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He seems still to sit " among the doctors, both hearing them and asking them questions," while they, like the sheaves of Joseph's brethren, are compelled to bow down before Him.
His sermons and discourses, while they possess no logical sequence, yet His words flow up, in irregular yet calm succession, from the depth below. And yet all He says is "like an angel, vital everywhere," and each word is a complete whole.
Like jewels from a crown, the sentences drop down entire. He says: "Ye are the salt of the earth. Be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect." But wholesomeness belonged to more than Christ's words, it belonged to Himself and to His words, because they faithfully and fully represented Himself, even as the acorn carries in it the figure of the oak.
He was complete, and His possession of all the virtues was signified by the calm which reigned over and inclosed them within it. His eye concentrated all the rays of the Divine Omniscience into its mild and tearful orb. His heart was a miniature ocean of love. His arm seemed the symbol of Omnipotence. His voice was invested with supreme authority. "In
Him dwelt the fulness of the God-head bodily, as a willing tenant, not as a reluctant captive." But, as a man, as well as the Incarnation of the God-head, He was perfect.
Beside the stately, ancient, and noble forms of the patriarch's of the old world, He seems young and slender. He spake not, like Solomon, on trees, from the cedar on Lebanon, to the hyssop which springeth out of the wall. He had no Sinai for pedestal, as Moses had. He had not the mighty speech of Isaiah. But He possessed what all these wanted-He possessed perfection.
He was only a child, but He was a Celestial Child; He was only a lamb, but it was a Lamb without spot and without blemish.
In Him as God-Man, all contrasts and contradictions were reconciled.
You hear Him now in tones soft as youthful love, preaching concord to His disciples; and again, in voice of thunder, and with the gestures of an avenger, denouncing the Pharisee and scribe.
Hear yonder Infant weeping in the manger of Bethlehem. That little trembling hand is the hand of Him who made the world; that fee
ble cry is the voice of Him who spake, and it was done who commanded and it stood fast. See that carpenter laboring at Nazareth! The penalty of Adam's sin is standing on his brow in the sweat-drops of his toil. That carpenter is all the while directing the march of innumerable suns, and supplying the wants of innumerable worlds.
Behold yonder Weeper at the grave of LazaHis tears have a voice of eloquence. That Weeper is the Eternal God, who shall wipe away all tears from off all faces.
See again, that Wonder-worker, and that Majestic Teacher, whose works and words are felt in every age, and will continue for all time, and the results pass on into eternity.
Again." The reticence of Jesus is one of the most remarkable of His characteristics."
What He might have told us, in comparison with what He has, of Man, of God, of the Future of the Earth, of the Eternal State!
"He knew what was in man.' 99 "The Son only knoweth the Father." Thou, Lord, knowest all things." But He was silent. Nor was His silence forced and reluctant. It was
wise and willing. It seemed natural to Him as is the twinkling silence of the stars. This marvelous silence surrounded Him with a peculiar grandeur. The greatest objects in the universe are the stillest. The ocean has a voice, but the sun is silent. The seraphim sing, the Shechinah is dumb. The forests murmur, but the constellations speak not. Aaron spoke, but the face of Moses shone with glory. Jesus, like a sheep before her shearers, was dumb in death; but still more marvelous was the Self-denial and God-like silence of His life. The secret of this silence lay partly in the practicalness of His purpose. He had three great things to do in the space of three years, and He could spare no time for doing or talking about aught else.
First. He had to preach a pure morality. Second. He had to live a pure life.
Third.—He had to die a death of substitution so vast as to stop the motion of the universe until it was accomplished.
This was the full baptism wherewith He was baptized. He was straitened till it was accomplished. He bent His undivided energies to finish this three-fold work, and He finished
it. He led a life-and such a life!-of poverty and power, of meanness and grandeur, of contempt and glory, of contact with sinners and of personal purity; a life from Whom demons shrank in terror, round which men crowded in eager curiosity, and over which angels stooped in wonder and love; a life which gathered about the meek current of its benevolence the fiery chariots and fiery horses of all miraculous gifts and all divine energies.
And having thus lived, He came purged as by fire, to the death which seemed to have borrowed materials of terror, from earth, heaven and hell, to bow down along with its own burden upon His solitary head. But to humble Him to submission, the fearful load of Calvary was not required. He was humble all along life's journey, and never more so than when working His miracles.
But this lowliness was mingled with sweet gentleness. The chief scene for the exercise of this exceeding gentleness was the company of publicans and sinners. The sight of personified purity mingled with the greatest of sinners, with condescension, blame, hope and pity ex