Imagens das páginas
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]

It also contributed to another' valuable two years old, and under; thinking that purpose, in that the offerings of the wise the infant Jesus, whom, as a prince, he both men procured a subsistence for the holy fa. envied and dreaded, would fall in the gemily in Egypt, whither they were soon af. | neral slaughter. ter,warned to fly, in order to escape the vengeance of the enraged king : for no sooner · But the heavenly missionary was sheltered had the wise men departed from Bethlehem,

from above : nor was the relentless king thari Joseph was warned by a heavenly mes

permitted to impede the designs of an Alsenger, of the barbarous purpose of Herod, mighty Creator. and commanded to fly into Egypt, with the young child and his mother.

| However, the cities through which the

soldiers carried their destructive sword, exJoseph, in obedience to the Almighty

bibited such scenes of horror and distress,

às could not fail to thrill every soul not en-, command, rose that very night, and fled into Egypt, “and was there until the death

tirely lost in humanity. No sound wag, of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which

heard but the piercing cries of parents, the was spoken of the Lord, by the prophet ;

groans of expiring babes, and a general, out of Egypt bave I called my son." This

imprecation of vengeance on the mercilessprophecy, which is quoted from Hosea,

tyrant. But he did not long survive the seems originally to refer to the Israelites ;

| cruel decree, being swept away by a nauthough the Evangelist's reference will be

| seous disease, to answer for his conduct at

the bar of a tremendous judge.' amply justified, by considering that the Egyptian captivity alludes to their subjec

No description can paint the horror of tion of the Israelites to great bardships, and

such a scene of relentless cruelty in a more their deliverance from the same, by an Al

glaring light, than the verse quoted by the mighty hand.

evangelist Matthew, from the prophet Jere

miab, " Then was fulfilled that which was Now, as the departure of the holy family

spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, in into Egypt was in obedience to the divine

Rama there was a voice heard, lamentations command, in order to protect the Infant

and weeping, and great mourning. Rachel froin the incensed Herod, the application of

weeping for her children, and would not be the prophet, “Out of Egypt have I called

comforted because they were not." This my Son," appears very just as well as ele.

prophecy must not be understood literally: gaot. The king of Judea long waited, with

but descriptively, or as a figure, used to the most carnést expectation, the return of

display the horror of the scene, as there apthe wise men, anxious to glut his full re

plied by the evangelist, in which acceptasentment on the innocent Jesus ; till, from

tion it has a peculiar beauty representing their long delay, he began to suspect a de

Rachel, the beloved wife of Jacob, buried lusion, and that his designs were frustrated

many years ago in the fields of Bethlehem, by some extraordinary interposition of Pro

awakened by the cries of slaughtered chilvidence.

dren, bursting even the chains of death,

and lamenting the hapless fate of ibe mur. At length, irritated by disappointment, dered innocents which surrounded her... be resolved to accomplish by cruelty, a resolution he could not effect by art, and accord The tyrant Herod being thus cut froin ingly issued orders to a large party of sol. | off the face of the earth, Joseph was warned diers to go throughout Bethlehem, and the by a heavenly messenger to return to the neighbouring villages, and massacre all the land of Israel. The good old man obeyed children they could find therein, that were the Almighty command, and appears to : No. 2.*

have had a great desire of residing in Judea, sto the fulfilment of those prophecies, because alid very probably in Bethlehen ; but hears in the edurse of his public ministry, he was ing that Herod was succeeded in bis-throne, frequently i reproached with the same, and by his son Archelaus, and fearing that he his countrymen often urged' it as a reason might pursue the barbarous design of his for their disregard of iris doctrine, But as father, he directed his course another way : the stubboroness of unbelief will never adbut being warned again by a heavenly mis- mit of conviction, redive therefore added sion, he retired into Galilee, then under the these remarks, to coolirm the faith of the government ofa mild and benevolent prince, Christian, rather thau convince ithe absticalled Antipas, and took his habitation at | nate infidet. Nazareth, where the particular circuinstances which attended the birth of the blessed Jesus were not generally known. The evangelist affirms that Josepir, with

CHAP. III. the infant and his mother, resided in Nazareth, where the holy Jesus spent his youth, “ That it might be fulfilled wbich was State of our Lord's Childhood and prispoken by the prophet, He shall be called a vate Life. His Argument with the Nazarene.”

Jewish Doctors. Mission, Character.

and Doctrine of the Baptist. Baptism, The advocates for infidelity, whose notice

of Christ, and visible Descent of the the smallest inaccuracy in the sacred scrip

Spirit on that Solemnity. tures has not escaped, have not failed to observe that 'the evangelist refers to what be

THE precise circumstances of our Lord's cannot justify, from any of the prophetical

1 childhood and life, previous to his pub, writings, in which there are no such words

lic ministry, cannot be ascertained fron) the to be found, as '“He shall be called a Na

writings of any of the eyangelists, which rarene." But be it known, that the evan

can only be relied on as authentie. All we gelist may, with justice, be vindicated from

can gather from those inspired men is, that impropriety, by reminding these sceptics,

the faculties of his mind were enlarged in that though 'the very words are not to be

proportion to the growth of his body, inso-' found, tlieallusion is just, and consequently

much that he arrived at the very protection the application. This expression refers to

of heavenly wisdom. the general contempt and ridicule in which the Israelites' held the Galileans, and especially the Nazarenes, who were even de

As his parents were low and poor, be had spised by the Galileans themselves, inso

not the advantage of a finished education ; much that the word Nazarene became a term

and he seems to have received no other inof reproach

struction than what his parents gave him, in

conformity to the Jewish laws. But super- Now as the prophet in general foretold | natural abilities amply compensated for the the disgrace and infamy through which the deficiency of natural acquirements, and he blessed Jesus should pass, they consequently gave instances in his earliest years, of amazforetold he should be called a Nazarene, or ing penetration and consummate wisdom. exposed to every token of contempt and ridicale, of which this appellation, at that According to the Mosiac institution, bis : time, was a remarkable instance.

parents annually went up to Jerusalem ; and

when he arrived at the age of twelve years, It is evident that our Lord's residence at carried him with them to that city, in order Nazareth tended, in a remarkable manner, that he mi at early imbibe 'the precepts of

[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]
« AnteriorContinuar »