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"TRUTH IS GROWING."
(AIR-Leicester Chartist Chaunt.) Truth is growing :-Hearts are glowing | Freedom bringeth Joy that singeth With the flame of Liberty:
All day long and never tires : Light is breaking :—Thrones are quaking: No more sadness all is gladness Hark the trumpet of the Free!
In the hearts that she inspires : Long, in lowly whispers breathing,
For she breathes a soft compassion Freedom wander'd drearily :
Where the tyrant kindled rage ;Still in faith her laurel wreathing
And she saith to every nationFor the day when there should be
Brethren, cease wild war to wage : Freemen shouting – Victory!'
Earth is your blest heritage !' Now she seeketh him that speaketh
Though kings render their defender Fearlessly of lawless Might,--
Titles, gold, and splendour gay,– And she speedeth him that leadeth
Lo! thy glory,-warrior gory,Brethren on to win the Right.
Like a dream shall fade away! Soon, the slave shall cease to sorrow
Gentle Peace her balm of healing Cease to toil in agony :
On the bleeding world shall pour; Yea, the cry may swell to-morrow
Brethren, love for brethren feeling, Over land and over sea
Shall proclaim from shore to shore* Brethren, shout-ye all are free!
• Shout-the sword shall slay no more!
« THE TIME SHALL COME.”
(AIR-Canadian Boat Song.)
Toil, brothers, toil, till the work is done,
Till bondage is o'er, and Freedom's won!
Toil, brothers, toil,—till the work is done,
Till bondage is o'er, and Freedom's won.
Toil, brothers, toil, till the work is done,
Till bondage is o'er, and Freedom's won!
Toil, brothers, toil,- till the world is free;
The time shall come when kingly crown
Toil, brothers, toil,-till the world is free
Till Mercy and Truth hold jubilee!
Toil, brothers, toil,-till the world is free
THE PEASANT'S EPITAPH.
Hard by lieth Timothy Clow;
Confirmed was his fontal vow !
Through life he made,“ duly,” his bow.
He worked on the shelterless plain,
Were covered with boil and blain !
Throbbed keen through his simple heart;
O'er the hill, with his humdrum cart.
With rheum, and his children lack'd
For charity, gave him-a tract !
Came on, and his locks grew grey ;
At fifty, when sorrow gave
To Death the poor worn-out slave,
CRITICAL EXEGESIS OF GOSPEL HISTORY,
ON THE BASIS OF STRAUSS's 'LEBEN JESU.' A SERIES OF EIGHT DISCOURSES; DELIVERED AT THE LITERARY INSTITUTION, JOHN
STREET, TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD, AND AT THE HALL OF SCIENCE, CITY ROAD,
BY THOMAS COOPER,
I. THE BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD OF JESUS.
(Concluded from last number.) To judge of the Gospel history as we judge of other histories, we cannot come to the decision that we have a narrative of reality in these portions of Matthew and Luke which profess to describe the events of the birth and childhood of Jesus of Nazareth. Yet that such an unreal narrative was formed, is not wondrous.
“If,” remarks Straugs, “ we consider the firm conviction of his disciples, that all which had been prophesied in the Old Testament of the Messiah must necessarily have been fulfilled in the person of their master; and, moreover, that there were many blank spaces in the history of Christ; we shall see that it was impossible to have happened otherwise than that these ideas should have embodied themselves, and thus the mythi have arisen which we find. Even if a more correct representation of the life of Jesus had been possible by means of tradition, this conviction of the disciples must have been strong enough to triumph over it.'
But who, and what was Jesus of Nazareth, that these profound convictions should have been infixed in the minds of his followers respecting him? “ Is not this the carpenter's son ?" is the question of the inhabitants of Nazareth, concerning him, according to Matthew; or, “Is not this the carpenter ?” according to Mark. The Jewish custom prescribed even to one destined to a learned career, or in general to any spiritual occupation, the acquisition of some handicraft. Thus Paul, who was “ brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, the learned rabbin, was also a tent-maker. We know nothing historical of extraordinary expectations or plans on the part of the parents of Jesus in relation to their son, and therefore nothing is more natural than the supposition that Jesus early practised the trade of his father. But his intellectual development must have been of the grandest order. He was one of those lowly born, but gloriously endowed children of Nature, which she brings forth at seasons, few and far between, to exercise a commanding influence upon mankind. His enemies assert (John, vii ch., 15 v.) that he had never learned letters; and he does not contradict them. His townsmen being astonished to find so much wisdom in him, we are compelled to infer that he had not, to their knowledge, been a student. Yet he is called “Rabbi,' and · Rabboni,' by his disciples; but these were salutations often bestowed on teachers who had not received a rabbinical education. And the intimate acquaintance which Jesus exhibits with doctrinal traditions, and the abuses and superstitions of the Rabbins, especially in the Sermon on the Mount, and in the anti-pharisaic discourse in Matthew (ch. xxiii) he might acquire from the numerous discourses of the Pharisees to the people, without going through a course of study under them. The annual visits of his parents to Jerusalem-for that is to be supposed of them, as pious Israelites, and that he would accompany them to the feast of the Passover-undoubtedly were the grand occasions for his acquirement of enlarged views. From his twelfth year—for such was the national custom-we may conjecture that Jesus availed himself of this excellent opportunity for mingling with the concourse of Jews and Jewish proselytes of all countries and opinions; and that he would thus form his mind, become acquainted with the doctrines of various sects, and, approve or reject them, learn the real condition of the people, and, perhaps, extend his mental survey beyond the narrow limits and prejudices of Palestine.
At the Passover, Jesus would meet Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes -members of the three great religious sects of his age and country; and among the foreign visitants would be Alexandrian Jews, even then beginning to be noted for their attachment to the doctrines of Plato. His transcendent intellect could not fail to enrich itself by observation of these varieties of religionists. With the Pharisees, he had evidently no sympathy, except in his belief of a future state: their sanctimonious hypocrisy and ceremonious trifling disgusted him. With the Sadducees he had, perhaps, scarcely any communion ; for the members of that sceptical sect were only to be found among the ruling classes, and the high religious cast of his mind would find no proper food in their materialism. With the Essenes, consisting chiefly of the toiling classes, Jesus must have felt a strong sympathy-yet not sufficient unity with them to destroy his mental independence.
Josephus--a cotemporary of Christ, be it remembered, if the date assigned for the birth of Jesus be the true one-gives some striking details of the manners and customs of the Essenes; assuring us that they cherished mutual love beyond other men—that they rejected pleasure as evil, and regarded temperance and a conquest over the passions as the greatest virtue-that, without condemning marriage, they preferred celibacy, and received and educated the children of others, as their own-that they despised riches-that none were to be found among them more wealthy than the rest, it being a law among them that those who joined their order should distribute their possessions among the members, the property of each being added to that of the rest, as being all brethren-that they appointed stewards to superintend the common interest, and that these had no other employment than to consult the good of each member without distinction—that the sect was not confined to one city, but many of them dwelt in every city, and if any of their sect came from other places, what they had lay open to them, just as if it were their own; and that they went in to the dwellings of such even as they had never known before, as if they had been ever so long acquainted with them—that they carried nothing with them when they travelled into remote parts, except weapons, for fear of thieves—that they neither bought nor sold anything to one another, but every one of them was accustomed to give of what he had to him that wanted it, and to receive in lieu of it what might be convenient to himself.
Such were the practices of these Jewish Communists, according to Josephus; and his description of their religious doctrines and customs is of equal importance to us, while we are considering what were the influences to which Jesus was exposed from those around him. The Essenes, this writer further observes, believed firmly in the immortality of the soul, and esteemed that the rewards of righteousness were to be earnestly striven for: they adhered inflexibly to truth and chastity, exercised strict justice towards all men, forbad theft and taking of oaths, restrained anger, and if any of their members fell into immorality, they immediately disowned them. His description, in other respects, reminds us of the Monkish orders—for he tells us that they clothed themselves in white, sat down to eat in solemn silence, each with one sort of food placed before him, that their washings were frequent-in brief, that they manifested zeal for much which, we learn from the Gospels, that Jesus regarded as unimportant.
Philo, another writer, confirms the account of the Essenes given by Josephus,says that they numbered 4,000, and that their name signified "holy,' for that they had attained the highest holiness in the worship of God, not by sacrificing animals, but by cultivating purity of heart--that none among them manufactured darts, arrows or weapons of war—that they declined trade, commerce, and navigation, as incentives to covetousness—that they had no slaves among them, but all were free, and all in their turn ministered to others; and that they condemned the owners of slaves, as tyrants who violate the principles of justice and eqality--that they despised logic and metaphysics, but eagerly studied moral philosophy—that in reading and interpreting the Scriptures, they chiefly sought for rules to guide them to the love of God, the love of virtue, and the love of man—that they diligently attended to the sick, and ministered to the aged with reverence, as parents are attended to by affectionate children—that they were fiercely persecuted by the powerful, and by whole flocks were often cruelly butchered, though none could impeach the innocence of their lives. Philo also describes a peculiar sect of the Essenes, called Therapeuts' or healers, who especially cultivated the art of healing; and says there was a considerable settlement of this branch in “ Egypt, about Alexandria, and beyond the lake Maria."
From the view given by both these writers of the Essenes, we see that, among “the common people,” with whom Jesus delighted to associate, his mind would be able to gather many of his clearest perceptions of moral truth and purity. Yet the strict sabbatical observances, and many ascetic
practices, described by both Josephus and Philo, as characteristic of the Essenes, found no favour with the strong intellect of the young Galilean.
It is to the peculiar National hopes of the peculiar people among whom he was born, however, that we must look for the source of his deepest motives, and for the ruling enthusiasm of his pure and lofty character. The Jews, by all the associations of their national history, held themselves to be the chosen people of Jehovah. They had been punished for their disobedience; but their old bards, or prophets, had foretold that their Theocracy - the “ kingdom of God," or "kingdom of Heaven,"—should be restored with exultant triumph. These foretellings have never yet been realised ; but, in the time of Christ, and while in subjugation to the Romans, the fervent hope of a glorious restoration was national. When Cyrenius, or Quirinus, that Roman governor of whom we have already had a glimpse from the confused story of Luke, imposed an extraordinary taxation on the Jewish people, (and this would be in, or about, the tenth year of Jesus, if his birth is to be considered as fixed at the common era,) Josephus relates that a Galilean named Judas, raised an insurrection against the Romans, and asserted that God only, was to be the ruler and lord of the Jewish people. This is the person mentioned by Gamaliel, in the Acts' (v. c. 37 v.) " Judas who rose up in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him : he also perished.” Josephus tells us that the nation was never thoroughly settled after the appearance of this insurrectionist-that he founded a fourth sect, who, like himself promoted innovations in the Mosaic customs, insomuch that the strict Pharisees exclaimed against the new heresy, Other pretenders rose up who taught the people to look for deliverance from the Romans, not by arms, but by the miraculous intervention promised by the prophets. And one of these is depictured by Josephus as leading a multitude out to Mount Gerizim, and promising to shew them there the sacred vessels hidden in that mountain by Moses; but that Pilate violently dispersed them. John the Baptist is afterwards introduced by Josephus, and spoken of with respect as a teacher of virtue. The Gospels describe him as preaching the “ kingdom of heaven," but we must reserve till the second discourse, any discussion of the probable influence exercised by him upon the character of Jesus.
We have seen that the moral and patriotic influences of his time were powerful. They must have stirred his gifted mind; and when moved, it could not fail to make an impression upon his countrymen. Like a true patriot he glowed with the desire to see his country freed from the Roman yoke; but like a true philanthropist he shrank from the thought of bloodshed. And, above all, his highly religious mind, had drank in the doctrine of “the kingdom of Heaven.” He possessed a firm conviction that a new state of things was to be brought about by a great moral change, and that that change was to be operated by Divine power. His large heart yearned over the sufferings of the poor, and the inequality among men. His idea of the Divinity was sublimated into the tenderest conception of Him as the great ‘Father.' He knew that he himself would make the whole world happy, at once, if he possessed the power, and therefore he conceived that his Father, the Father of all, would speedily make it happy. The “ kingdom of Heaven” was at hand! A great regeneration of mankind was about to be wrought by the Almighty! The Prophets had foretold that the Messiah should be sent to ef. fect this. He felt his own mental elevation over those around him ; he felt that this thought filled up his whole being; and he began to conceive that he