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ern shore, resembling in its form the cone of Vesuvius, near Naples, and having also a crater upon its top, which was plainly discernible. The distance, however, is much greater than it appears to be, the magnitude of the objects beheld in this fine, prospect causing them to appear less remote than they really are. Everything about it was in the highest degree grand and awful.”
Bethlehem is six miles from Jerusalem. That well for which David longed when he said, “Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate !"2 Samuel xxiii. 15—is still said to remain, sending up its pure and delicious waters for the weary and thirsty traveler.
But the glories of Bethlehem have passed away. The anxious mother, who fled with her babe into Egypt, and all the mothers, whose hearts were made desolate by the bereavement of their little ones, have passed off this cruel scene of action and suffering. Jesus, the once crucified, now reigns King eternal in heaven. Mary still adores her Lord, and David tunes his golden harp in a still sweeter song of praise
THE PRIDE OF ANCESTRY.
A SHORT time since, a little paragraph was migrating from one paper to another, the purport of which was, that the “
proud Duke” of Somerset used to say, that he pitied Adam because he had no ancestors.
The idea was a novel one; it never occurred to the mind of the writer, that it was possible our first parents had any need of the sympathy of their descendants. Made “very good”—but "a little lower than the angels”—placed in a beautiful garden, well watered by rivers; breathing a balmy air ; what more could they need? In this Eden, which signifies pleasure or delights, grew every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food.” Here, too, Adam had a companion with whom he held sweet converse. As if this was not enough for man, God himself condescended, from day to day, to hold communion with him. Could the happy
pair be more highly favored ? Did our great progenitor need sympathy? We would not have thought it possible, had not that pitiable nobleman suggested the idea. Now verily, we do believe Adam was to be pitied. Not, however, because his birth was not deduced from loins enthroned, but because he was a stranger to filial love. There is happiness, which to him was unknown. To all that is contained in those endearing words, father, mother, brother, sister, he was a total stranger. Not having any childhood, he knew not how good it was to confide in a fond parent; to be moved by the wise counsel of an aged father; or to be solaced by a tender mother. Some of the most hallowed and devoted affections of the heart were never his. Those family scenes and regulations so dear to us; the family altar—the going together to the house of God--the pleasant evening fireside, when the venerable sire takes down the Holy Word and instructs the family group-thou couldst not enter into the joys of these, our brightest and sweetest remembrances. 0, Adam! thou art indeed to be pitied, for to thee was denied an early home.
The family !--what a holy compact-a constitution organized by Deity-a union of hearts and interests. Oft-times the family circle is so sacred, that the entrance of a kind friend seems like intrusion. It is a little heaven below. Whose silent influences make home so sweet, so sacred a place? The mother. Her peculiar sphere is in her own household ; she is to make home happy; to draw around it such attractions, that no allurements from without will be preferred to their own sanctuary. The mother is to secure the confidence of every child, and make it feel that she is its best friend. If the mother realizes her duty, and strives to do it, the child will soon feel that there are mutual obligations.
“Pious mothers have done more to people heaven than any other class of persons next to the preachers of the Gospel.” When such mothers are no more, then will their children rise up and say, in the language of Cowper
“My boast is not, that I deduce my birth
THE CHILD JESUS QUESTIONING THE DOCTORS.
LESSONS FOR MOTHERS OR MATERNAL ASSOCIATIONS,
HEN we closed our last lesson we told you that Joseph and Mary were warned of God to take the child Jesus, and flee into Egypt, so
that Herod should not kill him. His parents kept him in Egypt until the death of Herod.
When Herod was dead, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph, in Egypt, saying, “ Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel ; for they are dead which sought the young child's life.” And he took the young child and his mother, and came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth-the place where his parents once lived. The Saviour was sometimes called a Nazarene, by way of reproach, because Nazareth was a place which the Jews despised—they thought nothing good could come out of Nazareth. But our Saviour was born in a manger, and he was not afraid of being despised. After Joseph and Mary returned to live at Nazareth, the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom ; and the grace of God was upon
him. The parents of Jesus went up to Jerusalem every year, to celebrate the feast of the Passover. And when the child Jesus was
twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem, after the custom of the feast, and took the child with them.
When the parents of Jesus had remained there till the feast was over, they returned, but Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem, and Joseph and his mother knew not of it, but supposing he was among the company-for there were a great many people who went up to Jerusalem—they went on a day's journey toward home. When they missed him they were troubled, and they sought for him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance, and when they could not find him, they turned back again to Jerusalem. They knew not what had become of their little son, and were in great distress, as parents always are when they lose their little children. But they sought for him, and after three long days they found him at Jerusalem, in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, who were learned men-hearing them, and asking them questions. All the people in the temple, who heard him talk with the doctors, were astonished that so little a child should understand and answer their questions.
When his parents found him, and saw what he was doing, they were amazed. They did not suppose that he, so small a child, had sufficient wisdom to reason with the learned doctors, and perhaps they feared he had been saying some childish or foolish things; but the doctors did not think so, they wondered at his wisdom.
His mother felt, perhaps, that he had done wrong. She addressed her child as any kind and good mother would have done in such a trial. She said to him, “Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.” His answer to his mother was a peculiar one, such as no other child would have given. “How is it,” said he,
" How is it,” said he, “that ye sought me; did you not know that I must be about
Father's business ?" He meant his heavenly Father. They did not understand what Jesus meant by this answer. But his mother laid up what he said in her heart. She thought, after all, her son was doing the will of his heavenly Father. Jesus knew that he was. But he went home with his father and mother, and was subject unto them, that is, he was an obedient and dutiful child. Yes,
though he was the Saviour of the world, yet he loved and obeyed his mother. And when he was nailed to the cross, and suffering the agonies of death, he remembered his mother. He will love and remember all the little children who love and obey their parents.
- Jesus, who reigns above the sky,
And keeps the world in awe,
And kept his Father's law.
At twelve years old, he talk'd with men,
(The Jews all wond'ring stand ;) Yet he obey'd his mother then,
And came at her command.
Children a sweet hosanna sung,
And bless'd their Saviour's name;
While scribes and priests blaspheme.
Then why should I so long delay,
What others learn'd so soon ?
Without this work begun.”
How long did Mary and Joseph remain in Egypt?