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told of the jealouly of aged and professional men. Not a doctor in the temple but would have felt and resented the mortifying superiority of a child, had that superiority been oftentatiously displayed ; but his whole deportment excited only admiration and love ; his understanding was equalled only by his affability and condescension ; he at once instructs his teachers and gains their good will ; "all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers."

If strangers were thus moved by a mild display of early, una ffecied wisdom, what must a parent have lelt, whose heart but a moment before was throbbing with anguish unut'erable? How happy is the to acknowledge such a son, the delight of every eye, the theme of every tongue. But even Mary, the mother of Jesus, is weak and imperfect, the speaks, unad.. visedly with her lips, fhe presumes to mingle upbraiding and reproach with expressions of endearment and exultation; she has forgotten from whence she received him, the character given him of the angel helore he was conceived in the womb, the sacred names which te bore, the testimony which God had so repeated!y given to his beloved Son; she addresses him, all-wonderful as he was, as it he had been merely an ordinary child, who had thoughtlessly and wantonly rambled away from his parents, and had given them unnecessary trou. ble and pain, He whose every word, every action had an important meaning and design. "Son," says she, “ why haft thou thus dealt with us ? Rehold thy Father and I have fought thee forrowing." And now the answer of Christ to this queftion unfolds the great end which he had in view, through the whole transaction. It was time for him to assert his divine original ; and the meekest and most submissive of all children stands invested with divine majesty,“ how is it that ve fought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's businels ?" or, as it might perhaps with greater propriety have been rendered, " in my Fatker's house."

What a lesson is conveyed to the world in this réply ? Sa. cred is the authority of a mother over a son of twelve years of age, but there is an authority still more sacred, of which a child even of that age may be sensible. When the honour of God is concerned, the voice of nature must be suppresled. When the voice of heaven calls, the decencies and civilities of life must give place, and all secondary obligations and cona fiderations must be swallowed up of the first. He filently en. dured the reproach of being called the carpenter's fon by Brangers, but his own mother must denominate him what he


is, and what she knew him to be. But reproof of a parent must be insinuated, not brought directly torward ; and here again the pattern is perfect ; delicacy and firmness unite to fpare the mother, yet reprove the offence ; and whatever were the other questions and answers of this celebrated conference, those which are on record will remain an everlasting monument of the perfect union of wildom and harınlessness, which diltioguished the Son of God from every other.

The Sun, having thone forth in this temporary effulgence, again hid its face in clouds, and submitted to an eclipse of eighteen years longer ; He diverted himself of all authority ; He fought not glory from man; He became of no reputation, He took on him the form of a servant. “ He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them ;" and by this voluntary humiliation of himself, by this retreat into the shade, more than by ten thousand precepts and argu. ments, He has inculcated the practice of humility on his dis. ciples. A few short words contain the history of many years, even so, holy Faiher, for so it seemed good in thy fight; " Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." Let us not presume to draw aside the veil which infinite wisdom has spread, nor seek to be wise above what is written, ihele things the angels desire to look into, and some of these things, though now they are hidden from us, we may be permitted to know hereafter..

About the period of this passover, when Christ was fhewing himself in the temple, after this extraordinary manner, as the Son of God, Auguftus Cesar, the emperor of Rome, dies, and is succeeded in the throne by Tiberius. About six years after, Josephus, called Caiaphas, was made high priest of the Jews, through the partial favour of Valerius Gratus, the Roman governor. Towards the end of the twelfth year from that period, Pontius Pilate was sent into Palestine as procurator of Judea, in the room of Valerius Gratus, and John Baptist entered on the eser. cise of his public ministry. Those names are now stripped of all their glory; those stations are now fallen into disuse, those events are now stripped of all their importance, save what they derive from the relation which they bear to yonder babe in the stable, that child in the midst of the doctors, that gentle, ob. {cure, unassuming youth of Nazareth of Galilee. So differently do objects weigh when examined by the scale of the world, and tried by the balance of the fanétuary. In the next Lecture we will proceed, if God permir, to the history of Chrill's baptisın, and of the illustrious teftimony then given


from the moft excellent glory to Jesus Christ, as God's well.. beloved Son.

"" Let us, with Mary keep all these, sayings in our heart." Let us, from, the example of this pious pair, regularly attend the worship of God's house, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves as i he manner of some is :", and thus shall we “ go from flrength to strength" till we appear before God in Zion. Let us cafetully attend to the proper mode of treatment of children, tuited to age, to. capacity, to temper and disposition. The discipline adapted to childhood is by no means luited to a more advanced state ; and when the youth has become a man, and " put away childish things,” he must be treated as a man, It is of importance to know when the stimulus, when the bri. dle is to be employed. What would overwhelm the timid, may prove hardly a curb to the headstrong; the flow of speech and understanding must not be urged into the speed of the acute and impetuous. Parents rejoice in a forward display of faculties in their children; they encourage it, and they not feldom repent it. The opposite error is not comnion, and is therefore less an object of caution. The difficulties which dai. ly present themselves, in managing the progress of the human mind, are frequensły insurmountable by the ordinary powers of man, which therefore stand in need of the illumination of “ wisdom from above ; " " it any of you,” then, “lack wis. dom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." .

Let the young he instructed how to rise into eminence and diftinction, Covet not, pursue not premature honour and applause. Extor:ed praise is gratifying neither to the giver nor the receiver ; a free-will offering of approbation is "twice. bleft ; it bleffech him that gives, and him that takes.” Meditate on the familiar image, which, no doubt, has frequently been suggested to you: honour, like the shadow, pursues the flyer, and flies from the pursuer. Demand less than your due, and men will be disposed to give you the more. My young friends,“ be not chiidren in understanding : howbeit, in mal, içe be ye children, but in underftanding be men.”

tren; they once in a forwardedicate the a

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LUXE, 111, 21-23. Now, when all the people were baptised, it came to pass, that Jesus.

also being baptised, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape, like a dove, apon him, and a voice came from heaven, which faid, thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. And Jesus nimielf began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed the fon of Foseph, which was the son of Heli.

THE declared purpose of our Evangelift, in undertaking to

1 write this history, is that his moft excellent friend Theo. philus, and with him every lover of God and truth, "might know the certainty of those things wherein he had been inftructed.". This “certainty" is demonstrable from the spirit which Christianity breathes, and from the external evidence by which its divine original was confirmed. The religion of Jesus Christ proves that it came down from heaven, from the Father of lights, by the character of the great Author and Finisher of our Faith, by the example of all righteousness which he set, by the purity and heavenly-mindedness which he displayed and recommend. ed, by the labours of mercy and love which he performed, by the sufferings which he patiently underwent, and by the glory that followed." To these Providence was pleafed to fuperadd proots that reach the understanding through the medium of fense ; namely fignal, fupernatural and frequently-repeated tel. timonies, exbibited in the presence of a cloud of witnesses, who produced a clear, concurring, confiftent mass of evidence, ref. pecting facts which fell under the personal observation of their own eyes and ears, and which were never contradicted nor even called in question.

At this distance of time and place, the last mentioned species of evidence, that of external circumstances, muft of necessity be transmitted to us through the channel of history, and its va. lidity must rest on the veracity of the historian. The other fort of evidence is the same yesterday, and to day, and forever. This counsel approves itself to be of God, to the convi&tion of every one who seriously examines it, at whatever distance of time and place, from its indeļible characters, from the univer

Caliny of the field which it embraces, and from the glorious and godlike end at which it aims : in a word, from its congeniality to the feelings, to the wilhes, and to the wants of human nature. Had no prediction taught the world to expect a Deliv. erer ; had no miracle declared Him the great Lord of the Uni. verse ; had no voice from Heaven proclaimed Him the belov. ed Son of God, He must have stood confessed the predicted E. manuel. God with us. in his companion to the miserable, in his patience with the froward, in his forbearance toward the.e. vil and unthankful, in his clemency to the guilty. The Gofa pel breathes “ peace on earth and good will to men ;" its unhounded liberality diffuses its influence over the whole world of mankind ; its professed aim and end are to confer all posfibly attainable happiness on every human being, in the life which now is, and perfect and everlasting felicity in ihat which is to come. The obje&t which Christianity proposes to itself is to reform, to purity, to exalt our fallen nature, by making us partakers of a divine nature ; it is to rear the fabric of present and everlafting blessedness on the solid foundation of wisdom, truth and virtue.: It penetrates and pervades every principle of our nature, and enters completely into the detail of human life and conduct : it intormsthe understanding, melts the heart, overawes the conscience, and brings the trembling, guilty, helpless, desponding creature unto God. If these are not the, characters of a Revelation from the God and Father of all men, What characters are sufficient to produce beliet? If the spirit and tendency of the Gospel work not convi&ion, the descent of an angel from heaven, or the return of one from the res gions of the dead would be equally inefficacious.!

In this “ doctrine according to godliness,” Men and Brethren, we behold genuine philosophy, not carelessly flumbering over fancied plans of improvement, not coldly suggesting ideas of reform, not bewildering herself in the peradventures of doubtful disputation, but philosophy alive, awake and in action; philosophy doing good and diffusing happiness ; the divine philosophy which brings God down to dwell with men upon earth, and which raises men from earth to heaven. In its great Author we behold not the fullen, supercilious recluse, looking with affected contempt on the weakness and ignorance of man

kind, talking and arguing lagely, and effecting nothing, but · the beneficent friend ot man, mixing with society, looking with complacency on harmless enjoyment, stretching forth the hand to relieve distress, with patience and condescension in. fructing the ignorant, outrunning the expectations, and even the desires of the humble, and overcoming evil with good. At

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