Front Matter
 Title Page
 Life of Christ

Group Title: private, domestic and social life of Jesus Christ
Title: The Private, domestic and social life of Jesus Christ
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00061281/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Private, domestic and social life of Jesus Christ
Series Title: p
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Krebs, John M.
Publisher: William S. Martien
Place of Publication: Philadelphia
Publication Date: 1850
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00061281
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - ALH3101
alephbibnum - 002232705

Table of Contents
    Front Matter
        Front Matter 1
        Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Life of Christ
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
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Full Text





m. Iv. 5.

hitmr dr im d ml Chbi, Nor Tsm.

141 CuHnmr 8rstr.


atred according to the Act otCoagrees iat
yea 1M8, by Wa. 8. MAYnm, in the ef
of the Clerk of the Distriot Court for kthe S
re DLtriot of Penasylisia.


(- ,1 r3t-;'



I propose in the following pages
to treat of the Private and Dome-
tie Life and Character of Jeus, -
distinguished from his public, office
ministry; and to hold up this model
for the imitation of the Young.













Bweutsap is always interesting. The
mind is pleased in beholding the gra-
phic succession of incidents that pas
before us as in a moving panorama;
and there is in us a strong natural
desire of information concerning those
who have distinguished themselves in
the world's history. For its gratica-
tion, the lives of warriors, philosophers,
statesmen, and poets, have been ex-
plored with most curious research, and
paraded in minutest detail. Not even
the nursery has escaped; and the
narrative of childish precociousness and

juvenile exploit becomes distended with
"wasteful and ridiculous excess."
Some specimens of juvenile religious
Sbiography are exceedingly liable to this
criticism. If not absolutely apocryphal
they are made so, through the biased
Imagination of the historian, magni-
fying very trivial and common-place
Sa&firs until they loom before the as-
taished vision as most extraordinary
ereptr. For the edification of this
reading age, the prolific press teems
with amazing chronicles, wherein in-
fantile prodigies figure amid such illu-
0iseu epochs as the process of den-
titio, the transfer from the nurse's
arms to the first experiments in peripa-
tetics, and the initiation into the myste-
ries of the pictorial alphabet; and the
incipient developments of juvenile piety

or JMM mn urt. 7
are gravely recorded, from the first ap
propriate hymn or prayer which child.
hood lisps to its sublimer discovery and
announcement that the stars are lile
perforations in the sky to let the glory
Now, while all this sort of absurdity
is rich enough to provoke a smile, and
the vanity both of parents and of too '
partial reporters is rebuked by the
brief and simple beauty of the evangeli.
eal biographies, it is only the toogreat
abuse of a proper curiosity that is to
be condemned.
And there is one character that has
appeared on the stage of human exist
once, in regard to whom, it may be
pardoned if we feel some solicitude to
leam the particulars of his childhood
Mnd youth.

Who of us that has ever contempla-
ted the wonderful history of our gm-
cious Redeemer, as it is exhibited by
the four Evangelists -who, in their
vivid and engaging picturest has seen
the Holy Ghost descending like a dove
to rest upon him, and standing by the
side of Jordan, or on the Mount of the
transfiguration, has heard the voice
from the excellent glory, proclaiming
"This is my beloved Sog ;"-who that
has witnessed the successful conflict
with the temptation in the wilderness,
or sat at his feet to listen to the gracious
words that proceeded out of his mouth,
when he uttered the beautiful truths of
the Sermon on the Mount, where he
spake as one having authority, and not
as the Scribes and the Pharisees; who
that has followed his footsteps on hiW

ends of mercy, and beheld the gene.
rous exertions of his miraculous power;
that has heard the dumb speak and
seen the dead come forth from the
sepulchres at his bidding; that has
lived again in that cruel hour when
vile men plaited the crown of thorns
upon his brow, and drove the nails
through those hands ever, and even
then, stretched out in mercy; that has
wept at his tomb, and been revived
again by the glorious resurrection of
the Conqueror of Death and Hell, and
has stood in raptured amazement to
gaze upon him, as he ascended through
the clouds, to his Father and our
Father, to his God and to our God:
And who, especially, that has listened
to that celestial minstrelsy, when angels
sung the song of redemption over the

10 sOCIAL Ln
plains of Bethlehem, or has bowed with
eastern ages before the manger of the
infant Son of Mary, or trembled with
dread of the bloody tyrant who sought
the young child's life and flled those
hapless coasts with unavailing slaugh-
ters, and with the lamentations of
bereaved mothers for the murder of
their innocents; or who that has been
astonished at the understanding and
answers of the youthful and modest in-
quirer, who appears in the midst of the
doctors in the temple, and has pursued
his career, as the imagination painted
him, returning from Jerusalem to abide
amid the secluded employment of
domestic life, in his parents' dwelling
at Nazareth: who of us that has been
absorbed by all these charming records,
has not wished to know yet more of

or rMIMaUlom. U
the early incidents of such a life, thirty
years of which were paused in a sclu-
sion that is almost entirely hidden from
our vie*w We would still nearer,
oftener, and more intimately san the
stages of that progress which was made
by the holy child Jesus," that we
might see for ourselves how he grew
and waxed strong in understanding,
the scenes wherein he displayed his
falness of wisdom, and manifested that
excellence of grace which was upon
him. We would wait upon the foot-
steps of such a youth, that we might
hear his conversation, and become
familiar with the beautiful and impres-
sive particulars of such a manhood,
while, still remaining, in subjection to
his parents, he increased in wisdom
and stature, in all those years of filial


service, of patient waiting, and of pious
preparation, and, in all, beloved both of
God and man, up to the very point of
his assuming the public functions of
his mission and ministry as the Savioar
of the world I
But it has not pleased the Holy
Ghost to indite for us all the partiou-
lars of the early life of Jesus Christ.
Indeed, although we are furnished
with numerous and varied details of
that portion of his life which comprised
his public ministry, even in regard to
it, we are told that there are many
other things which he did, in the pre-
sence of his disciples, that are not
written. But enough was written that
we might believe that Jesus is. the
Christ, the Son of God, and that be.
living, we might have life through

or Jss CHlBIT. U
hi name. In this reserve, though our
curiosity is disappointed, yet is there
no disservice done to us. There is
sufficient for our attaining that know.
ledge which makes wise unto saia-
tion. And the same discreet reserve
is properly exhibited with respect to
the scenes of his early years before
entering on his public ministry. This
characteristic of the sacred record,
sober, dignified, brief, simple and mo-
dest, is in strong and disparaging con.
trat with those vain absurdities with
which tradition has attempted to mead
the word of God, and with the puerile
fables which abound in such apocry-
phal narratives as the gospels of the
"Infancy of Jesus," and other spurious
books, wherein patriotic and monkish
zeal has profanely and fraudulently

endeavoured to supply the want which
our curiosity, if not our piety, has found
in the evangelical histories: while this
very redundance of worthless miracles,
and lying wonders, and all this deceiv-
ableness of unrighteousness and corru-.
tion o the truth and simplicity of the
gospel, serve, at once, to demonstrate
the presumption of the inventors, and,
as a foil, to set off in its own brilliant
and saving lustre, the beauty, the sim-
plicity, the truthfulness, and the bea-
venly origin of the only record which
God hath given of his Son.
But, although the veil is drawn over
the greater part of the Saviour's early
and private life-and it is even admis-
sible that, beyond the striking inci-
dents that are recorded, there were in
a life so pure, so modest, and so -

or Jsem CHRA u
eluded, but few remarkable occur-
reaces demanding record-yet we are
not left altogether without information
concerning his childhood and his youth.
If we are precluded from an intrusive
inspection of his retired hours, and are
restrained by the scriptural and only
authentic account of his youth from all
mere conjecture and foolish invention,
we are nevertheless sufficiently inform-
ed, if not for the gratification of idle
curiosity, at least for the instructiveness
of his example, and even for the cor-
roboration of his matured claims and
public official character, we are suffi-
ciently informed of the leading facts
and traits of his youthful deportment
and singular early life.
For, besides the circumstances of his
birth, his circumcision and presents-

tion in the temple, the homage of the
wise men who saw his star in the east,
and the testimonies of Simeon and
Anna, and the flight into Egypt-
which it is not within our purpose to
review at this time-we are also made
acquainted with some important de-
tails of the interval between the return
from Egypt, which was probably in his
second year, and his baptism by John.
And these intervening facts, under the
light that is reflected upon them from
the record of his public ministry, and
of his own teachings, and from the
apostolical epistles, become radiant and
suggestive, so that it is no effort of rash
and daring conjecture, if with such
materials we undertake to illustrate the
private history of Jesus Christ, not only
in the period of childhood, up to his

or Jm CHmrr. 17
appearance in the temple, at twelve
years of age, but also in the succeeding
eighteen years which elapsed while he
dwelt at Nazareth in subjection to his
parents, until he entered upon that
public ministry, of which we have such
ample details.
While then our knowledge is so
limited, as to the specific incidents of
his youth and childhood, a fact of
which it becomes us to be aware, lest
we overstep the modesty which bounds
our inquiry and instruction, there is,
on the other hand, so much revealed,
that we can never be at a loss to know
what he would have maid or done in
any circumstances of his life. And
whilst it may be, that in the cautious
endeavour to confine myself to what is
authentically written in the Sacred

History, I may produce before you a
feeble outline, that seems lifeless and
barren, it becomes me still to say, that
I have found that my task requires
of me far less the effort of imagina-
tion and the employment of pictorial
words, in painting eventful but unreal
scenes, than that I should repress a
teeming multitude of facts which start
forth, demanding to be used, in that
exemplary and instructive illustration
which the Bible itself affords, of the
life-the early youth of Jesus of Naza-
So far, therefore, from complaining of
the barrenness of the field, we may the
rather regret, that, in this exercise, we
can do no more than suggest some hints
toward such a history. That history
embraces such themes as thesyr-U

or JIsn CHUT.

physical, menal, and moral endo.
mntn-Mh iwnreare in yewm amd tt-
we, and in intellectual aequiition-
Alr impresive reverence for divine or-
dimces, and hi piety and obedience
to God-hi. diligene, industry, mad
patience-his modesty and fill los-
his perfect purity, and the retimatime
in which hee a held by both God and
Let us proceed under the guidance
of the sacred narrative: "And the child
grew and waxed strong in spirit, filled
with wisdom: and the grace of God was
upon him. Now his parents went to
Jerusalem every year at the feast of the
passover. And when he was twelve
years old, they went up to Jerusalem
after the custom of the feast. And when
they had fulfilled the days, u they re-


turned, the child Jesus tarried behind in
Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother
knew not of it. But they, supposing
him to have been in the company, went
a day's journey; and they sought him
among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
And when they found him not, they
turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking
him. And it came to pass, that after
three days they found him in the tem-
ple, sitting in the midst of the doctors,
both hearing them, and asking them
questions. And all that heard him were
astonished at his understanding and an-
swers. And when they saw him, they
were amazed: and his mother said unto
him, Son, why hast thou thus dealtwith
w? behold, thy father and I have sought
thee sorrowing. And he said unto them,
How is it that ye sought me twist ye

or Jius tmIsar. U
not that I must be about my Father's
business? And they understood not the
saying which he spake unto them. And
he went down with them, and came to
Nazareth, and was subject unto them:
but his mother kept all these sayings in
her heart. And Jesus increased in wis-
dom and stature, and in favour with God
and man."-Luke ii. 40-6.
I. While we fully believe that he
who was miraculously conceived of the
Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin
Mary, was the possessor of a perfectly
divine nature, we must not forget that
it behooved him "in all things to be
made like unto his brethren," and that
he was even subject to all natural hu-
man infirmities, tempted in all point
like as we are, sin only excepted.
There is only this difference between
him and us, that the weaknesses which

press upon us, by a necessity which we
cannot avoid, were undertaken by him
voluntarily and of his own accord."-
He was therefore as perfectly human,
as he was perfectly divine. And this
fact will account for all the difficulties
which have been suggested, on the
ground of those characteristics, actions,
and speeches, which have been alleged
to be inconsistent with his claim to be
equal with God; and especially with
his being born an infant of days, and
his increase in age and stature and wis-
dom. "If it takes nothing from his
glory that he was altogether emptied,
neither does it degrade him that he
chose not only to grow in body, bat to
*ke progress in mind."-Calvin.
E How his divine nature subsisted in
e~nection with the human, we do not

or JsUU cIa uu. I
inquire; nor even whether, a it has
been conjectured, it was gradually com-
municated in its effects and iqrfuencs
on his intellectual powers, nor by what
process it so operated, nor in what mea-
sures. This only we know, that "he
received in his.human nature according
to his age apd capacity, an increase of
the free gifts of the Spirit, that out of
his fulness he may pour them out upon
us; for we draw grace out of his grace."
Omitting all vain and profitless con-
jecture, and every misleading hypothe-
sis, we find enough in the fact, that it
was because of thi union that his mind
possessed its vigour, capacity and clear.
ness, that his penetration was so acute,
and his judgment so discriminating at4
infallible. Enough too for us to know,

why it was that he was the pure, wie
and amiable character whom the gospel
commends to our reverence, faith, and
love, while we contemplate him bothas
our Saviour and as our example, bear-
ing and dignifying our nature, clothed
in a body like our own, subsisting amid
the ordinary walks and relations of hu-
man life, and exemplifying in their
highest possible perfection, every vir-
tue, duty, and grace that can exalt and
adorn our human nature.
It is eminently then his human na-
ture, and his progress therein, concern-
ing which the Evangelist instructs us.
It were the height of folly to attempt
any description of the person of Jesus
Christ, as child, youth, or man. Spu-
rious accounts were indeed early fabri-
cated; and poetry, painting, and sculp-

or iMU CMauT. U
tare have all endeavoured to set forth
his lineaments. The latter have'de-
lighted to represent him, especially in
the agonies of the crucifixion. And a
false religion, mad upon its idols, has
first broken, and then, to conceal the
impiety, has mutilated the command-
ments of God, in the fanatical adoration
of its graven image of Christ on the
cross. But instead of the impression
which such unbaptized piety would
thus make upon our minds, by these
creations of unlicensed genius, the eye
is pained by the ghastly, cruel exhibi-
tion, and the feelings are rather dis-
gusted than edited by representations
that never can reach, and for the most
part only degrade that awful subject.
And wherever the wayward and igno-
rant fancy has portrayed the person of


Jesus as luminous, and his head encir-
cled with a halo, instead of enhancing
our ideas of his dignity, it has both
transcended the gospel record and the
obvious facts, and belittled with man's
folly the real majesty and grace with
which his person was adorned. The
pictures too with which the galleries of
art have been filled, of the infant, the
youth, and the man Christ Jesus, often
presenting lineaments of great beauty,
it need hardly be said are no portraits,
and are at best the mere imaginations
of painters; every failure adding to the
reasons which show the folly, if not the
impiety, of making any image or like-
ness of the Son of God.
Yet, who can doubt that his very
person must have been distinguished
for physical excellence. Pure and

holy, governed by the laws of highest
reason, temperate and self-denying, free
from all debasing appetites, and exempt
from the deforming influences of all
evil passions, we cannot but deem it
an embodiment of perfect health. As
the Lamb of God and the victim of a-
crifice, we read that he was without
spot or blemish; and as he was or.
dained of God to the priestly office-
of rank and function superior to the
priests of Aaron's line-the canonical
requirements teach us that, therefore,
* he must have been free from all physi-
cal defects. In person, ha must have
been symmetrical, and in countenance,
he must have exhibited an engaging
comeliness. It needs no license of the
imagination to conceive of him, that like
Moses, he was a "goodly child." The

passage, "the grace of God was upon
him," has been interpreted on good
classical authority to signify the beauty
of his person. But it may more pro-
perly be understood of "the excellence
of every description which shone bright-
ly in him."
It is, however, more to the purpose
to consider the effect of that intellectual
and moral beauty which pervaded his
soul. In these, he was "fairer than
the sons of men." Not only do we in-
stinctively conceive that the body mst
have been in its excellence, the fitting
lodgment of such a soul; but we know
also what an influence is conveyed
from the inward man, and is manifested
in the mere external features, and ever
in moulding the physiognomy. Grace,
Wettein-in Campbell--ad Bloomfeld.

tenderness, dignity and love, high
thought, and heavenly affections dwelt
ever in his heart, spake through his
lips, swam in his eye, and sat upon
his face-expressive features mirroring
the soul; these lent a charm to his very
person, and engaged the favour of the
beholder. And what a countenance
must that have been, which afterwards
shone as the sun, and whose surpaes-
ing majesty, long after it had been so
marred with many tears and griefs,
could still abash and prostrate the bard
of armed ruffians that came to appre-
hend him in the garden. Nor is the
force of this impression at all weakened,
even if we transfer to his outward per-
son, what is said of him-that he bare
our fafrmities and took our sicknesses,
that his visage was so marred more


than any man, and that, springing up,
like a root out of dry ground, he was
without form or comeliness that we
should desire him. Even if we sup-
pose the man of sorrows to have had a
body, weak, diseased, emaciated, the
result of his acquaintance with grief;
we may, nevertheless, consider the in-
fluence upon his person of his exalted
moral attributes. His countenance bore
even in its sorrowful lineaments, the
impression of his dignity, patience,
tenderness, compassion, purity, meek-
ness, and sweetness of soul; and, but
to look upon it, was to discern that
loveliness of mental and of moral
beauty, which so often engages our
regard in the daily experience of life,
even for persons, whose plain and
homely features we forget, in the su-

prior charm of lofty intellect and vir-
tUOUs soul.
I. As he grew up, increasing in age
and stature, he developed that perfection
of mental qualities with which he was
divinely endowed. The expressions of
the Evangelist refer to the natural vigour
of his understanding, and the attain-
ments of wisdom and knowledge with
which it was furnished. His mind
was strong and capacious. Its powers
are evinced by all those acts of pru-
dence, and by the various sayings,
wherewith he confounded the subtlety
of his captious foes, and by all the gra-
cious and holy instructions in truth and
duty, and that prevailing eloquence
and authority with which his ministry
abounded. But he was, nevertheless,
born and grew as a child: he did not

spring forth from his birth a speaking
prodigy, nor burst upon the astonished
world in the full perfection of his na-
tive genius. It was through the ordi-
nary process of growth, assisted indeed
by the divine inspirations of his god-
head, yet still by degrees, and by the
needful discipline of instruction, read-
ing, and meditation, that he attained and
manifested his fulness of wisdom. As
to the particular elements of his in-
tellectual stores, it would be imperti-
nent trifling to attempt detail. During
his ministry, he spake of some things
which were reserved even from him,
though he were the Son. This of itself
is no disparagement of His Omnisci-
ence, when we remember that he had
a human soul, and that as mediator he
was, in a very important sense, subordi-

or mum caU ST. 8
nate to the Father. And this very -
serve, I incline to think, is but official,
and has reference rather to the func-
tion of making known, than to his own
proper acquaintance with the things
themselves. It was no part of his
ministry to instruct men in those par.
ticular things.
But it is evident that his mind was
developed early, and its progress in
wisdom extraordinary. His acquaint-
ance with divine truth was apparent,
not only when in the exercise of his
ministry, the Jews exclaimed, "Whence
hath this man wisdom t" but in that re
markable interview, when, at twelve
years of age, he sat in the midst of the
doctor in the temple, both hearing
them and asking them questions; and
all that heard him were astonished at

his understanding and answers. Of
this interview, by the way, a most im-
proper idea is presented by some pic-
tares, and even by some commentators,
as if Jesus assumed the place of a
teacher on this occasion, and disputed
with the doctors. Nothing more took
place than was common. It was cus-
tomary for these public instructors to
sit upon elevated benches, and their
disciples sat at their feet, while a very
free conversation took place between
the teachers and the learners, and
knowledge was communicated by the
former in the way of question and an-
swer, mutually propounded, arer our
method of catechising, or perhaps more
probably, the familiar mode which pre-
vails in our intelligent Bible classes.
This was the modest attitude of Jesus,

as be heard, and asked questions and
answered. The scene exhibits him to
us s a diligent inquirer after know-
ledge-not relying, as inferior but vain
minds do, on gaining knowledge with-
out study; but it shows us also how
his thoughts had been exercised; and
it is not too much to say that, like
David, he already evinced more under-
standing than his teachers. Of the
themes of inquiry, we may be sure
that they related to divine truth; and
though there may have been no for-
wardness on his part to contradict these
men, who were notorious corrupters of
the word of God, there can be no doubt
that his modest questions were of such
a character as sorely to press upon the
dogmatic haughtiness, which afterward
he so sharply confronted and humbled,


giving even then a specimen of what
he would be, when he should teach
'with authority, and the common people
would hear him gladly, and it should
be acknowledged that a great prophet
is risen in Israel. Even in those early
days was that prediction accomplished,
" that the Spirit of the Lord should rest
upon him, as the spirit of counsel and
of might, of wisdom and of knowledge,
to make him of quick understanding i
the fear of the Lord."
I proceed to notice some particulars
illustrating his moral characeristics.
III. His piety and devotion may be
illustrated by the circumstances of his
attendance at the temple when he was
twelve years of age, and there mani-
fested his regard for the worship of
God, and his reverence for divine ordi-

or ismu cnirr. r
Ahhongh neither Joseph nor Mary
sams to have clearly understood the
dilinguished lot which awaited im,
yet of this we are sure, that he himself
wan folly aware of it; and that his pa-
rents faithfully trained him in the nur-
ture and admonition of the Lord, while
he gave himself to patient and diligent
preparation for his future work. At
Naareth, his opportunities, beyond the
domestic threshold, were probably few I
nd, if we may adopt the inferences
concerning the character of the place,
suggested by the disparaging estimate
in which it was held, (John i. 46) the
disadvantages of his situation were very
great For parental fidelity might be
coanteracted by surrounding evil ex-
ample, and even diminished by the
temptation of their circumstances, to

relax in their own duty. But we
know that there was a Synagogue
there, for Jesus preached in it aftes-
wards, and how astonished its attend-
ants must have been when they saw
him with whose childhood and youth
they had been so familiar, stand up to
declare the fulfilment in his own per-
son of the tender and beautiful predic-
tion respecting the character and work
of the Messiah. He was doubtless an
habitual worshipper there; and smsh
parents as Joseph, his reputed father,
and Mary his mother-so favoured
with divine communications, and en-
trusted with such a charge-so exm-
plary and so observant of the law-
were not careless to impart religious
instruction to this extraordinary child,
to make him familiar with the word of

Ood, and to form his youthful habitat of
prayer and meditation.
Their fidelity to their high trust,
amply discharged at home, is apparent
also in their taking him up with them
to the temple of Jerusalem. Thither
the males of Israel were obliged to
resort three times a year. The visit of
the females was altogether voluntary.
And it was customary also to take the
children upon arriving at the age of
twelve years, at which time they were
supposed to be of sufficient discretion
to be introduced into the church, and
initiated into the doctrines and ceremo-
nies of religion.
The visit of Joseph and Mary to the
great festival upon this occasion, was a
labour of love. It is evident, too, that
those who came from a distance tra-

veiled in companies, and thus they
solaced the toils of the way with the
comforts of social intercourse, and in
singing the songs of Zion during the
It was in all probability the first time
of Jesus accompanying them-and we
find him solicitous to improve the oppor-
tunity. Although the services of the fes-
tival continued through seven days, he
exhibits no weariness-no impatience to
be gone. Ah I how unlike that restless-
ness-not of youth only-which is so
common, with respect to the exercises of
the sanctuary. What a weariness to
them is the Sabbath, and what an
atrocious offence is it, that in the exposi-
tion of the gospel, the minister is so in-
discreet as to tax their patience some-
times for a whole hour I The youthful

Jesus loved the Lord's house. Though
possessed ofthe treasures of wisdom and
knowledge, he desired like David to
dwell in the courts of the sanctuary, to
behold the beauty of the Lord, and to
inquire in his temple. While then, his
parents depart, he remains behind ;-
and still, until the third day after, he
maintains his poet of religious medita-
tion and research into those things which
had been shadowed forth in the rites and
ceremonies of the paschal festival. His
parents in the meanwhile do not at first
miss him from their company: it was
not carelessness on their part, but they
supposed him to be with their friends
and kinsmen. This supposition sug-
gests to us the social, companionable
temper of Jesus. Neither ascetic nor
recluse, he mingled with men, and by

his own example, sanctions, as he ever
adorned, the social, friendly intercourse
of life. But not finding him where they
first sought, his parents retrace their
way to Jerusalem with a heavy, anxious
heart;-a second day is consumed in
their journey. Their fears aros from
no misgiving as to his deportment; they
sorrowed not with any apprehension of
wilful truancy or misspent time in evil
companionship. They knew him too
well for that. Other evils were dreaded.
Perhaps they thought of the persecu-
tion of his infant year, and feared some
renewal of that danger; or it might be
that straying from the caravan, some
evil beast had destroyed him. They
find him where they naturally sought
him; for it is far less likely that they
made much search elsewhere, than that

they went at once to the temple. For-
getting, for the moment, to consider
what import there was in the scene
which met her eyes when she saw him
in the midst of the doctors; yet over.
joyed for his recovery, Mary puts no
restraint upon her gushing emotions:
the tender anxieties of a mother's heart
baur forth:-" Son, why hast thou thus
dealt with us T" If in the reply to this
expostulation, there appears to be some-
thing of rebuke-" How is it that ye
sought me; wist ye not that I must be
about my Father's business T"-it may
be justified at once, not only by remem-
bering that with the dutifulness of a
son, he hastens to explain, and so to re-
lieve her anxiety, but that he appeals to
the superior duty which he owed to his
heavenly Father. Urgent and impress

sive as are the claims of earthly parents,
they are still subordinate to the claims
of God. If worldly parents would 9W
mand an obedience incompatible WHI
the duties of piety, children are abol~
from compliance. And when the rndle
of this world required the Apostle to
refrain from preaching the gospel, they
replied, "Whether it be right to obey
God rather than men, judge ye."
Such was Christ's reverence for re-
ligious duty at that early age. The
incident reveals to us, his pious training
-his love of devotion and jrayer-his
delight in religious worship-and his
controlling sense of the duty he owed
to God.-"He must be about his Fa-
ther's business." "He must be at his
Father's house." His whole life em-
bodied this sentiment. For this he

emptied himself of the glory which
he had with his Father before the world
wr left his high throne and the
ibdea of the blessed; became an in-
habiant of this low world, assumed the
likeness of sinful flesh, and took upon
him a servant's form; for this he sub-
mitted to poverty, toil, suffering and
reproach; for this he never turned
aside in weariness and disgust; it wa
his meat and his drink to do his Father's
will; his seal for this absorbed his
energies and his time; in days of ex-
harsting labour, in whole nights of
prayer-by the sea-shore and in the
desert-on the summits of the moun-
tains, and in the public thoroughfares
-in humble villages, in the city, and in
the temple-this was hi business.
And at last, when the active depart-


ments of that business were completed,
he declared, "I have finished the work
which thou gavest me to do;" and
shortly afterward, having ended all that
he was to endure and suffer, he ex-
claimed, "It is finished;" and gave up
the ghost.
And let it not be forgotten, that this
devoted obedience is enhanced by the
fact that he had ever before his mind, a
full view of all the pains and sufferings
which were appointed to him. When,
in heaven, he undertook the work of
human redemption, he knew that a
body *6 prepared for him for this very
purpose, and he declared, "Behold, I
come; in the volume of, the book it is
written of me: I delight to do thy will,
0 my God."
Now, were there revealed to us at

- ^'^~

o JsIUI CUnIT. 47
our birth, a vision of all the scene
through which we are to pas in human
life, the new-born infant would shrink
from its coming existence, and prefer,
to its inheritance of evil and sorrow, the
boon of dying as soon as it opened its
eyes upon this world.
Such a vision Jesus had. In all the
years of his conscious existence, he aw
plainly through what scenes he must
pass. He bdre about continually in his
body, his dying, and all the anticipa-
tion of the forms of grief which had
bean marked out for him to endure.
Nothing came upon him, as it were, by
surprise, and as it is with us. It was
ever present to his thoughts, and laid
upon his heart; and he was even strait-
ened till his baptism of suffering should
be accomplished. Whether it were by

night or by day, whether it were in
converse with his friends or at the fee-
tire board, (Mark xiv. 8), or amid the
glory of the transfiguration, (Luke ix.
81,) he never forgot for a moment, the
cup whose ingredients he knew, and
the decease which he should accom-
plish at Jerusalem. Yet though he
foresaw all his coming sorrows, he never
shrunk from encountering them. Once,
indeed, when the direst of all was near
at hand, he prayed, "Father save me
from this hour;" but immediately added,
"Yet for this cause came I unto this
hour. Father, glorify thy name, thy
will be done." Here was submission;
not only when the trial came, but when
he looked through the long perspective
of his predicted sufferings. This was
obedience, indeed. Truly, this man
was the Son of God.

IV. But with this supreme devotion
to the will of God, and this exemplary
regard for the duties of religion, there
was no failure on his part, in the duties
he owed to his parents. There is no
proper room for collision between these
respective obligations. And right obe-
dience is rendered to neither, unless it
be rendered to both. His business in
the temple concluded, Jesus forthwith
returned with his parents to Nazareth,
and was subject unto them. In this he
manifested his reverence for their per-
sons, submission to their authority, and
seal in testifying his love for them.
In these evil days of precocious ide-
pendence, how many affect to despise a
father's counsels and a mother's anxie-
ties, as the effusions of dotard bigotry
that has outgrown and forgotten its sym-

pathies with the season of youth. Mny
alua are like that unhappy prodigal,
who said, "Give me the portion of
goods that falleth to my share;" impa-
tient to escape from the restraints of
home, and to indulge themselves in
riotous living.
Many are impatient to enter upon
their inheritance, though they know it
can only be by the death of the too long
lived progenitor. Many cast off all alle-
giance and incur God's curse against
rebellious offspring. Many reject the,
obligations of filial assistance, and self.
ishly pander to their own appetites,
while they can suffer those who begat
them to pine in neglected poverty.
Many by evil courses bring down the
gray hairs of heart-broken parents with
sorrow to the grave. How beautiful the

contrast, in the early life of Jess, who
neither renounced nor despised his pa-
rents, on account of his superior abili-
ties, but did homage to the womb that
bare him, and to him whom he knew
to be but his reputed father, and who
had protected his helpless infancy. It
would be delightful to go into detail,
and dwell upon the recorded instances
of his beautiful filial piety. It is im-
portant to notice one instance which
shows us how it was manifested, and
Show long it continued. It is evident
(Mark vi. 8,) not only that he was the
son of a carpenter, but that he followed
the occupation himself, for he was re-
proached with it when he entered upon
his ministry. It was indeed the cus-
tom of the Jews to give to their sons
some mechanical trade, and it was a

matter of reproach to a young man not
to have been so brought up. Solon
enacted that children who did not main-
tain their parents in old age, when in
want, should be branded with infamy,
and lose the privilege of citizens; he,
however, excepted from the rule those
children whom their parents had taught
no trade, nor provided with other means
of procuring a livelihood: and it was a
proverb of the Jews that, he who did
not bring up his son to a trade, brought
him up as a thief. But in the cas of
Jesus, it is but reasonable to believe
that he pursued this occupation for his
own support, and for the help of his
parents; and that it was by this means
he provided for the support of Mary and
her family, after the death of Joseph,
before he entered upon his public life.

In this fact, we see the diligence and
industry of his private life, and with
what modest patience he abode in secl-
sion for thirty years, until the appointed
time came for engaging in the work of
his public ministry, a fact which might
be contemplated with advantage by those
who, devoting themselves to this office,
hasten but half furnished to the service
of the altar, as if the Lord had need of
their neophyte impatience and zealous
incompetence. Our Lord thus dignified
an humble station, and commends to us
with honour the useful and respectable
employment of mechanic industry and
honourable toil in the laborious callings
of human life; while his example may
teach men, both contentment with a less
prominent condition, and how they may
serve God in their callings. And when,


u was the case with him, ignorant and
foolish men give no honour to a minis-
ter because he has risen from the work-
bench or the plough, if he be but apt
to teach and is faithful to his work, he
may rather glory to be associated with
Paul the tent-maker, and with him of
whom they said, "Is not this the car-
In this state of subjection to his
parents he continued, honouring and
dwelling with them while Joseph lived,
and afterwards with Mary, till his
entrance on the Mediatorial functions.
Nor did he ever outgrow his youthful
tenderness. "When he went about
doing good," the remembrance of a
desolate add widowed mother attended
him; and when he was finishing his
course, "Love was stronger than death,

and would do its friendly offices amidst
the agonies of a crucifixion." How,
and what provision was made for her
during his triennial ministry, is not
written; but we know what legacy
was appointed for her in his last will
and testament. In the bitterness of his
anguish, he compassionate her condi-
tion as well as her grief; and when he
could no longer think of her in person,
he found out a proxy to supply his
room and his affections. For while he
hung upon his cross, seeing his mother
and the disciple standing by whom he
loved, he saith unto his mother, "Wo-
man, behold thy Son;" and to the dis-
ciple, "Behold thy mother." Thus
mutually recommending the beloved
John to her love as one that would
thenceforward perform the duty of a

son, and her to his care and protection
as one that should henceforth be to him
as a beloved mother. And from that
hour the dwelling of John became the
home of Mary the mother of Jesus, and
she found an honoured refuge tjere.
V. I hare spoken of the singular
purity and holiness of the character of
Jesus. This indeed belongs to hit;
whole career. And it is worthy of
especial notice in this connection, not
only in order that we may feel the
proper impression which it ought to
make, but as it serves to qualify all
those characteristics of piety and obe-
dience for which his early life was dis-
tinguished; and in this relation, it be.
comes as instructive on the points before
us, as any recorded particular of his
childhood and early life.

We are in the habit of speaking of
the innocence of childhood, and the
guileless sincerity of youth; but who
knows not, feels not, that these are but
comparative. Alas I is not folly (sin)
bound up in the heart of a child; and
which of us has not reason to deplore
his own waywardness, and to intreat
for the pardon of the sins of his youth t
But when we contemplate the life of
Jesus, we see a model of purity, born
without the taint of corruption, and to
his last hour entirely without sin. Nay,
by his intimate contact with divinity,
his holiness was superhuman, even
though it be compared with the un-
fallen Adam. There is none holy as
the Lord. Do we always take in the
full force of his immaculate sinlessness t
There have been good men on the

S4earth, but theirs was at best the imper-
fect goodness of a fallen nature but
partly sanctified. Abraham was the
father of the faithful, and the friend of
God, and yet he falls into dissimula-
tion. Moses was a faithful servant of
God, and the meekest of men, and
yet he dies within sight of the pro-
mised land for not honouring the Lord
in the presence of Israel, and for ex-
hibiting the intemperate transports of
passion. David was the man after
God's own heart, yet the brightness
of his history is stained with the mel-
ancholy marks of his foul and dread-
ful fall. Paul was a wonderful example
of holy zeal and labour for the cause of
God, yet he too was subject to con-
flicts with the flesh, and cries out, "0
wretched man that I am, who shall de-

liver me from the body of this death t"
And John was the beloved disciple, on
whose bosom Jesus leaned, yet there
was an occasion when he was rebuked
for angry and intemperate zeal; and he
tells us himself, that "if we say we
have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and
the truth is not in us." Alas I we are
by nature the children of wrath--and
our goodness is at the best alloyed, and
far from perfect. But there is abso-
lutely nothing of this in the man Christ
Jesus. He was born that holy thing."
Satan found nothing in him. He was
" without sin." He was "holy, harm-
less, undefiled, and separate from sin-
ners." He was emphatically, "the
holy child Jesus."
And what make we of all this in him,
who was made of a woman, and made

under the law ? It is not human for a
being of our race to be thus holy. It
surpasses every proper conception of
the character of the children of Adam.
But Jesus appears with a lustre of holi-
ness, that is not human; that is all di-
vine. Was he, could he be a mere man ?
No I He was what he claimed to be,
the Son of the Highest,who being in the
form of God, thought it no robbery to be
equal with God: but he made himself
of no reputation; emptied himself of
his glory, and took upon him the form
of a servant-a station in which every
creature is placed by the bare fact of his
creation-but he took upon him the
form of a servant; therefore he is no
creature, therefore, he is the Creator,
God over all, and blessed for ever; and
being found in fashion as a man, he


humbled himself and became obedient
even unto death; though he were a son,
learning obedience by the things which
he suffered.
What a character must he have been
even in his childhood! In all circum-
stances exhibiting entire freedom from
eery external transgression, and entire
and unswerving obedience to everyclaim
of duty. And his outward life was but
the expression and the transcript of his
pure and holy soul. No unhallowed
thought ever found entertainment in his
mind; no irregular desire or vengeful
passion ever stirred up emotion in his
heart; no motions of sins agitated his
members; no principle or purpose of
selfishness ever controlled his conduct.
If we might imagine him, amid the
usual employment of childhood; we

should see no fretful impatience, no pe.
tulant caprice. If we contemplate him
amid the shades of domestic life, we
should see no froward perverseness, no
rebellious opposition to parental claims,
nor any reluctance toward the duties
they commanded; for him no sigh was
ever extorted from his father's heart,
and over him that mother never found
cause to shed a single tear. If we sur-
vey him in his intercourse with his fel-
low-men,we should hear no angry word,
nor see any departure from the beauti-
ful simplicity, modesty,gentleness,good-
ness, and grace, which we instinctively
ascribe to him. Wherever we behold
him, he is the same tender, patient,
loving, pious, and amiable being that
afterward went about doing good, and
at last died the just for the unjust that

he might bring us to God. Grace was
poured upon his lips; wisdom sat en-
throned in his heart; the strength of his
understanding, and the clearness of his
conscience were never defiled and never
impaired by any corrupt and degrading
bias. Oh, what a childhood-what a
youth-what a manhood was this. Was
it not worthy to attract and fix upon it
for ever, the admiration and the delight
of both God and man I

And this now, is an example for us,
0 1 when we look upon it,. how it
humbles us in the dust. Let all
parents ponder these things in their
hearts as Mary did, and learn from
them how they should care for the
religious instruction of their children!

let them both exemplify, and train them
to piety, making them your companions,
in the ordinances of the sanctuary.
No parents, indeed can hope for such a
son as Mary's. Yet let them never-
theless consider what their offspring
may become, if through turning your
hearts unto your children, your child-
ren's hearts be turned unto you, as
heirs of like precious faith, as heirs
together of the grace of life. They
shall be blessed, and become'a blessing
to the world. And, honoured of heaven
and earth, their piety shall turn to
your joy and praise; for blessings
shall be invoked on the womb that
bare them, and upon the breasts that
nourished their infancy.
But especially does this private life
of Christ demand the consideration of

OFr lus caustM. 65
the young. Behold the youthful Jesus
and strive to be like him.
"Be not children in understanding,
nevertheless be children in malice but
in understanding be men." Imitate
the diligence of Jesus in the improve-
ment of time, and in gaining divine
wisdom amid the humble domestic and
and mechanical employment in which
he was brought up. If, turning away
from the allurements of frivolous dis-
sipation, "and redeeming your unem-
ployed hours from listless sloth and
idle waste, you set yourselves to the
improvement of the mind and the cul-
tivation of the heart, yours shall be
the possession of that wisdom whose
ways are pleasantness and all her paths
are peace. As you grow then in
years, seek also to grow in grace, and

in the knowledge of our Lord sad
Saviour Jesus Christ. Thus shall it be
yours, to be honoured by all the pious
on earth, and at last to be a gem in
that celestial galaxy, where they that
be wise shall shine as the brightness
of the firmament and as the stars for
ever and ever.
Contemplate also his reverence for
his parents and for superiors--hi con-
tentment and usefulness in an humble
sphere, until the appointed time came
for his advancement to a more public
station-his modesty, and gentleness,
and moderation, and quietness, "who
neither strove, nor cried, neither ws
his voice heard in the streets," and eve
in the temple, when his superior wi
dom could not be all concealed from
the astonished ears of the spectator,

or Ju S CRuST. T
Otill occupying the leaner's place-nd
thus teaching us to reverence the lesson,
that days should speak and multitude
of years teach wisdom. Instead of the
presumption and the pride, the froward-
aes and insubordination to which
youth too much incline, and which
none can admire and love, follow rather
the venerable example of Him, who
though he was the greatest, the best,
and wisest of beings, invites us thus,
"Learn of me, for I am meek and
lowly of heart."
And consider farther the forcefulness
of such an example of youthful piety.
How many of the young deem them-
selves too young to be religious, and
even contemn the obligations of the
Sabbath, and the worship of God's
house. They grow in age and sta-

tare, but not in wisdom, neither in .k-
your with God or man; while their pre-
cocious impieties reveal to us nothing
but prognostics of an evil life and a
dreadful end. "Come ye children,"
hearken unto me, I will teach you the
fear of the Lord. What man is he
that desireth life, and loveth many days,
that he may see good Keep thy
tongue from evil and thy lips from
speaking guile. Depart from evil and
do good; seek peace and purue it.
The eyes of the Lord are upon the
righteous, and his ears are open unto
their cry. The face of the Lord is
against them that do evil, to cut off the
remembrance of them from the earth."
Remember your Creator in the days of
your youth.
If He, who was "the brightness of

the Father glory, and the expmre
image of his person," has condescended
to become an example of our duty, and
4 to illustrate it in his own life, what
added obligations rest upon us in this
And ay not, this is too high, we
cannot attain unto it, and therefore it is
vin to propose to us such a model."
This does not exempt us from striving
to be followers, (imitators) of God as
dear children,-from aspiring after con-
formity to the image of his Son. On
the contrary, he has shown us what
human nature is capable of becoming,
under the influence of divine grace.
He left us an example. He has done
more., He came to lift our feet from the
miry clay and from the horrible pit.

IW eMCaL u
By his Spirit, you can be created snew
is Christ Jesus. By repentance end
faith, you may feel that his blood
leanseth from all sin, and purges the
cmecience from dead works, to serve the
living and true God. Receive him,
them, as he is offered to you in the goe-
pel, and you shall receive power also to
become the sons of God; and if mes,
then heirs, heirs of God and joint hei
with Jesus Christ. And in the eas
title to an inheritance of glory, hooour,
aad immortality, it shall be yours to
expatiate and exult in the prospect of
beholding His face in righteousness,
and anticipating the satisfaction of awak-
ing in the resurrection in the perfect
image of God. "Beloved, now are we
the sons of God; and it doth not yet

or JUUM cBMIT. 9

appear what we shall be, but we know
that when he shall appear, we shall
be like him, for we shall see him a
he is."


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