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spread out before Him. As Edersheim says, "There could not be a national history, nor even romance, to compare with that by which a Jewish mother might hold her child entranced."
4. The Roman Yoke was irksome and galling, 'J and stirred in Him patriotic desires to deliver His *
5. The Jewish Hopes of a Redeemer, of throwing off their bondage, of becoming the glorious nation promised in the prophets, were in the very air He breathed.
6. His School Training was largely in the Scriptures. He learned three languages. (1). The Hebrew of the Scriptures, for His quotations were from the Hebrew, not the Greek.—Stalker. (2). The Aramaic, the common language of the people, and related to the Hebrew something as Italian is to Latin; and (3) Greek. "He would have the same chance of learning Greek as a boy born in the Scottish Highlands has of learning English, 'Galilee of the Gentiles' being then full of Greek-speaking inhabitants."—Stalker.
7. His Home Training must have been in a most spiritual atmosphere, full of love and piety and good morals. He was a good son and obedient to His parents.
8. The Training In Travel.—The journeys of Jesus, year by year, to Jerusalem were an education whose benefits can scarcely be estimated.
9. His Business Training, By Daily Labor —Jesus learned the trade of a carpenter from His father (Matt. xiii. 55; Mark vi. 1-3). The human race must work in some way; and it was well that their
, Saviour should have trod the way of daily toil. In that school may be learned nearly all the virtues, when the smallest acts are done with the highest motives. The spiritual motive transfigures the lowliest toil.
Library. Geo. Adam Smith's "Historical Geography of Holy Land," pp. 432-435. Walter Beasant's "The City and the Land," p. "4
The Carpenter's Shop.—Jesus worked in a carpenter shop during his youth. The humblest service done from the highest motives, was noble and worthy. The home and the carpenter shop were "the seed plot of the manly virtues."
"Plucked by his hand, the meanest weed that grows Towers to the lily, reddens to the rose."— Wm. Watson.
Angels In The Kitchen.—" In one of Murillo's pictures in the Louvre, he shows us the interior of a convent kitchen; but doing the work there are not mortals in old dresses, but beautiful, whitewinged angels. One serenely puts the kettle on the fire to boil, and one is lifting up a pail of water with heavenly grace, and one is at the kitchen dresser reaching up for plates; and I believe there is a little cherub running about and getting in the way, trying to help. . . . . All are so busy, and working with such a will, and so refining the work as they do it that somehow you forget that pans are pans, and pots are pots, and only think of the angels, and how very natural and beautiful kitchen work is,—just what the angels would do, of course."— William C. Gannett.
Library.—William C. Gannett's " Blessed be Drudgery."
Pictures.—The Carpenter's Shop, Sir J. E. Millais. The Carpenter's Shop at Nazareth, Hoffmann. The Shadow of Death, Holman Hunt. Christ among the Doctors, and Finding of Christ in the Temple, Holman Hunt. The Boy Jesus in the Temple, Hoffmann (Dresden).
"Oh ! say not, dream not, heavenly notes
"Was not our Lord a little child
23. He Shall Be Called A Nazarene.— Nazareth probably obtained its name from the Hebrew Netser, a shoot, a branch, from its small beginnings (Keil). Jesus was the Netser, the shoot, the branch of (Isaiah xi. 1). He was an insignificant sprout from the roots or stump of David's royal house, which should grow greater than the original tree. The Jewish nation was cut down by the exile, so as to leave but a stump. Assyria was cut down like a fir tree, from whose roots no new shoots spring. Judah was cut down like an n^ oak, from whose stump spring new shoots which often grow larger than the original tree. The trees around my study are, most of them, this second growth, the results of this new sprouting. Jesus was a Netser, a Nazarene, the new shoot through whom the kingdom of God became far greater and more glorious than the original kingdom.
One Incident of these twenty-eight years at Nazareth is recorded by Luke ii. 40-50. Jesus twelve years old. A.d. 7 or 8.
1. In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea,
2. And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Pictures.— John the Baptist Preaching in the Wilderness, Titian (Venice), Dore (London). Youthful John the Baptist, Del Sarto, Perrault.
2. REPENT Ye.—tieravoelTe, from prrd, after, with, and voiu, to perceive, to think. "In this compound the preposition combines the two meanings of time and change, which may be denoted by after and different, so that the whole compound means to think differently after. Repentance is, therefore, an after thought, different from the former thought; then a change of mind which issues in regret, and in a change of conduct."—Prof. M. R. Vincent, in Word-Studies.
A Heart Change Needed.—The colored man who took off the hands of his clock and brought them to the clockmaker to be regulated, knew as little about clocks as those people do about Christianity who think it can be regulated by mere forms or external rules. There is a story of an old Spartan, who, after vainly trying to make a dead man stand upright, said: "It wants something inside."
Reference. See on iv. 17.
The Power Of Repenting.—" The fact that the brain is a
double organ—that there are really two brains, only one
Oor Doable of whicn is used— .... points clearly to the hypoth
r* esis that the brain is not an ^Eolian harp helplessly
vibrating under external impulses, but a double organ with two stts
of keys, and the mind is like the player, who can use either one of
them to make music. And this corresponds closely with our own
_. . sense of the process. For we are conscious not only of
The Player's . , r. .... 7
Choice of P*551^ thoughts and feelings evoked within us byexter
the Tone nal causes, ^ut also of thoughts and feelings voluntarily he Plays. directed and" combined, woven together in creative harmonies, and moving under the guidance of chosen ideals
3. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
toward a symphonic completeness."—H. Van Dyke, Gospel for an Age of Doubt, p. 221.
Reference. See on iv. 17.
Repent Ye, For The Kingdom Of Heaven Is At Hand.— Repentance and forsaking of sin are necessary before God can give the blessings of salvation and the fruits of the Spirit; as the warm spring sun must come and thaw the ground and melt the snow before the flowers and fruits can bless the earth. It is useless to sow even the best of seed on snow banks and frozen soil. The springtime is an invitation to sow the good seed. It makes it possible to sow in hope.
"Stanley makes a note of the fact that while traveling in the Dark Forest in Africa he did not see many snakes. But when he stopped for a few weeks' rest, he determined to clear up a plot of land and plant it in corn. He says that when Conc*aled they commenced to clear the land they found snakes everywhere. Snakes under the logs, rocks, leaves, up in the bushes, and down in the earth. The land was cleared, the snakes killed, the corn planted, and in a few weeks they had fine roasting ears." In human nature there are many serpents of evil often hidden from consciousness. The preaching of repentance reveals them, men slay them, and there may grow up from the same soil a bounteous harvest of the fruits of the Spirit.
3. Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord—The breaking up of wild ground for cultivation, removing rocks and roots of trees and thorns- and weeds, plowing the ground, are all necessary as preparations for sowing the good seed, without which there can be no harvest.
The Need Of A John The Baptist.—" Sometimes, nay, often, a church or a nation lies like a ship becalmed on the tropic sea. The air around it is heavy with pestilence and with death. The heat and the stagnation bring forth a brood of contemptible vices. Then some rushing storm-centre comes sweeping across the waters, and gathers