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in favor with God and Man. During this voiceless period, the silent Nazarene must have astonished the multitudes with the depth of His constantly increasing wisdom.

During these solitary vigils of the young Galilean, He became more and more conversant with the loftiest conceptions of Israel's seers, who had been so richly endowed through the channels of Divine inspiration. The learned and eloquent young Nazarene became eminently qualified to instruct, and continued to teach the people in the synagogue at Nazareth.

Those who listened to His words were among the most highly favored auditors ever assembled in the world. For there was grandeur and harmony in the sublime truths He uttered.

There was life in the thought, music in the voice, and melody in the soul of the wonderful speaker. Like the gentle breezes which swept the eolian harp of the royal prophet, the harmonious breathings of a more sublime inspiration, kissed the melodious chords of a sweeter harp, struck by the fingers of David's Royal Son.

The sacred truths had never before been expressed with such childlike simplicity and infinite wisdom. Religion had never before been brought with such authority so near to the every-day life of the world. We love to contemplate the private life of the silent Nazarene during those voiceless years of His sinless solitude. Here we find an exhaustless fountain of sacred lore.

The heart of Jesus was full of grace, a soul replete with grandeur, and a destiny to be crowned with infinite glory.

Never have men seen so many perfections blended in any other character. Never will the world witness such grace and grandeur united in mortal man. Jesus was the masterpiece of humanity, the wonder of ages, and the perfect ideal of heaven.

The silent hours of this secluded and solitary life are full of precious lessons, overflowing with consolation and encouragement to the apparently insignificant and obscure earth.

These lessons teach us that prominent action, public service and brilliant success are not essential to true and noble living.

They also teach us that the lot of those who spend their years in private life, unhonored and

unsung in the public arena, is the safest and happiest lot after all.

All these silent and sinless years of Jesus of Nazareth were spent in toil, submission, and obscurity; in contentment, humility, and prayer, in order that He might prepare Himself well for life's great mission, and leave an example worthy of imitation in all ages to come.

It was during these private years, in the midst of evil associations and unhallowed surroundings, that the spotless Son of God developed that perfect representative character for the world's study. It was at this time and under these circumstances that He kept the law perfectly, and thus taught by example what He afterward taught by precept-how to live a life wholly consecrated to the service of God.

Jesus, in His private life, was the Moral Ilero of the world. Moral excellency always adorned His matchless character. And His laws were all recommended by His own example, before they were enforced by His sovereign authority. So ended the boyhood days and private life of Jesus of Nazareth.



THE time at length arrived when the Saviour should manifest Himself to men and commence His glorious work of redemption.

His precursor had already appeared, and his voice had been heard in the wilderness. All the prophets who had foretold Christ's coming had, indeed, been His precursors, nevertheless there was a last prophet, the greatest of all the prophets, John the Baptist, who came .preparing the “ way of the Lord.

“There shall be heard," said Isaiah, “the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord; make straight the paths of our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough ways plain.”

“In those days came John the Baptist.” As if all the movements were continuous in the drama, without a break, as if there were no past tense, as if we lived in a perpetual present, and all history were a continuous breathing, a perpetual outgo of the Divine purpose and will. We have broken up our grammar so that we now have the present, the past, the pluperfect, and the future; but there is another grammar in which there is but one mood, and one tense, and it is Christ's purpose to draw us up into His own thinking, until all history and all development, the whole sweep and current of things, shall be to us a living indicative.

John the Baptist—a transient name! When a man is so specialized, the meaning is that his mission is here and gone, whilst you are speaking about him, a breath, a shock, a voice, an echo, and then a vacancy. John himself said his mission was introductory, symbolical, a plunge, and all was over. John came preaching—a term but little understood in that age. There were few preachers known as such at that time.

Preaching, in the New Testament, is a term which means heralding, going up and down from East to West, crying with a ringing voice

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