in wonderful feats of strength! Did he not alone and unaided rend a young lion in two, as easily as if it had been a kid? Did he not lift the massive iron gates of Gaza from their hinges, carry them on his back for forty miles, and climb with them to the top of a high hill? Did he not overthrow an enormous building by simply leaning on the huge stone pillars that held it up? We see trials of strength and feats of strength nowadays, we may have seen a man who could with one blow of the sword cut a sheep in two, we may have seen another who, by the mere power of his fist, could snap an iron chain, yet what modern Samson, strong and powerful and mighty above his fellows though he may be, can equal or rival the old Samson of Bible story.