Citation
The child's life of Christ, or The wonderful life

Material Information

Title:
The child's life of Christ, or The wonderful life
Creator:
Stretton, Hesba, 1832-1911
Hofmann, H ( Illustrator )
Doré, Gustave, 1832-1883 ( Illustrator )
Plockhorst, B ( Illustrator )
International Publishing Co. (Philadelphia, Pa.) ( Publisher )
Place of Publication:
Philadelphia Pa. ; Chicago Ill
Publisher:
International Publishing Co.
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Edition:
New large type ed.
Physical Description:
254 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 26 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Bible stories, English ( lcsh )
Biographies -- 1896 ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1896
Genre:
Biographies ( rbgenr )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
collective biography ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
United States -- Illinois -- Chicago
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Title page printed in red and black.
General Note:
Illustrations by H. Hofmann, G. Doré, and B. Plockhorst.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Hesba Stretton ; to which is added the life of "The beloved disciple" ; profusely illustrated.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026658821 ( ALEPH )
ALG5223 ( NOTIS )
234189852 ( OCLC )

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BIRTH OF CHRIST.
3 @u> THEY CAME WITH HASTE, AND POUND MARY AND JOSEPM, AMD THE BABE LYIMG I A!
Manezr.’’—Luke 21 16,









































































































































CHRIST BLESSING LITTLE CHILDREN.
“ SUFFER LITTLE CHILDREN TO COME UNTO ME, AND FoRBID THEM NOT.’’—Mark 10: 14.





THE

Gril S LIER OF CHRIS

OR,

THE WONDEREUL LIEBE:

BY

HESBA STRETTON

Author of “Jessica’s First Prayer,” “Lost Gip” “The King’s Servante,” eto

TO WHICH IS ADDED

THE LIFE OF “THE BELOVED DISCIPLE.”

PROFUSELY ILLUSTRATED.



¢¢His Name shall be called Wonderful.’’—Isaiah ix, 6.



INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING CO.,

PHILADELPHIA, PA. | CHICAGO, ILL.



ILLUSTRATIONS BY

PLOCKHORST AND HOFMANN.

The sixteen half-tone pictures in this book are from the designs by HEINRICH
JOHANN MICHAEL FERDINAND HOFMANN, whois one of the oldest and
best known Biblical artists now living. He was born in 1824, and after traveling and
studying in Holland, Belgium, Germany, France and Italy, he took up his residence in
Dresden, where he is now a Professor in the Academy. His greatest work is his
“ Christ Among the Doctors.” ‘This was purchased by the Imperial Government a
few years since for the famous Dresden Gallery of Fine Arts. It isconceded to be the
most popular modern Biblical picture now in existence.

Thirteen of the fine-line wood engravings are designed by another famous Ger-
man artist of the modern school—Plockhorst.

These two complete sets of illustrations are universally admitted to include the
best and most instructive religious art works ever designed for the New Testament.
They may be said to show what genius in art can accomplish.

The many remaining illustrations are mostly from famous paintings by world
renowned artists.

9



COPYRIGHT, 1896.



THE WONDERFUL LIFE OF CHRIST.

HE following slight and brief sketch is merely
the sory of the lite andedeath of our* Lord. Wt
has been written for those who have not the
leisure, or the books, needed for threading
together the fragmentary and scattered incidents
recorded in the Four Gospels. Of late years
these records have been searched diligently
for the smallest links, which might serve to
complete the chain of those years passed among
us by One who called himself the Son of man, and did not refuse
to be called the Son of God. This little book is intended only
to present the result of these close investigations, made by many
learned men, in a plain, continuous narrative, suitable for unlearned
readers. There is nothing new in it. It would be difficult to
write anything new of that Life, which has been studied and
sifted for nearly nineteen hundred years.

The great mystery that surrounds Christ is left untouched
Neither love nor thought of ours can reach the heart of it,
whilst still we see him as through a glass darkly. When we
behold him as he is, face to face, then, and only then, shall we
know fully what he was, and what he did for us. Whilst we
strain our eyes to catch the mysterious vision, but dimly visible,
we are in danger of becoming blind to that human, simple, homely



life, spent among us as the pattern of our days. “If any man
think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he
ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known |
of him.” Happy they who are content with being known of God.



CONTENTS.

BOOK fine CARPAN LHR,

CHAP.

IV.
Vv.
VI.

The Wise Men,
Nazareth,
she First Passover; cer roe veto: ve

OOK Er a Eiiky ein @ aE eye:

CHAP, PAGE
TehevEloly sland ys cary lone eer eT
II. Jerusalem and Bethlehem, . . .. . 15

II. Inthe Temple, .. . 23
TeJohntheBaptisth cir -ratn is 45 |
I”; Cana of} Galilee, 0.0. 2 23s 49
fil. The First Summer,. ....... 56
UVES Samanriaeengenee ices 5 60
V. The First Sabbath Miracle, 69
WaleeEiss @ ld El ome niet scr eee 74
Vile Capernaunnyaeues te tc ey eee 78
VIM. Foes from Jerusalem, ....... 87

IX.
X.
XI.
XII.
XII.
XIV.
XV.
XVI.

(AtSING Ine elie ted ones ercts 6 °
Mish ty tWiOrksedera eilaits sire sleet
A Holiday in Galilee, ..... .
Incthe North; 2 =o 33. suai
At Home Once More, ..... ©
he WMeastyAutumny eres venenieener es
baz ATUS Seep a eats siete sine

‘Bhe ast; Sabbath aw s.0 sie eer oe sue

BOOK III—VICTIM AND VICTOR.

I. The Son of David tresre ary einen 143
ee Nheshraitor, aqua cae senate 150
LU phe Paschala suppers ysis ca eee
EV Gethsemanesian niet ee lee 163
V..The High Priest’s Palace, . . ... 167
VI. Pilate’s Judgment Hall, ..... 170

. Calvary, ...

VIII.
IX.
X.
XI.
XII.
XIII.

Inthe, Graveyem awe wees aes Oo -650
ihesepulchre, sires <9 cite) ce siren
JONES = 4 6 vag Go 6 OG ecu
tsis:themeordseme ae, creer aes

His Friends, ...
TIS MOES ast an saan wicca reaeapar

PAGE
27
33
37

184
189
198
204
208
axe



LIST OF FULL-PAGE COLORED ILLUSTRATIONS.

SUBJECT. ARTIST, PAGE
Christ Blessing Little Children, . . 2. 2... 1 ee ee ee eee Plockhorst, . . Frontispiece.
Birthmo te Christer’ cemadeceme eects) Seana ecm apes tor aecad tins IHETIOR 6. 6 eb Oe x
Achewhlighteintophipyptsmeteesst. y tecmeen cytes belo mlal cemrou relays oe sae TL Of Ut C17 amen en ee 21
zbhemAdorationsofathey Magi ayaa cursetcime .cuonescne oy romece te are SLLO/ MART tn ies eee te 22
Ghristeintathe Mem ple yeni tee ete cule re etoeeor steps ten txeisnnort crt oietou ELOCKNOTS lxaaieel eae eer. 3%
‘¢Make not My Father’s House an House of Merchandise,” . . . Hofmann, ...... 41
ChristuandsNicodemusse4 ca. eae neces ate a palate Plockhorst, User, tree er rA 2
*‘ Whosoever Drinketh of the Water that I shall give Him shall Never

PIITSt hae beepere ese etal sera gewineu vetting ctevciiare aycial sta searaui Spurenars Flofmann, . . «2. . 5!
Christeblealinge ther Sickssmaeriw. epg nomi sot cutee ues cane eens cea IOWA, 5 Oe 8b 8 53
‘¢But a certain Samaritan had Compassion on Him,’”’...... LLOf MANS iw ino ets 61
**Young Man, I say unto Thee, Arise,”........ eects ld OAM Monica eins O28
Sombhivai sins, ate shOTSIVeT yuyirslrsmmenastreGsufecpi ub sue Mrcpacti espns uns: WN ERLOCKROT ST ae cae 71
‘‘Behold, a Sower went forth to Sow,” ..... ec tbta) Gene a Wteunsdd OF PLZ IITE Sa ante acing 7 oF
The Raising of the Daughter of Jairus, ........+.+.. FLOPMANMS Ve otro sis 81
Christ#rcedingaithes Multitude tensa usurem aie ttn ees es ean yi DY 07, emacs (et saeue san te 82
(Covdsts live IRE 6G (bdo boo eb Go 6b be. dio og Oe! 6 Plockhorst, coca ered sen OL
Jesus in the House of Mary and Martha, ........... LLOSMANN GE Wn os surenieats 92
Christ Raising Lazarus, ....... aah ur oat unre monn ayer eae WLOCRROLSL a er tale ene 141
Christ pEnterin oy erusalermyirs) eevee tll arom ar ee oa EMOCRNOKS EA eunenre tomo rs 142

+ (Chorals shat (tees Alene ag G5 aso Gano bo pond. 6 cob. tb 606 Plockhorst,. . «ss. 15%
‘‘He that is without Sin among You let Him first Cast a Stone

ACETIC T sua caeiae sper sce ons aves cum a ace DO ere ec voents iE eller Ae ea elGEMaa 685-6 bs is
Preaching ‘to the Multitude, ........... Shales Mize se Ld OFA berate ne cy reas 16%
‘*This is My Blood of the New Testament which is Shed for Many,’’ Hofmann, ..... . 162
(Christeinwthes Gard ensue esis laisyaesen estan suse sare Wren sellrce naar Plockhorst, » «© © « «© «171

so Beholdsithe Man weratusemion rel neure cn ci /alismrice ci tte lie wellieiy olciL2 O/ UEC 7t70 sD suanilar Meena pT 7 2



we

EIST OF TLEGSTRATIONS:

SUBJECT. ARTIST. PAGE
Christ Bearing His Cross, . . . ee ee eee ee ees ; () secret goles EOL
Grist (Crucified Mares crey optics tonne) ay heen ed cements it editenis) coven ce PLOCRHOISE simian Neh oh rote 182
‘Theo tntombment, of Christy) «c.gscnr.uss hentia eriieu cu te) anys eterna FHlofmann, . .... 191
Christ Appearing to Mary, .........+..-+. +... « « Plockhorst,. + «+--+ - 192
ASCENSION GOL Ghinisty meson a aeercerigy ealrcamchare te iti clntel= hl otmnolNinezisle ate tars Plockhorst, . o . « » « 20%
‘© Where Two or Three are gathered Together in My Name, There
am I in the Midst of Them,” ........-+-eee-8 Hlofmant, « « © o « « 202

ADDITIONAL ILLUSTRATIONS.

PAGE
Christ as a Carpenter, .0. 2 6 6 0 ee ee te et eee ee we ee eOetee te LO)
Shrine of Annunciation,...... EAM yee ag eet eee esc HENS CPE er eee i etats nee Ir
Bethlehem,. ...... PUTER en hs eet LP as E cee sa oiaesee oan etre eerie Rip cera iom -meeecen maka I4
The Herodians—A Jewish Sect in Favor with the Romans, ..~.- +. ++ +e ees 16
The ANNUNCIALON; s \sile Ue. ons oi en le GelMonte: fer (ele yropel eas) fee sy eu euuem ene ctea tates 24
SA GOW Mesias tery rsaigibemteh iene veligsie he -nir-taeire oe kent ial-a Wein nsucaca: oa ores 44
“And was with the Wild Beasts,’ . . 2. 6. 6 2 ee ee ee eee eee ee es 47
shiealatinee Ioerisuee (ChHER nay 8 ale Gaps o 00 Oho 5 OB Cue Gad geo Boa but 54
Hae oeleAabNay Gs on Go wr booed sG eb O00 0.0 ob 0 cen boro Gupb O.1G) C 59
The Wise and the Foolish Virgins, . ... .... eae ee te enter one kod ar emo 64
antiga cial INNIS GenlGe G16 000) 00 0 oO OG ne 0p Ban oak evi or eo =) OF
Jesus Teaching by the rm say 6 6G Glue 0 6b Ou O00. 0-0 O00 OG OO \O to 46
eepers’ @utsides thes Gale a. mci achat homeo eee oes ne oe emesis . 84
Lowering the Sick Man Through the Roof... .- +++: +++ +s esse eee 86
JewsuSittime: ate Meat, etek iy ep sh hc el coma ie - » 88
‘¢She Touched the Hem of His Garment,” . . 2-6 ee ee et ee et ee es 103
GU Noe Gkatotal Sina) uisncly Moma Ae eo oc aed uma 3S (Om Oat DON D0: fen Ce kite 1 106
“He took the Blind Man by the Hand and led him out of the Goan Bs gro .0)b 114
@nethesblouscto ws: eee etc meee eens ete girl ay eee et cali 119
azacusiaee ten sites colon

J menils Weal foe Sadie, = 45 6 8 6 5 6 od p66 Solo 6 Oe Bo Bo GG do 123

- 129

a Hiry Weta ineaeh ee es te Oh 6 0G oso Gd 0) O60 hO 1h OOo i 10 Oem. nani e



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. ix

PAGE
GhristpBlessiny, WittlesChildremsavensm isis io eisiesl oy ol ot (eh vel oles iollie oi etlol oietremien s) 0 L35
Eastern Head-dress,. . ... idenes sccrodrotUeays oul circle eletofl isi) oft istie felt sirentomciioh -enee eel 46
157

(Gaunsanmenieys 5°54 G61 60 6 6601016 6 6 blo Ooo Ob 010 0 6.0 OO Od 70 6.6 ey

\Washin ge them blan dss, ee. sit el sy tole) ciel eile) tole) es) le!) oats ie] (ein oie’) ofitsl vonis

Pilate@Washingshis\trlandstvcurcs tc ves ieee ee ote) onic) folky) outer ep te senieiiol ote oe etoh teil i7/7;
hep Weiltofmthemhemplesentire: cerca ee) sae pats cleienien ofcei (eile son lon retell arene h SS
‘hepDescentstrommthes Crossyny cn vetoes telah sieht. sa ciiol tole ot tel ois) Gol stressing. OO,
Miraculous Draught of; Fishes,=.s75 .'< .. 0 6 « « 4 « s ey ol «0,01 = 0) «0 0) 200
The: Wise: and. Hoolish- Virgins, ... 3. «1. <3 ses s%e 0 © 8 02 0 0 6 6 0 oo « 0 2IA
Judas Bargaining with the Council, . 2... 2 2 eee ew we we ew ew ww ww ww ow ow ow ZT
MwomWomen= Grinding yess ccnyer sol at sects iee sf ver suohi sn ee, (s[termecis) sie veiielNe/hier ie 222
‘cohen bears Oty GreatwPrice, uae sities ees feted sis) iol elieit eter 7 elle) ole] el oferta 225,
‘© And from that Hour, that Disciple took her into his own Home,’”?. . » . . . «6 « - 236
Syrian esheepees) saat ecin ss nar. Sele ser ceases crouch, serene) oy. nels cla sutte lejeeite) @Mee haemo 2. 39
MhewRiver ofsthe Waterzot litesar. st) 6) sl se teji ot eis) er ielrel »\ 40) oien esos tele 01 240
Ghristzandithe shributepMoneyayescterte cle ene oi ols (er oie enone Ree Peeny tame n dete 253







CHRIST AS A CARPENTER.

Ia



Ale) Te tee Ne e



BOOK I..
THE CARPENTER

CHAPTER I.—THE HOLY LAND.



VERY far away from our own country
lies the land where Jesus Christ was
born. More than five thousand miles
stretch between us and it, and those
who wish to visit it must journey over
sea and land to reach its shores. It
rests in the very heart and centre of
the Old World, with Asia, Europe, and
Africa encircling it. A little land it is,
only about two hundred miles in length,
and but fifty miles broad from the Great
sea, or the Mediterranean, on the west, to the river Jordan, on the
east. But its hills and valleys, its dusty roads and green pastures,
its vineyards and oliveyards, and its village streets have been trodden
by the feet of our Lord; and for. us, as well as for the Jews, to whom
God gave it, it is the Holy Land.

The country lies high, and forms a table-land, on which there are
mountains of considerable height. Moses describes it as “a good
land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring
II



SHRINE OF ANNUNCIATION.



Ale) Te tee Ne e



BOOK I..
THE CARPENTER

CHAPTER I.—THE HOLY LAND.



VERY far away from our own country
lies the land where Jesus Christ was
born. More than five thousand miles
stretch between us and it, and those
who wish to visit it must journey over
sea and land to reach its shores. It
rests in the very heart and centre of
the Old World, with Asia, Europe, and
Africa encircling it. A little land it is,
only about two hundred miles in length,
and but fifty miles broad from the Great
sea, or the Mediterranean, on the west, to the river Jordan, on the
east. But its hills and valleys, its dusty roads and green pastures,
its vineyards and oliveyards, and its village streets have been trodden
by the feet of our Lord; and for. us, as well as for the Jews, to whom
God gave it, it is the Holy Land.

The country lies high, and forms a table-land, on which there are
mountains of considerable height. Moses describes it as “a good
land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring
II



SHRINE OF ANNUNCIATION.



12 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

out of valleys and hills, a land.of wheat, and barley, and vines, and
fig-trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; a land
wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness. A land which the
Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord thy God are always
upon it, from the beginning of the year, even unto the end of the
year.” The sky is cloudless, except in the end of autumn and in
winter, and no moisture collects but in the form of dew. In former
times vineyards and orchards climbed up the slopes of every hill, and
the plains were covered with wheat and barley. It was densely
peopled, far more so than our own country is now, and over all the
land villages and towns were built, with farm-houses scattered
between them. Herds of sheep and goats were pastured in the
valleys, and on the barren mountains, where the vines and olives
could not grow.

There are two lakes in Palestine, one in the northwest, the other
southwest, with the river Jordan flowing between them, through a
deep valley, sixty miles long. The southern lake is the Dead Sea, or
Sea of Death. No living creature can exist in its salt waters. The
palm-trees carried down by the floods of Jordan are cast up again by
the waves on the marshy shore, and lie strewn about it, bare and
bleached, and crusted over with salt. Naked rocks close in the sea,
with no verdure upon them; rarely is a bird seen to fly across it, whilst
at the southern end, where there is a mountain, and pillars of rock-
salt, white as snow, there always hangs a veil of mist, like smoke
ascending up forever and ever into the blue sky above. As the
brown and rapid stream of Jordan flows into it on the north, the waters
will not mingle, but the salt waves foam against the fresh, sweet
current of the river, as if to oppose its effort to bring some life into
its desolate and barren depths.

The northern lake is called the Sea of Galilee. Like the Dead Sea:
it lies in a deep basin, surrounded by hills; but this depth gives to it
so warm and fertilizing a climate, that the shores are covered with a
thick jungle of shrubs, especially of the oleander, with its rose-colored
blossoms. Grassy slopes here and there lead up to the feet of the
mountains. The deep blue waters are sweet, clear, and transparent,



THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 13

and in some places the waves ebb and flow over beds of flowers, which
have crept down to the very margin of the lake. locks of birds
build among the jungle, and water-fowl skim across the surface of the
lake in myriads, for the water teems with fish. All the early hours of
the morning the lark sings there merrily, and throughout the live-long
day the moaning of the dove is heard. In former times, when the
shores of the lake were crowded with villages, hundreds of boats and
little. ships with white sails sailed upon it, and all sorts of fruit and
cern were cultivated on the western plain.

The Holy Land, in the time of our Lord, was divided into three
provinces, almost into three countries, as distinct as England, Scotland,
and Wales. In the south was Judzea, with the capital, Jerusalem, the
Holy City, where the temple of the Jews was built, and where their
king dwelt. The people of Judza were more courtly and polished,
and, perhaps, more educated than the other Jews, for they lived nearer
Jerusalem, where all the greatest and wisest men of the nation had
their homes. Up in the north lay Galilee, inhabited by stronger and
rougher men, whose work was harder and whose speech was harsher
than their southern brethren, but whose spirit was more independent,
and more ready to rebel against tyranny. Between those two districts,
occupied by Jews, lay an unfriendly country, called Samaria, whose
people were of a mixed race, descended from a colony of heathen whe
had been settled in the country seven hundred years before, and who
had so largely intermarried with the Jews that they had often sought
to become united with them as one nation. The Jews had steadily
resisted this union, and now a feeling of bitter enmity existed between
them, so that Galilee was shut off from Judzea by an alien country.

The great prosperity of the Jewish nation had passed away lony
before our Lord was born. An unpopular king, Herod, who did not
belong to the royal house of David, was reigning; but he held his
throne only upon sufferance from the great emperor of Rome, whose
people had then subdued all the known world. As yet there were no
Roman tax-gatherers in the land, but Herod paid tribute to Augustus,
and this was raised by heavy taxes upon the people. All the country

was full of murmuring, and discontent, and dread. But a secret hope
:



14 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST,

was running deep down in every Jewish heart, helping them to bear
their present burdens. The time was well-nigh fulfilled when, accord-
ing to the prophets, a King of the house of David, greater than David
in battle, and more glorious than Solomon in all his glory, should be
born to the nation. Far away in Galilee, in the little villages among
the hills, and the busy towns by the lake, and down in southern
Judzea, in the beautiful capital, Jerusalem, and in the sacred cities of
the priests, a whisper passed from one drooping spirit to another,
“Patience! the kingdom of Messiah is at hand.”

As the land of our Lord lies many hundreds of miles from us, so
his life on this earth was passed hundreds of years ago. There are
innumerable questions we long to ask, but there is no one to answer.
Four little books, each one called a gospel, or the good tidings of
Jesus Christ, are all we have to tell us of that most beautiful and
most wondrous life. But whenever we name the date of the present
year we are counting from the time when he was born. In reality, he
was born three or four years earlier. .



















































































































































































































































































































































































































BETHLEHEM.



CHAPTER Il JERUSALEM AND BETHLEHEM,

ERUSALEM was a city beautiful for situation,
built on two ridges of rocky ground, with a deep
valley between them. It was full of splendid

palaces and towers, with aqueducts and bridges,
~and massive walls, the stones of which are still
a marvel for their size. Upon the ridge of
Mount Zion stood the marble palaces of the
king, his noblemen, and the high-priest; on the
opposite and lower hill rose the temple, built
of snow-white marble, with cedar roofs, and
parapets of gold, which, glistening in the bright
sunshine and pure moonlight, could be seen from afar off in the
clear, dry atmosphere of that eastern land. From ridge to ridge a
magnificent viaduct was built, connecting the temple mount with
Mount Zion and its streets of palaces. |

Every Jew had a far more fervent and loyal affection for the temple
than for the palace of the king. It was in fact the palace of their true
King, Jehovah. Three times a year their law ordained a solemn feast —
to be held there, grander than the festivities of any earthly king.
Troops of Jews came’ up to them from all parts of the country, even
from northern Galilee, which was three or four days’ journey distant,
and from foreign lands, where emigrants had settled. It was a joyous
crowd, and they were joyous times. Friends who had been long
parted met once more together, and went up in glad companies to the
house of their God. It has been reckoned that at the great feast, that
of the Passover, nearly three millions of Jews thronged the streets
and suburbs of the Holy City, most of whom had offerings and sacri-
fices to present in the temple; for nowhere else under the blue sky
could any sacrifice be offered to the true God.

Even a beloved king held no place in the heart of the Jews beside
15 5

























































































































































EWISH SECT IN FAVOR WITH THE ROMANS.





THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 17

their temple. But Herod, who was then reigning, was hateful to the
people, though he had rebuilt the temple for them with extraordinary
splendor. He was cruel, revengeful, and cowardly, terribly jealous,
and suspicious of all about him, so far as to have put to death his
own wife and. three of his sons. The crowds who came to the feasts
carried the story of his tyranny to the remotest corners of his king-
dom. He even offended his patron, the emperor of Rome; and the
emperor had written to him a very sharp letter, saying that he had
hitherto treated him as a friend, but now he should deal with him as
an enemy. Augustus ordered that a tax should be levied on the
Jews, as in other conquered countries, and required from Herod a
return of all his subjects who would be liable to the tax.

This command of the Roman emperor threw the whole nation
into disturbance. The return was allowed to be made by Herod, not
by the Romans themselves, and he proceeded to do it in the usual
Jewish fashion. The registers of the Jews were carefully kept in the
cities of their families, but the people were scattered throughout the
country. It was therefore necessary to order every man to go to the
city of his own family, there to answer to the register of his name
and age, and to give in an account of the property he possessed.
Besides this, he was required to take an oath to Cesar and the king,—
a bitter trial to the Jews, who boasted, years afterward, under a Roman
governor, “ We are a free people, and were never in bondage to any
man.” There must have been so much natural discontent felt at this
requirement that it is not likely the winter season would be chosen
for carrying it out. The best, because the least busy, time of the year
would be after the olives and grapes were gathered, and before the
season for sowing the corn came, which was in November. The
Feast of Tabernacles was held at the close of the vintage, and fell
about the end of September or beginning of October. It was the most
joyous of all the feasts, and as the great national Day of Atonement
immediately preceded it, it was probably very largely attended by the
nation; and perhaps the gladness of the season might in some
measure tend to counteract the discontent of the people.

But whether at the Feast of the Tabernacles, or later in the year, the

ee



18 CHILD’S LIFE OF’ CHRIST.

whole Jewish nation was astir, marching to and fro to the cities of
their families. At this very time a singular event befell a company
of shepherds, who were watching their flocks by night in the open
plain stretching some miles eastward from Bethlehem, a small village
about six miles from Jerusalem. Bethlehem was the city of the house
of David, and all the descendants of that beloved king were assem-
bled to answer to their names on the register, and to be enrolled as
Roman subjects. The shepherds had not yet brought in their
flocks for the winter, and they were watching them with more
than usual care, it may be, because of the unsettled state of the
country, and the gathering together of so many strangers, not
for a religious, but for a political purpose, which would include
the lowest classes of the people, as well as the law-loving and
law-abiding Jews.

_ No doubt this threatened taxing and compulsory oath of subjection
had intensified the desire of the nation for the coming of the Messiah.
Every man desires to be delivered from degradation and taxes, if he
cares nothing about being saved from his sins. It was not safe to
speak openly of the expected Messiah; but out on the wide plains,
with the darkness shutting them in, the shepherds could while away
the long chilly hours with talking of the events of the passing times,
and of that promised king who, so their teachers said in secret, was
soon, very soon to appear, to crush their enemies. .

But as the night wore on, when some of them were growing
drowsy, and the talk had fallen into a few slow sentences spoken from
time to time, a light, above the brightness of the sun, which had sunk
below the horizon hours ago, shone all about them with a strange
splendor. As soon as their dazzled eyes could bear the light, they
saw within it a form as of an angel. Sore afraid they were as they
caught sight of each other’s faces in this terrible, unknown glory.
But quickly the angel spoke to them, lest their terror should grow too
great for them to hear aright.

“Fear not,” he said, “for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great
joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in
the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall





THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 19

be a sign unto you: Ye shall. find the babe wrapped in swaddling
clothes, lying in a manger.”

Suddenly, as the angel ended his message, the shepherds - saw,
standing with him in the glorious light, a great multitude of the
blessed hosts that people heaven, who were singing a new song under
the silent stars, which shone dimly in the far-off sky. Once before
“the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for
joy” because God had created a world. Now, at the birth of a child,
in the little village close by, where many an angry Jew had lain down
to a troubled sleep, they sang, “ Sree to God in the highest, and on
earth peace, good will toward men.’

The sign given to the shepherds served as a guide to om abhey,
were to find the new-born babe cradled in the manger, with no softer
bed than the fodder of the cattle. Surely, the poorest mother in the
humblest home in Bethlehem could provide better for her child.
They must, then, seek the Messiah, just proclaimed to them, among
the strangers who were sleeping in the village inn. All day long had
parties of travelers been crossing the plain, and the shepherds would
know very well that the little inn, which was built at the eastern part |
of the village, merely as a shelter for such chance passers-by, would
be quite full. It was not a large building; for Bethlehem was too
near to Jerusalem for many persons to tarry there for the night,
intead of pressing forward to the Holy City. It was only on such an
occasion as this that the inn was likely to be over-full.

But as the shepherds drew near the eastern gate, they probably saw
the glimmering of a lamp near the inn. It is a very old tradition
that our Lord was born in a cave; and this is quite probable. If the
inn were built near to a cave, it would naturally be used by the trav-
elers for storing away their food from the heavy night dews, although
their mules and asses might stay out in the open air. A light in the
cave would attract the shepherds to it, and there they found Mary, and
Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. A plain working man, like
themselves, his wife, and a helpless new-born child; how strangely
this sight must have struck them, after the glory and mystery of the
vision of angels they had just witnessed! How different was Mary’s



20 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

low, hushed voice as she pointed out the child born since the sun
went down, from that chorus of glad song, when all the heavenly host
sang praises to God.

A strange story they had to tell Mary of the vision they had just
seen. She was feeling the first great gladness and joy of every
mother over her child born into the world, but in Mary’s case this joy
was brightened beyond that of all other women, yet shadowed by the
mystery of being the chosen mother of the Messiah. The shepherds’
statement increased her gladness, and lifted her above the natural
feeling of dishonor done to her child by the poor and lowly circum-
stances of his birth; whilst they, satisfied with the testimony of their
own senses, having seen and heard for themselves, went away, and
made known these singular and mysterious events. All who heard
these things wondered at them; but as the shepherds were men of
no account, and Joseph and Mary were poor strangers in the place,
we may be sure there would be few to care about such a babe, in those
days of vexation and tumult. Had the Messiah been born in a palace,
and the vision of the heavenly host been witnessed by a company of
the priests, the whole nation would have centred their hopes and
expectations upon the child; and unless a whole series of miracles
had been worked for his preservation the Roman conquerors would
have destroyed both him and them. No miracle was wrought for the
infant Christ, save that constant ministry of angels, sent forth to min-
ister unto Him who was the Captain of salvation, even as they are sent
forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.





THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT.—Matt. 2:18.



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CHAPTER II].—IN THE TEMPLE.

OSEPH and Mary did not remain in the cave
longer than could be helped. As soon as the
unusual crowd of strangers was gone, they
found some other dwelling-place, though not in
the inn, which was intended for no more than a
shelter for passing travelers. They had forty
days to wait before Mary could go up to the
temple to offer her sacrifice after the birth of her
child, when also Joseph would present him to
the Lord, according to the ancient law that every
first-born child, which was a son, belonged espe-
cially to God. Joseph could not afford to live in idleness for six
weeks; and as he had known beforehand that they must be detained
in Bethlehem so long, he probably had carried with him his carpen-
ter’s tools, and now set about looking for work. It is likely that both
he and Mary thought it best to bring up Jesus in Bethlehem, where
he was born; for they must have known the prophecy that out of
Bethlehem should come the Messiah. It was near to Jerusalem, and
from his earliest years the child would become familiar with the
temple, and its services and priests. It was not far from the hill
country, where Zacharias and Elizabeth were living, whose son, born
in their old age, was still only an infant of six months, but whose
future mission was to be the forerunner of the Messiah. For. every
reason it would seem best to return no more to Nazareth, the obscure
village in Galilee, but to settle in Bethlehem itself.

At the end of forty days, Mary went up to Jerusalem to offer her
sacrifice, and Joseph to present the child, and pay the ransom of five
shekels for him, without which the priests might claim him as a ser-
vant to do the menial work of the temple. They must have passed

by the tomb of Rachel, who so many centuries before had died in
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THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 25

_ giving birth to her son; and Mary, whose heart pondered over such
things, may have whispered to herself as she clasped her child closer
to her, “In Rama was a voice heard; lamentation and weeping, and
great mourning; Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be
comforted, because they are not.” She did not know the full meaning
of those words yet; but, amid her own wonderful happiness, she would
sigh over Rachel’s sorrow, little thinking that the prophecy linked it
with the baby she was carrying in her arms.

At this time the temple was being rebuilt by Herod, in the most
costly and magnificent manner, but we will keep the description of it
until twelve years later, when Jesus came to his first passover. Mary’s
offering of two turtle-doves, instead of a lamb and a turtle-dove,
proves the poverty of Joseph, for only.poor persons were allowed to
substitute another turtle-dove or young pigeon for a lamb. . These
birds abound in the Holy Land, and were consequently of very small
value. After she had made her offering, and before Joseph presented
the child to the Lord, an old man, dwelling in Jerusalem, came into
the temple. It.had been revealed to him that he should not see death
before his eyes had beheld the blessed vision of the Lord’s Christ, for
whom he had waited through many long years. Now, seeing this
little child, he took him into his arms, and blessed God, saying, “Lord,
now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen
thy salvation.” Whilst Joseph and Mary wondered at these words,
Simeon blessed them, and speaking to Mary alone, he continued:
“Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in-
Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (yea, a sword
shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts. of many
hearts may be revealed.”

This was the first word of sorrow that had fallen upon Mary’s ears
since the angel had appeared to her, more than ten months before, in
her lowly home in Nazareth. Hitherto, the great mystery that set
her,apart from all other women had been full of rapture only. Her
song had been one of triumphant gladness, with not a single note of
sorrow mingling with it. Her soul had magnified the Lord, because
he had regarded her low estate; she was hungry, and he had filled



26 CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

her with good things. She had heard through the countless ages of
the future all generations calling her blessed. A new, mysterious,
tender life had been breathed through her, and she had been over-
shadowed by the Highest, whose shadow is brighter than all earthly .
joys and glories. Now, for forty days she had nursed the Holy
Child, and no dimness had come across her rapture. Yet, when she
brings the child to his Father’s house, the first word of sorrow is
spoken, and the first faint thrill of a mother’s ready fears crept coldly
into her heart.

So as they walked home in the cool of the day to Bethlehem, and
passed again the tomb of Rachel, Mary would probably be pondering
over the words of Simeon, and wondering what the sword was that
would pierce her own soul. The first prick of that sharp anguish was
soon to make itself felt.

Besides Simeon, Anna, a very aged prophetess, had seen the child,
and both spoke of him to them that looked for redemption or deliv-
erance in Jerusalem. Quietly, and in trusted circles, would this event
be spoken of; for all knew the extreme danger of calling the attention
of Herod to such a matter. They were too familiar with the cowardice
and cruelty of their king to let any rumor reach him of the birth of
the Messiah. It does not appear, moreover, that either Simeon or
Anna knew where he was to be found. But a remarkable circum-
stance, which came to pass soon after, exposed the child of Bethlehem
to the very peril they prudently sought to shield him from, and
destroyed the hopes.of those who did not know that he escaped the
danger.



CHAPTER IV.—THE WISE MEN.

MONG the many. travelers who visited Jerusalem,
which was the most magnificent city of the East,
there came at this time a party of distinguished
strangers, who had journeyed from the far East.
_They were soon known to be both wise and
wealthy; men who had given up their lives to

© learned and scientific studies, especially that of

astronomy. They said they had seen, in their close

and ceaseless scrutiny of the sky, a new star, which, for

some reason not known to us, they connected with the

distant land of Judzea, and called it the star of the King
of the Jews.

There was an idea spread throughout all countries at that time that
a personage of vast wisdom and power, a Deliverer, was about to be
born among the Jews. These wise men at once set off for the capital
of Judzea; for where else could the King of the Jews be born?
Possibly they may have expected to find all the city astir with
rejoicings; but they could not even get an answer to their question,
“Where is he?” Those who had heard of him had kept the secret
faithfully. But before long Herod was told of these extraordinary
strangers, and their search for a new-born King, who was no child of
his. He was an old man, nearly seventy, and in a wretched state,
both of body and mind; tormented by his conscience, yet not guided
by it, and ready for any measure of cunning and cruelty. All Jeru-
salem was troubled with him, for not the shrewdest man in Jerusalem
could guess what Herod would do in any moment of rage,

Herod immediately sent for all the chief priests and scribes, who
came together in much fear and consternation, and demanded of them
where the Messiah should be born. They did not attempt to hesitate,
or conceal the birth-place. If any of them had heard of the child of
27








28 CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

Bethlehem, and Simeon’s and Anna's statement concerning him, their
dread of Herod was too powerful for them to risk their own lives in
an attempt to shield him. “In Bethlehem,” they answered promptly.
Right glad would they be when Herod, satisfied with this information,
dismissed them, and they went their way safe and sound to their
houses. Thus at the outset the chief priests and scribes proved
themselves unwilling to suffer anything for the Messiah, whose office
it was to bring to them glory and dominion.

. Privately, but courteously, Herod then sent for the wise men, and
inquired of them diligently how long it was since the star appeared;
and bade them seek the child in Bethlehem, and when they had found
him to bring him word, that he might go and do homage to him also.
There was nothing in the king’s manner or words to arouse their
suspicions of his real purpose, and no doubt they set out for Bethlehem
with the intention of returning to Jerusalem.

Still it appeared likely that there would be some difficulty in dis-
covering the child, of whom they knew nothing certainly, except that
they were to search, and to search diligently, for him in Bethlehem.
They rejoiced with exceeding great joy, therefore, when, as they left
the walls of Jerusalem behind them in the evening dusk, they saw the
star again hanging in the southern sky, and going before them on
their way. No need now for guides, no need to wander up and down
the streets, asking for the new-born King. The star, or meteor, stood
over the humble house where the young child was, and, entering in,
they saw him, with Mary, his mother, and fell down, doing him homage
as the King whose star was even now shining above the lowly roof
that sheltered him. There was no palace, no train of servants, no
guard, save the poor carpenter, whose day’s work was done, and who
was watching over the young child; but they could not be mistaken.
The future glorious King of the Jews was here.

They had not come from their distant country to seek a king empty-
handed. Royal presents they had ‘prepared and brought with them;
and now they opened their treasures, and offered costly gifts to him,
gold, and frankincense, and myrrh, such as they would have presented,
had they found the child in Herod’s own palace in Jerusalem. Then,



THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 29

taking their leave, they were about to return to Herod, when a warning
dream, which they could not mistake, or misinterpret, directed them to
depart into their country another way.

The hour was at hand when the costly gifts of the wise men would
be necessary for the preservation of the poor little family, not yet
settled and at home in its new quarters. Even as a babe the Son of
man had not where to lay his head; and no spot on earth was a
resting-place for him. After the wise men were gone, the angel of the
Lord came to Joseph in a dream, saying, “ Arise, take the young child
and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring
thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.”

Mary’s chilly fears then were being realized, and she felt the first
prick of the sword that should pierce her soul. The visit of the wise
men from the far East had been another hour of exultation and another
testimony to the claims of her Son. Possibly they may have told her
that the king himself wished to come down from Jerusalem, and
worship him; and dreams of splendor, of kingly and priestly protection
for the infant Messiah might well fill her mind. But now she learned
that Herod was seeking the child’s life, to destroy him. They could
not escape too quickly; there was no time to be lost. The angel's
words were urgent, “ Arise, at once.”

It was night; a winter’s night, but there must be no delay. At
daybreak the villagers would be astir, and they could not get away
unseen. Before the gray streak of light was dawning in the east, they
ought to be some miles on the road. Mary must carry the child,
shielding him as best she could from the chilly dampness of the night;
and Joseph must load himself with the wise men’s gifts. Little had
she thought, when those rich foreigners were falling down before her
child in homage, that only a night or two later she would be stealing
with him through the dark and silent streets, as if she was a criminal,
not the happy mother of the glorious Messiah. And they were to flee
out of the Holy Land itself, into Egypt, the old land of bondage!

Unseen, unnoticed, the flight from Bethlehem was made. They
were but strangers there; and very few, if any, of the inhabitants would
miss the strangers from Nazareth, who had settled among them so



30 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

lately, and who had now gone away again with as little observation as
they came.

Herod very soon came to the conclusion that the wise men, for some
reason or other unknown to him, did not intend to obey his orders.
They could very well have made the journey to Bethlehem in a day,
and when he found that they did not return.to him, he was exceeding
wroth; for kings do not often meet with those who disregard their
invitations. He quickly make up his mind what to do. If the wise —
men had brought him word where the child was, he would have been
content to slay only him, now he must destroy all the infants under
two years of age, to make sure of crushing that life which threatened
his crown. There was ample margin in the two years for any mistake
on his own part, or that of the wise men. The child must perish if he
put to death all the little ones of the unhappy village.

We wonder if the news reached Mary in her place of refuge and
safety in Egypt. Whilst she went about the streets of Bethlehem
she must have seen many of those little children in their mothers’
arms; their laughter and their cries had rung in her ears; and with
her newly-opened mother’s eyes she had compared them with her own
blessed child, and loved them dearly for his sake. Now she would
know the dire meaning of these words, “In Rama was there a voice
heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping
for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.”
A mystery of grief began to mingle itself with the mystery of her
Son’s life. In her heart, which was forever pondering over the strange
events that had already befallen him and herself, there must always
have been a very sad memory of the children who had perished on |
his account; and it may be that one of the first stories her lips uttered
to the little Son at her knee was the story of their winter's flight into
Egypt, and the slaying of all the children under two years of age who
lived in Bethlehem, the place where he was born.





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CHRIST IN THE TEMPLE.
AND ALL THAT HEARD Him WERE ASTONISHED AT His UNDERSTANDING.” —Luke 2: 47,





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“GET THEE HENCE, SATAN.”—Matt. 4:10



CHAPTER V.—NAZARETH.

EROD died a shocking death, after terrible suffer-
ing both of mind and body. Once even, in his
extreme misery, he attempted to put an end to
himself, but was prevented by his attendants.
A few days only before he died he put to
death his son Antipater, and appointed his son
Archelaus to succeed him as king in Judea;
but he separated Galilee from the kingdom,

and left it to another son, Herod Antipas. He

was in his seventieth year when he died, after
reigning thirty-seven years; one of the most wicked
and most wretched of kings.

It was now safe for Joseph and Mary to. bring the child back to
their native land. They seem to have had the idea of settling in
Judza again, instead of taking Jesus to the despised province of
Galilee; but when they reached Judea they heard that Archelaus
reigned in the room of his father, Herod, and that during the pass-
over week he had ordered his guards to march into the temple amid
the throng of worshippers, where they had massacred three thousand
of the Jews. Such news naturally filled them with terror, and they
might have sought safety again in Egypt; but Joseph was warned in
a dream to go on into the land of Galilee. He was left to choose the
exact place where he would settle down, and he returned to Nazareth,
his and Mary’s early home, where their kinsfolk lived. There was
every reason why they should go back to Nazareth, since Jesus could
not be brought up in his own city, the mournful little village of Beth-
lehem, where no child of his own age was now alive.

Here, in Nazareth, they were at home again; and long years of the
most quiet blessedness lay before the mother of Jesus, though the
trifling daily cares of life may have fretted it a little from too perfect

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34 CHILD’ SALIEE OF ACHES:

a bliss for this world. The little child who played about her feet, whe
prattled beside her as she went down to the fountain for water, who
listened with uplifted eyes to every word she spoke, never gave her a
moment's pain, or made her heart ache by one careless or unkind
word. Never once had the mother’s voice to change its tone of
tenderness into one of anger. Never had a frown to come across her
loving and peaceful face when it was turned toward him. As he grew
in wisdom and favor with God and man, she could rest upon that
wisdom and grace, never to be disappointed, never to be thrown back
upon herself. The most blessed years ever lived by woman were
those of Mary, in the humble home in Nazareth.

It lay in the heart of the mountains, at the end of a little valley
hardly a mile long, and not more than half a mile broad, with the
barren slopes of hills shutting it in on every side. The valley was as
green and fertile as a garden; and the village clung to the side of one
of the mountains, half nestling at its foot. From the brow of the
hills rising behind the village a splendid landscape was to be seen—
westward to the glistening waters of the Mediterranean, with Mount
Carmel stretching into them; northward as far as the snowy peaks of
Hermon; and southward over the great plain of Jezreel, rich in corn-

fields; all the country being dotted over with villages and towns.

The landscape is there still, and the deep blue sky hanging over all,
and the clear atmosphere through which distant objects seem near, and
the sighing of the wind across the plains, and the hum of insects, and
the songs of birds; all is as it was when Jesus Christ climbed the
mountains, as he loved to do, and sat on the summit, with a heart
and spirit in full harmony with the loveliness around him, and with
no secret sadness of the conscience to make him feel that he was not
worthy to be there.

It was no lonely life that Jesus led. We read again and again of
his brethren and sisters; and though it is not generally thought that
these could have been Mary's children,* but the children of her

a ay RN a Pe ey reg eee Oy et

* I agree in this opinion, chiefly for the reason that when Jesus died he committed Mary to the
care of his young disciple John; which would seem unnatural to any tender-hearted, good mother,





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‘who had at least four other sons and two daughters living. Our Lord would hardly throw so much



THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 35

sister, they were so associated with him that all his life long they acted
as his own brethren and sisters. With them he would go to school,
and learn to read and write, for all Jews were carefully educated in
these two branches The books he had to study we know and possess
in the Old Testament. Very probably he would own one of them,
though they would be so costly as to be almost beyond his means, or
those of his supposed father. We should like to know that he had
the Book of Psalms, those psalms which Mary knew so well and had
sung to him so often, or the prophecy of Isaiah, in which his young,
undimmed eyes, that had hardly looked upon sorrow yet, and had
never smarted with tears of penitence, would read and read again the
warning words of the Messiah's sufferings, “a man of sorrow, and
acquainted with grief.” When he was alone yonder on the breezy sum-
mit'of the mountain, did he ever sing, “ The Lord is my Shepherd ?” »
And did he never whisper to himself the awful words, “My God, my
God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

Besides his cousins there were his neighbors all about him, quite
commonplace people, who could not see how innocent and beautiful
his life was. They were a passionate, rough race, notorious through-
out the country, so that it had become almost a proverb, “Can any
good thing come out of Nazareth?” Jesus dwelt among them as one
of them; Joseph the carpenter's son. He could not yet heal the sick;
but is there no help and comfort in tender compassion for those who
suffer? The widow’s son at Nain was not the first he had seen carried
out for burial. The man born blind was not the only one groping
about in darkness who felt his hand, and heard the pitying tones of
his troubled voice. We may be sure that among his neighbors in
Nazareth Jesus saw many a form of suffering, and his heart always
echoed to a cry, if it were but the cry of an animal in pain.

In one other way Jesus shared the common lot of boys. He had
to take to a trade which was not likely to have been his choice
Whether as the eldest son of a large family, or the only son of a



_ -discredit upon such relationships.



36 GHIEDES MALE OB. CHRISTE

woman left a widow, he had to learn the trade of his supposed father.
The little workshop, where neighbors could always drop in with their
trifling gossip, or at work in their own houses, where they could
grumble and find fault; this must have been irksome to him. The
long, monotonous hours, the insignificant labor, the ceaseless buzz of
chattering about him—we can understand how weary and worn his
spirit must have felt, as well as his body. If he could have been a
shepherd, like Moses, the great lawgiver, and David, his own kingly
ancestor, how far more fitting that would have seemed! How his
courage and tenderness toward his flock would have been a type of
what he would be in after-life!_ The solitude would have been sweet
to him, and the changing aspects of the seasons from year to year.
In after-life he often compared himself to a shepherd, but never once
is there any reference to his uncongenial calling in the hot workshop
of Nazareth, where the only advantage was that it did not separate
him from his mother.

Does a blameless life win favor among any people? There was
one man in Galilee, one only in the wide world, who never needed to
go up to Jerusalem to offer any sacrifice for sin. Neither sin-offering
nor trespass-offering had this man to bring to the altar of God. The
peace-offering he could eat in the courts of the temple as a type of
happy communion with the unseen God, and of a complete surrender
of himself to his will. But, let the people scan his conduct as closely
as village neighbors can do, not one among them could say that Jesus,
the son of Joseph, had need to carry up to Jerusalem an offering for
_ any trespass. Did they love him the better for this? Did he find
honor among them? Nay, not even in his father’s house.



CHAPTER VI.—THE FIRST PASSOVER.

HERE is one incident, and only one, given to us
of the early life of our Lord.
It was the custom of his parents to go up to
Jerusalem once a year, to the feast of the pass-
over. For the Jews living in Galilee it was a
long journey; but the feast came at the finest
time of the year for traveling, after the rains of
winter, and before the dry heat of summer. It
was a great yearly pilgrimage, in which troops
from every village and town on the road came
to swell the numbers as the pilgrims marched southward. Past the
cornfields, where the grain was already forming in the ear; under the
mountain slopes, clothed with silvery olive trees and the young
green of the vines; across the babbling brooks, not yet dried by
heat; through groves of sycamores and oak trees fresh in leaf,
the long procession passed from town to town; sleeping safely in
the open air by night, and journeying by pleasant stages in the
day, until they reached Judzea; and, weary with the dusty road from
Jericho to Jerusalem, shouted with joy when they turned a curve
of the Mount of Olives, and saw the Holy City lying before them.

Jesus was twelve years old when, probably, he first made this long
yet joyous march up to Jerusalem. We can fancy the eager boy
“going on before them,” as he did so many years later when he went
up to his last passover; hastening forward for that first glorious view
of Jerusalem, which met his eye from Olivet, the mount which was to
be so closely associated with his after-life. There stood the Holy
City, with its marble palaces crowning the heights of Zion; and the
still more magnificent temple on its own mount, bathed in the brilliant
light of the spring sunshine. The white, wondrous beauty of his
Father's house, with the trembling columns of smoke ever rising from
a”,





38 CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

its altars through the clear air to the blue heavens above, rose opposite
to him. We know the hymn that his tremulous, joyous lips would
sing, and that would be echoed by the procession following him as
they too caught sight of the house of God: “How amiable are thy
tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth,
for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh cry out for the
living God!” Thousands upon thousands of pilgrims had chanted
that psalm before him; but never one like that boy of twelve, when
his Father’s house was first seen by his happy eyes.

Perhaps there was no hour of perfect happiness like that to Jesus
again. Joseph was still alive, caring for him and protecting him.
His mother, who could not but recall the Strange events that had
accompanied his birth, kept him at her side as they entered the temple,
pointing out to him the splendor and the sacred symbols of the place.
The silvery music of the temple service; the thunder of the amens of
the vast congregations; the faint scent of incense wafted toward
him; all fell upon the vivid, delicate senses of youth. And below
these visible signs there was breaking upon him their deep, invisible,
spiritual meaning; though not yet darkened with the shadow of that
awful burden to be laid upon himself, when he, as the Lamb of God,
was to take away the sins of the world. This was the time, perhaps,
when “he was anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows”
more than at any other season of his life.

The temple had been rebuilt by Herod in the vain hope of winning
popularity among his people. The outer walls formed a square of a
thousand feet, with double or treble rows of aisles between ranks of
marble pillars. These colonnades surrounded the first court, that of
the Gentiles, into which foreigners might enter, though they were for-
bidden to go further upon pain of death. A flight of fifteen steps led
- from this court into that of the women, a large space where the whole
congregation of worshippers assembled, but beyond which women
were not allowed to go, unless they had a sacrifice to offer. The next
court had a small Space railed off, called the Court of Israel; but the.
whole bore the name of the Court of the Priests, in which stood a
great altar of unhewn stones forty-eight feet square, upon which three



THE WONDERFUL, LIFE. 39

fires were kept burning continually, for the purpose of consuming the
sacrifices. Beyond these courts stood the actual temple, containing
the Holy Place, which was entered by none but a few priests, who
were chosen by lot daily; and the Holiest of Holies, open only to
the high-priest himself, and to him but once a year, on the great Day
of Atonement. |

It was here, in the temple, that Jesus loved to be during his sojourn
in Jerusalem; but the feast was soon ended, and his parents started
homeward with the returning band of pilgrims. Probably Jesus set
off with them from the place where they had lodged; and they, sup-
posing him to be with some of his young companions, with his
cousins perhaps, went a day’s journey from Jerusalem. But when the
night fell, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance,
he was nowhere to be found. A terrible night would that be for both
of them, but especially for Mary, whose fears for him had been
slumbering during the quiet years at Nazareth, but were not dead.
Was it possible that any one could have discovered their cherished
secret, that this was the child whom the wise men had come so far to
see, and for whom Herod had slain so many infants in Bethlehem ?
They turned back to Jerusalem, seeking him in sorrow. It was the
third day before they found him. Where he lived those three days
we do not know. Why not “where the sparrow hath found a house,
and the swallow a nest for herself?” It was in the temple that Joseph
and Mary found hint; in one of the public rooms or, halls opening
out of the court of the Gentiles, where the rabbis and those learned in
the law were wont to assemble for teaching or argument. Jesus was
in the midst of them asking questions, and answering those put to
him by the astonished rabbis, who had not expected much under-
Standing from this boy from Galilee. His parents themselves were
amazed when they saw him there; and Mary, who seems to have had
no difficulty in approaching him, spoke to him chidingly.

“Son, she said, “why hast thou dealt thus with us? behold, thy
father and I have sought thee sorrowing.”

The question fell upon him as the first dimness upon the glory and
gladness of his sojourn in the temple. The poor home at Nazareth,



40 CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST,

his father Joseph, the carpenter’s shop, the daily work, pressed back
upon him in the place of the temple music, the prayer, the daily
sacrifice. There they stood, his supposed father, weary with the long
search, and his mother looking at him with sorrowful, reproaching
eyes. He was ready to go back with them, but he could not go
without a pang.

“How is it that ye sought me?” he asked, sadly; “did you not
know that I must be in my Father’s house ?”

But he had not come to this earth to dwell in his Father’s house;
and he must leave it now, only to revisit it from time to time. “He
went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto
them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.”

Eighteen more years, years of monotonous labor, did Jesus live in
Nazareth. Changes came to his home as well as to others. Joseph
died, and left his mother altogether dependent upon him. Galilee
was still governed by Herod Antipas; but in Judea the King
Archelaus had been dethroned, and the country was made a province
of Rome, under Roman governors. This had happened whilst Jesus
was a boy, and a rebellion had been attempted under a leader called
Judas of Galilee, which had caused great excitement. Though it had
been put down by the Romans, there still remained a party, secretly
popular, who used every effort to free their country from the Roman
yoke. So strong had grown the longing for the Messiah, that a
number of the people were ready to embrace the cause of any leader
who would claim that title, and lead them against their enemies and
masters.

There was a numerous class of his fellow-countrymen to whom
Jesus must have been naturally drawn during his youth, and to whom
he may have attached himself for a time. This was the sect of the
Pharisees, noble and patriotic as our Puritans were, in the beginning;
and at all times living a frugal and devout life, in fair contrast with
the Sadducees, who were wealthy, luxurious, and indifferent. The
Pharisees were mostly of the middle classes; and their ceaseless
devotion to religion gave them great authority among the common
people. ‘To the child Jesus they must have appeared nearer to God





WAKE NOT MY FATHER’S HOUSE AN HOUSE OF
MERCHANDISE.”—John 2:16.



















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































‘CHRIST AND NICODEMUS,
Excert A MAN BE Born AGAIN, HE CANNOT SEE THE Kincpom oF Gop.”—John 3 : 3.





THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 43

than any other class. There were among them two parties; one
following a rabbi of the name of Hillel, who was a gentle, cautious,
tolerant man, averse to making enemies, and of a most merciful and
forgiving disposition.. Some say that he began to teach only thirty
years before the birth of Christ; and it is certainly among his
disciples that Jesus found some friends and followers. The second
party was that of Shammai, who differed from the other in numberless
ways. They were well known for their fierceness and jealousy, for
stirring up the people against any one they hated, and for shrinking
from no bloodshed in furthering their religious views. They were
scrupulous about the fulfilment of the most trivial laws which had
come down to them through tradition. These had grown so numerous
through the lapse of centuries, that it was scarcely possible to live for
an hour without breaking some commandment.

Yet among the Pharisees there were many right-minded and noble
men, to whom Jesus must have been attracted. “The only true
Pharisee,” said the Talmud, that collection of traditions which they
held to be of equal authority with the Scriptures—* the only true
Pharisee is he who does the will of his Father which is in heaven
because he loves him.” Such Pharisees, when he met with them, as
he did meet with them, won his love and approbation. It was the
“Scribes and Pharisees, Zyocrites,’ whom he hated.





































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































“FOLLOW ME.”



BOOK II.
Aer ie Oi ae

CHAPTER I.—JOHN THE BAPTIST.

ESUS was about thirty years of age when a rumor
reached Nazareth of a prophet who had appeared
in Judea. It was more than four hundred years
since a prophet had arisen; but it was well known
that Elias must come before Messiah, as his fore-
runner. Such a prophet was now baptizing in
Jordan; and all Judzea and Jerusalem itself were
sending multitudes to be baptized by him.
Before long his name was known: it was John,
the son of Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin, whose birth
had taken place six months before that of Jesus.
We have no reason to suppose that any person living at this time,

except Mary, knew Jesus to be the Son of God. Those who had

known it were Joseph, Zacharias, and Elizabeth; and all these were
dead. John, to whom we might suppose his parents would tell the
mysterious secret, says expressly that he did not know him to be the

Messiah until it was revealed to him from heaven. He was familiar

with his cousin Jesus, and felt himself, with all his stern, rigid life in

the wilderness, to be unworthy to stoop down and unloose the latchet
of his sandals; although he was a priest, who was known throughout
the land as a prophet, and Jesus was merely a village carpenter, whose
life had been a common life of toil amidst his comrades. Mary alone
45





BOOK II.
Aer ie Oi ae

CHAPTER I.—JOHN THE BAPTIST.

ESUS was about thirty years of age when a rumor
reached Nazareth of a prophet who had appeared
in Judea. It was more than four hundred years
since a prophet had arisen; but it was well known
that Elias must come before Messiah, as his fore-
runner. Such a prophet was now baptizing in
Jordan; and all Judzea and Jerusalem itself were
sending multitudes to be baptized by him.
Before long his name was known: it was John,
the son of Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin, whose birth
had taken place six months before that of Jesus.
We have no reason to suppose that any person living at this time,

except Mary, knew Jesus to be the Son of God. Those who had

known it were Joseph, Zacharias, and Elizabeth; and all these were
dead. John, to whom we might suppose his parents would tell the
mysterious secret, says expressly that he did not know him to be the

Messiah until it was revealed to him from heaven. He was familiar

with his cousin Jesus, and felt himself, with all his stern, rigid life in

the wilderness, to be unworthy to stoop down and unloose the latchet
of his sandals; although he was a priest, who was known throughout
the land as a prophet, and Jesus was merely a village carpenter, whose
life had been a common life of toil amidst his comrades. Mary alone
45





46 CHILD'S LIFE OF .CHRIST.

knew her son to be the promised Messiah; and though the long years
may somewhat have dulled her hopes, they flamed up again suddenly
when the news came that John the forerunner had begun to preach
“The kingdom of God is at hand,” and that multitudes, even of the
Pharisees, were flocking to his baptism, so to enlist themselves as
subjects of the new kingdom.

But this news did not make any change in our Lord. There was
not less tenderness and pity in his heart when he lived among his
neighbors in Nazareth than when he healed the sick who came to him
from every quarter. Neither was there any more ambition in his
spirit when he passed from town to town, amid a throng of followers,
than when he climbed up into the loneliness of the mountains about
his village home. How could he be touched by any earthly ambition,
who knew himself to be not only a Son of God, but the only-begotten
_ Son of the Father? He had been waiting through these quiet, homely .
years for the call to come, and now he was ready to quit all, with the
words in his heart, “Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is
written of mé, I delight to do thy will, O my God!”

It may well be that Mary went with him a little way on his road
toward Jordan, on. that wintry morning, when he quitted his work-
shop, and the familiar streets of Nazareth, to dwell in them no more.
There was no surprise to her in what had come to pass; but there
must have been a thrill of exultation mingled with fear. He had been
her son all these years, but: now he was to belong, not to her, but to
the nation. What sorrow and triumph must have been in her heart
when at last he bade her farewell, and she watched him as long as he
was in sight, clad in the robe she had woven for him without seam,
like the robe of a priest. Was he not a priest and a king already
to her?

It was winter, and although not cold in the valley of the Jordan, the
heavy and continuous rains must have dispersed the multitudes that.
had gone out to John, leaving him almost in solitude once more.
There could have been no crowd of spectators when Jesus was
baptized. Yet even in January there are mild and sunny days when
he and John might have gone down into the river for the signifi-.





THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 47

cant rite which was to mark the beginning of his new career. But
John would not at first consent to baptize his cousin Jesus, declaring
that it would be more fit for himself to be baptized by one whose
life had been holier and happier than his own. The rich and powerful
and pious Pharisees John had sent away with rebukes, yet when Jesus
came from Galilee, he forbade him.

But Jesus would not take his refusal. For some months John had

















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































“AND WAS WITH THE WILD BEASTS.”—Mark 1, 13.

becn waiting for a sign promised to him from heaven, which should
point out to him the true Messiah; and the people of the land looked
to him to show them the Christ, whose kingdom he was proclaiming.
Now, after he had baptized his cousin in the waters of the Jordan,
already troubled with the rains from the mountains, and they were
coming up again out of the river, he saw the pale wintry sky above
them opening, and the Spirit of God descending, visible to his eyes in



48 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

the form of a dove, which lighted upon Jesus, whilst a voice came from
heaven, speaking to him, and saying, “This is my beloved Son, in
whom I am well pleased.” What passed between them further, the
Messiah and his forerunner, we are not told. Jesus did not stay
with John the Baptist, for immediately he left him and the place where
he had been baptized, and went away into the wilderness, far from the
busy haunts of ordinary men, such as he had dwelt among until now.
His commonplace, everyday life was ended, and had fallen from him
forever. A dense cloud of mystery, which no one has been able to
pierce through, surrounds the forty days in which he was alone in the
wilderness, suffering the first pangs of the grief with which he was
bruised and smitten for our iniquities, being fiercely assailed of the
devil, that he might himself suffer being tempted, and so able to succor
all those who are tempted. The compassion and fellow-feeling he had
before had for sufferers he was henceforth to feel for sinners. There
was to be no gulf between him and the sinners he was about to call
to repentance; he was to be their friend, their companion, and it was
his part to know the stress and strain of temptation which had
overcome them. Sinners were to feel, when they drew near to him,
that he knew all about them and their sins, and needed not that any
man should tell him. He had been in all points tempted as they had
been.



CHAPTER IIl—CANA OF GALILEE.

HEN Jesus returned to Jordan the short
winter of Palestine was over, and already
an eager crowd had gathered again about
John. On the day of his return a depu-
tation from the Pharisees had come from
Jerusalem to question John as to his
authority for thus baptizing the people.
They were the religious rulers of the
nation, and felt themselves bound to
inquire into any new religious rite, and to
ask for the credentials of any would-be

prophet. These priests who had come to see John
knew him to bea priest, and were, probably, inclined to take
his part, if they could do so in safety. They asked him, eagerly,

“Art thou Christ?” “Art thou Elias?” “Art thou that prophet?”

And-when he answered, “No,” they ask again, “Who art thou?

What sayest thou of thyself?” The crowd was. listening, and Jesus,

standing amongst them, was also listening for his reply. “I ama.

voice,” he said, “the voice spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, crying
in the wilderness, Prepare ye the ways of the Lord.” ' The priests
were disappointed with this answer, and asked, “ Why baptizest thou
then?” They had not given him authority to appear as a prophet,
yet here he was drawing great multitudes about him, and publicly

reproving the most religious sect of the nation, calling them a

generation of vipers, and bidding them bring forth fruits worthy

of repentance. From that time they began to throw discredit upon
the preaching of John the Baptist, and spoke despitefully against

him, saying, “He hath a devil.” Nothing is easier than to fling a

bad name at those who are not of our own way of thinking.

Two days after this, John the Baptist pointed out Jesus to two of

49





50 _ CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

his disciples as the Messiah whose coming he had foretold. These
two, Andrew and a young man named John, immediately followed
Jesus. and being invited by him to the place where he was staying,
they remained the rest of the day with him; probably took their first
meal with him, their hearts burning within them as he opened the
Scriptures to their understanding. The next morning Andrew met
with his brother Simon, and said, “We have found the Messiah,” and
brought him to Jesus. The day following, Jesus was about to start
- home again to Galilee, and seeing Philip, who already knew him, he
said to him, “Follow me!” Simon and Andrew, who were Philip’s
townsmen, were at that time with Jesus; Philip was ready to obey,
but he first found Nathanael, and said to him, “Jesus of Nazareth, the
son of Joseph, is he of whom Moses and the prophets did write!”
_ “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” cried Nathanael,
doubtingly; but he went to Jesus and was so satisfied by the few
words he spoke to him, that he exclaimed, “ Rabbi, thou art the Son
of God; thou art the King of Israel!” .

With these five followers Jesus turned his steps homeward, after an
absence of nearly two months. All of them lived in Galilee; and
Simon Peter and Andrew, who had a house in Capernaum, at the
head of the lake of Galilee, appear to have turned off and left the
little company at the point where their nearest way home crossed the
route taken by the others. Jesus went on with the other three:
Philip, whom he had distinctly called to follow him; Nathanael,
whose home in Cana of Galilee lay directly north of Nazareth; and
John, who was hardly more than a youth, and as yet free from the ties
and duties of manhood. A pleasant march must that have been
along the valleys lying south of Mount Tabor, with the spring
sun shining overhead, and all the green sward bedecked with flowers,
and the birds singing in the cool, fragrant air of morning and
evening.

But they did not find Mary at Nazareth.. She was gone with the
cousins of Jesus to a marriage at Cana in Galilee, ‘the town of
Nathanael, where he had a home, to which he gladly urged his new-
found rabbi to go. He could not have foreseen this pleasure; but



seh:

: a is
i

“ WHOSOEVER DRINKETH OF THE WATER THAT I SHALL GIVE HIM
SHALL NEVER THIRST.”—John 4: 14.











































































CHRIST HEALING THE SICK.

8 iz 1am His Hanws on Every Onx o¢ THEM, AND HEALED THEM.’’=—Luke 43 e.



THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 53

now, as they went on northward to Cana, the Messiah was his cuest,
and, with Philip and John, was to enter into his house. But no
sooner was it known that they were come into the village than Jesus
was Called with his friends, one of whom was an old neighbor of the
bridegroom, to join the marriage feast.

There was very much that Mary longed to hear from her son after
‘this long absence; but the circumstances could not have been favor-
able for it. In his beloved face, worn and pale with his forty days of
temptation and fasting in the wilderness, her eyes saw a change which
told plainly that his new life had begun in suffering. He looked as
if he had passed through a trial which set him apart. Perhaps he
found time to tell her of his hunger in the desert, and the temptation
which came to him to use his miraculous powers in order to turn
stones into bread for himself.. It seems that, in some way or other,
she knew that, like Elijah and Elisha, the great prophets of olden
times, he could and would work miracles as a sign to the people that
he came from God; and she felt all a mother’s eagerness that he
should at.once manifest his glory.

So when there was no‘ more wine she turned to him, hoping for
some open proof to the friends about her that he possessed this
wonder-working power. Besides, she had been accustomed to turn
to him in every trouble, in any trifling household difficulty; casting
all her cares upon him, because she knew he cared for her. So she
said to him quietly, yet significantly, “They have no wine.” Some of
Elisha’s miracles had been even more homely; he had made the
poisoned pottage fit for food, and had fed a company of people with
but a scanty supply of barley-cakes. Why should not Jesus gladden
the feast and save his friends from shame, by making the wine last
out to the end?

A few days before our Lord had been in the desert, amid the wild
beasts, with the devil tempting him. Now he, who was to be in all
_things one with us, was sitting at a marriage feast among his friends;
his mother and kinsfolk there, with his new followers; every face
about him glad and happy. It was not the first marriage he had been

at, for his sisters, no doubt, were married, and living at Nazareth; and
7



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we

























CANA.

WEDDING FEAST AT

54



THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 55

he knew what the mortification would be if the social mirth came too
suddenly to an end. He cared for these little pleasures and little
innocent enjoyments, and would not have them spoiled. The miracle
he refused to work to satisfy his own severe hunger he wrought for
the innocent pleasure of the friends who were rejoicing around him.
There were six water-pots of stone standing by for the use of the
guests in washing their hands before sitting down to the table, and he
bade the servants first to fill them up again with water to the brim,
and then to draw out, and bear to the ruler of the feast. Upon
tasting it he cried out to the bridegroom, “Every man at the
beginning doth set forth good wine; but thou has kept the good wine
until now.” 1

So Christ changes water into wine, tears into gladness, the waves
and floods of sorrow into a crystal sea, whereon the harpers stand,
having the harps of God. But he can work this miracle only for his
friends; none but those who loved him drank of that wine. It was
no grand miracle of giving sight to eyes born blind, or raising to life
a widow's son. Yet there is a special fitness in it. He had long
known what poverty, and straitness, and household cares were, and
he must show that these common troubles were not beneath his
notice; no, nor the little secret pangs of anxiety and disappointment
which we so often hide from those about us. We are not all called to
bear extraordinary sorrows, but most of us know what trifling cares
are; and it was one of these small household difficulties the Son of
man met by his first miracle.

After this, Jesus, with his mother, and brethren, and disciples, went
down to Capernaum for a few days, until it was time to go on their
yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem, to the feast of the passover, which was
near at hand. Peter and Andrew were living there, and might join
them in their journey to Judzea; though they do not seem to have
stayed with our Lord, but probably returned after the passover to
their own home until he considered it a fit time to call them to leave
all and follow him.



CHAPTER HI—THE FIRST SUMMER.

OR the first time Jesus went up to Jerusalem
with his little band of followers, who knew him
to be the Messiah; and his cousins, who did not
yet believe in him, but were apparently willing
to do so if he would act as they expected the
Messiah to act. If he would repeat his miracle
on a large scale, and so convince the mass of
the people, they were ready enough to proclaim
him as the Messiah.
Would not John the Baptist be there too? Heas
a priest, and asa prophet, would no doubt be looked
for, as Jesus afterwards was, at the feast of the passover.
He must have had a strong, impetuous yearning to see him who
had been pointed out to him as the Lamb of God that should take
away the sin of the world. Maybe he ate the paschal supper with
Jesus and his disciples. We fancy we see him, the well-known
hermit-prophet from the wilderness, in his robe of camel’s hair, with
its leathern girdle, and his long, shaggy hair, and weather-beaten
face, following closely the steps of Jesus, through the streets, and
about the courts of the temple, listening to fo words with thirsty
ears, and calling himself “the friend of the bridegroom, which
standeth and heareth him, rejoicing greatly because of the bride-
groom’s voice.” It was the last passover John the Pau would
ever celebrate; though that he could not know.

Upon going up into the temple, Jesus found the court of the
Gentiles thronged with sheep, and oxen, and doves, animals needed
for the sacrifices, but disturbing the congregation, which assembled
in the court of the women, by their incessant lowing and cooing.
Money-changers were sitting there also; for Roman coins were now
in common use instead of the Jewish money, which alone was lawful
56







THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 8

for payment in the temple. No doubt there was a good deal of loud
and angry debate round the tables of the money-changers; and a
disgraceful confusion and disorder prevailed. Jesus took up a scourge
of small cords, and drove out of the temple the noisy oxen and sheep,
bidding the sellers of the doves to carry them away. The tables of
the money-changers he overturned; and no one opposed him, but
conscious of the scandal they had brought upon the temple, they
retreated before him. “Make not my Father's house a house of
merchandise,” he said. To him it was always his “Father's house ;”
and before he could manifest forth his glory, his Father must first be
glorified. The disciples, looking upon his face, remembered that it
had been written, “The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.”

But the priests and Levites of the temple, to whom this traffic
brought much profit, were not so easily conscience-pricked as the
merchants had been. They could not defend the wrong practices, but
they came together to question the authority of this young stranger
from Galilee. If John the Baptist had done it, probably they would
not have ventured to Speak, for all the people counted him a prophet.
But this was a new man from Galilee! The Jews held the Galileans
in scorn, as only little better than the Samaritans. “ What sign shewest
thou,” they ask, “seeing that thou doest such things?” The things
were signs themselves—the mighty, prevailing anger of the Lord, and
the smitten consciences of the merchants—if they had not been too
blind to see them. Jesus gave them a mysterious answer, which none
could understand. “Destroy this temple,” he said, “and in three days
I will raise it up.” What! were they to pull down all they most prided
in, and trusted in: their temple, which had been forty and six years in
building! They left him, but they treasured up his words in their
memories. The disciples also remembered them, and believed them
when the mysterious sign was fulfilled.

But Jesus did not seek to convince the people without signs, and
signs which they could understand. He worked certain miracles in
Jerusalem during the week of the feast, which won a degree of faith
from many. But their faith was not strong and true enough for him
to trust to it, and he held himself aloof from them. What they looked.



58 _ CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

for was an earthly king, who should plot and conspire for the throne;
and the Roman soldiers, who garrisoned the strong fortress which
overlooked the temple, would not have borne the rumor of such a
king. There was at all times great danger of these expectations
reaching the ears of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, who was not
a man to shrink from needless bloodshed. For the sake of the people
themselves Jesus did not commit himself unto them.

Amongst those who heard of the miracles he had wrought was one
of the Pharisees, a member of the great religious committee among
them called the Sanhedrim. His name was Nicodemus, and he came
to our Lord by night, to inquire more particularly what he was teaching.
Jesus told him more distinctly than he had yet done what his new
message to the Jews and to the whole world was: “ For God so loved
the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth
in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Nicodemus went
away strongly impressed with the new doctrine, though not prepared to
give up all for its sake, and not yet called upon todo so. But from
that time Jesus hada firm friend in the very midst of the Pharisees,
who used his powerful influence to protect him; and the feast passed
by without any further jealous interference from the priests.

But it was not quite safe or suitable to remain in Jerusalem; and
after the greater number of their friends and kinsmen had returned
home, Jesus, with two or three of his disciples, sought the banks of.
the Jordan, whither John the Baptist had already returned. The
harvest was beginning, for it was near the end of April, and bands of
harvesters passed to and fro from uplands to lowlands until all the
corn was gathered in by the end of June. Down in the valley of
the Jordan the summer is very hot; and the wants of life are few.
They could sleep in the open air, or in some hut of branches rudely
woven together; and their food, like John the Baptist’s, cost little or
nothing. There was to be no settled home henceforth for any one
of them. The disciples had left all to follow the Son of man, and
he had not where to lay his head.

Crowds of eager and curious followers came to Jesus, as the year
before they had flocked to John the Baptist, who had now moved



THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 59

some miles further up the river, and was still preaching “ The kingdom
of God is at hand.” But John did no miracle, and the crowds that
followed Jesus were greater than those who followed him. In the
eyes of the Pharisees it must have seemed that the two prophets were
in rivalry; and many a jest and a sneer would be heard in the temple
courts and in the streets of Jerusalem as they talked of those “two
fanatics” on the banks of the Jordan. Even John the Baptist’s disciples
fancied that a wrong was done their rabbi by this new teacher, who
had been with him for a while, and so learned his manner of arousing
and teaching the people. They went to John, and said, “ Rabbi, he
that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou bearest witness,
behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come unto him.”



FRUIT OF PALESTINE.

Now was John’s opportunity to manifest a wonderful humility and
devotion. “I am of the earth, earthy, and speak of the earth,” he
said; “he that cometh from heaven is above all. The Father loveth
the Son, and hath given all things into his hands. I am but the
friend of the bridegroom; I stand and hear him, and rejoice greatly
because of his voice. This my joy therefore is fulfilled.”

Did he hear that voice often, and rejoice in it? There were not
many miles separating them, and both of them were hardy and used
to long marches. It may well be that during those summer months
_ they met often on the banks of the river—the happiest season of
John’s life. For he had been a lonely, unloved man, living a wild life



60 CHIED'S FIFE “OR (CHRIST:

in the wilderness, strange to social and homelike ways; his father and
mother long since dead, with neither brother nor sister, he would find
in Jesus all the missing relationships, and pour out to him the richest
treasures of a heart that no loving trust had opened until now.

So the summer passed away, and the autumn with its vintage; then —
the rainy months drew near. Bands of harvestmen and bands of
pilgrims had gone by, tarrying for a few hours to learn truths they had
never heard before, even in the temple. Many of them were baptized
by the disciples, though Jesus baptized not. The new prophet had
become more popular than the old prophet, and John’s words were
fulfilled, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

CHAPTER IV.—SAMARIA.

HERE were several reasons why our Lord should
leave the banks of the Jordan, besides that of
the rainy season coming on. ‘The Pharisees
were beginning to take more special notice of
him, having heard that he had made more dis-
ciples even than John, whom they barely toler-
ated. Moreover, this friend and forerunner of
his had been seized by Herod, the tetrarch of
Galilee, and cast into a dreary prison on the
east of the Dead Sea. This violent measure

was likely to excite a disturbance among the people; and Jesus,

whose aim was in no way to come into collision with the govern-
ment, could not prudently remain in a neighborhood too near the
fortress where John was imprisoned. He therefore withdrew from
the Jordan, in the month of December or January, having been in

Judzea since the feast of the passover in the spring.

One way to his old home, the place where his relatives were still
living, lay through Samaria, a country he had probably never crossed,
as the inhabitants were uncivil and churlish toward all Jewish travel-





Seat

ee

3

iy



‘“BUT A CERTAIN SAMARITAN HAD COMPASSION ON HIM.”—Lukel10: 33



** YOUNG MAN, | SAY UNTO THEE, ARISE.”—Luke 7 : 14.





THE WONDERFUL. LIFE. 63

ers, especially if their faces were toward Jerusalem. But Jesus was
journeying to Galilee, and did not expect them to be.actively hostile
to him and his little band of companions. It was an interesting road,
and led him through Shechem, one of the oldest cities in the world,
lying between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, in a vale so narrow at
the eastern end, that when the priests stood on these mountains
to pronounce the blessings and the curses in the ears of all the
children of Israel, there was no difficulty for the people standing
in the valley to hear distinctly. Two miles away was a very deep
well, the waters of which were cool in the hottest summer; a well
dug by the patriarch Jacob upon the same parcel of a field where
he built his first altar to the God of Israel. Here too were buried
the bones of Joseph, which had been carried for forty years through
the wilderness to the land his father Jacob had given to him and to
his children specially. Shiloh also lay along the route; and Jesus,
who possessed every innocent and refined taste, must have enjoyed
passing through these ancient places, so intimately connected with
the early history of his nation.

Shechem lay about eighteen or twenty miles distant from the fords
of Jordan, near which we suppose Jesus to have been dwelling. By
the time he and his disciples reached Jacob’s well, after this long
morning’s march, it was noonday, and he was wearied, more wearied
than the rest, who appear always to have been stronger than he was.
They left him sitting by the side of the well, whilst they went on into
the city to buy food for their mid-day meal. Their Master was thirsty,
but the well was deep, and they had nothing to draw up the water.
They hastened on, therefore, eager to return with food for him whom
they loved to minister to.

Not long after a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and was
much astonished when this Jew asked her to give him some to drink.
She was probably less churlish than a man would have been, though
she was barely civil. But as Jesus spoke with her she made the
discovery that he was a prophet; and immediately referred to him the
most vexing question which separated the Jews from the Samaritans.
The latter had a temple upon Mount Gerizim, which had been rebuilt

8



































































































































































































































THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 65

by Herod, as the temple at Jerusalem had been; and she asked which
is the place where men ought to worship? Here, or at Jerusalem?
She could only expect one answer from a Jew; an answer to excuse
her anger, and send her away from the well without satisfying his
thirst. But Jesus had now forgotten both thirst and weariness. He
knew that many a sorrowful heart had prayed to God as truly from
Mount Gerizim as from the temple at Jerusalem. There is no special
place, he answered, for in every place men may worship the Father;
the true worshippers worship him in spirit and in truth, for God is a
Spirit. This was no such answer as the woman looked for; and her
next words were spoken in a different temper. “We are looking for
the Messiah, as well as the Jews,” she said, “and when he is come, he
will tell us all things that we do not yet know.” Jesus had already
told her the circumstances of her own life, and she was looking at him
wistfully, with this thought of the Messiah in her mind, when he said
to her more plainly, more distinctly, perhaps, than he had ever done
before to any one, “I that speak to thee am he.”

By this time the disciples had come back, and were much astonished
to find him talking to the woman. If they heard these last words
they would marvel still more, for Jesus generally left men to discover
his claims to the Messiahship. The wrong impression prevailing
among the Jews concerning the Messiah was not shared by the
Samaritans. The latter kept closely to the plain and simple law
of Moses, without receiving the traditions which the Pharisees held
of equal importance with the law, and were thus more ready to
understand the claims and work of Christ. The woman therefore
hurried back to the city, leaving her water-pot, and called together
the men of the place to come out and see if this man were not
the Christ. They besought him to stay with them in their ancient city
under the Mount of Blessing; and, no doubt very much to the
amazement of his disciples, he consented, and abode there two days,
spending the time in teaching them his doctrine, the very inner
meaning of which he had already laid open to the woman. “God
is a Spirit; he is the Father, whom every true worshipper may
worship in the recesses of his own spirit.” Many of them believed,



66 CHIEDIS LIFE OF CHRIST,

and said to the woman, “We have heard him ourselves, and know
that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.’ Wonderful
words, which filled the heart of Christ with rejoicing. Not his own
nation, not his own disciples, not even his own kinsmen, had learned
so much of his mission as these Samaritans; ever afterward he spoke
of them with tenderness, and when he would take a type to himself in
the parable of the man fallen among thieves, he chose not a Jew, but
a despised Samaritan.

From Sychar Jesus passed through one of the long deep valleys
which lead to the plain of Esdraelon, where he was once more in
_ Galilee. It was winter, and the snow was glistening on the lower
mountains, as well as upon the distant range of Lebanon. The heavy
rains had swollen the brooks into floods; and all the great plain
before him, which in four months’ time would be ripe for harvest, a
sea of golden grain, scarcely rippled by a gust of wind, was now lying
in wintry brownness and desolation, and swept by the storms of hail
and rain. He seems to have passed by Nazareth, staying, if he stayed
at all, fora few hours only, and to have gone on with Nathanael to
his home in Cana, where Jesus had many friends, especially the bride-
groom whose marriage-feast in the spring he had made glad with no
common gladness.

He had not been long in Cana before the streets of the little village
witnessed the arrival of a great nobleman from Capernaum, who had
heard of the fame of Jesus in Judzea, and the miracles he had wrought
there. Until now, with the exception of Nicodemus, it would seem
that none but people of his own class had sought him, or brought
their sick to be healed by him. But this nobleman had a son, whose
life all the skill of the Jewish physicians could not save; and his last
hope lay with Jesus. His faith could not grasp more than the idea
that if Jesus came, like any other physician, to see and touch the child,
he would have the power to heal him. -“Sir, come down,” he cried,
“before my son is dead.” “Go thy way,’ ’ Jesus answered; “thy son
liveth.” What was there in his voice and glance which filled the
father’s heart with perfect trust and peace? The nobleman did not
hurry away, though there was time for him to reach home before night-





















































NINETY AND NINE.



68 CHIED! SE IEE ONS CA RISH.

fall. But the next day, as he was going down to Capernaum, he met
his servants, who had been sent after him with the good news that the
fever had left his son yesterday at the seventh hour; that same hour
when Jesus had said to him, “ Thy son liveth.”

Now he had a friend and disciple among the wealthiest and highest
classes in Capernaum, as he had one among the Sanhedrim at Jeru-
salem. Both protected him as much as it lay in their power; and it
is supposed by many that the mother of the child thus healed was the
same as Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, who, with other
women, attended our Lord during the last year of his life, and min-
istered to him of their substance. Thus, on every hand, Jesus was
making friends and enemies. A year had scarcely passed since he
quitted his humble home in Nazareth; but his name was already
known throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria; and everywhere
people were ranging themselves into two parties, for and against him.
Among the common people he had few enemies; among the wealthy
and religious classés he had few friends. He felt the peculiar diffi-
culty these latter classes had in following him; and expressed it in
two sayings, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repent-
ance,” and “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a
needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”



CHAPTER V.—THE FIRST SABBATH MIRACLE.

FTER staying a short time in Cana, Jesus went
once more to Jerusalem, about the middle of
March, a month or so before the passover. At
this time there was a feast of the Jews, not a
religious, but rather a national feast, in celebra~-
tion of the deliverance of their race in the days
ae of Esther. It drew together many of the poorer
and lower classes, among whom our Lord’s work
specially lay, and so offered to him, perhaps, unusual
opportunities for mingling with the common people, living
near Jerusalem. For we do not suppose that the Galileans

went up to this feast; only the country-folks dwelling in
Judzea, within a few miles of their chief city, who could make a
holiday at that time of the year. Either upon the feast-day itself,
or the Sabbath day nearest to it, Jesus walked down to the sheep-
gate of the city, near which was a pool, possessing the singular
property, so it was believed, of healing the first person who could
get into it after there had been seen a certain troubling of the water.
A great crowd of impotent folk, of halt, blind and withered, lay about
waiting for this movement of the surface of the pool. There was no
spot in Jerusalem where we could sooner expect to find our Lord,
with his wondrous power of healing all manner of diseases. Not
even his Father's house was more likely to be trodden by his feet
than this Bethesda, or house of mercy. Probably there was a greater
throng than usual, because of the feast, which would offer an
opportunity to many to come out of the country. Jesus passed by
until he singled out one man, apparently because he knew he had
now been crippled for thirty-eight years, and had been so friendless
that during all that time he had no man to help him to get down

first to the water. The cripple was hopeless, but still lingered
. Gs







70 CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

there, as if to watch others win the blessing which he could
never reach.

Upon this miserable man Jesus looked down with his pitying eyes,
and said, as though speaking to one who would not pestle to obey
him, “ Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.”

It seems as though Jesus passed on, and was lost in the crowd; but
the cripple felt a strange strength throbbing through his withered
limbs. He was made whole, and he took up his bed, to return home,
if he had any home, or at least to escape from that suffering multitude.
Then did the Pharisees behold the terrible spectacle of a man carrying
his bed through the streets of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day! They
cried to him hastily, “It is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed on the
Sabbath day.” He answered them by telling the story of his miracu-
lous cure, though he did not know who the stranger was, for Jesus was
gone away. No doubt he put his burden down at the bidding of the
Pharisees, but he did not lose the new strength that had given him
power to take it up.

The same day Jesus found him in the temple, whither he had gone
in his gladness. Once more those pitying, searching eyes were fixed
upon him, and the voice that had spoken to him in the morning
sounded again in his ears. “Behold,” said Jesus, “thou art made
whole; sin no more, lest a worse thing comé unto thee.” The man
departed and told the Pharisees who it was that had made him whole,
thinking, no doubt, to bring praise and glory to his deliverer.

Possibly until now the presence of Jesus at this feast had not been
known to the Pharisees. The last time he was in Jerusalem he had
solemnly and emphatically claimed the temple as his Father's house,
and had indirectly reproved them by assuming the authority to rid it
of the scandals they had allowed to creep into it. Now they found

-him deliberately setting aside one of their most binding rules for
keeping the Sabbath. John the Baptist, though both priest and
prophet, had never ventured so far. Their religion of rites and cere-
monies, of traditions, of shows and shams, was in danger. With their
religion, they firmly believed their place and nation would go, and
Jerusalem and Judzea would become like the ee cities and coun-



































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































CHRIST AND MARY MAGDALENE.
‘Tuy SINS ARE ForGIvEN.”—Luke 73 °° :





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THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 73

tries about them. It was time to put a stop to it. John the Baptist
was in prison. What if Jesus of Nazareth could be slain quietly, so
as not to disturb the common people, who heard him gladly ?

Jesus then, forewarned, it may be, by a friend, found himself com-
pelled to quit Jerusalem hastily, instead of sojourning there till the
coming passover. He was now too well known in the streets of the
city to escape notice. More than this, if he stayed until the Galileans
came up to the feast, there would be constant danger of his followers
coming into collision with the Pharisees. Riots in Jerusalem at the
time of the feasts were not uncommon, and often ended in bloodshed.
Not long before, Pilate had slain eighteen Galileans in some tumult
in the temple courts; and there was every probability that some -such
calamity might occur again should any provocation arise.

Jesus, therefore, retreated from Jerusalem with a few friends who
were with him. He had not yet chosen his band of twelve apostles,

but John, the youngest and dearest of them all, was with him, for it is
_ he alone who has given us this record of the first year of our Lord’s

ministry. Philip, also, we suppose to have been his disciple from the
first, in obedience to the call, “ Follow me;” for Jesus seems to have
been particularly grieved with his dulness of mind, when he says to
him, “ Have I been so long time with you, Philip, and yet hast thou
not known me?” Moreover, when Jesus was next at Jerusalem for
the passover, those Greeks who wished to see him came and spoke to
Philip as being best known as the attendant of our Lord. Whether
there were other disciples with him, or who they were, we do not
-know. It was a little company that had lived together through eleven
inonths, most of which had been spent on the banks of the Jordan,
in a peaceful and happy seclusion, save for the multitudes that came
to be taught the new doctrine, or to be healed of their afflictions. |
Now they were to be persecuted, to have spies lurking about them, to
be asked treacherous questions, to have perjured witnesses ready to
swear anything against them, and to feel from day to day that their
enemies were powerful and irreconcilable. With a sad foresight of
what must be the end, our Lord left Jerusalem and returned into
Galilee.

9



CHAPTER VI.—HIS OLD HOME.

ESUS came to Nazareth, where he had been
brought up. His aunt, Mary Cleophas, was still
living: there with her children, if his mother was
not. The old familiar home was the same, and
the steep, narrow streets of the village in which
he had played and worked. Coming down to it
from the unfriendly city of Jerusalem, it seemed
like a little nest of safety, lying among its
pleasant hills. Here, at least, so his disciples
might think, they would find repose and friend-
ship; and the soreness of heart that must have

followed the knowledge that the Jews sought to slay their Master

would here be healed and forgotten.

The Sabbath had come round again; a week since he had given
strength to the cripple. It was his custom to go to the synagogue on
the Sabbath; and the congregation which met there had been familiar
with him from his childhood, when he went with his supposed father,
Joseph. The rabbi, or ruler, could not but have known him well.
These rulers of the synagogue had a certain power of both trying and
scourging heretics in the place itself. They could also excommunicate
them, and lay a curse upon them; and Jesus knew that they would
not be averse to exercising their power. But now he went to his
accustomed place, looking round with a tender yearning of his heart
toward them all; from those who sat conspicuously in the chief seats,
to the hesitating, inquisitive villager, seldom seen in the congregation,
who crept in at the door to see what was going on.

For all the people of Nazareth must have been filled with curiosity
that day. Their townsman had become famous; and they longed to
see him, and to witness some miracle wrought by him. Almost all
had spoken to him at one time or another; many had been brought
74





THE WONDER®UL LIFE. 75

up with him, and had been taught by the same schoolmaster. They
had never thought of him as being different from themselves, except
perhaps that no man could bring an evil word against him; a stupen-
dous difference indeed, but not one that would win him much favor.
Yet here he was among them again, after a year’s absence or so, and
throughout all the land, even in Jerusalem itself, he was everywhere
known as the Prophet of Nazareth.

When the time came for the Scriptures to be read, Jesus, either
called by the minister, or rising of his own accord, stood up to read.
It must have been what all the congregation wished for. The low
platform near the middle of the building was the best place for all to
see him; their eyes were fastened upon him, and their satisfaction was
still greater when he sat down to teach them from the words he had
just read. They were astonished at the graciousness of his words
and manner, and before he could say more than, “This day is this
Scripture fulfilled” they began whispering to one another, “Is not this
Joseph’s son ?”

There is nothing strange or: unnatural in this conduct, nor indeed
anything very planiable It is precisely what would take place among
ourselves now under the same circumstances. Jesus was grieved,
though we cannot suppose him to have been disappointed. He knew
they wanted to see him do something like what he had done in Caper-
naum. His sinless life had been neither a sign nor a wonder to them ;
so blind were they, and so hard of heart. But if he would do some
astonishing work they would believe in him. “No prophet is ac-
cepted in his own country,” he said, and leaving the verses he was
about to explain to them, he went on to remind them that both Elyah
and Elisha, their wonder-working prophets of olden times, had passed
over Jewish sufferers to bestow their help on Gentiles. They could
not miss seeing the application. If they rejected him, he would turn
to the Gentiles.

A sudden and violent fury seized upon all who were in the syna-
gogue. This threat came from the carpenter’s son! They rose up
with one accord to thrust him out of the village. As they passed
along the streets the whole population would join them, and their



of





























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































JESUS TEACH







a

NG BY THE SEASIDE.



THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 77

madness growing stronger, they hurried him toward a precipice near
the town, that they might cast him down headlong. But his brethren
and disciples were there, and surely among the people of Nazareth he
had some friends who would protect him from so shocking a death at
the hands of his townsmen. He passed through the angry crowd,
and went his way over the green hills, which not long before had
seemed to promise him rest and shelter from his bitter foes. He had
been accused of breaking the Sabbath seven days ago; who was
breaking the Sabbath now? The full time was come for all this for-
malism of worship to be swept away, and for Christ to proclaim him-
self Lord also of the Sabbath. Did Jesus linger on the brow of that
eastern hill looking down upon the village which nestled at the foot
of the cliff? So quiet it lay there, as if no tumult could ever enter
into it. The little valley, green and fresh in the cool spring-time,
was bright with flowers, like a garden amid the mountains. He had
loved this narrow glen as only children can love the spot where they
first grow conscious of the beauty of the world around them. Here
his small hands had plucked his first lilies, more gorgeously appareled
than Solomon in all his glory. Here he had seen for the first time
the red flush in the morning sky, and the rain-clouds rising out of the
west, and had felt the south wind blow upon his face. Upon yonder
housetops he had watched the sparrows building; and upon these
mountains he had considered the ravens. The difference between now
and then pressed heavily upon him; and as he wept over Jerusalem,
he may have wept over Nazareth. No place on earth could be the
same to him; and when he lost sight of it behind the brow of the hill,
he went on sadly and sorrowfully toward Capernaum.



CHAPTER VII.—CAPERNAUM.

HOUGH Galilee was somewhat larger than Judza,
it was in reality but a small province, not more
than seventy miles in length, or thirty in breadth.
This again was divided into Upper and Lower
Galilee; the latter called Galilee of the Gentiles.
The district in which Jesus worked most of his
miracles, and went preaching from town to town,
was very small indeed, a circuit of a few miles
tending south and west of Capernaum, which for
a ster time now became his home. This part

Be Galilee is a lovely country, abounding in flowers and birds; and
at his time it was thickly populated, with small towns or villages
lying near one another, and farm-houses occupying every favorable
situation. The lake or sea of Galilee is about thirteen miles long,
six broad, and all the western shore was fringed with villages and
hamlets. Nowhere could Jesus have met with a more busy stir of
life. Not only Jews dwelt in this region, but many Gentiles of all
nations, especially the Roman and Greek. His ministry in Judzea, it
the Pharisees had suffered him to remain in Judzea, would not have
been so widely beneficial as in this province, where the people were
less in bondage to Jewish customs and ritualism.

It is at this point that Matthew, Mark, and Luke alike begin the
history of our Lord’s work. What we have so far read has been re-
corded for us in John’s gospel alone, with the exception of the visit to
Nazareth, which we learn from Luke. Jesus had already some friends
and believers in Capernaum. There was the nobleman whose son he
had healed several weeks before. There were Andrew and Peter, to
whom he had been pointed out by John the Baptist as the Lamb of
God. It was quickly noised abroad that Jesus of Nazareth was come
to the town, and multitudes flocked together, though it was no holy
78





THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 79

day, to hear the words he had to teach them from God. They found
him upon the shore of the lake, and in order that all might see and
hear him, he entered into a boat belonging to Peter, and asked him to
push out a little from the bank. It was early in the morning of the
day after he had been thrust out of his own village; and now, sitting
in the boat with a great multitude of eager listeners pressing down to
the water's edge, he spoke to them the gracious words which the
people of Nazareth would not hear.

The sermon was soon over, for the listeners were working men, and
had their trades to follow. Jesus then bade Peter to put out into the
deep waters, and let down his net fora draught. Peter, who must have
heard of the miracles that Jesus wrought, though he had never seen
one, seems to have obeyed without expecting much success. But the
net enclosed so many fishes that it began to break, and his own boat,
as well as that belonging to his partners, John and James, became
dangerously full. No sooner had Peter reached the shore, where Jesus
was still standing, than, terrified at his supernatural power, he fell at
his feet, crying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
“Follow me,” answered Jesus, “and I will make you fishers of men.”
Andrew. and Peter immediately forsook all to attach themselves
closely to Jesus; and the same morning John and James left their
father Zebedee for the same purpose.

The next Sabbath day, which was probably not a weekly but a legal
Sabbath, coming earlier than the end of the week, Jesus entered the
synagogue at Capernaum with his band of followers, four of whom
were well known in the town. The synagogue here was a much
larger and more imposing place than the one at Nazareth; and no
doubt it would be filled with a congregation as crowded and attentive.
Whilst Jesus was teaching them, an unlooked-for interruption came,
not this time from the fury of his listeners, but from the outcry of a
poor man possessed of a devil, who had come in with the congregation.
Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, and the man was cast down in the midst
of the synagogue in convulsions, with the people crowding round to
help. But when the devil had come out of him the man himself was
uninjured and in his right mind. Such a miracle, in such a place,



80 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

spread far and wide, and with great swiftness, for all who had seen it
wrought would be eager to speak of it. .

At noon Jesus went with Peter to his house for the usual mid-day
meal. Here he healed the mother of Peter's wife of a great fever so
thoroughly that, feeling neither languor nor weakness, she arose and
waited upon them. In the afternoon probably he went to the syna-
gogue service again, to be listened to more eagerly than ever.

We can imagine the stir there would be throughout Capernaum that
afternoon. Fevers were very prevalent in the spring and autumn, and
it is not likely that Peter’s mother was the only sufferer. There was no
one there as yet to cavil at miracles being worked on the Sabbath-day ;
still the people waited until the sun was set, and then in the brief twi-
light a long procession threaded the streets to the house where Jesus
was known to be, until all the city was gathered about the door. And
as the light faded in the clear sky, a number of little twinkling lamps
would be kindled in the narrow street, lighting up the pale sickly faces
of the patients who were waiting for the great Physician to come by.
We see him passing from one group to another, missing not one of
the sufferers, and surely saying some words of comfort or warning to
each one on whom he laid his healing hand—words that would dwell
in their memories forever. All had faith in him, and all were cured
of whatsoever disease they had.

It must have been late before this was over, and the crowd dispersed
to their homes. It seems as though our Lord, after this busy day of
active ministry and untiring sympathy, was unable to sleep; for,
rising a great while before the dawn, he sought the freshness of the
cool night air and the quiet of a lonely place, where he could pray, or
rather speak to his Father unseen and unheard. He trod softly
through the silent streets, lately so full of stir, and made his way to
some quiet spot on the shore of the lake, pondering, it may be, over
the strange contrasts in his life, his rejection by the Nazarenes, and the
enthusiastic reception of him by the city of Capernaum.

As soon as it was day, however, the grateful people, discovering that
he was not in Peter’s house, urged his disciples to lead them to the
place where he had found a brief repose. The disciples would prob-





THE RAISING OF THE DAUGHTER OF JAIRUS.—Luke 8: 54.

































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































CHRIST FEEDING THE MULTITUDE.

“Hm BiesseD, AND BRAKE, AND GAVE THE LOAVES To His DisciPLEs, AND THE DIsciPLes TC THR,
MULTITUDE.” Matt. 14.: 19.



THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 83

ably require little urging, for this was the homage they expected their
Master to receive. They came in multitudes, beseeching him to tarry
with them ; for, like Nicodemus, they knew him to be a teacher from
God, by the miracles he had done. This host of friends crowding
about him to prevent him from departing from them must have given
him a moment of great gladness. But he could not stay with them,
for he must go to preach the kingdom of God in other cities also, and
if he found faith there, to perform the same wonderful and tender
miracles he had wrought in Capernaum.

For the next few days Jesus, with five or six disciples, passed from
village to village on the western coast of the lake, and in the plain of
Gennesaret, a lovely and fertile tract of land, six or seven miles long,.
and five wide, surrounded by the mountains which fall back from the
shore of the lake to encircle it.. It was thickly covered with small
towns and villages, lying so near to one another that the rumor of his
arrival brought the inhabitants of all the cities to any central point
where they heard that he was staying. Herod had built a city at the
south of the plain and called it Tiberias, after the Roman emperor,
but probably our Lord never entered its streets, though all who
desired to see and hear him could readily find an opportunity in the
neighboring villages. It was in one of these places that a leper, hope-
less as his case seemed, determined to cast himself upon the com-
passion of this mighty prophet. No leper had been healed since the
days of Naaman the Syrian. yet so wonderful were the miracles
wrought by Jesus, so well known, and so well authenticated, that the
man did not doubt his power. “If thou wilt, thou canst make me
clean,” he cried. He soon discovered that Christ’s tenderness was as
great as his power. He. touched him; and immediately the sufferer
was cleansed. The leper noised it abroad so much, that Jesus was
compelled to hold himself somewhat aloof from the town, and keep
nearer to the wild and barren mountains, where the plain was less
densely peopled, until a.day or two before the Sabbath he returned to
Capernaum, at the northern extremity of the plain. During those few
days his journeyings had been confined to a very limited space, the
beautiful but small plain of Gennesaret, with its thick population and.

19



34 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

numerous villages, where he could teach many people, and perform
many miracles with no loss of time in taking long journeys.

During the week Capernaum had been in a fever of excitement. It
was quite practicable for many of the inhabitants to go out three or
four miles, to the spot where Jesus was, for the day, and return at night
with the story of what he was doing. The excitement had not been
lessened by the arrival of a party of Pharisees from Jerusalem itself,
who were openly unfriendly to the Galilean prophet and his new
doctrines. The Galileans naturally looked up to the priesthood at



LEPERS OUTSIDE THE GATE.

Jerusalem, especially to the Sanhedrim, as the great authorities upon
religious points. There were, moreover, plenty of Pharisees in Caper-
naum, as in every Jewish town, who readily took up the opinions of
these Pharisees from Judza, and joined them eagerly in forming a
party against Jesus and his innovations.. No doubt they discussed the
miracle wrought in their own synagogue on the first Sabbath day that
Jesus was there; and were the more zealous to condemn him, because
none of them had seen the sin of it before it was pointed out by their
keener and more orthodox brethren from Jerusalem.



THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 85

No sooner, then, was Jesus known to be in the house at Capernaum
than there collected such a crowd that there was no room to receive
them; no, not so much as about the door. But some of the Pharisees
had made good their entrance, and were sitting by caviling and
criticising in the midst of his disciples. At this time the friends of a
paralytic man who were not able to bring him into the presence of
Jesus, carried him to the flat roof of a neighboring house, and so
reaching the place where he sat to teach all who could get within
hearing, they took up the loose boards of the roof and let down their
friend before him. Jesus, pausing in his discourse, said first to him,
“Thy sins are forgiven thee!” words that filled the Pharisees with
horror, yet with secret satisfaction. “Who is this?” they say to one
another; “who can forgive sins but God alone?” “You cannot see
that his sins are forgiven,” answered Jesus, “but I will give youa sign
which you can see. It is easy to say, Thy sins be forgiven; but I say
unto thee, O man, arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine
house.” Even the Pharisees, the less bitter Pharisees of Galilee at
least, were silenced by this, and were for once touched with fear of this
Son of man, who had power on earth to forgive sins. They glorified
God, saying, “ We have seen strange things to-day.”

But the day was not ended. Jesus, as his custom was, went down
to the shore, where he could teach greater numbers than in the narrow
streets. As he was passing along he saw a tax-collector sitting in
his booth gathering tolls for the hated Roman conquerors. Sucha
person was singularly offensive to all Jews, but especially so to the
Pharisees, who looked upon publicans as the most vicious and de-
graded of men. Mark tells us this man was the son of Alpheus, or
Cleophas, the uncle of Jesus by his marriage with Mary, his mother’s
sister. If so, he was a reprobate son, probably disowned by all his
family, to whom he was a sorrow and disgrace. The presence of
Jesus and his brethren in Capernaum must have been a trial to him,
bringing back to mind the days of their happy boyhood together in
Nazareth, and making him feel keenly the misery and ignominy
of the present. But now Jesus stands opposite his booth, looks
him in the face, not angrily, but tenderly, and he hears him



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86



THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 87

say, “Levi, follow me!” And immediately he arose, left all,
and followed him.

The same evening, Levi, or Matthew as he was afterwards called,
gave a supper at his own house to Jesus and his disciples; and, no
doubt with our Lord’s permission, invited many publicans like him-
self to come and meet him and hear his teaching. The Pharisees
could not let such a circumstance pass uncriticized. For their part,
their religion forbade them eating even with the common people, and
here was the prophet eating with publicans and sinners. This was a
fresh offence; and Jesus answered only by saying, “They that are
whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. I came not to call
the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” No defence was offered,
and no excuse made. But there was asad sarcasm in his reply which
must have stung the consciences of some of them. Were they the
righteous, whom he could not call into the kingdom of God ?

CHAPTER VIIJ].—FOES FROM JERUSALEM.

S spectators at Matthew’s feast were two of John’s
disciples, who had been sent by their master with

a strange question, “Art thou he that should
come, or look we for another?” John had now
been imprisoned for some time in a gloomy
dungeon on the desolate shores of the Dead sea.

* His disciples, who were inclined to be somewhat
jealous of the younger prophet, had brought him
word of the miracles wrought by Jesus, but wrought
upon the Sabbath day in direct antagonism to the Phari-
sees, and, as it seemed, to the law of Moses. The very first
miracle at Cana of Galilee was altogether opposed to the austere
habits of John, who had never tasted wine. There was something
perplexing and painful to him in these reports; and he had nothing
else to do in his prison than brood over them. Was it possible that he






88 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

could have made any mistake—could have fallen under any delusion
in proclaiming his cousin Jesus as the promised Messiah? Had he
truly heard a voice from heaven? Could this be indeed the Son of
God, who mingled witli common people at their feasts, and visited
Samaritans? He, who all his life long had lived in the open air, free
from even social restraints, was becoming morbid in his captivity.
It grew necessary to him at last to send his disciples to Jesus for
some comforting and reassuring message.



JEWS SITTING AT MEAT,

When John’s disciples came to Jesus, they seem to have found him
feasting with the publicans—a circumstance utterly foreign to their
master’s custom. They felt themselves more akin to the Pharisees,
and asked him, “ Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy dis-
ciples fast not?” Jesus answered them that he was the bridegroom
of whom John himself had spoken, and that as long as the bridegroom
was with them they could not mourn. But the days would come
when he should be taken away, and then they would fast. He would
have no pretence at mourning or fasting, to be seen of men. He



THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 89

would have no acting. These were days of joy, and it was meet to
make merry and be glad when a brother who had been lost was
found. Matthew was their brother, and he was restored to them;
how could they mourn ?

But Jesus kept John’s disciples with him for a short time, that they
might see how miracles were his everyday work, not merely a wonder
performed in the synagogues on a Sabbath day, before sending them
back to the poor prisoner in Herod’s fortress. The next day was a
Sabbath. The Pharisees kept closely beside Jesus, following him
even when he and his disciples were walking through the fields of
standing corn, possibly after the synagogue service, but before the
Sabbath was ended. It was the second week of April, and the grain
was growing heavy in the ear; perhaps a few ears of it were ripe, for
in the lowlands about Capernaum it ripened earlier than in the
uplands of Galilee. The disciples plucked the ears of corn, rubbing
them in their hands with the careless ease of men who thought it no
harm, and who had forgotten the captious Pharisees beside them. The
latter accused them sharply of breaking the law, and aroused Jesus
to defend them by giving them instances from their own Scriptures
and observances of the law of Moses being broken without blame.
Then, pausing to give more weight to his last words, he added, “ The
Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.” He did not acknowledge
their authority to make laws for the Sabbath. Nay, more, he claimed
to be Lord of it himself.

Without doubt this answer deepened the enmity and opposition of
the Pharisees; nor can we wonder at it. There was now no middle
course they could take. If they acknowledged Jesus to be a prophet
sent from God, they must own him as Christ, the Messiah, with a
Divine authority over their laws and traditions. He was setting these
at defiance, asserting himself to be Lord of the temple and Lord of
the Sabbath. John had made no such claims, though it was well
known that his birth had been foretold by the angel Gabriel to Zacha-
rias, his father, when he was ministering in the Holy Place. But
John’s career was at an end; and if Jesus was not taken out of the
way he would turn the world upside down, and the Romans would



QO CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

bring them into utter subjection. Both religion and patriotism de=«
manded that they should seek his death.

A day or two after this weekly Sabbath came a legal Sabbath, one
of the holy days among the Jews. Jesus was in the synagogue; and
there also, probably in a conspicuous place as if to catch his eye, sat a
man with a withered hand. It seems almost as though he had been
found and posted there in order to test Jesus. The Pharisees were
growing eager to multiply accusations against him before they re-
turned to Jerusalem for the approaching feast of the passover. Even

they might feel that the sin of plucking ears of corn was not a very
grave one. Here was a man for Jesus to heal. The case was not an
urgent one; to-morrow would do as well as to-day for restoring the
withered hand. But Jesus will show to them that any act of love and
mercy is lawful on the Sabbath day, is, in fact, the most lawful thing
to do. God causes his sun to shine, and his rain to fall, on that day
as on any other. He looked round upon them all with their hard
faces set against him; and he was grieved in his heart. Then, with
the authority of a prophet, he bade the man stand up and stand
forward in the midst of them. If they had been secretly plotting
against him in bringing the man there, he was not afraid to face them
openly. “Is it lawful on the Sabbath day to do good or to do evil?
to save life or to destroy it?” he asked. But the Pharisees from
Jerusalem could not answer the question; and when-he healed the
man in the sight of all the people, they were filled with madness.

Possibly they had reckoned upon the miracle failing, for by this
time it was understood that only those who believed in the power of
Jesus could be healed, and they had not expected this man to have
faith in him. It seems that they left the synagogue at once, and
though it was a Sabbath day they held a council against him how
they might destroy him. They even entered into an alliance with the
Herodians, their own opponents. For the Herodians favored the
adoption of Roman laws and customs, against which the Pharisees
had formed themselves into a distinct sect. But.they were now ready
to join any party, or follow any party, so that they might destroy this
common enemy.









—Matt. 14: 3%.

















































































































CHRIST AND PETER.

*Q THou or Lirrte FAITH, WHEREFORE DIDsT THou DovsT?”





































THE WONDERFUL LIFE, 93

It became impossible for Jesus to remain in Capernaum, and he
-left it immediately, probably the same evening, withdrawing to some
mountain near the lake, where he continued all night in prayer to
God. To a nature like his this bitter and pitiless enmity, aroused by
acts of goodness only, must have been a terrible burden. They were
his own people, not the heathen, who were hunting him to death—
men who all their lives long had heard and read of God, his heavenly
Father, who offered sacrifices to him, and gave tithes to his temple of
all that they possessed. They knew, or ought to have known, what
they were doing. There was no excuse of ignorance for them. All
night he prayed, with the bright stars glittering above him in the blue
sky, and the fresh breeze from the lake and the mountain, laden with
the scent of flowers, breathing softly on his face. No sounds near him
save the quiet sounds of night on the mountain side, and the wail of
the curlew over the lake. This was better than sleep to him; and as
the day dawned he was ready once more to meet his disciples, and to
face the numerous duties coming with the sunrise.

His first act was to call his disciples to him, and from them he chose
twelve to form for the future a group of attached followers and friends.
who would go with him wherever he went and learn his message, so
as to carry it to other lands when his own voice was silenced. Him
his foes might and would destroy; but his message from God must
not perish with him. Philip was one of them, he who had been with
him from the first; and John, the youngest and most loved, who sat
nearest to him at meal times, and who treasured up every word that
fell from his lips, so that, when he came to write the history of his
Lord, so many memories crowded. to his brain of things Jesus had
said and done, that he cried in loving despair, “ All the world could.
not contain the books that might be written!”

Two at least, if not three, of our Lord’s own family were among
the chosen twelve: James, his cousin, of whom it is said he was so like
Jesus as sometimes to be mistaken for him; and Judas, not Iscariot,
who, like the other kinsmen of Christ, asked him, even on the last’
night that he lived, “Why wilt thou manifest thyself to us, and not

unto the world?” Levi, if he was the son of Alpheus, was a third
: It



94 CHIEDS LIFE \OFMCHIRIST,

cousin, and each one wrote for us a portion of the New Testament.
How much might these three have told us of his early life in Nazareth
if no restraint had been laid upon them!

Then there was Peter, always the leader among the apostles,
impatient and daring, so eager that he must always meet his Lord,
and not wait for him to come to him; walking upon the sea, or
casting himself into it to reach more quickly the shore where Jesus
stood, exclaiming rapturously at one time, “Thou art the Christ,
the Son of the living God,’ and at another, with oaths and curses,
repeating, “I know not the man.” Of the rest we know little,
save one dark name, read amidst the blackest shadows of the past.
Why did Jesus call Judas Iscariot? Why did he make him a
familiar friend, in whom he trusted? They went up together into
the house of God, and took sweet counsel together. He gave
and received from Jesus the kiss of friendship. To him was intrusted
the wealth of the little band, and every trifling want of his Master's
he had to supply, an office that brought him into the closest intimacy
with him. Why was he chosen for this service? Was he the eldest
amid this company of young men? a wise, shrewd man, cautious and
prudent, where others might have been rash or forgetful? We do
not know; but whilst Peter, James, and John followed their Lord
into the chamber of Jairus’s little daughter and up to the Mount
of Transfiguration, Judas had the bag, and bore what was put
therein.



CHAPTER IX—AT NAIN.

T was broad daylight now, no time for secret assassi-=
nation, and, surrounded by his twelve devoted
friends, Jesus returned to Capernaum, where his
mother would probably be waiting in a state of
anxious restlessness. As soon as it was known
that he was entering the town, some of the rulers
of the synagogue came to meet him, beseeching
him to work a miracle in favor of a Roman
centurion, whose servant was likely to die. The
most bigoted among them could not deny that

Jesus of Nazareth did many mighty works; and they
could not decline. to offer this petition to him when the centurion,
who had built them a synagogue, commissioned them with it. The
servant was healed without Jesus going to the house, the centurion
sending to say that he was not worthy that the Lord should enter
under his roof. Even Jesus marveled at the man’s faith, and though
he had just chosen twelve of his most trustworthy disciples, he cried,
“T have not found so great a faith; no, not in Israel.”

The next day, Jesus, followed by many disciples, both men and
women, went out to visit the towns and villages lying westward
of the hills which enclose the plain of Gennesaret. As he passed
along his company grew in numbers, for everywhere had men heard
of him, and those who had sick friends brought them out to the
‘roadside that they might be healed. This day his journey was
a long one, and he could not tarry by the way, except to work
some such loving miracle. He was to rest in the little village
of Nain that night; a place he knew quite well, for it was only
five miles from Nazareth, and probably he had some friends there.
Much people had gathered around him when he trod the steep path
up to Nain; but before they reached the gate another multitude
95





96 CHILD’ SCLIFE GOP MCH RIS,

appeared coming out as if to meet them, yet there was no shout
of welcome; instead there were cries and wailings for one whom
they were carrying forth to the tombs outside the village.

Possibly Jesus knew both the young man who was dead and his
mother. He hastened to her side, and said, “Weep not.” Then he
touched the bier, and those who were carrying it stood still. What
was the prophet about to do? He could heal any kind of sickness,
but this was death, not sickness. It was a corpse bound up, and
swathed with grave-clothes; the eyes forever blinded to the light,
and the ears too deaf to be unloosed. An awful silence must have
fallen upon the crowd; and they heard a calm, quiet voice saying,
“Young man, I say unto thee, Arise!” He spoke simply, in a few
words only; but the quiet voice pierced through all the sealed
deafness of death, and.the dead sat up, and began to speak. Then
Jesus, perhaps with his own hands freeing him from the grave-clothes,
gave him back to his mother. A thrill of fear ran through all
the crowd, and as they thronged into Nain some said, “A great
prophet is risen up among us,” and others, “God has visited his
people.”

It has been thought that here, at Nain, dwelt Simon the Pharisee,
who now invited Jesus to his house to eat meat with him. He was
not one of our Lord’s enemies from Jerusalem, but merely a member
of the sect, which was numerous throughout all Judea and Galilee.
He probably regarded Jesus as a workingman from the neighboring
village of Nazareth, though now considered a prophet by the people,
and he did not offer to him the courteous attentions he would have:
shown to a more honored guest. After his long and dusty walk
Jesus sat down to Simon’s table without the usual refreshment of
having his feet washed, and his head anointed with oil.

But this slight, passed over by Jesus, was more than atoned for by a
woman, who, coming in to see the supper with other townspeople,
stood behind him at his feet, and began to wash them with her tears,
and to wipe them with her long hair, kissing them again and again.
Caring little who was watching her in her passion of repentance and
love, she brought an alabaster box of precious ointment and poured



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BIRTH OF CHRIST.
3 @u> THEY CAME WITH HASTE, AND POUND MARY AND JOSEPM, AMD THE BABE LYIMG I A!
Manezr.’’—Luke 21 16,






































































































































CHRIST BLESSING LITTLE CHILDREN.
“ SUFFER LITTLE CHILDREN TO COME UNTO ME, AND FoRBID THEM NOT.’’—Mark 10: 14.


THE

Gril S LIER OF CHRIS

OR,

THE WONDEREUL LIEBE:

BY

HESBA STRETTON

Author of “Jessica’s First Prayer,” “Lost Gip” “The King’s Servante,” eto

TO WHICH IS ADDED

THE LIFE OF “THE BELOVED DISCIPLE.”

PROFUSELY ILLUSTRATED.



¢¢His Name shall be called Wonderful.’’—Isaiah ix, 6.



INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING CO.,

PHILADELPHIA, PA. | CHICAGO, ILL.
ILLUSTRATIONS BY

PLOCKHORST AND HOFMANN.

The sixteen half-tone pictures in this book are from the designs by HEINRICH
JOHANN MICHAEL FERDINAND HOFMANN, whois one of the oldest and
best known Biblical artists now living. He was born in 1824, and after traveling and
studying in Holland, Belgium, Germany, France and Italy, he took up his residence in
Dresden, where he is now a Professor in the Academy. His greatest work is his
“ Christ Among the Doctors.” ‘This was purchased by the Imperial Government a
few years since for the famous Dresden Gallery of Fine Arts. It isconceded to be the
most popular modern Biblical picture now in existence.

Thirteen of the fine-line wood engravings are designed by another famous Ger-
man artist of the modern school—Plockhorst.

These two complete sets of illustrations are universally admitted to include the
best and most instructive religious art works ever designed for the New Testament.
They may be said to show what genius in art can accomplish.

The many remaining illustrations are mostly from famous paintings by world
renowned artists.

9



COPYRIGHT, 1896.
THE WONDERFUL LIFE OF CHRIST.

HE following slight and brief sketch is merely
the sory of the lite andedeath of our* Lord. Wt
has been written for those who have not the
leisure, or the books, needed for threading
together the fragmentary and scattered incidents
recorded in the Four Gospels. Of late years
these records have been searched diligently
for the smallest links, which might serve to
complete the chain of those years passed among
us by One who called himself the Son of man, and did not refuse
to be called the Son of God. This little book is intended only
to present the result of these close investigations, made by many
learned men, in a plain, continuous narrative, suitable for unlearned
readers. There is nothing new in it. It would be difficult to
write anything new of that Life, which has been studied and
sifted for nearly nineteen hundred years.

The great mystery that surrounds Christ is left untouched
Neither love nor thought of ours can reach the heart of it,
whilst still we see him as through a glass darkly. When we
behold him as he is, face to face, then, and only then, shall we
know fully what he was, and what he did for us. Whilst we
strain our eyes to catch the mysterious vision, but dimly visible,
we are in danger of becoming blind to that human, simple, homely



life, spent among us as the pattern of our days. “If any man
think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he
ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known |
of him.” Happy they who are content with being known of God.
CONTENTS.

BOOK fine CARPAN LHR,

CHAP.

IV.
Vv.
VI.

The Wise Men,
Nazareth,
she First Passover; cer roe veto: ve

OOK Er a Eiiky ein @ aE eye:

CHAP, PAGE
TehevEloly sland ys cary lone eer eT
II. Jerusalem and Bethlehem, . . .. . 15

II. Inthe Temple, .. . 23
TeJohntheBaptisth cir -ratn is 45 |
I”; Cana of} Galilee, 0.0. 2 23s 49
fil. The First Summer,. ....... 56
UVES Samanriaeengenee ices 5 60
V. The First Sabbath Miracle, 69
WaleeEiss @ ld El ome niet scr eee 74
Vile Capernaunnyaeues te tc ey eee 78
VIM. Foes from Jerusalem, ....... 87

IX.
X.
XI.
XII.
XII.
XIV.
XV.
XVI.

(AtSING Ine elie ted ones ercts 6 °
Mish ty tWiOrksedera eilaits sire sleet
A Holiday in Galilee, ..... .
Incthe North; 2 =o 33. suai
At Home Once More, ..... ©
he WMeastyAutumny eres venenieener es
baz ATUS Seep a eats siete sine

‘Bhe ast; Sabbath aw s.0 sie eer oe sue

BOOK III—VICTIM AND VICTOR.

I. The Son of David tresre ary einen 143
ee Nheshraitor, aqua cae senate 150
LU phe Paschala suppers ysis ca eee
EV Gethsemanesian niet ee lee 163
V..The High Priest’s Palace, . . ... 167
VI. Pilate’s Judgment Hall, ..... 170

. Calvary, ...

VIII.
IX.
X.
XI.
XII.
XIII.

Inthe, Graveyem awe wees aes Oo -650
ihesepulchre, sires <9 cite) ce siren
JONES = 4 6 vag Go 6 OG ecu
tsis:themeordseme ae, creer aes

His Friends, ...
TIS MOES ast an saan wicca reaeapar

PAGE
27
33
37

184
189
198
204
208
axe
LIST OF FULL-PAGE COLORED ILLUSTRATIONS.

SUBJECT. ARTIST, PAGE
Christ Blessing Little Children, . . 2. 2... 1 ee ee ee eee Plockhorst, . . Frontispiece.
Birthmo te Christer’ cemadeceme eects) Seana ecm apes tor aecad tins IHETIOR 6. 6 eb Oe x
Achewhlighteintophipyptsmeteesst. y tecmeen cytes belo mlal cemrou relays oe sae TL Of Ut C17 amen en ee 21
zbhemAdorationsofathey Magi ayaa cursetcime .cuonescne oy romece te are SLLO/ MART tn ies eee te 22
Ghristeintathe Mem ple yeni tee ete cule re etoeeor steps ten txeisnnort crt oietou ELOCKNOTS lxaaieel eae eer. 3%
‘¢Make not My Father’s House an House of Merchandise,” . . . Hofmann, ...... 41
ChristuandsNicodemusse4 ca. eae neces ate a palate Plockhorst, User, tree er rA 2
*‘ Whosoever Drinketh of the Water that I shall give Him shall Never

PIITSt hae beepere ese etal sera gewineu vetting ctevciiare aycial sta searaui Spurenars Flofmann, . . «2. . 5!
Christeblealinge ther Sickssmaeriw. epg nomi sot cutee ues cane eens cea IOWA, 5 Oe 8b 8 53
‘¢But a certain Samaritan had Compassion on Him,’”’...... LLOf MANS iw ino ets 61
**Young Man, I say unto Thee, Arise,”........ eects ld OAM Monica eins O28
Sombhivai sins, ate shOTSIVeT yuyirslrsmmenastreGsufecpi ub sue Mrcpacti espns uns: WN ERLOCKROT ST ae cae 71
‘‘Behold, a Sower went forth to Sow,” ..... ec tbta) Gene a Wteunsdd OF PLZ IITE Sa ante acing 7 oF
The Raising of the Daughter of Jairus, ........+.+.. FLOPMANMS Ve otro sis 81
Christ#rcedingaithes Multitude tensa usurem aie ttn ees es ean yi DY 07, emacs (et saeue san te 82
(Covdsts live IRE 6G (bdo boo eb Go 6b be. dio og Oe! 6 Plockhorst, coca ered sen OL
Jesus in the House of Mary and Martha, ........... LLOSMANN GE Wn os surenieats 92
Christ Raising Lazarus, ....... aah ur oat unre monn ayer eae WLOCRROLSL a er tale ene 141
Christ pEnterin oy erusalermyirs) eevee tll arom ar ee oa EMOCRNOKS EA eunenre tomo rs 142

+ (Chorals shat (tees Alene ag G5 aso Gano bo pond. 6 cob. tb 606 Plockhorst,. . «ss. 15%
‘‘He that is without Sin among You let Him first Cast a Stone

ACETIC T sua caeiae sper sce ons aves cum a ace DO ere ec voents iE eller Ae ea elGEMaa 685-6 bs is
Preaching ‘to the Multitude, ........... Shales Mize se Ld OFA berate ne cy reas 16%
‘*This is My Blood of the New Testament which is Shed for Many,’’ Hofmann, ..... . 162
(Christeinwthes Gard ensue esis laisyaesen estan suse sare Wren sellrce naar Plockhorst, » «© © « «© «171

so Beholdsithe Man weratusemion rel neure cn ci /alismrice ci tte lie wellieiy olciL2 O/ UEC 7t70 sD suanilar Meena pT 7 2
we

EIST OF TLEGSTRATIONS:

SUBJECT. ARTIST. PAGE
Christ Bearing His Cross, . . . ee ee eee ee ees ; () secret goles EOL
Grist (Crucified Mares crey optics tonne) ay heen ed cements it editenis) coven ce PLOCRHOISE simian Neh oh rote 182
‘Theo tntombment, of Christy) «c.gscnr.uss hentia eriieu cu te) anys eterna FHlofmann, . .... 191
Christ Appearing to Mary, .........+..-+. +... « « Plockhorst,. + «+--+ - 192
ASCENSION GOL Ghinisty meson a aeercerigy ealrcamchare te iti clntel= hl otmnolNinezisle ate tars Plockhorst, . o . « » « 20%
‘© Where Two or Three are gathered Together in My Name, There
am I in the Midst of Them,” ........-+-eee-8 Hlofmant, « « © o « « 202

ADDITIONAL ILLUSTRATIONS.

PAGE
Christ as a Carpenter, .0. 2 6 6 0 ee ee te et eee ee we ee eOetee te LO)
Shrine of Annunciation,...... EAM yee ag eet eee esc HENS CPE er eee i etats nee Ir
Bethlehem,. ...... PUTER en hs eet LP as E cee sa oiaesee oan etre eerie Rip cera iom -meeecen maka I4
The Herodians—A Jewish Sect in Favor with the Romans, ..~.- +. ++ +e ees 16
The ANNUNCIALON; s \sile Ue. ons oi en le GelMonte: fer (ele yropel eas) fee sy eu euuem ene ctea tates 24
SA GOW Mesias tery rsaigibemteh iene veligsie he -nir-taeire oe kent ial-a Wein nsucaca: oa ores 44
“And was with the Wild Beasts,’ . . 2. 6. 6 2 ee ee ee eee eee ee es 47
shiealatinee Ioerisuee (ChHER nay 8 ale Gaps o 00 Oho 5 OB Cue Gad geo Boa but 54
Hae oeleAabNay Gs on Go wr booed sG eb O00 0.0 ob 0 cen boro Gupb O.1G) C 59
The Wise and the Foolish Virgins, . ... .... eae ee te enter one kod ar emo 64
antiga cial INNIS GenlGe G16 000) 00 0 oO OG ne 0p Ban oak evi or eo =) OF
Jesus Teaching by the rm say 6 6G Glue 0 6b Ou O00. 0-0 O00 OG OO \O to 46
eepers’ @utsides thes Gale a. mci achat homeo eee oes ne oe emesis . 84
Lowering the Sick Man Through the Roof... .- +++: +++ +s esse eee 86
JewsuSittime: ate Meat, etek iy ep sh hc el coma ie - » 88
‘¢She Touched the Hem of His Garment,” . . 2-6 ee ee et ee et ee es 103
GU Noe Gkatotal Sina) uisncly Moma Ae eo oc aed uma 3S (Om Oat DON D0: fen Ce kite 1 106
“He took the Blind Man by the Hand and led him out of the Goan Bs gro .0)b 114
@nethesblouscto ws: eee etc meee eens ete girl ay eee et cali 119
azacusiaee ten sites colon

J menils Weal foe Sadie, = 45 6 8 6 5 6 od p66 Solo 6 Oe Bo Bo GG do 123

- 129

a Hiry Weta ineaeh ee es te Oh 6 0G oso Gd 0) O60 hO 1h OOo i 10 Oem. nani e
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. ix

PAGE
GhristpBlessiny, WittlesChildremsavensm isis io eisiesl oy ol ot (eh vel oles iollie oi etlol oietremien s) 0 L35
Eastern Head-dress,. . ... idenes sccrodrotUeays oul circle eletofl isi) oft istie felt sirentomciioh -enee eel 46
157

(Gaunsanmenieys 5°54 G61 60 6 6601016 6 6 blo Ooo Ob 010 0 6.0 OO Od 70 6.6 ey

\Washin ge them blan dss, ee. sit el sy tole) ciel eile) tole) es) le!) oats ie] (ein oie’) ofitsl vonis

Pilate@Washingshis\trlandstvcurcs tc ves ieee ee ote) onic) folky) outer ep te senieiiol ote oe etoh teil i7/7;
hep Weiltofmthemhemplesentire: cerca ee) sae pats cleienien ofcei (eile son lon retell arene h SS
‘hepDescentstrommthes Crossyny cn vetoes telah sieht. sa ciiol tole ot tel ois) Gol stressing. OO,
Miraculous Draught of; Fishes,=.s75 .'< .. 0 6 « « 4 « s ey ol «0,01 = 0) «0 0) 200
The: Wise: and. Hoolish- Virgins, ... 3. «1. <3 ses s%e 0 © 8 02 0 0 6 6 0 oo « 0 2IA
Judas Bargaining with the Council, . 2... 2 2 eee ew we we ew ew ww ww ww ow ow ow ZT
MwomWomen= Grinding yess ccnyer sol at sects iee sf ver suohi sn ee, (s[termecis) sie veiielNe/hier ie 222
‘cohen bears Oty GreatwPrice, uae sities ees feted sis) iol elieit eter 7 elle) ole] el oferta 225,
‘© And from that Hour, that Disciple took her into his own Home,’”?. . » . . . «6 « - 236
Syrian esheepees) saat ecin ss nar. Sele ser ceases crouch, serene) oy. nels cla sutte lejeeite) @Mee haemo 2. 39
MhewRiver ofsthe Waterzot litesar. st) 6) sl se teji ot eis) er ielrel »\ 40) oien esos tele 01 240
Ghristzandithe shributepMoneyayescterte cle ene oi ols (er oie enone Ree Peeny tame n dete 253




CHRIST AS A CARPENTER.

Ia
Ale) Te tee Ne e



BOOK I..
THE CARPENTER

CHAPTER I.—THE HOLY LAND.



VERY far away from our own country
lies the land where Jesus Christ was
born. More than five thousand miles
stretch between us and it, and those
who wish to visit it must journey over
sea and land to reach its shores. It
rests in the very heart and centre of
the Old World, with Asia, Europe, and
Africa encircling it. A little land it is,
only about two hundred miles in length,
and but fifty miles broad from the Great
sea, or the Mediterranean, on the west, to the river Jordan, on the
east. But its hills and valleys, its dusty roads and green pastures,
its vineyards and oliveyards, and its village streets have been trodden
by the feet of our Lord; and for. us, as well as for the Jews, to whom
God gave it, it is the Holy Land.

The country lies high, and forms a table-land, on which there are
mountains of considerable height. Moses describes it as “a good
land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring
II



SHRINE OF ANNUNCIATION.
12 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

out of valleys and hills, a land.of wheat, and barley, and vines, and
fig-trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; a land
wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness. A land which the
Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord thy God are always
upon it, from the beginning of the year, even unto the end of the
year.” The sky is cloudless, except in the end of autumn and in
winter, and no moisture collects but in the form of dew. In former
times vineyards and orchards climbed up the slopes of every hill, and
the plains were covered with wheat and barley. It was densely
peopled, far more so than our own country is now, and over all the
land villages and towns were built, with farm-houses scattered
between them. Herds of sheep and goats were pastured in the
valleys, and on the barren mountains, where the vines and olives
could not grow.

There are two lakes in Palestine, one in the northwest, the other
southwest, with the river Jordan flowing between them, through a
deep valley, sixty miles long. The southern lake is the Dead Sea, or
Sea of Death. No living creature can exist in its salt waters. The
palm-trees carried down by the floods of Jordan are cast up again by
the waves on the marshy shore, and lie strewn about it, bare and
bleached, and crusted over with salt. Naked rocks close in the sea,
with no verdure upon them; rarely is a bird seen to fly across it, whilst
at the southern end, where there is a mountain, and pillars of rock-
salt, white as snow, there always hangs a veil of mist, like smoke
ascending up forever and ever into the blue sky above. As the
brown and rapid stream of Jordan flows into it on the north, the waters
will not mingle, but the salt waves foam against the fresh, sweet
current of the river, as if to oppose its effort to bring some life into
its desolate and barren depths.

The northern lake is called the Sea of Galilee. Like the Dead Sea:
it lies in a deep basin, surrounded by hills; but this depth gives to it
so warm and fertilizing a climate, that the shores are covered with a
thick jungle of shrubs, especially of the oleander, with its rose-colored
blossoms. Grassy slopes here and there lead up to the feet of the
mountains. The deep blue waters are sweet, clear, and transparent,
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 13

and in some places the waves ebb and flow over beds of flowers, which
have crept down to the very margin of the lake. locks of birds
build among the jungle, and water-fowl skim across the surface of the
lake in myriads, for the water teems with fish. All the early hours of
the morning the lark sings there merrily, and throughout the live-long
day the moaning of the dove is heard. In former times, when the
shores of the lake were crowded with villages, hundreds of boats and
little. ships with white sails sailed upon it, and all sorts of fruit and
cern were cultivated on the western plain.

The Holy Land, in the time of our Lord, was divided into three
provinces, almost into three countries, as distinct as England, Scotland,
and Wales. In the south was Judzea, with the capital, Jerusalem, the
Holy City, where the temple of the Jews was built, and where their
king dwelt. The people of Judza were more courtly and polished,
and, perhaps, more educated than the other Jews, for they lived nearer
Jerusalem, where all the greatest and wisest men of the nation had
their homes. Up in the north lay Galilee, inhabited by stronger and
rougher men, whose work was harder and whose speech was harsher
than their southern brethren, but whose spirit was more independent,
and more ready to rebel against tyranny. Between those two districts,
occupied by Jews, lay an unfriendly country, called Samaria, whose
people were of a mixed race, descended from a colony of heathen whe
had been settled in the country seven hundred years before, and who
had so largely intermarried with the Jews that they had often sought
to become united with them as one nation. The Jews had steadily
resisted this union, and now a feeling of bitter enmity existed between
them, so that Galilee was shut off from Judzea by an alien country.

The great prosperity of the Jewish nation had passed away lony
before our Lord was born. An unpopular king, Herod, who did not
belong to the royal house of David, was reigning; but he held his
throne only upon sufferance from the great emperor of Rome, whose
people had then subdued all the known world. As yet there were no
Roman tax-gatherers in the land, but Herod paid tribute to Augustus,
and this was raised by heavy taxes upon the people. All the country

was full of murmuring, and discontent, and dread. But a secret hope
:
14 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST,

was running deep down in every Jewish heart, helping them to bear
their present burdens. The time was well-nigh fulfilled when, accord-
ing to the prophets, a King of the house of David, greater than David
in battle, and more glorious than Solomon in all his glory, should be
born to the nation. Far away in Galilee, in the little villages among
the hills, and the busy towns by the lake, and down in southern
Judzea, in the beautiful capital, Jerusalem, and in the sacred cities of
the priests, a whisper passed from one drooping spirit to another,
“Patience! the kingdom of Messiah is at hand.”

As the land of our Lord lies many hundreds of miles from us, so
his life on this earth was passed hundreds of years ago. There are
innumerable questions we long to ask, but there is no one to answer.
Four little books, each one called a gospel, or the good tidings of
Jesus Christ, are all we have to tell us of that most beautiful and
most wondrous life. But whenever we name the date of the present
year we are counting from the time when he was born. In reality, he
was born three or four years earlier. .



















































































































































































































































































































































































































BETHLEHEM.
CHAPTER Il JERUSALEM AND BETHLEHEM,

ERUSALEM was a city beautiful for situation,
built on two ridges of rocky ground, with a deep
valley between them. It was full of splendid

palaces and towers, with aqueducts and bridges,
~and massive walls, the stones of which are still
a marvel for their size. Upon the ridge of
Mount Zion stood the marble palaces of the
king, his noblemen, and the high-priest; on the
opposite and lower hill rose the temple, built
of snow-white marble, with cedar roofs, and
parapets of gold, which, glistening in the bright
sunshine and pure moonlight, could be seen from afar off in the
clear, dry atmosphere of that eastern land. From ridge to ridge a
magnificent viaduct was built, connecting the temple mount with
Mount Zion and its streets of palaces. |

Every Jew had a far more fervent and loyal affection for the temple
than for the palace of the king. It was in fact the palace of their true
King, Jehovah. Three times a year their law ordained a solemn feast —
to be held there, grander than the festivities of any earthly king.
Troops of Jews came’ up to them from all parts of the country, even
from northern Galilee, which was three or four days’ journey distant,
and from foreign lands, where emigrants had settled. It was a joyous
crowd, and they were joyous times. Friends who had been long
parted met once more together, and went up in glad companies to the
house of their God. It has been reckoned that at the great feast, that
of the Passover, nearly three millions of Jews thronged the streets
and suburbs of the Holy City, most of whom had offerings and sacri-
fices to present in the temple; for nowhere else under the blue sky
could any sacrifice be offered to the true God.

Even a beloved king held no place in the heart of the Jews beside
15 5






















































































































































EWISH SECT IN FAVOR WITH THE ROMANS.


THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 17

their temple. But Herod, who was then reigning, was hateful to the
people, though he had rebuilt the temple for them with extraordinary
splendor. He was cruel, revengeful, and cowardly, terribly jealous,
and suspicious of all about him, so far as to have put to death his
own wife and. three of his sons. The crowds who came to the feasts
carried the story of his tyranny to the remotest corners of his king-
dom. He even offended his patron, the emperor of Rome; and the
emperor had written to him a very sharp letter, saying that he had
hitherto treated him as a friend, but now he should deal with him as
an enemy. Augustus ordered that a tax should be levied on the
Jews, as in other conquered countries, and required from Herod a
return of all his subjects who would be liable to the tax.

This command of the Roman emperor threw the whole nation
into disturbance. The return was allowed to be made by Herod, not
by the Romans themselves, and he proceeded to do it in the usual
Jewish fashion. The registers of the Jews were carefully kept in the
cities of their families, but the people were scattered throughout the
country. It was therefore necessary to order every man to go to the
city of his own family, there to answer to the register of his name
and age, and to give in an account of the property he possessed.
Besides this, he was required to take an oath to Cesar and the king,—
a bitter trial to the Jews, who boasted, years afterward, under a Roman
governor, “ We are a free people, and were never in bondage to any
man.” There must have been so much natural discontent felt at this
requirement that it is not likely the winter season would be chosen
for carrying it out. The best, because the least busy, time of the year
would be after the olives and grapes were gathered, and before the
season for sowing the corn came, which was in November. The
Feast of Tabernacles was held at the close of the vintage, and fell
about the end of September or beginning of October. It was the most
joyous of all the feasts, and as the great national Day of Atonement
immediately preceded it, it was probably very largely attended by the
nation; and perhaps the gladness of the season might in some
measure tend to counteract the discontent of the people.

But whether at the Feast of the Tabernacles, or later in the year, the

ee
18 CHILD’S LIFE OF’ CHRIST.

whole Jewish nation was astir, marching to and fro to the cities of
their families. At this very time a singular event befell a company
of shepherds, who were watching their flocks by night in the open
plain stretching some miles eastward from Bethlehem, a small village
about six miles from Jerusalem. Bethlehem was the city of the house
of David, and all the descendants of that beloved king were assem-
bled to answer to their names on the register, and to be enrolled as
Roman subjects. The shepherds had not yet brought in their
flocks for the winter, and they were watching them with more
than usual care, it may be, because of the unsettled state of the
country, and the gathering together of so many strangers, not
for a religious, but for a political purpose, which would include
the lowest classes of the people, as well as the law-loving and
law-abiding Jews.

_ No doubt this threatened taxing and compulsory oath of subjection
had intensified the desire of the nation for the coming of the Messiah.
Every man desires to be delivered from degradation and taxes, if he
cares nothing about being saved from his sins. It was not safe to
speak openly of the expected Messiah; but out on the wide plains,
with the darkness shutting them in, the shepherds could while away
the long chilly hours with talking of the events of the passing times,
and of that promised king who, so their teachers said in secret, was
soon, very soon to appear, to crush their enemies. .

But as the night wore on, when some of them were growing
drowsy, and the talk had fallen into a few slow sentences spoken from
time to time, a light, above the brightness of the sun, which had sunk
below the horizon hours ago, shone all about them with a strange
splendor. As soon as their dazzled eyes could bear the light, they
saw within it a form as of an angel. Sore afraid they were as they
caught sight of each other’s faces in this terrible, unknown glory.
But quickly the angel spoke to them, lest their terror should grow too
great for them to hear aright.

“Fear not,” he said, “for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great
joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in
the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall


THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 19

be a sign unto you: Ye shall. find the babe wrapped in swaddling
clothes, lying in a manger.”

Suddenly, as the angel ended his message, the shepherds - saw,
standing with him in the glorious light, a great multitude of the
blessed hosts that people heaven, who were singing a new song under
the silent stars, which shone dimly in the far-off sky. Once before
“the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for
joy” because God had created a world. Now, at the birth of a child,
in the little village close by, where many an angry Jew had lain down
to a troubled sleep, they sang, “ Sree to God in the highest, and on
earth peace, good will toward men.’

The sign given to the shepherds served as a guide to om abhey,
were to find the new-born babe cradled in the manger, with no softer
bed than the fodder of the cattle. Surely, the poorest mother in the
humblest home in Bethlehem could provide better for her child.
They must, then, seek the Messiah, just proclaimed to them, among
the strangers who were sleeping in the village inn. All day long had
parties of travelers been crossing the plain, and the shepherds would
know very well that the little inn, which was built at the eastern part |
of the village, merely as a shelter for such chance passers-by, would
be quite full. It was not a large building; for Bethlehem was too
near to Jerusalem for many persons to tarry there for the night,
intead of pressing forward to the Holy City. It was only on such an
occasion as this that the inn was likely to be over-full.

But as the shepherds drew near the eastern gate, they probably saw
the glimmering of a lamp near the inn. It is a very old tradition
that our Lord was born in a cave; and this is quite probable. If the
inn were built near to a cave, it would naturally be used by the trav-
elers for storing away their food from the heavy night dews, although
their mules and asses might stay out in the open air. A light in the
cave would attract the shepherds to it, and there they found Mary, and
Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. A plain working man, like
themselves, his wife, and a helpless new-born child; how strangely
this sight must have struck them, after the glory and mystery of the
vision of angels they had just witnessed! How different was Mary’s
20 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

low, hushed voice as she pointed out the child born since the sun
went down, from that chorus of glad song, when all the heavenly host
sang praises to God.

A strange story they had to tell Mary of the vision they had just
seen. She was feeling the first great gladness and joy of every
mother over her child born into the world, but in Mary’s case this joy
was brightened beyond that of all other women, yet shadowed by the
mystery of being the chosen mother of the Messiah. The shepherds’
statement increased her gladness, and lifted her above the natural
feeling of dishonor done to her child by the poor and lowly circum-
stances of his birth; whilst they, satisfied with the testimony of their
own senses, having seen and heard for themselves, went away, and
made known these singular and mysterious events. All who heard
these things wondered at them; but as the shepherds were men of
no account, and Joseph and Mary were poor strangers in the place,
we may be sure there would be few to care about such a babe, in those
days of vexation and tumult. Had the Messiah been born in a palace,
and the vision of the heavenly host been witnessed by a company of
the priests, the whole nation would have centred their hopes and
expectations upon the child; and unless a whole series of miracles
had been worked for his preservation the Roman conquerors would
have destroyed both him and them. No miracle was wrought for the
infant Christ, save that constant ministry of angels, sent forth to min-
ister unto Him who was the Captain of salvation, even as they are sent
forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.


THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT.—Matt. 2:18.
—Matt. 2: Il.

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CHAPTER II].—IN THE TEMPLE.

OSEPH and Mary did not remain in the cave
longer than could be helped. As soon as the
unusual crowd of strangers was gone, they
found some other dwelling-place, though not in
the inn, which was intended for no more than a
shelter for passing travelers. They had forty
days to wait before Mary could go up to the
temple to offer her sacrifice after the birth of her
child, when also Joseph would present him to
the Lord, according to the ancient law that every
first-born child, which was a son, belonged espe-
cially to God. Joseph could not afford to live in idleness for six
weeks; and as he had known beforehand that they must be detained
in Bethlehem so long, he probably had carried with him his carpen-
ter’s tools, and now set about looking for work. It is likely that both
he and Mary thought it best to bring up Jesus in Bethlehem, where
he was born; for they must have known the prophecy that out of
Bethlehem should come the Messiah. It was near to Jerusalem, and
from his earliest years the child would become familiar with the
temple, and its services and priests. It was not far from the hill
country, where Zacharias and Elizabeth were living, whose son, born
in their old age, was still only an infant of six months, but whose
future mission was to be the forerunner of the Messiah. For. every
reason it would seem best to return no more to Nazareth, the obscure
village in Galilee, but to settle in Bethlehem itself.

At the end of forty days, Mary went up to Jerusalem to offer her
sacrifice, and Joseph to present the child, and pay the ransom of five
shekels for him, without which the priests might claim him as a ser-
vant to do the menial work of the temple. They must have passed

by the tomb of Rachel, who so many centuries before had died in
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THE ANNUNCIATION.
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 25

_ giving birth to her son; and Mary, whose heart pondered over such
things, may have whispered to herself as she clasped her child closer
to her, “In Rama was a voice heard; lamentation and weeping, and
great mourning; Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be
comforted, because they are not.” She did not know the full meaning
of those words yet; but, amid her own wonderful happiness, she would
sigh over Rachel’s sorrow, little thinking that the prophecy linked it
with the baby she was carrying in her arms.

At this time the temple was being rebuilt by Herod, in the most
costly and magnificent manner, but we will keep the description of it
until twelve years later, when Jesus came to his first passover. Mary’s
offering of two turtle-doves, instead of a lamb and a turtle-dove,
proves the poverty of Joseph, for only.poor persons were allowed to
substitute another turtle-dove or young pigeon for a lamb. . These
birds abound in the Holy Land, and were consequently of very small
value. After she had made her offering, and before Joseph presented
the child to the Lord, an old man, dwelling in Jerusalem, came into
the temple. It.had been revealed to him that he should not see death
before his eyes had beheld the blessed vision of the Lord’s Christ, for
whom he had waited through many long years. Now, seeing this
little child, he took him into his arms, and blessed God, saying, “Lord,
now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen
thy salvation.” Whilst Joseph and Mary wondered at these words,
Simeon blessed them, and speaking to Mary alone, he continued:
“Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in-
Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (yea, a sword
shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts. of many
hearts may be revealed.”

This was the first word of sorrow that had fallen upon Mary’s ears
since the angel had appeared to her, more than ten months before, in
her lowly home in Nazareth. Hitherto, the great mystery that set
her,apart from all other women had been full of rapture only. Her
song had been one of triumphant gladness, with not a single note of
sorrow mingling with it. Her soul had magnified the Lord, because
he had regarded her low estate; she was hungry, and he had filled
26 CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

her with good things. She had heard through the countless ages of
the future all generations calling her blessed. A new, mysterious,
tender life had been breathed through her, and she had been over-
shadowed by the Highest, whose shadow is brighter than all earthly .
joys and glories. Now, for forty days she had nursed the Holy
Child, and no dimness had come across her rapture. Yet, when she
brings the child to his Father’s house, the first word of sorrow is
spoken, and the first faint thrill of a mother’s ready fears crept coldly
into her heart.

So as they walked home in the cool of the day to Bethlehem, and
passed again the tomb of Rachel, Mary would probably be pondering
over the words of Simeon, and wondering what the sword was that
would pierce her own soul. The first prick of that sharp anguish was
soon to make itself felt.

Besides Simeon, Anna, a very aged prophetess, had seen the child,
and both spoke of him to them that looked for redemption or deliv-
erance in Jerusalem. Quietly, and in trusted circles, would this event
be spoken of; for all knew the extreme danger of calling the attention
of Herod to such a matter. They were too familiar with the cowardice
and cruelty of their king to let any rumor reach him of the birth of
the Messiah. It does not appear, moreover, that either Simeon or
Anna knew where he was to be found. But a remarkable circum-
stance, which came to pass soon after, exposed the child of Bethlehem
to the very peril they prudently sought to shield him from, and
destroyed the hopes.of those who did not know that he escaped the
danger.
CHAPTER IV.—THE WISE MEN.

MONG the many. travelers who visited Jerusalem,
which was the most magnificent city of the East,
there came at this time a party of distinguished
strangers, who had journeyed from the far East.
_They were soon known to be both wise and
wealthy; men who had given up their lives to

© learned and scientific studies, especially that of

astronomy. They said they had seen, in their close

and ceaseless scrutiny of the sky, a new star, which, for

some reason not known to us, they connected with the

distant land of Judzea, and called it the star of the King
of the Jews.

There was an idea spread throughout all countries at that time that
a personage of vast wisdom and power, a Deliverer, was about to be
born among the Jews. These wise men at once set off for the capital
of Judzea; for where else could the King of the Jews be born?
Possibly they may have expected to find all the city astir with
rejoicings; but they could not even get an answer to their question,
“Where is he?” Those who had heard of him had kept the secret
faithfully. But before long Herod was told of these extraordinary
strangers, and their search for a new-born King, who was no child of
his. He was an old man, nearly seventy, and in a wretched state,
both of body and mind; tormented by his conscience, yet not guided
by it, and ready for any measure of cunning and cruelty. All Jeru-
salem was troubled with him, for not the shrewdest man in Jerusalem
could guess what Herod would do in any moment of rage,

Herod immediately sent for all the chief priests and scribes, who
came together in much fear and consternation, and demanded of them
where the Messiah should be born. They did not attempt to hesitate,
or conceal the birth-place. If any of them had heard of the child of
27





28 CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

Bethlehem, and Simeon’s and Anna's statement concerning him, their
dread of Herod was too powerful for them to risk their own lives in
an attempt to shield him. “In Bethlehem,” they answered promptly.
Right glad would they be when Herod, satisfied with this information,
dismissed them, and they went their way safe and sound to their
houses. Thus at the outset the chief priests and scribes proved
themselves unwilling to suffer anything for the Messiah, whose office
it was to bring to them glory and dominion.

. Privately, but courteously, Herod then sent for the wise men, and
inquired of them diligently how long it was since the star appeared;
and bade them seek the child in Bethlehem, and when they had found
him to bring him word, that he might go and do homage to him also.
There was nothing in the king’s manner or words to arouse their
suspicions of his real purpose, and no doubt they set out for Bethlehem
with the intention of returning to Jerusalem.

Still it appeared likely that there would be some difficulty in dis-
covering the child, of whom they knew nothing certainly, except that
they were to search, and to search diligently, for him in Bethlehem.
They rejoiced with exceeding great joy, therefore, when, as they left
the walls of Jerusalem behind them in the evening dusk, they saw the
star again hanging in the southern sky, and going before them on
their way. No need now for guides, no need to wander up and down
the streets, asking for the new-born King. The star, or meteor, stood
over the humble house where the young child was, and, entering in,
they saw him, with Mary, his mother, and fell down, doing him homage
as the King whose star was even now shining above the lowly roof
that sheltered him. There was no palace, no train of servants, no
guard, save the poor carpenter, whose day’s work was done, and who
was watching over the young child; but they could not be mistaken.
The future glorious King of the Jews was here.

They had not come from their distant country to seek a king empty-
handed. Royal presents they had ‘prepared and brought with them;
and now they opened their treasures, and offered costly gifts to him,
gold, and frankincense, and myrrh, such as they would have presented,
had they found the child in Herod’s own palace in Jerusalem. Then,
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 29

taking their leave, they were about to return to Herod, when a warning
dream, which they could not mistake, or misinterpret, directed them to
depart into their country another way.

The hour was at hand when the costly gifts of the wise men would
be necessary for the preservation of the poor little family, not yet
settled and at home in its new quarters. Even as a babe the Son of
man had not where to lay his head; and no spot on earth was a
resting-place for him. After the wise men were gone, the angel of the
Lord came to Joseph in a dream, saying, “ Arise, take the young child
and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring
thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.”

Mary’s chilly fears then were being realized, and she felt the first
prick of the sword that should pierce her soul. The visit of the wise
men from the far East had been another hour of exultation and another
testimony to the claims of her Son. Possibly they may have told her
that the king himself wished to come down from Jerusalem, and
worship him; and dreams of splendor, of kingly and priestly protection
for the infant Messiah might well fill her mind. But now she learned
that Herod was seeking the child’s life, to destroy him. They could
not escape too quickly; there was no time to be lost. The angel's
words were urgent, “ Arise, at once.”

It was night; a winter’s night, but there must be no delay. At
daybreak the villagers would be astir, and they could not get away
unseen. Before the gray streak of light was dawning in the east, they
ought to be some miles on the road. Mary must carry the child,
shielding him as best she could from the chilly dampness of the night;
and Joseph must load himself with the wise men’s gifts. Little had
she thought, when those rich foreigners were falling down before her
child in homage, that only a night or two later she would be stealing
with him through the dark and silent streets, as if she was a criminal,
not the happy mother of the glorious Messiah. And they were to flee
out of the Holy Land itself, into Egypt, the old land of bondage!

Unseen, unnoticed, the flight from Bethlehem was made. They
were but strangers there; and very few, if any, of the inhabitants would
miss the strangers from Nazareth, who had settled among them so
30 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

lately, and who had now gone away again with as little observation as
they came.

Herod very soon came to the conclusion that the wise men, for some
reason or other unknown to him, did not intend to obey his orders.
They could very well have made the journey to Bethlehem in a day,
and when he found that they did not return.to him, he was exceeding
wroth; for kings do not often meet with those who disregard their
invitations. He quickly make up his mind what to do. If the wise —
men had brought him word where the child was, he would have been
content to slay only him, now he must destroy all the infants under
two years of age, to make sure of crushing that life which threatened
his crown. There was ample margin in the two years for any mistake
on his own part, or that of the wise men. The child must perish if he
put to death all the little ones of the unhappy village.

We wonder if the news reached Mary in her place of refuge and
safety in Egypt. Whilst she went about the streets of Bethlehem
she must have seen many of those little children in their mothers’
arms; their laughter and their cries had rung in her ears; and with
her newly-opened mother’s eyes she had compared them with her own
blessed child, and loved them dearly for his sake. Now she would
know the dire meaning of these words, “In Rama was there a voice
heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping
for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.”
A mystery of grief began to mingle itself with the mystery of her
Son’s life. In her heart, which was forever pondering over the strange
events that had already befallen him and herself, there must always
have been a very sad memory of the children who had perished on |
his account; and it may be that one of the first stories her lips uttered
to the little Son at her knee was the story of their winter's flight into
Egypt, and the slaying of all the children under two years of age who
lived in Bethlehem, the place where he was born.


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CHRIST IN THE TEMPLE.
AND ALL THAT HEARD Him WERE ASTONISHED AT His UNDERSTANDING.” —Luke 2: 47,


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“GET THEE HENCE, SATAN.”—Matt. 4:10
CHAPTER V.—NAZARETH.

EROD died a shocking death, after terrible suffer-
ing both of mind and body. Once even, in his
extreme misery, he attempted to put an end to
himself, but was prevented by his attendants.
A few days only before he died he put to
death his son Antipater, and appointed his son
Archelaus to succeed him as king in Judea;
but he separated Galilee from the kingdom,

and left it to another son, Herod Antipas. He

was in his seventieth year when he died, after
reigning thirty-seven years; one of the most wicked
and most wretched of kings.

It was now safe for Joseph and Mary to. bring the child back to
their native land. They seem to have had the idea of settling in
Judza again, instead of taking Jesus to the despised province of
Galilee; but when they reached Judea they heard that Archelaus
reigned in the room of his father, Herod, and that during the pass-
over week he had ordered his guards to march into the temple amid
the throng of worshippers, where they had massacred three thousand
of the Jews. Such news naturally filled them with terror, and they
might have sought safety again in Egypt; but Joseph was warned in
a dream to go on into the land of Galilee. He was left to choose the
exact place where he would settle down, and he returned to Nazareth,
his and Mary’s early home, where their kinsfolk lived. There was
every reason why they should go back to Nazareth, since Jesus could
not be brought up in his own city, the mournful little village of Beth-
lehem, where no child of his own age was now alive.

Here, in Nazareth, they were at home again; and long years of the
most quiet blessedness lay before the mother of Jesus, though the
trifling daily cares of life may have fretted it a little from too perfect

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34 CHILD’ SALIEE OF ACHES:

a bliss for this world. The little child who played about her feet, whe
prattled beside her as she went down to the fountain for water, who
listened with uplifted eyes to every word she spoke, never gave her a
moment's pain, or made her heart ache by one careless or unkind
word. Never once had the mother’s voice to change its tone of
tenderness into one of anger. Never had a frown to come across her
loving and peaceful face when it was turned toward him. As he grew
in wisdom and favor with God and man, she could rest upon that
wisdom and grace, never to be disappointed, never to be thrown back
upon herself. The most blessed years ever lived by woman were
those of Mary, in the humble home in Nazareth.

It lay in the heart of the mountains, at the end of a little valley
hardly a mile long, and not more than half a mile broad, with the
barren slopes of hills shutting it in on every side. The valley was as
green and fertile as a garden; and the village clung to the side of one
of the mountains, half nestling at its foot. From the brow of the
hills rising behind the village a splendid landscape was to be seen—
westward to the glistening waters of the Mediterranean, with Mount
Carmel stretching into them; northward as far as the snowy peaks of
Hermon; and southward over the great plain of Jezreel, rich in corn-

fields; all the country being dotted over with villages and towns.

The landscape is there still, and the deep blue sky hanging over all,
and the clear atmosphere through which distant objects seem near, and
the sighing of the wind across the plains, and the hum of insects, and
the songs of birds; all is as it was when Jesus Christ climbed the
mountains, as he loved to do, and sat on the summit, with a heart
and spirit in full harmony with the loveliness around him, and with
no secret sadness of the conscience to make him feel that he was not
worthy to be there.

It was no lonely life that Jesus led. We read again and again of
his brethren and sisters; and though it is not generally thought that
these could have been Mary's children,* but the children of her

a ay RN a Pe ey reg eee Oy et

* I agree in this opinion, chiefly for the reason that when Jesus died he committed Mary to the
care of his young disciple John; which would seem unnatural to any tender-hearted, good mother,


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‘who had at least four other sons and two daughters living. Our Lord would hardly throw so much



THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 35

sister, they were so associated with him that all his life long they acted
as his own brethren and sisters. With them he would go to school,
and learn to read and write, for all Jews were carefully educated in
these two branches The books he had to study we know and possess
in the Old Testament. Very probably he would own one of them,
though they would be so costly as to be almost beyond his means, or
those of his supposed father. We should like to know that he had
the Book of Psalms, those psalms which Mary knew so well and had
sung to him so often, or the prophecy of Isaiah, in which his young,
undimmed eyes, that had hardly looked upon sorrow yet, and had
never smarted with tears of penitence, would read and read again the
warning words of the Messiah's sufferings, “a man of sorrow, and
acquainted with grief.” When he was alone yonder on the breezy sum-
mit'of the mountain, did he ever sing, “ The Lord is my Shepherd ?” »
And did he never whisper to himself the awful words, “My God, my
God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

Besides his cousins there were his neighbors all about him, quite
commonplace people, who could not see how innocent and beautiful
his life was. They were a passionate, rough race, notorious through-
out the country, so that it had become almost a proverb, “Can any
good thing come out of Nazareth?” Jesus dwelt among them as one
of them; Joseph the carpenter's son. He could not yet heal the sick;
but is there no help and comfort in tender compassion for those who
suffer? The widow’s son at Nain was not the first he had seen carried
out for burial. The man born blind was not the only one groping
about in darkness who felt his hand, and heard the pitying tones of
his troubled voice. We may be sure that among his neighbors in
Nazareth Jesus saw many a form of suffering, and his heart always
echoed to a cry, if it were but the cry of an animal in pain.

In one other way Jesus shared the common lot of boys. He had
to take to a trade which was not likely to have been his choice
Whether as the eldest son of a large family, or the only son of a



_ -discredit upon such relationships.
36 GHIEDES MALE OB. CHRISTE

woman left a widow, he had to learn the trade of his supposed father.
The little workshop, where neighbors could always drop in with their
trifling gossip, or at work in their own houses, where they could
grumble and find fault; this must have been irksome to him. The
long, monotonous hours, the insignificant labor, the ceaseless buzz of
chattering about him—we can understand how weary and worn his
spirit must have felt, as well as his body. If he could have been a
shepherd, like Moses, the great lawgiver, and David, his own kingly
ancestor, how far more fitting that would have seemed! How his
courage and tenderness toward his flock would have been a type of
what he would be in after-life!_ The solitude would have been sweet
to him, and the changing aspects of the seasons from year to year.
In after-life he often compared himself to a shepherd, but never once
is there any reference to his uncongenial calling in the hot workshop
of Nazareth, where the only advantage was that it did not separate
him from his mother.

Does a blameless life win favor among any people? There was
one man in Galilee, one only in the wide world, who never needed to
go up to Jerusalem to offer any sacrifice for sin. Neither sin-offering
nor trespass-offering had this man to bring to the altar of God. The
peace-offering he could eat in the courts of the temple as a type of
happy communion with the unseen God, and of a complete surrender
of himself to his will. But, let the people scan his conduct as closely
as village neighbors can do, not one among them could say that Jesus,
the son of Joseph, had need to carry up to Jerusalem an offering for
_ any trespass. Did they love him the better for this? Did he find
honor among them? Nay, not even in his father’s house.
CHAPTER VI.—THE FIRST PASSOVER.

HERE is one incident, and only one, given to us
of the early life of our Lord.
It was the custom of his parents to go up to
Jerusalem once a year, to the feast of the pass-
over. For the Jews living in Galilee it was a
long journey; but the feast came at the finest
time of the year for traveling, after the rains of
winter, and before the dry heat of summer. It
was a great yearly pilgrimage, in which troops
from every village and town on the road came
to swell the numbers as the pilgrims marched southward. Past the
cornfields, where the grain was already forming in the ear; under the
mountain slopes, clothed with silvery olive trees and the young
green of the vines; across the babbling brooks, not yet dried by
heat; through groves of sycamores and oak trees fresh in leaf,
the long procession passed from town to town; sleeping safely in
the open air by night, and journeying by pleasant stages in the
day, until they reached Judzea; and, weary with the dusty road from
Jericho to Jerusalem, shouted with joy when they turned a curve
of the Mount of Olives, and saw the Holy City lying before them.

Jesus was twelve years old when, probably, he first made this long
yet joyous march up to Jerusalem. We can fancy the eager boy
“going on before them,” as he did so many years later when he went
up to his last passover; hastening forward for that first glorious view
of Jerusalem, which met his eye from Olivet, the mount which was to
be so closely associated with his after-life. There stood the Holy
City, with its marble palaces crowning the heights of Zion; and the
still more magnificent temple on its own mount, bathed in the brilliant
light of the spring sunshine. The white, wondrous beauty of his
Father's house, with the trembling columns of smoke ever rising from
a”,


38 CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

its altars through the clear air to the blue heavens above, rose opposite
to him. We know the hymn that his tremulous, joyous lips would
sing, and that would be echoed by the procession following him as
they too caught sight of the house of God: “How amiable are thy
tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth,
for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh cry out for the
living God!” Thousands upon thousands of pilgrims had chanted
that psalm before him; but never one like that boy of twelve, when
his Father’s house was first seen by his happy eyes.

Perhaps there was no hour of perfect happiness like that to Jesus
again. Joseph was still alive, caring for him and protecting him.
His mother, who could not but recall the Strange events that had
accompanied his birth, kept him at her side as they entered the temple,
pointing out to him the splendor and the sacred symbols of the place.
The silvery music of the temple service; the thunder of the amens of
the vast congregations; the faint scent of incense wafted toward
him; all fell upon the vivid, delicate senses of youth. And below
these visible signs there was breaking upon him their deep, invisible,
spiritual meaning; though not yet darkened with the shadow of that
awful burden to be laid upon himself, when he, as the Lamb of God,
was to take away the sins of the world. This was the time, perhaps,
when “he was anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows”
more than at any other season of his life.

The temple had been rebuilt by Herod in the vain hope of winning
popularity among his people. The outer walls formed a square of a
thousand feet, with double or treble rows of aisles between ranks of
marble pillars. These colonnades surrounded the first court, that of
the Gentiles, into which foreigners might enter, though they were for-
bidden to go further upon pain of death. A flight of fifteen steps led
- from this court into that of the women, a large space where the whole
congregation of worshippers assembled, but beyond which women
were not allowed to go, unless they had a sacrifice to offer. The next
court had a small Space railed off, called the Court of Israel; but the.
whole bore the name of the Court of the Priests, in which stood a
great altar of unhewn stones forty-eight feet square, upon which three
THE WONDERFUL, LIFE. 39

fires were kept burning continually, for the purpose of consuming the
sacrifices. Beyond these courts stood the actual temple, containing
the Holy Place, which was entered by none but a few priests, who
were chosen by lot daily; and the Holiest of Holies, open only to
the high-priest himself, and to him but once a year, on the great Day
of Atonement. |

It was here, in the temple, that Jesus loved to be during his sojourn
in Jerusalem; but the feast was soon ended, and his parents started
homeward with the returning band of pilgrims. Probably Jesus set
off with them from the place where they had lodged; and they, sup-
posing him to be with some of his young companions, with his
cousins perhaps, went a day’s journey from Jerusalem. But when the
night fell, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance,
he was nowhere to be found. A terrible night would that be for both
of them, but especially for Mary, whose fears for him had been
slumbering during the quiet years at Nazareth, but were not dead.
Was it possible that any one could have discovered their cherished
secret, that this was the child whom the wise men had come so far to
see, and for whom Herod had slain so many infants in Bethlehem ?
They turned back to Jerusalem, seeking him in sorrow. It was the
third day before they found him. Where he lived those three days
we do not know. Why not “where the sparrow hath found a house,
and the swallow a nest for herself?” It was in the temple that Joseph
and Mary found hint; in one of the public rooms or, halls opening
out of the court of the Gentiles, where the rabbis and those learned in
the law were wont to assemble for teaching or argument. Jesus was
in the midst of them asking questions, and answering those put to
him by the astonished rabbis, who had not expected much under-
Standing from this boy from Galilee. His parents themselves were
amazed when they saw him there; and Mary, who seems to have had
no difficulty in approaching him, spoke to him chidingly.

“Son, she said, “why hast thou dealt thus with us? behold, thy
father and I have sought thee sorrowing.”

The question fell upon him as the first dimness upon the glory and
gladness of his sojourn in the temple. The poor home at Nazareth,
40 CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST,

his father Joseph, the carpenter’s shop, the daily work, pressed back
upon him in the place of the temple music, the prayer, the daily
sacrifice. There they stood, his supposed father, weary with the long
search, and his mother looking at him with sorrowful, reproaching
eyes. He was ready to go back with them, but he could not go
without a pang.

“How is it that ye sought me?” he asked, sadly; “did you not
know that I must be in my Father’s house ?”

But he had not come to this earth to dwell in his Father’s house;
and he must leave it now, only to revisit it from time to time. “He
went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto
them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.”

Eighteen more years, years of monotonous labor, did Jesus live in
Nazareth. Changes came to his home as well as to others. Joseph
died, and left his mother altogether dependent upon him. Galilee
was still governed by Herod Antipas; but in Judea the King
Archelaus had been dethroned, and the country was made a province
of Rome, under Roman governors. This had happened whilst Jesus
was a boy, and a rebellion had been attempted under a leader called
Judas of Galilee, which had caused great excitement. Though it had
been put down by the Romans, there still remained a party, secretly
popular, who used every effort to free their country from the Roman
yoke. So strong had grown the longing for the Messiah, that a
number of the people were ready to embrace the cause of any leader
who would claim that title, and lead them against their enemies and
masters.

There was a numerous class of his fellow-countrymen to whom
Jesus must have been naturally drawn during his youth, and to whom
he may have attached himself for a time. This was the sect of the
Pharisees, noble and patriotic as our Puritans were, in the beginning;
and at all times living a frugal and devout life, in fair contrast with
the Sadducees, who were wealthy, luxurious, and indifferent. The
Pharisees were mostly of the middle classes; and their ceaseless
devotion to religion gave them great authority among the common
people. ‘To the child Jesus they must have appeared nearer to God


WAKE NOT MY FATHER’S HOUSE AN HOUSE OF
MERCHANDISE.”—John 2:16.
















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































‘CHRIST AND NICODEMUS,
Excert A MAN BE Born AGAIN, HE CANNOT SEE THE Kincpom oF Gop.”—John 3 : 3.


THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 43

than any other class. There were among them two parties; one
following a rabbi of the name of Hillel, who was a gentle, cautious,
tolerant man, averse to making enemies, and of a most merciful and
forgiving disposition.. Some say that he began to teach only thirty
years before the birth of Christ; and it is certainly among his
disciples that Jesus found some friends and followers. The second
party was that of Shammai, who differed from the other in numberless
ways. They were well known for their fierceness and jealousy, for
stirring up the people against any one they hated, and for shrinking
from no bloodshed in furthering their religious views. They were
scrupulous about the fulfilment of the most trivial laws which had
come down to them through tradition. These had grown so numerous
through the lapse of centuries, that it was scarcely possible to live for
an hour without breaking some commandment.

Yet among the Pharisees there were many right-minded and noble
men, to whom Jesus must have been attracted. “The only true
Pharisee,” said the Talmud, that collection of traditions which they
held to be of equal authority with the Scriptures—* the only true
Pharisee is he who does the will of his Father which is in heaven
because he loves him.” Such Pharisees, when he met with them, as
he did meet with them, won his love and approbation. It was the
“Scribes and Pharisees, Zyocrites,’ whom he hated.


































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































“FOLLOW ME.”
BOOK II.
Aer ie Oi ae

CHAPTER I.—JOHN THE BAPTIST.

ESUS was about thirty years of age when a rumor
reached Nazareth of a prophet who had appeared
in Judea. It was more than four hundred years
since a prophet had arisen; but it was well known
that Elias must come before Messiah, as his fore-
runner. Such a prophet was now baptizing in
Jordan; and all Judzea and Jerusalem itself were
sending multitudes to be baptized by him.
Before long his name was known: it was John,
the son of Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin, whose birth
had taken place six months before that of Jesus.
We have no reason to suppose that any person living at this time,

except Mary, knew Jesus to be the Son of God. Those who had

known it were Joseph, Zacharias, and Elizabeth; and all these were
dead. John, to whom we might suppose his parents would tell the
mysterious secret, says expressly that he did not know him to be the

Messiah until it was revealed to him from heaven. He was familiar

with his cousin Jesus, and felt himself, with all his stern, rigid life in

the wilderness, to be unworthy to stoop down and unloose the latchet
of his sandals; although he was a priest, who was known throughout
the land as a prophet, and Jesus was merely a village carpenter, whose
life had been a common life of toil amidst his comrades. Mary alone
45


46 CHILD'S LIFE OF .CHRIST.

knew her son to be the promised Messiah; and though the long years
may somewhat have dulled her hopes, they flamed up again suddenly
when the news came that John the forerunner had begun to preach
“The kingdom of God is at hand,” and that multitudes, even of the
Pharisees, were flocking to his baptism, so to enlist themselves as
subjects of the new kingdom.

But this news did not make any change in our Lord. There was
not less tenderness and pity in his heart when he lived among his
neighbors in Nazareth than when he healed the sick who came to him
from every quarter. Neither was there any more ambition in his
spirit when he passed from town to town, amid a throng of followers,
than when he climbed up into the loneliness of the mountains about
his village home. How could he be touched by any earthly ambition,
who knew himself to be not only a Son of God, but the only-begotten
_ Son of the Father? He had been waiting through these quiet, homely .
years for the call to come, and now he was ready to quit all, with the
words in his heart, “Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is
written of mé, I delight to do thy will, O my God!”

It may well be that Mary went with him a little way on his road
toward Jordan, on. that wintry morning, when he quitted his work-
shop, and the familiar streets of Nazareth, to dwell in them no more.
There was no surprise to her in what had come to pass; but there
must have been a thrill of exultation mingled with fear. He had been
her son all these years, but: now he was to belong, not to her, but to
the nation. What sorrow and triumph must have been in her heart
when at last he bade her farewell, and she watched him as long as he
was in sight, clad in the robe she had woven for him without seam,
like the robe of a priest. Was he not a priest and a king already
to her?

It was winter, and although not cold in the valley of the Jordan, the
heavy and continuous rains must have dispersed the multitudes that.
had gone out to John, leaving him almost in solitude once more.
There could have been no crowd of spectators when Jesus was
baptized. Yet even in January there are mild and sunny days when
he and John might have gone down into the river for the signifi-.


THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 47

cant rite which was to mark the beginning of his new career. But
John would not at first consent to baptize his cousin Jesus, declaring
that it would be more fit for himself to be baptized by one whose
life had been holier and happier than his own. The rich and powerful
and pious Pharisees John had sent away with rebukes, yet when Jesus
came from Galilee, he forbade him.

But Jesus would not take his refusal. For some months John had

















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































“AND WAS WITH THE WILD BEASTS.”—Mark 1, 13.

becn waiting for a sign promised to him from heaven, which should
point out to him the true Messiah; and the people of the land looked
to him to show them the Christ, whose kingdom he was proclaiming.
Now, after he had baptized his cousin in the waters of the Jordan,
already troubled with the rains from the mountains, and they were
coming up again out of the river, he saw the pale wintry sky above
them opening, and the Spirit of God descending, visible to his eyes in
48 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

the form of a dove, which lighted upon Jesus, whilst a voice came from
heaven, speaking to him, and saying, “This is my beloved Son, in
whom I am well pleased.” What passed between them further, the
Messiah and his forerunner, we are not told. Jesus did not stay
with John the Baptist, for immediately he left him and the place where
he had been baptized, and went away into the wilderness, far from the
busy haunts of ordinary men, such as he had dwelt among until now.
His commonplace, everyday life was ended, and had fallen from him
forever. A dense cloud of mystery, which no one has been able to
pierce through, surrounds the forty days in which he was alone in the
wilderness, suffering the first pangs of the grief with which he was
bruised and smitten for our iniquities, being fiercely assailed of the
devil, that he might himself suffer being tempted, and so able to succor
all those who are tempted. The compassion and fellow-feeling he had
before had for sufferers he was henceforth to feel for sinners. There
was to be no gulf between him and the sinners he was about to call
to repentance; he was to be their friend, their companion, and it was
his part to know the stress and strain of temptation which had
overcome them. Sinners were to feel, when they drew near to him,
that he knew all about them and their sins, and needed not that any
man should tell him. He had been in all points tempted as they had
been.
CHAPTER IIl—CANA OF GALILEE.

HEN Jesus returned to Jordan the short
winter of Palestine was over, and already
an eager crowd had gathered again about
John. On the day of his return a depu-
tation from the Pharisees had come from
Jerusalem to question John as to his
authority for thus baptizing the people.
They were the religious rulers of the
nation, and felt themselves bound to
inquire into any new religious rite, and to
ask for the credentials of any would-be

prophet. These priests who had come to see John
knew him to bea priest, and were, probably, inclined to take
his part, if they could do so in safety. They asked him, eagerly,

“Art thou Christ?” “Art thou Elias?” “Art thou that prophet?”

And-when he answered, “No,” they ask again, “Who art thou?

What sayest thou of thyself?” The crowd was. listening, and Jesus,

standing amongst them, was also listening for his reply. “I ama.

voice,” he said, “the voice spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, crying
in the wilderness, Prepare ye the ways of the Lord.” ' The priests
were disappointed with this answer, and asked, “ Why baptizest thou
then?” They had not given him authority to appear as a prophet,
yet here he was drawing great multitudes about him, and publicly

reproving the most religious sect of the nation, calling them a

generation of vipers, and bidding them bring forth fruits worthy

of repentance. From that time they began to throw discredit upon
the preaching of John the Baptist, and spoke despitefully against

him, saying, “He hath a devil.” Nothing is easier than to fling a

bad name at those who are not of our own way of thinking.

Two days after this, John the Baptist pointed out Jesus to two of

49


50 _ CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

his disciples as the Messiah whose coming he had foretold. These
two, Andrew and a young man named John, immediately followed
Jesus. and being invited by him to the place where he was staying,
they remained the rest of the day with him; probably took their first
meal with him, their hearts burning within them as he opened the
Scriptures to their understanding. The next morning Andrew met
with his brother Simon, and said, “We have found the Messiah,” and
brought him to Jesus. The day following, Jesus was about to start
- home again to Galilee, and seeing Philip, who already knew him, he
said to him, “Follow me!” Simon and Andrew, who were Philip’s
townsmen, were at that time with Jesus; Philip was ready to obey,
but he first found Nathanael, and said to him, “Jesus of Nazareth, the
son of Joseph, is he of whom Moses and the prophets did write!”
_ “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” cried Nathanael,
doubtingly; but he went to Jesus and was so satisfied by the few
words he spoke to him, that he exclaimed, “ Rabbi, thou art the Son
of God; thou art the King of Israel!” .

With these five followers Jesus turned his steps homeward, after an
absence of nearly two months. All of them lived in Galilee; and
Simon Peter and Andrew, who had a house in Capernaum, at the
head of the lake of Galilee, appear to have turned off and left the
little company at the point where their nearest way home crossed the
route taken by the others. Jesus went on with the other three:
Philip, whom he had distinctly called to follow him; Nathanael,
whose home in Cana of Galilee lay directly north of Nazareth; and
John, who was hardly more than a youth, and as yet free from the ties
and duties of manhood. A pleasant march must that have been
along the valleys lying south of Mount Tabor, with the spring
sun shining overhead, and all the green sward bedecked with flowers,
and the birds singing in the cool, fragrant air of morning and
evening.

But they did not find Mary at Nazareth.. She was gone with the
cousins of Jesus to a marriage at Cana in Galilee, ‘the town of
Nathanael, where he had a home, to which he gladly urged his new-
found rabbi to go. He could not have foreseen this pleasure; but
seh:

: a is
i

“ WHOSOEVER DRINKETH OF THE WATER THAT I SHALL GIVE HIM
SHALL NEVER THIRST.”—John 4: 14.








































































CHRIST HEALING THE SICK.

8 iz 1am His Hanws on Every Onx o¢ THEM, AND HEALED THEM.’’=—Luke 43 e.
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 53

now, as they went on northward to Cana, the Messiah was his cuest,
and, with Philip and John, was to enter into his house. But no
sooner was it known that they were come into the village than Jesus
was Called with his friends, one of whom was an old neighbor of the
bridegroom, to join the marriage feast.

There was very much that Mary longed to hear from her son after
‘this long absence; but the circumstances could not have been favor-
able for it. In his beloved face, worn and pale with his forty days of
temptation and fasting in the wilderness, her eyes saw a change which
told plainly that his new life had begun in suffering. He looked as
if he had passed through a trial which set him apart. Perhaps he
found time to tell her of his hunger in the desert, and the temptation
which came to him to use his miraculous powers in order to turn
stones into bread for himself.. It seems that, in some way or other,
she knew that, like Elijah and Elisha, the great prophets of olden
times, he could and would work miracles as a sign to the people that
he came from God; and she felt all a mother’s eagerness that he
should at.once manifest his glory.

So when there was no‘ more wine she turned to him, hoping for
some open proof to the friends about her that he possessed this
wonder-working power. Besides, she had been accustomed to turn
to him in every trouble, in any trifling household difficulty; casting
all her cares upon him, because she knew he cared for her. So she
said to him quietly, yet significantly, “They have no wine.” Some of
Elisha’s miracles had been even more homely; he had made the
poisoned pottage fit for food, and had fed a company of people with
but a scanty supply of barley-cakes. Why should not Jesus gladden
the feast and save his friends from shame, by making the wine last
out to the end?

A few days before our Lord had been in the desert, amid the wild
beasts, with the devil tempting him. Now he, who was to be in all
_things one with us, was sitting at a marriage feast among his friends;
his mother and kinsfolk there, with his new followers; every face
about him glad and happy. It was not the first marriage he had been

at, for his sisters, no doubt, were married, and living at Nazareth; and
7
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CANA.

WEDDING FEAST AT

54
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 55

he knew what the mortification would be if the social mirth came too
suddenly to an end. He cared for these little pleasures and little
innocent enjoyments, and would not have them spoiled. The miracle
he refused to work to satisfy his own severe hunger he wrought for
the innocent pleasure of the friends who were rejoicing around him.
There were six water-pots of stone standing by for the use of the
guests in washing their hands before sitting down to the table, and he
bade the servants first to fill them up again with water to the brim,
and then to draw out, and bear to the ruler of the feast. Upon
tasting it he cried out to the bridegroom, “Every man at the
beginning doth set forth good wine; but thou has kept the good wine
until now.” 1

So Christ changes water into wine, tears into gladness, the waves
and floods of sorrow into a crystal sea, whereon the harpers stand,
having the harps of God. But he can work this miracle only for his
friends; none but those who loved him drank of that wine. It was
no grand miracle of giving sight to eyes born blind, or raising to life
a widow's son. Yet there is a special fitness in it. He had long
known what poverty, and straitness, and household cares were, and
he must show that these common troubles were not beneath his
notice; no, nor the little secret pangs of anxiety and disappointment
which we so often hide from those about us. We are not all called to
bear extraordinary sorrows, but most of us know what trifling cares
are; and it was one of these small household difficulties the Son of
man met by his first miracle.

After this, Jesus, with his mother, and brethren, and disciples, went
down to Capernaum for a few days, until it was time to go on their
yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem, to the feast of the passover, which was
near at hand. Peter and Andrew were living there, and might join
them in their journey to Judzea; though they do not seem to have
stayed with our Lord, but probably returned after the passover to
their own home until he considered it a fit time to call them to leave
all and follow him.
CHAPTER HI—THE FIRST SUMMER.

OR the first time Jesus went up to Jerusalem
with his little band of followers, who knew him
to be the Messiah; and his cousins, who did not
yet believe in him, but were apparently willing
to do so if he would act as they expected the
Messiah to act. If he would repeat his miracle
on a large scale, and so convince the mass of
the people, they were ready enough to proclaim
him as the Messiah.
Would not John the Baptist be there too? Heas
a priest, and asa prophet, would no doubt be looked
for, as Jesus afterwards was, at the feast of the passover.
He must have had a strong, impetuous yearning to see him who
had been pointed out to him as the Lamb of God that should take
away the sin of the world. Maybe he ate the paschal supper with
Jesus and his disciples. We fancy we see him, the well-known
hermit-prophet from the wilderness, in his robe of camel’s hair, with
its leathern girdle, and his long, shaggy hair, and weather-beaten
face, following closely the steps of Jesus, through the streets, and
about the courts of the temple, listening to fo words with thirsty
ears, and calling himself “the friend of the bridegroom, which
standeth and heareth him, rejoicing greatly because of the bride-
groom’s voice.” It was the last passover John the Pau would
ever celebrate; though that he could not know.

Upon going up into the temple, Jesus found the court of the
Gentiles thronged with sheep, and oxen, and doves, animals needed
for the sacrifices, but disturbing the congregation, which assembled
in the court of the women, by their incessant lowing and cooing.
Money-changers were sitting there also; for Roman coins were now
in common use instead of the Jewish money, which alone was lawful
56




THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 8

for payment in the temple. No doubt there was a good deal of loud
and angry debate round the tables of the money-changers; and a
disgraceful confusion and disorder prevailed. Jesus took up a scourge
of small cords, and drove out of the temple the noisy oxen and sheep,
bidding the sellers of the doves to carry them away. The tables of
the money-changers he overturned; and no one opposed him, but
conscious of the scandal they had brought upon the temple, they
retreated before him. “Make not my Father's house a house of
merchandise,” he said. To him it was always his “Father's house ;”
and before he could manifest forth his glory, his Father must first be
glorified. The disciples, looking upon his face, remembered that it
had been written, “The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.”

But the priests and Levites of the temple, to whom this traffic
brought much profit, were not so easily conscience-pricked as the
merchants had been. They could not defend the wrong practices, but
they came together to question the authority of this young stranger
from Galilee. If John the Baptist had done it, probably they would
not have ventured to Speak, for all the people counted him a prophet.
But this was a new man from Galilee! The Jews held the Galileans
in scorn, as only little better than the Samaritans. “ What sign shewest
thou,” they ask, “seeing that thou doest such things?” The things
were signs themselves—the mighty, prevailing anger of the Lord, and
the smitten consciences of the merchants—if they had not been too
blind to see them. Jesus gave them a mysterious answer, which none
could understand. “Destroy this temple,” he said, “and in three days
I will raise it up.” What! were they to pull down all they most prided
in, and trusted in: their temple, which had been forty and six years in
building! They left him, but they treasured up his words in their
memories. The disciples also remembered them, and believed them
when the mysterious sign was fulfilled.

But Jesus did not seek to convince the people without signs, and
signs which they could understand. He worked certain miracles in
Jerusalem during the week of the feast, which won a degree of faith
from many. But their faith was not strong and true enough for him
to trust to it, and he held himself aloof from them. What they looked.
58 _ CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

for was an earthly king, who should plot and conspire for the throne;
and the Roman soldiers, who garrisoned the strong fortress which
overlooked the temple, would not have borne the rumor of such a
king. There was at all times great danger of these expectations
reaching the ears of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, who was not
a man to shrink from needless bloodshed. For the sake of the people
themselves Jesus did not commit himself unto them.

Amongst those who heard of the miracles he had wrought was one
of the Pharisees, a member of the great religious committee among
them called the Sanhedrim. His name was Nicodemus, and he came
to our Lord by night, to inquire more particularly what he was teaching.
Jesus told him more distinctly than he had yet done what his new
message to the Jews and to the whole world was: “ For God so loved
the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth
in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Nicodemus went
away strongly impressed with the new doctrine, though not prepared to
give up all for its sake, and not yet called upon todo so. But from
that time Jesus hada firm friend in the very midst of the Pharisees,
who used his powerful influence to protect him; and the feast passed
by without any further jealous interference from the priests.

But it was not quite safe or suitable to remain in Jerusalem; and
after the greater number of their friends and kinsmen had returned
home, Jesus, with two or three of his disciples, sought the banks of.
the Jordan, whither John the Baptist had already returned. The
harvest was beginning, for it was near the end of April, and bands of
harvesters passed to and fro from uplands to lowlands until all the
corn was gathered in by the end of June. Down in the valley of
the Jordan the summer is very hot; and the wants of life are few.
They could sleep in the open air, or in some hut of branches rudely
woven together; and their food, like John the Baptist’s, cost little or
nothing. There was to be no settled home henceforth for any one
of them. The disciples had left all to follow the Son of man, and
he had not where to lay his head.

Crowds of eager and curious followers came to Jesus, as the year
before they had flocked to John the Baptist, who had now moved
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 59

some miles further up the river, and was still preaching “ The kingdom
of God is at hand.” But John did no miracle, and the crowds that
followed Jesus were greater than those who followed him. In the
eyes of the Pharisees it must have seemed that the two prophets were
in rivalry; and many a jest and a sneer would be heard in the temple
courts and in the streets of Jerusalem as they talked of those “two
fanatics” on the banks of the Jordan. Even John the Baptist’s disciples
fancied that a wrong was done their rabbi by this new teacher, who
had been with him for a while, and so learned his manner of arousing
and teaching the people. They went to John, and said, “ Rabbi, he
that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou bearest witness,
behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come unto him.”



FRUIT OF PALESTINE.

Now was John’s opportunity to manifest a wonderful humility and
devotion. “I am of the earth, earthy, and speak of the earth,” he
said; “he that cometh from heaven is above all. The Father loveth
the Son, and hath given all things into his hands. I am but the
friend of the bridegroom; I stand and hear him, and rejoice greatly
because of his voice. This my joy therefore is fulfilled.”

Did he hear that voice often, and rejoice in it? There were not
many miles separating them, and both of them were hardy and used
to long marches. It may well be that during those summer months
_ they met often on the banks of the river—the happiest season of
John’s life. For he had been a lonely, unloved man, living a wild life
60 CHIED'S FIFE “OR (CHRIST:

in the wilderness, strange to social and homelike ways; his father and
mother long since dead, with neither brother nor sister, he would find
in Jesus all the missing relationships, and pour out to him the richest
treasures of a heart that no loving trust had opened until now.

So the summer passed away, and the autumn with its vintage; then —
the rainy months drew near. Bands of harvestmen and bands of
pilgrims had gone by, tarrying for a few hours to learn truths they had
never heard before, even in the temple. Many of them were baptized
by the disciples, though Jesus baptized not. The new prophet had
become more popular than the old prophet, and John’s words were
fulfilled, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

CHAPTER IV.—SAMARIA.

HERE were several reasons why our Lord should
leave the banks of the Jordan, besides that of
the rainy season coming on. ‘The Pharisees
were beginning to take more special notice of
him, having heard that he had made more dis-
ciples even than John, whom they barely toler-
ated. Moreover, this friend and forerunner of
his had been seized by Herod, the tetrarch of
Galilee, and cast into a dreary prison on the
east of the Dead Sea. This violent measure

was likely to excite a disturbance among the people; and Jesus,

whose aim was in no way to come into collision with the govern-
ment, could not prudently remain in a neighborhood too near the
fortress where John was imprisoned. He therefore withdrew from
the Jordan, in the month of December or January, having been in

Judzea since the feast of the passover in the spring.

One way to his old home, the place where his relatives were still
living, lay through Samaria, a country he had probably never crossed,
as the inhabitants were uncivil and churlish toward all Jewish travel-


Seat

ee

3

iy



‘“BUT A CERTAIN SAMARITAN HAD COMPASSION ON HIM.”—Lukel10: 33
** YOUNG MAN, | SAY UNTO THEE, ARISE.”—Luke 7 : 14.


THE WONDERFUL. LIFE. 63

ers, especially if their faces were toward Jerusalem. But Jesus was
journeying to Galilee, and did not expect them to be.actively hostile
to him and his little band of companions. It was an interesting road,
and led him through Shechem, one of the oldest cities in the world,
lying between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, in a vale so narrow at
the eastern end, that when the priests stood on these mountains
to pronounce the blessings and the curses in the ears of all the
children of Israel, there was no difficulty for the people standing
in the valley to hear distinctly. Two miles away was a very deep
well, the waters of which were cool in the hottest summer; a well
dug by the patriarch Jacob upon the same parcel of a field where
he built his first altar to the God of Israel. Here too were buried
the bones of Joseph, which had been carried for forty years through
the wilderness to the land his father Jacob had given to him and to
his children specially. Shiloh also lay along the route; and Jesus,
who possessed every innocent and refined taste, must have enjoyed
passing through these ancient places, so intimately connected with
the early history of his nation.

Shechem lay about eighteen or twenty miles distant from the fords
of Jordan, near which we suppose Jesus to have been dwelling. By
the time he and his disciples reached Jacob’s well, after this long
morning’s march, it was noonday, and he was wearied, more wearied
than the rest, who appear always to have been stronger than he was.
They left him sitting by the side of the well, whilst they went on into
the city to buy food for their mid-day meal. Their Master was thirsty,
but the well was deep, and they had nothing to draw up the water.
They hastened on, therefore, eager to return with food for him whom
they loved to minister to.

Not long after a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and was
much astonished when this Jew asked her to give him some to drink.
She was probably less churlish than a man would have been, though
she was barely civil. But as Jesus spoke with her she made the
discovery that he was a prophet; and immediately referred to him the
most vexing question which separated the Jews from the Samaritans.
The latter had a temple upon Mount Gerizim, which had been rebuilt

8





























































































































































































































THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 65

by Herod, as the temple at Jerusalem had been; and she asked which
is the place where men ought to worship? Here, or at Jerusalem?
She could only expect one answer from a Jew; an answer to excuse
her anger, and send her away from the well without satisfying his
thirst. But Jesus had now forgotten both thirst and weariness. He
knew that many a sorrowful heart had prayed to God as truly from
Mount Gerizim as from the temple at Jerusalem. There is no special
place, he answered, for in every place men may worship the Father;
the true worshippers worship him in spirit and in truth, for God is a
Spirit. This was no such answer as the woman looked for; and her
next words were spoken in a different temper. “We are looking for
the Messiah, as well as the Jews,” she said, “and when he is come, he
will tell us all things that we do not yet know.” Jesus had already
told her the circumstances of her own life, and she was looking at him
wistfully, with this thought of the Messiah in her mind, when he said
to her more plainly, more distinctly, perhaps, than he had ever done
before to any one, “I that speak to thee am he.”

By this time the disciples had come back, and were much astonished
to find him talking to the woman. If they heard these last words
they would marvel still more, for Jesus generally left men to discover
his claims to the Messiahship. The wrong impression prevailing
among the Jews concerning the Messiah was not shared by the
Samaritans. The latter kept closely to the plain and simple law
of Moses, without receiving the traditions which the Pharisees held
of equal importance with the law, and were thus more ready to
understand the claims and work of Christ. The woman therefore
hurried back to the city, leaving her water-pot, and called together
the men of the place to come out and see if this man were not
the Christ. They besought him to stay with them in their ancient city
under the Mount of Blessing; and, no doubt very much to the
amazement of his disciples, he consented, and abode there two days,
spending the time in teaching them his doctrine, the very inner
meaning of which he had already laid open to the woman. “God
is a Spirit; he is the Father, whom every true worshipper may
worship in the recesses of his own spirit.” Many of them believed,
66 CHIEDIS LIFE OF CHRIST,

and said to the woman, “We have heard him ourselves, and know
that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.’ Wonderful
words, which filled the heart of Christ with rejoicing. Not his own
nation, not his own disciples, not even his own kinsmen, had learned
so much of his mission as these Samaritans; ever afterward he spoke
of them with tenderness, and when he would take a type to himself in
the parable of the man fallen among thieves, he chose not a Jew, but
a despised Samaritan.

From Sychar Jesus passed through one of the long deep valleys
which lead to the plain of Esdraelon, where he was once more in
_ Galilee. It was winter, and the snow was glistening on the lower
mountains, as well as upon the distant range of Lebanon. The heavy
rains had swollen the brooks into floods; and all the great plain
before him, which in four months’ time would be ripe for harvest, a
sea of golden grain, scarcely rippled by a gust of wind, was now lying
in wintry brownness and desolation, and swept by the storms of hail
and rain. He seems to have passed by Nazareth, staying, if he stayed
at all, fora few hours only, and to have gone on with Nathanael to
his home in Cana, where Jesus had many friends, especially the bride-
groom whose marriage-feast in the spring he had made glad with no
common gladness.

He had not been long in Cana before the streets of the little village
witnessed the arrival of a great nobleman from Capernaum, who had
heard of the fame of Jesus in Judzea, and the miracles he had wrought
there. Until now, with the exception of Nicodemus, it would seem
that none but people of his own class had sought him, or brought
their sick to be healed by him. But this nobleman had a son, whose
life all the skill of the Jewish physicians could not save; and his last
hope lay with Jesus. His faith could not grasp more than the idea
that if Jesus came, like any other physician, to see and touch the child,
he would have the power to heal him. -“Sir, come down,” he cried,
“before my son is dead.” “Go thy way,’ ’ Jesus answered; “thy son
liveth.” What was there in his voice and glance which filled the
father’s heart with perfect trust and peace? The nobleman did not
hurry away, though there was time for him to reach home before night-


















































NINETY AND NINE.
68 CHIED! SE IEE ONS CA RISH.

fall. But the next day, as he was going down to Capernaum, he met
his servants, who had been sent after him with the good news that the
fever had left his son yesterday at the seventh hour; that same hour
when Jesus had said to him, “ Thy son liveth.”

Now he had a friend and disciple among the wealthiest and highest
classes in Capernaum, as he had one among the Sanhedrim at Jeru-
salem. Both protected him as much as it lay in their power; and it
is supposed by many that the mother of the child thus healed was the
same as Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, who, with other
women, attended our Lord during the last year of his life, and min-
istered to him of their substance. Thus, on every hand, Jesus was
making friends and enemies. A year had scarcely passed since he
quitted his humble home in Nazareth; but his name was already
known throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria; and everywhere
people were ranging themselves into two parties, for and against him.
Among the common people he had few enemies; among the wealthy
and religious classés he had few friends. He felt the peculiar diffi-
culty these latter classes had in following him; and expressed it in
two sayings, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repent-
ance,” and “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a
needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”
CHAPTER V.—THE FIRST SABBATH MIRACLE.

FTER staying a short time in Cana, Jesus went
once more to Jerusalem, about the middle of
March, a month or so before the passover. At
this time there was a feast of the Jews, not a
religious, but rather a national feast, in celebra~-
tion of the deliverance of their race in the days
ae of Esther. It drew together many of the poorer
and lower classes, among whom our Lord’s work
specially lay, and so offered to him, perhaps, unusual
opportunities for mingling with the common people, living
near Jerusalem. For we do not suppose that the Galileans

went up to this feast; only the country-folks dwelling in
Judzea, within a few miles of their chief city, who could make a
holiday at that time of the year. Either upon the feast-day itself,
or the Sabbath day nearest to it, Jesus walked down to the sheep-
gate of the city, near which was a pool, possessing the singular
property, so it was believed, of healing the first person who could
get into it after there had been seen a certain troubling of the water.
A great crowd of impotent folk, of halt, blind and withered, lay about
waiting for this movement of the surface of the pool. There was no
spot in Jerusalem where we could sooner expect to find our Lord,
with his wondrous power of healing all manner of diseases. Not
even his Father's house was more likely to be trodden by his feet
than this Bethesda, or house of mercy. Probably there was a greater
throng than usual, because of the feast, which would offer an
opportunity to many to come out of the country. Jesus passed by
until he singled out one man, apparently because he knew he had
now been crippled for thirty-eight years, and had been so friendless
that during all that time he had no man to help him to get down

first to the water. The cripple was hopeless, but still lingered
. Gs




70 CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

there, as if to watch others win the blessing which he could
never reach.

Upon this miserable man Jesus looked down with his pitying eyes,
and said, as though speaking to one who would not pestle to obey
him, “ Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.”

It seems as though Jesus passed on, and was lost in the crowd; but
the cripple felt a strange strength throbbing through his withered
limbs. He was made whole, and he took up his bed, to return home,
if he had any home, or at least to escape from that suffering multitude.
Then did the Pharisees behold the terrible spectacle of a man carrying
his bed through the streets of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day! They
cried to him hastily, “It is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed on the
Sabbath day.” He answered them by telling the story of his miracu-
lous cure, though he did not know who the stranger was, for Jesus was
gone away. No doubt he put his burden down at the bidding of the
Pharisees, but he did not lose the new strength that had given him
power to take it up.

The same day Jesus found him in the temple, whither he had gone
in his gladness. Once more those pitying, searching eyes were fixed
upon him, and the voice that had spoken to him in the morning
sounded again in his ears. “Behold,” said Jesus, “thou art made
whole; sin no more, lest a worse thing comé unto thee.” The man
departed and told the Pharisees who it was that had made him whole,
thinking, no doubt, to bring praise and glory to his deliverer.

Possibly until now the presence of Jesus at this feast had not been
known to the Pharisees. The last time he was in Jerusalem he had
solemnly and emphatically claimed the temple as his Father's house,
and had indirectly reproved them by assuming the authority to rid it
of the scandals they had allowed to creep into it. Now they found

-him deliberately setting aside one of their most binding rules for
keeping the Sabbath. John the Baptist, though both priest and
prophet, had never ventured so far. Their religion of rites and cere-
monies, of traditions, of shows and shams, was in danger. With their
religion, they firmly believed their place and nation would go, and
Jerusalem and Judzea would become like the ee cities and coun-
































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































CHRIST AND MARY MAGDALENE.
‘Tuy SINS ARE ForGIvEN.”—Luke 73 °° :


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THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 73

tries about them. It was time to put a stop to it. John the Baptist
was in prison. What if Jesus of Nazareth could be slain quietly, so
as not to disturb the common people, who heard him gladly ?

Jesus then, forewarned, it may be, by a friend, found himself com-
pelled to quit Jerusalem hastily, instead of sojourning there till the
coming passover. He was now too well known in the streets of the
city to escape notice. More than this, if he stayed until the Galileans
came up to the feast, there would be constant danger of his followers
coming into collision with the Pharisees. Riots in Jerusalem at the
time of the feasts were not uncommon, and often ended in bloodshed.
Not long before, Pilate had slain eighteen Galileans in some tumult
in the temple courts; and there was every probability that some -such
calamity might occur again should any provocation arise.

Jesus, therefore, retreated from Jerusalem with a few friends who
were with him. He had not yet chosen his band of twelve apostles,

but John, the youngest and dearest of them all, was with him, for it is
_ he alone who has given us this record of the first year of our Lord’s

ministry. Philip, also, we suppose to have been his disciple from the
first, in obedience to the call, “ Follow me;” for Jesus seems to have
been particularly grieved with his dulness of mind, when he says to
him, “ Have I been so long time with you, Philip, and yet hast thou
not known me?” Moreover, when Jesus was next at Jerusalem for
the passover, those Greeks who wished to see him came and spoke to
Philip as being best known as the attendant of our Lord. Whether
there were other disciples with him, or who they were, we do not
-know. It was a little company that had lived together through eleven
inonths, most of which had been spent on the banks of the Jordan,
in a peaceful and happy seclusion, save for the multitudes that came
to be taught the new doctrine, or to be healed of their afflictions. |
Now they were to be persecuted, to have spies lurking about them, to
be asked treacherous questions, to have perjured witnesses ready to
swear anything against them, and to feel from day to day that their
enemies were powerful and irreconcilable. With a sad foresight of
what must be the end, our Lord left Jerusalem and returned into
Galilee.

9
CHAPTER VI.—HIS OLD HOME.

ESUS came to Nazareth, where he had been
brought up. His aunt, Mary Cleophas, was still
living: there with her children, if his mother was
not. The old familiar home was the same, and
the steep, narrow streets of the village in which
he had played and worked. Coming down to it
from the unfriendly city of Jerusalem, it seemed
like a little nest of safety, lying among its
pleasant hills. Here, at least, so his disciples
might think, they would find repose and friend-
ship; and the soreness of heart that must have

followed the knowledge that the Jews sought to slay their Master

would here be healed and forgotten.

The Sabbath had come round again; a week since he had given
strength to the cripple. It was his custom to go to the synagogue on
the Sabbath; and the congregation which met there had been familiar
with him from his childhood, when he went with his supposed father,
Joseph. The rabbi, or ruler, could not but have known him well.
These rulers of the synagogue had a certain power of both trying and
scourging heretics in the place itself. They could also excommunicate
them, and lay a curse upon them; and Jesus knew that they would
not be averse to exercising their power. But now he went to his
accustomed place, looking round with a tender yearning of his heart
toward them all; from those who sat conspicuously in the chief seats,
to the hesitating, inquisitive villager, seldom seen in the congregation,
who crept in at the door to see what was going on.

For all the people of Nazareth must have been filled with curiosity
that day. Their townsman had become famous; and they longed to
see him, and to witness some miracle wrought by him. Almost all
had spoken to him at one time or another; many had been brought
74


THE WONDER®UL LIFE. 75

up with him, and had been taught by the same schoolmaster. They
had never thought of him as being different from themselves, except
perhaps that no man could bring an evil word against him; a stupen-
dous difference indeed, but not one that would win him much favor.
Yet here he was among them again, after a year’s absence or so, and
throughout all the land, even in Jerusalem itself, he was everywhere
known as the Prophet of Nazareth.

When the time came for the Scriptures to be read, Jesus, either
called by the minister, or rising of his own accord, stood up to read.
It must have been what all the congregation wished for. The low
platform near the middle of the building was the best place for all to
see him; their eyes were fastened upon him, and their satisfaction was
still greater when he sat down to teach them from the words he had
just read. They were astonished at the graciousness of his words
and manner, and before he could say more than, “This day is this
Scripture fulfilled” they began whispering to one another, “Is not this
Joseph’s son ?”

There is nothing strange or: unnatural in this conduct, nor indeed
anything very planiable It is precisely what would take place among
ourselves now under the same circumstances. Jesus was grieved,
though we cannot suppose him to have been disappointed. He knew
they wanted to see him do something like what he had done in Caper-
naum. His sinless life had been neither a sign nor a wonder to them ;
so blind were they, and so hard of heart. But if he would do some
astonishing work they would believe in him. “No prophet is ac-
cepted in his own country,” he said, and leaving the verses he was
about to explain to them, he went on to remind them that both Elyah
and Elisha, their wonder-working prophets of olden times, had passed
over Jewish sufferers to bestow their help on Gentiles. They could
not miss seeing the application. If they rejected him, he would turn
to the Gentiles.

A sudden and violent fury seized upon all who were in the syna-
gogue. This threat came from the carpenter’s son! They rose up
with one accord to thrust him out of the village. As they passed
along the streets the whole population would join them, and their
of





























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































JESUS TEACH







a

NG BY THE SEASIDE.
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 77

madness growing stronger, they hurried him toward a precipice near
the town, that they might cast him down headlong. But his brethren
and disciples were there, and surely among the people of Nazareth he
had some friends who would protect him from so shocking a death at
the hands of his townsmen. He passed through the angry crowd,
and went his way over the green hills, which not long before had
seemed to promise him rest and shelter from his bitter foes. He had
been accused of breaking the Sabbath seven days ago; who was
breaking the Sabbath now? The full time was come for all this for-
malism of worship to be swept away, and for Christ to proclaim him-
self Lord also of the Sabbath. Did Jesus linger on the brow of that
eastern hill looking down upon the village which nestled at the foot
of the cliff? So quiet it lay there, as if no tumult could ever enter
into it. The little valley, green and fresh in the cool spring-time,
was bright with flowers, like a garden amid the mountains. He had
loved this narrow glen as only children can love the spot where they
first grow conscious of the beauty of the world around them. Here
his small hands had plucked his first lilies, more gorgeously appareled
than Solomon in all his glory. Here he had seen for the first time
the red flush in the morning sky, and the rain-clouds rising out of the
west, and had felt the south wind blow upon his face. Upon yonder
housetops he had watched the sparrows building; and upon these
mountains he had considered the ravens. The difference between now
and then pressed heavily upon him; and as he wept over Jerusalem,
he may have wept over Nazareth. No place on earth could be the
same to him; and when he lost sight of it behind the brow of the hill,
he went on sadly and sorrowfully toward Capernaum.
CHAPTER VII.—CAPERNAUM.

HOUGH Galilee was somewhat larger than Judza,
it was in reality but a small province, not more
than seventy miles in length, or thirty in breadth.
This again was divided into Upper and Lower
Galilee; the latter called Galilee of the Gentiles.
The district in which Jesus worked most of his
miracles, and went preaching from town to town,
was very small indeed, a circuit of a few miles
tending south and west of Capernaum, which for
a ster time now became his home. This part

Be Galilee is a lovely country, abounding in flowers and birds; and
at his time it was thickly populated, with small towns or villages
lying near one another, and farm-houses occupying every favorable
situation. The lake or sea of Galilee is about thirteen miles long,
six broad, and all the western shore was fringed with villages and
hamlets. Nowhere could Jesus have met with a more busy stir of
life. Not only Jews dwelt in this region, but many Gentiles of all
nations, especially the Roman and Greek. His ministry in Judzea, it
the Pharisees had suffered him to remain in Judzea, would not have
been so widely beneficial as in this province, where the people were
less in bondage to Jewish customs and ritualism.

It is at this point that Matthew, Mark, and Luke alike begin the
history of our Lord’s work. What we have so far read has been re-
corded for us in John’s gospel alone, with the exception of the visit to
Nazareth, which we learn from Luke. Jesus had already some friends
and believers in Capernaum. There was the nobleman whose son he
had healed several weeks before. There were Andrew and Peter, to
whom he had been pointed out by John the Baptist as the Lamb of
God. It was quickly noised abroad that Jesus of Nazareth was come
to the town, and multitudes flocked together, though it was no holy
78


THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 79

day, to hear the words he had to teach them from God. They found
him upon the shore of the lake, and in order that all might see and
hear him, he entered into a boat belonging to Peter, and asked him to
push out a little from the bank. It was early in the morning of the
day after he had been thrust out of his own village; and now, sitting
in the boat with a great multitude of eager listeners pressing down to
the water's edge, he spoke to them the gracious words which the
people of Nazareth would not hear.

The sermon was soon over, for the listeners were working men, and
had their trades to follow. Jesus then bade Peter to put out into the
deep waters, and let down his net fora draught. Peter, who must have
heard of the miracles that Jesus wrought, though he had never seen
one, seems to have obeyed without expecting much success. But the
net enclosed so many fishes that it began to break, and his own boat,
as well as that belonging to his partners, John and James, became
dangerously full. No sooner had Peter reached the shore, where Jesus
was still standing, than, terrified at his supernatural power, he fell at
his feet, crying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
“Follow me,” answered Jesus, “and I will make you fishers of men.”
Andrew. and Peter immediately forsook all to attach themselves
closely to Jesus; and the same morning John and James left their
father Zebedee for the same purpose.

The next Sabbath day, which was probably not a weekly but a legal
Sabbath, coming earlier than the end of the week, Jesus entered the
synagogue at Capernaum with his band of followers, four of whom
were well known in the town. The synagogue here was a much
larger and more imposing place than the one at Nazareth; and no
doubt it would be filled with a congregation as crowded and attentive.
Whilst Jesus was teaching them, an unlooked-for interruption came,
not this time from the fury of his listeners, but from the outcry of a
poor man possessed of a devil, who had come in with the congregation.
Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, and the man was cast down in the midst
of the synagogue in convulsions, with the people crowding round to
help. But when the devil had come out of him the man himself was
uninjured and in his right mind. Such a miracle, in such a place,
80 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

spread far and wide, and with great swiftness, for all who had seen it
wrought would be eager to speak of it. .

At noon Jesus went with Peter to his house for the usual mid-day
meal. Here he healed the mother of Peter's wife of a great fever so
thoroughly that, feeling neither languor nor weakness, she arose and
waited upon them. In the afternoon probably he went to the syna-
gogue service again, to be listened to more eagerly than ever.

We can imagine the stir there would be throughout Capernaum that
afternoon. Fevers were very prevalent in the spring and autumn, and
it is not likely that Peter’s mother was the only sufferer. There was no
one there as yet to cavil at miracles being worked on the Sabbath-day ;
still the people waited until the sun was set, and then in the brief twi-
light a long procession threaded the streets to the house where Jesus
was known to be, until all the city was gathered about the door. And
as the light faded in the clear sky, a number of little twinkling lamps
would be kindled in the narrow street, lighting up the pale sickly faces
of the patients who were waiting for the great Physician to come by.
We see him passing from one group to another, missing not one of
the sufferers, and surely saying some words of comfort or warning to
each one on whom he laid his healing hand—words that would dwell
in their memories forever. All had faith in him, and all were cured
of whatsoever disease they had.

It must have been late before this was over, and the crowd dispersed
to their homes. It seems as though our Lord, after this busy day of
active ministry and untiring sympathy, was unable to sleep; for,
rising a great while before the dawn, he sought the freshness of the
cool night air and the quiet of a lonely place, where he could pray, or
rather speak to his Father unseen and unheard. He trod softly
through the silent streets, lately so full of stir, and made his way to
some quiet spot on the shore of the lake, pondering, it may be, over
the strange contrasts in his life, his rejection by the Nazarenes, and the
enthusiastic reception of him by the city of Capernaum.

As soon as it was day, however, the grateful people, discovering that
he was not in Peter’s house, urged his disciples to lead them to the
place where he had found a brief repose. The disciples would prob-


THE RAISING OF THE DAUGHTER OF JAIRUS.—Luke 8: 54.






























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































CHRIST FEEDING THE MULTITUDE.

“Hm BiesseD, AND BRAKE, AND GAVE THE LOAVES To His DisciPLEs, AND THE DIsciPLes TC THR,
MULTITUDE.” Matt. 14.: 19.
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 83

ably require little urging, for this was the homage they expected their
Master to receive. They came in multitudes, beseeching him to tarry
with them ; for, like Nicodemus, they knew him to be a teacher from
God, by the miracles he had done. This host of friends crowding
about him to prevent him from departing from them must have given
him a moment of great gladness. But he could not stay with them,
for he must go to preach the kingdom of God in other cities also, and
if he found faith there, to perform the same wonderful and tender
miracles he had wrought in Capernaum.

For the next few days Jesus, with five or six disciples, passed from
village to village on the western coast of the lake, and in the plain of
Gennesaret, a lovely and fertile tract of land, six or seven miles long,.
and five wide, surrounded by the mountains which fall back from the
shore of the lake to encircle it.. It was thickly covered with small
towns and villages, lying so near to one another that the rumor of his
arrival brought the inhabitants of all the cities to any central point
where they heard that he was staying. Herod had built a city at the
south of the plain and called it Tiberias, after the Roman emperor,
but probably our Lord never entered its streets, though all who
desired to see and hear him could readily find an opportunity in the
neighboring villages. It was in one of these places that a leper, hope-
less as his case seemed, determined to cast himself upon the com-
passion of this mighty prophet. No leper had been healed since the
days of Naaman the Syrian. yet so wonderful were the miracles
wrought by Jesus, so well known, and so well authenticated, that the
man did not doubt his power. “If thou wilt, thou canst make me
clean,” he cried. He soon discovered that Christ’s tenderness was as
great as his power. He. touched him; and immediately the sufferer
was cleansed. The leper noised it abroad so much, that Jesus was
compelled to hold himself somewhat aloof from the town, and keep
nearer to the wild and barren mountains, where the plain was less
densely peopled, until a.day or two before the Sabbath he returned to
Capernaum, at the northern extremity of the plain. During those few
days his journeyings had been confined to a very limited space, the
beautiful but small plain of Gennesaret, with its thick population and.

19
34 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

numerous villages, where he could teach many people, and perform
many miracles with no loss of time in taking long journeys.

During the week Capernaum had been in a fever of excitement. It
was quite practicable for many of the inhabitants to go out three or
four miles, to the spot where Jesus was, for the day, and return at night
with the story of what he was doing. The excitement had not been
lessened by the arrival of a party of Pharisees from Jerusalem itself,
who were openly unfriendly to the Galilean prophet and his new
doctrines. The Galileans naturally looked up to the priesthood at



LEPERS OUTSIDE THE GATE.

Jerusalem, especially to the Sanhedrim, as the great authorities upon
religious points. There were, moreover, plenty of Pharisees in Caper-
naum, as in every Jewish town, who readily took up the opinions of
these Pharisees from Judza, and joined them eagerly in forming a
party against Jesus and his innovations.. No doubt they discussed the
miracle wrought in their own synagogue on the first Sabbath day that
Jesus was there; and were the more zealous to condemn him, because
none of them had seen the sin of it before it was pointed out by their
keener and more orthodox brethren from Jerusalem.
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 85

No sooner, then, was Jesus known to be in the house at Capernaum
than there collected such a crowd that there was no room to receive
them; no, not so much as about the door. But some of the Pharisees
had made good their entrance, and were sitting by caviling and
criticising in the midst of his disciples. At this time the friends of a
paralytic man who were not able to bring him into the presence of
Jesus, carried him to the flat roof of a neighboring house, and so
reaching the place where he sat to teach all who could get within
hearing, they took up the loose boards of the roof and let down their
friend before him. Jesus, pausing in his discourse, said first to him,
“Thy sins are forgiven thee!” words that filled the Pharisees with
horror, yet with secret satisfaction. “Who is this?” they say to one
another; “who can forgive sins but God alone?” “You cannot see
that his sins are forgiven,” answered Jesus, “but I will give youa sign
which you can see. It is easy to say, Thy sins be forgiven; but I say
unto thee, O man, arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine
house.” Even the Pharisees, the less bitter Pharisees of Galilee at
least, were silenced by this, and were for once touched with fear of this
Son of man, who had power on earth to forgive sins. They glorified
God, saying, “ We have seen strange things to-day.”

But the day was not ended. Jesus, as his custom was, went down
to the shore, where he could teach greater numbers than in the narrow
streets. As he was passing along he saw a tax-collector sitting in
his booth gathering tolls for the hated Roman conquerors. Sucha
person was singularly offensive to all Jews, but especially so to the
Pharisees, who looked upon publicans as the most vicious and de-
graded of men. Mark tells us this man was the son of Alpheus, or
Cleophas, the uncle of Jesus by his marriage with Mary, his mother’s
sister. If so, he was a reprobate son, probably disowned by all his
family, to whom he was a sorrow and disgrace. The presence of
Jesus and his brethren in Capernaum must have been a trial to him,
bringing back to mind the days of their happy boyhood together in
Nazareth, and making him feel keenly the misery and ignominy
of the present. But now Jesus stands opposite his booth, looks
him in the face, not angrily, but tenderly, and he hears him
if
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86
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 87

say, “Levi, follow me!” And immediately he arose, left all,
and followed him.

The same evening, Levi, or Matthew as he was afterwards called,
gave a supper at his own house to Jesus and his disciples; and, no
doubt with our Lord’s permission, invited many publicans like him-
self to come and meet him and hear his teaching. The Pharisees
could not let such a circumstance pass uncriticized. For their part,
their religion forbade them eating even with the common people, and
here was the prophet eating with publicans and sinners. This was a
fresh offence; and Jesus answered only by saying, “They that are
whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. I came not to call
the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” No defence was offered,
and no excuse made. But there was asad sarcasm in his reply which
must have stung the consciences of some of them. Were they the
righteous, whom he could not call into the kingdom of God ?

CHAPTER VIIJ].—FOES FROM JERUSALEM.

S spectators at Matthew’s feast were two of John’s
disciples, who had been sent by their master with

a strange question, “Art thou he that should
come, or look we for another?” John had now
been imprisoned for some time in a gloomy
dungeon on the desolate shores of the Dead sea.

* His disciples, who were inclined to be somewhat
jealous of the younger prophet, had brought him
word of the miracles wrought by Jesus, but wrought
upon the Sabbath day in direct antagonism to the Phari-
sees, and, as it seemed, to the law of Moses. The very first
miracle at Cana of Galilee was altogether opposed to the austere
habits of John, who had never tasted wine. There was something
perplexing and painful to him in these reports; and he had nothing
else to do in his prison than brood over them. Was it possible that he



88 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

could have made any mistake—could have fallen under any delusion
in proclaiming his cousin Jesus as the promised Messiah? Had he
truly heard a voice from heaven? Could this be indeed the Son of
God, who mingled witli common people at their feasts, and visited
Samaritans? He, who all his life long had lived in the open air, free
from even social restraints, was becoming morbid in his captivity.
It grew necessary to him at last to send his disciples to Jesus for
some comforting and reassuring message.



JEWS SITTING AT MEAT,

When John’s disciples came to Jesus, they seem to have found him
feasting with the publicans—a circumstance utterly foreign to their
master’s custom. They felt themselves more akin to the Pharisees,
and asked him, “ Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy dis-
ciples fast not?” Jesus answered them that he was the bridegroom
of whom John himself had spoken, and that as long as the bridegroom
was with them they could not mourn. But the days would come
when he should be taken away, and then they would fast. He would
have no pretence at mourning or fasting, to be seen of men. He
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 89

would have no acting. These were days of joy, and it was meet to
make merry and be glad when a brother who had been lost was
found. Matthew was their brother, and he was restored to them;
how could they mourn ?

But Jesus kept John’s disciples with him for a short time, that they
might see how miracles were his everyday work, not merely a wonder
performed in the synagogues on a Sabbath day, before sending them
back to the poor prisoner in Herod’s fortress. The next day was a
Sabbath. The Pharisees kept closely beside Jesus, following him
even when he and his disciples were walking through the fields of
standing corn, possibly after the synagogue service, but before the
Sabbath was ended. It was the second week of April, and the grain
was growing heavy in the ear; perhaps a few ears of it were ripe, for
in the lowlands about Capernaum it ripened earlier than in the
uplands of Galilee. The disciples plucked the ears of corn, rubbing
them in their hands with the careless ease of men who thought it no
harm, and who had forgotten the captious Pharisees beside them. The
latter accused them sharply of breaking the law, and aroused Jesus
to defend them by giving them instances from their own Scriptures
and observances of the law of Moses being broken without blame.
Then, pausing to give more weight to his last words, he added, “ The
Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.” He did not acknowledge
their authority to make laws for the Sabbath. Nay, more, he claimed
to be Lord of it himself.

Without doubt this answer deepened the enmity and opposition of
the Pharisees; nor can we wonder at it. There was now no middle
course they could take. If they acknowledged Jesus to be a prophet
sent from God, they must own him as Christ, the Messiah, with a
Divine authority over their laws and traditions. He was setting these
at defiance, asserting himself to be Lord of the temple and Lord of
the Sabbath. John had made no such claims, though it was well
known that his birth had been foretold by the angel Gabriel to Zacha-
rias, his father, when he was ministering in the Holy Place. But
John’s career was at an end; and if Jesus was not taken out of the
way he would turn the world upside down, and the Romans would
QO CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

bring them into utter subjection. Both religion and patriotism de=«
manded that they should seek his death.

A day or two after this weekly Sabbath came a legal Sabbath, one
of the holy days among the Jews. Jesus was in the synagogue; and
there also, probably in a conspicuous place as if to catch his eye, sat a
man with a withered hand. It seems almost as though he had been
found and posted there in order to test Jesus. The Pharisees were
growing eager to multiply accusations against him before they re-
turned to Jerusalem for the approaching feast of the passover. Even

they might feel that the sin of plucking ears of corn was not a very
grave one. Here was a man for Jesus to heal. The case was not an
urgent one; to-morrow would do as well as to-day for restoring the
withered hand. But Jesus will show to them that any act of love and
mercy is lawful on the Sabbath day, is, in fact, the most lawful thing
to do. God causes his sun to shine, and his rain to fall, on that day
as on any other. He looked round upon them all with their hard
faces set against him; and he was grieved in his heart. Then, with
the authority of a prophet, he bade the man stand up and stand
forward in the midst of them. If they had been secretly plotting
against him in bringing the man there, he was not afraid to face them
openly. “Is it lawful on the Sabbath day to do good or to do evil?
to save life or to destroy it?” he asked. But the Pharisees from
Jerusalem could not answer the question; and when-he healed the
man in the sight of all the people, they were filled with madness.

Possibly they had reckoned upon the miracle failing, for by this
time it was understood that only those who believed in the power of
Jesus could be healed, and they had not expected this man to have
faith in him. It seems that they left the synagogue at once, and
though it was a Sabbath day they held a council against him how
they might destroy him. They even entered into an alliance with the
Herodians, their own opponents. For the Herodians favored the
adoption of Roman laws and customs, against which the Pharisees
had formed themselves into a distinct sect. But.they were now ready
to join any party, or follow any party, so that they might destroy this
common enemy.






—Matt. 14: 3%.

















































































































CHRIST AND PETER.

*Q THou or Lirrte FAITH, WHEREFORE DIDsT THou DovsT?”































THE WONDERFUL LIFE, 93

It became impossible for Jesus to remain in Capernaum, and he
-left it immediately, probably the same evening, withdrawing to some
mountain near the lake, where he continued all night in prayer to
God. To a nature like his this bitter and pitiless enmity, aroused by
acts of goodness only, must have been a terrible burden. They were
his own people, not the heathen, who were hunting him to death—
men who all their lives long had heard and read of God, his heavenly
Father, who offered sacrifices to him, and gave tithes to his temple of
all that they possessed. They knew, or ought to have known, what
they were doing. There was no excuse of ignorance for them. All
night he prayed, with the bright stars glittering above him in the blue
sky, and the fresh breeze from the lake and the mountain, laden with
the scent of flowers, breathing softly on his face. No sounds near him
save the quiet sounds of night on the mountain side, and the wail of
the curlew over the lake. This was better than sleep to him; and as
the day dawned he was ready once more to meet his disciples, and to
face the numerous duties coming with the sunrise.

His first act was to call his disciples to him, and from them he chose
twelve to form for the future a group of attached followers and friends.
who would go with him wherever he went and learn his message, so
as to carry it to other lands when his own voice was silenced. Him
his foes might and would destroy; but his message from God must
not perish with him. Philip was one of them, he who had been with
him from the first; and John, the youngest and most loved, who sat
nearest to him at meal times, and who treasured up every word that
fell from his lips, so that, when he came to write the history of his
Lord, so many memories crowded. to his brain of things Jesus had
said and done, that he cried in loving despair, “ All the world could.
not contain the books that might be written!”

Two at least, if not three, of our Lord’s own family were among
the chosen twelve: James, his cousin, of whom it is said he was so like
Jesus as sometimes to be mistaken for him; and Judas, not Iscariot,
who, like the other kinsmen of Christ, asked him, even on the last’
night that he lived, “Why wilt thou manifest thyself to us, and not

unto the world?” Levi, if he was the son of Alpheus, was a third
: It
94 CHIEDS LIFE \OFMCHIRIST,

cousin, and each one wrote for us a portion of the New Testament.
How much might these three have told us of his early life in Nazareth
if no restraint had been laid upon them!

Then there was Peter, always the leader among the apostles,
impatient and daring, so eager that he must always meet his Lord,
and not wait for him to come to him; walking upon the sea, or
casting himself into it to reach more quickly the shore where Jesus
stood, exclaiming rapturously at one time, “Thou art the Christ,
the Son of the living God,’ and at another, with oaths and curses,
repeating, “I know not the man.” Of the rest we know little,
save one dark name, read amidst the blackest shadows of the past.
Why did Jesus call Judas Iscariot? Why did he make him a
familiar friend, in whom he trusted? They went up together into
the house of God, and took sweet counsel together. He gave
and received from Jesus the kiss of friendship. To him was intrusted
the wealth of the little band, and every trifling want of his Master's
he had to supply, an office that brought him into the closest intimacy
with him. Why was he chosen for this service? Was he the eldest
amid this company of young men? a wise, shrewd man, cautious and
prudent, where others might have been rash or forgetful? We do
not know; but whilst Peter, James, and John followed their Lord
into the chamber of Jairus’s little daughter and up to the Mount
of Transfiguration, Judas had the bag, and bore what was put
therein.
CHAPTER IX—AT NAIN.

T was broad daylight now, no time for secret assassi-=
nation, and, surrounded by his twelve devoted
friends, Jesus returned to Capernaum, where his
mother would probably be waiting in a state of
anxious restlessness. As soon as it was known
that he was entering the town, some of the rulers
of the synagogue came to meet him, beseeching
him to work a miracle in favor of a Roman
centurion, whose servant was likely to die. The
most bigoted among them could not deny that

Jesus of Nazareth did many mighty works; and they
could not decline. to offer this petition to him when the centurion,
who had built them a synagogue, commissioned them with it. The
servant was healed without Jesus going to the house, the centurion
sending to say that he was not worthy that the Lord should enter
under his roof. Even Jesus marveled at the man’s faith, and though
he had just chosen twelve of his most trustworthy disciples, he cried,
“T have not found so great a faith; no, not in Israel.”

The next day, Jesus, followed by many disciples, both men and
women, went out to visit the towns and villages lying westward
of the hills which enclose the plain of Gennesaret. As he passed
along his company grew in numbers, for everywhere had men heard
of him, and those who had sick friends brought them out to the
‘roadside that they might be healed. This day his journey was
a long one, and he could not tarry by the way, except to work
some such loving miracle. He was to rest in the little village
of Nain that night; a place he knew quite well, for it was only
five miles from Nazareth, and probably he had some friends there.
Much people had gathered around him when he trod the steep path
up to Nain; but before they reached the gate another multitude
95


96 CHILD’ SCLIFE GOP MCH RIS,

appeared coming out as if to meet them, yet there was no shout
of welcome; instead there were cries and wailings for one whom
they were carrying forth to the tombs outside the village.

Possibly Jesus knew both the young man who was dead and his
mother. He hastened to her side, and said, “Weep not.” Then he
touched the bier, and those who were carrying it stood still. What
was the prophet about to do? He could heal any kind of sickness,
but this was death, not sickness. It was a corpse bound up, and
swathed with grave-clothes; the eyes forever blinded to the light,
and the ears too deaf to be unloosed. An awful silence must have
fallen upon the crowd; and they heard a calm, quiet voice saying,
“Young man, I say unto thee, Arise!” He spoke simply, in a few
words only; but the quiet voice pierced through all the sealed
deafness of death, and.the dead sat up, and began to speak. Then
Jesus, perhaps with his own hands freeing him from the grave-clothes,
gave him back to his mother. A thrill of fear ran through all
the crowd, and as they thronged into Nain some said, “A great
prophet is risen up among us,” and others, “God has visited his
people.”

It has been thought that here, at Nain, dwelt Simon the Pharisee,
who now invited Jesus to his house to eat meat with him. He was
not one of our Lord’s enemies from Jerusalem, but merely a member
of the sect, which was numerous throughout all Judea and Galilee.
He probably regarded Jesus as a workingman from the neighboring
village of Nazareth, though now considered a prophet by the people,
and he did not offer to him the courteous attentions he would have:
shown to a more honored guest. After his long and dusty walk
Jesus sat down to Simon’s table without the usual refreshment of
having his feet washed, and his head anointed with oil.

But this slight, passed over by Jesus, was more than atoned for by a
woman, who, coming in to see the supper with other townspeople,
stood behind him at his feet, and began to wash them with her tears,
and to wipe them with her long hair, kissing them again and again.
Caring little who was watching her in her passion of repentance and
love, she brought an alabaster box of precious ointment and poured
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. : 99

the costly contents upon the feet she had washed and kissed. Yet
the prophet seemed to take no notice of her and her touch. But
Simon, the host, said to himself, “This man, if he were a prophet,
would have known who and what manner of woman this is that
toucheth him, for she is a sinner.’ The sinful woman’s unheeded
touch was more conclusive against him than all his miracles were for
him. Simon did not have her thrust from his house, but there was
a secret satisfaction in his heart at finding that Joseph’s son, after
all, was not prophet enough to know who she was.

Did not Jesus know? Had he not felt every tear that had fallen
upon his feet, and the touch of the trembling lips which dared not
speak to him? He spoke a short, simple parable to Simon, and
asked him a question, the answer to which condemned the self-
righteous Pharisee. And then, turning to the weeping woman, he
said, “ Thy sins, which are many, are forgiven; thy faith hath saved
thee; go in peace.” Those who sat about him began then with
their old murmur, “ Who is this that forgiveth sins also?” But he
gave them no sign this time. No sign could be greater than the
miracle wrought that day. As Jesus himself said in one of his
parables, “They will not be persuaded, no, not if one rise from
the dead.”
CHAPTER X.—MIGHTY WORKS.

EAVING Nain, Jesus, with a large number of
followers, including the apostles, and certain
women who ministered to them of their prop-
erty, passed through all the villages of that
neighborhood, gradually working their way
back to Capernaum. It was some time during
this week that Jesus dismissed the disciples of
John the Baptist, bidding them tell him all
they had seen and heard, and adding to his.
message a gentle reproof, “ Blessed is he who-

soever shall not be offended in me.” He knew
how many were already offended; and how the cause of offence
must take deeper and deeper root, until the scandal of the cross came
to eclipse every dream of glory in his followers. The message thus
sent to John in his prison, with the marvelous tidings of the signs
and wonders wrought, and the report of the new doctrines, must have
greatly strengthened and comforted the prophet during the short
time that remained to him of life.

The circuit from Nain to Capernaum, though short, was one of
great exertion and fatigue; yet when they reached the latter town,
and were in need of rest, so great a multitude came together again
immediately, that they could not so much as eat bread. Jesus
could not attend to his own needs, whilst others were crying to
him for help, or crowding round him for instruction. His meat
was to do the will of him that sent him, and to finish his work;
and the bitter enmity of the Pharisees warned him that what he had ~
to do must be done quickly. But his relations thought it was quite
time to interfere with this self-forgetful zeal, and they sought to
také hold of him, saying, “He is beside himself.” They did not
yet believe in him, for they could not get over the impression made
98


THE WONDERFUL LIFE, 9S

upon them by his homely simple life among them, when he worked
at a trade like themselves, apparently unconscious of being different
from them. Probably their words only meant that he was’ carried
info extremes by his burning enthusiasm. But the Pharisees from
Jerusalem, who were still hanging about him, caught up the hasty
words and bitterly exaggerated them. “He hath Beelzebub,” they
cried, “and by the prince of the devils he casteth out devils.”
Jesus then called them to him, bidding the crowd make way. It
was an extraordinary scene. There stood the powerful enemies
from the chief city and the chief priests of the nation, strong in their
reputation for religion and for righteousness, face to face with
the young but well-known prophet of Nazareth, who boldly and
solemnly in the hearing of all the people warned them of the sin
they were committing—blasphemy against the Holy Ghost—and
declared that if it was persisted in there was no forgiveness for it.
In the meantime his mother, whose, spirit could not be as brave
for her son as his was for God, came to the outskirts of the throng
with some of his cousins, and sent a message to him, which reached
his ears as he finished his warning to the Pharisees. “Behold,”
they said, “thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to
see thee.” It was no moment for such a message to come. His
kinsmen, though we cannot think his mother could have taken a
part in it, had given occasion to the Pharisees to say that he had ©
a devil; and it was necessary that all should know that he owned
no authority in them, and could not submit to any interference.
Dearly as he loved his mother, even she must cease to look upon
him as a son whom she might command. Solemnly and emphati-
cally he pointed to his apostles, and to the women who had come
into the city weary and hungry as himself. “Behold my mother and
“my brethren,” he said, “for whosoever shall do the will of my Father
which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
The remainder of the day was one of ceaseless activities. So many
persons came in from other towns that Jesus, as his custom was, led
them down to some convenient spot on the shore, and there entered
into a boat, so as to be seen and heard by all. He taught them by
100 CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

parables, by many parables, and by nothing else than parables; a
charming and fascinating mode of teaching to these imaginative
eastern people, who carried them home in their minds to ponder over,
and find out their hidden meaning. There was no need for them to
be learned in the law; the common occupations of every day served
as lessons for them; sowing their seed, or mixing their meal with
yeast, was the symbol of the kingdom of heaven which had come
among them.

At last the sun sank behind the western hills, and evening closed
in. The disciples sent away the crowds from their exhausted Master.
One of his hearers, a scribe even, for he had won some friends among
the ranks of his foes, came to him, saying, “ Master, I will follow thee
whithersoever thou goest.” Jesus was weary in body, and depressed
in spirit. Capernaum lay there close by, but it was no safe place for
him to spend the night in. He had already decided that it was better
to cross over the lake to the eastern side, where his enemies might
not care to follow him; and he answered the scribe in those mournful
and most memorable words, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of
the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his
head.” The sky was darkening, and the stillness of night coming on;
the birds were singing their last songs: and the wild beasts were
creeping forth out of their dens which had sheltered them all day.
But for him there was no place of rest, save the deck of the boat; no
bed, except a pillow, on which his aching head could lie. Yet perhaps
the scribe followed him: for a little fleet of fishermen’s boats sailed
out after him into the gathering darkness, following the bark, in which
the Master was soon sleeping, for very weariness, near the helmsman
who was steering for the eastern shores. .

The lake of Galilee, like all inland lakes, is subject to sudden
storms of wind, which sweep down the ravines between the mountains
with great force. Such a gale came on this night, with so much fury
that even those disciples who, as fishermen, were quite at home on the
water, were filled with terror. The eager followers in the other boats
must have been still more alarmed as the waves beat over them, and
filled their small vessels. No one but Jesus could have been asleep,
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. {or

but he slept soundly; and it was not till they called him that he
awoke. “Master,” they cried, “carest thou not that we perish?”
Yes, he cared. He cared even for their fears; and though there
-was no danger of their perishing whilst he was with them in the boat,
he arose, and rebuked the wind and the sea, and immediately
there was a great calm. Probably he fell asleep again; but all
the crews of that little company of boats were exceedingly afraid,
asking one another, “What manner of man is this; hungry and
thirsty, and worn out with weariness like ourselves, yet even the
wind and the sea obey him?”

The early morning found them on the eastern shore near Gergasa,
which was in the tretrarchy of Philip, a just and moderate prince, very
different from his brother Herod, who ruled over Galilee. Here, at
least, Jesus might expect to find shelter and rest. But no sooner had
he landed than a terrible demoniac, whose dwelling was among the
tombs near the town, rushed down to the shore to meet him. So
fierce and violent was he that no man dare pass that way, and always,
day and night, the unhappy wretch was crying and cutting himself
with stones. Jesus at once commanded the legion of evil spirits to
come out of the man; but gave them permission to enter into a herd
of swine that were feeding near at hand; upon which the whole
herd. in number about two thousand, ran violently down a steep
place into the lake, and were choked in the waters. Those who
kept them fled into Gergasa, and the inhabitants immediately came
out to see who it was that had done this mischief But upon finding
their fierce and powerful countryman clothed, and in his right mind,
they were afraid; and learning by what miracle he had been restored,
they confined their resentment at their loss to beseeching Jesus to
quit their coast.

Wet and hungry as he was, Jesus returned to the boat, bidding
the poor man, who wished to follow him, rather to go home to his
friends and tell them what great things the Lord had done for him
Though the Gergasenes would not receive him, he would leave
them a witness to tell of his love and power. And now, driven

away from that inhospitable coast, he returned toward Capernaum,
12
102 CHIED SQIALE OMACTIRAST,

giving up the hope of a few days’ rest, far away from his knot of
enemies, and his thoughtless crowd of followers.

No sooner was it known that his boat was on the shore than one of
the rulers of the synagogue hastened down to him. His little daugh-
ter was lying at the point of death, and there remained no hope but in
Jesus. He went at once with the father; yet he paused on the way
to heal a poor woman who touched in secret the hem of his garment
as he passed by. She had been suffering as many years as the child
had lived, and Jesus could not neglect her for a ruler’s daughter, though
he should gain a powerful friend by it. There was a great tumult about
the house when they reached it; the child was just dead, had died
while Jesus lingered on the way to heal this poor woman, who had
spent all that she had on physicians. “She is not dead, but sleepeth,”
he said; and they laughed him to scorn, knowing she was dead. Into
her chamber he passed, suffering no one to go in but her father and
nother, and his three most favored disciples; and taking the girl’s hand
into his own, he called to her, and her spirit came back again over the
mysterious threshold it had just crossed.

But Jesus charged her parents that they should tell no man what
was done; he charged them straitly. He would not have this young
and happy life burdened with the weight of such a mystery; if possi-
ble the girl herself was not to know it. The widow’s son at Nain
might bear the burden, and meet the curious eye bent upon him, and
answer as he could the eager questions asked about that other life of
which he had caught a glimpse. But this child, just on the verge of
happy girlhood, must be spared it all. “She is not dead, but sleepeth,”
he said, and he called her back to her place on earth as one who had
only been wrapt in a deeper slumber than is natural.










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“SHE TOUCHED THE HEM OF HIS GARMENT.”

103
CHAPTER X1.—A HOLIDAY IN GALILEE.

ESUS seems only to have entered Capernaum for
the sake of Jairus; for he did not stay there;
but going away immediately, he went once more
to Nazareth, where some of his cousins were still
living. Very probably he knew from them that
his townsfolk were now ashamed of their savage
assault upon him three weeks before. Since
then they had heard of his wisdom and his
mighty works, especially of that one at Nain, a
village within sight of their own town. They
were even hoping to have their own curiosity

gratified: by some wonder performed among them; but they could
not get over the fact that he had been a carpenter in Nazareth, and
that all his relations were known by them, poor undistinguished
people, who were considered of no account. Jesus himself marveled
at their unbelief, surpassing any he had yet contended against; and
he could not do any mighty work, save that he healed a few sick folk,
probably poor people, who knew him better than the wiser and
richer men.

From Nazareth he sent out his apostles by two and two to make a
short circuit of the towns lying about before meeting him again on an
appointed day near Capernaum; for it was safer to be close upon the
shores of the lake, whence at any time he could seek refuge in the
dominions of Philip, rather than in any of the country places from
which there. could be no speedy way of escape from his enemies. He
himself went round the villages teaching. The district traveled over
thus was a small one, and by the separation of the apostles into six
partics, every village would be quickly visited. These little places lay
close together, and only a central spot would be needed for the gather-
104


THE WONDERFUL LIFE. toy

ing of congregations; the Galileans seeming to be always ready to
flock together at the first hint of any excitement.

The first news that reached Jesus, when he returned to the neighbor-
hood of Capernaum, was that of the cruel death of his cousin, friend
and forerunner, John the Baptist, whose disciples were come to bring
him the tidings. The murder of their prophet must have stirred the
people to deep indignation, and wounded the tender heart of Christ
most keenly. But at the same time his apostles met him, full of
triumph at the wonders they had themselves performed during their
short separation from him. To some of them John the Baptist had
been almost as dear as Jesus was now; and thus two currents of strong
agitation ran counter to one another. Jesus himself felt in need of
some hours of quietness in which to mourn over his loss, and to hear
from his apostles what they had done and taught. But so long as
they remained on the western shore of the lake there was no hope of
gaining any such leisure time; and he entered into a boat with his
disciples and passed over to the other side.

They landed in a solitary spot on the north of the lake, not more
than three or four miles east of Capernaum, where the hills shut in a
small plot of tall green grass, not yet dried up by the summer’s heat.
But the multitudes of people from whom they had intended to escape
for a little while, seeing them depart, set out on foot along the shore,
and keeping the boat in sight, with its sails fluttering over the
glistening water, they outwent it in speed. It was probably the day
before the passover supper, which was kept at Jerusalem; a day on
which no work was done in Galilee: and thus the people gathered
from every village and farm-house, and from every fishing hamlet on
the shore, until when Jesus reached the desert place near Bethsaida,
one of the largest crowds that could ever have collected about him,
numbering five thousand men, besides women and children, were
waiting to receive him.

He was filled with compassion for them, for they were as sheep
having no shepherd. No doubt the tidings of John’s murder in
prison was fresh among them; and our Lord knew how deeply their
hearts felt the loss of such a teacher. He began to teach them in






























































































































































THE GOOD SHEPHERD.

106
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 107

this little temple with the clear blue sky above them; and was not
weary of teaching, nor they of listening, until late in the afternoon,
when his disciples asked him to send them away before nightfall.
There was a lad in the crowd who had brought with him five barley
loaves and two small fishes, most likely in the hope of selling them
among so many persons, and pushing himself forward in the crowd,
as lads are apt to do. Jesus bade the disciples bring them to him;
Judas, perhaps, grudging the money he was called upon to spend for
such a purpose. Then he told them to make the company sit down
in fifties, the tall, green grass forming couches for them on which
they could rest, as in the Paschal supper they were enjoined to
“sit down leaning,’ not standing, as if they were slaves. The
command of our Lord was well understood by them; they sat
down leaning upon these natural couches, as their brethren up in
Jerusalem would so rest, when in a few hours they would eat the
Paschal supper.

It was a suitable ending for the holiday. The sun was still
shining in the west, nor when it went down was there any fear
of the crowd missing the way to their homesteads, for the full
moon was ready to rise beyond the eastern hills, flooding every
mountain track, and every narrow village street, with its silver light,
The season was the most delicious of all the year, and the cool air
from the lake was sweet and fresh, not chilly or damp. Children
were there, some stealing up to the Master’s feet, and maybe getting
a piece of bread from his hand; their laughter and their voices
mingling with the graver hum of older people. What a surprise,
too, for the disciples as they began to understand their Master's
purpose! This was such a miracle as the Messiah was expected
to perform. A table furnished in the wilderness, as in the times of
Moses, when he gave them bread from heaven to eat. What was
giving sight to a few blind folk, or even raising from the dead a
widow’s son in a distant village, compared to this large, public,
kingly miracle of feeding thousands of his followers with so small a
store of provisions ?

There was but one happier hour for them in the future, when they
108 CHILINS CLIPES OP CHRIST:

followed their Master in his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, a year
later. But now as they went about among the companies, they
spread the story of the wonder then being wrought, until the
enthusiasm of the people outgrew all bounds. They resolved to
take him by force and make him a king, sure that thousands would
now flock from all quarters to hail him as the Messiah. This was
the very danger Jesus had sought carefully to avert, as it would
bring him and his party into collision with the Roman Government,
whose soldiers were garrisoned in many parts of the country. He
constrained his disciples, who were unwilling to lose this hour of
promised greatness, to set sail, and go on before him, whilst he sent
the multitude away. When /Zey were gone, whose wishes and plans
were so different from his own, he dismissed the crowds, who obeyed
him the more readily as now the night was at hand, and many of
them had far to go on foot.

At last, then, Jesus was alone, and, in need of rest more than ever,
in need of a moment or two in which he could mourn over his
friend, in need of close communion with his Father, he went up
into the mountain, at the foot of which he had been laboring all day.
The Easter moon shone down upon him full and clear out of the
cloudless sky, and lighted up the waters of the lake in which his
disciples were rowing hard against the wind to reach the point of
the shore he had directed them to steer for. He saw them driven
out of their course by the wind into the midst of the lake; but still
he lingered on the mountain side hour after hour. Is it possible that,
bowed down by the death of John, a foretaste of his agony in Geth-
semane made this season of solitude one of bitterness and sorrow?
Was his soul exceeding sorrowful within as he watched his
faithful followers toiling on the lake apart from him? When the
next passover came, the eternal parting would come, when they
must sail out into the fierce storm of life alone, without him in the
ship; living by the faith of which they yet showed so little sign.
Next passover! Where would they be? What loss would they
bave to bear then? How would they bear it?

Still he saw them tossing about on the rough moon-lit sea, until,
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 10g

7

when the fourth watch of the morning was near, he resolved to give
them a proof of his power, which, in after years, every moonlight
night, and every fresh burst of life’s storm, would bring to their
minds. They, looking across the stormy waves, beheld him walking
toward them on the sea; and they cried aloud with fear and trouble,
for their Lord was coming to them strangely, in no familiar manner.
Peter, bolder than the rest, attempted to go to meet him, but his
courage failed, and he would have sunk but for the outstretched hand
of his Master. When they entered into the boat, the wind ceased,
and they, not considering the miracle of the loaves and fishes, were
sore amazed within themselves, beyond measure. Their Master,
possessing this marvelous power, still refused to be made a king!
Their hearts, too hard yet to understand, could not perceive why he
steadily opposed all such ambition.

They landed on the plain of Gennesaret, and walked northward to
Capernaum, where they were met by numbers of those who had been
fed in the desert the day before. It was the first day of the passover,
a solemn Sabbath, and Jesus taught in the synagogue openly, and
without any opposition, except the murmurs of those who were
disappointed by his steady rejection of their desire to proclaim him
king. His most hostile enemies, the Pharisees, were necessarily
absent at the passover in Jerusalem. But from that day many of his
disciples in Galilee left him, not being able to hear or rather to under-
stand the hard sayings, and the reproaches with which he met them.
“Ye seek me,” he said, “because ye did. eat of the loaves, and
were filled.” Their love for him was too earthy to bear the test he
proposed to them, so they went back, and walked no more with him.

“Will ye also go away?” asked Jesus, sadly, of his twelve apostles.
“Lord, to whom should we go?” cried Peter; “thou hast the words
of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ,
the Son of the living God.” “Not all,” he answered; “have not I
chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?” Already he could
point out the traitor in his little camp. Probably Judas had made
himself unusually busy the day before in urging on the crowd to make

him king by force. They all longed for him to assert his claims; his
13
{10 CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

brethren were constantly urging him to manifest himself; John and
James asked him to promise them the chief places in his kingdom ;
but Judas looked forward to be the treasurer of all the wealth of the
Messiah King of Judzea, and no voice had been louder the day before,
and no disciple so reluctant to obey, when he constrained them to set
sail and leave him alone with the multitude. “Have not I chosen
you twelve, and one of you is a devil?” Judas was to live in close
fellowship with him for a whole year longer; but even Christ could
not cast out of him this demon of cov cous whilst he was
cherishing it in his secret heart.

CHAPTER XIJ.—IN THE NORTH.

URING this quiet week, with his enemies away,
Jesus was busily occupied in the plain of Genes-
aret and the region lying about, where, as he
passed along the roads or through the streets,
sick people were laid, that they might touch if it
were but the hem of his garment. But this
/ undisturbed, unopposed course of kindly healing
and of teaching ended as soon as the Pharisees
hastened back from Jerusalem, not willing to remain
at home until they had got him into their power.
They began by accusing him of setting aside the tradi-
tion of the elders—an accusation he did not deny. But he answered
them sternly, calling them hypocrites, and pointing out how they set
aside the commandments of God. He deeply offended them by this
reply, and the old danger of dwelling in Capernaum revived in
greater force. Besides this, it was well known that Herod, the
murderer of John, had a great desire to see Jesus; Joanna, the wife
of Herod’s steward, probably warning him of this danger. Herod’s
city, Tiberias, was on the western coast of the lake, south of the plain




THE WONDERFUL LIFE. ie

of Gennesaret, where Jesus had lately been journeying. It was not
more than ten miles from Capernaum; and our Lord must often have
been very near it, though it does not seem that he ever entered it.

It was only a few weeks since Jesus had been compelled to quit |
Jerusalem and Judzea; and now he found it needful to withdraw from
the busy, crowded coasts of the lake of Galilee, and to seek the west
of Galilee, where he was less known, and where he could quietly
instruct his apostles, who as yet knew little of the message they were
to teach when he was gone. He went further north than he had ever
traveled, to the very confines of the Holy Land, and to the shores of
the Mediterranean sea, so vast and limitless, compared with the little
lake of Galilee. But even here he could not be hid; for a certain
woman, no Jewess, but a Gentile, who had already become acquainted
with his name, no sooner heard of him than she came, and, falling at
his feet, besought him to heal her daughter, who was possessed by a
devil. Jesus did so, as a recompense of her own faith, praising it, as
he had done the faith of the Roman centurion, no doubt to the
bewilderment of his disciples, who did not yet know, what the
Samaritans had known, that he was the Saviour of the world.

‘From this northwestern limit Jesus and his disciples, probably
never staying long in the same place, made their way gradually back
to the eastern shore of the lake of Galilee, where they were in the
tetrarchy of Philip. The country through which they passed was
more beautiful than the more southern parts of Galilee. They
journeyed under the range of Hermon, and passed the high hill
of Bashan, with the upper Jordan and the waters of Merom on
their left hand, in the month of May, whilst the harvest was going
on. A time of rest and possible happiness. Who was there besides
the chosen twelve we do not know. Where they tarried and lodged,
what route they took, we do not know. But at length they reached
that inhospitable coast, where once before the inhabitants had
desought the Lord not to sojourn with them.

But the fierce demoniac, whom Jesus had left to bear witness of
him, had changed the minds of the people with regard to a second
visit from this mighty prophet. They were now willing to receive
riz CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

him, and they brought to him a man who was deaf, and had an
impediment in his.speech. He led him away from the crowd, who
in this country must have been half of them heathen, with no motive
influencing their coming to him save that of curiosity. For the
same reason, probably, to avoid the danger and distraction of a number
of curious followers, he bade the man and his friends to tell no one
of his cure; but they, not at all understanding his motive, proclaimed
the miracle about all that region. Great multitudes in consequence
came unto him, having with them lame, the blind, dumb, maimed,
and many others, and he healed them all, even though many of them
were heathen, as if now he would teach his disciples that the blessings
he brought to earth were not to be confined to the Jewish nation.
And the people glorified the God of Israel.

Three days this mixed multitude remained with Jesus. He appears
to have been dwelling upon one of the mountains on the shore of
the lake, sleeping in the open air, as they must have done, for it was
now the early summer, and the nights were warm. On the third day,
when their provisions were exhausted, he said to his disciples, “I have
compassion on this multitude, and I will not send them away fasting,
lest they faint by the way.” We often wonder how the disciples could
have been so dull as to answer in the manner they did, after the
feeding of the five thousand on the passover eve. But we must
remember .that in the former case the crowd consisted only of Jews,
to whom they considered the Messiah sent; in this the multitude was
more than half heathen, of the same race as those who had rejected
Christ when he first landed on their shores. The disciples were
jealous of these heathen followers, who brought discredit upon their
Master among his own nation. They probably thought it impolitic for
him to eat as he did with publicans and sinners, though they were at
least sons of Abraham, whilst these were Gentiles, who had no
part in the Messiah. More willing would even Judas have been to
exhaust their little purse in buying bread than see him feed them as
he had fed his own people.

But Jesus could not be influenced by any such reasons. These,
like the Jews, were also as sheep without a shepherd. He repeated
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 113

his miracle for them, spreading a table for them in the wilderness, as
he had done for his fellow-countrymen, noticing the women and
children, who were won to him by his tenderness, giving thanks to the
Father of all, as though all there were his children, as well as the
descendants of Abraham, his ancient friend. There seems to have
been no excitement among them as there had been among the
Galileans, who had wished to make him a king by force. The
disciples themselves did not seek to fan any such excitement. The
crowd separated at his bidding, and he passed over the lake into the
near neighborhood of Magdala, a village within two miles of Tiberias,
Herod's chief city. We know he had friends in Herod’s household; |
and during the three days he had been staying on the opposite shore
he might easily have received tidings that there was no immediate
danger in thus venturing into the close neighborhood of Tiberias.

But though we cannot suppose that the Pharisees from Jerusalem
had remained so long in Galilee, other Pharisees, whose hostility they
had aroused against Jesus, very soon discovered his return among
them, and came to him with the old demand for some sign from heaven.
Some Sadducees were now joined with them, a sect with still greater
political power than themselves, as the high priests and their families
and most of the aristocracy were at this time belonging to it, though
it possessed very much less religious influence over the nation. This
union of political with religious power made the danger still greater
to Jesus; and once more he was compelled to leave the western
shores and seek safety in the comparatively friendly country of Philip,
the tetrarch of Iturea.

On the eastern banks of the upper Jordan, close upon its fall into
the lake of Galilee, still in Philip’s dominions, stood Bethsaida ; and
our Lord, who was now retracing his steps to the north, where he
had before spent some time afar from his enemies, came to this
place on his way. A blind man was brought to him, and he took
him by the hand and led him out of the town to restore to him
his sight; then bade him neither to go back to the town, nor to
tell it to any of the townsfolk. He wished to avoid, if possible, any
stir in this place, where he was so well known; for it was not more
£14 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

than an hour’s walk to Capernaum, which he had not visited since the
Pharisees had returned to it, after the passover. Almost as a fugitive
now he was pass-
ing through a town
where he had done
many of his mighty
works, and many of
whose inhabitants
had eaten of the
food he had multi-
plied by miracle in
the wilderness. Al-
ready his heart was
heavy with the woe
he afterwards pro-
nounced against it.
Here he must hide
his miracle of restor-
ing sight to one blind
man, where hun-
dreds had been wit-
nesses of greater

works than this.
Heavy-h earted,
his disciples follow-
ing him with be-
wildered spirits and
disappointed hopes,
Jesus went on north-
ward to the vil-

“HE TOOK THE BLIND MAN BY THE HAND, AND LED HIM OUT

OF THE TOWN.”—Mark vit, 23. lages near Czesarea
Philippi, a summer
city, which Philip the tetrarch had built among the hills of Hermon,
close to the easternmost source of the Jordan, where a number of
rivulets form first a small pool of water and then a stream, rushing























































































































































































































































































Hitec
“

=
=




THE WONDERFUL LIFE, 155

through the thickets on the hill-side. It was the loveliest spot whither
the wanderings of Jesus had led him. The sultry heat of the lake of
Galilee was here exchanged for the cool shadows of groves of trees,
and its sandy shores for a carpet of turf. Numberless brooks wound
through the fields, scarcely to be dried up by the summer sun; for far
above them rose the snowy peak of Hermon, glistening against the
burning sky. It was such a place as he must have delighted in, if his
heart had been less wounded by enmity, and his spirit less clouded by
the sure end which he saw coming nearer and nearer upon him.

He did not here hide himself, as he had done near Capernaum.
He called the people about him—the summer crowds, who had
probably come north from the hotter atmosphere of the lower lands—
and asked them, among other teaching, “ What shall it profit a man,
if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” a solemn question
for these holiday-makers to consider. It was here that Peter declared
emphatically that he believed his Master to be the Messiah, the Son
of the living God, in spite of all his own disappointment, and the
mysterious deeds and sayings of his Lord. But when Jesus proceeded
to speak more plainly to his apostles of the certain death which must
be the end of the enmity which he excited, Peter could not bear it.
He knew that as the Messiah his Lord had power to subdue his foes;
nay, the prophecies declared that so should the Messiah act. It
seemed to him so extraordinary a contradiction, not only of his own
hopes, but of all the prophets had said concerning it, that he began to
rebuke his Lord. Jesus so answered him that never more did any of
his disciples interfere by remonstrance or objection to anything their
Master did. “Let us go also, that we may die with him,” was all
they could say, when he seemed to run into needless danger.
CHAPTER XIII].—AT HOME ONCE MORE.

UT though Jesus had rebuked Peter, he knew well
the condition of mind that had made him speak
so rashly. Six days after he took him with John
and James into one of the high, solitary peaks of
the range of Hermon, under which they had been
sojourning. The ascent was a long one, and all
the stillness of the mountains gathered round
them as they climbed higher and higher into the

purer air. They could see stretching southward

their own land, which offered no sure resting place
to their Master. The white snows glistened above them,

and all the solemn influences of silence, and loneliness,
and separation, wrapped them round. They forgot the sorrows of
the past weeks as the Lord prayed with them on the mountain-
height, lifted far above all the cares and ambitions of the earth
beneath. Then, as Jesus prayed, a glory shone about him, which
transfigured his beloved face, and made his raiment white and
glistening as the snow, which dazzled them in the sunshine. And
whilst, with dazzled eyes, they gazed upon him, two forms of Moses
and Elias, the greatest of the prophets, appeared to them, talking with

Jesus. Their wondering ears heard them talk, not of the triumphs

and conquests of Messiah’s kingdom, but of the death which they

shrank from thinking of How long they listened to this heavenly
discourse we do not know; but at length, sore afraid as they were,

Peter spoke, not knowing what to say. ‘Master,’ he said, “it is

good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles, one for

thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.” Never would he
choose to go down to the earth and common life again, if this
heaveuly vision would but remain. Even then, as he finished speak-

ing, a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice was heard to come out
116


THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 117

of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; hear him.” And suddenly
all had vanished, and there was no man any more, save Jesus only,
with themselves.

It seems as if they stayed all night in the solemn stillness of hy:
mountain, listening to much their Master had to tell them, and asking
him such questions as came first to their minds. He told them that
he should rise again the third day after the chief priests and Pharisees
had slain him; but they kept that saying with themselves, questioning
what it meant, and not venturing to ask him for his meaning. When
the morning came they began their long descent to the valley beiow,
at every lingering step drawing nearer to the stir and tumult of life,
which they had desired to escape from, and which seemed so much
poorer and more paltry than it had ever done before.

As they drew near to the valley they saw a great multitude of
people surrounding the rest of the disciples; but as soon as they
themselves were in sight, all the crowd, beholding Jesus, were greatly
amazed, and, running to him, saluted him. It would seem as though
some gleam of the indescribable glory still lingered in his face, as the
face of Moses shone when he had been speaking with the Lord in
Mount Sinai. Some scribes were there who had been questioning the
nine apostles, and Jesus asked them what they had wanted. One of
the crowd replied that he had brought his son, who was possessed
with a devil, and as the Master was away, he had asked his disciples
to cast him out, and they could not. Very probably they had
attempted to do so, and had failed, so arousing a great excitement
among the bystanders. The poor father’s hope had been crushed, and
his faith weakened, if not destroyed. “O faithless generation!” cried
Jesus, “how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you ?
bring him unto me.” Then, speaking to the father, he said, “If thou
canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” He,
looking into the divine face before him, cried out with tears, “ Lord, I
believe; help thou my unbelief.” That was enough; his son was
restored to him, and Jesus, passing on, went into the house where he
and his disciples were sojourning, worn out with the exhausting events

of the last twenty-four hours.
14
418 CHILDS TILE OOP GHRIST:

After this Jesus returned quietly through Galilee, wishing no man
to know it. Some of his disciples, on this journey, disputed among
themselves as to which should be the greatest, so little prepared were
they for the end which he foresaw so plainly. He taught them what
that end must be, but they did not understand him, and were afraid to
ask him. But we must remember that the nine had not heard of the
soiemn transfiguration on the mount; for Jesus had straitly charged
the three that they should tell no man.

As they approached Capernaum they found that at last it was safe
to enter it, after their wanderings, and to be at home once more. The
hottest months of the year were come, when there was almost a
burning heat in the valley of the Jordan, and on the shores of the lake
of Galilee; and very likely the wealthiest and most influential persons
of the towns on the lake were gone away, or, at least, were less
inclined to active exertions. Neither do any crowds seem to gather
about Jesus, who indeed kept himself aloof from any public display.
He spent his time in teaching his disciples and such persons as came
to him, trying to prepare their minds for what was to come, and to fit
them for their future work. A peaceful, happy few weeks for Mary,
who had her Son again beside her for a little while; yet her heart
would sink often as she heard his sayings, and began to see with a
mother's fearful eye that no throne awaited him in the city of David.

It seems to have been his last sojourn in Capernaum, a quiet
breathing time, in which he could taste once more the peace and rest
of ahome. Children were about him; and besides his mother, the
women who were his friends and disciples, and whose greatest
gladness was to minister to him. We may suppose that some of the
apostles would resume for the time their fishing on the lake, and that
James and John would dwell again under their father’s roof. When
they gathered together in the cool of the evening Jesus taught them
the mysteries of the kingdom of God, not in parables, as he taught
others. Now he put into precept and commandment that which he
had set before them by his example. They were to tread in his steps,
to go about doing good; to find it more blessed to give than to
receive ; to forgive their enemies; to be perfect even as their Father in
THE WONDERFUL LIFE 11g

heaven was perfect. Hard lessons! Yet the seed fell upon good
ground, and, hidden there for some months, finally ae forth
fruit a hundred-fold.

Before long, however, the peace of this short truce with his foes
was disturbed by the approach of the autumnal Feast of Tabernacles.
It was that joyous feast, after harvest and before the rains of winter,
which attracted so many of the country folks up to Jerusalem, to
dwell in booths for a week; when each worshipper carried to the
temple branches of citron and myrtle, willow and palm, in his hands;
and each day a glad procession attended a priest to fetch water from
the pool of Siloam in a golden pitcher, to be afterwards poured at the
base of the altar. Even the nights were made jubilant with services
in the temple, the lights in which lit up the housetops of Jerusalem,
with their booths of thick branches, and shone afar off in the darkness;
whilst the sound of song, and the music of harps and lutes, cymbals
and trumpets, echoed far and near
in the stillness of the night.

The cousins of our Lord, who
would naturally be more impatient
even than his other disciples for a
public assertion of his claims, now
began to urge him to go up to the
feast, which they were about to
attend. We cannot suppose that
they did not believe in him at all; | see
they knew him to be mighty in ON THE HOUSETOP.
works and in words; and they
desired ambitiously that he should display his power to his disciples
in Judzea, though they could not have been ignorant of the danger
he must run. But as yet they did not believe him to be the Son of
God. They could not understand his conduct, in claiming so much,
yet refusing to be made a king, or at least the leader of a popular
party against the Romans. Possibly they may have thought that
if Jesus joined the caravan of pilgrims starting for the feast, he would
not be able to withdraw himself from their enthusiasm, and would be
































































































































120 _ CHILDS LIFE OF CHRIST.

carried forward to Jerusalem as their Messiah, when multitudes, who
hated the Roman yoke, would rise to join him, and he would be
forced to assume the position they wished for him to take.

But Jesus, discerning their motives, bade them go up to the feast
alone; whilst he remained behind in Galilee, until after the caravan,
with its ever-increasing band of enthusiastic pilgrims, had gone on,
iThen, with his own little band of faithful friends, he set out for
Jerusalem through Samaria, the nearest and least frequented route.
In fact, no other pilgrims were likely to choose this way; for when
Jesus himself sent forward some messengers to a village in Samaria,
to make ready for them, the inhabitants would not supply them with
any necessaries, would not even.receive them into the village, because
their journey was toward Jerusalem. But when James and John
asked if they should not copy the example of Elijah, and call down
fire from heaven to consume them, Jesus rebuked them, uttering one
of the sayings which all his life through had been his motto, “The
Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”
And they went to another village less bigoted, where, perhaps, he was
known as the prophet who had passed by that way early in the year.

At the feast there was a good deal of argument and discussion
about Jesus. He was sought for in the temple, amid the worshippers
with their palm branches, but he was not to be found. Quietly all the
people were talking about him, some saying, “He is a good man;”
others, “Nay, but he deceiveth the people.” The Pharisees had
already widely spread their opinion that he was an impostor, and his
miracles deceptions, by which the people were misled. But no one
spoke openly of him for fear of the Sanhedrim, who possessed the
dreaded power of casting an offender out of the synagogue, a punish-
‘ment similar to that of excommunication.
| In the midst of the feast, however, Jesus appeared in the temple,
not quietly either, but openly in his office as teacher and prophet.
‘The people were amazed at his boldness, and equally amazed at the
inactivity of the Sanhedrim, who seemed reluctant to interfere with
him at the first. They were in truth privately planning how to take
him; but the feasts were so often the occasion of riot and confusion
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 121

that they sought rather to lay hands on him in secret, so as to avoid
any open disturbance. This the constant presence of his disciples
and friends from Galilee made impossible during the week of the feast.
On the last day, that great day of the feast, when the priests marched
seven times round the altar, singing Hosannah, and. the leaves were
shaken off the willow boughs in the hands of the worshippers, and the
water from Siloam was poured for the last time on the altar, then
Jesus stood forth, before the crowded congregation, and cried, “If any
man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.” e
Many of the people upon hearing this saying, and feeling the awful
courage of any prophet standing thus in their midst,.and crying aloud
words of such meaning, could not but believe that he was of a truth
the Christ. Others asked, “Shall Christ come out of Galilee?” And
there was a division among them, some being even willing to take
him; but no man laid hands on him. The temple officers, who had
been sent by the Sanhedrim to arrest him and bring him before them,
were so impressed by his words and manner of speaking, that they
dared not touch him, but chose rather to return to their masters, and
own that never man spake like him. The Pharisees answered sharply
that they, too, were deceived, though none of the rulers or Pharisees
had believed on him; none but the common people, who were too
ignorant to know the law. Nicodemus, who was his disciple, though
secretly, now ventured to remonstrate, but met with a sharp and
sneering reply. After which every man went home; and Nicodemus
probably took care that Jesus should be warned of the plots of the
Pharisees. .
CHAPTER XIV.—THE LAST AUTUMN.

ROM that time Jesus appears to have spent his
nights out of Jerusalem, only venturing to
appear there in the daytime, when his friends
were about him. On the eastern slope of the
Mount of Olives, about two miles from Jerusalem,
was a small village called Bethany. This low
mountain was henceforth to be his favorite haunt,
and this village his most frequent home. There
lived in it a family of friends whom he loved dearly,
with a marked and special friendship. They were
" & people of some importance, and were well known in

Jerusalem; and it was now, probably, that they often received
him into their house as their beloved guest.

Early on the first Sabbath day, after the feast of Tabernacles, Jesus
came to the temple, and sat down to teach in the treasury, which was
a colonnade surrounding the court for women, the usual place for
worship. Here, of course, most of the congregation could both see
and hear him; and especiaily those who paused to cast in their gifts
into the trumpet-shaped chests which stood against the wall. His
teaching was interrupted by the questions and remarks of the
Pharisees, who grew more and more malicious, until, at length, after
calling him a Samaritan, and telling him he had a devil, they madly
gathered up the stones which were lying by to be used in repairing
part of the building, and would have stoned him to death in the
courts of the temple itself, had he not hid himself from them, and
passed by through their midst. No riot ensued, for, now the feast
was over, the great mass of people were dispersed; and this, probably,
gave them the courage to attack him thus suddenly and openly.

But no danger to himself could hinder him from a work of mercy.

As he was passing from the temple his disciples called his attention
122
















































































LAZARUS.


124 CHILD'S LIFE (OF CHRIST.

to a blind man, who was, perhaps, begging at the gate by which they
left the temple.

From this gate, which was at the northwest of the temple enclosure,
there ran a causeway down into the lower city, where the poorer
classes, to whom the blind beggar belonged, had their shops and
houses. The disciples asked him which had sinned, the man or his
parents, that he should be born blind. Jesus answered them this;
blindness was no effect of sin either in himself or his parents; and,
repeating the words with which he had begun his sermon in the
temple, “I am the light of the world,” he anointed the poor man’s
eyes with clay, and bade him go to wash in the pool of Siloam.
Siloam lay south of the temple mount, and many a joyous procession
had gone down to it for water during the feast. The blind beggar
had to make his way through the busiest streets of the lower city, his
eyes smeared with the clay. He must have been very well known in
this poor neighborhood, and when he came back from Siloam, with
his sight restored, there was a great excitement. Some among them
disputed whether he was the blind beggar or no. They gathered
about him, asking how his eyes had been opened, and he told them
frankly all he knew. This Jesus, who was spoken of as one of those
impostors who deceived the people of Galilee by false miracles,
was he who had restored sight to him, although he had been
born blind.

The escape of Jesus from their sudden attack. must have left the
Pharisees in a state of irritated disappointment; and their vexation
was certainly not lessened when a throng of people from the lower
city brought to them a man upon whom such a wonderful miracle had
been wrought at the very moment of his escape. They had been
carefully fostering the opinion that Jesus was an impostor, and here
was direct proof to the contrary. They could seize only upon the
one point which might be made to bear an evil aspect—* This man is
not of God, because he keepeth not the Sabbath day.” But some of
the Pharisees themselves objected to this, asking, “How can a man
that is a sinner do such miracles?” There was a division among
them. They even referred to the beggar, asking him what he said of
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 125

the man who had opened his eyes. “He is a prophet,” he answered,
unhesitatingly. :

Upon this they professed not to believe that the man had been
blind, and they sent for his parents, both father and mother. They
were timid people, poor, of course, in circumstances, and therefore
the more afraid of being turned out of the synagogue, and so of
losing their livelihood. They could not afford to be bold in behalf
of their son. “He is of age,” said the poor, trembling parents; “we
know he is our son, and that he was born blind, but we do not know
anything else. He shall speak for himself” It may have been, it
probably was, the first time the man’s eyes had'seen his father and
mother ; he knew their voices, but their faces he now looked upon with
his new power.of sight, marveling, no doubt, at the strange world at
7ynce opened to him, and unable to read as we do the expression
of those about us. The frowns of the Pharisees, the downcast
timidity of his parents, the eager gaze of his old neighbors, were
a strange language to him.

The Pharisees questioned and cross-questioned the poor beggar,
but he was a man of shrewd common sense, and of great courage,
perhaps the courage of ignorance. He maintained firmly, that one
thing he did know, whereas he was blind, now he could see. The
blue heavens above, the splendor of the temple, the smoke rising from
the altar, all those things of which he had heard so often, he could
now see. At length, after being badgered into what seemed an
outbreak of insolence from so mean a person, he cried, “ Why, herein
is a marvelous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet
he hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not
sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will,
him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any
man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were
not of God, he could do nothing.” Not long before the Pharisees
had said to Jesus, “Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil!” These
last words of the beggar so exasperated them that they immediately
pronounced against him the sentence of excommunication, which,

besides depriving him of his right as a Jew, would make him an alien
15
£26 CHILDS, LIRENOLE IORI ST:

and outcast in his father’s house, among those kinsmen whose faces
he had never yet beheld, but who would now turn away from him
with shame and terror. Better for him if he had been left a blind
beggar sitting at the gate of the temple.

But Jesus, who had bestowed upon him this blessing, now turned
.by the bigotry of the Pharisees into a curse, no sooner heard that he
‘had been cast out of his synagogue, than he sought for him in his
loneliness and misery. The blind man had boldly maintained that
Jesus of Nazareth was a prophet come from God, in the face of those
who were striving to put him to death. So when Jesus found him,
stripped of love and religious rights, without father or mother in the
world, and shut out from the temple and its sacrifices for sin, he
revealed himself to the wretched man as being not a prophet merely,
out the Son of God, that God from whom the sentence of excommuni-
cation seemed to cut him off. There was no need of the temple and
the sacrifices for him, if he would but believe in the Son of God, who
was greater than the temple. “Lord, I believe!” cried the man, as he
worshipped him who had opened his eyes. And now, probably, as he
was cast out of all other fellowship, he would be admitted into the
circle of the disciples, who were willing to brave any penalties
threatened by the Pharisees, and who already formed a little society of
their own.

From among the disciples who had been with him at the Feast of
Tabernacles, Jesus had chosen seventy, and sent them by two and twe
on a similar missionary tour to that short journey of the twelve
apostles, which had been made in Galilee in the spring. The
Jewish tradition was that God had ordained seventy nations to inhabit
the earth, and Jesus may have chosen this number to indicate that his
mission was not to the Jews only, but to all the world. The seventy
were directed to visit certain villages, whither Christ intended to go
himself, chiefly in Judzea, where he appears to have remained until
about the middle of December.

Judzea had little of the beauty which made Galilee so dear to Jesus;
and it possessed none of those early associations, which make all men
cling to the place of their early childhood. The hills of Judzea are
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 127

bleak and bare; the season was that of the sad and waning autumn,
when the drought of summer was not repaired by the winter's rains.
The people, though more polished, were less trustworthy and less
independent than the Galileans. Society was more corrupt and
artificial; and Jesus mournfully likened the religious leaders to
whited sepulchres, full of dead men’s bones, and declared that they
made their proselytes tenfold more the children of hell than
themselves. The political condition of the country was even worse
than in Galilee, where there was at least a Jewish tetrarch. Judzea
was under a Roman ruler, and its fortresses were filled with Roman
soldiers. Riots against Pontius Pilate were frequent. Robbers
infested the roads; and even between Jerusalem and Jericho, a
highway between two chief cities, it was no uncommon occurrence to
fall among thieves.

How Jesus avoided the snare of his enemies during these two
months we are not told. But we must recollect they had no legal
power to put him to death; they had failed in crushing him by a
sudden outbreak in the temple; and the number and faithfulness of
his followers preserved him from secret assassination. He passed
from village to village, always dogged by the Pharisees, who hoped to
catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him to
Pilate, who, though he did not trouble himself to interfere with a
Jewish prophet, would speedily put an end to any political agitator.
There was constantly some danger of Jesus appearing to him in this
character, from the innumerable multitudes which gathered about him
wherever he appeared; always a perilous sign when a country is ripe,
as Judzea was, for rebellion.

It was during this time that Jesus probably made that visit to
Bethany, when Martha is first mentioned as receiving him into her
house, and being so much cumbered about much serving as to speak
somewhat sharply to him, though he was both her Lord and her guest.
“Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me ta serve alone?”
she asked. “Bid her therefore that she help me.” No doubt he had
seen all this house-pride and hospitable impatience before, when his
cousins in. Nazareth had made feasts for their friends; and we can
128 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST,

fancy him smiling at the hurried and weary woman. “Martha,
Martha,” he answered, gently, “thou art careful and troubled about
many things; but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that
better part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Once again, during these two months, the old blasphemy revived,
that he was casting out devils by the prince of devils. The old
accusation of breaking the Sabbath was also renewed. He was in
some village synagogue, where he saw a poor woman bowed together
so that she could not lift up herself. He did not wait for her to ask
for help, but called her to him, and laid his hands upon her, and



























ANIMALS USED FOR SACRIFICE.

immediately she was made straight. The ruler of the synagogue was
very indignant, and addressing the people forbade them to come to
be healed on the Sabbath day. “Hypocrite!” cried the Lord; “doth
not each of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall,
and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being
a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen
years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” For once al
his adversaries were ashamed; and all the people rejoiced for the
glorious things that he had done.

The winter was now come, and with it the feast of the Dedication
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 129

of the Temple. This feast, like that of Purim, was not one appointed
by the law of Moses, and therefore it was not generally kept by the
Galileans, or the Jews living far from Jerusalem. It was celebrated in
honor of the reconsecration of the temple after a terrible and shameful
pollution of it a hundred and sixty-six
years before Christ. Comparatively a
modern festival, it was however a time
of great mirth and gladness; and it
was called the Feast of Lights, from
the custom of illuminating the city
during its celebration. Once more
Jesus resolved to show himself openly
amidst his deadliest foes. There was |
a colonnade running round the court of |
the Gentiles, called Solomon’s porch,
which afforded shelter from the cold
winds of winter. Here he chose to
walk to and fro, teaching, as was his
custom, those who crowded about him
tolearn. The Pharisees surrounded him
in this place, asking him to say plainly
if he were the Christ; or Messiah,
probably with the hope that he would
claim this kingly title, and so lay
himself open to an accusation before
Pilate. The Lord’s reply afforded
them no such ground, but he uttered
words which excited their fiercest
anger. Again they took up stones to
stone him; but he escaped out of their
hands, and left Jerusalem to enter it THE LOST SHEEP
but once more. |

Jesus now withdrew altogether from Judea, into the place beyond
Jordan, where John had at first baptized. It was in the same valley,
beside the same river, where he had svent the first summer of his














































































































































































































































130 oi CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST,

public life, whilst John was still alive, and teaching and baptizing not
far from him. Only twelve months had passed since he had left that
quiet retreat, to enter upon a career full of change, of wanderings, of
increasing difficulties and dangers. His enemies had laid wait for
him; had never wearied of hunting him from place to place; had three
times attempted his life at the feasts. His own kinsmen did not fully
believe in him; his numerous friends were bewildered and dissatisfied;
and his disciples, though still faithful to him, were disappointed, and
looked anxiously into the future. It was wintry weather; the sky was
heavy with clouds, and storms swept across the land. The summer
seemed also to have faded out of his life; all that gladness with which
his God had crowned him above his fellows. Poor, homeless, and an
exile; rich only in the friendship of a few fishermen and peasants who
made themselves homeless and exiles for his sake; with a traitor
always at his side, and a host of deadly foes conspiring against him :
thus Jesus passed the last winter of his life.

Whilst he was in Perea many people came to him, who remembered
what John the Baptist had said of nim. John had not yet been dead
twelve months, and the anger of the people against Herod had not
died away. Many of them believed on Jesus, as he went about,
according to his custom, from village to village, teaching, in homely
parables, which took firm hold of the minds and memories of his
hearers. Very possibly the Pharisees sought to get Herod to arrest
him; but this he dared not do, so unpopular had he become by the
murder of John. They tried, therefore, to frighten Jesus back into
Judzea, and they came to him with a warning: “Get thee out, and
depart hence,” they said, “for Herod will kill thee.” But Jesus had
certain work to do in that country, and he was not to be driven from
it by their cunning or Herod’s. One of the miracles he wrought at
this time in Perea was in the house of one of the chief Pharisees of
that neighborhood, where he had been invited, that they might watch
him. It was the Sabbath day, and a man was set before him afflicted
with dropsy. As usual, Jesus did not hesitate to heal him, the
lawyers and Pharisees finding nothing to say against: his doing so.
After this he gave both to the guests and to his host certain rules
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 131

roncerning feasts, which were very different from those usually
observed. To this period also belong the parables of the Great
Supper, the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, the Prodigal Son, the Uniust
Steward, and the Rich Man and Lazarus.

CHAPTER XV.—LAZARUS.

q AZARUS, that name which Jesus had given to
the poor beggar carried by the angels into
Abraham’s bosom, was also the name of a
friend whom he loved dearly, and of whom his
mind was at this moment full. About the
same time that the Pharisees had come to
him with their cunning stratagem to drive him
into Judza, there had reached him a message
from the home in Bethany: “Lord, behold, he
whom thou lovest is sick.’ Martha and Mary,
the sisters of Lazarus, did not, because they could
not, urge their Lord to come to them. The peril was great. Nay,
if he had gone at once he would have fallen into the very snare
his enemies had laid for him. He stayed, therefore, two days where
he was, teaching the people as usual, and betraying no design of
leaving that place. But on the third day, when the danger was
somewhat passed by, though his disciples still remonstrated with him
for venturing again to Judzea, he set out for Bethany. Thomas, the
most timid and doubtful of the disciples, said to his companions, in
a despair which proves the strength of his attachment to his Master,
“Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

It was a toilsome journey, hurriedly and secretly taken. The
disciples, like other men in a country of foes, must have been
anxious and uneasy, not altogether seeing the necessity of this
new peril. The Lord himself was probably troubled and sorrowful,


132 CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

for he knew that. Lazarus was dead, and he sympathized with the grier
of his sisters. On the fourth day after his death he reached the
village, but did not enter it, only sending a message to the sisters
that he had come. The house was filled with Jews from Jerusalem,
which was only two miles away, and Martha, as soon as she heard
that Jesus was near, rose up, and went out to meet him, lest he
‘should be unaware of the risk he was running. But Mary was too
deeply sunk in sorrow even to hear that he who loved them was so
close at hand. It was not until he sent Martha to her, who told her
secretly, “The Master is come, and calleth for thee,” that she knew
he was there.

Mary did not possess Martha’s characteristic caution and prudence.
She rose up quickly, and hurried to seek: Jesus outside: the town
where he was staying, without attempting to conceal her movements.
A number of the Jews followed her, thinking she was going to her
brother's grave to weep there. The whole company, weeping and
mourning, came to the place where Jesus was waiting for Mary,
in the midst of his anxious disciples. But the grief of the two
sisters, and his own tears, saved him at this moment. They even
wept with them, and exclaimed, “ Behold, how he loved him!” Ina
sacred brotherhood of grief they led him to the cave where his friend
had been lying for four days.

Some of them, who had known of the miracle performed on the blind
beggar, asked among themselves if he could not have saved Lazarus
from dying. But it was too late now. Here was the grave, with
the. stone laid upon it, beneath which the dead body had been decaying
these four days. Even Martha objected to having the stone taken
away. It may be that some among them had heard how the widow’s
son, at Nain, had appeared to come to life again when he was about
to be buried; but how different that was to the case of a man so
well known, who had been dead so long! Close by Jerusalem, too,
where the rulers were seeking to put Jesus to death as an impostor!

But the stone was taken away, and all stood silent, looking on with
awe. Did Jesus wish to see once again the form of his friend, now
conquered by the last enemy, Death? He did not enter into the cave,
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 133

but crying with a loud voice, which rang through the silence of the
crowd and the stillness of the grave, he said, “ Lazarus, come forth!”

How every heart must have throbbed! Was it possible that the
dead ear could catch the sound, and the dead form move? Did they
press round the cave, or shrink away in fear? We cannot tell; but
the moment of suspense was short. They could hear a stir and
movement within the sepulchre; and Lazarus, bound hand and foot
with grave-clothes, and his face hidden from them by a napkin,
appeared in the doorway on which all eyes were fastened. The
deathly pallor of his face had vanished, and his eyes were bright again
with life, before they could take away the cloth that hid it; and the
limbs that had been bound in grave-clothes for four days were strong
enough to carry him home to his house, across whose door-sill they
had borne him in the stillness and helplessness of death.

Many of the people from Jerusalem who saw this miracle believed
in Jesus. We may confidently suppose that for this night at least he
was secure from all attempts to arrest him; and that he could safely
stay with the friends he had so marvelously blessed. But some of
the bystanders went their way at once to the Pharisees to tell them
what had been done. The time was at last come when the chief
priests began to take a more active interest in crushing this prophet
from Nazareth. They were mostly Sadducees; Caiaphas the high-
priest, and Annas, his father-in-law, a most powerful man, being at the
head of the Sadducees. Hitherto they had regarded Jesus with
contempt, as one beneath their notice. But one of their leading
tenets was the denial of the resurrection; and this strange story from
Bethany could not but be exceedingly repulsive and alarming to them.
They took counsel together with the Pharisees to put him to death;
and as they, the aristocracy of the temple, had much more political
power than the middle-class Pharisees, their antagonism greatly
increased the peril of Jesus. Caiaphas, the high-priest, was exceed-
ingly emphatic upon the necessity of destroying him, saying sharply
to the council, “Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is
expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the

whole nation perish not.”
16
134 CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

Jesus had two friends among these counsellors thus plotting his
death, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea; and possibly they gave
him instant warning of his increasing danger, for he left Bethany
immediately, and that home which he had made so happy, to withdraw
to Ephraim, a town on the borders of Samaria, where at any hour he
could cross the frontier and place himself beyond the reach of both
Sadducees and Pharisees. He stayed there not many weeks, and then
began his last farewell circuit through Samaria and Galilee, as it
would seem rather for the purpose of visiting these places once more,
than of teaching or healing. It was now the early spring, and the
corn-fields of Samaria and Galilee would be already springing into
life under the ripening sun; half-opened leaf-buds were green upon
the trees; and the grassy turf was strewn with daisies, and lilies, and
anemones of all colors. Probably he crossed the plain of Esdraelon,
over which he had so often gazed from the hills of Nazareth. But we
do not find that he ventured into any of the familiar villages; but
rather, like one hunted as a partridge upon the mountains, the
wandering Son of man turned aside out of Galilee, and descending
into the deep valley of the Jordan, waited on the eastern bank of the
river for his hour to come; that hour which was very soon to strike.

But even here he was not left aloue in peace with his disciples.
The spies, with whom he was always surrounded, came to him as
usual with perplexing and difficult questions. “Is it lawful for a man
to put away his wife for every cause?” they asked. Herod, as we
know, had put away his wife to marry Herodias, much to the
displeasure of his people, who regarded it as a scandalous act. This
question of divorce was one angrily disputed among the people, and
especially among the Pharisees. It could scarcely be answered
without giving deep offence to large numbers of persons. For
once Jesus took the side of the bitter and bigoted Pharisees of
the school of Shammai; and by so doing gave occasion to his own
disciples to venture upon a remonstrance to him, saying the case of
the man was hard. But the women, who were the real sufferers
under the law, were greatly pleased; and immediately upon his
answer, so wise and just, becoming known, they brought to him their
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 135

little children, both girls and boys, that he might pray for them. The
disciples somewhat bitterly rebuked their enthusiasm, and would have
sent them away, had not Jesus interfered, being much displeased. He
had come to raise woman to her proper position, and to make little
children the care of all who would enter the kingdom of God. He
ordered them, therefore, to be brought to him, and having laid his
hands upon their
heads, and blessed
them, he left the
place; probably lest
the enthusiasm of
the women should
create too great a
commotion.

Not long afterthis
there came to him a
rich young man, a
ruler ofasynagogue,
who had kept the
law from his youth
up, and wanted
some good thing
yettodo. Quickly,
‘Jesus put him to
the: test: “4h thou
wilt be perfect,” he
answered, “go and
sell all that thou
hast, and give to the
poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
He was exceedingly grieved at this reply, and went away sorrowful.
Jesus; who, when he saw him, loved him, exclaimed mournfully, “How
hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!”
Upon that, Peter began to contrast himself and his fellow-disciples
with this rich ruler, saying, “Lo, we have left all to follow thee!” It



4
136 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

was true; and Jesus must have felt deeply the faithfulness of his
simple-minded followers. He promised them that they should
receive the reward the young ruler had been seeking to obtain, even
eternal life. But, as though he must check the vain hopes always at
work in their hearts, he told them many that were first should be
last, and the last first.

CHAPTER XVI.—THE LAST SABBATH.

INGERING on the eastern banks of Jordan till
» a few days before the passover, Jesus was
there no doubt joined by his mother, his kins-
men, and the women from Galilee, who had so
often ministered to him, as they went up to
Jerusalem for the feast. Numbers of pilgrims
had already gone up before the feast-day to
purify themselves; and both the chief priests
_and Pharisees had given commandment that
if any man knew where he was, he should tell
it. They wished to take him quietly, before the
great masses of the people were gathered together in the Holy City;
but they began to fear that he would stay away, as he had done the
year before. They asked one another in the temple, “What think
ye, that he will not come to the feast?”

Already Jesus was on his way, and was pressing onward, his face
set toward Jerusalem. He went before his bewildered and troubled
disciples, as though eager to get to his journey’s end. The disciples
were often depressed by his incomprehensible warnings, but still
oftener they seem to have been dazzled by visions of some approach-
ing splendor. Among the women who had joined them from Galilee
was Salome, the mother of James and John. She came to beg a
boon from him—that her sons might sit on his right hand and on
his left in his kingdom. Though the rest were much displeased with



B
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 137

James and John because of this petition, they had frequently dis-
cussed among themselves which should be the greatest; and possibly
Judas, who kept the common purse, felt himself of more importance
than the others, and at least certain of being treasurer in the coming
kingdom. Jesus called them to him, and after telling them that who-
soever among them would be the chiefest must be the servant of all,
he added the beautiful saying, “ For even the Son of man came not ta!
be ieee unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom so
many.”

But what did his mother think of this kingdom of her son’s? We.
do not know. She was now once more with him, treading the familiar,
yearly pilgrimage which they had taken together for so many happy
spring-tides. Probably, she partook more fully of the mood and spirit
of Christ than his other friends; and though now and then there might
be a flutter of timid hope in her mother’s heart, his grave, sad face,
and solemn warnings, must have prepared her for the darkness, not
the splendor, of the coming hour.

_ The city of Jericho was a few miles from the Jordan, on the way to
Jerusalem, standing in a magnificent grove of paim-trees, and amid
gardens of balsam. Jesus was passing through the city, surrounded
by a multitude of followers and curious spectators, when the chief of

the tax-gatherers, a rich man, who was desirous to see him, ran before,

and climbed into a tree; for he was little of stature, and, in spite of
his wealth, possessed no favor or influence with his fellow-countrymen,
that they should make way for him in the press. Jesus, coming to the
place, looked up, and called him by name. “ Zaccheus, make haste,
and come down,” he said; “for to-day I must abide at thy house.”
Joyfully he descended from among the branches, and led the way to
his dwelling-place. But at this all who saw it murmured. The man
was a notorious sinner, one who had enriched himself by unfair means,
besides engaging in an infamous trade. But Jesus had not called him

without knowing his nature, and what influence he could exercise over .
him. A day or two before, when the rich young ruler had come te
ask what more good things he should do, having kept the law from his
youth up, Jesus had proposed to him as a test that he should sell all
138 ; CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

that he had, and give to the poor. We know how he shrank from
giving up his riches. This very test Zaccheus adopted of his own
choice. He stood up in the midst of his accusing fellow-citizens, and
said, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if
I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him
fourfold.” If the cheating of Zaccheus in his tax-gathering had been
on any large scale, this restitution would leave him a poor man indeed.
Jesus, knowing how hard it was for a rich man to enter into the king-
dom of heaven, said to him, “ This day is salvation come to this house,
forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham;” and he finished by
perhaps his most beautiful and characteristic saying, “ For the Son of
man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Probably Jesus stayed that night in the house of Zaccheus, and set
out the next morning for Bethany. A numerous body of friends and
pilgrims as usual gathered around him to accompany him up the steep
and rocky road which led to the mount of Olives, under the brow of
which stood the little village where Lazarus lived. The day before,
as he entered into Jericho, a blind man had heard him passing by, and
asked who it was coming thus surrounded by a crowd. Now this blind
man, with a comrade in the same plight, sat by the wayside, waiting
for his approach. No sooner did they hear that Jesus of Nazareth was
nigh, than they began to cry out to him, a shrill, piercing cry, which
reached his ear, even amid the babble of the crowd. It was a strange
cry in Judzea. “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on us!” “Son
of David!” All who heard it knew what it meant; and many among
them must have been offended. They rebuked the blind men, and
charged them to hold their peace. One of them was a well-known
beggar, blind Bartimeus; but he was the loudest in his petition, cry-
ing out a great deal the more in spite of their displeasure, “Son of
David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still, and called the blind
men to him, having compassion on them; and they, receiving their
sight, followed him up the steep ascent to Bethany, glorifying God.

It was probably Friday when Jesus entered Bethany; and one quiet
Sabbath day he spent there with his friends, Lazarus and his sisters. No
doubt they had been forewarned of his arrival, and Martha, as once
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 139

before, had been cumbered with household cares in his honor. For they
made him a feast, in the house of Simon, a leper who had been restored to
health by the Lord; and Martha served at this supper. It was only a
few weeks since Lazarus had been called back from the grave; and this
was the first opportunity they had had of giving him public honor and
thanksgiving. The Sabbath was always a day of feasting and rejoicing
among the Jews; and no doubt a large company was invited on this
occasion—so large, perhaps, that Simon’s house was chosen as being
more commodious than their own. It is specially noticed that Lazarus
sat at the table with Jesus; and that much people of the Jews knew that
the Lord was there, and came out to see not him only, but Lazarus,
whom he had raised from the dead.

Mary, wishful to show her love and devotion as well as Martha, who
was waiting upon their Master, and counting nothing too costly to be
spent for such a purpose, brought an: alabaster box of very precious
ointment, and breaking the box, anointed both his head and his feet
with it, caring not to save a drop of the rare perfume for any other use.
The fragrance of it filled the whole house where they were assembled.
Some of the disciples, specially Judas Iscariot, felt indignant at this
extravagance. For they were poor men, unaccustomed to luxury, and
naturally intolerant of expensive whims, such as this act of Mary’s
seemed to them.

“Why was this waste of ointment made?” they asked. Judas calcu-
lated how much it was worth, and said it might have been sold for three
hundred pence, and given to the poor. These murmurs troubled Mary,
who had thought of nothing but how she could best show her love to
the Master. “Let her alone,” said Jesus; “against the day of my
burying hathshe kept this. For the poor always ye have with you, but
me ye have not always.” They were mournful words for Mary to hear.
Was she indeed anointing her Lord beforehand, as if already death had
laid its hand secretly upon him? Was it for this she had saved her
precious ointment? She had kept it carefully to be used on some rare
occasion, and now that she had poured it all without stint upon his
head and feet, he said it was for his burial! But to take away if possible
the sting of his sad words, Jesus said tenderly, “ Wheresoever the gospel
¥40 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

shall be preached in the whole world, this shall be told as a memorial
Of hers

This feast, given so publicly to Jesus, aroused the anger of the chief
priests against Lazarus. The miracle had been so manifest, and so
difficult, if not impossible, to gainsay, that by reason of him many of:
the people in Jerusalem believed in Jesus. That Lazarus also must be
put to death was the decision arrived at by the chief priests; though
the Pharisees do not seem to have had anything to do with this
resolve. He was too well known at Jerusalem for him to be left as a
witness to the miraculous powers of Jesus of Nazareth.







EASTERN HEAD-DRESS.












CHRIST RAISING LAZARUS.
~ Wazarus, ComME ForTH.’’—John 11: 43.






















































































































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CHRIST ENTERING JERUSALEM.
, Biussep Is He THAT CoMETH IN THE NAME oF THE LorD.”=—Mark 1229


Book ii.

VICTIM AND VICTOR.

CHAPTER I.—THE SON OF DAVID.

HE pilgrims who had left Jesus at Bethany, and
gone on to Jerusalem, carried with them the news
of his arrival, and excited considerable interest in
the city. On the next day many people, hearing
that he was on the road from Bethany, went out
to meet him, and as they passed through the cool
groves and gardens of Olivet, they plucked
branches of palms and olives, and wove them
together as they climbed the hill. Soon they saw
him coming round the brow of the mountain,

along the road thronged by the bands of pilgrims, among a crowd of

them, though easily discerned, as he was no longer on foot, but riding
on the colt of an ass, upon which the disciples had cast their garments.

At the sight of him they broke into a shout, which might readily have

been heard in the temple courts. They shouted “ Hosanna!” and the

cry was taken up by the crowd surrounding Jesus, and echoed far in
the clear atmosphere. “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is
tne King of Israel, that cometh in the name of the Lord!” The road
was quickly strewn with mats of palm branches, and with the garments
of the excited throng. The disciples, hearing the shout of the Messiah,
the battle-cry of the nation, must have felt that at last the kingdom
was truly nigh at hand, and that their Master was about to take to
17 143


144 CHILD S# TIRE OM CHRIST:

himself his throne and sceptre, and to fulfil his promise to them that
they should sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of
Israel.

But neither joy nor triumph was seen on the face of Jesus. As they
wound slowly round the mount, a sudden turn of the road brought
them in sight of Jerusalem, with its palaces and temple in all their
glory of marble and gold. It was a city worthy of being the capital
of a great nation, beautiful for situation, the perfection of beauty in
Jewish eyes; but when he beheld it thus lying before him, he wept
over it. He foresaw the Roman legions casting a trench about it,
besieging it straitly, and leaving not one stone upon another, and the
day of salvation was passed, the things which belonged to its peace
were now hidden. His mother, and those nearest him, heard the
lamentation he uttered, and saw his tears falling, but the great crowd
swept on, shouting and singing, down into the valley, and up again to
the gate of Jerusalem.

All the city was by this time in a stir, asking, “ Who is this?” The
Galileans, proud of their prophet, were the most eager in their reply.
“This is Jesus, the Prophet of Nazareth in Galilee,” they answered, as
the procession threaded the narrow streets, and thousands of people
gazed down upon it from the house-tops, whilst the question ran along
from house to house, “ Who is this that cometh?” No marvel that
shortly afterwards we find Greeks going to Philip, and saying to him,
«Sir, we would see Jesus.”

Soon the temple courts were flooded by the crowd. The children,
always difficult to silence, did not cease to shout for any dread of the
priests, or awe of the sacred place. They continued to cry, “ Hosanna
to the Son of David!” Some of the Pharisees had asked him to
rebuke his disciples on their way from Bethany, but now the powerful
chief priests and scribes of the temple came to him in sore displeasure.
“ Hearest thou what these say?” they asked. “Yea” answered Christ,
“have ye never read, Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou
hast perfected praise?” He would neither forbid them, nor refuse to
receive the title of Son of David, that cry which displeased his enemies
so greatly. But as evening was near, and it was not safe for him to
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 145

stay in the city during the night, he left the temple and returned to
Bethany.

Probably, to avoid a repetition of these exciting occurrences, Jesus
returned to the city very early the next morning. He had never
omitted any opportunity of warning his disciples against hypocrisy;
and this day, by a singuiar and symbolic act, he impressed his lessons
on their memory. Being hungry on the way, and seeing a fig-tree in
leaf, he turned aside to see if there were figs upon it; for the fruit of
this tree precedes the opening of the leaf. There was nothing but
leaves only—a fit emblem of the nation which, alone among all nations,
professed the service of the one true God. “Let no fruit grow upon
thee from henceforth forever!” he cried; and the next time they passed
by, the disciples saw the fig-tree withered away.

Upon reaching the temple, once again he drove out the merchants
and money-changers from the outer court. He had done this the
last time he had come to the passover, two years before, saying,
“Make not my Father’s house a house of merchandise.” Now, in
bolder language, he told them that they were making it a den of
thieves. By the time the court was cleared, it was known throughout
the city that Jesus was in the temple, and the blind and the lame came
to him to be healed in the sight of those deadly foes who represented
him as an imposter. It was in vain they sought to seize him. The
multitudes ever about him made it impossible to take him openly
and by day. The chief priests were as much baffled as the less
powerful Pharisees, for an uproar in the temple would inevitably
bring down the Roman garrison dwelling in the tower of Antonia
close by. At night they did not know where to find him; and soon
it became plain that they must seek for a traitor among his most
trusted followers.

The next day (Tuesday) Jesus again appeared very early in the
temple; the people also hastened thither, eager and very attentive to
hear him. He began to teach them, but he was soon interrupted by
a party from the Great Sanhedrim, the highest legal and religious
court of the nation, demanding by what authority he did such things,
and who gave him this authority. Jesus replied, “I will also ask
146 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST,

you a question. The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of
men?” It was their special province to decide such a matter, but
they dared not answer according to their judgment, for they feared
the people, who held John as a prophet. When they said, “We
cannot tell,” Jesus declined to answer their question concerning his
authority. But in their hearing he uttered the terrible parable of the
wicked husbandman, and the parable of the marriage of the king’s
son. They knew that he spoke of them, and their enmity grew, if
possible, more vehement. But they stayed to listen no longer. They
could not cope with such a speaker: his wisdom and skill in weaving
parables turned the scale against them. The mass of the people

might not catch the deeper meaning of his words, but there were
many there who could not fail to see how keenly they were driven
home against him.

The Sphoreees upon this discomfiture of the Sanhedrim, took
counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. They sent some
spies, feigning themselves to be honest, anxious-minded men, troubled
with a scruple of consciencc. Ought they to pay tribute to the Roman
emperor? Jesus, who cared for no man, but taught the way of God
truly, should decide for them. It was a clever, cunning question.
Many really devout Jews were not easy in their minds about this
paying of taxes toa foreign power. The Galileans especially, among
whom were his supporters, had risen again and again in rebellion on
this very point. The kinsmen of those Galileans who had perished
in these insurrections were at that moment among his hearers, ready
to take fire at any judgment adverse to their martyred friends. The
disciples themselves must have been listening eagerly for his reply.
All, except Judas Iscariot, belonged to Galilee; and one of them, Simon
the Zealot, appears to have once belonged to a fierce and cruel party,
sworn both to slay and to die in defence of the law. Was it lawful
to pay tribute to a foreign king? |

Jesus himself was in a singular position. He had permitted the
Galileans to carry him in triumph into Jerusalem, amid the significant
_ shouts of “ Hosanna to the Son of David!” He had spent two long
days openly in the temple, teaching and working miracles in the face
THE WONDERFUL LIFE, 147

of his powerful enemies, who appeared paralyzed in their efforts to
check or arrest him. His followers could not fail to see in these things
that at last he claimed the Messiahship. Had he then resolved to
gird his sword upon his thigh, and ride forth prosperously, with sharp
arrows in the hearts of his adversaries? Was that right hand, which
had been laid upon so many sufferers with a tender touch, about to
learn terrible things? They dared not yet answer “Yes” to these
questions, but they longed to do so. Yet the escape every evening
from the city and their Master’s solemn prophecies answered “No.”
Now he was asked, in the presence of foes, friends, and followers, “Is
it lawful to give tribute to Czesar?”

His reply disappointed them all, and served to diminish his
popularity, though not to any dangerous extent. No uproar followed
it. He bade them bring to him the tribute money, and they showed
him a Roman coin, which was in common use in the country; a sign
of their subjection to a foreign power. This subjection had been
permitted by their king, Jehovah, who was still ruling them, as well
as all the nations upon earth. If they had been more careful to
render unto God the things that were God’s, they might not now have
to pay tribute to Cesar. It had become their duty to render unto
Ceesar the things that belonged to Cesar.

There was nothing in this answer which could be made a ground
of complaint to Pilate. The Pharisees and Herodians found them-
' selves baffled. But now the courtly and polished Sadducees came
forward, seeking to put into an absurd light the doctrine of the
resurrection, one of the points upon which he most insisted. Very ~
likely Lazarus was standing near Jesus, the object of much interest
and curiosity. The Sadducees, with the tact of men of the world,
knew that nothing damages a cause as ridicule does. Jesus answered
them solemnly, unveiling a little the mystery that enshrouds the
state of the dead. They can die no more, neither marry. But they
are equal to the angels, and are the children of God. Then referring
them to their own scriptures, and their lawgiver, Moses, whose
authority they were bound to receive, he pointed out that when God
spoke to him from the burning bush, he said, “I am the God of
148 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

Abraham.” “He is not a God of the dead,” added Jesus, “but of the
living: for all live unto him.” The multitude were astonished at
this answer; and certain of the scribes, who were standing by, whose
lives had been spent in poring over the sacred books, cried out,
“Master, thou hast well said!”

The Pharisees enjoyed hearing the Sadducees thus silenced; and
one of them, a scribe, thought this a good opportunity for asking
Jesus a question vehemently disputed among them: which was the
chief commandment? “All the law and the prophets hang on two
commandments,” replied Jesus, “and these two are alike.” ‘Thou
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul,
and with all thy mind; and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”
The scribe listened to this answer with the approval of an honest
man; and the Lord said to him, “ Thou art not far from the kingdom
of God.”

It is probable that it was on this day that a party of Pharisees
dragged before him in the temple a miserable woman, detected in
adultery. They set her in the midst, and called upon him to pass
judgment on her. The law of Moses commanded that she should be
stoned; but this law had fallen into complete disuse, and to revive it
would shock the whole nation. Yet if he, as a prophet, set himself
against Moses, they would have some ground for accusing him. He
seems to have been filled with shame at the way this case was brought
before him; and stooping down, he wrote with his finger upon the
ground, giving no answer until they continued asking him. Then,
lifting up himself for a moment, he said, “He that is without sin
among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” The hardened
consciences of these men, even of the eldest, convicted them so
poignantly of sin, that they stole away one by one, leaving the
unhappy woman alone with him. When in the silence he lifted up
himself a second time, he said to her, “ Woman, where are those thine
accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?” “No man, Lord,” she
answered. “Neither do I condemn thee,” he added, “go and sin no
more.”

This was the last effort of his enemies to tempt him; and they
THE WONDERFUL LIFE, 149

durst ask him no more questions. Jesus, some time during this day,
put a question to them, which must have made his followers’ hearts
beat high. “What think ye of Christ?” he asked. “Whose Son is
he?” An extraordinary question! He knew very well that by all,
except a few, he was looked upon as the Son of Joseph, the carpenter
of Nazareth. His question drew attention to one of the most striking
flaws in his own claim to the title of Messiah. “The Son of David,”
answered the Pharisees promptly. Surely Mary, and those who knew
the mystery of his birth, now expect him to proclaim it. Simeon and
Anna were dead; but there might still be persons about the temple,
who would bear testimony to their prophecies when the child Jesus
was brought to be presented to the Lord. But no; this was not the
point Jesus had in view. He showed the scribes how David in the
spirit called Christ his Lord, and intimated that there was some
meaning in the words which they had not fathomed. He said no
more; and they could not answer him; but the common people heard
hint gladly.

At length, moved to the utmost indignation against the Pharisees,
who, as the most religious class, ruled over and deceived the nation,
he broke out into a vehement and unrestrained rebuke of their
hypocrisy in the hearing of all the people. It was in the temple
itself; and the day was far spent. Presently he was about to quit it,
to seek shelter and safety out of the city, and he was never again to
visit his Father’s house. He rebuked them passionately, and ended
his protest by lamenting once more over Jerusalem. ‘“ Behold, your
house ””—no longer calling it his Father's house—“is left unto you
desolate! For I say unto you, ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye
shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”

And now Jesus departed from the temple, never more to tread its
courts. As he went out, his disciples, who were all amazed at hearing
him say that house should be made desolate, pointed out to him the
goodly stones and gifts, and enormously strong masonry of the walls. .
It was, in fact, a fortress all but impregnable; the defence of the city
on the eastern side, where it stood on the brow of a precipitous rock.
The stones of which the fortifications were built were of an extra-
150 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

ordinary size. “Look, Master,” they cried, “what manner of stones,
and what buildings are here!” “Seest thou these great buildings ?”
he answered, mournfully, “There shall not be left one stone upon
another that shall not be cast down.”

CHAPTER Il.—THE TRAITOR,

UITTING the city, Jesus went up the slope of
the Mount of Olives, and sat down there over
against the temple, looking across upon its
marble walls and golden pinnacles. It was
evening, and the setting sun touched it with
level rays, whilst the valley beneath lay in deep

shadow and gloom. It seems as if he could not

turn away from it, though he had left it forever.

It was now a den of thieves, the house of

hypocrisy, not his Father’s house. The disciples sat
apart from him, distressed and discouraged. It had been altogether
an agitating day. Their Master had had opportunities again and
again of proclaiming his Messiahship, and had neglected or avoided
them. His last vehement denunciation of the scribes and Pharisees
had probably given as much offence to the people of Judza as his
answer about the tribute money had done to the Galileans. He
seemed bent upon alienating his followers, and upon thrusting back
the greatness offered to him.
At length Peter and Andrew, with James and John, came to him
iprivately to ask when these things that he had spoken of should come
to pass. He spoke to them in terms so clear of the immediate future
that they could no longer hope to-see him ascend an earthly throne,
such as they had been dreaming of. He foretold sorrows such as had
not been from the beginning of the creation. But he distinctly declared
himself to be that Judge and King before whom all nations should be
















































































































































































































CHRIST IN THE TEMPLE,
«Tis Poor Wipow HATH CAST IN MoRE THAN THEY ALL.”?—Luke 21: 3.


7.

—John 8:

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THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 153

finally gathered for judgment and for separation, As he finished his
long and sorrowful discourse, he said to these four favorite disciples,
“Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son
of man is betrayed to be crucified.”

This was probably the first word they had heard of treachery, and it
could not but have shocked and troubled them greatly. Who among
his friends, those who were trusted with the secret of his hiding-places,
could be base enough to turn traitor? It was a terrible thought. A
spy was among them who was about to betray their Lord. Whocould
it be? MHastily they would run over the list of his nearest and most
trusted followers, but they could not fix upon any one. Yet from that
moment there was no rest for them from suspicion and dread of the
unknown betrayer, from whom their Master could not be secured.

The next day, Wednesday, and most of Thursday, seems to have
been a time of rest and peaceful retirement for Jesus. Probably he
passed the hours chiefly with his disciples and his mother, in quiet
conversation, or in silent thought, concerning all he had done and
taught, and all they were to do when he was gone. Somewhere on the
Mount of Olives, perhaps in the house of Lazarus, the solemn hours
glided by, neither wholly sorrowful nor wholly glad. Their Lord was
still with them, and it was hard to believe that days of mourning were
about to dawn. They could not see the coming sorrow, whilst their
eyes still caught the light of his tender smile. They could not hear
the murmur of the gathering storm, whilst they were listening to his
gracious words. A happy, sorrowful, solemn time, such as never was
so spent on earth, before or since. His loved ones were around him,
those whom his Father had given to him, and none of them were lost,
save one. |

That lost one was not with them the whole of the day. Judas, the
purse-bearer, had business to do in Jerusalem; so he left the friends
and the Master, with whom he had ate and. drank, and wandered to
and fro for.twelve months, knowing them more intimately than many
aman knows his brothers. He was weary of it all, and yesterday he
had seen every vision of wealth fade away into a too certain prospect

of persecution as a follower of the Prophet of Nazareth. The purse
18
154 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

at his side felt empty; it would always be empty, unless he took care
to fill it for himself. Probably, on his way to the city, he had to pass
by a field he had set his mind on, and which he had perhaps partly
purchased. It was not his yet, and it did not seem likely it would
ever become his whilst he served his present Master. He entered
Jerusalem with his mind made up. He knew one way by which he
could get money to buy that field.

A council of the Great Sanhedrim was being held in the palace of
the high priest. The important question laid before the seventy-one
chief men of the nation was how Jesus might be taken by craft and
killed. Noton the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people;
it must be done by subtlety, in the absence of the multitude. But
when was Jesus alone? Where did he conceal himself when he left
the city at nightfall? There were thousands of tents and booths erected
round the city by the pilgrims, who could find no lodging-place within
the walls; and it would be impossible to find him. They needed some
one to betray him.

This need was met in Judas. They had not even to seek him, for
he came voluntarily to bargain with them how much they should give
him for delivering his Master to them. They were glad, and promised
to give him thirty pieces of silver, to be paid when they had their prey
in their hands. Possibly Judas felt in a measure justified by his
knowledge of the miraculous powers of Christ, if he only chose to use
them for escaping from his enemies, or even for destroying them?
He, who could call Lazarus from the dead, had but to speak the word,
and no foe could stand before him. And if Jesus were bent upon
death, it was but prudent to secure himself, and make some provision
for the dreary future, in place of that which he had forsaken to follow
him.

Did Judas go back in the fall of the evening to the tranquil company
on Olivet, and take his place among them, with a smile upon his face,
and news from the city on his lips? Did he sit down with them to
their simple, homely supper, listening to catch up what arrangements
had been made for the night; where his Master should sleep, and who
would be nearest to him within hearing? Did he see the worn,
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 155

anxious face of Mary, smiling only when she met the eyes of her Son
who had lived with her so many peaceful years under their lowly roof
at Nazareth? Did he join in the evening hymn sung before they
separated for the night, the last they would thus spend together?
We must suppose that he did something like this; that he was still
their comrade and fellow-apostle, Judas; and that none guessed the
business that had taken him to Jerusalem, nor the bargain he had
made there.

CHAPTER III.—THE PASCHAL SUPPER.



LL the next day Judas was seeking a convenient
opportunity to betray Christ. He soon dis-
covered that it was his Master's purpose to eat
the Paschal supper in Jerusalem; for there, and
there only, could it be eaten. No doubt Mary,
with that band of timid and faithful women now
gathered about him, would urge him to forego

his determination, so great was the danger of

venturing into the city and passing a night there.

But with a strong desire had he desired to eat that

passover with his disciples; the first and only one they could

celebrate with him. He called Peter and John to him, and

bade them go and prepare the passover. At last, then, Judas was

satisfied that he would be caught in the double snare of the city and _
the feast.

It was the day on which the passover must be killed. At noon all
work was laid aside, and all leaven destroyed, unleavened bread alone
being lawful food for the next eight days. In the temple the evening
sacrifice was offered an hour earlier than on other days, for the number
of passover lambs to be slain before nightfall was immense. During
this week the whole company of the priests was on duty; and the
courts of the temple were crowded with the multitudes of Jews who


156 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRISi.

had come up to the city to keep the passover, and brought their lambs
to slay for the Paschal supper, which had to be eaten that night; the
first day of the passover beginning as soon as the stars became visible
in the sky.

Peter and John, not Judas the purse-bearer, had been sent by Jesus
to prepare the feast. They had to choose and buy a suitable lamb,
jcarry it up to the temple, and see that it was. roasted for supper.
They had asked where they were to prepare it. Their Master had
friends in Jerusalem, but some prudence was needed in the choice of
the house where he would celebrate the feast. He probably chose the
house of some old friend, where, perhaps, he had in former times eaten
many a joyous passover with his mother and cousins; for in solemn
hours we choose rather to be in familiar places than strange ones,
“The good man of the house,” he said, “ will show you a large upper
room, furnished and prepared; there make ready.”

On this day the evening sacrifice was offered about half-past two,
immediately after which the slaying of the passover began. Probably
the disciples were in the first division of those who brought their
lambs; for at the fall of evening, as soon as the stars shone in the
sky, the feast was ready. Christ had been lingering on Olivet, where
the hymns and hallelujahs from the temple might reach his ear, with
the blasts of the silver trumpets which told that the Paschal lamb was
slain. But as the evening drew on, he descended the mount with his
disciples, and entered the city unobserved in the twilight. Most likely
Judas did not know till then at what house the passover was to be
eaten, and he had not yet found the convenient season he was seeking.

The preoccupation of the people freed the little group of men from
observation, as well as the twilight which was darkening the streets,
jEvery Jew must eat the passover that night, in his best and festive
garments. Many of those who had been latest in the temple were
hurrying homeward with the lamb that had yet to be roasted for the
supper. All of them were too much engrossed in the celebration of
the feast to give more than a passing thought to the band of Galileans,
but dimly seen, who were following the prophet of Nazareth through
the streets. None were with him save the twelve apostles. Lazarus,
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 157

whom he had called from the dead; Mary, his mother; his kinsmen
from Nazareth, were not there. In some other guest-chamber, under
another roof, they would keep the feast that night; they had seen him
for the last time, until they saw him again next morning on the way
to Calvary.

It was still early in the evening when they reached the large upper
chamber, where the feast was prepared for them. It was enjoined that
the Paschal supper should not be eaten standing, as slaves eat their
food; but that all, even the poorest, must sit down leaning, as free
men, who have time to
feast. Again, four cups
of wine must be drunk,
though money must be
had out of the poor-box
for its purchase. No
one was allowed to eat
after the evening sacri-
fice until this meal was
ready, that all might
come to it with a hearty
appetite. It was a fes-
tival for gladness; a
solemn day of joy; and
hymns of praises were
to be sung.

Jesus was the head of this company, and he took the first cup of
wine into his hand, and gave thanks over it; then passing it to his
disciples, he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves; for I
say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the
kingdom of God shall come.” This was the beginning of the feast.
After it, all were enjoined to wash their hands, before the Paschal meal
of bitter herbs, unleavened bread, and the passover lamb was eaten.
It was now that the Lord rose from the supper, and laid aside the
white festive robe he was wearing, and pouring water into a basin,
washed and wiped the feet of his disciples. There had been a strife



WASHING THE HANDS.
158 CHIE DEST LIEES ONGC LIST,

among thern again as to which should be the greatest; or, probably,
which should have the chief places at the table. To see him rise, and
thus minister to them, filled them with shame; but Peter alone ven-
tured to protest against it. “Thou shalt never wash my feet!” he
cried, impulsively. But when Christ said, “If I wash thee not, thou
hast no part with me,” he prayed, “Lord, not my feet only, but also
my hands and my head!” “He that is washed needeth not save to
wash his feet,” anwered Jesus; “and ye are clean, but mot all.” It was
the first word of heaviness at the thought of the traitor, whose feet he
had washed with the rest. Sitting down again to the table, he bade
them do as he had done to them, and remember that the servant is
not greater than his Lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that
sent him. “I speak not of you all,” he added; “I know whom I have
chosen. The scripture must be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me
hath lifted up his heel against me.”

This heart-heaviness deepened as the feast went on; the voice of
Judas mingling in the hymns of praise—for he dared not be silent—
must have jarred upon the ear of Jesus. He broke one of the cakes
of unleavened bread, and distributed it, with the bitter herbs, to his
disciples, saying plainly to them, “One of you shall betray me.” At
last, then, they knew that the traitor was among the twelve. This
filled them with surprise and exceeding sorrow; and they not only
began to inquire among themselves who it should be, but every one
of them, even Judas, said to him “Lord, is it I?” Jesus was himself
greatly troubled in spirit, and the joyousness which should have
marked the feast fled, and was succeeded by a heavy gloom. The
youngest of the disciples, John, was reclining next to his beloved
Master, near enough to whisper to him unheard by the others. Peter
beckoned to him to ask who the traitor was, and Jesus said, “ He to
whom I shall give this sop, when I have dipped it.” He was then
dipping portions of the unleavened cake into a preparation of raisins
and dates, mixed with vinegar, and distributing them to the apostles.
He gave it to Judas, who just then was asking him, “ Master, is it 1?”
There was nothing in the action to call attention to the guilty man;
but John knew certainly, and Peter guessed, that it was he who was
about to betray his Lord.
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 15¢

The supper was only just beginning; and Judas considered the
present opportunity to be too good to be lost, even though he should
miss the Paschal meal. Jesus was within the walls of the city, with
none but his little band of apostles around him. Moreover, he now
felt sure that his treachery was suspected, if not known; and he must
succeed at once, if he wished to succeed at all. He rose from the table
whilst they were still in excitement as to who was the traitor among
them. Such a movement, so suspicious and unaccountable, must have
increased their excitement, and probably have caused an attempt at
interfering with him, if Jesus had not said to him, “That thou doest, do
quickly.” They supposed something had been forgotten that was
necessary for the feast, or that there was some poor person who
depended upon their assistance to celebrate it; and that Judas would
return in time to partake of the Paschal lamb. “Do it quickly,” Jesus
said. No doubt the guilty and miserable man hurried along the
streets, now dark, but with the ringing notes of.the hallelujah sounding
from every house as he passed by, the only Jew in the city who did
not eat the passover that night.

The moment the traitor was gone, Jesus recovered his serene com-
posure. He spoke to his disciples tenderly; though when Peter
boasted that he would lay down his life for him, he forewarned him that
he would that very night deny him thrice. The supper was almost
over, the lamb was eaten, when Jesus, taking into his hands the third
cup of wine, called the cup of blessing, said, “ Drink ye all of it. This
is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the
remission of sins. This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance
of me.” He did not partake of it himself, and he repeated what he
had said at the beginning of the feast, that he would drink no more
of the fruit of the vine until they drank it with him in his Father’s
kingdom.

He then addressed to them words of surpassing tenderness.
beginning with, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God,
believe also in me.” Thomas put in a doubtful question; Philip, whe
had been so long with him, asked him to show to them the Father of
whom he spoke; and Judas, his cousin, once more inquired why he
160 . CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

did not manifest himself to the world; but for each he had onlya
gentle reproof that could not grieve them. He promised them all a
Comforter, who should never leave them, as he was leaving them.
There was not now much time for him to talk with them. The prince
of this world was coming. “Arise,” he said, as though he would not
have Judas find him lingering in the guest chamber; “let us go
hence;

But still, as though reluctant to break up that loving circle, he
lingered among them, to speak more comforting words, calling them
no longer his disciples, but his friends. Possibly he shrank from
quitting that quiet upper room for the scene of the mysterious agony
that was coming. His work was almost finished; there was nothing
for him now to do, save to suffer. No more blind eyes would he
open; no more deaf ears unstop. The leper would not come to him
for cleansing, nor the lame and palsy-stricken crowd about him to be
healed. Neither would he teach any more by parables. The next
crowd of faces surrounding him would not be those of eager listeners
or faithful friends. How bitter the next few hours would be, he knew
already. He lifted up his eyes and prayed; yet not for himself, but
for those whom his Father had given him out of the world.

The last cup of the passover was now taken by the disciples, and
the last hymn sung. Then they went down into the streets, echoing
with the songs of those who kept the feast. The full moon flooded
them with light; and the little company, feeling safer perhaps as they
left the city walls behind them, crossed the brook Kedron, and passed
on into the garden of Gethsemane, where their Master was wont to
lead them often. They were on Olivet again, near their places of
refuge; and their hearts were lighter than whilst they were in the city.
There was not much danger here.


—Luke 21:9.

PREACHING TO THE MULTITUDE.
i, “THIS IS MY BLOOD OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, WHICH IS SHED FOR
MANY.”—Matt. 26: 28.


CHAPTER IV.—GETHSEMANE.

UT what had hindered Judas all this time? Jesus
had not hastened from the guest-chamber to
escape from his treachery. It was no great dis-
tance to the high priest's palace, or to the temple,
where there were guards on duty. But all were
occupied in celebrating the passover, and none
could sit down to it earlier than the Lord seems
to have done. They must keep the feast first;
the murder must be committed afterward.

@ _ As soon, however, as the feast was over, the temple
© guards hurried to their task. Probably Judas may have
discovered before they started that Jesus had left the city already, and
it became necessary to procure a detachment of Roman soldiers from
the tower of Antonia, overlooking the temple. The plea that they
were about to arrest a dangerous leader, popular with the multitude,
who must be taken by night, readily secured their aid. As the
soldiers and the temple guard passed through the streets, a number
of fanatical Pharisees, armed with swords and staves, joined them; a
few even of the chief priests and elders were there. Judas probably
counselled them to carry also torches and lanterns; for, though the
moon was at the full, there were dark and gloomy shades in the
garden, where Jesus might escape from their search.

In the meanwhile Jesus, having left most of his disciples in the
open part of the garden, had taken with him Peter, and James, and
John, and withdrawn into the more distant and darker glades, as
Judas had foreseen. “Tarry ye here,” he said to his favorite friends,
“whilst I go and pray yonder.” It was no solitary mountain by the
lake of Galilee, such as had been his place of prayer the last passover
night. But he must be alone; no one must be too near to him in
that hour of agony. A mysterious anguish, a sorrow like no other

19 163



164. CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

sorrow, was crushing him down. A degrading and painful doom was
at hand; but first his soul must be poured out unto death. He had
been despised and rejected of men: but now he was to be bruised for
the iniquities of the world, wounded for its transgressions, put to
grief, by God. Even he began to be sore amazed at the profound
gloom spreading over his soul. “My soul is exceeding sorrowful,
even unto death,” he said to his disciples.

Withdrawing from them about a stone’s cast, he fell on the ground,
and prayed that if it were possible, this hour might pass from him.
“ Abba, Father,” he cried, “all things are possible to thee; take away
this cup from me; never-
theless, not what I will,
but what thou wilt.” But,
restless in his great an-
guish, Jesus returned to
his three friends, whom
he had left sitting under
the trees, and found them
sleeping. He said to
Peter, °* Simon, sleepest
thou? couldst thou not

3 mee, watch with me one
se a hour?” Then he added
at pal gently, “The spirit in-













































































deed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Back into the solitude and gloom he went again to suffer alone
the unutterable agony. None could help him to bear that burden.
He prayed more earnestly. “Oh, my Father, if this cup may not pass
from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.” Then, returning to
seek some sympathy with his disciples, he found them again asleep,
and they knew not what to say, except that their eyes were heavy.
Now utterly alone, conscious that these, his dearest friends, could
take no part in his sorrow, he went away the third time, and prayed,
saying the same words. At last one angel, one alone of all the
heavenly host that sang at his birth, appeared to him, strengthening
him to endure that anguish worse than death.
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 165

Strong enough now to meet the bitter end, Jesus came the last
time to his sleeping disciples. Waking them, he said, “The hour is
come. Lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.” Even as he spoke,
before they had time to shake off their drowsiness and bewilderment,
they heard the tramp of many feet coming near, and saw the
glimmering of torches among the trees. Jesus went forward to
meet the band of soldiers, asking, “Whom seek ye?” “Jesus of
Nazareth,” they answered. “I am he,” he said calmly. There was
something in his manner which so overawed them that they shrank
back from him, and recoiling upon the crowd that pressed behind, cast
some of them to the ground. Butas they recovered themselves Judas
came to the front, and too familiar to be swayed as they had been by
the hidden majesty and the sacred dignity of great sorrow in his
Lord, he stepped forth and kissed him, saying, “Master, Master!” It
was the sign he had given to those who were come to arrest Jesus.
“Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast, and take
him away safely.” “Judas,” asked his Master, marveling at the depth
of his villany, “betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?”

Still the temple guards hesitated to seize him. They had heard his
teachings, and seen his miracles in the temple, and possibly they were
afraid lest he should work by his miraculous power against them.
There was something terrible about a man who could make the dead
obey, or could convey himself away unseen amid a throng of foes.
They were reluctant to lay hands upon Jesus, though the traitor, who
had kissed him, still stood before them unhurt. “Whom seek ye?”
he asked, again. “Jesus of Nazareth,” they repeated. “I have told
you that I am he,” he answered; “if therefore ye seek me, let these go
their way.” His three disciples were probably hemmed in by the
multitude, and the rest were looking on, terrified, from behind. Peter,
with reckless desperation, drew a sword, and striking wildly, smote a
servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. Jesus rebuked him,
and healed the man; his last miracle, wrought upon an enemy at the
moment he was betrayed into their hands. He was yet free to do
good: but now the captain and the temple guard laid hold of him and
bound him. “Are ye come out as against a thief?” he. asked,
166 CHIED’S TIPE OF ACHRIST:

indignantly, yet patiently. “I was daily with you in the temple,
and ye took me not. But this is your hour, and the power of
darkness.” Seeing that he suffered himself to be bound, and that
no legion of angels came to deliver him, all the disciples, even
Peter, even John, eomeor him, and fled. None of his twelve apostles
remained near to him but Judas.

Scattered were the disciples, every man fleeing where his fears led
him. Some, perhaps, sought a secret and safe retreat among the
farm-houses on Olivet; some returned to the city, tremblingly, to
convey the bitter news to the other friends of Christ. Mary, his
mother, with her sister, and many other women from Galilee, were
lodging in Jerusalem during the feast, and would quickly hear
what had come to pass. His cousins, who had been so long in
believing on him; his secret disciples, such as Nicodemus and
Joseph of Arimathea; all must have felt that no common danger, no
slight catastrophe, was at hand. There was one hope still in his favor.
Tie Jews had not the power to put him to death legally; and even
if they had, their traditions laid it down as a law, that whenever a
criminal. was condemned to die, he should not be executed on the
same day as that when the verdict was passed, and that the judgment
should be reconsidered by the great Sanhedrim on the day following.
Jesus could not in any case Be put to death before the first day of
the week: and in the meantime heaven and earth must be moved to
deliver him out of the hands of his adversaries. He had a powerful
party in his favor; and it was never difficult to stir up a popular
agitation during the feasts. The dark hours of the night passed by
too rapidly as they consulted together concerning what must be
done.
CHAPTER V.—THE HIGH PRIEST’S PALACE.

LONE, save for Judas, bound, followed by a rabble
of scoffing partisans of the chief priests and
elders, Jesus was led away from the Garden of
Gethsemane. The guards took him first to the
house of Annas, the father-in-law of the high
priest, a haughty and powerful man. The chief
offices of the temple were filled by members of

his family, who were all Sadducees, and had not

been vehemently opposed to Christ until his influence
with the people began to threaten their own, and to
endanger the revenues of the temple, from which they drew

their wealth. Annas, who was an old man, probably did not
trouble himself to see the prisoner at that hour of the night, but sent
him on to the palace of Caiaphas, the high priest, where the Great

Sanhedrim would assemble as soon as they could be summoned from —

their various homes.

_ By this time Peter and John had fallen in with one another; and
recovering somewhat from the panic that had seized them, they
followed their Master to the high priest’s house. John knew Caiaphas
so well as to find easy admittance into his palace, and he went in with
Jesus, as near to him as he could get, that he might see that his
beloved disciple had not altogether forsaken him. But Peter had
been unable to get in, and after a while John went and spoke for him
to the woman who kept the door, and brought him into the open court
of the palace.

The chief priests and elders, who had gone out to Gethsemane with
officers and soldiers, now formed themselves into a preliminary council
to examine Jesus, before the Great Sanhedrim could meet. Caiaphas
was at the head of it, and asked him of his disciples and doctrine. As
to his disciples Jesus said nothing, but about his doctrine he answered,
167




x68 CHIED'S LItk “OF CHRIST.

“T spoke openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue and the
temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said
nothing. Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me.” Most
of those who were present had heard him in the temple; the guards
had once said, “ Never man spake like this man.” But now one of
them struck him for answering the high priest so. It was yet an hour
or two before daybreak, at which time the Sanhedrim was to assemble,
and it would seem that Caiaphas at this time left Christ to the wicked
cruelties of his servants. Probably they led him from the hall, where
this brief examination had taken place, into the open court, when they
blindfolded him, and striking him on the face cried mockingly,
“Prophesy, who is it that smote thee?” Other insults they heaped
upon him, with the rude brutality of men who knew that they should
not offend their masters by such misconduct.

It was a chilly night, and the servants had kindled a fire in the court,
Peter standing with them to warm himself. Before his Master was
brought out to be mocked and insulted, one of the maids of the high
priest, looking at him, said, “Thou also wert with Jesus of Nazareth.”
He was instantly and naturally filled with fear, and denied it at once,
saying, “I do not understand what thou sayest. Iam not one of his
disciples.” He felt it to be wisest to withdraw from the circle round
the fire, and retreated into the darkness of the porch. It was already
drawing near to daybreak, for a cock crew as he stood in the gateway.
Then the woman who kept the door asked him again, “ Art thou not
one of this man’s disciples?” “Iam not,” he replied shortly. Once
more feeling nowhere safe, yet reluctant to quit the palace, he returned
into the court, where, it may be, his Lord was now standing, bearing
in silence the cruelties of the servants. A kinsman of Malchus, whose
ear he had cut off in Gethsemane, soon asked him, “ Did I not see thee
in the garden with him?” They that stood by said confidently, “ Surely
thou art one of them, for thou art a Galilean, and thy speech betrayeth
thee.” Then Peter began to curse and to swear, “I know not this
man of whom ye speak.” His Lord, who heard his oaths, turned and
looked upon him, and he remembered the word he had spoken, “Before
the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.” He had not believed
THE WONDERFUL LIFE, 169

himself so cowardly and disloyal. Even now he dared not stand forth:
and own himself a disciple of the mocked and despised prophet of
Nazareth; but creeping away from the palace, with that last look of
his Master haunting him, he went out into the dawning of the day,
and wept bitterly. Worse than the insults of the servants must have
been the vehement denials of his disciple, and Peter could not fail to
remember the awful saying, “ Whosoever shall be ashamed of me,
and of my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him shall
the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his
Father with the holy angels.”

By daybreak the Sanhedrim were assembled, and Jesus was brought
before them. They had all been seeking witnesses against him, but
none could be found whose witness agreed. It was necessary that at
least two should agree. After a while there came forward two men,
one of whom testified he had heard him say, “I will destroy this
temple, that is made with hands, and within three days I will build
another made without hands.” The accusation took a more doubtful
form with the other witness, “I am able to destroy this temple of God,
and to build it in three days.” Even this testimony did not agree
sufficiently. Neither the high priest, nor the Sanhedrim, eager as they
were to convict him, could be satisfied to do so on such paltry evi-
dence. Jesus was standing before them, questioning nothing, answer-
ing nothing; giving them no chance of fastening upon any indiscreet
words. The scene altogether must have been unutterably painful to
him, apart from his own position. The great religious body of the
nation, the most learned in the law, the most irreproachable in char-
acter, the men presumed to be the wisest and best of the nation, were.
shamelessly seeking evidence by which they might condemn to death
a prophet, of whom no man knew any evil.

At last Caiaphas stood up in the midst, in his office as high priest,
and adjured Christ, by the living God, to tell them whether he was the
Messiah, the Son of God. “Iam,” he replied; “and ye shall see the
Son of man on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of
heaven.” There was no further need of perjured witnesses. All had
heard the awful words. Caiaphas rent his clothes, crying, “He hath
170 . CHILD'S LIFE (OF CHRIST,

spoken blasphemy! What think ye?” With one voice they all
declared him to be worthy of death.

Jesus knew when he uttered these words that he was pronouncing
his own sentence. Until that question was asked him he had been
dumb, opening not his mouth. But the form in which the question
was put left him no choice but to answer. The moment in which he
Imost distinctly claimed to be the Christ, the Son of God, was the
moment when such a claim was his death-knell. Until now he had
left his works to speak for him. Even with his disciples he had seldom
insisted on being the Messiah; he had never held himself aloof from
them in kingly state. With them he was the Son of man, their brother;
before the Sanhedrim he called himself the Son of God, their Judge.

CHAPTER VI.—PILATE’S JUDGMENT HALL.

TRAIGHTWAY, in the light of the rising sun,
the whole multitude of them arose, and led
Jesus away to Pilate’s judgment hall. It was
early, and the city would hardly be astir after
the feast last night. The friends of Jesus were
still buoyed up with the thought that, at the
earliest, the crime of his death could not be

committed until after the Sabbath was ended.

The haste of the Sanhedrim was not only indecent,

but it was illegal, according to their own traditions.

They had taken no time to reconsider their verdict. The

judges had not fasted for a whole day, as they were bound to do after

sentencing a man to death before he was led away to execution. The
death of Christ was a judicial murder of the blackest dye.

But at the threshold of Pilate’s judgment hall a difficulty presented

itself. If they entered it they would be defiled, and could not partake

of the feast of that day. On this day the Chagigah was offered, which




—Mark 14: 35.

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PRAYED.

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CHRIST IN THE GARDEN.

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THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 173

was Strictly a peace-offering, and symbolized their unbroken and un-
dimmed communion with God. A portion of the offering was burnt
upon the altar, and a portion eaten as a feast in the temple itself, or,
at least, within the walls of Jerusalem. Probably the Great Sanhedrim
kept this feast in some stately chamber of the temple; for did not they
stand nearer to God than any other of the people? But if they went
into Pilate’s judgment hall with their prisoner they would be defiled,
and rendered unfit for its celebration.

Pilate had had many a Serious conflict with the Jews on subjects of
their religion, which he despised and misunderstood; yet he now
yielded so far as to go out to these wealthy and noble citizens. “What
accusation bring ye against this man?” he asked. They did not wish
to make any definite accusation, and they answered sharply, that if he
had not been an evil-doer, they would not have taken the trouble to
deliver him up to him. “Take him yourselves,” said Pilate, “and
judge him according to your law.” “It is not lawful for us to put any
man to death,” they said.

No doubt Pilate knew already something of Jesus, the prophet of
Nazareth, who had entered the city in what appeared to him a mock
triumph only five days before. This reply of the Sanhedrim showed
him at once what they wanted. The prophet must be put to death,
and he must bear the blame of it. But upon what grounds was he.to
crucify this man? The Sanhedrim were not at a loss, though they
could say nothing here of the charge of blasphemy. “We found
him,” said these religious rulers of the country, “we found this fellow
preverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Cesar, saying
that he is Christ, a king.” All there must have known how Jesus had
disappointed his followers by bidding them render unto Czesar the
things that were Czsar’s. Pilate returned to the judgment hall, and
looked upon the weary frame and worn face of him who all night long
had been passing through agony after agony. He still wore the festive
robes in which he had eaten of the Paschal supper; but even these
were only the clothing of a poor man, a man of the people, not those
of any kingly pretender. “Art thou the King of the Jews?” he asked.

The Roman governor seems to have felt kindly toward him, as a
20
i774, CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

harmless fanatic, whose vague language had brought him into danger.
Jesus told him he,had indeed a kingdom, but it was not in this world.
True men alone could hear his voice. “What is truth?” asked Pilate,
mockingly. He had not found it among the Romans; and certainly
it did not exist among the Jews. He could not but suspect the whole
charge against Jesus to be a skilfully framed falsehood. But he was
prepossessed in his favor, and more than willing to disappoint his
accusers. He left Jesus, and went out again to the pavement, or
terrace, before his palace. By this time a rabble of citizens had
gathered, among whom the partisans of the Sanhedrim were scattered,
artfully exciting them against Jesus, as one who had deceived the
people and threatened to destroy the temple. Probably a small num-
ber of his friends were also among the crowd, bewildered and shocked —
to find their Master handed over to the Roman power. But when
Pilate was seen all were still; a few in breathless hope, the many in
silent hatred.

“I find in him no fault at all,” said the governor. A thrill of great
joy must have run through the heart of John, who had followed his
Lord faithfully. But a fierce clamor began; and the chief priests
would not suffer their accusation to fall to the ground.

“He stirreth up the people,” they cried, “teaching throughout all
Jewry, beginning from Galilee, even to this place.”

Here was a loophole for Pilate to escape from his difficulty. If
Jesus came from Galilee, he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction. Herod
was come up to the passover; and Pilate would pay him a compliment
by referring the case to him. They were not friends at this moment,
probably because of those Galileans whom Pilate had slain during one
of the riots at some feast, but the Roman governor was anxious to be.
at peace with him. He therefore sent Jesus to Herod, who had for a
long time wished to see the famous prophet of his own country, whose
miracles were noised abroad so much. The priests and_ scribes
violently accused him before Herod; but Jesus spoke not a word.
He had never before seen the face of the man who had murdered
John the Baptist in prison; and none of his questions would he
answer, though he answered Pilate’s. But even Herod dared not
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 175

condemn him to death on charges so frivolous and false as those
urged against him. He had already exasperated his people by John’s
assassination, and he could not venture to return to Galilee stained
with the blood of Jesus. Yet he would not offend the Sanhedrim by
releasing the prisoner; and he determined to send him again to
Pilate. But to gratify his own paltry pique and disappointment,
and to cast ridicule upon Christ, he arrayed him in a gorgeous
robe, and joined with his men of war in mocking him, before sending
him back.

Pilate was troubled by the return of the prisoner and _ his accusers.
He knew that the leading men of the nation were unfriendly to him.
They had already succeeded in bringing him into difficulties with his
emperor, and they were eager to have him disgraced and removed.
Yet he shrank from the injustice of putting Jesus to death. There
was one chance left in an appeal to the people, who had so lately
assisted in his triumphal entry in Jerusalem. He called them
together, with the chief priests and elders, and said, “Ye have
brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people, and,
behold, I, having examined him, find no fault in him at all, concerning
those things whereof ye accuse him; no, nor yet Herod, for I sent you
to him, and lo, nothing worthy of death is found in him. I will there-
fore chastise him and let him go.”

It had of late years been the custom of the governor to allow the
people at this feast to choose a prisoner, whom they would, who was
immediately set free. There was a notorious man lying in prison at
this time, guilty of robbery, sedition, and murder. The chief priests
suggested to them that they should choose Barabbas. A loud uproar
was made, all crying out at once, “Away with this man, and release
unto us Barabbas.” But Pilate, still willing to save Jesus, yet desirous
to sneer at the accusations made by the Sanhedrim, asked them, “ Will
ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?” The taunt irritated
the mob, and they shouted, “ Crucify him; crucify him.” “Why, what
evil hath he done?” pleaded Pilate. But they cried out the more
exceedingly, with loud voices, “ Crucify him.”

Yet still Pilate seems to have had a lingering hope that the punish-
176 CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST:

ment of scourging, which was at once most painful and degrading,
might satisfy their enmity. He delivered Christ to his soldiers, who
platted a crown of thorns, and puta reed into his hand as a sceptre;
he was still wearing the gorgeous robe in which Herod had sent him
back to Pilate, and cee after he had been scourged, he was brought
forth for the mob to see him. “Behold the man,” said Pilate. It was
he whom they had seen healing the lame and blind in the temple, and
to whom they had listened gladly not long ago; for it was among the
poorest and most wretched of the people that his mighty works had
been wrought. But at the sight of him a maddened yell arose,
« Away with him! away with him! crucify him! crucify him!” Their
violence prevailed. But Pilate still shrank from taking upon himself
the guilt of such a crime against justice. He had just received a
message from his wife: “Have thou nothing to do with that just
man; for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because
of him.” He may not have been superstitious, but he felt it would
be painful to return to her stained with the blood of an innocent
man for whom she had interceded, with no other excuse than that
the people of Jerusalem were too strong for him. “Take ye him,
and crucify him, for I find no fault in him,” he said.

This did not suit the priestly party at all. Their law did not
permit of crucifixion, and they were bent upon this degrading
punishment. Neither did they wish to incur the odium of blood-
shed, though they did not shrink from the guilt of it. In their
anxiety to urge Pilate on, they forgot for a moment their political
charge against Jesus, and returned to their religious accusation. “He
made himself the Son of God,” they cried, “and by our law he ought
to die.” Upon this Pilate returned into the judgment hall, and had
Jesus brought again to him. “Whence art thou?” heasked. But
he was silent; and Pilate, astonished and somewhat indignant at his
silence, reminded him that he had power to release him or to crucify
him. This was no longer true. He had lost his power by not
exerting it at once, and he felt it. He could not let Jesus go now,
without stirring up a riot of a desperate character in Jerusalem. Jesus
answered him, in words almost of sympathy, that he could have no
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 177

power at all against him, unless it had been permitted; and that his
sin was small compared with that of the Sanhedrim.

Again Pilate sought to release him. But the people cried out,
“Tf thou let this man go, thou art not Czesar’s friend: whosoever
maketh himself a king, speaketh against Czesar.” This cry at once
sealed the doom of Christ. Pilate ordered his judgment seat to be
set on the pavement before the judgment hall. When Jesus came
forth again, he said, “ Behold your King!” A wilder shout than ever
rang in the ears of Christ: the shouts of those for whom he had
spent his life. “What, shall I crucify your King?” asked Pilate.
“We have no king but Cesar,” answered the chief priests.

Then fearing, and seeing that he could not prevail against fanatics
who could utter such an answer, Pilate took water, and washed his
hands before the multitude.

“Iam innocent of the blood of this just person,” he said; “see
ye torit:’

“ His blood be on us, and on our children,” answered all the people.



PILATE WASHING HIS HANDS.
CHAPTER VII.—CALVARY.

O TIME was lost between the passing of the
' verdict and the execution of it. The cross
was ready; and two thieves were only
448 waiting for this trial to close before they
"met their punishment. Calvary was not
far from Pilate’s palace; it was only just
beyond the city walls, near the highway
leading from one of the gates. Christ was
in the hands of the Roman soldiers; but the
tip. chief priests and elders could not trust them to do
their work unwatched. The cross was laid upon him,

but he was too feeble and worn-out to bear it; and when he sank under
it, the soldiers seized upon a man, coming in from the country, and
him they compelled to carry the cross to Calvary. Whether the man
was a disciple or not, we are not told;. but no doubt there were many
disciples by this time mingling with the crowd, who would willingly
have borne the cross after Jesus. There were many women among
the people, who bewailed and lamented him openly; daughters of
Jerusalem, who had not turned against him as the fickle mob had
done. Possibly it was when he sank under the weight of his cross
that their lamentation broke out most loudly; and Jesus turned to
them, and said, “Weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for
your children.” The fate of the guilty city was heavier to him than
his cross. It was still early in the day; about the hour when the
morning sacrifice was offered. He was nailed upon the cross; and as
it was lifted and let fall into the hole prepared for it, a moment of
extreme torture, he cried, “Father, forgive them; they know not what
they do.” After this was done, the four soldiers, whose duty it was
to watch under the cross until the person upon it was dead, began

their usual custom of dividing the clothing among them. A title also
178





THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 179

was brought to be put over the head of the criminal, giving his name
and crime. Pilate had sent for the cross of Christ, written in Hebrew,
and Greek, and Latin, so that all should be able to read it, this title,
“Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” It irritated and offended
the chief priests ; but Pilate would not have it altered into “ He said,
I am the King of the Jews.”

The haste with which the trial and the execution had been hurried
on makes it probable that not many of the Galileans knew of the
arrest of their prophet. Some of them possibly knew nothing of it
until they heard that he was dead. But as the terrible tidings ran
through the city, those who heard it would speed to Calvary with
despair in their hearts, to find him whom they loved and trusted in
hanging upon a cross between two thieves, with a circle of enemies
around him, even of chief priests and elders, mocking at him and
jibing him. The soldiers at the foot casting lots over that priestly
robe of his, which his mother had woven without seam; and the title
over his head, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews:” the unclouded
sun, growing hotter and hotter every minute, shining down upon all
the fearful scene, as it was shining on their own beloved lake and hills
of Galilee.

John had been near him all the time. Now three women forced
their way through the circle of mocking priests; Mary, his mother,
Mary Cleophas, her sister, and Mary of Magdalene. Other women
from Galilee stood afar off, watching through the weary hours. Peter,
perhaps, was somewhere on the outskirts of the crowd, seeing, though
not daring to go near, him whom he had denied thrice. Possibly
Judas himself was drawn thither, against his will, to look once more
on him whom he had betrayed with a kiss.

The sun shone hot and clear. When they brought Jesus to the
place of execution, they had offered to him a drugged draught, which
was given to criminals to dull their sense of pain;. but having tasted
thereof, he would not drink. He could see, and hear, and feel as
keenly as when he had been in his quiet home in Nazareth. The
mocking faces of the chief priests; the unconcerned faces of the
soldiers; the soul-stricken face of his mother; his eyes rested upon,
180 ' (CHUILD'S LIPE-OF ‘CHRIST,

as they looked up to him from below. His ears heard the jeering of
the people as they went to and fro along the highway, reviling him,
and saying, “Ah! thou that destroyest the temple!” Now and then
the blast of the silver trumpets and the voice of song from the temple
reached him. After a while the first pangs of bodily pain had dulled
a little; and he could again show his compassion and tenderness for
others. The thieves hanging, where James and John had wished to
sit, the ore on his right hand, the other on his left, had reviled him as
well as his enemies. “if thou be the Christ, save thyself and us,”
they cried. But one of them, lifting up his dim eyes to the face of
Christ, and to the title above his head, saw that it was Jesus of Naza-
reth who was suffering death with them. “Dost thou not fear God?”
he cried to his fellow-thief, “seeing thou art in the same condemnation.
And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds;
but this man hath done nothing amiss.” Jesus of Nazareth, King of
the Jews! There was one, even here, ready to own him King:
“Lord,” said the dying thief, “remember me when thou comest into
thy kingdom.” “Verily I say unto thee, to-day shalt thou be with
me in Paradise,” answered Jesus. Before the sun, which was now
beating upon the shameful crosses where they hung, had gone down
into the western sea, both of them would be in Paradise! His
mother heard him say it as she stood beneath his cross.

But Jesus knew his worst anguish was yet to come, worse than the
pain he felt in his body, or the bitterness of the contempt poured upon
him, and he would: not have his mother witness it. She had borne |
much, and perhaps could not bear more, and live. We can well
believe no other being on earth was so dear to him. None had
shared his whole life as she had done; none could understand him,
and his purpose so well. Did he not remember their home in Naza-
reth, where the peaceful, monotonous days followed one another so
quietly that she had almost forgotten whose son he was? All was
over between them now: there was but one more duty for him to
discharge: one more look for her to take of her son Jesus. John
stood near to her: his youngest and best beloved disciple. Looking
down upon them, with his matchless tenderness, he said to her,






















































































































































































CHRIST BEARING HIS CROSS.

“Amp Hz Brarinc His Cross Went FortH into A PLACE CALLED THE PLACE oF A
; ; SKULL.”"——Joba 19 1 29.


























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































CHRIST CRUCIFIED.
“ AND JEsus SAID, FATHER, FORGIVE THEM; FoR THEY Know NoT wHaT THEY DO.’”’-—Luke 23 8 34


THE WONDERFUL LIFE. | 183

“Woman, behold thy son.” “Behold thy mother!” he said to John.
She looked up to him, as his failing, loving voice fell upon her ear:
and she understood him, and his love, better than she had ever done
before. The look that passed between them was their farewell. John
led her away from the cross to his own dwelling-place; and the last
earthly care was gone from the heart of Jesus.

About noon a strange gloom spread over those skies, usually so
blue and cloudless. There was darkness over all the land until the
hour for the evening sacrifice. Probably the crowd melted away in
fear of a coming tempest, or in dread of the inexplicable obscurity ;
and we do not find that the chief priests lingered longer on Calvary.
An extraordinary anguish, a mysterious darkness, as of despair, filled
the heart and mind of Christ. His soul, which in Gethsemane had
been sorrowful even unto death, was now poured out unto death.
He had borne the mockery of the people, had seen them stare upon
him with cruel eyes, and heard their roaring against him. But now
God seemed to hide his face from him, and to hearken no longer to
his cry. This he could not bear; his heart was breaking under this
sorrow. He cried with a loud voice, which rang mournfully through
the darkness, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
There were still about the cross some Jews who could make jest of
this awful cry. They knew Elias was to come to prepare the way for
the Messiah, and they said, “ Behold, he calleth Elias!” Jesus, whose
last moment was at hand, and: whose throat was parched, cried, “I
thirst.” One of them, touched with pity, ran and took a sponge, and,
filling it with vinegar, lifted it to his mouth on a reed. But the rest
cried, “ Let him be; let us see whether Elias will come to save him,
and to take him down.”

It was now-the hour of the evening sacrifice. Once again Christ
was heard to say, “It is finished.” Then with a loud voice, he cried,
“Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”. He bowed his head
and died. He gave up his spirit, bruised and tormented, and poured
out unto death, into his Father’s hands. :

21
CHAPTER VIII.—IN THE GRAVE.

T THE third hour, when Jesus was dying on
Calvary, the priest was offering up incense in
the holy place of the temple. All the congrega-
tion, and the sacrificing priest in the outer court,
were waiting for him to reappear. Suddenly an
earthquake shook both the temple mount and
the whole city of Jerusalem. The veil, which
- separated the holy place from the holiest of holies,
was rent in two, from: the top to the bottom, laying

open the sacred spot, which none ever entered as
the high priest on the Day of Atonement.

On Gay those who had gathered to see the sight were at
last terrified, and returned to the city, smiting upon their breasts.
The centurion in command of the Roman soldiers, who had probably
watched and listened to the dying prophet with interest, was struck
with fear, and said, “ Truly this was the Son of God!”

But before sunset, the Pharisees, always very scrupulous not to
break the law, came to Pilate, and besought him that all three of
those who were being crucified should be put to death at once,
because the next day was a Sabbath, and their bodies ought not to
be hanging on the crosses on the Sabbath day. The soldiers were
ordered to despatch the dying men by breaking their legs; but when
they came to Jesus, and found that he was dead already, they refrained
from mutilating his body; yet, lest any spark of life lingered which
might be fanned into a flame, one of them pierced his side with a
spear. Thus they made sure that he was dead.

In the meantime another applicant had gone to Pilate.. This was
Joseph of Arimathea, a well-known man, rich, honorable, and good,
one of the Sanhedrim itself, though he had not consented to the death

of Christ. He was a timid man, and a secret disciple; but shocked
184



THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 185

by the deeds of his fellow-councillors, he went boldly in to Pilate, and
begged that he might take away the body of Jesus. Pilate marvelled
whether he were yet dead, and called the centurion to ask him if it
were so. He then willingly granted the body to Joseph, who had
already provided himself with ee linen for the entombment. When
he returned to Calvary,
Nicodemus accompanicd [ieee | 7
him, bringing a large quan- Weg —
tity of spices. The women _ ji
from Galilee were lingering
about the place; and now, in
the cool and gloom of the
evening, they took the body
down from the cross, and
wrapped it, with the spices
scattered amid the folds,
the linen cloth. Close by
was a garden belonging to
Joseph, and in it a new
tomb, which he had hewn
for himself in the midst of
his garden. No man had
ever lain in it. No taint of
death polluted it. Here
they, “buried, their” (ord
hastily, for the Sabbath was
near. Mary Cleophas and
Mary Magdalene sat close eee ee .
by, watching, but perhaps
too overcome with grief to
give any active assistance. The women from Galilee also saw the
sepulchre, and how his body was lain. Then all of them returned to
the city, to prepare spices and ointments for the embalming of the
corpse as soon as the Sabbath was over.

The enemies of Christ had not been prepared for this honorable



































































































































































































































































































































































































































































THE VEIL OF THE TEMPLE RENT.
186 GHILD'S LIFE -OF CHRIST.

burial of their victim. If Joseph of Arimathea had not interfered, his
body would have been carried away from Calvary, with those of the













































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































thieves, and carelessly laid in a common grave, where criminals, who
had died a shameful death, were flung together. The followers of
Jesus, poor obscure Galileans, could not have had influence enough
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 187

to save the corpse from this degrading fate. But the Sanhedrim
found that two of their own chief men, startled by their fierceness and
injustice into open discipleship, had interposed promptly to claim the
body of their Lord, and to lay it in the new tomb of a rich man,
amidst the cool and quiet fragrance of a garden, where those who
loved him might visit his resting-place unnoticed and unmolested.

The Sabbath was come; a high day. The Sabbath of the passover
was no doubt the most important of all the weekly Sabbaths in the
year. The immense multitudes that thronged Jerusalem, and dwelt
even in tents outside the walls, because there was not room enough
in the city, filled the temple courts, and crowded into the synagogues.
Sabbath days were especially days of feasting and rejoicing with the
Jews; friends met together; no work at all was done; both men and
women were dressed in their best apparel, and desired to see and to
be seen. Probably, too, this Sabbath fell upon the day for waving the
first-fruits before Jehovah. At the hour when Christ was buried, a
sheaf of standing corn had been reaped, with special rites for the
purpose, in a field near Jerusalem; and possibly this ceremony had
been one reason why Joseph and Nicodemus haa been left undisturbed
in their burial of the body.

How the friends of Jesus passed this mournful day we can only
faintly imagine. Whether there was any brighter hope, or more
perfect understanding, in Mary’s mind of what was to follow, we do
not know. But the rest were insensible to every consolation; they
forgot altogether the words Jesus had spoken to them about rising
again. They had so long refused to believe that he would give
himself up to death that now they were too stunned to remember that
he had promised to return to them.

But Christ’s enemies did not forget this. Toward the close of the
Sabbath the chief priests and leading Pharisees came together to
Pilate. One tremor had seized upon them in their hour of triumph.
“Sir, we remember,” they said, “that that deceiver said, while he was
yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command, therefore, that
the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come
by night and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen
188 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.” Pilate
cared little for any error, but he could not afford to offend the chief
priests. “Ye have a watch,” he answered, “go your way, make it as
sure as ye can.” The watch consisted of Roman soldiers, not of the
temple guard, who, as Jews, could not touch a sepulchre without being
defiled. The soldiers made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone; and
when the watch was set, the priests and Pharisees went their way,
satisfied that no second error could arise to deceive the people. It
was the Sabbath, and therefore it was unlawful to touch the dead, or
they might have removed the body to the common grave of executed
criminals.

No doubt there must have been much discussion that day through-
out Jerusalem. None of these things which had come to pass were
done in a corner, in some remote place in Galilee, but in the holy city
itself, during the passover week. Jesus was well known as a prophet
of the most blameless life. Every one had heard before, or heard
then, of Lazarus, who was probably hiding from the malice of the
chief priests and Pharisees. Rumors would run along, from one to
another, of the indecent haste with which the execution had been
hurried on. The bargain with the traitor would be whispered about;
the midnight arrest in Gethsemane; the meeting of the Sanhedrim,
not in the temple, but in the high-priest’s palace: the early and hasty
trial before Pilate, and the swift execution of the sentence: all these
would be discussed passionately in favor of, or against Christ, during
the leisure of that Sabbath. Thousands among them were disap-
pointed. Those who were not the professed followers of Jesus had
been ready to follow him, if he would but make himself intelligible to
them. They were longing for a Messiah; and if he had been sucha
Messiah as they expected, and could understand, they would have
joyfully flocked under his banner, and fought for his kingdom. But
he, who might have been dwelling in regal splendor under the roof
of the royal palace, had been hung upon a shameful cross between
two thieves. They had seen the end of Jesus of Nazareth—a bitter,
ignominious death. Was he not, then, what the chief rulers of the
people called him, a deceiver ?
CHAPTER IX.—THE SEPULCHRE.

demus were laying the body of the Lord in
the grave, his aunt, Mary Cleophas, and Mary
of Magdala were sitting over against the
# sepulchre, watching. The other women from

Galilee also saw the place where he was laid.
Probably they all returned to the city together,
to buy spices and ointments for the embalming ;
and before they separated made arrangements for

" “meeting again early, after the Sabbath was ended. As
nothing could be done before daybreak, we may easily conjecture
that they agreed to meet soon after the dawn, either in the garden
itself, or by the city gate nearest to it.

But upon Sunday morning, whilst it was yet dark, over-early or
before the appointed time, Mary Magdalene and Mary Cleophas,
restless in their sorrow, started off to see the sepulchre beforehand.
On their way they were joined by Salome, the mother of John,
who was probably staying in the same house as Mary, the mother
of Jesus. They had bought sweet spices, but the other women
were to bring them to the sepulchre. No light yet shone in the
sky, except the first faint gray of the morning in the east. But
possibly they may have seen a sudden light gleaming in the direction
of the garden, and felt the shock of an earthquake, like that which
had rent the rocks on Friday. If so, they would naturally pause for
a while, terrified; yet, when all was calm again, and the quiet dawn
grew stronger, waking up the birds, whose twittering was the only
sound to be heard, they would go on, though troubled and trembling,
to the sepulchre.

_ But what had caused the shock of earthquake? The Roman

guard, possibly the same that had watched under the cross, and
189




190 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST,

divided the Lord’s garments among them, were already looking
forward to being relieved from their watch, when they saw an angel,
whose face was like lightning, descend from the dark heavens above.
them, and they felt the earth quake and tremble beneath their feet.
He rolled back the stone from the sepulchre they were guarding: and
for fear of him they became as dead men. They saw nothing else
than the bright, awful face and the glistening whiteness of the form
that sat on the stone near them. They did not see Christ quit his
tomb. .

_ By the time the two Marys and Salome reached the garden, the
dawn was light enough for them to see objects at some distance.
They do not seem to have known of the guard being set to watch the
grave; for their talk was only of the difficulty of removing the large
stone which filled the opening of the cave. Probably their special
purpose in coming to view the sepulchre was to ascertain whether the
woman alone could roll it away, and effect an entrance without. aid.
On Friday evening, in the twilight, and overwhelmed as they were
with grief, they had not sufficiently noticed this difficulty. Now, as
they drew near, what was their amazement and dismay to see the
stone already removed, and the cave open!

Their fears sprang to one conclusion, and only one. The beloved
body of their Lord had been violently taken away—stolen by his
implacable enemies—during the night. It had been still further
degraded and dishonored by being cast into the common grave of
criminals. Mary Magdalene, leaving the other Mary and Salome, fled
back into the city to seek Peter and John, and arouse them to help, if
help were not too late. Very probably these two disciples were
lodging in the same house; for at the time of the feasts every
‘dwelling in Jerusalem was crowded with guests. “They have taken
away the Lord,” cried Mary, when she found them, “and we know not
where they have laid him.”

In the meantime Mary Cleophas and Salome went on to the
sepulchre. They were women past middle life, with the calmness and
passiveness of years and sorrows, and they did not shrink from
entering into the sepulchre. They had set out, indeed, with the
ENTOMBMENT OF CHRIST.—John 19: 42.




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CHRIST APPEARING TO MARY
“ToucH ME NOT; FOR 1 AM NOT YET ASCENDED To MY FATHER,’’—John 20: 8%


THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 193

intention of preparing the body for a second burial. But there
was no lifeless corpse there. They were affrighted, however, by
seeing an angel, clothed in white, sitting on the right side. “Fear
not,” he said to them, “for I know that ye seek Jesus, who was
crucified. He is not here; he is arisen. Come, see the place where
the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples and Peter that
he is risen from the dead; and behold, he goeth before you into
Galilee; there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. Lo, I have told
you.” Salome and Mary Cleophas fled from the sepulchre trembling
and amazed; and probably passing by John and Peter in their
bewilderment, they said nothing to them about what they had seen, but
went on into the city, in fear and great joy, to bring the disciples word.

Now, when they were going, some, but not all, of the Roman
guard hastened to the chief priests, and told them what had come to
pass. A council was immediately summoned; and, after much
discussion, they seem to have persuaded themselves that the soldiers
had been sleeping, and that, as they slept, the disciples had stolen
away the body. The guard owned to having been like dead men
from fright; and none of them professed to have seen Jesus leave the
grave. The council gave them large sums of money to spread about
this report, which they did so successfully, that those who thought
better of the testimony of two or three heathen soldiers than of that
of hundreds of their own countrymen, who had nothing to gain but
everything to lose by their testimony, believed the saying, and
commonly reported it as a fact.

Very shortly after Salome and Mary Cleophas left the grave,
John and Peter reached it. John had outrun Peter, but with the
sensitive shrinking of a young nature, unused to death, he did
not go in. Stooping down, he saw the linen clothes, that fine linen
Joseph had prepared, lying on the floor of the cave. It was quite
evident his Master was not there. But Peter, coming up, stepped at
once into the sepulchre, to look round it. There was no sign of haste
or violence, as there must have been if a band of rough foes had
trampled in to steal away the body. The fair linen cloth was
unsoiled, and the napkin that had been bound about the worn and

22
194 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

anguished face had been wrapped together, as if his mother’s gentle
hands had folded it up tenderly, and laid it aside by itself’ There
was nothing terrifying about the quiet, empty tomb; and John, with
all his sensitive love for his Lord, might enter and feel no shock. He
also went in, and looking round, felt a gleam of faith, like the dawn of
a new and splendid day, breaking upon him. But they could not
linger in the empty grave. Mary, the mother of Jesus, ought to hear
these strange tidings; and they went away to tell her.

Now, Mary Magdalene stood without, at the door of the cave,
weeping. Like John, she did not venture to go in. She was alone;
Peter and John were gone, and the other women were not yet come.
The garden was a solitude. Nothing had occurred to deliver her from
her agonizing fears. To her it was her Lord, not his body merely, that
they had taken away. The hurried departure of Peter and John, and
the absence of Salome and Mary Cleophas, must have confirmed her
suspicions. She stooped down, as John had done, to look at the place
where he had lain. There was the spot where his thorn-crowned head
had been pillowed, and his pierced feet had rested. But the grave
was no longer empty. At the feet, and the head, where the body of
Jesus had lain, sat two angels, bending over the place, as if still
watching him, just as she would have sat and watched him if she
might but have stayed beside him, even in the sepulchre. The angels
neither astonished nor affrighted her; she was too engrossed in her
sorrow. “Woman, why weepest thou?” they asked. She answered
them without fear—the only human being who has spoken to angels
with no tremor—‘ Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know
not where they have laid him.” She even turned away from them,
as from those who could give her no comfort, while her Lord was lost.
Dimly through her tears she saw some one standing near her, and
heard the same question, “Woman, why weepest thou? Whom
seekest thou?” These last words gave her the idea that it must be
the gardener, who would know all that had taken place in the garden
under his care. “Sir,” she cried, “if thou have borne him hence, tell
me where thou hast laid him, that I may take him away.” She had
but one thought in her mind: where was her Lord?

a
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 195

“Mary,” said the voice behind her—a familiar voice; and she turned
quickly, crying gladly, passionately, “ Rabboni!” He called her from
the abyss of despair to a rapture of joy beyond words. She sprang
toward him to touch him, to make sure that it was he himself whom
she had seen die upon the cross. In a moment she was back again
to the happy hours in Galilee, when she had ministered unto him,
before all this agony came. As before, one thought alone possessed
her soul. Here was her Master, he who had saved her in the old bad
days.

But Christ was not the same. A solemn change had passed over
him, which must alter all his relations with his old friends. She was
too excited to feel this; but his first words arrested her. “Touch me
not,” he said; possibly meaning, “Stay not to touch me now, for I am
not yet ascending unto.my Father; but go to my brethren, and say
unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; unto my God,
and your God.” He was their elder brother, who could remain with
them but a little while, and then they would see him no more, but he
would represent them in the Father’s house, where he was going to
prepare a place for them. Mary knew she also should see him again;
and when he vanished out of her sight, she stayed not a moment
longer at the sepulchre, but went to tell them she had seen the
Lord.

All these circumstances had followed one another rapidly; and it
may be that the women who were to bring the spices and ointments
had been delayed, or perhaps had waited some little time for Salome
and the two Marys at the appointed place of meeting. Joanna, the
wife of Herod’s steward, was the chief person among them, as the
woman of greatest wealth and rank. They were not at all surprised at
finding the stone rolled back from the door of the sepulchre, supposing
that it had been done on purpose for them. But they found the body
they had come to embalm taken away. This very much perplexed
them; though they were not afraid until they saw two men standing
by them, in shining garments. So terrified were they, that they bowed
their faces to the earth before them. The angels said to them, as if
marvelling at these repeated visits to the grave, “Why seek ye the
196 - CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen; remember how
he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of
man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified,
and the third day rise again.”” Then the women remembered these
words, wondering at their own forgetfulness. They returned at once
to the city; and as they were not likely to single out Peter or John, as
Mary Magdalene had done, to be the first hearers of their tidings, they
went quickly to some common place of meeting among the disciples,
and there found a large party assembled, which had been probably
called together by Peter, to hear that the body of the Lord was gone,
no one knew whither. The women told the vision they had seen ; but
the disciples could not believe them, and their words seemed as idle
tales. Peter, however, hearing of the appearance of angels, arose, and
ran again to the sepulchre for the second time; but stooping down, he
saw no such vision, only the linen clothes laid as he had seen them -
before. He returned to the assembly of the disciples, full of wonder
at what had come to pass.

It is natural to suppose that Mary Magdalene, who had hastened to
John’s house when she knew the grave was open, would also go there
after shé had seen Christ. Mary, his mother, would thus hear first of
the appearance of her Son. Finding there that Peter and John had
left to call together the disciples at some appointed place, Mary
‘Magdalene followed them; and soon after Joanna and the women
from Galilee had told of their vision of angels, she entered to relate
the appearance of the Lord himself to her in the garden. She had
even a message to deliver to them. But the incredulous and
bewildered disciples could not believe her, and probably said
among themselves that grief had distracted her mind. When
Peter returned from the sepulchre, having seen nothing, this
conviction would naturally be deepened.

But presently Mary Cleophas and Salome, the aunt of Jesus, and
the mother of James and John, women not likely to be deceived, or
to mistake a stranger for their Lord, came in with another account of
having seen him, and of receiving a message from him for his
brethren. But still the incredulous disciples refused to believe
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 197

Mary Magdalene owned that she had not touched Jesus, had indeed
been forbidden to touch him; but these two women declared that they
had not only met him, but that when they heard his greeting, they had
fallen down to worship him, being afraid, and had held him by his
feet. “Be not afraid,” he had said, « g, tell my brethren that they go
into Galilee, and there shail they see me.”

There was this excuse for the unbelief of his disciples that as yet
the only manifestations, either of angels or of the Lord himself, had
been to women, who are always more excited, and more open to
superstitious fancies, in hours of sorrow, than men are. The simple
facts, as known to the disciples, were, that the sepulchre was open at
daybreak, and the body of their Master missing. Who had broken
open the grave they could not tell; but their suspicion must have
been that some enemy had done it.

The news spread rapidly throughout Jerusalem, and no doubt
crowds of curious spectators flocked to the garden to see the open
tomb. Among them the partisans of the Sanhedrim diligently
spread the report that the body was stolen away by the disciples,
while the guard slept. It would be no longer prudent for the
well-known followers of Jesus to be seen near Calvary and Geth-
semane, but those who were less marked among his friends probably
mingled with the throng, and from time to time brought tidings te
the assembly of disciples of what was going on. The hours wore
away, and still they were in perplexity and unbelief Three womer
only had seen him; one of these had not touched him, and the other
two had been so bewildered and amazed, as to have kept their
interview with him to themselves, until after Mary Magdalene had
given her account.
CHAPTER X.—EMMAUS.

dy " HEN the disciples were first called together
\ feet ce Le by Peter and John, there were among them
two friends, one of whom was named
Clecphas, not the husband of Mary, but
probably a native of Emmaus, a village
about nine miles from the city. They
were present when the party of Galilean
women, with Joanna, came to tell of seeing
two angels in the sepulchre. Possibly they
went with Peter, when he ran a second
V/ / =~ time to the grave; but they did not return
| with him, as they did not hear the statement

of Mary Magdalene, or of Salome and Mary Cleophas. Very
likely they lingered about the garden among the crowd, listening to
the various guesses and rumors concerning the strange event, until it
was time to start on their long walk homeward. Calvary lay north
or northeast of the city walls, and Emmaus to the east; there was
no need therefore for them to return through the busy streets, where
they might have heard that their risen Lord had appeared to, not one,
but three of the women, who had loved him so faithfully, and
ministered to him so long. Sad, though it was a feast time, when
joyousness was a duty, these men might well be.

It is a toilsome road, and the afternoon sun beat hot upon them.
But they heeded neither the heat of the sun nor the roughness of the
road. They were reasoning and pondering over the events that had
followed quickly upon one another, since they had entered Jerusalem
to eat the feast of the passover. There had been the betrayal, the
arrest, the mock trial before the Sanhedrim. the real trial before Pilate,

the scourging, the crucifixion, the darkness at noonday, and earth-
198 :


THE WONDERFUL LIFE. | aes

quake, all hurried one upon another. They might well be sad and
downcast as they communed about these things.

Presently a stranger, journeying the same toilsome road, drew near
and asked them how it was they could be thus sorrowful during the
feast. Cleophas answered him, “Art thou only a stranger in Jerusa-
lem, and hast not known the things that are come to pass there in
these days?” All Jerusalem was busy about them, and this stranger,
who seemed to be coming from the city, might surely guess what they
were talking about. Yet he said, “What things?” And now
Cleophas, concluding that he was indeed a stranger, told him of Jesus
of Nazareth, the mighty prophet, who had been condemned to death
by the Great Sanhedrim, their rulers. “But we trusted,” he went on,
sorrowfully, “that it had been he that should have redeemed Israel.”
Then he narrated how certain women had astonished them that
morning, who did not find his body in the sepulchre, but came say-
ing they had seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive.
“But him they saw not,” added Cleophas to the stranger walking at
his side.

“O foolish men!” he answered gently, “and slow of heart to
believe all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not Christ to have
suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” They, like all
other Jews, were well versed in. the writings of Moses and the
prophets; but as this stranger explained to them passages perfectly
familiar to them, they stood out in a new light, with deeper meaning
than any they had had before. Their hearts, slow to believe, burned
within them. Was it, then, true that Jesus was that Holy One whose
soul should not be left in hell, nor his flesh see corruption? The
long road seemed short; the rocky path no longer rugged to their
feet; the heat of the sun was unfelt. How fast the time fled! How
quickly Emmaus was seen on its hill before them? Who could this
stranger be, so wise and gracious, whom they loved already, and
could listen to unweariedly, almost as if he were the Lord himself?

They were close to the village now, and the day was far spent. He
made as though he would have gone further; but they could not part
with him yet, stranger though he was. “Abide with us,” said both of
200 - CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

them; and he went in to tarry with them, as they hoped, until the
morning. He had charmed away their sadness, and taught them
what they had never known before. How gladly would they minister
to this new friend? When they sat down to supper they set him in
the most honorable place, to preside over their evening meal. He
took bread, blessing and breaking it with some words or gesture
peculiar to Christ, and gave it to them, as he had been wont to do
when he sat at meat with his disciples. Now their eyes were no
longer holden that they should not know him. It was he himself;
their crucified and risen Lord. For one brief, glad moment they saw
his beloved face, and the pierced hands, which had given to them the
bread. Then he vanished out of their sight; but this was yet another
proof to them that it was indeed the Lord.

At once they rose up to return to Jerusalem, thinking nothing of
the long walk and the coming night, when they had such tidings to
carry to the disciples, and the mother and kinsmen of Christ. It
must have been late when they reached the city, but they found ten
of the apostles, with a number of the disciples, gathered together,
though with closed doors, and precautions taken, for fear of the
Pharisees. Who was there? The women probably, Lazarus from
Bethany, Nicodemus, perhaps, and Joseph of Arimathea, whose
garden had been trampled by so many feet that day. There was
great agitation among them still. Had the body of Jesus been stolen
away from the grave? Was it not his spirit only which had been
seen by the women? Even Peter, who had also now seen the Lord,
the apostle who denied him being the first to whom he revealed
himself; Peter could hardly believe that it was his Master, and nota
spirit. Yet when the two disciples from Emmaus entered, they were
met by the cry, “The Lord has arisen indeed, and appeared unto
Simon.” But Cleophas and his companion had something more to
tell of than a mere brief appearance. They described the stranger
joining them, and walking mile after mile with them, conversing all
the while familiarly ; how he went in to tarry with them, and sat down
to meat, and was known to them in the breaking of bread. This the
disciples could not believe. Cleophas and his friend do not seem to






















































ASCENSION OF CHRIST.

“WHILE Hr BLesseD THEM, HE was PARTED FROM THEM, AND CARRIED UP INTO
HEAVEN.”—LUKE 24: 51.


20.

** WHERE TWO OR THREE ARE GATHERED TOGETHER IN MY NAME
THERE AM | IN THE MIDST OF THEM.”—Matt. 18
THE WONDERFUL LIFE, 203

have been very renowned followers of Jesus, and the other disciples
were hard of belief. Those among them who had seen him had caught
but brief glimpses of him. Mary Magdalene had not been allowed
to touch him; Salome and his aunt Mary had only held his feet; to
Peter he had appeared certainly, but not in this homely manner as a
fellow-traveller along the same rough way.

They were still speaking incredulously about these new tidings,
when suddenly, with no opening of the fastened doors, and no sound
of entering, they saw Jesus himself standing in the midst of them,
_and heard his voice, saying, “ Peace be unto you.” But they were
terrified and affrighted, supposing that they saw a spirit. There was
none bold enough to try to touch him, and no one dared to speak.
With great gentleness and tenderness he reproached them. “Behold
my hands and my feet,” he said, showing them the print of the nails;
“handle me, and see. It is I myself. A spirit hath not flesh and
bones, as ye see me have.” Their terror and trouble were pacified,
but still they were not calm enough for faith, They could not now
believe for joy. But to give them time to collect themselves, he‘asked
for food, as once before he had commanded something to eat to be
given to the ruler’s little daughter, when he called her back from the
grave. He ate before them, a convincing proof that he was no spirit;
and then he was seen no more by them. But there was no room for
unbelief among them now. The load upon their hearts, like the great
stone of the sepulchre, was rolled away forever. Their Lord was
arisen indeed.

BB
CHAPTER XI.—IT IS THE LORD.

} HOUGH the chief priests and Pharisees carefully
reported that the disciples had stolen the body
of Jesus of Nazareth, they took no steps to prove
the fact, or to punish the violators of the grave.
The whole number of the disciples remained in
Jerusalem during the feast, and the Sabbath
following the feast. Even on the first day of the
week after it, when the bulk of the Galileans had

started homeward, the eleven apostles still lingered
in the city. Thomas, who had vehemently refused to
believe in the resurrection of his Master because he had not seen him,
had passed the week in alternate mourning and disputing with those
who vainly sought to convince him. He saw Mary, the mother of
Christ, comforted, and full of gladness; his fellow-disciples rejoicing
and exultant; yet to all they urged he answered, “Except I shall see
in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of
the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” It
was a miserable week for him, for he was deeply attached to his
crucified Master, and timid and despondent as he was, he had once
said, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” But he could not
be persuaded that he had risen from the dead.

Eight days had passed since Jesus had been seen; and the eleven
apostles were sitting together, the doors being shut for fear of the
Pharisees, as on the week before, when once more he stood in their
midst, with no sign or sound of coming, and said, “Peace be unto
you.” Then turning to Thomas, and speaking directly to him, he added,
“Reach hither thy finger, and behoid my hands, and reach hither thy
hand, and thrust it into my side, and be not faithless, but believing.”
But he did not now need the evidence he had demanded; it was
enough to see his Master, and hear him speak. Jesus wished to prove

204


THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 205

to him that he was the very Son of man, who had died upon the cross.
Thomas cried, “My Lord and my God!”

The apostles no longer lingered in Jerusalem. They were needed
in their homes in Galilee, and it was safer for them to assemble to-
gether there, where the chief priests had less power than in Judza.
Moreover, there would be many arrangements to make for their families,
before they could set out on those missionary journeys which soon
scattered them into far countries. They scarcely yet knew what their
Lord would have them to do, but for a short time longer they were
- sent to dwell in their own homes, among their own people, following
their old trades amid familiar scenes.

Seven of them were dwelling near Capernaum, on the shores of the
lake where they had earned their livelihood by fishing. Peter said to
his comrades, one evening after their return from Jerusalem, “I goa
fishing.” Thomas and Nathanael, James and John, with two others,
joined him, and, entering into a boat, launched out upon the dark
waters, and toiled all night, but came back to the land with empty nets.
In the cold gray of the morning they were going ashore, disappointed
and hungry men, when they saw on the dim beach a man standing to
watch them. It was still too dark for them to see clearly. “Children,
have ye any meat?” his voice called across the water. There is
nothing unusual in such a question from a bystander who has been
looking on while men are fishing. “No,” they shouted back; for they
were still some distance from the land. “Cast the net on the right
side of the boat, and ye shall find,” was the advice given. He might
see signs of fish which had escaped them; and they obeyed, feeling
that though their toil had been in vain all night, one chance cast of the
net might atone for their want of success. If not, they could but
return empty, as they were now doing.

While they cast their net the light grew stronger, and the morning
shone upon the lake and shore, upon the disciples in their boat, and
the solitary stranger looking on. But soon the net was’so full of fish,
that they could not draw it; and quickly there flashed through the
mind of John the memory of that morning, when Jesus had called
them to leave their nets, and follow him. “It is the Lord,” he said to
206 CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

Peter. There he stood in the morning light, at the edge of the waters
where they were fishing. Possibly, nay probably, there was already

MIRACULOUS DRAUGHT OF FISHES.

though disciples, they still had to earn their bread.



shining about
him. a trans=
figuring glory,
such as_ they
had witnessed
on the moun-
tain, when his
face was as the
sun, and his
raiment as
white as the
glistering
snow. Peter
at once threw
himself into
the lake, that
he might the
sooner reach
the Master he
had once de-
nied; and the
rest followed
in their boat,
dragging their
net with them.

Just such a
reception met
them as may
have wel-
comed them
often in the old
days, when,
No doubt their
THE WONDERFUL LIFE,

Lue

‘Lord had often ministered to them before he washed their feet
at the Last Supper. There was a fire already kindled on the
beach, lit for them whilst they were toiling, hungry and weary, in
the darkness; and fish were broiling on it, and cakes .of bread were
baking in the hot ashes. It was a homely, simple welcome, such as
one of themselves might have prepared for his comrades. They and
their Master had often eaten their meals together thus in the open air,
beside a little fire on the ground. “Bring of the fish which ye have
now caught,” said Jesus to them; and Peter ran and drew the net to
land, counting the fish as he took them out of the unbroken meshes.
Presently Jesus said to them, “Come and dine.” But none of them
durst say, “Who art thou?” They were silent in happy awe.

The meal was ready, and they hungry with their night’s toil. They
were at home on the shores of their own lake. Every hill, every
village, every landmark about them, lying clear in the early light, was
as familiar to them as the faces of old friends. The freshness of the
air brought to them the scent of flowers such as they had plucked when
children. ‘The little waves of the lake rippled up against the margin,
chiming as it had done to them when they were boys. The larks sang
overhead, and the waterfowl cried across the water. How different
was this from that upper chamber in Jerusalem, when their Master's
soul was troubled, and exceedingly sorrowful, as he said there was a
traitor among them. There was no traitor now, no agony in Gethse-
mane, no cruel foes, no cross. All these were forever past.

Once again Jesus took bread, and, breaking it, he gave it to them.
In silence, blissful, yet reverent, they took their food from his hand,
and satisfied their hunger. They knew that it was the Lord, and that
was enough. When the meal was over, three times Christ asked of
Peter the question, “Lovest thou me?” until at the third time Peter
was aggrieved. “Lord,” he cried, “thou knowest all things; thou
knowest that I love thee.” Jesus bade him feed his lambs and his
sheep; and signified to him what death he should die for his sake
By this time the morning had advanced, and the people were waking
up to their day’s work in the fields, or upon the lake, and Jesus with-
drew from his disciples, saying to Peter, “ Follow me.” All of them
208 CHLED' STTPE SOR: CHRIST:

were about to enter upon the life he had quitted; they would be
persecuted, cast out of the synagogue, and put to death as he had
been. The servant could not be above his master, nor the disciple
above his Lord. They must all, even Peter, who had denied him,
follow him through shame and suffering toa bitter end. Peter under-
stood Christ's words literally, and rose up to follow him; John also
could not stay behind if he might but be with his Lord in that
mysterious solitude whither he was about to vanish, and whence he
came so suddenly among them. But here they could not follow him.
Peter asked a question as to what John should do in the perilous future
they were about to enter; but Jesus checked his curiosity by a vague,
indefinite answer before passing out of their sight. This was the third
time that Jesus showed himself to his disciples after he was risen from
the dead.

CHAPTER XII.—HIS FRIENDS.

WICE had the Lord been seen by the women who
ministered unto him; three times by the apostles.
But still a larger assembly were to have proof
that he had indeed risen from the dead. Whilst

_ Jesus was yet in Galilee, before his crucifixion, he
had told not only his twelve apostles, but the
mass of his disciples, that he should be crucified,
and rise again on the third day. He had also

fixed upon a mountain where he would appear unto
them after his resurrection, probably a mountain in
some central point, where all could assemble to meet him. More
than five hundred disciples flocked to this appointed place, men and
women, those whom he had delivered from blindness, sickness, sorrow,

. even from evil spirits. None would be absent who could possibly

reach the quiet mountain, where their crucified Lord would meet them

in his own person; no spirit; no illusion. A few even yet doubted;


THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 209

but the rest worshipped him. Speaking to them all, not to the
apostles merely, he bade them teach all nations to observe whatsoever
he had commanded. Each disciple was to be a messenger of the
good tidings for him; though only a chosen few were to forsake all to
become his ambassadors to distant lands.

There was one of the Lord’s disciples, who had been his companion,
not for a few months only, nor for two or three years, but during his
whole life. They had been boys together, dwelt in the same village,
climbed the hills side by side, learned from the same schoolmaster,
gone together to the synagogue Sabbath after Sabbath; perhaps
worked at. the same carpenter’s bench. This was James, the son of
his aunt, Mary Cleophas, of whom tradition says he closely resembled
the Lord in his personal appearance. Jesus appeared alone to him, in
some quiet unknown hour, which would have remained a secret from
us if James had not himself told it to Paul some years afterward.
Jesus had not ceased to love those whom he had loved in his early
life; and it may be he appeared to James to satisfy some passionate
yearning of his cousin’s heart for one more hour of such communion
as those they had together on the hills round Nazareth.

For forty days after his resurrection Christ remained upon earth,
showing himself alive by many infallible proofs, eating and drinking
with his disciples; being seen of them, and touched by them; teaching
them, and speaking to them things pertaining to the kingdom of God,
which they were to preach. He had said, “I will see you again, and
your heart shall rejoice: and your joy no man taketh from you.” His
words were fulfilled. The joy of his resurrection had made them strong
to face the perils they had once dreaded; and by many a proof he made
this joy unspeakable, and full of glory. No king, no high priest, no
emperor, not all the powers and principalities of the whole world,
could take this joy from them. Now the time was come when
Christ could trust his message with them, and leave them to go to the
Father. }

The mission of the apostles was to begin at Jerusalem—the city of
his crucifixion. There, some days before the feast of Pentecost, they
were once more gathered together, with Mary, the mother of Jesus, and
210 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

other women, ana his kinsmen, waiting for his last revelation of him-
self. Jesus came to them and led them out as far as Bethany, on the
Mount of Olives; but whether all were there, or his apostles only, we
cannot tell. Seen and heard by them, but invisible to eyes that had
no love for him, he passed along that road, down which the thronging
multitudes had swept in glad procession, waving palm branches, and
shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” Once more he looked
upon the doomed city, over which he had wept, and which was now
crowned by its blackest sin. “Begin at Jerusalem,” he said. Even
yet the apostles did not fully understand him. “Lord,” they asked,
“wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” They beheld
their beautiful city, with its magnificent temple and gorgeous palaces,
and still thought it, blood-stained as it was, a fitting throne for their
risen Lord. Again, as once before, he told them they were not to
know the times and seasons which the Father had kept in his own
power.
Past the home at Bethany, which he had loved so much, and
blessed so wondrously, Jesus led his disciples to some solitary spot
on the mountain, where Jerusalem, the guilty city, with Calvary at her
gates, was hidden from their view. Lifting up his pierced hands, he
blessed them, his friends who had been with him in his tribulation;
but whilst he was speaking a cloud came down to overshadow them,
as they had been overshadowed in the Mount of Transfiguration.
Their loving hands could clasp him no longer; they could hear him
no more, but falling down, they worshipped him, as he was thus
carried away from them. Even when all was lost to their sight, that
bright chariot of cloud in which he was ascending on high amidst
thousands of angels, and leading captivity captive, when that had
faded in the deep blue of the heavens, they stood gazing steadfastly
toward the point where it had vanished, until two men in white
apparel spoke to them, saying, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye
gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from
you into heaven, shall so come again in like manner as ye have seen
him go into heaven.”

In great joy they returned to Jerusalem, along the well-known road,
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 214

with Gethsemane not far off, and Calvary in sight. With one accord
they, with the women, and Mary, and all the kinsmen of the Lord,
continued together in prayer and supplication, going up constantly to
the temple to praise and bless God.

CHAPTER XIII.—HIS FOES.

UT what of the eneinies of Christ? the traitor, the
priestly persecutors, the unjust judge, the cowardly
tetrarch, nay the city itself, which could suffer such
crimes? A few years after the crucifixion, Herod
Antipas, the murderer of John the Baptist, was
goaded on by Herodias to solicit the rank and.
title of king from the Roman emperor. Her
brother, Herod Agrippa, had been made king
of those provinces which had been governed by
a Philip the tetrarch; and he arrived in Palestine,
s A. D. 38. His kingly state excited the ambition and
jealousy of Herodias, who at last succeeded in carrying Herod
Antipas to Rome to supplant Agrippa in the favor of the emperor.
But Agrippa’s influence proved stronger than theirs; and instead
of being allowed to return to Palestine, Herod Antipas was
banished, and from that time till his death dragged out the life
of an exile in Gaul and Spain. Herodias did not forsake him;
the only good thing we know of that wicked woman.

Pilate had sacrificed Christ to his fears of being misrepresented
to the emperor. The very fate he dreaded befell him; for riots
becoming more and more frequent under his rule, both in Judea
and Samaria, his superior, the prefect of Syria, sent him to Rome
for trial. He arrived there just after the death of Tiberius, who

had been his friend and patron; and Caligula, his successor, banished
24




212 | CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

him also to Gaul, where, it is said, he died by his own hand, unable to
bear his disgrace and exile.

After the ‘departure of Pilate, the prefect of Syria visited fener
and removed Caiaphas from his office as high priest. But a son
of Annas was put in his place, and the chief power of the priest-
hood remained in the family for a long period. Annas himself
-died in extreme old age, and was considered by his countrymen
one of the happiest men of his time and nation.

For a brief space under Herod Agrippa, who was made king
of Judza and Samaria, as well as of the provinces east of the
Jordan, Jerusalem enjoyed prosperity, whilst the early Christians
suffered many persecutions, Herod putting James, the brother of
John, to death, to please the Jews. But immediately after this,
upon the death of Herod, A.D. 45, a severe famine, lasting two
years, befell Judza. Soon afterward, at the feast of the passover,
many thousands of the people perished in a tumult caused by the
intrusion of the Roman soldiers into the temple. A set of fanatics
and assassins began to infest Jerusalem and its neighborhood, some
of whom slew the high priest, a son of Annas, whilst sacrificing.
Riots and massacres became more and more common. False
Messiahs sprang up. Rival high priests headed different parties,
each bent upon plunder. At last the Jews broke out into open
insurrection against the Roman power; but they were also divided
among themselves, and separated into many factions, at deadly
enmity with one another. The Roman army besieged Jerusalem,
A.D. 70, when it was crowded with strangers and pilgrims come
up to keep the passover. Thousands perished in battle, thousands
more by famine and murder within the walls, and when the city was
taken, the old and sickly were massacred, children under seventeen
years of age were sold into slavery, and the rest were sent in
multitudes to make up gladiatorial shows in the amphitheatres of
Rome and the provinces. “The whole of the city was so thoroughly
levelled and dug up, that no one visiting it would believe it had ever
been inhabited.” It is said that not one of the Christians perished in
THE WONDERFUL LIFE. 213

the siege, as they fled from the doomed city before it was surrounded
by the Roman army.

But a far swifter and more direct destruction befell the man, who
knew, and knew distinctly, what he was doing when he betrayed
his Lord into the hands of his enemies. Judas was not ignorant
of the purposes of the Sanhedrim; he was no stranger to Jesus. He
had even been one of his familiar friends, in whom he trusted. He
had been an eye-witness, like the other apostles, of the wondrous
life of Jesus from the beginning. He had himself preached the
gospel, and done works of mercy in the name of his Master. Yet he
clearly understood that the bribe for which he bargained to betray
him was but the price of his blood. For he had been with Christ
when he was hiding from his enemies, who sought to kill him by any
means, by private assassination, or by sudden tumult. To sell Jesus.
to the chief priests, he knew, was to betray innocent blood.

We are led to suppose that Judas accompanied the band which
carried Jesus from Gethsemane to the palace of the high priest, a
dark-spirited, anxious, skulking villain, already hearing a low whisper
of that storm of remorse which was soon to drive him to despair.
The wages of his sin were promptly paid to him; yet still he seems
to have lingered about the spot where his Master was, watching how
things went on. It was night, and he was friendless. All his old
comrades would now turn from him in terror. He was nota stupid
man; he could feel keenly. There was but one spark of comfort—
his purse was no longer empty, and the little field he coveted could
now be his. As soon as the day dawned he would go and see about it.

Possibly there was a faint, lingering hope that Jesus might deliver
himself. Once before he had passed invisibly through the midst of
his foes, when they took up stones to kill him. Perhaps he had heard
Jesus say to Peter, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my
Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of
angels?” But the faint hope died away as the cruel hours sped on;
and when Jesus suffered them to lead him away, bound, before Pilate,
Judas knew he would not save himself. He ought to have known
it before. A fierce passion of remorse seized upon him. Wildly
214 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

he fled to the temple, where the priests, his tempters, were already
preparing to celebrate their solemn day of peace-offering for the
mation. He forced his way into the inner portions of the sacred
place, probably into the hall of the Sanhedrim, where the priests
assembled early every morning to cast lots for the services of the
day. He flung down the thirty pieces of silver, crying, “I have
Sinned, in that I have betrayed the innocent blood!” The priests
heard, and answered him witha sneer. “What is that to us?” they
asked; “see thou to that!” Judas left the money, the price of his
Lord, and departed forever from the temple.

It may be he lingered through the terrible morning of the
crucifixion, until after the awful crime in which he had had a
chief share was completed. Then, seeking out the field he had
coveted, and which was all but purchased, he put an end to his
miserable life. Not without warning had this bitter end come, a
merciful warning from his Lord, who had said, whilst there was yet
time for him to repent, “The Son of man goeth as it is written of
him: but wo unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed!
it had been good for that man if he had not been born.”













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”
ST. JOHN,

THE BELOVED DISCIPLE, THE APOSTLE, PROPHET, AND EVANGELIST:
HIS LIFE, CHARACTER, AND EXAMPLE.

N THIS wonderful book, the New Testament, the
life, the teachings, the sufferings, death, resurrec-
tion, and ascension of the divine Redeemer,
necessarily and appropriately occupy the first
place; and are followed by a history of the
origin and development of the church of the
Redeemed, which he founded. But in his work
and mission here on earth, and in the work which
he committed to his disciples to be done after his
ascension, we find three persons named with

especial honor, and their labors narrated with particular
care and minuteness. These three were; PETER, bold, impulsive,
warm-hearted, but fickle and wayward in his early career; the apostle
of the circumcision; JOHN, ardent, manly, loving and beloved, and
modest and retiring in his disposition; but with strong prejudices
and ambitions; the man who had understanding of the visions of
God; PauL, stern, resolute, uncompromising, and heroic, yet tender
and sympathizing with those who were in sorrow; the great apostle
to the Gentiles. All of the three were apostles, though one received
his commission from his risen and ascended Lord. All contributed
to the number of the inspired books of the New Testament; Peter,
according to generally received tradition, furnishing to his young
companion, Mark, the material which was wrought so skilfully into
the second gospel; and, in his later years, writing those two general
217


218 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

epistles to the churches, which are so full of instruction, reproof, and
consolation; John, writing, first, that remarkable collection of
prophecies and warnings, which we know as the Apocalypse, or
Book of Revelation, and, some twenty years later, the fourth gospel,
so full in its demonstrations that Jesus Christ is the Son of God; and,
later still, when he had upon his head the snows of nearly a hundred
years, those three epistles, which fitly and fully round out the gospel
he had given to the church; Paul, in the midst of his arduous and
incessant labors, writing thirteen and perhaps fourteen epistles to the
churches which he had founded, and the individuals converted under
his preaching: epistles which contain in themselves a whole body of
divinity, and are profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and
for instruction in righteousness. Thus, with the exception of the
Gospels of Matthew and Luke, the Acts, the short Epistles of James
and Jude, and possibly the Epistle to the Hebrews, the whole New
Testament was written by these three men, and the book of Acts is
almost wholly occupied with the record of their labors.

Of these three mighty leaders of the sacramental host, the pillars
of the early church, we have elsewhere given the principal particulars -
in the life of Peter; we have traced, in following the sacred record,
the abundant labors, toils, sacrifices, trials, and triumphs, of the heroic
and undaunted Paul; and it now only remains to us to portray, as
well as we may, the exquisite beauty of the life and character of “the
disciple whom Jesus loved.”

In doing this we must of necessity go back to his birth and
childhood, and see for ourselves what were the circumstances by
which these were surrounded: for the early training has often much
to do with the later character and life of the man.

Galilee, the region in which James and John, Peter and Andrew,
and indeed most of the apostles, were born, was, in the time of
our Lord, very populous, and its population, far from being wholly
Jewish, was made up of a great variety of nationalities. This was
particularly true of the cities and towns around the sea of Galilee, or
jake of Gennesaret, as it was often called. Here might be found,
jostling each other in the narrow streets, Syrians from Damascus -
ST. JOHN, THE BELOVED DISCIPLE. 219

Greeks from Antioch, Asia Minor and the Grecian isles; Arabs from
the Eastern desert, on errands of plunder; Idumzans and Moabites
from the regions around the Dead sea; the various tribes of Asia
Minor, Galatians, Phrygians,Cappadocians, Cilicians, Lycaonians,
Mysians and [onians; and mingling with them as fishermen,
carpenters, farmers, tent-makers, and sometimes bankers, tax-
gatherers, and usurers, the Jews, who here made up _ perhaps
one-third or one-half of the population; while in the towns and
villages of the hills they were much more numerous. Above all
in power and authority, though but few in number, were the hated
Romans, the rulers of this mixed population.

But what the Galilean Jews lacked in numbers they made up in
their ardent patriotism, and their abundant religious zeal. Though it
was the habit of the proud and conceited Pharisees of Jerusalem to
speak slightingly of the Galilean Jews, to ridicule their peculiar
dialect, and to represent them as ignorant of the law, there was really
no occasion for such reproaches. The Galilean Jew could generally
speak Greek, while the Jew of Judzea was often ignorant of it; to the
wider culture which he thus obtained, he added a most thorough
knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures, which were taught, both |
in the families and synagogues of Galilee, more carefully than any-
where else in Palestine. There had also been made there very
thorough provision for a good general education in all the studies
of that time; and the rabbis of the temple at Jerusalem had established
everywhere schools and colleges, for instruction in those traditions of
the elders known as the oral or unwritten law, with which they sought —
to burden the consciences of devout Jews, “teaching for doctrines the
commandments of men.” Nowhere in Palestine were there to be
found men more zealous for the law, or more ready to suffer imprison-
ment, tortures, and. death for their religion, than among the Jews of
Galilee. And with them, religious zeal and the love of freedom went
hand in hand. They were the brave and patriotic soldiers of the
Maccabzean brothers, men who had no idea of defeat, and who would
attack and conquer an army of ten times their number; men like

Cromwell’s Ironsides, who would go into battle singing the Psalms
25
220 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST. —

of David, while, with giant strokes, they hewed down their enemies.
And when their country came under the power of the Romans, they
were restless and constantly rising in insurrection. To them, the idea
of a coming Messiah was ever present, and as they would only
recognize the rule of God himself, through his priests, their idea of
the Messiah was, that though he should possess divine, or at least
archangelic attributes, he should be to his chosen people a deliverer
from the Roman despotism, and should rule and reign over them, as
a temporal prince, and high priest on the throne of David, exalting to
positions of trust and power in his kingdom or government those
devout and patriotic Jews whom he might select as best qualified for
such a service. That the Messiah would be a spiritual prince, that his
dominion was to be over the minds and souls of men; that he would
have nothing to do with the administration of temporal power, and
that the Gentile believer would enjoy equal privileges with the Jew
who trusted in him, both in this life and the life to come, and that he
was to redeem to himself a chosen people, a spiritual Israel, from all
nations that dwelt on the face of the earth—were ideas which the
Galilean Jew was incapable of comprehending, until his heart was
enlightened from on high; and even then, he would ever and anon
turn back to his old belief in a temporal Messiah.

The country or region of Galilee, which comprised the ancient
territory of Issachar, Zebulun, Asher and Naphtali, was, in the time
of our Lord, surpassingly beautiful. The combination of lake, river
and sea, of elevated mountain slopes, broad fertile plains, and valleys
clad in living green, made up landscapes of remarkable loveliness.
The hills were terraced almost to their tops; and the latitude, which
was that of Florida, was rendered more diverse in its temperature and
its productions by the varying heights of surface found within a few
miles. Little Hermon, the loftiest mountain west of the sea of Galilee,
was about 4000 feet above the sea; Tabor and Carmel, the one over-
looking the sea of Galilee, the other the Mediterranean, were about
1800 feet above the Mediterranean, while the sea of Galilee was 635
feet below that level. Vet the mountain slopes are not usually
precipitous, and on some of these plains, valleys, and hillsides, were
ST. JOHN, THE BELOVED DISCIPLE. 221

to be found the fruits, grains, flowers, and forest trees of most of the
temperate and semi-tropical countries of the world.

In the small city of Bethsaida, on the northwest shore of the sea of
Galilee, resided at this time two Jewish families, both strict observers
of the law, and remarkable, even among their countrymen, for their
patriotism and devotion. The names of the heads of these families
were Jonas and Zebedee, or Zabdai, as his Jewish neighbors preferred
to call him. Each had two sons; those of Jonas were named Simon,
afterward called also Peter or Cephas, and Andrew; those of Zabdai,
James and John. Neither family was abjectly poor; that of Zabdai
was, for the time and place, comparatively wealthy; owning not only
some property at Bethsaida, but also a dwelling at Jerusalem. Both,
in accordance with the Jewish custom, that every man must have a
trade or calling, pursued the business of fishing in the lake or sea of
Galilee, at that time a profitable occupation, followed by many of the
inhabitants on the shores of the lake. The sons of Jonas were some-
what older than those of Zabdai, but the two families were very
intimate. They were all taught to read the law before their sixth
year, and were then sent to the synagogue school, where they
remained till they were fourteen or sixteen, and acquired a good
general education. If either of the four ever attended the higher
schools or colleges of the rabbis, of which there was one at Sepphoris,
some eighteen miles away, and possibly one also at Capernaum, it
must have been John, whose disposition for study was strongly
marked, and who in later years was a scholar of good repute. As
they grew up the young men adopted the calling of their fathers, and
were for a time in partnership. Of the two sons of Zabdai, James, the
elder, was about the age of Jesus, while John was four or five years
younger. Their mother, Salome, a woman of great energy and
perseverance, and withal of an earnest and devotional spirit, was,
according to the universal tradition of the early church, a kinswoman
of Mary, the mother of our Lord, though there is a difference of
opinion as to what was the exact relationship. Some believe her to
have been a daughter of Joseph by a former wife, while others, with
more probability, regard her as an elder sister of Mary. The intimacy
222 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

between the two families may not have been kept up during the child-
hood of the sons of Zabdai, as Nazareth was among the hills, twelve
or fifteen miles from Bethsaida; but that John, and probably James,
were among the earliest disciples of Jesus, that Salome had become
well acquainted with Jesus, and claimed from him the privileges of







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TWO WOMEN GRINDING.

kinship for her sons, and that, apparently after her husband’s death,
she devoted her time and her property to ministrations to the bodily
welfare of our Lord, and, with the constancy and love of a faithful
woman's heart, followed him to the cross and the tomb, we know from
the gospels.

John and his brother James had undoubtedly, in accordance with
ST. JOHN, THE BELOVED DISCIPLE. 223

the custom of the devout Jews, gone up to the temple at Jerusalem
at the great feasts, and especially at the passover, from the time
they attained their twelfth year. The journey, the songs of their
pilgrimage, the first sight of Jerusalem, and of the temple, which was
then nearing its completion, the architectural beauty of the buildings
of the holy city, and the grand sublimity of the temple worship, were
all well adapted to impress deeply the thoughtful mind of a child like
John, and these impressions would be rendered more permanent by
his subsequent visits. That they did thus impress him is evident, not
only from his eager inquiries of his Divine Master concerning the
temple and the city, and their predicted destruction, but also in a
greater degree from his vivid descriptions of the New Jerusalem, with
its gates of pearl, its walls of precious stones, and its streets of gold,
all written at a time when both the city and the temple of Jerusalem
were tottering to their downfall.

But as they attained to the years of manhood, and the rumors began
to gather strength that the Messiah, so long promised, was coming,
and was perhaps indeed already upon the earth; that the fulness of
time had come, and that possibly from their own kindred (for rumors
of the wonderful events at Nazareth could hardly have failed to reach
the ears of Salome) was to spring that blessed one, the Hope of
Israel, the expectation of whose birth had beautified and glorified
the face of every mother of the tribe of Judah for centuries;
these young men began to watch eagerly for the dawn of the
Messianic day. In their early childhood had come into their
own vicinity a brave, patriotic man, a hero of the Maccabaean type,
Judas of Gaulonitis, oftener called Judas of Galilee; a man whom
their fathers had hoped was he that should deliver Israel; and the
sons of Galilee, ever eager for freedom, had gone out to swell his
ranks by thousands, in the expectation that they should succeed in
throwing off the Roman yoke; but the Roman legions under Cyrenius
proved too strong for the unskilled insurgent leader, and he and his
troops perished, or were scattered, at the first shock of battle. Would
such a fate befall the coming, the promised Messiah? Not if he were
indeed the chosen of God, the great deliverer, who, as they read the
224 CHILD'S LIKE OF (CHRIST,

prophecies, was to be their champion against the Roman hosts. The
blood thrilled through the veins of these sons of Zabdai, as they
thought of the coming of this prince Messiah; for they were young
and brave, they loved their country and their faith, and as Galilean
Jews they were willing to fight to the death undera gallant leader,
to throw off the Roman yoke, and to restore the sway of Jehovah over
the chosen people of God.

Tell me not that this fervid, warlike spirit is inconsistent with the
character of the pure, gentle, lamb-like John! John was a Galilean
and a Pharisee; to him there was no holier cause than that of
insurrection against the hated Roman, no duty more sacred than
that of fighting for his country, his faith,and his God. For these he
would have fought to the death, would have endured the severest
tortures, or suffered death on the cross. There was nothing weak,
cowardly, or effeminate about this young man. We shall see evidence
enough of this further on.

But just at this time there comes intelligence to him which changes
the whole current of his thoughts. A great prophet and reformer has
appeared at the fords of the Jordan—perhaps the upper ford, only
thirty-five or forty miles distant; he is urging upon the people that
they should repent and be baptized as the indication of their purpose
to begin a new life; and as a reason for this repentance and baptism,
hitherto only required of proselytes to the Jewish faith, he tells them
that the kingdom of heaven is at hand; that the Messiah is coming
speedily, and this repentance must precede his coming. This
reformer's name is John, and because of his practice of baptizing
he is called “John the Baptist;” he is of priestly family, though he
does not himself engage in the work of the priesthood, but appears
like one of the old prophets; most of all like Elijah, whom in his
rough dress and his coarse and sparing diet, his earnestness, and his
fearful denunciations of sin and hypocrisy, he strongly resembles.
John, and Andrew, his friend and townsman, resclve at once ‘to go
and listen to this new prophet. Passing along the plain of Genne-
saret, on the western shore of the lake, they soon come to the Jordan
valley, with its rough and volcanic rocks, its frequent cataracts, and its




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“THE PEARL OF GREAT PRIGCE.”-—Matt. 13: 46.

225
226 CHILD S°LIEE. OF “CHRIST:

thick, jungle-like forests. By what road they find their way to the
wider plain at the ford we know not, but they reach it at last, and
listen with intense interest to the ringing appeals of this “voice from
the wilderness.” Their own life, which they had deemed so pure and
blameless, now presents itself to them as full of sin; and with
repentant hearts, and an earnest desire to do the will of God, they
present themselves to the prophet for baptism. They are accepted,
and seal their vows before God and men in the waters of the Jordan.
To the major part of the multitudes who listened to the preaching of
John the Baptist, his constant references to him who should come
after him, one far mightier than himself, the latchet of whose sandals
he was not worthy to unloose, were but imperfectly comprehended.
They knew, indeed, that the Messiah was soon to come, and that
these words probably referred to him, but they believed that the
Messiah was to be a temporal prince; and while they were impressed
with the earnestness of him who proclaimed himself as merely the
- forerunner of this Messiah, they half believed that he was himself the
long predicted prince, and that ere long, casting away his rough robe
of camel’s hair, and abandoning his scanty desert fare of locusts and
wild honey, he would appear as the glorious Messiah, the King of
kings; and till this transformation took place, having taken all the
steps of preparation for his coming which they knew, the confession
of their sins and baptism, they were content to await, at their own
homes, the commencement of his reign. But there were some who—
reverencing and honoring the son of Zacharias as a true prophet and
the forerunner of the Messiah, and believing that his holy and
abstemious life, his humble and devout spirit, and his evident
consecration to the service of God, had given him a clearer insight
into the mysteries of the future—desired a nearer intimacy with him,
and sought from his lips fuller instruction and information concerning
this coming Messiah. Among the most earnest and eager of these
were the two young Galileans, John and Andrew, whom he had so
recently baptized; and their simple and ingenuous natures, and their
evident desire for instruction, won the heart of the great reformer.
In his wild desert life, John the Baptist had been a zealous student
ST. JOHN, THE BELOVED DISCIPLE. 227

of the Scriptures, and God had revealed to him, as he always does to
those who seek wisdom from above in an humble spirit, much of the
character and work of the Divine Redeemer. To him Jesus was the
Light of the World, the Ancient of Days, the Judge who should
discriminate between the wheat and the chaff, the pure and holy and
the hypocritical. He did not fully comprehend the plan of salvation,
but he knew that Jesus was the one sacrifice, the atoning lamb, whom
all the sacrifices slain on Jewish altars typified, who should take away
the sin of the world. All this and more he communicated, in the
intervals of his preaching, to the two disciples, who drank in his
words with the deepest interest. He told them, moreover, that, six or
seven weeks before, there had come to him for baptism one whom
from his wondrous grace and dignity he believed to be the Messiah,
and that he at first refused to baptize him, saying, “I have need to
be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?” but that this gracious
and God-like one had said, “Suffer it to be so now, for thus it
becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” “It had been revealed to
him,” he said, “that he should be able to recognize the Messiah when
he should be called to baptize him, by the descent of the Holy Spirit
in the semblance of a dove, and its resting upon his head.” When
he baptized this mysterious person, not only was there this manifesta-
tion of the descent of the Holy Spirit in visible form, but the heavens
opened above him, and from out of the excellent glory there came a
voice, which said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well
pleased.” Then John the Baptist knew that on him had been
conferred the highest honor which had ever been bestowed on mortal
man, that of administering baptism to the Son of God. And from
this time he had ever been ready to testify that the Hope of Israel
had come.

On the next day after this interview with the two disciples, Jesus,
who had but just returned from the mount of the temptation, passed
near where John was baptizing, and John immediately pointed him
out to the wondering multitude, with the impressive words, “ Behold
the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!” He
then explained briefly what he had already stated more fully to the

26
228 CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

two disciples, of the circumstances attending Christ’s baptism. It is
hardly probable that Andrew and John were present on this occasion ;
but the next morning John was standing near the river’s bank with the
two disciples, and Jesus again passed, and he pointed him out to them,
saying, “ Behold the Lamb of God.” This was enough for them ; their
eyes were greeted with the sight of the long-expected Messiah.
Eagerly, yet timidly, they followed his footsteps, and presently he
turned and said to them in that gracious voice of his, “What seek
ye?” Awe-struck, yet encouraged, they answer his question by
another, “ Rabbi, where dwellest thou?” His answer was still more
gracious, “Come and see.” Thus encouraged they followed to his
temporary home, and as it was but ten o’clock in the morning,* they
had nearly the whole day for their interview with him. What a visit
that was! How did the hearts of these young men burn within
them as they realized that they had thus held converse with the
Messiah, he whose coming patriarchs and prophets, kings and holy
ones, in all the ages, had so longed to see, and yet had died without the
sight. It does not seem that either John or Andrew ever doubted,
from that time, that Jesus was the Messiah, though it was not till long
after that they fully realized who and what the Messiah was.

Much as they had been drawn to John the Baptist, and greatly
indebted as they were to him for thus bringing them to Christ, they
had now found a new and higher love, a Master to whom they were
drawn by a stronger and more enduring tie. Henceforward they
were the disciples, not of John, but of Christ. And their zeal
constrained them, as the love of Christ has always since done,
to bring their friends to him. Andrew sought for his brother Simon,
who was among the multitude who were listening to John, and
having found him, brought him at once to Jesus, saying only, “We
have found the Messias.” Jesus welcomed him with a new name,
Cephas, or, in its Greek translation, Peter. John, with that modesty

* John says in his gospel, ‘‘It was about the tenth hour,’’ but it is to be observed that, unlike
the other evangelists (probably from the fact that his gospel was not written till some years after the
destruction of Jerusalem), John always uses the Roman reckoning, which made the day begin at
midnight, instead of the Jewish, which began at six o’clock in the morning.
ST. JOHN, THE BELOVED DISCIPLE. 229

which is one of his most beautiful traits, says nothing of his own
efforts to bring his kindred to Christ, but we may well believe that if
James was anywhere within his reach, at the fords of the Jordan, as
he may very well have been, he did not rest till he had brought him
also to Christ, with the announcement, “ We have found the Messiah.”
Jesus had determined the next day to leave Bethabara for his old
home in Galilee, and his new disciples were delighted to accompany
him. On the way two more were added to their number, Philip
and Nathanael, or Bartholomew, both afterwards apostles,
Immediately on his return to Galilee, Jesus and his disciples were
invited to a wedding at Cana, a small town not far from Nazareth.
Here was performed the miracle of changing the water into wine, of
which John was an eye-witness, and which is recorded only by him.
After this miracle Jesus went with his family and his disciples to
Capernaum, then the principal city of the Gennesaret plain, and not
far from Bethsaida. This was subsequently his Galilean home,
and the place where many of his miracles were performed. His
stay there at this time was brief, probably mainly for the purpose of
joining one of the great caravans or companies which were going to
Jerusalem to the feast of the passover. Their route would be, at this
time, through the Jordan valley, at least from Bethshan or Scyth-
- opolis, in order to avoid going through Samaria. John had doubtless
been often to Jerusalem at the season of the great feasts, but never
before in such goodly company as at this time. As a constant
companion of his Master, he was privileged to hear from his lips such
words of wisdom and instruction “as never man spake ;” and as they
climbed the rugged cliffs from Jericho to Jerusalem, how his heart must
have leaped for joy as the temple came in sight from the height of
Olivet, for, for the first time in the world’s history, could it be said
that the vision and the words of the inspired prophet were about to
be fulfilled, “The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep
silence before him.” But, alas! though a few devout souls, like John,
had recognized the Lord of the temple, and were prepared to give him
their worship and homage, yet Israel did not know, his people did not
consider. The priests and Levites, who ministered at the altars and
230 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST,

performed the service of the sanctuary, were wholly unaware that he,
- to whom that temple was dedicated, had come down from the temple
not made with hands, and had deigned to grace this earthly house
with his presence. He came unto his own, and his own received »
him not. There was, however, one scene in connection with this
passover feast, which made so vivid an impression upon John that,
more than fifty years later, he describes it as if it had occurred but the
day before. . Jesus, on his arrival at Jerusalem, had entered the temple
as its rightful heir. It was his Father’s house, the one temple in the
wide world consecrated to the pure worship of Jehovah; and yet
there in its courts were lowing oxen, calves and heifers, sheep and
goats, lambs and kids; and on one side great numbers of doves and
pigeons, which the high priest himself had caused to be brought there
for sale from his own extensive dove-cotes on the Mount of Olives:
and the bargaining of the men who had these in charge with the eager
worshippers created the greatest confusion; added to this was the
babble of the money changers, Jewish usurers, who made large
commissions by exchanging shekels of the sanctuary, which alone
could be paid for the temple dues, for the Roman, Greek, and other
foreign coins, brought by the Jews of the dispersion who thronged to
Jerusalem at these times from all parts of the Roman empire. All
this traffic was forbidden by the law, but the Jews, and especially the
priests, were proverbially greedy of gain, and Annas, the high priest,
cared more for gold than for the honor of God or the purity of the
sanctuary.

All this desecration of the temple was apparent to Jesus at a glance,
and it roused his righteous indignation. Seizing some of the small
cords or bands of rushes, which bound the animals to be sacrificed, he
plaited them into a scourge or whip, and as the dignity and sublime
anger of the divine nature gleamed forth from those eyes, ordinarily
so mild and gentle, he drove the animals and their owners out of the
temple area, and into the streets of Jerusalem; poured out the
changers’ money, overthrew the tables, and said unto them that sold
doves, “Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an
house of merchandise.” The venders of this merchandise, and the
ST. JOHN, THE BELOVED DISCIPLE. 232

money changers, awe-struck by his evident right to command, and
fearing to encounter those terrible eyes, fled in haste, and ventured
no resistance or even remonstrance; and it was not till hours after
that some of the priestly party, who had probably been heavy losers
by this summary ejection, ventured, without questioning the right-
eousness of the transaction, to ask for some sign or proof of his
authority to thus drive out those who desecrated the temple. His
reply was a memorable one: “ Destroy this temple, and in three days,
I will raise it up.” The answer was an enigma to them; he who had
called the world into existence could doubtless have reared anew the
beautiful temple of Herod, in three days or three hours, had it been
needful to do so, but there was a deeper and holier meaning to his
words. The temple of Herod was but the outward covering or shell,
in whose Holy of Holies, the Jews believed, was enshrined the divine
Shechinah; so now he, the God whom they professed to worship, had
come to earth in human form; his body, a nobler temple than that of
Herod, enshrined the divine nature; and as they would, within a short
time, destroy this human temple, he would demonstrate to them his
divine authority, by raising it from the tomb in a more wondrous body
within three days after its destruction. The saying was not forgotten
by the priests or by John, who had listened to it. The former sought
to make it the ground ofa charge against him, just before his cruci-
fixion, of conspiracy to destroy the temple; while to John, after the
event, it was seen to be a prophecy of the resurrection of Christ.

The miracles wrought by Jesus in the temple and in Jerusalem had
attracted the attention of many of the ruling class; and one of them,
Nicodemus, the teacher or “wise man” of the Sanhedrim, or great
council of Jerusalem, the third officer in rank of that body, ventured to
visit Jesus by night, during his stay in Jerusalem, impelled by a
variety of motives. He had admitted to himself, evidently, that Jesus
might be the Messiah; if he should prove to be (and, like all the
Pharisees, he had no other idea of the Messiah than that he was to be
a temporal prince, and the deliverer of the Jewish nation from the
Romans), there would be a fine opportunity for him, a counsellor, a
Pharisee, and a man of learning and influence, by attaching himself
232 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

thus early to his cause, to become one of the chief officers of his
realm. There may have been, also, some desire to know more of this
kingdom of heaven or of God, of which both Christ and John the
Baptist had so much to say, and a lurking suspicion down in the
depths of his heart that even he, with all his strictness of ritual
observances, was not quite perfect, and that this great Teacher might
be able to fill an aching void which he found in his heart. John was
present at this interview, and his interesting narrative of Christ’s
method of laying bare the needs, cravings and experiences of a self-
righteous soul, though written after the lapse of half a century, show
that even then he had a very clear conception of the omniscience of
his Divine Master. The stay of Jesus at Jerusalem was brief; he had
declared himself as the Messiah, by his deeds and miracles, and had
awakened the active enmity of the Pharisaic or priestly party thereby ;
and not being desirous of further provoking their hostility at this
time, he withdrew quietly to one of the towns of Judza, north of
Jerusalem, where, very soon, the people flocked to him to receive
instruction, in even greater numbers than had attended the preaching
of John the Baptist. Here, under his direction, his disciples, and John
among the number, administered baptism to those who acknowledged
him as the Messiah, and ere long his personal following had exceeded
that of his forerunner. An incident which occurred at this time, and
is recorded in the Gospel of John, indicates very clearly that neither
jealousy nor envy had any place in the soul of John the Baptist.
Some of his disciples, who had been having an angry discussion with
the Pharisees about the oral law and the traditions of the rabbis, came
to John the Baptist with a grievance, which had evidently been
aggravated by the taunts of their adversaries: “ Rabbi,” said they, “he
that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness,
behold the same baptizeth, and all men come unto him.” John
calmly replied, “that he had always declared that he was not the
Christ, but only his forerunner; and that, as the Christ or Messiah was
now come, his own mission was drawing to a close. Christ must
increase, he must decrease, and that he rejoiced in this result.” He
continued with an ascription of praise to Jesus, fully recognizing his
ST. JOHN, THE BELOVED DISCIPLE. 237

divine nature and origin, and silencing forever the complaints of his
disciples. Shortly after this, John the Baptist was seized and
imprisoned in the castle Machzrus by Herod Antipas, probably in
part, at least, at the instigation of the Pharisees, and a few months
later beheaded. The hostility of the enemies of Christ was so
strongly manifested that he left his retreat, in the foot-hills of Mount
Ephraim, and set out on his return to Galilee. “And he must needs
go through Samaria.” This was not the usual route from Judza to
Galilee, as the hatred which existed between the Jews and Samaritans
was so intense, that it often led to bloodshed, and almost always to
the withholding of all the courtesies of life between the two nations,
The Jews, under John Hyrcanus, had burned the Samaritan temple
on Mount Gerizim, and the Samaritans, within a few years before the
public ministry of our Lord, had by some means entered the temple
at Jerusalem at night, and strewed dead men’s bones in the holy
place, and on the altar of sacrifice. It was therefore, undoubtedly, a
surprise to John and the other disciples of Jesus, when he announced
his determination to return to Galilee by way of Samaria. The sons
of Zabdai and the sons of Jonas, as devout Jews, entertained, as in
duty bound, the bitterest hatred of the Samaritans, and must have
been reluctant to pass through their country; but they were too much
attached to their Lord to draw back from any peril to which he saw
fit to expose himself.

It was on this journey, and during the absence of his disciples in
the neighboring city to purchase provisions, that Jesus held that
conversation with the Samaritan woman, at Jacob’s well, which
John has so faithfully reproduced in the fourth chapter of his
gospel, and the rehearsal of which he doubtless received from
the lips of his Divine Master. Their journey was delayed for
two days, while the first fruits of his labors in Samaria were
gathered in, and the foundation laid for that extensive work of
grace in Samaria, six or seven years later, when John and Peter
reaped an abundant harvest.

The journey to Galilee was now resumed, and Jesus entered upon
bis beneficent work of preaching the gospel, and performing miracles
234 CHILD’ S LIFE OF CHRIST.

of healing, and blessing the multitudes who thronged around him
in Capernaum, Bethsaida, Chorazin, and the other populous towns of
the plain of Gennesaret. His home, at this time, was at Capernaum,
whither Andrew and Peter certainly, and James and John probably,
had removed. During this period of six or eight months, before
Jesus again visited Jerusalem, he was very active. Besides his labors
at the towns and cities around the lake, he had delivered his sermon
on that mount which, from its double peak, was known as the Horns
of Hattin; had visited and taught the people on the eastern and
northeastern shores of the lake; had selected and commissioned his
twelve apostles, and had made, either in person, or by his disciples,
whom he sent out two and two, a circuit of the Galilean towns. In all
this time, except possibly a very few weeks, John was his constant
companion, and received, perhaps in larger measure than either of the
other apostles, constant instruction from his lips. Peter, Andrew and
James, who were next to him in their intimacy with their Lord, had
for a time, and until they received a second call, resumed their former
occupation; but after they were chosen apostles, they too were
constantly in attendance upon him, or engaged in missionary labors,
performed at his command. The two sons of Jonas and the two sons
of Zabdai hold the first place in all the lists of the apostles, and were
undoubtedly the first chosen by Jesus. Of the four, Peter, both from
age and impulsiveness, was the acknowledged leader, though John
was the most beloved and cherished. An English writer of great
ability, Professor Plumptre, draws a very fine distinction between the
relation which these two disciples held to the lord: “Peter,” he Says;
“was the friend of Christ as the Messiah, the first to acknowledge his
divine character, and to adore him as the Son of God; John on the
other hand was the friend of ¥esus ; clinging with the most intense
affection to his humanity, and recognizing him as the incarnate
Saviour.” It is a somewhat remarkable commentary on these ideas,
that the gospel which is regarded as containing in substance Peter’s
narrative of the life of Christ, speaks of him most frequently as the
Son of man, and is most definite in its descriptions of his earthly life;
while the Gospel of John is almost wholly occupied with the
ST. JOHN, THE BELOVED DISCIPLE. 235

demonstration of his divine nature. To John he is the “Son of
God,” “the Word who was with God and who was God,” but whe
“was made flesh and dwelt among us.”

Whatever we may think of this distinction, it cannot be denied that
to Peter, James and John was granted a closer special intimacy with
their Master, than to any other of the apostles. They were with him
in the chamber of death (Mark v, 37); in the glorious scene of the
transfiguration (Matt. xvii, 1); when he forewarned them of the
destruction of Jerusalem (Luke xxi, 7); and in the agony of
Gethsemane (Matt. xxvi, 36-56); John was the disciple who reclined
next to Jesus at the passover feast, and at the Lord’s supper then
instituted; and it is noteworthy that when Jesus had declared to the
twelve, in that sad hour, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of
you shall betray me,” and the other disciples were questioning, “ Lord,
is it 1?” as if in doubt of their own fidelity under the pressure of
a terrible temptation, John alone, of them all, does not ask this
question; the union of soul between him and his Master is so
complete that, as he himself said long afterward, in his first epistle,
“perfect love casteth out fear.” He knows that it is impossible for
him to betray Christ, and though not boastful like Peter, he looks up
frankly and lovingly into the eyes of Jesus, and when Peter who
understood the intimacy of his relation to Christ, beckons to him,
he asks with perfect confidence, “ Lord, who is it?”

And yet, we grieve to say, that ardent as was his love for Jesus, he
could not maintain his watchfulness for even an hour, when his Lord
was passing through that fearful agony in the garden of Gethsemane.
This may have been the result of intense weariness and sorrow; to
this cause Jesus, in mercy, attributed it; but he was more -self-
possessed and brave than any other of the disciples after the arrest
of his Lord. He followed him to the palace of the high priest,
and having been in former years acquainted with the high priest, he
readily obtained admission, and seems to have been the only one of
the disciples who witnessed the entire trial, both before the high priest
and before Pilate; for though Peter was, for a short time, in the

ante-room of the palace, he was in such fear, and so frequent in
| 2
CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

236

more COura=-

)

the chosen apos-

geous than any of
tles

who

his denials of Christ, that he could hardly be said to be a witness.
John followed on to the cross, where again he was the only one of the

twelve who was present, his companions being those noble women,

except John,

)

“last at the

cross and earliest

were

.”
,

at the grave
and it was there,
amid his dying

that
Jesus committed
to this faithful

disciple the sa-

9

cred trust of car-
ing for that dear
mother whose
heart was so rent
with sorrow.

agonies

On the morn-
ing of the resur-
rection, when the
first tidings came

that the grave

h

ad been de-



spoiled of its

John and

Peter set out for

prey,



John’s zeal sur-

the sepulchre,
passed that of Peter, and out-running him, he came first to the

“AND FROM THAT HOUR, THAT DISCIPLE TOOK HER UNTO HIS and for once

OWN HOME,”-—Joun xix, 27.

His recognition of his risen Lord was perfect, and in that

sepulchre.
ST. JOHN, THE BELOVED DISCIPLE. 237

memorable interview after the resurrection, at the sea of Galilee, his
quick and loving eye detected his Master, before Peter or any other
of the seven disciples, who were in the company. It was at this time
that our Lord, by those searching questions, tested the love of Peter
for him, and then revealed to him his future, with the martyr’s pains
and the martyr’s crown, and to John the prolongation of his life
beyond the period of Jerusalem’s destruction.

But in thus rapidly glancing over the evidences of the intense love
which filled the hearts alike of the disciple and his Master, we have
passed over several incidents in his early training as an apostle, which
show most conclusively that John’s was no soft, impressible, plastic
nature, which adapts itself readily to each new impress of a stronger
‘mind, without possessing any positive character of its own. On the
contrary he was a man of great energy, and of a fiery, ambitious nature,
full of strong prejudices, retaining with great tenacity his early ideas,
and even recurring to them again and again after their falsity had
been demonstrated to him. That these traits of a willful and perverse
disposition were in the end so completely eradicated as to make him
an example to the church in all ages, of all that was pure and lovely
and of good report, is due, in the first place, to the moulding and
controlling influence which Jesus exerted over him in a greater degree
than over any other of his disciples; and, in the second place, to the
affection which this intense love of Christ for him had developed in
his soul, and which made it his highest ambition to do always those
things which would please his Lord and Master. “We love him
because he hath first loved us.”

He who “knew what was in man’ pbeven than any man could
know, and who read the entire nature and history of every man who
came into his presence at a glance, when he called James and John
to be apostles, named them Soanerges, “sons of thunder,” a title
indicative of their character. They were not like the fleecy cloud,
which melts and disappears when the sun’s rays fall directly upon it,
nor like those cloud banks that lie athwart the western sky at the
close of day, and, clad in hues of purple and gold and violet, make
more beautiful the sun’s decline; rather, they were the dark, threaten-
238 CHIED!S CEIFE SOE CHRIST:

ing clouds, heavy with the coming rain, and from out whose jagged
rifts leap the live thunder and the swift lightning-stroke; vehement
for the right, like the old prophets; men of strong, earnest, intense
natures, who would “not handle the word of God,” the truths which
he had revealed, “ deceitfully.”. Very soon did they give evidence that
the name he had bestowed upon them was not misapplied.

It was not till the two brothers had been for nearly a year under his
training, that he sent them forth to preach and teach in the towns and
villages of Galilee; and their first mission was one of many limita-
tions. They were not to enter any Samaritan or Gentile village; full
well he knew their bitter hatred and contempt of the Samaritans; and
though he had showed them, by his own labors in Samaria, that these
despised people were not beyond the pale of his mercy, their pre-
judices were as yet too strong to make it safe to trust them, even
with the gospel message, to those for whom they entertained such
loathing; they were sent at this time only to their Jewish brethren,
who were already to some extent informed concerning the character
and mission of. Christ; they were to proclaim him as the Messiah,
and, where it was needful, to perform in his name the simpler miracles
of healing. They knew and comprehended but little of the scheme
of salvation, but what they knew they told correctly. On their return
from this circuit, they came to Jesus, somewhat elated, not that so
many had received the gospel message, but that the devils, the
demons which had taken possession of the bodies of men, had been
subject to them through his name. Gently rebuking their exuberant
joy at this result of their labors, Jesus reminded them that they had
occasion for a higher joy, that their names were written in heaven.
They proceeded with their report, and here it is John that speaks:
“Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth
not us; and we forbade him, because he followeth not us.” Jesus said,
“Forbid him not; for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my
name, that can lightly speak evil of me.”

In their second mission the powers of the apostles were somewhat
enlarged, and in a part, at least, of this circuit of Galilee, which
extended also to Tyre and Sidon, and to the half-heathen villages of
ST. JOHN, THE BELOVED DISCIPLE. 239

the eastern side of the lake, Jesus himself accompanied them. They
saw the miracles which he did, heard his parables, and listened to his
explanation of them, and were daily instructed by him in private; yet
as they journeyed by his side, or followed in his footsteps, what was
the most common theme of their discussion, and sometimes of angry
debate? not the salvation of the souls of those to whom they pro-
claimed the gospel, not the overthrow of the powers of evil, or the
banishment of the sins which were everywhere so rife. None of
these. It was, which of them should be the greatest, should occupy
the highest station in the coming reign of the Messiah, and receive
the highest rewards of money and power for their fidelity to Christ.
“Lo!” said Peter, “we have left all and followed thee; what shall we
have therefor?” The idea that the
Messiah was to be a temporal prince,
who should deliver them from the sway
‘of the hated Romans, and should there-
after reign in great glory and power over
the Jews, sitting on the throne of David,
was thoroughly ingrained into their
minds; Jesus, they were sure, was the
Messiah, and they were daily looking for
his assumption of kingly power; and
when the multitudes were disposed, with
loud acclaim, to take him by force and make
him king, they were rejoiced, and wondered at his refusal to yield to their
urgency. If he did, as they were persuaded he would, at last accept
the offered throne, they, who had abandoned all to serve him, were
entitled to the best places in his kingdom, and the only question was,
what should be the division of the offices? It is painful to think that
James and John, who had seen so much of the meek and humble
spirit of Christ, who had so often been assured’ by him that his
kingdom was not of this world, but that it was a rule and government
over the hearts and minds of men, and that the whole nature must
be renewed before any one could enter it, should have engaged in this
unseemly wrangle; but so it was. Jesus had said, perhaps before this



SYRIAN SHEEP,
240 | CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

time, for the encouragement of the twelve, “Verily, I say unto you,
that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of
man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve
thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath
forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or
children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundred-fold,
and shall inherit everlasting life.” Overlooking the wholly spiritual
character of this promise, and regarding it solely as the guarantee of
temporal advancement soon to come, the disciples looked forward
eagerly to their several shares in the offered rewards. Among the
twelve none had been nearer or apparently dearer to Christ, than the
two sons of Zabdai, and their ambition was roused to obtain the
highest places in this new kingdom.

Accordingly they communicated their wishes to their mother
Salome, who had followed Christ throughout Galilee, and had
ministered to him of her substance or property. The mother was
not less ambitious for her sons than they were for themselves; and the
three came to Jesus when he was alone and offered their request, the
mother urging and the sons seconding it. At first she desired a
certain thing of him, but seemed reluctant to name her request, but
when Jesus said to her, “ What wilt thou?” she answered, “Grant that
these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other
on the left, in thy kingdom.” The immediate right and left hands of
the monarch were the places of highest honor; and thus these two
young men desired for themselves—for they repeated the request—
the highest positions in that kingdom, which they persisted in believ-
ing he was about to found in Palestine. The reply of Jesus was a
sterner rebuke than he had yet given to any of his disciples, yet it
was administered in love. “Ye know not,” he said, “what ye ask.
Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be
baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” Utterly
ignorant of the sorrow and suffering which these significant words
included, they replied confidently, “We are able.” Jesus said unto
them, “Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the
baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on my right hand and on
ST. JOHN, THE BELOVED DISCIPLE. 241

my left is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom
it is prepared of my Father.” The other members of the apostolic
band were very indignant at this request of the two brothers; not
that they had any clearer ideas of the spiritual character of the
kingdom of Christ, but that they regarded this as an effort, on the
part of James and John, to steal a march on them and prefer a
prior claim to the dignities of the new kingdom. And this was after
these two disciples and Peter had witnessed the glories of the
transfiguration, and but a few weeks, or months at the furthest, before
his crucifixion |

We may notice, incidentally, that even the crucifixion and resurrec-
tion of our Lord did not wholly dispel this idea of the temporal
kingdom of the Messiah from the minds of his disciples. The two
disciples who went to Emmaus, on the day of the resurrection, said to
Jesus, of himself, “We trusted that it had been he which should have
redeemed Israel,” that is, from the Roman power; and the question
put by the eleven to our Lord, on the very day of his ascension, after
having received from his lips the great commission, shows with what
tenacity they still clung to the idea of a temporal kingdom: “Lord,
wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom unto Israel ?” .

One more example of the fiery spirit and the abiding prejudices of
James and John, will show how much need there was of a deeper
sanctification in their hearts; when Jesus had commenced that last
journey toward Jerusalem, which was to close with his arrest and
crucifixion, he sent James and John into a village of the Samaritans
to make ready for his stay over night; but the inhabitants, supposing
that his intention was to go to Jerusalem, refused to receive him.
This was churlish; yet had it occurred in any Jewish village, the
disciples would have found some excuse for it, but it was the hated
Samaritans who had refused shelter to the Messiah; and the loyalty
of the brothers to their Master joined with their hate of these people,
and they asked, and we may easily believe that it was John who put
the question: “Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down
from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?” But Jesus
turned and rebuked them, and said, “Ye know not what manner of
242 CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

Spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s
lives, but to save them.” And they went to another village.

We might multiply these instances, which illustrate the narrow and
sordid views which, at times, gained the ascendancy over the minds
of the twelve disciples, and James and John nearly as much as the
others, up to the very day of the ascension; but what we have already
adduced are sufficient to show that, notwithstanding all the preaching
and teaching of Christ, notwithstanding their daily personal inter-
course with him for three years, and the powerful influence he exerted
over them, they were still under the bondage of Jewish prejudices, of
personal and unhallowed ambition, and of a zeal not according to
knowledge. They were not as yet wholly sanctified nor consecrated
for the work in which they were to engage. Our Lord knew this, and
hence he commanded them to remain at Jerusalem, until they should
receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

They obeyed, and after ten days of earnest prayer, the promised
descent of the Holy Spirit came, and they were fitted to enter upon
their great work. A wondrous change had come upon them all.
They were in the city of Jerusalem, and it was the feast of Pentecost,
one of the great Jewish feasts, when, from all parts of the Roman
empire the Jews of the dispersion came up to Jerusalem, and
presented themselves at the temple. Fifty days before, these eleven
apostles, and the believers who were now with them, had fled
affrighted, at the arrest of their Master; far from attempting any
resistance or rescue, they had concealed themselves, and met but
‘stealthily, with barred and bolted doors, lest they also should suffer
arrest. Their Master had been crucified by Roman authority, at the
urgent solicitation of the Jewish Sanhedrim; and their hopes had
fallen to the dust. But he had risen from the dead, and though he
had not, as of old, led them through the streets of Jerusalem and the
villages of Galilee, showing himself openly: to the multitudes, his
resurrection and his ascension had put new faith and courage into
their hearts, and this mysterious but all powerful influence which they
now experienced had consecrated them to their work, and they were
ready for any labor, any sacrifice, which might be required of them.
ST. JOHN, THE BELOVED DISCIPLE. 243

The most timid of the apostolic band was now ready to face the
Sanhedrim, or the Roman authorities, charge upon them the murder
of Jesus, and defy their power. To the multitudes who thronged the
Jewish capital, they preached boldly the crucified and risen Christ, and _
urged them to repent and believe on him.

And if this change had come upon all the disciples, it was especially
marked in the case of Peter and John. Peter was, as before the
crucifixion, the leader, but his boastful spirit was gone; he was meek
and humble, yet full of zeal, courage and energy, and henceforth his
chosen associate was John; together the two preached unto the people,
administered baptism to the new converts, performed miracles in the
name of Jesus Christ, charged home upon the rulers their responsi-
bility for the death of Christ, stood undaunted before the Sanhedrim,
endured their threatenings without alarm, and without yielding for a
moment to their demands; suffered imprisonment, and were beaten
with rods, but rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer shame
in and for the Master’s name. Meanwhile, the church, which they, in
accordance with their Master's command, had founded at Jerusalem,
had grown so rapidly that it numbered many thousands of joyful
believers; it was fully organized, and had been consecrated by the
blood of its first martyr, and a violent persecution had scattered many
of its prominent members; but Peter and John remained at Jerusalem,
and cared for the remainder of the flock. Now came one of those
questions which tested the completeness of the change wrought in
them. Philip, one of the seven deacons (not the apostle), had left
Jerusalem in consequence of the persecution, and gone to Samaria,
where he had preached Christ with great success,—the recollection of
the Saviour’s visit there undoubtedly rendering the people more
ready to receive the gospel. He had baptized great numbers, and
was in need of assistance. Thereupon, the church at Jerusalem sent
their two chief pastors to aid Philip in his work. Peter and John
hastened on this mission of love, received the Samaritans warmly as
brethren in Christ, and ere they returned preached the gospel in many

of the Samaritan villages. And yet this same John, only six years
28 ;
244 CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

before, had desired to call down fire from heaven on one of these
Samaritan villages for a real or fancied slight.

Other events, following thick and fast, gave evidence of the great
change which had come upon these two apostles; Saul the persecutor
had become Paul the apostle, and was received lovingly by John and
Peter and James; Peter had had his vision of the beasts let down
from heaven, and its fulfilment, in the conversion and admission into
the church of Cornelius, the Roman centurion; Herod Agrippa had
seized and put to death James, the brother of John, and had then
seized Peter, intending to kill him also, and martyrdom seemed to
await John and the other apostles; but, unmoved by his personal
danger, he and the whole church wrestled in prayer for Peter's
deliverance, and it came. Peter left Jerusalem for a time, but John
remained at his post, and the persecutor soon died.

For the next fifteen or twenty years we have but very slight record —
of the labors of John; he was not, probably, at the council at Jerusalem,
which decided the important question of the relations between the
Gentile churches and those composed of converted Jews, or we should
have heard from him as well as from Peter; but, before their departure
from Jerusalem, Paul speaks of John as having given the hand of
fellowship to Barnabas and himself. John remained at Jerusalem, it
is supposed, with occasional visits to other parts of the great field of
labor before him, until perhaps a. p. 64, when the evidences of the
speedy destruction of Jerusalem led the Christians there to obey the
Saviour’s command and flee to the mountains. Many of these, and
probably the apostle among the number, took refuge in Pella, a
mountain fastness on the east side of the Jordan, about eighteen
miles south of the sea of Galilee. His stay here could not have been
long, and having learned that, by the imprisonment of Paul, and
possibly of Timothy also, the great church of Ephesus, as well as the
other churches of the province of Asia, was left without a chief pastor,
he departed for that city, sailing probably from Czesarea some time
in the year a. D. 65. Soon after his arrival at Ephesus he was, by the

_ orders of Nero, banished to the little rocky islet of Patmos, about
ST. JOHN, THE BELOVED DISCIPLE. 245

sixty miles southwest of Ephesus.* His banishment lasted probably
three or four years, terminating with the death of Nero. It was
during his exile on this island that he wrote the Book of Revelation,
in which, after detailing the view he had of his now glorified Master,
a view far more sublime and overwhelming than that which he had
-. witnessed on Mount Hermon at the transfiguration, though one in
which he recognized at once his adorable Lord, he gives the messages
received from him to the seven principal churches of the province of
Asia, messages of warning, reproof, exhortation, and encouragement.
In his subsequent visions he was permitted to see the glories of
heaven, and to see and hear the events and judgments which were to
come on the earth; before his eyes was unrolled the vision of the
future progress of the church militant; the rise, growth, progress, and
final destruction of the papal power; before him the judgment was
set, and the books were opened; the dead, small and great, were
raised from their graves, and the terrors of that fearful day were all
portrayed; the names written in the Lamb’s book of life were
rehearsed in his hearing; the first resurrection, the millennial glories,
the final destruction of the wicked, and the unspeakable and indescrib-
able beauty of the new Jerusalem, illumined by the radiance which
proceeded from the throne of God, whose walls were of precious
stones, whose gates were pearls, and whose streets were of pure
gold, were shown to his eager eyes. The river of the water of life,
pure as crystal, its banks shaded by the tree of life, which bare twelve
manner of fruits, and yielded its fruit every month, the whole
illuminated by the divine Light, and needing no temple, since the
Lord God Almighty and the Lamb were the only objects of worship,
were also presented to his enraptured vision.

Little need we wonder that the rough and rocky island of Patmos
lost all its roughness and discomfort to him in these visions, which

* This date accords with one tradition, though another makes the banishment to Patmos the result
of some local persecution, and to have occurred several years later, and possibly in the time of
Domitian. The date of the banishment really turns upon the question whether the Apocalypse or
Revelation was written before or after the fall of Jerusalem. The weight of evidence seems to favar
the idea that it was written before that event.
246 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST.

transformed it into the very gate of heaven; nor that, when recalled
to his apostolic work at Ephesus, he should have left with reluctance
its rugged cliffs.

But there was yet much for him to do. Paul and Peter, his own
brother James, and James, the Lord’s brother, that James the Just who
had so long and ably presided as the chief pastor of the church at
Jerusalem, had all gone, through the martyr’s chariot of fire, to their
home above. To him there was given a longer service, more
abundant trials, but at last a peaceful and quiet death. He
probably returned to Ephesus about the beginning of the year a. p.



























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































THE RIVER OF THE WATER OF LIFE.

69, and though not far from sixty-eight years of age, “his eye was not
dim, nor his natural force abated.” Vigorous and active, he visited in
turn the fifteen or twenty churches of the province of Asia, counselled
their pastors, and very possibly extended his apostolic labors to
Crete, to Cenchrea, to Athens, to Corinth, and to the churches of
Macedonia. The destruction of Jerusalem, and the wide dispersion
of the Judazan Christians, many of whom migrated to Asia Minor,
Macedonia and Greece, must have greatly increased his labors, since
to most of them he was personally known.

There seems to be good reason to believe the testimony of the
early fathers, some of whom were in direct communication with the
ST. JOHN, THE BELOVED DISCIPLE. 247

now venerable apostle, that his gospel was written about A. D. 85 or
86, at the request of the elders of the church at Ephesus, who,
though possessing the other gospels, desired to preserve his recollec-
tions of his beloved Master, and to obtain from him also those
particulars which had not been recorded by the others. His own
purpose in writing it seems to have been, not so much to supplement
the other gospels, though he does this incidentally, as to prove, in this
life of Jesus, that he was the Christ, the Son of God, God manifest in
the flesh. Having this object in view, he divides his gospel into two
parts: the first, extending from the first to the thirteenth chapter,
consists of a series of proofs or signs that Jesus was the predicted
Messiah, the appointed Saviour of the world; or, in other words, it is
arecord of what Jesus made known of himself to convince the
unbelieving; the second part, extending from chapter thirteenth to
the end of the book, consists of evidence that Jesus is the Saviour of
the world, derived from his intercourse and discourses in private with
his chosen friends, and especially as seen in the great sacrifice offered
by him, and its acceptance for the salvation of the world. When we
consider that this gospel must have been written when he was
eighty-five or eighty-six years old, and possibly nearer ninety; that its
detail of these conversations and discourses of Christ is very clear and
minute, and not marred in the slightest degree by the garrulity of old
age, and that the style of its composition is superior, even, to that of
the accomplished and learned Paul, while the Greek, in which it is
written, is as pure as that of the best classic Greek writers; we can
come to no other conclusions than these: that John was intellectually
a man of remarkable genius and extensive culture, and that he was
especially inspired of the Holy Spirit to write this and the other
books which he contributed to the New ‘Testament.

The Gospel of John is, indeed, so far as any book or document can
be, one of the main pillars of the Christian system. More than any
other of the books of the New Testament it is devoted to the
doctrines of the divinity of Jesus Christ and of the Trinity in unity,
and hence it has been the citadel against which infidelity and
rationalism have made their most vigorous and determined assaults ;
248 CHILDS IEE (OF, CHRIST,

but they have assailed it in vain: it stands to-day unharmed, as it has
stood through all the Christian ages, and as it shall continue to stand,
until the last foe shall have hurled his last missile against it.

But, though already past the allotted age of man, John had still
work to do for the Master he loved, and for the church of God. He
was, it is supposed, past his ninetieth year when he wrote the three
epistles which bear his name. They show on their pages evidence of
advanced age, but not of senility or weakened mental powers. The
theme of the first epistle is feZowshzp, the union of believers with
God and his Son Jesus Christ, and their union with one another.
Like all of John’s writings, it is thoroughly systematic. He treats
first of the nature of fellowship, in both its aspects; second, of its fruit,
holiness; third, of its law, truth; fourth, of its life, love; fifth, of its
root, faith, In reading it we are often reminded, by the vigor and
almost explosive force of its language, that this old man, whose head
has been whitened by the snows of almost a hundred winters, has not
yet wholly lost that fiery zeal which gave him, in his youth, the title
of Boanerges,a “son of thunder.” His heart, great and loving as it
is, has been sorely wounded by the professions of false disciples, who
claim to be the children of God, and to be perfect and sinless, while ~
their lives are impure and their hearts full of malice, bitterness and
hate; and he denounces them in such terms as these: “If we say that
we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not
the truth, . . If we say that we have no sin, we deceive our-
selves, and the truth is not inus. . . If we say that we have not
sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is notin us. . . He that
saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and.
the truth is notin him. . . Who is a liar but he that denieth that
Jesus is the Christ? He is Antichrist, that denieth the Father and
the Son. . . He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer; and ye know that no
murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” The honor of his blessed
Lord was assailed, and this loving and gentle disciple was roused to
wrath and denunciation, as he was in his youth, when a word was said
against him whom he loved. And yet, in other portions of this epistle,
ST. JOHN, THE BELOVED DISCIPLE. 249°

how tender and sweet is his spirit! “Herein is love, not that we
loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation
for our sins. Béloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one
another.” . . “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth
out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made
peticct-inslove,

The second and third epistles are short, and addressed to individual
disciples. They were probably written at a date still later than the
first, but breathe the same spirit.

The exact date of the death of the loving and venerable apostle is
unknown; different authorities differing more than twenty years in
their dates; but the most probable conjecture seems to be that he died
at Ephesus, in the third or fourth year of Trajan, and after passing his
hundredth year.

Jerome relates that when, in extreme old age, he was too weak to
walk into the church, he was still borne thither; and unable to deliver
a long discourse, he would lift his trembling hands and simply say,
“Little children, love one another;” and repeat these words again and
again. When asked why he constantly repeated this expression, his
answer was, “ Because this is the command of the Lord, and nothing
is done unless this thing be done.”

So passed away the last and most Christ-like of the apostles.
From the day of his Lord’s ascension to that in which he too joined
the assembly and church of the first-born, whose names are written in
the book of life, there is no stain or blemish on his character. His
life, for that period of more than seventy years, was as pure and
spotless as any recorded in the Scriptures, except only that of the
Blessed One, to whom through life he clung in adoring love.
Innumerable are the legends which have come down to us concerning
this holy servant of God; some of them are absurd and puerile, and
unworthy to be recorded, as they are totally at variance with his
character. These are probably the inventions of idle monks, who, in
the fifth and sixth centuries of our era, spent their abundant leisure in
the concoction of all manner of legends concerning the apostles, and
even concerning Christ himself’ A few are deserving of notice.
250 CHILD’S LIFE OF CHRIST,

because of their apparent harmony with the spirit of the apostle, and
because, from their earlier date, there is a stronger possibility of their
truth. Whether true or not, they are not inconsistent with his
character.

The tradition of his shipwreck on his first voyage to Ephesus, when
near that port, is not improbable, for the Atgean sea was often a
tempestuous one, and its many rocky islands, and its harbors and
roadsteads so liable to be filled up with silt from the mountain
streams, made shipwrecks there very frequent. The legend that he
was taken to Rome, and, by the orders of Nero, or some other
Roman tyrant, plunged in a caldron of boiling oil, from which he
emerged entirely uninjured, rests only on the doubtful authority of
Tertullian, and is believed by many of the most careful critics to be a
misinterpretation of the words of some earlier writer.

One of the most beautiful, as it is one of the most probable of these
traditions, is that which relates that, as he was visiting the church at
Pergamos, he saw a young man in the congregation to whom he was
powerfully drawn, and that, turning to the pastor of the church, he
said, “I commit this young man to you, before Christ and the
congregation.” The minister accepted the charge, took the youth ~
home, instructed, and finally baptized him. Subsequently he fell into
bad company, led a profligate life, and at last, renouncing all his
religious professions, joined a band of robbers, and became their
captain. After some years John again visited Pergamos, and while
there, made inquiry of the pastor concerning the young man whom he
had committed to his charge. The minister sighed heavily, and his
tears flowed, as he replied, “He is dead.” “Dead!” said John; “in
what way did he die?” “He is dead to God,” answered the pastor ;
“he became godless, and finally a robber, and is now with his
- companions in the fastnesses of the mountains.” The venerable
apostle, hearing this, started at once, and saying, “I must go
after this lost sheep,” procured a horse and guide, and went to the
mountain in which was the robbers’ haunt. Being seized, as he
had expected, by the band, he demanded to be carried into the
presence of their captain. The outlaw chief, recognizing John as he
ST. JOHN, THE BELOVED DISCIPLE. 251

approached, attempted to fly; but John hastened after him, crying,
“Why do you flee from me? Stop! stop! Do not be afraid. If
need be, I will lay down my life for you, as Christ laid down his life
for us. Believe, Christ hath sent me to you.” The robber stopped,
threw away his arms, and began to tremble and weep bitterly. John
finally let him back to the church, of which he subsequently became
one of the pillars, demonstrating the genuineness of his penitence and
conversion by his holy life and earnest zeal.

It remains that we should seek to ascertain what are the lessons to
be drawn from the character and example of this beloved and
eminently holy servant of Christ.

We have seen that, though possessed of rare gifts and of a tender
and loving nature, he was in his youth impulsive, full of strong
prejudices, and ambitious. Yet withal, there must have been some-
thing very attractive in him, some winning charm in his ways, which,
with his strong affections and his pure and truthful disposition, drew
the human heart of Jesus to him in a love which many waters could
not quench. He was the most loyal to Jesus of all the disciples,
and he gives this grand reason for his loyalty: “We love him
because he hath first loved us.” His fidelity to his Lord: was
unquestioned and unquestionable. No doubts of the perfect and
abiding love which existed between them ever caused a shadow
upon his brow, or for a moment beclouded his spirit.

And yet it required three years of instruction and training by the
divine Master, and the death, resurrection, and ascension of that
Master, to rid him of his expectations of the temporal reign of the
Messiah, to overcome his narrow and bitter prejudices, and to control
his vehement and passionate nature.

But when the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, had come, and imparted
its sanctifying and elevating influences to his soul, he was created
anew in Christ Jesus. He was no longer a Soanerges, a “son of
thunder,” but “a son of consolation.” He had power with God and
prevailed. Where miracles were needed for the confirmation of the
truth, they were wrought in the name of his Master; but to those with

whom he was brought in contact his pure and holy life was greater
: 29 ;
252 CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

than any miracle. Both Peter and John had been with Fesus, as the
Sanhedrim perceived (Acts iv, 13), and from him they had learned far
better than the Jewish rabbis could have taught them, to rebuke sin,
but to love and labor for the sinner; and by a pure and holy example
to enforce the truths they preached.

We cannot suppose that any man, except our adorable Redeemer,
has ever trod our earth who was perfectly free from sin, but it is
worthy of notice that the inspired writers, who, under the guidance
of the Holy Spirit, noticed so freely the errors and shortcomings of
even the purest and holiest, and were most severe of all upon their
own sins, nowhere, after the day of our Lord’s ascension, pass a word
of censure upon John. Peter, the great apostle of the circumcision,
was led astray in his course in regard to the Jewish and Gentile
disciples at Antioch; and even Paul, with his zealous and fervent
spirit and his overcoming faith, was not wholly exempt from those
infirmities of the flesh, which at times led him to cry out, “Oh!
wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of
this death?” But John dwelt perpetually in that higher atmosphere
of the divine love. No cloud obscured the Sun of Righteousness
from his vision; and cheered by its blessed rays, toil for his Lord
was a delight, pain was a pleasure, and he could say with the poet—

«*E’en sorrow, touched by thee, grows bright
With more than rapture’s ray;

As darkness shows us worlds of light
We never saw by day.’’

Nor can we doubt that the visions of God which were set before
him in Patmos were among the minor rewards, the “hundred-fold in
this life,” which were given to him for his unfaltering faith and his
undying love for his Redeemer. To him, as to Daniel, the message
might have come, “O man, greatly beloved, fear not.”

And when this “disciple whom Jesus loved” was at last received
into the mansion prepared for him above, does it transcend the grace
of our blessed Lord to suppose that the position which he ignorantly
sought on earth, in the days of his early ambition, was reserved for
him in the heavenly kingdom? That, having drank of the cup of












CHRIST AND THE TRIBUTE MONEY.


“54 CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST.

Christ’s earthly sufferings, and having undergone his baptism of sor-
rows, this saint of God, so greatly beloved, was called, not as a matter
of right, nor because of any claim he could bring, but of the free grace
of the Redeemer, to sit at his right hand as one of the prime ministers
of the now glorified and reigning Messiah? If such is his blessed
lot, no seraph of the heavenly host will utter with more melodious
notes the new song, or with a more reverent and adoring spirit will
ascribe “blessing, and honor, and glory, and power unto Him that
sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”

The lessons of this beautiful life, then, are briefly these: That,
however pure and amiable are our natural dispositions, we need to be
taught of Christ, and to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit, before we
can do our Master’s work effectively.

That, since Christ hath loved us and given himself for us, the only
measure of our love for him should be his love for us; and that the
nearer we attain to a perfect and all-absorbing love for him, the fewer
will be the clouds and doubts over our pathway, and the more perfect
and complete our peace and joy.

That it is only to those who, by long and constant trust in Christ,
have won this peace which passeth all understanding, that the heavens
are opened and they are permitted to know the blessedness of the
redeemed in glory, while they are still within this earthly tabernacle.

That if we would have an open and abundant entrance administered
to us into the New Jerusalem above, we must imitate the example of
the obedient, faithful, loving, and holy John, and, like him, be known
to all around us as the disciples whom Jesus loves. God has prom-
ised, “ He that overcometh shall inherit all things ; and I will be his
God, and he shall be my son.’

May God give to each of the readers of this book grace thus to
overcome.